This is for a crime/mystery novel with a religious antagonist. He’s trying to cure people of their psychological issues, by creating a “nightmare world” inside their mind and hoping that their ego is strong enough to overcome the issue(s) (manifested as five demons and four puzzles). If the person gets killed by a demon, the shock of appearing to be killed combines with the implication of the demon overwhelming the ego to stop their heart.
In his culture, this ritual would take place in a meditation pool. Because he doesn’t want his culture to die with him, he’ll pose the dead body in a bathtub. He puts on a happy song for those who survive, and a dark cover for those who die, because he doesn’t want the media to only notice the deaths and call him a deranged serial killer. He never does things “just because my religion says to”.
(I haven’t fully committed to the hemoglobin extraction bit, but I figured I should ask a question just in case I decide to go with it)
He has access to magic that can teleport matter from Magic Circle A to Magic Circle B, and magic that can allow the user to possess any electrically-conductive thing within approximately three miles. This second magic is mainly used to “possess” a person by interfering with their nervous system, but also to make the song play. The electricity-powered magic circles can be horizontally flipped to affect things either above or below the surface the circle is drawn on (which is how a tattoo on the outside of the skin can affect the hemoglobin below it).
There isn’t any magic that specifically requires hemoglobin as an ingredient, but the extracted hemoglobin can be used in hemoglobin supplements.
Some ideas I came up with:
• No hemoglobin means no way to transport oxygen; an evil magic-user wouldn’t be able to do anything with a hemoglobin-less corpse...however, that sounds like something reserved for nobles/elites. The healing ritual is for anyone, not just the elites.
• Red is associated with passion/vitality, so the extraction symbolically represents “this person lacked the will to overcome their inner demons”. This might dissuade him from using extracted hemoglobin for supplements, if for no other reason than it seems disrespectful to whoever buys the supplement.