The Lords of Iron
The Blood Sport
The Blood Sport is a sort of Ritual that the Reavers of the Magnus Republic do before every battle. It is centered around the taking of a stimulant known as “Daemon’s Blood” and whipping themselves into an ecstatic frenzy before they go to the fields of war.
The first thing that all those partaking in the Blood Sport do is to ingest Deathroot- a primer that amplifies the effects of Daemon’s Blood to an entirely new level. Deathroot is mashed into a red paste that is then chewed. The effects this has on the mind are myriad- first, it opens up the connections between a mind and the raw material of the universe. This makes those that take Deathroot able to tap into previously undiscovered psychic abilities, but, most importantly, it unlocks the mind to experience stimulants even more greatly than normally. However, an unfortunate side effect is a vulnerability to psychic attacks
Once all of the Reavers have been given Deathroot, the sport begins. The assembled Reavers all gather around in a circle, with a massive bonfire in the center. The Daemon’s Blood is passed around, and every Reaver drinks from the cup. Then, all of the Reavers start chanting, going into a war dance. This dance excites their passions, and, when combined with the mild hallucinogenic effects of Deathroot, begins to lead some of them to see the faces of their Daemonic patrons in the flames. This dance continues for around five to ten minutes while all of the Reavers come under the effects of the Daemon’s Blood. After around four, the howls will begin to start.
When Daemon’s Blood takes control of a system, it sends the body into a state of reckless fury, numbing pain and increasing pleasure and anger. At this stage, the Reavers look for the warrior experiencing the greatest effects. This will be their champion.
The champion is then injected with Daemon’s blood by way of having sharpened vials attached to several veins on his back and arms. It starts pumping inside of him and its effects are amplified tenfold- the champion gets insanely strong, ignores and wound given to him, and is a superhuman fighter. However, the Daemon’s blood raging through his veins literally starts burning him alive. He’ll fight like a daemon during the battle, but by noon he’ll be a bleeding, fiery husk. That’s why the Champion’s goal is to kill as many people as possible, and then find a place to basically psychically make the entire energy of that burning substance explode out of their body, incinerating them and everything around them.
Being the champion is lethal, intensely painful, and a horrible experience, but it is what every Reaver strives for
After the champion has been selected and prepared, the second phase of the Blood Sport begins- The Ravaging. The Reavers go to the area around the prospective battlefield, now it’s around 4 AM so in the cover of pitch dark, and start killing and burning basically indiscriminately, getting the scent of blood on them before the fight. During the Ravaging, they also send out psychic waves that instill pure horror in anyone around- manifesting as terrible nightmares in sleepers, abject terror in those that are awake.
After an hour of the Ravaging, the Reavers assemble for their final goal- The Reaving. They all create a massive psychic link that dulls pain and amplifies anger, while allowing them to instantly communicate in battle. They fly into an ever-expanding berserk rage, while pain is shared equally among all- each cut feeling only as a scratch across hundreds of bodies. Then, they all manage a Psychic Scream- a terrifying, animalistic noise that is imbued with the very psionic essence of Pain and Fear, demoralizing enemies and making them ripe for the kill.
Then the Reavers do what they do best. Rage, Slaughter, Burn, and Win.