- The Black Jewels
The Black Jewels is a series of fantasy novels by
The World of the Black Jewels
The Black Jewels Trilogy is set in a unique world consisting of three Realms: Terreille, Kaeleer, and Hell. These three realms, although being situated upon the same land, are parallel in existence. These three Realms are separated through Gates, which are guarded by Priestesses, those who practice the craft of travelling through Realms. The people of these realms are the Blood (those with magic) and the landens (those who do not have magic)
Blood society is very [hierarchical] and is
matriarchal, with order and control being established not through law and fear of prosecution, but rather through the Blood's Jewel and Castesystem, and through the certain behavioral traits that have been bred into the Blood since their creation.
Blood society is based on an elaborate system of three intertwined but inherently different facets of individual Blood rank. The first of these is caste rank, which determines what type of Blood male or female you are. This system is also based around the Jewels of the Blood. These jewels determine the amount of magical power each Blood male and female can wield, and the depth into the abyss (the source of their power) they can descend to. Lastly, societal rank influences this system. The aristocracy, while not necessarily having more Jewelled strength or higher caste, are the wealthiest of the Blood, and therefore often have more political clout.
The Blood, though a minority in comparison to the landens, are the rulers, meant to govern and protect the land and people in their care (Blood and landens alike). Blood society is a matriarchal society, where the ruling power belongs to the females (mostly the Queens), while the role of males is to serve and protect. The landens (normal humans with no magical ability) are at the lowest end of the caste system and are not Blood, but are protected by them.
Within each realm are many territories. In the Blood Realms, there are Territories (countries), Provinces, Districts, Cities, Townships, and Villages. Each can be ruled by a Queen and her
Courtor some other strong member of the Blood, or possibly by a Council. A Village Queen serves in the District Queens Court, who in turn serves in the Provincial Queens Court, who serves the Territory Queen. Territory Queens do not yield to other Territory Queens, unless in exceptional circumstances. Typically, the majority of the strongest males in a territory will serve the ruling Queens in that territory. In addition to Territory Queens, the Queen of Ebon Askavi, ruler of the Dark Court, has significant influence in the Realms, though no direct control over any particular territory outside of the Black Valley, Ebon Rih.
Daughter of the Blood
The beginning of the trilogy, "Daughter of the Blood" is centered around the viewpoints of two brothers and their estranged father: Daemon Sadi, Lucivar Yaslana, and Saetan Daemon SaDiablo. Daemon and Lucivar are pleasure slaves, both serving either directly or indirectly within the court of Dorothea SaDiablo, self-proclaimed High Priestess of Hayll, whose lack of status as a Queen prompts her to promote herself as such in order to gain power. Seven hundred years before the start of the story proper, the broken Black Widow Tersa predicts the coming of 'the living myth, dreams made flesh - Witch'. Her coming would mark the arrival of the most powerful Queen in the Blood's history, a Queen who would one day cleanse the three Realms of the endless corruption that those in power have brought to the land. 'Witch' manifests in the form of Jaenelle Angelline, youngest granddaughter of Chaillot's Territory Queen, Alexandra Angelline. As her arrival comes to light, the race between the two sides commences to win over the Queen onto their side, and end the war which most of the Dark Realm weren't even aware they were fighting.
Heir to the Shadows
There has been a gap of nearly two years since "Daughter of the Blood" ended. Jaenelle has descended indefinitely into the abyss after the violent rape that nearly meant the death of her physical body. Due to her immense power, no one can come even close to reaching her. Her current state is the equivalent of a coma and Saetan tries to bring her back. Meanwhile, Daemon Sadi must find his way out of the Twisted Kingdom (a tangible, yet not entirely physical landscape through which the insane dwell mentally) and discover the truth about what he did at Cassandra's Altar, as his perceptions of what happened become increasingly distorted. His only help is his mother, the mad Black Widow Tersa. His half-brother, Lucivar Yaslana, enraged and believing Daemon murdered and raped Jaenelle, attempts to escape from the salt mines of Pruul to carry out his planned last act among the living: to destroy his brother Daemon, and then to fly through the Khaldaron Run in order to reach his home, Askavi. He survives against all odds, only to face an Eyrien's worst nightmare, the possibility of losing his wings and the knowledge that he made a terrible mistake. Fortunately, Jaenelle is able to heal Lucivar, but he still has to live with his mistake of accusing Daemon of killing Jaenelle, resulting in the final push needed for Daemon to fall into insanity. When Jaenelle awoke, she had no memory of what happened to her at Cassandra's Altar. As she begins to reach out to her friends once more, Saetan SaDiablo continues to prepare for her Offering to the Darkness and the formation her Court, despite her strong aversion to controlling others. Before this can happen he must face the powerful young witches who will form Jaenelle's
Coven. After the mad Black Widow Tersa makes hurried attempts to make her way into the Twisted Kingdom to save her equally mad son, Jaenelle's memory unlocks after Daemon's name was mentioned. Filled with the pain of reliving those memories and the even more painful truth that she had forgotten who Daemaon was, she makes the journey into the Twisted Kingdom in order to mark a trail for him in order to lead him out. Trouble comes again when Little Terreille and the Dark Council, led by Dorothea's manipulations, declares war on Kaeleer's kindred, slaughtering them in an attempt to claim land. Jaenelle realizes the only way she can protect them in the face of the council's arrogance is to play by their rules. Jaenelle makes the Offering to the Darkness, and comes away with unheard of power, the Ebony Jewels, the depth and power of which are staggering. This power is potent enough to destroy all the Blood in all three Realms, let alone all the landens who do not have any psychic strength. She forms the Dark Court of Ebon Askavi, with every territory in Kaeleer (except Little Terreille) yielding to her, which gives her unprecedented ruling power over the entire realm. Jaenelle issues a warning to the Dark Council, telling them to stay out of her territories. Witch has now formed her Dark Court.
Queen of the Darkness
With the Dark Court established at Ebon Askavi, the Coven and the male Circle who serve it must face the corruption being spread by Little Terreille into Kaeleer. Daemon Sadi enters Kaeleer in order to destroy his father, Saetan Daemon SaDiablo, who he believed manipulated him into destroying Jaenelle, only to discover that both Lucivar and Jaenelle were not, as he previously thought, dead. He becomes Jaenelle's Consort as the Coven tries to deal with increasing trouble in their own territories. Jaenelle's First Circle are wary at first, but come to accept him as the Lady's Consort. Wilhelmina and Surreal also appear at SaDiablo hall, wanting to join the Dark Court, and ruffle more than a few feathers due to their familial connections. Alexandra Angelline and Jaenelle's siring family pay a visit to SaDiablo Hall, leading Jaenelle to make a soul-wounding decision. Terreille lays plots and trouble strikes, with Morton lured into a deadly trap, Karla poisoned, Kalush attacked, and the Coven and Kaeleer preparing for a second devastating war with Terreille. Saetan recognizes the pattern of events, and understands that Hekatah and Dorothea are manipulating them. Events come to a head when Saetan, Lucivar, Marian, and Daemonar are captured, leading to Jaenelle and Daemon's final play. Daemon must turn his back on the Coven and follow Witch's orders, rescuing his father, brother and his brother's family, and still buying enough time for Witch to gather her strength and descend to her full power, beginning the spiraling Maelstrom. At first the Coven don't understand the full implications of Jaenelle's decisions, and are frustrated with her and her Consort, until it is revealed that Kaeleer won't be going to war with Terreille.Witch will.
The Invisible Ring
Also set in the Dark Kingdom, The Invisible Ring, although set outside of the original Black Jewels Trilogy, has come to be widely acknowledged as the fourth book in the series. The novel is set around Jared, a Red Jewelled Warlord who, when on the verge of manhood, was tricked into becoming a pleasure slave by what was most likely one of Dorothea's pet Queens. It focuses on Jared's struggle with his slavery, and the entrance of a woman into his life who, for the first time in nine years, challenges his rigid belief in the corruption and cruelty of all those in power, and also the prejudice he harbors against all women.
Dreams Made Flesh
"Dreams Made Flesh" is a book of four short stories which expands on the events in and after the Black Jewels Trilogy. It includes "Weaver of Dreams", a tale about the origins of the Blood, through the eyes of the first Arachnian Blood, "The Prince of Ebon Rih", which describes Lucivar's ascension to political power and his relationship with his Eyrien housekeeper, Marian, "Zuulaman", a story providing background on Saetan, his sons, the time when Hekatah was his wife, and the power of his Black Jewels, and "Kaleer's Heart", expanding on Jaenelle and Daemon's relationship after the purge, the end of Dark Court, Jaenelle's struggle to recover, and her former Court's acceptance of the truth of Kaeleer's Heart and Twilight's Dawn.
When Jaenelle decides to open a "Spooky House," the author of a popular series about the Blood has a similar theme for his next book. He proceedes to create a duplicate spooky house, and invites three of the most powerful Blood in an attempt to write his next book. Lucivar, Surreal and Daemon all receive invitations that are signed "Jaenelle" and "Marian". Surreal takes the Warlord Prince Rainier to the opening, and goes inside, along with seven landen children. As the author observes their trial, such as each use of the Craft results in one less exit from the house-which began with 30 exits, he notes that they act differently than what he was told, despite him being barely Blood himself. After Jaenelle realizes that it's a trap, she and Daemon make sure that Lucivar and Saeten stay home. After Daemon talks to his mother, Tersa, and finds out that she was one of the Black Widows who unknowingly created some of the traps, he and Jaenelle go to the spooky house in an attempt to save Rainier and Surreal. They exit the house with four of the children, and all three adults intact. Daemon traps the author in his spooky house along with Daemon's shadow, and eventually dispatches him.
Jaenelle Angellineis the main character, the young witch destined to become Queen of the Darkness, aka "Witch". She has 12 uncut Jewels, one of every color, for her Birthright, along with the 13 uncut Black Jewels. After her offering, she came away with the Ebony Jewels. She lost her power after the war, but was granted another new Jewel: Twilight's Dawn.
Daemon Sadi(SaDiablo) is the son of Saetan and the broken Black Widow, Tersa, and fiercely loves Jaenelle. He, like his father and brother, is a Warlord Prince with Birthright Red Jewels. He later descended to Black Jewels after his offering to the Darkness.
Saetan Daemon SaDiablois the High Lord of Hell, High Priest of the Hourglass, and Warlord Prince of Dhemlan. He is Jaenelle's spiritual and adopted father. He received an uncut Birthright Red Jewel, and received an uncut Black Jewel after his Offering to the Darkness.
Lucivar Yaslana(SaDiablo) is the son of Saetan and the Eyrien Luthvian. Lucivar, a half-Eyrien, has batlike wings, and has a strong brotherly love for Jaenelle. His Jewels are the birthright Red, then later descended to Ebon Gray.
Surreal SaDiablois a prostituteand assassin. Her Jewels are birthright Green, and later descended to Gray. She is the daughter of Titian, the result of her mother's rape by Kartane SaDiablo, making Surreal a Hayllian and Dea al Mon half-breed.
* Andulvar Yaslana is demon-dead serving Saetan in Hell. He is a legendary Eyrien figure, known as the "Demon Prince" and one of Saetan's closest friends. Andulvar is the Master of the Guard of the Dark Court of Ebon Askavi. Lucivar can also trace his lineage back to Andulvar. Birthright Red descended to Ebon Gray.
* Cassandra a Black Widow and Queen who was thought to be dead for 50,000 years she was discovered to have become a Guardian in order be a guide for Witch when she came. Saetan served her as Consort. Birthright Red descended to Black. Thought to be a previous Witch, but the validity of that claim is now disputed, despite the fact she ruled the Dark Court.
* Char is a demon-dead child who leads the other children on the cildru dyathe's island.
* Draca, the
seneschalof the Keep at Ebon Askavi is the last Queen of the Dragons who gave the Blood their magic, shedding her scales in the form of jewels. upon giving her power to the Blood, she turned humanoid. She was also Lorn's Queen.
* Lorn, the last of the true dragons and Draca's consort. He provided Jaenelle with her uncut jewels and Twilight's Dawn.
* Marian, An Eyrien hearth witch who became Lucivar Yaslana's wife and mother of his son, Daemonar. Adopted by the SaDiablo Family. Birthright Rose descended to Purple Dusk.
* Mephis SaDiablo (
Mephisto) is demon-dead serving Saetan in Hell. He is Saetan's eldest son. Birthright Red(?) descended to Gray.
* Peyton is the seldom-mentioned second son of Saetan who returned to the Darkness, long ago.
* Prothvar is demon-dead serving Saetan in Hell. Grandson of Andulvar. Birthright Opal descended to Red.
* Tersa is the Black Widow who foretold the coming of Witch. She wanders the Twisted Kingdom, meaning she is insane. She is also Daemon's mother and occasionally provides much needed support for the protagonists, namely Saetan and Daemon.
* Titian is the demon-dead mother of Surreal SaDiablo. Birthright Green. Black Widow/Queen. Broken young (approximately 12 years of age). Queen of the Harpies. Proudly a full-blooded Dea al Mon.
*Aaron, a Warlord Prince of Nharkhava. Birthright Green descended to Red. Originally from Dharo. Married to Kalush (as of "queen of the darkness").
*Alexandra Angelline is the Queen of Chaillot and grandmother of Jaenelle Angelline. She wears the Blood Opal (a darker form of opal).
*Chaosti, a Warlord Prince of the Dea al Mon. Birthright Green descended to Gray.
*Daemonar is the son of Lucivar and Marian.
*Leland Angelline is the daughter of Alexandra Angelline and mother of Jaenelle Angelline. She is also the wife of Robert Benedict, and lover of Philip Alexander. Birthright unknown descended to Rose.
*Philip Alexander is the First Escort and former Consort of Alexandra Angeline. He is also the lover of Leland Angeline, and is the biological father of Jaenelle Angeline. Birthright Green descended to Gray, broken back to Green.
*Wilhelmina Benedict, Jaenelle's sister. Birthright Purple Dusk descended to Sapphire. Daughter of Adria and Philip Alexander.
*Karla is a Healer, Natural Black Widow, and Queen of Glacia. She is one of the first friends Jaenelle makes, and consequently is one of the more valued members of the coven. Cousin to Morton. Birthright Sapphire descended to Gray.
*Gabrielle is a Dae al Mon Queen, Healer, and natural Black Widow. Birthright Opal descended to Red.
*Khardeen is a Scelt Warlord. Birthright Opal descended to Sapphire. Married to Morghann. (AKA Khary.)
*Kalush is a Queen, who eventually rules Nharkava. Birthright Rose descended to Opal. Married to Aaron, mother of Arianna.
*Luthvian is a Red Jeweled Healer/Black Widow and Lucivar's mother. Though Eyrien, she was born without wings (common in her bloodline due to interracial breeding between Eyriens and Dhemlans or Hayllians). Proudly traces her bloodline to Andulvar Yaslana, or as Saetan points out, his son Ravenar by Hekatah, a slightly less desirable bloodline. She disapproves of Lucivar's relationship with Marian and makes all manner of attempts to end it before her death.
The Kindred are animals who have been granted their own Jewels. Hence, they have similar powers to that of the human Blood, as well as the same hierarchy, and so their name (kindred) is derived from the fact that they are 'related' to the Blood. The Kindred consist of all kinds of animals, ranging from dogs, cats, to unicorns and spiders. They played a large part in the Dreaming of Jaenelle (Witch) and it is through their influence that her true form is part beast, part human. The Kindred possess similar abilities to that of the Blood, but some have special abilities. For example, an Arcerian cat, Kaelas, can penetrate any shield, regardless of the difference in jewel strength. Before the coming of Jaenelle as Witch, the Kindred were largely forgotten by humans because the Kindred closed their borders with layers of spells and a general mystique surrounded those territories over the years. Communication was impossible, but through Jaenelle, several protagonists, such as Daemon and his family, as well as Jeanelle's coven, were able to learn how to speak to each other telepathically. It is uncertain as to what the Kindred do with their Jewels - unlike humans, who gild their Jewels and form necklaces and rings to wear them, Kindred are animals and yet, they are described as wearing chains/crowns holding their Jewels. It is possible they receive their Jewels as already pre-set into jewellery as most of the Blood do receive pre-cut Jewels (Jewels that do not come directly from Lorn but have been worn by someone else who is now dead).
*Dorothea SaDiablo is the incestuous High Priestess of Hayll. She is a member of the Hourglass Black Widow coven. Birthright jewel unknown, later descended to Red.
*Kartane SaDiablo is the son of Dorothea SaDiablo. He was also once a close friend of Daemon Sadi. He is also Surreal's father, having raped Titian. He was also one of Briarwood's "uncles." Birthright unknown, descended to Red.
*Hekatah is the demon dead, and self-proclaimed High Priestess of Hell. She is the former wife of Saetan SaDiablo, and instigated the wars between Kaeleer and Terreille. Birthright jewel unknown, descended to Red. Hayllian born, and died in the great war between Terreille and Kaeleer. She is also the mother of Mephis, Peyton and another son which she killed in order to manipulate Saetan SaDiablo. Hekatah also gave birth to Andulvar Yaslana's child, Ravenar. She is behind many of Dorothea's plots in an ultimate attempt to make herself ruler of all the Realms.
*Robert Benedict claims to be the father of Jaenelle Angeline. He runs the hospital known as Briarwood, where Blood males subject underage Blood females to perverse tortures, including rape. Birthright unknown descended to Yellow.
*Jarvis Jenkell is a newly discovered
Bloodmale who attempts, in the novel Tangled Webs, to disclose his nature through his writing. When his semi-autobiographical "Landry Langston" novels are mocked by the Blood, he and two Black Widowscreate a haunted house intended to punish and ultimately kill Surreal, PrinceRainier and several children.
The world is divided into
realms, much like dimensions or planes of existence. Within each realm are many territories.
Terreille - The Realm of Light
This is the realm which is most like Earth. It is one of the living realms, and society is much like a harsh
medievalculture combined with the refinement of the aristocracyclass of 18th century Europe. The coven of Dorothea SaDiablo has eliminated most of the dark-Jewelled Blood, primarily Queens, in Terreille. As a result, many places do not have their own Queens or are ruled by Dorothea's puppet Queens. In some cases they are ruled by councils of Blood males, regardless of the capacity of the local Queens. Terreille has the following regions: Hayll, Chaillot, Shalador, Raej, Tacea, Dena Nehele, Dhemlan, Askavi, Ebon Askavi, Ebon Rih, Pruul, Zuulman. Briarwood exists in Chaillot.
Kaeleer - The Shadow Realm
Kaeleer is also one of the living realms, but its closer proximity to the Darkness makes it a much "wilder" place than Terreille. Alongside the human territories are kindred ones, which are closed to humans and considered mythical (or unclaimed) in the minds of many. The following regions are in Kaeleer: Arachna, Arceria, Askavi, Centauran, Dea al Mon, Dharo, Dhemlan, Ebon Askavi, Ebon Rih, Fyreborn Islands, Glacia, Little Terreille, Nharkhava, Pandar, Philan, Scelt, Sceval, Tigrelan, an unnamed island belonging to the Dark Council.
Hell - The Dark Realm
This is the realm of the dead, where the demons live. Saetan is the High Lord over this realm. The following regions are in Hell: Hekatah's Territory, Harpy Territory, "Cildru dyathe"'s Island, Ebon Askavi.
Outside the Realms
There are mentions to some places that seem to exist outside the physical Realms. These territories are the following: The Twisted Kingdom, The Abyss and The Darkness. The Twisted Kingdom is a representational landscape of mental insanity, whereas the Abyss is the wellspring of the Blood's power. They seem to be places that exist on a communal and an individual psychic level. See below in "Mythology and Religion" for the Darkness.
Found throughout all three Realms, Dark Altars link Terreille, Kaeleer, and Hell. There are thirteen, including one by SaDiablo Hall (built in all three Realms to be next to the Dark Altar) and one at the Keep at Ebon Askavi. These Altars are the only method of transportation between the Realms (except on the notable occasion when Jaenelle builds a bridge between Chaillot in Terreille and the "cildru dyathe"'s island in Hell) and are attended to by Priestesses.
Magic System, Society and Mythology
Members of various races in the three realms who are infused with magic are known as the Blood. In the case of non-human, or non-dragon races (such as what would appear to be regular animals) they are known as Kindred as well as Blood.
The Blood are further divided by sex,
social class, and caste.
The following is a list of the Blood castes in ascending order of rank:
• Blood Male: Refers to any Blood male who does not wear Jewels.
• Warlord: A Warlord is any Jeweled male who does not belong to the other hierarchical levels, equal in status to a witch.
• Prince: A Jeweled male equal in status with Healers and Priestesses, one step lower than a Black Widow, one step higher than witches and Warlords.
• Warlord Prince: A Jeweled male higher in status than a Black Widow, but lower than a Queen. Warlord Princes are the highest ranked, and also most rare, male caste.
• Blood Female: Mostly refers to any Blood female who doesn’t wear Jewels.
• witch: A Blood female who wears Jewels but isn’t a member of the other hierarchical levels.
• Healer: A witch who tends physical wounds and illnesses, born with the instincts to comfort and heal. They are higher in status than a witch or Warlord, equal to Priestesses and Princes.
• Priestess: A witch who cares for altars, Sanctuaries, and Dark Altars; they are the most spiritual of the female castes, leading the celebrations during holidays and religious ceremonies. They are equal in status with Healers and Princes.
• Black Widow: A witch who heals the mind, weaves the tangled webs of dreams and visions, and is trained in illusions and poisons. They can divine the future, create powerful illusions, effect other people's dreams, and are highly empathic. They are trained to read, attack and heal minds. All Black Widows possess a snake tooth and deadly venom underneath their ringer fingers. Black Widows are considered to be the most dangerous and sexual of the Blood female castes. Equal in status to none, Black Widows answer only to Queens, Warlord Princes, and other Black Widows of a darker Jewel rank.
• Queen: A witch who rules the Blood. She is considered to be the land’s heart and the Blood’s moral center; she is the focal point of their society. They are the highest ranked bloods and most rare of all the castes. Queens tend to the land, being the only ones who have the Craft to heal the land after it has been damaged or tainted.
Most members of the Blood are gifted with a Birthright Jewel, and after making an Offering to the Darkness, they may descend a maximum of three Jewel ranks to receive a darker Jewel. These can be cut or uncut. Cut Jewels are Jewels that are thought to have been used before by someone now dead, and may come already set into jewellery. Uncut Jewels are unused, and are more powerful than their cut counterparts. Dark Jewels are rare compared to light ones, with the Ebony and Twilight's Dawn the rarest of them all. The darker a Jewel is, the stronger and more potent magic it contains, which in turn can be used by its wearer.
The darkest Jewels one can receive for a Birthright is Red, with the exception of Janelle. The Birthright ceremony is performed at a Dark Altar, and occurs in early childhood. The Birthright ceremony is also when the father of the child is officially and legally recognized as such and can therefore claim the rights and responsibilities that a father in Blood society has for a child. A child who does not have a father recognized at his/hers Birthright Ceremony is considered illegitimate.
Through the Offering to the Darkness, the Blood can earn Jewels up to three levels darker than their Birthright Jewel. Tapping into these deeper or darker reservoirs is called "descending", (e.g. Birthright White could descend to Rose) and darker stones allow for more potent magic. The Offering to the Darkness occurs at the end of puberty into early adulthood. The Offering to the Darkness cannot be made twice. If a Blood male or female has problems on the day of the Offering and do not descend to their full potential, there is no way to reverse the change.
The colours of the Jewels are, in order of increasing strength:
* Tiger Eye
* Purple Dusk
Opal*Note: Opal is the dividing line between darker and lighter jewels because it can be either.
The following Jewels were worn only by Jaenelle, who was Witch and the most powerful Queen in the history of the Blood:
* Twilight's Dawn
Note: Ebony is darker than the Black, which was formerly the darkest known Jewel and was almost unheard of being in someone's possession. The Twilight's Dawn Jewel is unique to Jaenelle. Later on in the series it is revealed that this jewel is like a combination of the jewels from Rose to Black. It represents Janelle's desire to be "not so different from everyone else" (See "Dreams Made Flesh: Kaeleer's Heart"), and its strength levels reflect the psychic webs that Janelle was wrapped in by Saetan, Lucivar, and Daemon while absorbing the backlash of her Ebony strength at the end of "Queen of the Darkness." Twilight's Dawn was given to Jaenelle by Lorn as an unformed Jewel, delivered to her by Ladvarian, a kindred dog, and friend of Jaenelle and the Coven.
Magical System (The Craft) & Spells
The Blood can wield their magic to create various effects, such as communicate mentally using what they call "threads", raise sight shields to become
invisible, walk through walls, levitate animate and inanimate objects, vanish inanimate objects to an extradimensional space to reappear later upon command, and project raw magical or psychic force. The Blood can also create magical potions, poisons, and artifacts which have a variety of uses, and drugs made from herbs that can be used to block a person's power by making them mentally incapable.
To travel the Blood can levitate, or (with wings or magic) fly. In addition the Blood can use the various magical webs that link the realms together to travel. The darker the colour of the web the faster it is to travel on it. Each colour of web corresponds to the colour of a jewel. Also the Blood may travel between realms using Dark Altars. By lighting the Altar's candles in the correct order, they may travel from one Dark Altar to a parallel Dark
Altarin a different realm.
There are 3 "professions" of the Blood that use spells uncommon to the normal Blood. There are Priestesses, who lead religious rites, Healers, who can cast healing spells, and Black Widows, witches who can deal with the mind and can weave and read tangled webs. A tangled web is a piece of magic enabling the Black Widow to look into the future and have visions. It is made with "spidersilk" and usually anchored to a wooden frame, though the Arachnians just use their surroundings to anchor their webs. It differs from normal webs of magic that the normal Blood cast. Aside from that, Black Widows can also take a mental step to the border of the Twisted Kingdom, allowing them see truths and draw memories from wood and stone.
With spells the darker the Jewel the Blood wears, the more potent the magic they have available. However, every Jewel Rank has a range of strength, and thus one Red-Jeweled witch could be slightly stronger than another. Both intelligence and creativity also go a long way towards what one can do with the power they possess.
Mythology & Religion
The Blood believe they are the stewards of the Earth, meant to be the protectors of nature and the non-Blood (called landens) who share the Realms with them. In the series, the main antagonists have turned most of society away from this belief, encouraging greed and gluttony, causing the Blood to become "tainted."
In the Black Jewels series of books, there are three major "religious" concepts which contribute to the society of the Blood.
The first is the "Darkness". It is the literal absence of light, night, the darkness associated with fertile soil and a woman's womb, as well as the primordial chaos from which life emerges and ultimately returns.
The second is "Witch", or rather "Dreams Made Flesh". Witch's soul and fate is fashioned by the dreams, prayers and wishes of members of the Blood. Witch is a kind of savior or saint-like figure to the Blood. Witch can be any female caste or wear any Jewel, depending on the dreams that made her, though the Blood generally believed that female Black-Jeweled witches were Witch and vice versa. The Arachnians weave and store the webs that represent each Witch. For each dreamer, the Arachnians add a thread to the pertinent web. In the case of Jaenelle as Witch, she was fashioned from the dreams of all the non-tainted Blood.
The next is "Mother Night". Often used as an expression of shock, she seems to be a female
archetypefor the Blood - some sort of manifestation of the Darkness, similar to fertility goddesses as Mother Earth.
The Blood practice a kind of pagan spirituality that places a great deal of reverence for the Darkness, and the worship of the Earth and nature. The rituals and religion in the series seems to be based loosely upon the
paganreligions of ancient Europe and modern day Neo-Paganism. The Blood believe that when they die, they return to the Darkness (unless they have become demon dead) and then reincarnate eventually. The spiritual practices of the Blood vary depending on culture, though most beliefs are constant through out Blood society.
* [The Black Jewels Trilogy]
* [http://www.annebishop.com/ Official Anne Bishop Website]
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