In addition to the classical sacred arts, some people possess extra abilities that they inherit from their progenitors, known as bloodline abilities, a bloodline legacy, etc. The two main bloodline inheritances in Cradle are passed down to House Arelius and to the Akura Family.
Arelius Bloodline Ability
Also called Arelius Senses. Arelius Sight. Arelius Eyes.
The first known bloodline ability on Cradle. This ability was deliberately developed several thousand years ago by the first Patriarch of House Arelius, the genius Ozmanthus Arelius. It has been passed down the line to Arelius bloodline descendants ever since then.
I know everything that happens within range of
my spirit, so as soon as an enemy starts to move,
I simply step aside. It's like fighting the blind.”
The Arelius Sight is the genetically endowed spiritual madra-based ability to gather information, detect changes, sense everything, with the feared and infamous Arelius senses. This legacy allows Oz’s heirs to see, hear, and feel anything within their range. They can see the present so clearly they almost read the future. This allows them to dodge almost any attack and it is nearly impossible to sneak up on them. This becomes even more powerful when they advance, as the range and precision of their senses grows. For example, Cassias gained more access to his legacy when he advanced:
Cassias stood on a Thousand-Mile Cloud, spreading his awareness around him. Now that he was a Truegold, his spiritual sense and his bloodline powers had both expanded, leaving him feeling like he had eyes in the sky for miles. (Underlord ch 10)
Webs of Madra
Ozmanthus’s legacy is a unique kind of madra. Descendants manifest vast webs of detection madra that surround them and act as extra senses. Those with the Arelius legacy can send forth their detection web of madra to gather information from a circumference within range of their spirit. The range increases with the user’s strength or advancement. In the strongest recipient, the range is miles, and through walls. The detection web of madra perceives sight, sound, scent, heat, madra, aura, shifting muscles, etc. It is said that the first Monarch, Ozmanthus Arelius, could sense anything across the whole of Cradle.
The spear strike had quite a powerful technique behind it. If Eithan let it land, it might even split through his chest and skewer him on the rough wooden wall at his back. But he felt the technique build in the accelerated cycle of Jai Long's madra, in the quick breathing as the young man ramped up his spirit. The muscles in his arm tightened, as his whole body moved in concert like a finely tuned instrument. Eithan saw the move before it was born, felt it in the thousand webs of invisible power that passed through everything around him. (Soulsmith, ch 8)
In the Family
The feared and famous Arelius bloodline manifests with the greatest strength in Eithan Arelius and the Sage of a Thousand Eyes, Cladia Arelius (aka The Oracle Sage). It also manifests with strength in Cassias Arelius. It is likely that Tiberian Arelius had a good handle on the Sight, before he was murdered. Also, based on their performance in the 18th Uncrowned King Tournament, Veris Arelius and ltavian Arelius clearly possess some innate ability, too. See House Arelius.
Eithan spoke through another yawn. “My father used to say the First Patriarch could watch over his descendants from another continent. Maybe even from. . .beyond the grave.” Eithan waggled his eyebrows up and down. (Blackflame ch 7)
Ozmanthus Arelius developed this madra, and he was a Monarch, and the Founder of House Arelius, so it would have been tremendously strong in him.
In this text, it sorta sounds like you have to intentionally try to pass your own spiritual abilities to your descendants. It’s maybe not a natural genetic trait, like the Arelius yellow-blond hair.
He focused on another of his talents: his sight. When he advanced to Monarch, he developed the bloodline ability to see. Ozmanthus was so relieved that he wept. This was the ability that he wanted to define his legacy. And he would leave his descendants with the ability to see as he did, to one day catch up to him. (Reaper ch 2)
Eithan, of course, is quite perceptive even when just an Underlord. With his full power unveiled, who knows what he could see? Perhaps as much as Oz. ;)
. . .it was best to operate as though Eithan knew everything. The Underlord could stretch his web to a target miles away, if he was focused on a specific spot, but he saw everything within a hundred yards without even trying. (Blackflame chapter 7)
Cladia Arelius the Sage of a Thousand Eyes or Oracle Sage inherited a strong portion of this legacy.
Cassias detection web is not as broad as Eithan’s, but he’s still got the sight. It grew when he advanced to TrueGold.
Cassias didn’t have Eithan’s talent in using their bloodline legacy, but he was still an Arelius. He saw more than anyone else could. So he stepped aside gracefully as Eithan plummeted from a rooftop above him. (Reaper, ch 7)
Cassias puts his senses to work on the cloudship Sky’s Mercy, in book 3:
“His web of madra showed him nothing but clouds and empty air for a quarter-mile around them. . . A web of invisible power stretched throughout Sky's Mercy, bringing Cassias little snippets of information: Fisher Gesha's sheets rustling as she turned, Yerin's eyelids crinkling in a disturbing dream, Lindon's chest rising and falling evenly. There was no privacy when an Arelius was around, but it was polite to act otherwise. Everyone knew what the Arelius could do, but they didn't know about the limitations. Publicly, the family liked to pretend they had none. (Blackflame ch 7)
Anomaly Jai Chen
Also, Jai Chen — who isn’t related by blood — manifests some measure of the ability because of the madra she accidentally took from Eithan during Lindon’s duel with Jai Long, the scene with the madra-sucking Archstone. However, it’s not natural to her; she will have to expend madra to use it (Skysworn). Moreover, this gathering of Eithan’s madra occurred at a surface level — it is not a genetic change in her, so she will not pass it on to her descendants.
Royal Sha Madra
Royal madra occurs only in the Sha bloodline and stretches back to the founding on Cradle. It is a mutation of pure madra and allows users of it to control the madra of opponents. The most closely guarded and powerful technique using royal madra is known as Heaven's Wish, which allows a practitioner to pass on a large portion of their skills, memories and knowledge to another, far more thoroughly than the adoption of a Remnant. This madra type is required to use the Path of Celestial Radiance
"Royal madra, the rainbow-colored signature of the Ninecloud Court, is in fact a spiritual mutation of pure madra that occurred long ago in the Sha bloodline."(Uncrowned, Chapter 9)
Epanding Akura Armor — A known bloodline ability created by Monarch Akura Malice. The Akura bloodline legacy is their ability to call up armor of purple crystal on some or all of their body (full body armor should only be used after advancing to Underlord). Their armor can expand to the height of a skyscraper. This legacy causes their eyes to look like solid purple crystals while using the armor. Young Akura Harmony tries to use his bloodline ability before he advances to Underlord:
Dross says, [[That armor of his is the bloodline legacy of the Akura family. That’s an advantage for us. He didn’t make it with his Path, so he doesn’t have full control of it. He’s not supposed to use the full armor until Underlord, anyway, so his movements will be wide.]] The violet crystal armor encasing Harmony feeds on his madra. Lindon can feel it in his spiritual perception; it’s draining Harmony’s spirit and most of his attention. (Ghostwater ch 17)
- Akura Malice employed the expanding armor in book 4, when she was battling a Dreadgod in the Blackflame Empire — the Bleeding Phoenix
- Akura Mercy manifested her legacy in book 9, Bloodline when the team collaborated to redirect a Dreadgod
- Blood Aura Affinity. Northstrider was born with a connection to blood. His parents died shortly after his birth, never knowing that they had each carried a dormant bloodline legacy. These traits mixed in their son, producing an unmatched connection to blood aura."
The only person known to possess this bloodline is Northstrider. As a child, this allowed Northstrider to obtain more from the blood essence of water-drakes than anyone else. (Uncrowned ch 20)