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View Full Version : Player Help How to extract the iron out of blood to make a sword from one's foes?



Coidzor
2016-10-11, 01:51 AM
And other uses for mass quantities of blood.

So, given a quasi-Medieval, pre-Industrial setting, aside from just using magic itself, how could one potentially go about extracting various things, most notably iron, from Industrial quantities of blood? Without shrugging and creating some magical process that does it directly?

What other uses would present themselves? I'm aware that some paints may have used blood as a binder at one point or another and I know about blood sausage and other foods made from processed or cooked blood. I believe it can be used as a fertilizer to some extent, possibly in the form of blood meal which is also feed for some animals.

dropbear8mybaby
2016-10-11, 02:14 AM
Rust Monsters.

Martin Greywolf
2016-10-11, 03:33 AM
You can't. Iron in blood isn't free floating (boy, that would cause some problems), it's mostly in the for of hemoglobin, a fairly complex protein. To get any workable iron out of it, you first need to destroy that, which I have no idea how to do, but I do know that it would need a knowledge of biochemistry far beyond pre-Industrial capabilities.

Also, Rust monsters would do bugger all, since rusting is oxidization and proteins can't oxidize, as far as I know. Bonus points for sillyness, though.

RazorChain
2016-10-11, 03:59 AM
You get mineral iron from food and the body converts it to hemoglobin. So why not just extract the mineral iron from food in the first place, easier than changing proteins to iron.

If you really want to extract iron from blood then just make a thingamajic device that does it. Donīt explain the science. Just like using humans as batteries (stupid)

Iruka
2016-10-11, 04:26 AM
I did some googling and apparently a lot of people are interested in forging swords from blood. :smallconfused:
However I couldn't find any conclusive answers. (Beyond the fact that you need to kill about 360 men to forge a sword.)

So here is my guess based on half remembered stuff from chem lab:

1. Dry the blood
2. Burn the dried stuff. You now have a lot of ash containing some iron oxide.
3. Put the ash in water and separate the heavier iron oxide with some kind of peasant-powered centrifugal contraption.
4. Proceed with the powder now mostly containing iron oxide as you would normally in the steel making process.

Will probably not hold up under the scrutiny of a chemist, but might be sufficient enough for suspension of disbelief.

MrStabby
2016-10-11, 05:31 AM
Hmm. Depends on the system.

In D&D use a spell that deals acid damage to create a soluble iron salt. Electrolyse said salt using call lightning or similar spell?

Otherwise I would suggest roasting the blood at very high temperatures and low pressures, but not certain how effective it would be. I also think you could heat it in the presence of oxygen to create an oxide then pass carbon monoxide over it.

The Great Wyrm
2016-10-11, 08:52 AM
1. Dry the blood
2. Burn the dried stuff. You now have a lot of ash containing some iron oxide.
3. Put the ash in water and separate the heavier iron oxide with some kind of peasant-powered centrifugal contraption.
4. Proceed with the powder now mostly containing iron oxide as you would normally in the steel making process.


Actually, this does hold up under my scrutiny (and I'm a chemist). Step 3 would be the most difficult part given the technology level. Iron oxide is insoluble in water whereas most other components of ash are soluble, so this would help. Thankfully, you don't need to get it to very high purity.

Donnadogsoth
2016-10-11, 09:22 AM
Actually, this does hold up under my scrutiny (and I'm a chemist). Step 3 would be the most difficult part given the technology level. Iron oxide is insoluble in water whereas most other components of ash are soluble, so this would help. Thankfully, you don't need to get it to very high purity.

Just how many foes worth of blood would you need to make a sword out of it?

Geddy2112
2016-10-11, 09:38 AM
Just how many foes worth of blood would you need to make a sword out of it?

An average adult has 4-5 grams of iron in their body, around 2.5 grams is in the blood as hemoglobin, the rest is scattered about, primarily in bones and liver.

So if you were able to get 100% efficiency in extracting all the iron in a person(assuming 4.5g average), and you were making a 1 kilogram weapon, you would need 222.23 people to make one weapon.

If you are only draining blood(2.5g per person), you need 400 people.

I second drying the blood, then baking it to ash the organics, then you can dissolve the remaining salts in acid or water and precip them out, or wash the soluble salts from the iron. Then melt the iron and get to forging.

KnotKnormal
2016-10-11, 09:48 AM
You can't. Iron in blood isn't free floating (boy, that would cause some problems), it's mostly in the for of hemoglobin, a fairly complex protein. To get any workable iron out of it, you first need to destroy that, which I have no idea how to do, but I do know that it would need a knowledge of biochemistry far beyond pre-Industrial capabilities.

Actually, extracting iron from the blood is quite easy. you just need an enzyme that will collect the Iron from the Hemoglobin. My friends and I actually discussed this in great detail recently even considered contacting the red cross to see if they would want to set up a special blood drive, where we could take the other wise unusable blood and extract the iron. the process is surprisingly simple and the materials needed are much cheaper then you might expect.

Cernor
2016-10-11, 09:58 AM
Actually, this does hold up under my scrutiny (and I'm a chemist). Step 3 would be the most difficult part given the technology level. Iron oxide is insoluble in water whereas most other components of ash are soluble, so this would help. Thankfully, you don't need to get it to very high purity.

I would have suggested separating the plasma and red blood before doing anything else: would burning the blood get around this issue, or would that leave unacceptably high levels of carbon in the steel?

Strigon
2016-10-11, 10:04 AM
You can't. Iron in blood isn't free floating (boy, that would cause some problems), it's mostly in the for of hemoglobin, a fairly complex protein. To get any workable iron out of it, you first need to destroy that, which I have no idea how to do, but I do know that it would need a knowledge of biochemistry far beyond pre-Industrial capabilities.


I don't know about that. People have been inadvertently doing some pretty impressive stuff with chemistry long before anyone had any idea how atoms even worked on a rudimentary level; happy accidents and trial and error can get you pretty far when an entire civilization is doing it.
Granted, I don't know if anyone would know whether or not there actually is iron in blood, and figuring out how to access it would likely take a lot of guesswork (although the burn-and-sift method is pretty much standard procedure, so it might not take all that long to figure out).

What I'm saying is, somebody else would have had to take note of that way to get iron from blood, at least out of academic interest. It doesn't have to be common knowledge; even if it's just something your apothecary friend down the street happened across, it's extremely unlikely your character would stumble upon it.

Cealocanth
2016-10-11, 10:05 AM
So, according to this article (http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a266503.pdf), a solution containing hemoglobin already has a small concentration of free iron nanoparticles, which can be gathered through the use of a strong magnet.

However, to separate all the iron from solution, first the use of a surfactant must be used to destroy all cell membranes, and then the resulting solution must be filtered to remove all proteins and things that are not hemoglobin. Then, the hemoglobin solution must be treated with an acid-permanganate-mediated digestion of the hemoglobin, which results in the release of most of the iron from the iron pockets of the hemoglobin. The resulting iron can be separated with a centrifuge combined with a powerful magnet, which will yield about 625 mg of nanoparticles per L of blood.

Then you need to put the solution containing the suspended nanoparticles (which will likely be a bright orange color) through a strong reaction with oxygen. This can be done by heating and allowing the solution to react with air by occassionally mixing, or by the addition of some DI water for a similar reaction, or through the addition of peroxide. The result should be recrystalized iron oxide, which can be filtered out of solution with a fine filter after it is cooled rapidly.

Then you treat the iron oxide just like in any other blacksmithing scenario.

So, there you go. A recipe for extracting iron from blood from a chemical engineering student.

Edit: That 100 microgram measurement comes from the amount of iron bound to transferin, not the overall quantity. As far as what I can tell, each human has 2.5 g of iron in their blood, about 625 mg per L of blood. This would leave 2540 L of blood necessary to make a 3.5 lb sword, or abbout 650 adult men worth of blood. That is, adult men that have been well nourished during their lifetimes. In the middle ages, this is very possible to not be the case. You're probvably looking at about 800-900 people worth.

Storm_Of_Snow
2016-10-11, 11:24 AM
Probably ballpark it at a thousand.

As for impurities, could some of them be beneficial for the chemical composition of the steel, while the rest could be removed as slag during refining?




Also, Rust monsters would do bugger all, since rusting is oxidization and proteins can't oxidize, as far as I know. Bonus points for sillyness, though.
Oxidation is loss of electrons, which any molecule can be subject to under the right conditions.

But you would have the job of extracting the iron from the rust monster.

Strigon
2016-10-11, 11:32 AM
Probably ballpark it at a thousand.

As for impurities, could some of them be beneficial for the chemical composition of the steel, while the rest could be removed as slag during refining?


I mean, probably. But where would you even begin identifying, much less isolating, those impurities?

ExLibrisMortis
2016-10-11, 02:37 PM
Granted, I don't know if anyone would know whether or not there actually is iron in blood, and figuring out how to access it would likely take a lot of guesswork (although the burn-and-sift method is pretty much standard procedure, so it might not take all that long to figure out).
Well, blood does taste like metal, doesn't it? That can't be a coincidence... and then, as you say, burn-and-sift is standard procedure.

Maybe some alchemist/blood mage was convinced he'd found the unique 'metal of life', and then disappointedly found that it was pretty much just iron?

ATHATH
2016-10-11, 02:45 PM
Do keep in mind that many fantasy universes have divination magic available.

Cealocanth
2016-10-11, 04:10 PM
I mean, probably. But where would you even begin identifying, much less isolating, those impurities?

You would basically have to remove them the same way that impurities are removed from most metal samples. The sample is heated to a liquid state, and everything that boils or has a smoke point below that temperature vaporizes off. That handles most impurities. Silicates and similar, which are unlikely to be found in blood-iron, are removed via the addition of lime to the metal, which forms the slag on the surface of the metal. Other metals might float to the surface or sink to the bottom, or just find themselves alloyed into the iron. I would imagine that, especially in cities that use a Roman plumbing system, the lead content of blood-iron would be notably higher than that of regular iron.

I can't say much more than that. Any metallurgists happen to be on this forum?

Reboot
2016-10-11, 04:27 PM
You get mineral iron from food and the body converts it to hemoglobin. So why not just extract the mineral iron from food in the first place, easier than changing proteins to iron.

I believe the point is less to get an entirely practical way of "mining" iron, and more "I FORGED THIS SWORD FROM THE BLOOD OF MY ENEMIES" symbolism for a tyrannical ruler.

Jay R
2016-10-11, 05:12 PM
The chemical knowledge needed is far beyond what you could expect to know. Magic is easy and common. Science is hard and rare. So use your strengths. I recommend that you try to research an extract iron spell.

Cluedrew
2016-10-11, 05:30 PM
To Jay R: From the perspective of a medieval person who is experimenting until something works: Is there a difference?

Zaydos
2016-10-11, 05:38 PM
On that note the chemical knowledge is pretty basic alchemy.

WarKitty
2016-10-11, 05:44 PM
Actually, this does hold up under my scrutiny (and I'm a chemist). Step 3 would be the most difficult part given the technology level. Iron oxide is insoluble in water whereas most other components of ash are soluble, so this would help. Thankfully, you don't need to get it to very high purity.

You might be better off using natural power sources than peasant power. Even medieval technology can take advantage of a waterfall, which could potentially generate quite a lot of pretty steady power.

Xuc Xac
2016-10-11, 06:32 PM
Do keep in mind that many fantasy universes have divination magic available.

Magic that answers questions doesn't help if you don't know enough to ask the right question.

RickAllison
2016-10-11, 06:45 PM
On the question of rounding of humans killed for it, we really need to consider the important questions. Which sounds better:

"The blood of a thousand foes created this sword. Cross me and your blood shall be the first of a new blade."

"666 souls gave this blade life. Decide now whether you would give yours to the devil as well."

eru001
2016-10-11, 06:59 PM
On the question of rounding of humans killed for it, we really need to consider the important questions. Which sounds better:

"The blood of a thousand foes created this sword. Cross me and your blood shall be the first of a new blade."

"666 souls gave this blade life. Decide now whether you would give yours to the devil as well."

I like the first one


also, gotta go with the blood to ash to rinse to iron method. It checks out as far as I can tell for doability. as far as cetrafuge construction, a watermill (as were fairly common) and a good gear ratio are likely a better option.

Strigon
2016-10-11, 09:47 PM
You would basically have to remove them the same way that impurities are removed from most metal samples. The sample is heated to a liquid state, and everything that boils or has a smoke point below that temperature vaporizes off. That handles most impurities. Silicates and similar, which are unlikely to be found in blood-iron, are removed via the addition of lime to the metal, which forms the slag on the surface of the metal. Other metals might float to the surface or sink to the bottom, or just find themselves alloyed into the iron. I would imagine that, especially in cities that use a Roman plumbing system, the lead content of blood-iron would be notably higher than that of regular iron.

I can't say much more than that. Any metallurgists happen to be on this forum?

Perhaps I'm missing something obvious. Wouldn't that get rid of all impurities below a certain boiling point? We were discussing identifying, and selectively retaining, beneficial impurities. How would you, for example, get rid of a harmful impurity that boils at 200 degrees without getting rid of a beneficial one that boils at 175?
This feels like one of those mathematical/logic puzzles that goes about on the internet, and I'm sure somebody's going to point out the glaringly obvious thing I'm missing.


I believe the point is less to get an entirely practical way of "mining" iron, and more "I FORGED THIS SWORD FROM THE BLOOD OF MY ENEMIES" symbolism for a tyrannical ruler.

Exactly. I mean, if you're willing to extract it from the food they ate, why not just go one step further and extract it from where the food gets it? That is, mine it the normal way.

''I FORGED THIS SWORD FROM THE BLOOD OF MY ENEMIES! ... Okay, well technically not, but it would have been in their blood, eventually. Probably. Some of it, at least. AND IN FORGING IT I HAVE DEPRIVED THEM OF VITAL NUTRIENTS; ITS MERE EXISTENCE WEAKENS MY FOES!''

GorinichSerpant
2016-10-11, 09:51 PM
On the question of rounding of humans killed for it, we really need to consider the important questions. Which sounds better:

"The blood of a thousand foes created this sword. Cross me and your blood shall be the first of a new blade."

"666 souls gave this blade life. Decide now whether you would give yours to the devil as well."

Well the first includes more people and probably has more anguish for the souls that became trapped with their blood as they have become confusingly warped and twisted with a thousand other souls.

On a similar note, this process leaves a byproduct of ash right? Well why not let that good ash be used to make a sort of necromantic dust storm or sludge monster that screams in agony with a thousand spirits, bound to the dreaded bloodblade!

bulbaquil
2016-10-11, 10:37 PM
On the question of rounding of humans killed for it, we really need to consider the important questions. Which sounds better:

"The blood of a thousand foes created this sword. Cross me and your blood shall be the first of a new blade."

"666 souls gave this blade life. Decide now whether you would give yours to the devil as well."

From a purely poetic standpoint, the first flows better and sounds more menacing, whether or not you emphasize "your" or "blood" more in the second sentence. While the number 666 is symbolic, the meter doesn't really work, especially as it's followed by a stressed monosyllabic (plus the two-stressed followed by at-least-two-unstressed pattern of "deCIDE NOW whether..."), and as such the second sounds more prosaic.

Coidzor
2016-10-11, 11:18 PM
The chemical knowledge needed is far beyond what you could expect to know. Magic is easy and common. Science is hard and rare. So use your strengths. I recommend that you try to research an extract iron spell.

That is indeed something I've been considering, though the idea of thralls drudging in the blood vats fills me with a certain amusement, so I wanted to see what others might think of.

Xuc Xac
2016-10-12, 12:51 AM
If you don't take all their blood at once, you don't have to kill anyone. An order of paladins could have a voluntary bloodletting component of their "blood brother oath" when a new member is inducted into the order. Imagine if the blood were saved over the years until enough iron was collected to forge a whole sword.

Then imagine the dark lord crapping himself when the sword is raised by the master of the order to stand against the latest horde of undead. "This blade was forged from the blood of a thousand paladins. They're all still alive. They're arrayed behind me and they await my signal to send you to hell."

oudeis
2016-10-12, 02:26 AM
If you don't take all their blood at once, you don't have to kill anyone. An order of paladins could have a voluntary bloodletting component of their "blood brother oath" when a new member is inducted into the order. Imagine if the blood were saved over the years until enough iron was collected to forge a whole sword.

Then imagine the dark lord crapping himself when the sword is raised by the master of the order to stand against the latest horde of undead. "This blade was forged from the blood of a thousand paladins. They're all still alive. They're arrayed behind me and they await my signal to send you to hell."

NICE.

Alternately, the blood could be collected from members of the order who fell in combat or gave their lifeblood willingly after a lifetime of service- one final act of self-sacrificing devotion to further the aims of their deity.

Storm_Of_Snow
2016-10-12, 03:36 AM
Perhaps I'm missing something obvious. Wouldn't that get rid of all impurities below a certain boiling point? We were discussing identifying, and selectively retaining, beneficial impurities. How would you, for example, get rid of a harmful impurity that boils at 200 degrees without getting rid of a beneficial one that boils at 175?
This feels like one of those mathematical/logic puzzles that goes about on the internet, and I'm sure somebody's going to point out the glaringly obvious thing I'm missing.

As the person that originally brought it up, and as someone with an engineering degree in Materials Science, which includes Metallurgy (although it was quite a while ago and I don't work in that field at all, so if anyone wants to take the chair, I'll gladly give it up :smallwink: ).

We're not talking about fractional distillation as happens for crude oil - impure metals form eutectics, and by holding your metal at a certain temperature where a phase has formed, you can draw off the phase and thus purify the solid (and if you think the two phase eutectic diagrams you get in A-level chemistry are bad, try multi-phase ones at degree level :smalleek: ). That level of control might be beyond the capabilities of a fantasy world though.

My question was more around whether the elements in blood would be enough to make steel for a blade or whether you'd have to add others in - if you burn it, most of the carbon, oxygen and hydrogen's probably gone, there might be some nitrogen left, plus some potassium and calcium and traces of other elements like selenium.

And Xuc Xac, I love the idea of the brother oath blades - and to add to it, certain very long-lived species could potentially wield a blade comprised entirely of iron from their own blood. Or if you've access to restoration-like magic, you could draw a pint of blood a day and have your own blade in two to three years time.

Cernor
2016-10-12, 05:31 AM
As the person that originally brought it up, and as someone with an engineering degree in Materials Science, which includes Metallurgy (although it was quite a while ago and I don't work in that field at all, so if anyone wants to take the chair, I'll gladly give it up :smallwink: ).

My question was more around whether the elements in blood would be enough to make steel for a blade or whether you'd have to add others in - if you burn it, most of the carbon, oxygen and hydrogen's probably gone, there might be some nitrogen left, plus some potassium and calcium and traces of other elements like selenium.

I'm a Materials Engineering major, so I might be able to help a bit: it all comes down to a thing called Ellingham diagrams. When you smelt the extracted iron to make an ingot, the proportion of carbon and oxygen in the environment influence the carbon and oxygen content in the steel. If you use a normal smelter for this the ingot would (theoretically) have the same composition as steel used for a normal sword, simply (inasmuch as that word can be applied) due to how the thermodynamics work themselves out.

So yes, you'd probably have to add *some* others in, but probably no more than you'd add while forging any old sword.

I also realized I just answered my earlier question. Funny old world...

caden_varn
2016-10-12, 06:32 AM
I think you also need to remember that you need to kill your foes in such a way you can easily collect all, or at least most, of their blood. No hacking them apart on the battlefield, unless the battlefield happens to be a giant cauldron, otherwise you will need a lot more people. Or you have to collect the blood-soaked soil and process that, and who knows what crap is in there? (I guess that also gets you the 'blood' of billions of soil bacteria if that helps?)

Poisoning them is probably the best way - if you can find an iron-based poison, you also increase the amount of iron in their blood, thus needing less to make your sword. Although you may want to make sure your foes don't find out about the poisoning, as it might make them doubt your skill as a warrior...

Pronounceable
2016-10-12, 07:14 AM
Or if you've access to restoration-like magic, you could draw a pint of blood a day and have your own blade in two to three years time.
And the award for the most metal paladin order goes to...
The FORGEBROTHERS OF BLOODIRON, whose acolytes are required to participate in elaborate bloodletting rituals in order to forge a holy sword from the iron of their own blood before they're accepted formally into the brotherhood. Faster the sword gets forged, the higher devotion and zeal possessed by the paladin. The holy swords are irrevocably bound to the paladins' souls and grows with them. They're completely regular weapons in any other hand.

...
Also, you'd expect the devils (or possibly daemons) to have developed the industrial processes for the fell blade forged of the blood of the innocent type of thing. It's the sort of thing fiendish races do.

e: Actually, this is the perfect gimmick for a vampire baddie too. Blackguard Lord Fangface de Badguy has finally forged an unholy sword from the blood of his victims after centuries and decided he wants matching armor too.

MrZJunior
2016-10-12, 07:20 AM
You could also have an avenging hero whose sword is forged from the blood of their slain village.


I think you also need to remember that you need to kill your foes in such a way you can easily collect all, or at least most, of their blood. No hacking them apart on the battlefield, unless the battlefield happens to be a giant cauldron, otherwise you will need a lot more people. Or you have to collect the blood-soaked soil and process that, and who knows what crap is in there? (I guess that also gets you the 'blood' of billions of soil bacteria if that helps?)

Poisoning them is probably the best way - if you can find an iron-based poison, you also increase the amount of iron in their blood, thus needing less to make your sword. Although you may want to make sure your foes don't find out about the poisoning, as it might make them doubt your skill as a warrior...

I think a sword such as this is more the style of the sort of dark lord whose enemies tend to die in a dungeon or somewhere like that.

Jay R
2016-10-12, 08:53 AM
To Jay R: From the perspective of a medieval person who is experimenting until something works: Is there a difference?

Several differences:
1. There is no way to do it with a medieval level of science.
2. No Fighter, Rogue, Commoner or other mundane person could research the magic. By contrast, it doesn't matter who operates the chemistry lab.
3. The science requires knowledge of the periodic table, as well as knowledge of proteins, which knowledge did not exist in the medieval era. D&D includes many magic spells that do what medieval physics and chemistry cannot.

But primarily, rules exist for researching magic, and don't exist for researching modern biology, chemistry, and physics.

Segev
2016-10-12, 10:10 AM
Actually, this does hold up under my scrutiny (and I'm a chemist). Step 3 would be the most difficult part given the technology level. Iron oxide is insoluble in water whereas most other components of ash are soluble, so this would help. Thankfully, you don't need to get it to very high purity.

The impurities would largely be carbon, too, which at least gives you some nod towards being able to forge it into steel.

Storm_Of_Snow
2016-10-12, 11:03 AM
I think a sword such as this is more the style of the sort of dark lord whose enemies tend to die in a dungeon or somewhere like that.
Or one who's got a handy mage who can do something similar to the precursor to Magneto breaking out of his cell in X-Men 2.


But primarily, rules exist for researching magic, and don't exist for researching modern biology, chemistry, and physics.
That's what sages are for. :smallwink:

GorinichSerpant
2016-10-12, 04:10 PM
"Now that I have caught you villien, tell me why you went to war against all the kingdoms of these lands? What possibly motives would you have for such an act!"

"I needed more blood to forge my sword."

Beleriphon
2016-10-12, 04:19 PM
On the note of using iron from blood, what about quenching a blade in blood? Any noticeable impact to blade quality? I know most modern quenching techniques use oil of some kind rather than water, on the basis the water is too hard a shock most of the time. But blood isn't water given that its a solution of a bunch of proteins, water and other stuff.

Mith
2016-10-12, 05:21 PM
Not only that, but bones have been used in place of charcoal historically.

Cluedrew
2016-10-12, 06:40 PM
"This blade was forged from the blood of a thousand paladins. They're all still alive. They're arrayed behind me and they await my signal to send you to hell."That's awesome.

I want to put that into a story/setting somewhere. I'm not sure if I have one that fits right now.

Xuc Xac
2016-10-12, 09:28 PM
On the note of using iron from blood, what about quenching a blade in blood? Any noticeable impact to blade quality?

Yes. None of it good. It's worse than water. Water is bad because it boils off too fast and quenches unevenly. Blood is basically salt water with a bunch of proteins that curdle and make a gooey mess. Hot salt water is generally not good for iron or steel.

Max_Killjoy
2016-10-12, 09:43 PM
Not sure if someone has posted this yet, but the average adult male human has 4 grams of iron in his entire body.

How heavy is this sword you want to make?

Do the math from there.

Lord Raziere
2016-10-12, 10:54 PM
create a spell that when cast, seeks out the exact number of people needed to forge one, regardless of race, gender or whatever excepting the caster themselves and suck all the blood and iron out of them, thus killing them by necrosis, and then are all sucked back to your location and forms all the iron into a sword in front of you.

But at that point, why need the sword? use the spell to make swords from the blood of your enemies as a weapon for killing armies then hang up all the swords created from the result of your dead enemies as souvenirs.

this of course means your completely evil and a total psychopathic nutjob, but you'd have to be to want to forge an iron sword from peoples blood anyways. this spell really just makes your evil much more efficient.
you can even call the spell "Foe-Forged Blood Iron Blade"

Cealocanth
2016-10-12, 11:19 PM
Not sure if someone has posted this yet, but the average adult male human has 4 grams of iron in his entire body.

How heavy is this sword you want to make?

Do the math from there.

4 grams in the entire body. 2.5 grams stored in the blood. Math has been done on the previous page.

Dimers
2016-10-13, 12:54 AM
And other uses for mass quantities of blood.

It has apparently been popular for bathing among the truly avant-garde elite ... ? If you fill a swimming pool with the stuff, or perhaps just a centrifuged aspect of it, that would presumably have different density from water (higher or lower, I don't know). So it might give a pleasant floating sensation. Also more salt in blood than freshwater, so again, a nice Dead Sea (heh :smallcool:) effect. From what little I've experienced, my own blood on my skin has lent a softer, smoother feel without negative side effects (beyond, y'know, bleeding), so maybe E. Bathory was on to something.

Launch barrels of disease-infected blood over the enemy ramparts? Anyone with a little scrape or cut might be doomed. Plus, super visual effect with the massive splatters.

Ooh, speaking of massive visuals -- paint the whole landscape in miles-wide letters from the mystic runic alphabet!

Drown your captive enemies in lakes of blood. Well, ponds, probably, but I don't know just how "industrial" your scale is.

And of course you can make soap from human fats, sturdy modest-weight structures from human bones tied together with cured tendons and ligaments, bowls from skulls, parchment from skin, all kinds of resource-conservation stuff.

EDIT: Ya know, if I didn't know me, I'd be seriously worried about me. :smallamused:

EDIT EDIT: Dried blood as an organic fuel to heat air for zeppelins! Again, no idea if this would work. I'll assume that burning dried blood wouldn't get hot enough for forgework, but I imagine it's hot enough for SOMEthing.

YET ANOTHER EDIT: And pouring massive quantities of blood into your enemies' waterways might kill off their fish.

The Fury
2016-10-13, 12:26 PM
Yes. None of it good. It's worse than water. Water is bad because it boils off too fast and quenches unevenly. Blood is basically salt water with a bunch of proteins that curdle and make a gooey mess. Hot salt water is generally not good for iron or steel.

I watched a video of a guy forging a knife, he used automatic transmission fluid for the quench. Automatic transmission fluid is red and somewhat viscous so it kind of looks like blood. Not that there'd be a lot of automatic transmission fluid around in a medieval setting.

Segev
2016-10-13, 12:58 PM
I watched a video of a guy forging a knife, he used automatic transmission fluid for the quench. Automatic transmission fluid is red and somewhat viscous so it kind of looks like blood. Not that there'd be a lot of automatic transmission fluid around in a medieval setting.

Clearly, you need to go to medieval Cybertron.

ATHATH
2016-10-13, 02:28 PM
I have a new backstory for my soon-to-be-built bladebound magus.

Bohandas
2016-10-15, 12:25 AM
You can't. Iron in blood isn't free floating (boy, that would cause some problems), it's mostly in the for of hemoglobin, a fairly complex protein. To get any workable iron out of it, you first need to destroy that, which I have no idea how to do, but I do know that it would need a knowledge of biochemistry far beyond pre-Industrial capabilities.

You'd need to denature the protein somehow. I'm not sure what the optimal way would be, but heat, strong acids, and aqua vitae three things that can denature quite a few.

Max_Killjoy
2016-10-15, 09:47 AM
4 grams in the entire body. 2.5 grams stored in the blood. Math has been done on the previous page.

My point was more along the lines of "there are better places to get iron than human bodies".

Beleriphon
2016-10-15, 10:29 AM
My point was more along the lines of "there are better places to get iron than human bodies".

There might be, but very few are more... heinous.

Keltest
2016-10-15, 10:50 AM
My point was more along the lines of "there are better places to get iron than human bodies".

I'm pretty sure that was never in question. This would be more of a symbolic activity.

Lord Raziere
2016-10-15, 12:39 PM
My point was more along the lines of "there are better places to get iron than human bodies".

So? I'm EVIL, I'm doing it because its so inefficient so I can kill so many people at the same time! its a win-win for me. even if I don't forge it, enemies are dead because of it. and now people will fear me as the man who killed thousands of people just to make a sword, knowing not to screw with me! Who wouldn't want that? #evil logic

Xuc Xac
2016-10-15, 01:05 PM
Scientifically speaking, iron is iron regardless of the source and a pound of feathers has the same weight as a pound of lead. Magically speaking, iron from blood is totally different from iron that comes from the ground. And the pound of lead is heavier than the feathers, because "heaviness"is the essential character of lead and "lightness" is the essential character of feathers.

mabriss lethe
2016-10-15, 03:22 PM
Actually, it *might* be able to be done with very simple tools. The guy that runs the Primitive Technology channel on youtube was able to extract iron from, effectively, pond scum (orange iron bacteria to be precise). He simply mixed the bacteria sludge with some clay (rewatched it, it's ashes and powdered clay from the looks of it), cast it into a crude ingot and fired it with a hand drill powered furnace. When it was all said and done, he broke the clay apart and extracted several pure iron pellets. (That furnace, while primitive, got HOT)

I don't know if the same methods could be used to extract the iron from blood, but I don't see offhand anything in particular that would stop it from working.

Also, that would make a blood soaked battlefield kind of a useful place to forge horrifying blood blades

The video in question (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVV4xeWBIxE)

The Fury
2016-10-15, 06:35 PM
Clearly, you need to go to medieval Cybertron.

On medieval Cybertron, ATF might actually be blood. In which case, by all means, quench the sword that you forged in blood and it'll work great. Though you might be better off trying to forge said sword out of one of your enemy's other body parts. Their leg maybe?

Cluedrew
2016-10-15, 06:46 PM
On medieval Cybertron, [...] you might be better off trying to forge said sword out of one of your enemy's other body parts. Their leg maybe?Actually, you might be better of finding one that IS a sword.

Also, food (energon) is highly explosive and I believe slightly corrosive on Cybertron so you have plenty of room for strange repurposing there.

Another question: What their world medieval Cybertron even look like?

Zaydos
2016-10-15, 08:55 PM
Actually, you might be better of finding one that IS a sword.

I once found a BBEG's time machine when it had turned itself into a sword. I hacked its computerized lock, stole it, and beat him with it.


Also, food (energon) is highly explosive and I believe slightly corrosive on Cybertron so you have plenty of room for strange repurposing there.

Another question: What their world medieval Cybertron even look like?

I think there's a comic which shows their equivalent (but still more advanced than us) period, and well I think it'd probably be before transformation tech, so lots of human shaped giant robots with swords and shields forged primarily from their enemies.

Bohandas
2016-10-15, 11:44 PM
Another question: What their world medieval Cybertron even look like?
They'd probably turn into wheelbarrows and farm implements

Coidzor
2016-10-16, 12:01 AM
My point was more along the lines of "there are better places to get iron than human bodies".

Waste not, want not. It's not like I'm just going to use ALL of the decomposing flesh of my slain enemies as fertilizer. I've only got so many azaleas, after all. Or maybe my day job is as a kosher butcher and I have a lot of spare blood.

Besides, when life gives you a decanter of endless blood or a spell that creates gratuitous amounts of blood, you either spend a lot of time bleaching your whites, give up, and only wear muddy brown or you figure out something to do with it all.


Actually, it *might* be able to be done with very simple tools. The guy that runs the Primitive Technology channel on youtube was able to extract iron from, effectively, pond scum (orange iron bacteria to be precise). He simply mixed the bacteria sludge with some clay (rewatched it, it's ashes and powdered clay from the looks of it), cast it into a crude ingot and fired it with a hand drill powered furnace. When it was all said and done, he broke the clay apart and extracted several pure iron pellets. (That furnace, while primitive, got HOT)

I don't know if the same methods could be used to extract the iron from blood, but I don't see offhand anything in particular that would stop it from working.

Also, that would make a blood soaked battlefield kind of a useful place to forge horrifying blood blades

The video in question (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVV4xeWBIxE)

Ooo, neat! Thank you very much!

VoxRationis
2016-10-16, 01:23 AM
My point was more along the lines of "there are better places to get iron than human bodies".

Yes, but elves don't mine and they don't have resource surpluses to trade for ingots, and humans are always plentiful.

Xerlith
2016-10-18, 07:33 AM
And the award for the most metal paladin order goes to...
The FORGEBROTHERS OF BLOODIRON, whose acolytes are required to participate in elaborate bloodletting rituals in order to forge a holy sword from the iron of their own blood before they're accepted formally into the brotherhood. Faster the sword gets forged, the higher devotion and zeal possessed by the paladin. The holy swords are irrevocably bound to the paladins' souls and grows with them. They're completely regular weapons in any other hand.

Gonna add it to my Eberron PF game. Now only one question remains:
A Blood of Vol paladin order or an Aerenal one. Both would be too much.

EDIT: Some math.

One adult humanoid of medium size has, on average, 1d6 HP. That'd mean the entire lifeblood being drained would deal what, 4 HP's worth of damage. That's the assumed 2.5g of Iron.

A 2nd level Paladin has, on average, 3 uses of LoH daily. Let's assume two of them are spent on day-to-day stuff - helping the suffering, self-healing. That leaves one.

That means the Paladin's able to gather enough blood in two to three years, assuming the bleeding's a part of their daily ritual. That's actually faster than I expected.

Thoughts?

Strigon
2016-10-18, 08:00 AM
One adult humanoid of medium size has, on average, 1d6 HP. That'd mean the entire lifeblood being drained would deal what, 4 HP's worth of damage. That's the assumed 2.5g of Iron.

A 2nd level Paladin has, on average, 3 uses of LoH daily. Let's assume two of them are spent on day-to-day stuff - helping the suffering, self-healing. That leaves one.

That means the Paladin's able to gather enough blood in two to three years, assuming the bleeding's a part of their daily ritual. That's actually faster than I expected.

Thoughts?

Draining your entire blood supply doesn't leave you bleeding out but stable at 0 HP, it leaves you dead. If we're going for that angle, 2.5g of iron should be produced from 16 points of slashing damage, assuming you only hit the arteries - and assuming hitting the arteries doesn't count as a crit, which it very well could.
But that's kind of beside the point, because from what I've read, most things that deal serious blood loss cause you Con damage/drain, which makes more sense and is a whole other kettle of fish.

Vizzerdrix
2016-10-18, 08:07 AM
Actually, this does hold up under my scrutiny (and I'm a chemist). Step 3 would be the most difficult part given the technology level. Iron oxide is insoluble in water whereas most other components of ash are soluble, so this would help. Thankfully, you don't need to get it to very high purity.

Could then do as The celts did and work bones into the metal to make steel.

Could then wrap the handle and make a scabbard from enemy skins too!

Coidzor
2016-10-18, 08:29 AM
Could then do as The celts did and work bones into the metal to make steel.

Could then wrap the handle and make a scabbard from enemy skins too!

Is that to help separate the ash from the iron oxide or to help with the purity when smelting/forging?

Vizzerdrix
2016-10-18, 09:02 AM
Smelting. I saw a youtube thingy on it. Or was it something on netflix? I dont remember but turns out they invented steel a gew thousand years before anyone else. Or was it a gew hundred?

Xerlith
2016-10-18, 09:47 AM
Draining your entire blood supply doesn't leave you bleeding out but stable at 0 HP, it leaves you dead. If we're going for that angle, 2.5g of iron should be produced from 16 points of slashing damage, assuming you only hit the arteries - and assuming hitting the arteries doesn't count as a crit, which it very well could.
But that's kind of beside the point, because from what I've read, most things that deal serious blood loss cause you Con damage/drain, which makes more sense and is a whole other kettle of fish.

At the same time, we have Bleed damage which explicitly goes off hitpoints. Wonky.

Anyway (if we assume the Bleed damage)... Ritual Boots of the Earth (http://www.archivesofnethys.com/MagicWondrousDisplay.aspx?FinalName=Boots%20of%20t he%20Earth)? :smallamused:

Storm_Of_Snow
2016-10-18, 10:41 AM
Draining your entire blood supply doesn't leave you bleeding out but stable at 0 HP, it leaves you dead. If we're going for that angle, 2.5g of iron should be produced from 16 points of slashing damage, assuming you only hit the arteries - and assuming hitting the arteries doesn't count as a crit, which it very well could.
But that's kind of beside the point, because from what I've read, most things that deal serious blood loss cause you Con damage/drain, which makes more sense and is a whole other kettle of fish.
Actually, you'd be dead long before your entire blood supply had left your body, if there's not enough blood left to get oxygen to your brain and heart to keep them working, that's definite game over. In fact, given you can go into shock and die when you've lost a certain amount of blood and CON had system shock survival percentages, CON drain is probably better, but even then, you'd still have blood in you at CON 0.

Strigon
2016-10-18, 11:59 AM
At the same time, we have Bleed damage which explicitly goes off hitpoints. Wonky.

Anyway (if we assume the Bleed damage)... Ritual Boots of the Earth (http://www.archivesofnethys.com/MagicWondrousDisplay.aspx?FinalName=Boots%20of%20t he%20Earth)? :smallamused:
I think that's for "minor" bleeding, when the blood loss is secondary to the physical trauma. A bandage and some bed rest fixes you quick enough, so representing it with HP damage is more convenient; things that explicitly hurt you by draining your blood reduce your Con, if I'm remembering correctly.
But the idea of healing and drawing more blood could happen. Something that deals Bleed damage combined with Fast Healing could certainly work, given enough time.


Actually, you'd be dead long before your entire blood supply had left your body, if there's not enough blood left to get oxygen to your brain and heart to keep them working, that's definite game over. In fact, given you can go into shock and die when you've lost a certain amount of blood and CON had system shock survival percentages, CON drain is probably better, but even then, you'd still have blood in you at CON 0.
Well, yeah; my point wasn't that you die exactly when the last drop of blood leaves your system. It was that 0 HP is either incapacitated and needing help soon, or exactly at death's door - and neither of those properly represent being completely drained of blood.

Of course, all this is somewhat tangential to OP's question, which is explicitly about using one's foes to make your sword. Unless, of course, you're keeping them prisoners and daily draining their blood, only to heal them and begin the cycle anew - which is arguably even more horrifying than killing the thousands requisite for making a blood sword.

Zaydos
2016-10-18, 12:56 PM
"This sword was made from the blood of a man who wronged me. Over a decade of their pain and suffering have gone into it. You have wronged me, perhaps you will be my next sword."

Coidzor
2016-10-18, 03:21 PM
Of course, all this is somewhat tangential to OP's question, which is explicitly about using one's foes to make your sword. Unless, of course, you're keeping them prisoners and daily draining their blood, only to heal them and begin the cycle anew - which is arguably even more horrifying than killing the thousands requisite for making a blood sword.

Well, mostly I just wanted a plausible way to extract something out of the blood or otherwise put vast quantities of it to use. It may be used for arrows instead of swords or whathaveyou.

Definitely gives me an idea for something interesting to do as part of torturing prisoners, though.

Knaight
2016-10-19, 12:15 AM
Perhaps I'm missing something obvious. Wouldn't that get rid of all impurities below a certain boiling point? We were discussing identifying, and selectively retaining, beneficial impurities. How would you, for example, get rid of a harmful impurity that boils at 200 degrees without getting rid of a beneficial one that boils at 175?
This feels like one of those mathematical/logic puzzles that goes about on the internet, and I'm sure somebody's going to point out the glaringly obvious thing I'm missing.
Seperating desired products from other things is a major part of several different fields - metallurgy and materials engineering has already been mentioned, but it's also big in chemical engineering. It's typical to have a semester long senior level course dedicated entirely to seperation processes, and that's only barely scratching the surface. There tends not to be a glaringly obvious thing.


Scientifically speaking, iron is iron regardless of the source and a pound of feathers has the same weight as a pound of lead. Magically speaking, iron from blood is totally different from iron that comes from the ground. And the pound of lead is heavier than the feathers, because "heaviness"is the essential character of lead and "lightness" is the essential character of feathers.
Scientifically speaking, provided you ignore isotopes pure elemental iron is pure elemental iron regardless of source. In practice perfect purity basically doesn't exist, and systems involving trying to extract tiny amounts of metal from the middle of huge amounts of protein aren't exactly good starting points for purification. Getting that anywhere near usable is daunting enough, replicating iron dug out of the ground is ludicrous even given modern technology.

Xuc Xac
2016-10-19, 01:58 AM
Scientifically speaking, provided you ignore isotopes pure elemental iron is pure elemental iron regardless of source. In practice perfect purity basically doesn't exist, and systems involving trying to extract tiny amounts of metal from the middle of huge amounts of protein aren't exactly good starting points for purification. Getting that anywhere near usable is daunting enough, replicating iron dug out of the ground is ludicrous even given modern technology.

That has nothing to do with what I actually said so I'm not sure why you're quoting me.

Knaight
2016-10-19, 02:55 AM
That has nothing to do with what I actually said so I'm not sure why you're quoting me.

I'm clarifying an overly simplified point you made when comparing a scientific view versus a usable mysticism.

Xuc Xac
2016-10-19, 11:33 AM
I'm clarifying an overly simplified point you made when comparing a scientific view versus a usable mysticism.

That was not my point. A lot of people, like you, are saying that extracting iron from blood is really inefficient compared to traditional sources. My point was that the iron might have the same physical properties, but the mystical properties are different. For example, the chemical composition of wolfsbane doesn't change if you pick it during the day with a pair of scissors or if you have it harvested by a virgin with a silver sickle under the light of the full moon, but the latter might make an effective anti-lycanthrope potion and the former would do nothing. In many magic systems, symbolism is just as important (if not more so) than chemistry and physics.

Coidzor
2016-10-19, 07:56 PM
As the OP, I can go ahead and say that efficiency, while maximizing it for the particular process using blood or blood-based substances would be desirable, on the whole isn't the focus, so much as whether it's something possible and known or if not known exactly if there would be a plausible way to do it or to get it to a more concentrated state beyond drying alone before bringing magical processes directly into it.

If it requires a lot of skilled labor to pull off, to the point where using the blood for something else other than metals extraction would be best if not just magicking blood directly to iron and/or copper, then that would be good to know. Similarly if it would be a lengthy process prior to the final, possibly magical steps, that would be good to know and of high interest, as would knowing if it required an amount of brainless grunt work for slaves, serfs, or undead servants.

Not looking to put iron mining out of business, just trying to get the blood to work for me in ways other than, as I believe I implied, cornering the market on blood sausage or bloodmeal.

Lord Torath
2016-10-19, 10:55 PM
Step one: Collect the blood of your enemies.

Step two: Cast Metamorphose Liquids to turn it into molten steel.

Step three: Have the cleric cast Cure Painful Burns on your poor tongue. The spell requires you to place a drop of the liquid you want to convert the target into onto your tongue.

Step four: Cast the steel, and forge your sword.

Knaight
2016-10-20, 04:09 AM
That was not my point. A lot of people, like you, are saying that extracting iron from blood is really inefficient compared to traditional sources. My point was that the iron might have the same physical properties, but the mystical properties are different. For example, the chemical composition of wolfsbane doesn't change if you pick it during the day with a pair of scissors or if you have it harvested by a virgin with a silver sickle under the light of the full moon, but the latter might make an effective anti-lycanthrope potion and the former would do nothing. In many magic systems, symbolism is just as important (if not more so) than chemistry and physics.

What I'm saying is that even the assumption of the same physical properties is sketchy - when your wanted component is only a tiny amount of the overall system severe impurities are a real concern.

Xuc Xac
2016-10-20, 10:29 PM
Trying to separate the iron and everything else will leave a lot of impurities. It's much easier if you don't care about keeping the non-iron parts. Pyrolysis will burn out almost everything except iron oxide and some salts that can be separated by washing with water.

You could really blow some alchemists' minds with this process: Fire renders blood into salted ash. Water cleanses the ash into ore. Another application of fire smelts it into iron.

The quality wouldn't be any worse than the iron being produced from mined ore in the middle ages. It would just be in ridiculously small quantities.

Rakaydos
2016-10-21, 02:53 PM
I did some googling and apparently a lot of people are interested in forging swords from blood. :smallconfused:
However I couldn't find any conclusive answers. (Beyond the fact that you need to kill about 360 men to forge a sword.)

So here is my guess based on half remembered stuff from chem lab:

1. Dry the blood
2. Burn the dried stuff. You now have a lot of ash containing some iron oxide.
3. Put the ash in water and separate the heavier iron oxide with some kind of peasant-powered centrifugal contraption.
4. Proceed with the powder now mostly containing iron oxide as you would normally in the steel making process.

Will probably not hold up under the scrutiny of a chemist, but might be sufficient enough for suspension of disbelief.

So not only are you taking the blood of a living person, you are alchemically exposint it to Air, Fire and Water, (and possibly earth, if you count a centrafuge as artificial gravity) to get the MATERIAL to forge your blade.

What kinda spell are you putting on this thing, a godslaying enchantment?

ExLibrisMortis
2016-10-21, 03:02 PM
So not only are you taking the blood of a living person, you are alchemically exposint it to Air, Fire and Water, to get the MATERIAL to forge your blade.

What kinda spell are you putting on this thing, a godslaying enchantment?
Blood is earth, right? It's salty and life-giving. Iron certainly is earthy, I should think.

Klara Meison
2016-10-21, 03:53 PM
On the question of rounding of humans killed for it, we really need to consider the important questions. Which sounds better:

"The blood of a thousand foes created this sword. Cross me and your blood shall be the first of a new blade."

"666 souls gave this blade life. Decide now whether you would give yours to the devil as well."

Why not both? 666 humans with souls, 334 gingers to round out the number of blood donors. Or, like, soulless critters(animals or outsiders) if you are into that.

Xuc Xac
2016-10-21, 04:27 PM
Blood is earth, right? It's salty and life-giving. Iron certainly is earthy, I should think.

Blood is Air, actually. The Earth humor is black bile.

Zaydos
2016-10-21, 04:39 PM
Why not both? 666 humans with souls, 334 gingers to round out the number of blood donors. Or, like, soulless critters(animals or outsiders) if you are into that.

Now, now, outsiders have souls, they just happen to be their bodies. So you need the blood from 666 outsiders as it is literally part of their souls, and then 334 humans, or native outsiders.

Klara Meison
2016-10-21, 04:46 PM
Now, now, outsiders have souls, they just happen to be their bodies. So you need the blood from 666 outsiders as it is literally part of their souls, and then 334 humans, or native outsiders.

You would still need to use soulless (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/soulless-cr-1-fgg) humans for that.

As for other industrial uses of blood, cave bat farming and glue production seem like interesting possibilities.

ExLibrisMortis
2016-10-23, 10:31 AM
Blood is Air, actually. The Earth humor is black bile.
Eh, that just makes no sense. Air is possibly the least bloody element, given that it's warm (like fire), wet (like water), and living (like earth). But okay, there's a reason we don't use these theories anymore.

Xuc Xac
2016-10-23, 12:40 PM
The elements in that theory are combinations of hot/cold and wet/dry. Air is the hot and wet element. Fire is hot and dry. Water is cold and wet. Earth is cold and dry.

ExLibrisMortis
2016-10-23, 01:19 PM
The elements in that theory are combinations of hot/cold and wet/dry. Air is the hot and wet element. Fire is hot and dry. Water is cold and wet. Earth is cold and dry.
I'm aware of that, but it just makes so little sense when comparing to the connotations of blood in other belief systems.

Knaight
2016-10-23, 03:07 PM
I'm aware of that, but it just makes so little sense when comparing to the connotations of blood in other belief systems.

It does however fit blood being both wet and warm. It's the humors associated with dryness that are a bit weird; sure the fluids involved are a bit more viscous but they're still wet.

Segev
2016-10-24, 09:06 AM
I agree that mystic aspects are influenced heavily by symbolism. But "pound of iron vs. pound of feathers" doesn't work with "the pound of feathers is lighter" because the definition of the words makes it impossible. Of course, a pound of feathers used to make something float will work much better than a pound of iron, even in reality (where you could use the feathers' larger surface area to try to make a sail or something).