Summoning Part III: The Bloodwraith
The third installment in the Summoning Series
Starting as a drop of vapour, far above the wicked ground
Buffeted by the winds, looping e’er down,
The snowflake grows in perfect form, unique from all around,
And as it falls it gathers speed, then hits without a sound.
And far away but not forever, an evil being speaks the wicked phrase;
Takes but a drop of blood from two, and does a third create,
And like the snow, from nought but ichor,
Now we have a Champ unique, and they are born a fighter.
The hysteria of the unworthy commonfolk has reached a boiling point. Travelling merchants bring stories from the furthest corners of the Realms. Corruption, violence. Even the elves, serene and pure, have turned dark, executing without trial all who dare approach their great forest. The Mad King of the North ordered the slaughter of 2,000 of his servants, driven to delirium and paranoia at the thought that they would try and usurp him.
The sound of steel sharpening steel rings loud throughout the village. Greatswords, sheathed for generations, are brought down from their ceremonial homes above the hearth and oiled. The calloused hands of farmers put down their tills, changing their coarse tunics for the heavy weight of leather. Crude shields are fashioned from the underside of empty kegs, kegs once filled with mead, now lying discarded by the side of the cobbled roads. Parents pull their children inside; away from the others. There is no trust.
This is a time of terror.
Seated upon her gilded throne, the Blood Queen can feel the change. Like the charge in the air before a storm, the hair rises on her ashen skin. Her eyes, inky pools of black, grow wider. She grows hungry.
The Bloodwraith Gaa’gore has awoken. And with his awakening will come a darkness to the world such as few alive have witnessed, and fewer still would hope to see.
Lost in the Forgotten Forest, away from the sound of clanging swords of Tournaments in The Red Village, Gaa’gore has spent many long winters drawing from the wells of Blood Magic that sit deep beneath the earth. In a trance, moving between worlds, he calls into existence new life and extinguishes old. The Bloodwraith gleans his terrible strength from the oldest Blood Magic, and is a loyal servant to the Blood Queen. Together, in times past, they have watched Realms burn and empires crumble.
A towering figure, he treads the line between beast and man. The body of a warrior, ageless, scarred, impossibly strong, with the head of a ram. Horns twist savagely outward from his skull. Embers glow deep within his eye sockets, sparking dread in all those who gaze upon him. Visiting him is as close to descending the steps of hell as the living come. Gaa’gore is both dead and alive, both of this world and of another, toying with the source of life itself. His incantations echo through the Forgotten Forest, driving all those who hear them mad. To see Gaa’gore is to never forget him, and live a life empty, void, dull forevermore.
And yet what he offers is so powerful, so compelling, so important to the Battlemasters of the village that, though they do not know it yet, they will risk their life and limb to cross the deep snows to his lair.
For many centuries he has lain dormant in his camp, hidden from the outside world. So dense is his magic that time slows down within his encampment; there is no night, nor is there day. The direwolves avoid his vicinity, and even the Greatbears, towering monsters, alpha predators within the Forest, turn tail and run when they sense him. Hidden, lost, his existence forgotten by the world at large. But he has never gone away, simply grown his power, studied his ancient tomes, and bided his time.
Only when the Queen’s thirst for blood is close to sated does the Bloodwraith emerge. And Tournaments have been flourishing of late in the village; streams of Champions have travelled from across the Realms to compete. Blood has poured like cows milk, caked thick on the floor of the Blood Theatre, smeared across the walls of the Blacksmiths, dripping from the exposed wooden beams in the Tavern. Every drop has brought him closer to the world of the living, calling him back from his trance.
And now he is nearly ready to emerge, bringing with him all the force of Blood Magic, and his most wicked enchantment, Summoning.
What is Summoning?
Summoning is the act of bringing the blood of two Champions together to create a third, brand new Champion. In other games, this may be referred to as ‘breeding’, but given the process and the type of characters we have here in The Red Village (TRV), that didn’t quite feel right, so Summoning it is.
Summoning can be done within a Battlemaster’s own Barracks, between their existing Champions, or it can be done on an open marketplace, mixing the blood of their own Champions with that of other players’.
Summoning occurs during what is known as a ‘Summoning Cycle’. These are periods of time when the Blood Queen has seen enough blood spilt that she feels inclined to call the Bloodwraith forward to commence his wicked spells. In other words, Summoning is not available all the time; the Bloodwraith will come and go based on how many Champions have been Summoned, and how many Tournaments have been completed. These are not fixed figures, but will vary; a counter will be shown on the TRV website, allowing players to track the Cycles and work towards bringing the Bloodwraith back.
For many players, Summoning is the true beginning of the TRV game; and, indeed, for other, similar, games, it has proven to be one of, if not the, most popular game loops for players. To Summon successfully requires a good mix of skill, patience, chance, and tactics. Summoning well can certainly be a profitable endeavour for players; remembering, of course, that in a game such as TRV where you have actual, real, ownership of your digital assets, you are free to sell, trade, swap, or dispose of your Summoned Champions however you’d like.
The goal of Summoning is to combine the skills of Champions — preferably using the knowledge you have gained from Wisdom (revealing their traits, strengths, and weaknesses) — to create either more powerful Champions, more likely to win in Tournaments, or Champions of a particular cosmetic rarity. In some instances, you may seek to optimise for both outcomes — generating not only cosmetically rare, but highly effective Champions too.
We have written extensively about Summoning in the past; a good refresher for anyone just joining TRV, or who hasn’t read up on it in a while are our introductory articles on Summoning Part I & Summoning Part II (A Champion is Born & Wisdom), both of which explain the mechanism clearly and introduce the concept of Summoning and Wisdom — which is an important part of understanding Champions and how to leverage their unique skills and abilities to get the best possible outcomes from a Summoning Session.
This guide, Part III: The Bloodwraith, will outline what to look for when Summoning, how often and how much Champions can be used to Summon, where to go, the cost, and other juicy details that will equip you, as a Battlemaster, with the information required to Summon successfully. The final instalment in the series, Part IV: The Making of a Champion, will cover the way genetic traits such as fighting traits and cosmetics are passed down through generations of Champions.
The full guide to Summoning will be released in our Player’s Guide over the coming weeks. So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into some more details about Summoning that haven’t been discussed before.
Who are the Champions?
Pureblood Champions are those which possess the genotype R1-R12. Pureblood Champions cannot be Summoned, and can only ever be released by the TRV team. There will never be more than 28,000 Pureblood Champions, of which 11,000 are currently in existence.
Halfblood Champions are any Champions with the genotype R13-R99 (and are the result of Summoning), and Soulless Champions are those with the genotype unidentifiable (in practice, R100 and above). For more details on genotypes, please click here.
Where do you go to Summon?
Battlemasters must take the long, treacherous road to the Bloodwraith’s lair, deep in the wild snows of the Darklands, to Summon. It is a journey of many weeks, and most who embark upon it do not return, consumed by madness, darkness, or fallen to evil foe. Either that, or, for something a bit less risky and fair bit faster, they can head to the ‘Summon’ section of The Red Village website, and see the Summoner’s Spellbook.
The Summoner’s Spellbook is the directory that shows all the Champions that are currently available to Summon with, and where you, as a Battlemaster, can list your Champions’ blood for other Battlemasters to Summon with; for a fee, of course.
While a Champion is in the Spellbook, it can still compete in Tournaments as per usual, with no impact to its fighting ability. After the Champion has been used in a Summoning, however, it will need some time to recover, and will not be able to enter a Tournament for 2 days (48 hours). This applies to both Champions which participated in the Summoning. Both Champions can still participate in To-The-Death (1v1s) after a Summoning, just not Tournaments. (Note: This period may change in future).
Summoning Rules & Limits
So, who can…Summon…with who? It’s the big question going around town and it’s time we got an answer for you, the Battlemaster, and of course for those ever-curious Champions.
Purebloods can Summon with any other Genotype of Champion (except in certain circumstances, explained below). Meaning Purebloods can Summon with Purebloods, Halfbloods, and Soulless. Halfbloods can Summon with Purebloods or Halfbloods, but not with Soulless. Soulless Champions can only Summon with Pureblood Champions.
How about generations? Glad you asked. Two Champions who share a direct relative (ie. a ‘parent’) cannot Summon together; even if they only share one ‘parent.’ Champions also can’t Summon with anyone that is within two direct generations of them; in simple terms, Champion X cannot Summon with its grandparents, parents, children, or grandchildren. But Champion X’s kids are free to Summon with their great-grandparents, (Champion X’s grandparents). Nasty, huh? The Blood Queen is kinda twisted.
In terms of initial limits, there will be some strict limits placed on how many Summons each Champion can participate in, particularly in the early days while we stress test the system. In the first Summoning Cycle, Champions can Summon only once. For such a complicated and permanent system, this is an important limit to allow our tech team to ensure that Summoning is working as expected. Of course, these limits will be raised later.
Summoned Champions themselves will also need to wait until the next Summoning Cycle until they can Summon themselves (as either Bloodtaker or Bloodgiver). It takes a Champion a while to gain their strength once they first arrive in the village, and they are not fit to give their own blood until they have made themselves at home.
How many times can an individual Champion Summon before its blood becomes tainted and it is no longer able to donate? Another great question. This is something the team has modelled extensively, with the long term sustainability of the ecosystem at front of mind. As such, the following limits apply to Summoning:
- Purebloods can Summon an unlimited amount of times; there is no decay
- R13-R25s can use their blood to Summon 24 times
- R26-R50s can use their blood to Summon 12 times
- R51-R99 can use their blood to Summon 6 times
- Soulless Champions are able to Summon 3 times before their blood is corrupted and they can no longer be used in Summoning
How much does Summoning cost?
There are two fees associated with Summoning, both of which are paid by the Battlemaster who keeps the Summoned Champion (this Champion is known as the Bloodtaker). For a Battlemaster looking to Summon a new Champion, they have to pay both the Battlemaster who is letting their Champion’s blood be used (and who doesn’t get to keep the newly Summoned Champion, known as the Bloodgiver), and they also have to pay the Bloodwraith (after all, he doesn’t work for free).
The Bloodgiver decides a price that they will charge to allow a Battlemaster to use their Champion to Summon; they choose this price when adding their Champion to the Summoner’s Spellbook. There is a minimum fee based on the Bloodgiver’s Genotype and Breed, but there is no maximum fee. This fee is split between The Red Village Community Chest, The Exchequer’s Account, and of course the Bloodgiver themselves.
The exact split depends on the number of Tournaments the Bloodgiver has been involved in; so, as a Bloodgiver, the more your Champions fight, the better off you will be.
The price that the Bloodwraith charges is a flat fee, regardless of the Champions that are involved.
Full details of pricing will be available in the Player’s Guide as it is updated over the coming weeks.
One of the biggest innovations in Summoning in TRV is the concept of Perpetual Earnings. This is a percentage royalty fee built into every single Summoned Champion in the village, forever.
In other words, every single time a Summoned Champion is sold, a small percentage of the sale fee will be paid to the original owner of the Summoner (Bloodtaker) of that Champion. In an interesting future development, we are also tracking the tokenID of the original Pureblood Bloodtaker in every Champion’s lineage. This means that we can also give a portion of the sale to the current owner of that Champion at the time of sale. While this feature won’t be turned on straight away, it has been built in the background and may be released in future…
As these payments are not automatically done via smart contract, we will manually process these payments on a regular schedule to the appropriate wallets.
This is an innovative concept which may provide some bloodmoney for Battlemasters, even when they are not actively Summoning. Create a great Champion, which is highly valued for Summoning, and reap the rewards for years to come!
What about cosmetic and fighting traits?
This is the big, meaty, juicy question at the heart of Summoning; how does a Battlemaster maximise the chances of success in any given Summoning session? How do players know what kind of Champion will be created in any given Summoning? How are genetic traits such as fighting abilities and cosmetics (appearance) passed down over generations?
Of course, these are big topics, and deserving of their own article and detailed guide in our Player’s Guide, which they will get over the coming weeks.
For now, we can say that the same logic is used to calculate both cosmetic and fighting traits. We will provide Battlemasters with enough information to have an understanding of how the formula works, and deduce enough about their Champion’s genetic traits to make decisions about Summoning that will be impactful on the results….sound cryptic? It will get clearer.
Until next time, enjoy the Bloodwraith, Battlemasters.
The Village Bard.
Ps. Just a notice that, as a fickle and capricious ruler, the Blood Queen reminds her Battlemasters that all is subject to change if necessary!