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Wyrdmarks are an ancient runic language used to perform magic and cast spells, usually cast using blood.
Precious little is known about the origin of Wyrdmarks, other than that they are an incredibly old form of magic, more powerful even than the Wyrdkeys. Ancient texts detailing the use of all Wyrdmarks do exist, on both the Southern Continent and the Northern Continent, but no clear origin has been revealed.
Wyrdmarks are seen carved into the ground around the black, foreboding clock tower at the Glass Palace, where Celaena Sardothien first learns of them and starts researching them. They are later discovered around the bodies of the champions killed by a beast. It is later discovered that Cain used a set of Wyrdmarks to open portals to another dimension to summon a Ridderak, and mark his sacrifices to it to gain their strength for the tournament. When Celaena is bitten by the Ridderak, Nehemia Ytger reveals her ability to use Wyrdmagic and saves Celaena's life. Nehemia explains how she has been closing Cain's portals and banishing the Ridderak.
In the final duel, Wyrdmagic is used for and against Celaena. Throughout the battle, Cain tortures Celaena by summoning beasts from other dimensions, which Celaena is able to see due to Nehemia and Elena purging Celaena of poison, causing her to see the other dimension. Celaena's forehead then glows blue, showing a Wyrdmark meaning "nameless" or "anonymous." The Wyrdmark renews her strength and she defeats Cain.
Celaena further learns of the power of the Wyrdmarks and of the Wyrdkeys blocking magic from the land. Wyrdmarks are used with Dorian's help to seal the horrible humanoid abomination made by the King in the library's catacombs and to open and close a portal made by Celaena to see Nehemia following her death.
There is believed to be Wyrdmagic imbued in the collars on the King's creatures and Dorian to exhibit control like the dark rings. This is later disproven as the collars and rings are made from Wyrdstone, not using Wyrdmarks.
The King ordered Wyrdmarks keyed to Aelin Galathynius to be painted at every entrance to the castle, so she couldn't get in, but Aelin spilt water on the Wyrdmarks at one entrance to mess them up and get in. While running out of the castle after rescuing Aedion Ashryver, Dorian attempts to attack them, but Aelin draws a sloppy Wyrdmark on the ground to freeze him where he stood. Later, Aelin draws the same Wyrdmark to trap Manon Blackbeak and buy her and her friends some more time to escape.
There are Wyrdmarks on the altar in the sunken temple in the Stone Marshes, where Aelin was sent by Deanna "to find the Lock," and on the witch mirror she finds there. Aelin and Manon see Wyrdmarks all across the obsidian sarcophagus into which Elena Galathynius had sealed Erawan a thousand years ago, as well as on the Eye of Elena itself.
While in Antica, Chaol Westfall discovers old texts which act as a sort of dictionary for Wyrdmarks, explaining their uses. Worried that the Valg might be looking for them he tells Yrene Towers to hide them and keep their existence between the two of them.
After he is healed, Chaol takes the texts back to the Northern Continent to show Aelin.
Dorian uses Wyrdmarks to secretly summon Gavin Havilliard to ask him where the last Wyrdkey is.
When the time comes to seal the Wyrdkeys back into the Wyrdgate, Aelin and Dorian draw a Wyrdmark on the ground and stand in it to perform the sealing. After the Wyrdkeys are sealed back into the Wyrdgate, Aelin finds her way back to her world through the Wyrdmarks that Rowan had woven into the new tattoo he inked on her back.
In the Battle of Orynth, Dorian, Yrene, Lysandra, and Elide trap Erawan using a Wyrdmark drawn on the ground that holds him in place long enough for them to kill him, and, outside of the gates, Aelin draws a Wyrdmark which opens a portal that the lost Fae of Terrasen use to join the battle.
Although Wyrdmarks' powerful magic is mainly used for evil in the series, they are a neutral magic which can also be used for good.
To be used, Wyrdmarks must be drawn on a surface, be it flesh or otherwise, or chanted, provided the user knows their name. Their effect can be altered or ended by changing or erasing the marks or until the spell has run its course. When activated, Wyrdmarks may glow a bright turquoise/blue, or faint green.
Known uses for Wyrdmarks include:
- Performing sacrifices/sympathetic magic
- Opening/closing Wyrdgates
- Creating wards/barriers,
Known Wyrdmarks include the Nameless mark, passed down through the Galathynius line.
- Nehemia Ytger †
- The Ytger family
- Dorian Havilliard I †
- Aelin Galathynius (taught by Nehemia)
- Cain †
- Elena Galathynius †
- Rowan Whitethorn
- Even when the King of Adarlan used the Wyrdkeys to block magic from the Northern Continent, the magic of Wyrdmarks wasn't diminished, as Wyrdmagic was more powerful and archaic than the magic of the Wyrdkeys.
- Their magic wasn't used in defense against the King's colonization as there were too few people who knew of their existence.
- If non-magical blood is used to draw the Wyrdmark then the spell will not be as effective compared to a Wyrdmark drawn with magical blood.