I am actually living an adventure with some friends, in a magic world, already built. There are anatomical knowledge to a certain level (let's say we may be able to find some books and papers on advanced anatomy at a certain point in time), and we are using real-life diseases like fungal poisonning, etc.

One of the character has a mysterious disease called "hematophagocy". Basically, his own blood is devouring his body. We found out by searching that the core of the problem resides in the bone marrow, producing the blood. So we want to cure it !

How would you do it magically ? Because I do not think you could replace the bone marrow entirely with existing techniques (does such techniques exist ?). I am searching for something somewhat plausible, like:

  • Rituals
  • Brewages
  • Chirurgical magic-helped operations
  • Means to prevent the disease from growing
  • Etc ...

Thank you in advance !


I asked the question here for two main reasons: one, because the frame of application of this question is really, really wide and permissive. And second, because it is online, so there are not that much of a GM / DM there. I would say, in this context, that the one which will be able to validate will be the one who created the disease (and has it on his character).


As suggested in the comments, I shall add some bounds. A solution will be evaluated as "plausible" based on accuracy of the measure (ex: "Snapping fingers" VS "Snapping fingers after rassembling blood from a gnome and then boiling it into a potion"), sources (your imagination if ever, or when do you find the information about whatever magic / cure you propose), and bonus points on background accuracy (if you know the background of Wakfu MMO only).

  • $\begingroup$ You might try asking on the RPG stack exchange. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Aug 17 '16 at 22:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I was really hesitating, but since I wanted the answer not dependant of the RPG context. The fact is that it is really, really permissive about possibilities, so I wanted people to not be blocked by the context. $\endgroup$ Aug 18 '16 at 7:02
  • $\begingroup$ I think the edit is good. If the devs think it should be moved and it gets flagged for that they'll probably let you know for certain. $\endgroup$ Aug 18 '16 at 7:32
  • $\begingroup$ I added to my answer post-editing. $\endgroup$ Aug 18 '16 at 7:47
  • $\begingroup$ I'm confused. "How would you do it magically?" Are you asking us to devise your magic system for you? It feels that way. Also, the phrase "in your opinion" is a red flag to me for an opinion-based question. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Aug 18 '16 at 12:21

First, they would have to know how things work, before they use magic to fix it on a permanent basis. They can use healing potions to keep disease sufferers from dying, but if they don't understand the human body at a level far beyond standard Medieval times, there's really no hope of a mage being able to handle something that they can't see with the naked eye and have no real concept of.

They would have to know red-blood cells exist, and they would have to know what bone-marrow is and how to fix it. The less common and more complex something is, the less likely that they would have the understanding to fix it. Now, I can see there being a source of magical healing that no one understands, which heals everything, but this is healing almost on a cellular level.

I'd say something like this would be a specialized school of magic within the order or type, and you would have to travel to a school or place of learning to be able to do it.

Now, that being said, magic is MADE of handwavium (hand waving) so anything is possible.

But let's look at how bone marrow transplants work medically before we dig into magic.

First, you need a donor. Now, donors can be cord blood and/or a close match relative. You can also donate to yourself, which is what people do if they are undergoing treatment that will kill off bone marrow. (Like cancer treatment). Magically, this can work using the blood of any relative. On the RPG side, I would make the donor give up a few permanent hit points or some such. It should hurt.

This is a big, big deal scientifically, with medical advances, so it should be the same even with magic. I would make it a ritual, very complex and there's a chance of failure.

Now in the real world there are lasting complications to any transplant, but this is magic, so you can make them a little more...fun. Like now, the donor and the recipient are connected. If one is hurt, maybe the other feels it--or if one dies, there's a chance the other will as well.

  • $\begingroup$ Well, this already brings a lot of inspiration for me, thank you a lot ! $\endgroup$ Aug 18 '16 at 7:53

In most fantasy world this is a "no problem" issue.

Two options I would really expect most are:

  1. Clerics, priests etc. You don't need to know what's exactly happening, why and how, if you can ask your deity for a miracle. And no one needs to know how he got healed. Hey, miracle!

  2. Druids, witches etc. Characters whose magic relies on understanding nature far more deeply than humanly possible. If they can manipulate the very life force, or understand things that even modern medicine can't quite explain, they sure can fix bone marrow, either directly or by knowing how to kill old and transplant / conjure new one.

Traditional wizards would be, of course, pretty useless here. But that's why healing magic is hardly ever their thing.


I agree with @ErinThursby on the need to understand medicine before attempting to cure a complex and chronic disease, but the is another option available for a suitably advanced mage.

Let the patient's body die after transferring their mind into a magical new one.

The new body could be a commodity level item, produced by a magic guild far away and available at a local adventurer's shop along with instructions for the consciousness transfer spell.

This could also be a very useful plot tool as the body might either lack the advanced fitness of the dying adventurer, or come with special add-ons like night vision or enhanced reflexes. In either case, it is an opportunity for a down-on-their-luck character to get a new start.

  • $\begingroup$ Edited, if ever this sounds more "world-buildy" and helps you ! $\endgroup$ Aug 18 '16 at 7:21

Living blood

Feed the blood. if the blood is devouring his body perhaps it will stop devouring his body if he devours others.

if they need to be alive for the blood to be satisfied then perhaps drink their blood or eat raw liver.


if the blood is like acid and burns away his body by melting them from the inside then it's likely he/she has been fighting this acidity all their life and are growing ever stronger against the type.

Getting enough blood transfusions to last a few days could give their body a long enough break to recover from the damage the blood was doing with newer stronger organs, veins and capillary linings. perhaps this will only hold off the disease for another few years

  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately we is not the kind of eating living people, but your hypothesis is right, he is eating a lot of red meat to keep blood fed. Thank you nonetheless :D ! $\endgroup$ Aug 18 '16 at 8:38

Would a magical universe even have metabolic processes that can go awry to cause disease? I think sickness would be due to qi or humors or somesuch. You’re mixing modes, which reduces the approachability of using magic on the problem.

Magic works on a teleological level. You don’t have behavior produced from rules working at the lowest level; you have summary results at the level of human understanding

Consider rejuvination or transferring “oldness” from one person to another: in order to work, oldness has to be a summary result espressed at our level of perception, based on an age value associqted with the person. In tge real world age is an emergent effect and can't be changed in this manner.

Likewise any kind of healing spell. health is a summary value, not an emergent property based on a myriad of detailed phenomona.

So if you have magical health and healing at all, you don't have detailed causes of specific diseases.

  • $\begingroup$ That's an interesting point of view, didn't thought of that. Thank you for your consideration, time and effort ! $\endgroup$ Aug 19 '16 at 7:17

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