As expected, stamps didn’t work for blood magic. At least, not if he wanted more than just a bare minimum effect. Either there was barely any blood- just enough to stamp onto a surface- or he contoured a larger amount of blood to hang on to the stamp, and it sort of squished out where it pleased when the stamp came down. That was worse than having too little blood, because magic just didn’t happen. It took more time to touch up the edges than just properly lay down blood in the first place. That, and he could only make extremely small circles anyway.
The first implementation of a stencil didn’t work. Erkan didn’t need to try the very first implementation. It was just a carved out piece of paper, and it was just going to soak up blood and become worthless. However, it did serve as a useful guide for cutting out foam in the right shape.
Erkan then filled that up with blood and… nothing happened. Probably because in effect he had runes of blood on top of a background of blood- which just ended up being a full sheet of red. It had leaked underneath, resulting in nothing useful.
However, the second time he properly secured it down, and it worked. Honestly, he hadn’t expected any differently. There was nothing magical about brushes, after all. It was just having actual runes that was important. They didn’t count if there was connected blood that was enough off from how they were supposed to be.
The first stencil had been all the way through the foam, but the second one he made only a small part through. That worked as well, and why wouldn’t it? The circle didn’t necessarily require being placed on top of a flat surface. It was just more difficult to get right on curved surfaces. When indented into foam, it was still lined up properly.
In a way, it was like a movie’s implementation of blood magic. Erkan could picture in his head a huge sacrificial altar with carving in the stone floor, blood flowing through them to fill them up. Of course, blood didn’t flow that neatly, and people didn’t bleed that evenly. There certainly wasn’t enough blood in a single human to fill up an entire room.
It wasn’t necessary to sacrifice humans, though. Using blood from pigs that were already going to die was much more morally acceptable- certainly no worse than eating meat, and Erkan didn’t feel bad about that.
Looking down at his stencil, Erkan found that it probably wouldn’t be of much practical use. Unless he needed something small, it would take up far too much space, similar to a stamp. He might be able to fold up a flatter one and carry around something to clamp it down… but he would also need to carry around a bottle of blood- or use his own.
Being a blood mage was rather impractical for spur-of-the-moment activities. He could see that it was quite useful when prepared, but even if the world acted like a turn based game and enemies couldn’t attack him on his turn, no reasonable turn based game allowed someone to spend a full minute or more without getting attacked. In the few incidents he’d been in, he’d only really been involved in a handful of seconds of what might be considered combat- though twice he’d just been brought down instantly. At least when Vittore returned he’d managed to do something.
If he’d been prepared with wards like Nico had, things could have gone much differently. Whenever he got a new place, he would need to set up some wards. That would cost money… but not a lot of money. A gallon of pig’s blood was what, twenty dollars? Twenty dollars a week was a pretty good price for security. It might be better to have more, in which case maybe he could get a discount. It was possible Justin sold it for cheaper- Erkan was just thinking of online prices. Of course, Justin wasn’t exactly available at the moment.
Erkan considered where he would go. Wards weren’t perfect, so a new place was best. He had to pick the right part of the city, even if it meant being a bit further from work. They might still be able to find him, but he was going to wait till things died down before seriously considering it.
Erkan explained his results to Nico, “It’s basically what you thought. There isn’t much practical use unless you can carry something large with you. Maybe in the trunk of a car it could be useful?” Erkan frowned, “Though it could be dangerous if it gets used by other people. I mean, what’s stopping a random person from just doing this?”
“Training,” Nico pointed out. “Remember, blood magic doesn’t just activate itself. Just because you took to it with practice doesn’t mean it would be easy for others. Don’t worry about the danger- anyone can just pick up a gun anyway. I’m not worried about someone coming in with a gallon jug and a two foot square board. Sure, in the right circumstances it could be useful, but so are guns and bulletproof vests. Also, being a vampire or werewolf is already a pretty huge advantage.”
“Oh, right.” Erkan frowned, “It seemed like a good idea though.”
“Hey, I’m not saying it’s not useful. You get one of those that just barely fits in your trunk and a gallon of day old wyvern blood, and boom… instant barrier. Alternatively, you could cause a dozen people to not be able to fight properly or crumple a wall. It’s only limited by how many of those you can fit in your car and how specific the circumstances are.” Nico clapped Erkan on the shoulder, “Maybe in a dozen years you’ll be able to whip down any circle you want by just relying on memorization and blood control, but this kind of thing can put you a few years ahead for a few circumstances. Personally I’d do something with a ward. A small one that can slow a single bullet could be maybe six inches across, yeah? Just carry a small vial of potent blood…”
Erkan nodded. Having to figure out what would work best was an interesting puzzle. Since he wasn’t particularly worried about being attacked by just anyone or anything, he worried about bullets and vampires. It was sort of weird to consider how to fight vampires when he had two good friends that were vampires… but then again, humans had fought humans since humans existed, and they’d gotten very good at killing other humans.