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escher4096 t1_ixfq2d3 wrote

Sacrifice is power. The most powerful sacrifice is life. This is a universal constant of magic. The greater the magic to be performed the greater the sacrifice to be made.

  • Understanding Basic Magic, vol 1

“Master, there are too many injured and just not enough life to heal them all. The wizards are passing out…. Some of them are even dying. What are we going to do?”, my young apprentice Howard begged of me. He was 25 years old but looked to be in his sixties. We sacrifice part of our life when we do magic. A week here. A month there. A year over here. We wizards may burn brightly but we do not burn for long.

I inspected the wound of my patient. A sword slice through 2 lobes of his lung, broken ribs, liver damage, massive blood loss. I tally up the injuries…. It would cost me 10 years of my life to heal him completely. It would cost me 2 years to heal him enough that he would survive. I prepare myself and sacrifice 2 years and let the magic course through me, shaping it, directing it, moulding it to my will….. and then I release it into the patient. I collapse to my knees panting for breath….. I have given up 20 years of life today. Almost 60 years worth since this damn war started. But today, today has seen the fiercest fighting yet. Our king is trying to push through the enemy lines even if it means burning out all of his wizards.

“Give me a moment Howard.”, I say as he helps me to seat. I take a few deep breaths. “How many more have come in?”, I ask shakily.

“About a hundred more.”, he says quietly. “The offensive is not going well.”

“Are there any new prisoners that can be sacrificed?”, I ask hopefully.

“The enemy fights until death and if they can’t fight any more they take a poison capsule and kill themselves. They won’t let themselves be taken.”

I raise an eyebrow at that. “That is a new tactic.”, I say simply.

Howard shrugs. “They die on the field or we capture them and put them to death to heal our injured. Either way they die.”, he says, “at least this way they aren’t helping the enemy. It is smart.”

“Wizard! I need a wizard!”, a courtier yells as he hauls in a member of the Royal court. Howard and I go over to him. “It is the Prince. His wound is infected.”

We quickly lay him down on a cot. “When did he get wounded. We haven’t seen him through here in weeks.”, I say to the courtier.

“The Prince is aware of the cost of a healing and would not ask it for such a minor wound. He would sacrifice is own life force to heal it but it isn’t allowed to sacrifice noble life for magic, so he decided to let it heal on its own.”, the courtier said.

“That is noble of him, but a clean would of this size would take a day of sacrifice. Now that it is infected it is going to take a great deal more.”, Howard said sadly as he looked at the grotesque wound. It was was oozing puss and the skin next to the opening was necrotic.

I probed the wound gently, causing the unconscious Prince to moan, the wound was deep. I tallied up the work that would need to be done…. At least a year worth of life. “Damn…. There is so much infection”, I said to myself.

“It is too bad infection wasn’t alive”, the courtier said.

“Oh, infection is alive. Thousands and thousands of tiny organisms that are feeding off of our Prince and making him sick.”, I said absently as I cleaned up the wound.

“Can you sacrifice the tiny organisms?”, the courtier asked

I looked at Howard. He shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t remember any text ever saying it had to be human life that must be sacrificed. It was always just…. Implied….”

“Well if nothing else, sacrificing the infection would clean up the wound, even if there isn’t enough life there to heal it.”, I said, trying to convince myself of the merits. “Why not?”

“We should at least try it”, Howard said excitedly.

I pulled up a chair to the prince’s cot. I took a couple of deep breaths and then reached out with my senses to find all of the infection and the microbes that shouldn’t be there. It felt like it took an eternity. I had to identify each and everyone one separately. I took a steadying breath and sacrificed those lives entirely…. Not minutes or hours or days but extinguished those lives entirely. I expected a little bit of power but I was overwhelmed.

The power burned through me, setting every nerve ending on fire and making me ache to the very core of my being. I shaped the power to heal the prince, but there was so much more and there was no where for it to go! I started to panic. There was no more hurt on the Prince and I wasn’t in contact with anyone else that needed healing. The power burned and struggled, it wanted to be free. I clamped down on that power and forced my will on it and then swallowed it whole. My very soul felt like it was on fire. Then the world went black.

“Master! Master! Are you alright‽”, I heard Howard’s voice through the darkness. I opened my eyes.

“I am still here young man.”, I said to Howard.

The healed prince looked down at me on the floor. Then to Howard then to me. “You look a lot younger than him.”, the prince said.

I touched my face. The wrinkles were gone. I moved my legs experientially…. No aches or pains. “How old do I look, Howard?”, I asked cautiously.

“If I had to guess, I would say…. about 16 or 17, master.”, Howard said with a big smile.

“Send a runner…. Everyone of them we can find. We need everything they can find that is rotting… food stuffs, horse manure, people with infections, yeast….. all of it, any of it. We are going to turn the tide of the war, my boy!”


Dr_Euler t1_ixgrrxc wrote

probably just me seeing this but I instantly saw them in a ww1 Era medical tent near the front lines

I didn't even question why they knew about germ theory that just sounded right for the time period


sin-and-love t1_ixhv7s0 wrote

Actually we have a record of a roman dude warning that swamps are full of tiny infectious creatures. We have no clue how he knew, though.


Jrmundgandr t1_ixhyb2k wrote

Probably time travel


thisismego t1_ixi7620 wrote

Probably the Doctor


YourAverageNutcase t1_ixj9rn6 wrote

Clearly, this was Rory passing the time while he protects the Pandorica. He was a nurse, might as well share some medical knowledge


flying-lizard05 t1_ixjfzf4 wrote

😭😭😭😭😭😭 I don’t have favorite companions, but he was my favorite companion 💜


-FourOhFour- t1_ixih0h6 wrote

I recall the theory was that he was able to notice "small" amoeba like creatures in water (not sure the correct term is for these large enough you can see with your eye but obviously not a bug or small fish) and concluded that there are smaller ones that can't be seen. How he came about that those caused infections was probably the tried and true method of let me try this on a guy and see what happens.


Sany_Wave t1_ixijgz7 wrote

There are some amoebae that are large. Enough to poke with a pensil with only good glasses.


TheArmoredKitten t1_ixj3wyi wrote

Yeah it's honestly really weird how long germ theory took to develop. The microscope was invented in the 1600s but germ theory wasn't firmly established until 250 years later.


SliceThePi t1_ixihm4q wrote

is it possible he was talking about macroscopic parasites?


Accidental_Ouroboros t1_ixiljeh wrote

This makes the most sense to me, unless he is specifying something like "so small that they can't be seen." Microparasites like helminths and flukes are visible to the naked eye.


sin-and-love t1_ixjr06g wrote

yes, actually, he did specify that they were too small to be seen.


SantiJamesF t1_ixjf342 wrote

My theory is because of magic, scientists of then times could turn their eyes into microscopes and because of this, they discovered bacteria, mold spores, viruses, etc giving them germ theory centuries before it was discovered in our time.


boomchacle t1_ixg8dne wrote

But how do they know of germ theory at this point?


bradles0 t1_ixg98k1 wrote

>I took a couple of deep breaths and then reached out with my senses to find all of the infection and the microbes that shouldn’t be there

sounds like they can sense living organisms so they have a way to detect bacteria, greatly easing the process.


boomchacle t1_ixga72g wrote

I wonder why they couldn’t just sacrifice individual cells if it works like that. How does the power scaling work here? Is it one second of bacteria equals one second of human life? Millions of bacteria seconds would absolutely blow everything else out of proportion. (Which to be fair does seem to happen a bit, but not as much as I would expect if it was a 1:1 ratio)

Plus, the human body contains millions of bacteria as required for our day to day survival. That’s basically a cheat code for immortality.


jerbear0987 t1_ixgl3hm wrote

I think that is the point. They can sense the difference between a "good" bacteria and stuff like viruses, maybe because of their life force/soul. The story also said that he searched for the ones that weren't meant to be there, so maybe they have advanced sciences. The wizard had just discovered immortality at the end, which is how they would turn the tide of the war.


Duiker6v t1_ixgtrgc wrote

By the sounds of they are actually sacrificing the time they have left in this world

And after doing some researching a single bacteria cell lives approximately 12 hours

Now if there are millions if not billions of individual cells then yes in this world you could become immortal

Once immortality is achieved you could essentially become a GOD being able to take and give life

Heck with that much lifespan power whos to say you can't effectively resurrect the dead(to their previous living conditions) if their brain is still intact.

Sorry for bad punctuation im not quite a writer


succubusbanana t1_ixhq94a wrote

12 hours per bacterium and 1,000,000 bacteria is 12,000,000 hours.12,000,000 hours is 1,369 years, give or take a few months. I'd call that a win for living forever. The real question is how much magic can the wizards bank before they turn back into zygotes.


techno156 t1_ixgt7w5 wrote

>I wonder why they couldn’t just sacrifice individual cells if it works like that. How does the power scaling work here? Is it one second of bacteria equals one second of human life? Millions of bacteria seconds would absolutely blow everything else out of proportion. (Which to be fair does seem to happen a bit, but not as much as I would expect if it was a 1:1 ratio)

Maybe they didn't think of it before, or thought that there was something special about an animal/human that powered the sacrifice?


Ihav2bluecats t1_ixh9q9c wrote

As with everything sometimes people just don't question the logic, if it's seen like equivalent exchange or similar you would probably be biased to think a human is worth way more than an animal and especially bacteria.


colonelhalfling t1_ixha4j4 wrote

Just a thought, but human lifespan, at least non-cancer ridden human life span, is believed to be governed by the telomeres in our DNA. They act as 'protective caps,' if you will, that help ensure good copies, but they get 'worn down' by the process. If that 'life sacrifice' was basically inhibiting the function of telomeres in the body, then sacrificing individual cells is what they are already doing. As they use magic, more of their own cells will be killed in order to avoid negative mutations (ie, cancer) until the ability of the body to stop it from happening is overwhelmed.

Not an expert, just fascinated by DNA and, well, the effects of small changes in the code that can causes big issues.


849 t1_ixjairm wrote

Some lifeforms can regenerate their telomeres.


the_turt t1_ixgwj2m wrote

1 million seconds is 11 days, and I dont think each one is worth 1 second. Also, unless you plan on actually shitting bricks, I wouldn't suggest killing your gut bacteria.


Different_Spot_9603 t1_ixhiivl wrote

I think that’s because the bacteria are individuals and the cells of our body work as a whole to form an individual and that the sacrifice magic targets the individual.


gandalf171 t1_ixh31y0 wrote

Maybe it works by trading lifetime for lifetime on a cell by cell basis, so if a human sacrifices a day they take a day off every cell in their body to give to new cells in the injured. The power scaling wouldn't quit work out for the rejuvenation at the end, but bacterial cells are a lot smaller than human cells, so it would give you something in the same order of magnitude at least and would have some internal logic


The-Alternate t1_ixj00du wrote

Maybe they're able to do that too and they just haven't tried. If the spells were based on intent then sacrificing a person is not the same as sacrificing all of their cells. This doesn't fit well with real-world physically-based processes, but magic is often not physically-based and instead based on intent, emotion, etc.

There are good real-world analogies though. For example, is it cheaper to ship a few things together in one big package, or as separate packages? The individual cost of separate packages adds up to more than the cost of shipping everything together at once. In the end, the result is the same because everything ends up at the destination, but in one case it costs more.

Similarly, the life force gained from sacrificing individual cells adds up to more than sacrificing the conglomerate being made up of those cells. And similarly, the result is the same: it's dead either way, but one method gives you more life force.

In the end the rules are obviously lopsided, which we don't see a lot in real life physical processes. Maybe there's a rigid explanation. For example, maybe most of the magic comes from the intent to drain anything's life force, so by sacrificing millions of cells you gain most of your magic from the "overhead" of so much intent on individual lives — similar to the additional cost incurred from shipping overhead when shipping multiple package. You can imagine how shipping millions of individual packages for knick knacks would cost significantly more than just stuffing them in a big box!


boomchacle t1_ixj1xsu wrote

Right but literally every cubic meter of air can contain millions of bacterial cells. You could just use that. You don’t even need anything around you. If sensing life force was a thing and it was sensitive enough to differentiate between different cells of a human, the air itself would act like a giant wall of cells that you’d need to filter through in order to see anything.


The-Alternate t1_ixj4tc8 wrote

I get what you're saying. Can you conceive of a way that the story makes sense? Not everything is always clearly stated.

I can think of ways that make it make sense. For example, I don't think it's literally seeing cells — for that matter, individually seeing, isolating, and targeting millions of cells is entirely impossible in the real world. I think it would be closer to "sensing" or "searching", and maybe that takes intent and awareness into account, unlike many of our normal senses which often work without strict direction.

Maybe sensing cells in the air isn't easy without having a rough idea what to search for. A good analogy is those optical illusions that require focus to change the direction of rotation, or confusing perspectives that require focus to see what others see. If you can't see it because you don't know what to look for, then you can't be aware and focused on it, right? Maybe germ theory is new to their society. Maybe they aren't yet aware that humans are made up of cells, but are aware that infections are made up of many microscopic beings. Similarly, bacteria being in the air may be a blind spot to them, making them unable to focus effectively on them.

I imagine after this point in the story their society probably undergoes a drastic change. We saw a critical turning point in their world, and we didn't get to see the results. If they're able to draw life force from anything counted as "living" that they can focus on with their magical senses, then they've effectively become an immortal society with limitless magic.

There were some blockers along the way, such their senses requiring preexisting knowledge, their understanding of sacrifice being wrong, and the newness of germ theory, but they're on the path to immortality and infinite magic.

I guess I prefer to look at a story and say "how can this happen" rather than assume the least. Filling in the blanks is like a fun puzzle! I do think this is a super lopsided world and I think it would be hard for the author to continue stories in this world while keeping the same setting and atmosphere. They'd have to invent some really wacky rules to prevent insane power creep and massive societal shifts.


boomchacle t1_ixj5txx wrote

yeah I would be interested in seeing the after effects of this story since it has a lot of random stuff that kind of gets implied by the ending. Maybe only some people have the ability to sense such small things and will become super powerful wizards due to it.


p0pfunk t1_ixg9kn4 wrote

We know of microbes because we can see them with tools. They can do the same thing with magic, it seems. It's fairly easy to assume that they know since they can sense them.


TomMado t1_ixgn6fk wrote

RIP gut microbes


JustTiredAllTheTime t1_ixgpj8b wrote

Every time we go to the toilet there are thousands of them sent to die and they regrow permanently in the gut. Imagine the power.


DistractedEmilia t1_ixh4j6o wrote

Holy Moly🤯 Your writing is so good it gave me goosebumps. I would 1000% read anything you write 🤩


escher4096 t1_ixhbd9t wrote

Thanks! If you check my comment history there are lots of stories but I am very hit and miss. But I am working on it….

These two are my favourites right now:

This one is really short:

This one has 6 parts I think:


Yayman123 t1_ixi7lmt wrote

That second one has 5a parts actually ;)


escher4096 t1_ixi8376 wrote

Yeah, it was written as one post but hit the character limit of a comment and had to split it into 2 parts.


kris533d t1_ixgo2zb wrote

More please! Can't stop a good story now!?!


A_Cryptarch t1_ixgu93d wrote

Time for them to be hunted down for practicing Necromancy.


ktripler t1_ixh3pk6 wrote

Nurgle from 40k wouldn't be happy about this... or would he?


TOHSNBN t1_ixhvrhc wrote

Counter question, can nurgle even be "happy" in the conventional sense we can grasp?

I guess nurgle would hate this, it would put an end to all desease and make humans immortal.
It would be genocide to all his precious children.

Also, i do not think that shiny yellow throne corpse guy would like the competition of other immortals.


ktripler t1_ixhzwkz wrote

Would it put an end to disease? I picture people farming diseases in bodies and animals in order to keep a never ending supply of bacteria/cells for use in medicine. He'd love that

Shiny throne corpse guy would love immortals because they could then be sacrificed. Using this authors logic, it would probably take 3 sacrifices of people imbued with this immortality to bring the emperor back to full health. Ultimately he hates being seen as a god though, and I'm excited for all the fallout if it ever comes.

I'm not even that into 40k, why have I done this 🙃


TOHSNBN t1_ixi328e wrote

By that (valid) logic it would mean enslavement of his plague children though. Nugle wants his children to be free so they can cause suffering.

Good point on corpse guy!
No more need for a thousand psykers each day, just throw an Immortal at him every once in a while after he got into a fight with one of his kids. Again. So most likely, once a week. 😂


ktripler t1_ixi8h6g wrote

That's a good point!


TOHSNBN t1_ixi9uo8 wrote

I think 40K is at the top of my list of things i am utterly fascinated by, but not really interested in.

Like, i would never play it or spend a single cent on.

But man, 40K is wicked cool to read and learn about. Also, it looks so damn cool. The whole lore is just awesome.

In my next life i want to be an adeptus mechanicus and just replace my entire body with the cold, hard embrace of the machine. And i am not even joking ☺️😂


mismanaged t1_ixim8ld wrote

Given the nature of the 40k universe it's far more likely you'll end up a servo-skull.


TOHSNBN t1_ixinxkb wrote


Admech > corpse starch > entomed in a war machine > human harp > servitor > servo skull.

That is the order im gonna go with.


sling848 t1_ixjh95i wrote

Outstanding concept, love the word building here. Certainly something I’d think to bring into my next DnD game (it’s sadly as creative as I get).


PhilinLe t1_ixjopxl wrote

So a strictly hierarchal society that demands the lesser people sacrifice life force for their masters by blood, a society that summarily executes enemy combatants and whose notoriety is so great that enemy combatants choose berserker-like suicides over capture, has just had their servant class discover not only unlimited power but also eternal youth? This is either heading towards full blown dystopia or fully automated luxury gay space communism.


escher4096 t1_ixjoy78 wrote

“Luxury Gay space communism”…. That is a new one for me.


YOMGuitar t1_ixk5rso wrote

A universal constant of magic is that the greater the magic to be performed, the greater the sacrifice that must be made. This is because wizards perform magic by sacrificing part of their life force. Over time, this takes its toll and wizards don't live long lives. Consequently, in times of war, when there are many injured people and not enough life force to heal them all, wizards have to make difficult decisions about who to heal and who to let die.

The Prince was wounded and chose not to use a wizard's healing powers because it would require too great a sacrifice on his part. However, his wound became infected and he was brought back for treatment. The wizard cleaning up the Prince's wound realized that the infection is alive (made up of tiny organisms) and decided it might be worth sacrificing them instead. By sacrificing the infection, rather than the Prince, the wizard was able to save the Prince's life without requiring too great a sacrifice.

Sacrificing something of value is always a difficult decision, but sometimes it is necessary in ordering to save something even more valuable. When faced with a decision like this, it is important to weigh all options and choose what you believe is best.

Brilliant piece 👏


Snomitty t1_ixjqo4v wrote

I got excited with them when they said they're gonna turn the war my boy


grudthak t1_ixgap46 wrote

Simon whooped in jubilation as the pentagram blazed with eldritch black fire as thick black smoke swirled and coalesced inside, forming a large, looming figure of dread.


It roared, it's voice a cacophony of thousands of battlefield curses and cries of treachery.

"I do...!"

The voice that replied was reedy, nasal and dripped with smug satisfaction.

"My name is Simon, and now that I have summoned you, I compel you to do my bidding. I have a grimoire here with the names of all who have wronged me, that you must eliminate"

With that, he held up a cheap school notebook. The creature in the circle seemed to be glancing around the room, taking everything in; before chuckling with menace.

"And prey-tell-me... Simon, with your repurposed schoolbook, dollar-store dribbly candles and..."

It's voice pitched in disbelief

"A Youtube video loop of creepy chanting?"

It shook its now-solid horned head

"How could a pathetic snivelling worm like you find the hundred victims needed to summon me?"

Simon grinned, not only would he show his classmates, but this arrogant Demon too that HE was truly a master of reality. He held up a petri dish in one hand and a spray-bottle of antibacterial solution in the other.

"It was never stated that the victims must be human to summon you"

The Demon laughed as it stepped OUT of the circle, its cloven hoof leaving a scorch-mark on the floor.

"To summon me, that is true"

It tore Simon's still-beating heart from his chest and held it to him.

"But to BIND me... Now that is another matter entirely"


DiscordAccordion t1_ixgg2x0 wrote

Day 0: The tome finally showed up today. It was found in a mass grave, just outside of what is now Rome, preserved perfectly. Archeologists thought it was a early Christian religious text at first, but more careful consideration revealed some peculiar details: proto-Germanic text hundreds of miles from that region. They've sent it to us for some analysis. First up, carbon dating!

Day 25: The (first) dating finished up last week and the whole lab was shocked. It was at least 500 years older than it should've been. Paper isn't supposed to hold up for that long, nothing traveled that far back in those days without a record, and the dialect is somehow subtly wrong. We're running it again and the linguistics team is doing a retranslation. Oh yeah, we've got a linguistics team now. The university got funding from an anonymous donor, explicitly for this project. Weird part is, we haven't publicized anything about it yet. Still, gift horse, mouth, and all that jazz.

Day 70: More money, more team members, more shocking discoveries. Carbon dating reconfirmed that weird date and somebody found a reference to a similar book in some nearly forgotten archive. Didn't say what it was, but we've got one confirmed sighting at the right time, so that's good news. Linguistics team is having a blast. Apparently it's not proto-Germanic, but some new language that predates it. Similar enough at first glance, but the original read as a religious text seems wrong now. It does reference biblical concepts quite often however. Lots on Lucifer and the devil. Newest team is a few materials scientists. Apparently, it's not printed on paper. Some kind of animal skin.

Day 107: We're getting shut down soon. Lots of 3 letters and men in black started becoming very interested in what we were doing, and now everything will be gone soon. It doesn't make any sense! The book was just some grimoire filled with gibberish rituals and "spells". Why would the government care? They've got enough demons without summoning more. They can't even legally keep it. Mats team got some results and it's a piece of anthropodermic bibliopegy: human skin bound books. We were supposed to send it back to Italy, since it's a "cultural artifact" now, but we just needed a few more days to finish translating. They should be receiving a fake any day now. They don't deserve it. It's ours to study.

Day 234: All the data's been stolen from me. They swept the lab, top to bottom, then took the server racks whole. They didn't search quite well enough. I made another copy. I let them have it, but I've got the book. It's mine. They can't take it from me. It was translated just before we got disbanded. All the other professors got transferred. Supposedly at new universities, but I know the truth. They betrayed me. They tried to take the book away. They can't do that. It's mine. They tried to steal my book and go work on it themselves. They failed. I've got the rituals here. Fascinating, really. Chemical reagents centuries ahead of their time, impossible processes for back then. And death. Now we know why it was found in a mass grave. Whoever had it before me tried to use it and failed. I won't. I'm better. I can get everything I need on Amazon. Gun cotton, quicksilver, aluminum, even lives. I'll use bacteria. There's thousands in a single colony. I can summon him a hundred times over. I've got it all prepared. Set the ritual, sacrifice the lives, and fulfill my purpose. It needs to be done. It has to. I need to.

  • Selected research notes of Simon King. Extracted from destroyed residence after large explosion by Project Mephistopheles.

I had an idea for a Blair witch project type story. Not as strictly based on the prompt, but I liked the idea of a mysterious artifact being found and a researcher slowly being corrupted by it.


UserD61 t1_ixpidpv wrote

This reads like a darker version of the Ice King!


sin-and-love t1_ixi9wcm wrote

It reads like it was only as you got to the end that you remembered what the actual prompt was.


Phoenix4235 t1_ixivpd7 wrote

No, it reads like they were telling a story based on the prompt that only got slowly revealed to us. You know - suspense.


TheBastardOlomouc t1_ixgv5z7 wrote

Sorry, I know it's just a story but a text in proto-germanic, let alone any written language predating that just seems ridiculpus :p


frosticky t1_ixh7laz wrote


According to you, how many years ago does proto-germanic mean? And why can't writing have originated in some form on Earth before then?


Sky_Prio_r t1_ixhh2ak wrote

Okay have you ever heard of a story before? Especially a fiction story? It shifts things from our world often inaccurately to tell a story that is made up, ridiculous if you consider other factoids, dragons? Impossible, doesn't exist who is this 🤡 author lmao, Ringwraiths? Bruh when people die they just die they don't get twisted by a one ring, this story is 🧢, must be boring for to read when you're you.


ImmaRussian t1_ixgtypb wrote

The Council of Magi looked on with all of the rapt interest a cow should have for a priceless tome of spells.

The experiment was going to fail. Obviously nothing could match the potency of soul provided by a human life; to attempt a sacrifice with greater beings might actually be worth their time, but they had no idea why they had been summoned by one of the world's most famous witches to witness an experiment involving such tiny, meaningless lives.

"We fail to see why, if you felt it necessary to attempt this waste of time, you would not attempt it with organisms of a greater nature... Perhaps dogs, or horses. But... Since you are still a member of the order in good standing, and your other Natural Magic experiments have been promising, we will at least let you perform this experiment even though it cannot possibly have any visible effect, even if your theory is correct. Please proceed."

Malvina ignored the petty tirade and continued setting up her experiment. She had a series of glass apparatus in the middle of a circle of power, set up on a red cloth on a table, in the middle of a large stone courtroom. "Now, I'd like to take some time today and demonstrate to you all what I've determined through a combination of rational analysis and communing with nature. Cells. They make up all that we are. All that every living thing is. You cannot see them, but I assure you they exist. And that their lives are weighty in the world of magic. I do not know exactly how weighty, but I estimate between a thousandth and a hundredth of a soulweight of a human. I've set up a row of candles here, and a circle here, containing a culture of thousands and thousands of cells."

She gestured at the mysterious glass circles inside the circle of power; "When I pour this acid into this plate, the effect will be to the cells as fire is to humans, meaning they will become sacrifices for the circle. And their power will be directed to heat and flame, and used to light one or more of these candles; my estimate is that it will light 4, but it's possible it will light all ten!"

"Yes, very good, proceed." A voice called out from the bench.

Malvina poured the vial of acid.


The experiment was vaporized.

The Council of Magi was vaporized.

The castle in which the court lay was vaporized, stone and all.

The city surrounding was vaporized.

The Hearthwold plains were vaporized.


As a Magister turned towards his class, he said "Fortunately the experiment was recorded in a second location thousands of miles away, as was tradition in case the worst happened. Of course, nobody could have guessed that this would be the experiment where the worst finally occurred, but because the details were recorded elsewhere, the surviving magic users knew what not to do in order to avoid the fate of the empire's Capitol Primae. And that is how we learned that not only do cells have a weight of soul equal to a human, for sacrificial purposes at least, they are also much smaller than Malvina believed. There were not 'Thousands and thousands' sacrificed on that table, but millions."


runswithdolls t1_ixhduwb wrote

Yeah...... Maybe destructive magic wasn't the best option for this experiment, Malvina.


Lovat69 t1_ixi93py wrote

Destructive? She was trying to light a few candles. That's not destructive. She just vastly underestimated the power provided.


runswithdolls t1_ixi98w7 wrote

Yes, the cleansing power of fire. Purge the land of the unclean ones!

Wait what were we talking about


exhausted_chemist t1_ixibhun wrote

I believe you just had your daily rant about the unclean high minister, but back to the topic of firewood stores for the winter...


D3monic_shadow t1_iy7hz0p wrote

Yes from our estimates we won't last through the winter if we don't begin stockpiling now sir


Ryan_Alving t1_ixicp0t wrote

Fire purifies, and momma didn't raise herself no dirty boy (OG firebat)


flfoiuij2 t1_ixhn5te wrote

Wait, so when cells assemble into a larger multicellular organism like a human, their soul weight rapidly decreases? How else would a single cell have the same soul weight as the trillions of cells inside of a human?


ImmaRussian t1_ixjrx01 wrote

The summoning had failed.

The dwarf Haemar shrugged and issued a sound of frustrated boredom, "I don't know what you thought you'd get, laddie, they're just small 'uns, if they be even there like ye says. What could they possibly do for us?"

The young mage Archaeus stood silent still though. Everything in the books indicated that this should have succeeded. The discovery of these cells was new, and much about them was still not understood, but his refraction spell had allowed him to see the cells on the plate and count them; there were plenty for his purpose, and he had modified the summoning spell to account for the new sacrifice source.

"This should have worked. We should be seeing a demon here."

Haemar raised an eyebrow, "We really are be desperate then, eh? I wouldn't have thought it to you to take up that kind of summons. You know, you might could warn me before summoning one of those? I thought ye were just carrying some basic hurt upon them out there.", and he gestured towards the door.

They were locked in a closet in a castle keep. Archaeus and Haemar were two remnants of the broken and fleeing army of the Faer. The revolution had been burning, simmering for years, but until ten years ago it had been largely ignored by the mages, merchants, and other powerful members of The Faeran League, an alliance of might, magic, and money which, in spite of shifting allegiance and the rare upheaval among the upper echelons, had kept peace in the world for almost a millennium.

There had always been voices dissatisfied with how that alliance ruled though, who believed that the relative peace of the league brought with it a stability which was also a cage upon the creative energy of humanity. Concessions had been made in the last fifty years. The establishment of a Society of Rational Observation, dedicated to discovering the mundane truths of the world for the purpose of furthering the ability of the non-magical peoples to help themselves in the absence of magic users. The change was hotly debated, and for decades after its first proposal, generally ignored, but as word spread among the lower echelons that such a thing might even be feasible, it became necessary for the Three Councils to acknowledge the demand.

Five years ago, the explosion at the Primae Capitol of Ars Maleus had changed everything. The entire council, the entire Primae Capitol, and the entire surrounding countryside, was vaporized in an instant.

"You know... I've never said this to anyone, but I tell you, Malvina was right, and I believe that's what caused the explosion, and if I could just use it to cast this spell, we could summon a demon powerful enough to destroy the entire rebellion."

"I dain't know who Malvina is, but let's get a thing straight; you could cast this spell; I want nothin' and no part of what ye do here. Come now, I think it's time we acknowledge we've been beat. Maybe this new world of theirs won't be so bad. I know that sounds barmy coming from me, but I know when I'm beat, and we're beat, so what's the use in fightin' it?"

"Some dwarf you are; where's your stubborn-"

Haemar punched him in the shoulder, "Don't be that way; that's a sham notion an' ye know it. Haven't ye known me long enough to know better? Come on... Just cast some kind o' calmin' spell to make sure they actually capture us instead o' just murderin' us on the spot, and let's get out there."

Archaeus looked down at his last desperate attempt at resistance and muttered "I know it would sound crazy, but I swear Malvina was right... I swear her experiment caused the explosion..."

A minute later, they stepped out of the closet and into a dining hall full of rabble and celebration. It took a minute for one of the revelers to realize that the odd pair who stepped out of the closet was of a different cut. The dwarf with the General's insignia put down his drink and said "Hold it; that's a magus... I mean... They look to be surrendering, so I guess we'd better.. You know, take 'em in. Maria, see if you can figure out where they were hiding; there might be more."

Maria heard the order and stopped dancing, and put her drink down, inspecting the closet door Archaeus and Haemar had just emerged from.

"... Was there always a closet door here?"

The general inspected it briefly too, and said "Looks like a concealment spell... Gads, if they'd had any artefacts with any power in there, they could have really done us in. Someone stop the music, we need to check the rest of the Keep for hidden doors before we can let down our guard."

Maria looked closer at the table in the closet, "Looks like they were attempting some sort of spell. Thankfully they didn't have the strength to complete it though, looks like. I only know a little of the language of magic, but it looks like maybe a summon? Not sure what of though?"

The general blew on the circle of dust, creating a light show in miniature as the dust sparkled in the light from outside the closet, "Well it ain't goin' to get summoned now, whatever it was."

The revelry continued into the night after the castle had been checked for secret doors; two more hidden groups were discovered. One put up a fight; the other surrendered peaceably. The League had finally fallen. The dream of a century of labor and struggle had finally been realized, and the magic of the world could now be put to use for the benefit of all rather than to keep afloat an oppressive alliance of all the great powers used to hold one people in the control of another. It was a time of great celebration throughout the land, unless, of course, you happened to be a loyalist magi, a member of the Society of Capital, or a member of the Elodian Society.

There was admittedly some excess in the process of correcting the imbalances of the world. Magi who had done no wrong were punished at times simply for being magi, and in areas which had suffered particularly harshly at the hands of the old League, the new Council of Citizens was hard pressed to protect them and keep the peace. Redistribution of the productive implements of society sometimes took the form of punitive retribution against those implements' former owners, and again, the Council was sometimes unable to prevent these acts of retribution. And the last spark of loyalist resistance was not fully extinguished for another year. In the region of Amiraan, loyalist magi managed to condemn a whole crop to failure, and they, along with all the former members of the region's local Society of Capital, were gruesomely murdered and eaten that winter.

The new Council of Citizens' greatest problem though, came about slowly, insidiously.
Two months after the victory celebration and the raising of the Citizens' banner over the Stronghold of the Capitol Secundus, which had become defacto the Primae Capitol after the Great Explosion, a malady became known in the capitol. It began slowly, as a shortness of breath, but without a cough or any other symptoms. As it progressed, the shortness of breath worsened, and a few months after first noticing the shortness of breath, their eyes would begin to turn yellow and bloodshot. Two months in, there were 12 afflicted, including Maria and her commanding officer, and a number of prisoners of war. Four months later, it was known to be spreading quickly through the prison camp, in a single massive wave, but through what mechanism none could say.

It wasn't until 6 months after victory though, that the first great wave of affliction was noticed by the non-prisoner population. The Council began isolating those afflicted in the hopes of inhibiting its spread, but by the end of the year, they realized they had begun the isolation measure far too late.


ImmaRussian t1_ixjs07b wrote

Within a year, it afflicted almost the entire population of prisoners, and by the second year, they were all either dead or comatose, able to breathe without obstruction, but apparently unable to enjoy the effects of the air they had taken in. While this rid the council of a very tricky problem, what to do with the large population of captured loyalists, it was also a forewarning of a massive tragedy looming for the entire world.

By the second year, the affliction had spread to half of the known world, and a full half of the citizens of the newly renamed Capitol Civitas were either dead or dying. The Society of Rational Observation had been called upon to discover the mechanism by which the disease spread, but their findings, only reached after another full year of experimentation, only confirmed the worst:

The disease was transmitted from person to person by some form of close contact, however the delay between when it could be transmitted, and when the infected began to show signs of affliction, was at least a full month. Sometimes several. A single infected person could live in a city for a full month, infecting others without any knowledge of it, before they even began to notice the slightest shortness of breath.

The Council devoted its resources to combating the virus, to isolating entire villages, but they faced the frustrating prospect that by sending out emissaries to warn people and enforce isolation, they might very well be hastening the spread of the illness, since the emissaries would have to be dispatched from the center of administrative power in the world, which also happened to be where the virus was most widespread.

And over all, the pall of doom also hung, because knowing that they were likely already infected by an illness with no cure, they were all acutely aware that they would likely catch themselves feeling an unusual faintness from a minor exertion some day, and they knew that when they did, it would foretell the end.

They began to explore methods of treatment, in a veritable panic, for by then, it had become clear that even if it took between one and two years, the illness did not subside or leave once present, and it was always fatal. In the fourth year since victory, with as many towns and villages isolated as possible, receiving and sending missives and reports to the empire at large entirely from purpose-built signal towers, the ever-shrinking population of the Society of Rational Observation stumbled across a method binding together the employ of magic and machinery. By heating certain materials, and using magic to permeate the cells of an afflicted person with the gases emitted by those materials, a breathless person could be revived temporarily from their stupor, and if a spell was cast to make the transfer happen continuously, a person could live indefinitely as long as the spell was maintained.

Enchanted capsules of the pressurized gaseous products of the burned materials began to be manufactured and distributed to citizens of the capitol; first to the members of the Society, then to anyone else who could be reached.

In spite of the extremely broad, nearly unlimited support and love the Council of Citizens had enjoyed on the day of its final victory over the Old Regime, it was not immune to the panic and fear engendered by the spread of this new illness. Initially it was believed to be some trick of the Magi as they raged against the dying of their League, and people rallied even closer around the Citizens Council and the administration it oversaw. However, with time, people grew frustrated by the council's inability to end the crisis, and while villages which had managed to isolate in time were very effectively held in captivity by their own fear, in regions which were infected, unrest and chaos began to take root.

Until the word spread of a cure. A cure which could only be created by the great industrial resources, magical knowledge, and technical expertise available at the Capitol. The capitol made its best effort to distribute these new devices throughout the world, but there were simply too few to distribute to everyone.

They were forced to prioritize the regions which were best able to produce the resources which were used to produce more of the devices. This created further resentment on the part of those living in regions which were not able to provide those resources, and by virtue of the enormous urgency of the pressure placed on the Council to maintain order, thus began a policy of preferential treatment which slowly evolved into a policy of control by the mechanism of threatening to withhold the Vapor of Life from entire towns and regions. In spite of its best intentions, the Council had finally come full circle, and the exigencies of reality had transformed it into the very thing it sought to destroy.

All because one mage, in his foolishness, had accidentally summoned a demon, and had, more successfully than he would ever know, managed to replace in the summoning spell all referential forms of humanity with those of microbes. The "Demon Sickness" (which was, again, more accurate than anyone could possibly know) came to define the landscape of society for generations upon generations to come. But time moves only in one direction, and all stasis must eventually give way to change.

As the miners wordlessly mined in the rock for materials to extract mercury, one of the materials needed for the Vapor of Life, they exchanged nervous glances. They knew their work was illegal, and that, if caught, their entire province could be punished, but without an independent secret stockpile of apparatus for infusing the Vapor of Life, their plans would grind to a halt within months. A second revolution was brewing. As with all revolutions, those planning it believed it to be inevitable, but, again as with all revolutions, time alone would tell.


ur-socks-sir t1_ixg9dod wrote

My thoughts were racing as I tipped the pure alcohol bottle towards the petri dish. Personally I was disgusted by the bacteria on it.

It was green, spotty, moist, and worst of all was it came from my face! I couldn't be more disgusted with myself and I knew that I would never see my body the same again, but that wasn't important right now.

What did matter was of this was going to work. The ritual itself is meant to restore a person's youth.

I'll admit that I am by no means old but my 20's are almost behind me, and I'm not ready to decline in all manners of health just yet!

My biggest concern wasn't really if this would work, but rather what might happen if it did.

Would it be as harmless as the bacteria has only been alive for a few days and therefore the sacrifice would only make me a few days younger?

My fear gripped me tight as I imagined the worse possiblity that if it does work and the bacteria on that tray included skin pieces that are as old as I am then I'd become a defenseless baby again!

Then again that is impossible. No part of the human body exposed to the outer layers is truly as old as the human body itself. With all of the skin we shed I'd actually be surprised if there was any living human tissue in that dish.

But wait! What if the ritual sees the age more than the form of the sacrifice?! The bacteria is only days old! It'll think I'm sacrificing babies!

In that moment I put the petri dish down, setting the alcohol aside. "I can't do it...I just can't."

I stared at the bacteria. It disgusted me greatly, but the risks were just too great. "Honestly, I've probably aged more in the last five minutes than I have in the past month. This can't be worth it."

I grab the dish and blow out the candles, sighing before calmly walking upstairs.

I toss the petri dish in the trash and walk towards the sink. "Really, I bet I'd at least feel a few years younger if I jogged three times a week. You know what? I actually think I'd like that!"

I smile to myself before squirting the hand sanitizer on my hands and rubbing them thoroughly.

I laugh, the joy of the idea of being healthy is as easy as taking a pleasure walk through the park was already making me feel younger!

My laughter soon ended as I noticed my skin start to feel more supple, smoother. I watched as my skin got plump and then skinny again as my hands steadily became smaller and less developed.

I gasped, "The ritual! Oh no! The sanitizer!!! Nooo!!! I was right!"

Before long all that remained was a pile of clothes on the floor and an underdeveloped embryo too small to even be noticed by the human eye.


flfoiuij2 t1_ixhnhj0 wrote

And that’s why you get your apprentice to do it!


PBlove t1_ixhoghd wrote

The ritual called for 100 sacrifices, and some idiot decided he could use microbes for it.

I know magic is new here, but 9/10 times a sacrifices means a demon, and a demon means trouble. Any half trained thaumaturge knows this and could have guessed it would go badly.

Just how badly? I don't think anyone would have guessed.

Rather than grant the caster with the powers of a litch, the damn demon seems to have reasoned that one turn of foul play deserved another.

No human sacrafice, no human litch.

So that is why we are out here in force, trying to track down Tehran the Tardigrade litch. 2 cities have fallen, and atomics are being discussed. But the damn Tardigrade just goes into crypto-biosis and seems unkillable.

Sarah in R&D thinks thats why the demon used a tardigrade... For the pun of CRYPTo-biosis. We may lose the whole state over a smart ass and a pun.


RC511 t1_ixhvua8 wrote

Dr Joseph was a scientist. His goals in life were to explain the unexplainable; understand when others couldn't. While he had a day job at a laboratory, he conducted his own experiments in his free time, mainly with old "magical" books that contained rituals and rites.

Quite surprisingly, lots of these rituals actually had some science behind them. Summoning a twister required some perfectly placed candles at the perfect time, and creating an illusion entailed some silver and vapour. Of course, on the other hand, a lot of them were bogus. Either way, he had made it his hobby to debunk these curious ceremonies of old. Book after book, rite after rite, the more he could see that these rituals had something behind them after all.

This book, though, was different. He found it on a website, and he was intrigued. He never saw a book that looked so old and peculiar. It was being sold for $1000, which may seem like much, but it would be a bargain if the book was as ancient as he thinks it is.

When he obtained the book, something felt odd. It wasn't just the weird texture of the book, there was also a dark aura behind it. He never felt anything like it. The book was also written in a language he didn't recognise, which is puzzling considering the numerous old books he's gone through.

He took a sample of the book to the lab. All his friends and colleagues knew about his hobby. At this point, they just let him indulge in his curiosities, but even they knew that something was wrong. The book's pages, they weren't paper nor papyrus - they were seemingly animal-based. And the ink didn't seem to be ink; rather, they were a variety of bodily fluids. Joseph didn't look into it further. He was starting to get worried. So were his friends. However, he dismissed these feelings. He must remain objective in his studies, even though it was his personal project. He decided to focus on what was on the book instead of in.

After much research and decryption, he finally obtained the instructions for one ritual. Most of the materials required weren't that hard to come by, but one part did stand out: the need for 100 sacrifices.

This requirement seemed quite extreme. He had never come across a ritual that needed a sacrifice before. He doesn’t even know what it’s for; he can’t seem to figure it out. Although, how bad could it be? The worst he’s done was cause a fire in a summoning circle. Nothing of a large magnitude has ever happened before.

Moreover, the passage wasn't even specific. What sacrifices? Human? Sheep? Oh! What about bacteria? Ha! Maybe that'll work. Who knows! That’s what Joseph’s supposed to find out.

He took some bacterial samples from the lab and safely transported them to his own experimental area, which he rented to meet the ritual’s criteria. He laid out all the objects in the way it’s stated in the book. Everything looked in order. He began the ceremony and heated up a wire to kill the bacteria. As he pressed the wire onto the Petri dish, lights flickered, lightning struck. In all his life, this has never happened before. In his shock, he dropped the Petri dish, the glass shattering and its contents spreading everywhere. What a fool he was to hold the Petri dish up instead of just placing it down on the floor. He’d blame it on the book’s vague instructions, but he’s too busy panicking over his failed ritual.

After a while, everything began to calm down, except for Joseph, who was still pretty shaken. Was this real magic? Joseph didn’t really know. Right then, he was exhausted. He needed some rest.

He was walking to his car when he noticed a red spot on his left hand. He began to scratch it but, to his horror, the red pigment began to spread to his right hand. His heart started to race as the red spots spread more and more. It wasn’t long until Joseph was screaming, his entire body, red, encumbered by some powerful disease. In an instant, Joseph dropped dead. His body liquified, depositing his bodily fluids everywhere.

The ritual didn’t fail at all. He had turned his harmless bacteria samples into a monstrous sickness. This disease would then spread, obliterating most life forms on Earth. It would seem then that the means to lessen the sacrifices lead to a much, much greater death toll.


xwhy t1_ixij8h4 wrote

From June 2021, it didn’t get a lot of views then. It can be seen on r/xwhy

Making the Most of a Small Sacrifice

When I realized that the ceremony called for 100 "sacrifices" and not 100 "souls", I had a terrible idea. And like all my terrible ideas, I have to try them out to see just how absolutely abysmal they actually are.

There were plenty of petri dishes in that basement lab, and many of those cultures had grown exponentially to populations of over one hundred. There was nothing preventing me from using any of those in the ritual, other than Dr. Weiszmann getting perturbed when I'd tell him I "accidentally broke" a dish and disposed of it properly. And, of course, that assumed that my bizarre plan actually worked.

So I found a dish with the correct sample size, maybe a few cells over, and set it down in the center of the room. I drew a chalk circle after 6 feet around it and retreated to a safe distance, where I hoped the pressboard desk would protect me from any accidental acts of Incarnate Evil destruction.

I read the incantation off my phone, having found it on a website of dubious authenticity, which I made sure to open in incognito mode.

At first nothing happened. Then the petri dish started to glow an eerily reddish-yellow of a campfire with the smell of a can of rancid beans cooking. A few seconds later, I heard a loud pop like the bean can exploding because it wasn't properly vented.

The petri dish had disappeared, and in its place, there was a hole. Not a hole in the floor, mind you. Just a hole. In the air. In the space just above the ground. It was maybe two inches across and glowing red hot.

Curiosity got the better of me and I abandoned my flimsy sanctuary. I drew closer to the chalk circle, and then something, some thing, thrust itself through the hole. Eight inches of inglorious hell, tipped with a sharp claw, waggled around. I kept my distance.

Hair on my back already stood on edge screaming , but then the short hairs on my neck joined in the chorus with the demonic finger from beyond started to slowly rise into the air, dragging the hole with it. When it reached a height of about seven feet, the finger withdrew and a more horrifying thing took its place.

There was an eye pressed against the hole. I could make out a black pupil surrounded by red, but I could tell the entire ball was many times longer. Terrified as I was, I was still glad that I didn't have take in the sight of the whole thing.

"What have you done?" The voice was eerie and ominous. It repeated, "What have you done?"

"I-- I-- I was just reading about a ritual and --"

"--And you did it WRONG!" the demon chastised. "What sort of portal is this?"

I could barely speak. "It's ... it's ..."

"Come closer. I can't hear you."

The eye disappear to be replaced with what I hoped was an ear. I took a few steps closer to the circle when a long thing elastic piece of leathery flesh snapped out at me. A snakelike tongue brushed against my arm. I jumped away, screaming from the burning sensation. My entire arm reddened. The tongue rolled back like a party favor.

Having a terrible premonition, I launched myself over the desk just as it unfurled, but inside of tooting a horn, it spit and splashed buckets of acid where I'd been standing, contaminating and destroying every culture it touched.

I also heard the sizzle of my phone's battery being fried. It was followed by a "Gah!" and a Pop!

When everything was quiet except for the sizzling of burning pressboard, I dared to peek over the top. The hole in the air had vanished, only to be replaced with a more conventional hole in the floor just inside the circle. It was snake-shaped and seemed to cut deeply. The acid tongue had sunken down. Peering into it, I couldn't see how far down it had fallen. I wondered how much acid its glands retained and if that slimy worm was going to sink all the way back to Hell.

Originally published 6/8/2021


levetzki t1_ixj61df wrote

I read the ritual again just to confirm it really said that it needed 100 sacrifices. It didn't specify what kind, but with the proper ingredients this ritual will give me what I need.

A weapon of immense power. The kingdom is under threat and the capital must be defended. In desperation the king called on me to help.

I dug through my books for days as the army approached us. People would have evacuated, they would have ran, if they could have.

There was nowhere else to go. If this didn't work we would all die. Yet,

I couldn't bring myself to demand sacrifices. I couldn't ask someone to die so others may live. May being a slim chance, as I had no idea if this would really work.

It dawned on me that I could use bacteria as my sacrifice.

I set to work and created the ritual. I gave it everything it needed.

And I was rewarded with an ultimate weapon. Right as the invaders came to our doorsteps.

I was rewarded but the world was punished.

The ritual spawned a bioweapon. It spread quickly and easily, devastating the army outside our walls, and the refugees within them.

It spread from the refugees to the citizens and the wealth of the city no matter how hard they tried to stay clean.

The army outside collapsed quickly and fled. That only carried it further and further.

Through some arcane horror I was immune to my creation and thus I was forced to watch everything collapse from it.

Nobody knew just how fragile the world we built was. How susceptible to disease and decay it is.

Nobody understood how quickly everything fell to "them verse me" as supplies dwindled, and aid couldn't come.

Until everyone was overwhelmed with fear of disease.

Nobody knew how easily the world could fall.

Until it did.


Awesome0Sauce t1_ixj06xn wrote

What the book doesn't tell you is that the level of demon depends on the size of the soul. And since bacteria are barely considered alive, my demon is more of a chaotic evil blob of gelatin. He wiggles menacingly, squirts slime to stain clothes, eats only living rodents, and I think it grows. Its hard to say but I'm pretty sure its at least a few inches bigger than yesterday. It smells lile cherries, but touching it burns like acid so maybe I can launch it at my enemies? In some kind of demon-slime trebuchet? Ugh, I never should have tried to scam the dark ones. Now I have a pet with no concern for life that can't die (I tried) instead of a powerful mega-evil demon to help me take over the world.

"My new roommate is a demon slime who eats rats? He'll help me rule the world!" <- title of the anime this turns into probs.


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Gru-some t1_ixg0fl9 wrote

Wait isn’t this one of the top of all time prompts


Tepigg4444 t1_ixg7sxs wrote

eh, it's not the same 3 prompts that get posted every day, I'll take it


Raderg32 t1_ixgj9xp wrote

I'm kinda Ok with reposts here since new stories are written.


Album321 t1_ixgr5lz wrote

It's not a superhero prompt, nor a "humans da best" prompt, nor even a "my magic power seemed lame but is actually OP" prompt, so I'll fucking take it


OleTinyTim t1_ixipui2 wrote

Don't forget "number floating over people heads/ on their arm"


NeVMiku t1_ixh3lzi wrote

I mean, surely if we're going that far, each human has way more life count than a petri dish, considering all the bacteria in our intestines alone would be enough.

Are we going by the largest consciousness within a specified area?


SpitFire92 t1_ixidlp1 wrote

My exact tought.

You could put a spin on it by saying that you consciously sacrifice the thousands+ beings in the petri dish while, when sacrificing humans, you would only consciously sacrifice the 100 humans, not the bacteria etc. But that would be debatable, I guess.


PriorSolid t1_iximxso wrote

When you kill the human you dont kill the bacteria inside so you arnt sacrificing them, but you can count all the brain cells that die which would be i. Yhe billions


SpitFire92 t1_ixiy1sp wrote

Depends how you kill the human, If it's a big magic circle that just kills/absorbs all life in it you'd also kill the bacteria. Unless the circle would just kill what the creator of the circle would offer as sacrifice in which case my previous comment would still be valid.

If you kill the humans by cutting their throat, for example, you'd probably also kill some microorganisms while doing that.


NeVMiku t1_iy38jrk wrote

What does sacrificing do? If it erases the body mass which holds consciousness then sacrificing a human (body) should not remove all living organisms and other parasites like bacteria or lice.

If sacrificing means erasure of consciousness (about the same as death) then we should also assume there is no loss of mass. If consciousness is the determining factor of how strong a magic is, how should we quantify it? The number of consciousness from different bodies? The intelligence of the consciousness? The summation of the consciousness as a whole?

If we're talking about the number of consciousness, would this be consciousness that only the caster is aware of? Or all consciousness in a specific magic circle? For ease of argument say both is true.

That would allow a caster, who is only connscious of consciousness within a specific area to know how much and what would be sacrificed. Taking all lives being equal, we can take the number of consciousness to be sacrificed the determining factor of a magic's strength.


Looxond t1_ixhe7dz wrote

Reposts are allowed since its been 2 weeks


Goat_To_Space t1_ixhjy6v wrote

I remember posting this one for the first time. Glad it's back again.


Narethii t1_ixhy6t8 wrote

If you could sacrifice a petri dish of bacteria, them any mammal or reptile would count as billions to trillions of sacrifices...


_BlueFire_ t1_ixjra84 wrote

The grand master had spoken: 100 sacrifices. That was the most important part of the ritual and creating your own, blank, grimoire was probably the most efficient initiation test, as you would have needed it to be a dark sorcerer in the first place and it was difficult enough to skim away the weak and less determined ones.

I was close to completing my task, it had taken an average amount of months to get the materials and the usual weeks to perfect the spells and set everything as needed. The only missing thing were the 100 sacrifices... The most laborious part and the one you shouldn't talk about. Some of the grand masters of the past had found creative ways to make wars begin and quickly got even more material, once they found a way to bond their death to the spell. Others had waited years to reach the number. Others were quicker, but somehow they never managed to become very powerful. Well, damn it, I would have changed things, I would have sacrificed millions... Millions of bacteria! Fungi, to be precise. I had thought about growing my culture, but a cut of fine cheese would have done the trick anyway.


"... and then you got nothing and wasted everything, didn't you?"

"FUCK! How is it possible? I did everything to the perfection, I focused on their lives, I have taken them, I-"

"Shut up, Alexander. You've always been so smart, yet so dumb..."


"Value. The sacrifices are value. You're not the first one trying to sacrifice lesser means of life. Many quicken the process using dogs instead, after all it's needed that it's one hundred of something, obviously the result depends on what you use. If it's the same species you get finer results but it doesn't even need to be that way."

"So, the reason why you can't talk about it..."

"People would get suspicious about large amount of animals disappearing at once. They try to mitigate the inconvenience of inept trying this way. Yet, 100 chickens barely makes a book you can write a minor spell on, so that would be pointless. Now start again, we'll hang ut once you get your job done. You have potential and you know that. And don't ask me again how I'm finding 100 people: everyone has their personal way"

"Damn, it will be tedious, but I already have some ideas... Two years from tomorrow, the pub under the shortest tower, where we first met, vesper time at the table near the cellar door. I'll wait you there"


Now, I wouldn't have sacrificed him, he was my friend after all. But sneaking as much mages as I could among the 100 people would have made everything way more interesting...


YOMGuitar t1_ixk2omv wrote

You knew there was something fishy about that ritual the moment you read it. One hundred sacrifices? That seemed like a lot. And why did it never specify what kind of sacrifices they had to be? Human, animal, plant... it wasn't clear. I mean, of it were 100 humans, that would be a huge undertaking.

You decided to investigate further, and the more you looked into it, the more suspicious it seemed. The ritual itself was ancient, but as far as anyone could tell, had never actually been completed in its entirety. You soon came to realize why: it was impossible to complete! None of the steps in the ritual ever made sense; one step would require something that had to be impossible to acquire.

The more you looked into it, the more certain you became that it was some kind of trap or curse. So you decided to be the smartass that you are and got a petri dish full of bacteria. 100 tiny bacteria, all offering their lives in service of whatever dark god or goddess this ritual was supposed to appease. You could just imagine their microscopic faces contorted in terror as they faced their impending doom.

But alas, it was not to be. You sacrificed them all without a second thought and went on your merry way, leaving the dark god or goddess to wonder what the heck just happened. Smart move on your part - after all, why risk your own neck when you can sacrifice a bunch of innocent bacteria instead?

And that, my friends, is the story of how you outsmarted an ancient ritual. You were a hero in your own right, and you never looked back. Who knows what could have happened had you not taken matters into your own hands? Maybe it's best we'll never know...