header & Introduction
LITURGY OF THE HOLY CHURCH
The liturgy of the Holy church is written into a series of gospels authored by various saints and priests. Each gospel imparts the specific philosophies and stories of its originator. The given works themselves rarely explain the specific prayers and actions that eventually become the rituals, but instead provide a philosophical basis for those rituals. The specific ceremonies involved in supplicating for divine intercession are esoteric extractions based on the hidden meanings found within the language and refined over the centuries by the priests of the Church. The Literacy ability and the ability to read Aldersabin, the traditional language of Holy Lethia, are required to learn these rituals through direct study of the Testimonium, though an illiterate practitioner may learn from another who has the ritual.
This is the most basic of all gospels, and easily the most widespread. Often it is carried by even the most distant and disconnected members of the clergy as it is considered the most applicable to daily life and the common man. It preaches how to live a clean, peaceful life in service to Him as well as the basic tenants of the religion taught by Benalus centuries before. This includes the role of the Throne and it's place in the trinity between God, Church and Throne; Master, will and hand respectively.
Forgive a misdeed and assign a penance to the repentant.
"Lo, the Lord doth forgive all who pass under his gaze with heads bowed. He sees his sinful children and knows the story to every stain. Those who seek true absolution need not go away from His glory. Nay, closer to him are those who return from the darkness. Look upon such men and rejoice, but gaze not on his brother who hides from the light. They are the servants of devils and their time will come."
Ritual: After a sinful deed, a priest can hear confession in a public place, and prescribe a task to do as penance. If done, the task will erase a sin from the confessor's soul, but if he does not complete the penance assigned to him he cannot ask for further forgiveness.
Mechanic: Upon completing the penance, the penitent loses all Depravity gained from the confessed act. A penance that is too light will not remove any Depravity. If the penitent performs sins of the same category before completing his penance, the Atonement automatically fails. The priest cannot use this on themselves.
All Atonements require the Staff to be notified of their terms when assigned, and their completion for record keeping. Note that the Depravity gained for the specific sinful act is removed, not the value of Depravity that the act is worth. Thus, if a character that already had Wrath 2 were to commit murder, moving to Wrath 3, then atone successfully, they would return to Wrath 2, not Wrath 0. Each sinful deed needs to be atoned separately, and thus even successful Atonement may not remove any Depravity, instead moving the character closer to a day when it will.
Using a body of water a priest may convert a willing subject to human morality and indoctrinate someone as a member of the church.
On the eve of the White Siege to shatter the halls of the Flesh Merchants of Hacona, Benalus received supporters from the warriors of the Black Lakes. Brutish and uncivilized, they were eaters of horse flesh and worshipers of wolves. It was then that Benalus blessed the river Narithis and strode into it. "All those who follow me shall follow me always or not at all. Join me and join all of humanity, but leave my side but once and I shall visit you only once more."
Ritual: The priest asks the willing subject if they will accept God as her judge and keeper. Once answered affirmatively, the priest places her in the water gently, holding them under for a time, and then lifts her out, and then both leave the body of water from the opposite side. Some priests wait until the supplicant begins to thrash in the water before rescuing them as the hand of God.
Props: A body of water or large tub
Mechanic: Someone of alternative faith is converted to the human morality system or someone with Faith in Self is converted to Faith in a Higher Power.
Blessing of Daily Bread
Give thanks for the meal and bless all those who break bread with you.
"Thank the Lord for your food. Thank Him for your blood and breath. Thank Him for the path before you and the purpose He provides. Thank Him for the chance to serve."
Ritual: The supplicant stands and raises their bread (or other food) above their head with their eyes shut. They intone a small prayer of thanks either silently or aloud and ask that God give them the strength through the gift of bread to allow them to continue living to further His glory. If the supplicant wishes to perform the ritual for those who will also partake of the food, the prayer must be spoken loudly enough for all to hear and listen.
Props: An actual meal to be eaten
Mechanic: All partakers of the rite gain an additional level of Grit.
Properly celebrate a life passed and ensure they rest forever undisturbed.
"The untimely shadows of oblivion creep over all of us. Our time in this world is precious. The road to salvation is paved in the corpses of friends and foes alike. To walk it is to walk along their bodies. To honor them is to remember the face of each person you tread upon. Today we honor the fallen. His memory shall continue in our minds. But, it is the memory in our hearts that are to be feared. For it shall fuel us in the coming trials."
Ritual: The priest requires some fore knowledge of the life the person has led. At the funeral, the priest will speak of her deeds and wishes the departed a safe journey to the Kingdom of Heaven, reading a passage from the Catechism of Departure in the Scriptures. Then the body is lain in a grave no less than 4 feet deep or is cremated and scattered if digging is not possible. The priest then beseeches The Lord to watch over the departed and be allowed peace.
Props: One hour spent digging with a tool. This can be divided up between characters working simultaneously, any character digging longer than 15 minutes of this time gets Fatigue. A shovel doubles the rate at which a person digs and prevents Fatigue.
Mechanic: All bodies buried this way shall not arise as malefic creatures unaided. Rituals involving the raising of the dead are considered to have one vulgarity for each Priest Rank that they are blessed with .
Hope from the Scriptures*
Inspires courage and fortitude in the face of adversity.
"Stand fast! Stand Strong! The might of God Stands with us!"
Ritual: The priest calls out and refocuses fearful minds with the power of the scriptures. Reciting from memory or reading from the gospel itself, the priest speaks to his allies and rallies them against their fears.
Mechanic: Faithful listeners immediately recover from Fear and Intimidation. This ritual takes only the time it takes to directly quote the scriptures.
Forgiveness for the sins of the dying.
The Solidarity of Man extends far beyond any mortal coil. In their dying breath, each man is like one for a brief moment and understands the unity we all share in death if not in life. This revelation alone is but the first step into true service of the Lord.
-- Chapter X, Covenants, 10:16
Ritual: The dying or condemned confesses to the priest their deepest regrets and sins, one at a time, and asks the priest to grant forgiveness in the name of the Lord. If the subject has already died, the ritual is vulgar.
Mechanic: This immediately clears the subject of 3 Depravity per Priest Rank as the subject dies so the soul can go to Heaven.
Lead in Prayer
Lead a quick prayer to raise spirits and affirm victory in your hearts.
At the Standing Stones, Benalus and his army stood outnumbered by a hundred score by the Dread Cavalry of King Septimus. Cruelly, Septimus' son, Valziir, offered those who left Benalus to leave unharmed. Benalus stood his army on a hillock and planted his banner.
"This is the path the Lord hath laid before you. Never stray from it. Every obstacle is a test of faith to see if you are truly worthy of His favor. Those unfit for such immortality at the side of God should go and never return."
On the third day of fighting, the Dread Cavalry was killed to the last man. Those who took up Valziir's offer were betrayed and captured. When the fold of Benalus found them, they were to the faithful as strangers and heretics.
-- Chapter 2, Epicus 7:16
Ritual: The priest has all participating members of appropriate faith stand in a circle and hold hands with him. The priest then speaks on the coming trials and how faith will conquer it.
Mechanic: All faithful participants in this ritual may count their Prayer as being one degree better for the purposes of Praying for success in an event ahead. This ritual takes at least one undisturbed minute to perform properly and all of the Prayers are for the subject matter that the Priest selects in his speaking. This ritual gives no benefit to the one who uses it, and doesn't increase the benefit above the ordinary limits of Zealous Faithf.
Join two kindred spirits in holy matrimony.
"Thanks be to our Beneficent and Merciful God. We declare to Him the marriage of his two children, blessed and beautiful. With His mercy and permission we ask this union blessed in His name."
--Chapter 3, Caeremonia 4:12
Ritual: This joyous celebration creates a holy union between two consenting, unmarried and baptized adults. The two swear oaths of fidelity and loyalty to one another of their own design, and promise to become partners forever after, relying on the other as they rely upon them, confess their fears and wrongs to one another, and swearing to guide, uphold and uplift the other, until death parts them. They swear to create a family and raise the next generation of the faithful, to teach them and guide them into their own adulthoods.
Mechanic: For spiritual purposes, wedded couples are considered the same person. Spouses automatically gain the Depravity of their Spouse for any sin they are aware of, but may take part in Atonement on each other's behalf and lose Depravity as well when the other loses it. One spouse may make a gesture to the other that relates strongly to their spouse's Devotion, accomplishing or protecting some aspect of it. Doing so may remove a Despair for their Spouse. Coupling is no longer a sin of Lust after marriage.
Consenting players of new characters may enter play married. If one spouse has the Wicked flaw, the other may not atone for that sin without atoning for it as such.
The Priest leads the weekly congregation.
"The one true Lord, the Pantocrator, we offer ourselves to you, and speak with our heads bowed and downcast. We show reverence to your might and glory and seek only to do your goodly works in this world. To prepare your Throne on earth and to wash ourselves of temptation."
-- Chapter 3, Caeremonia 1:15
Ritual: Once a week on the day of rest (Saturday), a priest may hold the weekly congregation. During this ritual, the priest will preach the word of the scriptures and the virtues of faith from any holy gospel.
Mechanic: Everyone attending the ritual in total lose 1 Despair. The preaching of the Convocation takes a minimum of 15 minutes.
Tears of Benalus
Water becomes infused with the divine purity of God and is later a component in many rituals.
When Benalus was forced into exile, they say he cried for our sins. He cried not from the pain or the injustice of his banishment, but for the fate of man. His tears cut clean lines across his soot covered face and when the Centurion, Benedictus, saw Benalus, he began to weep as well.
Ritual: The priest must stand over, or next to, a container of clean, potable water. While holding the container and raising it above his head, the priest then recites a quick blessing in the name of God.
Props: Container with water.
Mechanic: Blesses water within a single container. This excludes large bodies of water.
Wine becomes infused with the divine purity of God.
At the eventide meal of Benalus' first return, the first general slaked himself with only water, refusing Benalus' own wine from his own halls. When word reached him, Benalus took the general's cup from him and filled it with wine from his own. "Wine is the pleasure of temperate men, whilst the bane of fools. For a fool can control his wine no more than he can control his fear. Too much or too little is an undoing. Sip or drought, but drink as you fear for there is no abstinence from terror."
Ritual: Wine is poured into a large, shallow bowl of any sort. the priest recites a passage on the parable of fear, where fear is equated to wine itself. The participants take turns offering a single prayer in thanks to one specific thing, or one prayer for upcoming success, and then all drink. Each prayer should be for something different. This continues until all participants in the ritual are intoxicated.
Props: Alcohol or substitute to be imbibed
Mechanic: Each character that participates in the wine ritual gains a free use of Discipline against Fear while intoxicated per Priest Rank. This ritual does not impart any Depravity.
*Rituals marked with an asterisk are simple enough that they do not require a Liturgy check to complete, unless they are vulgar or involve a character with Faith in Self.
THE BOOK OF DUMAL, THE WARRIOR SAINT
Dumal of Lethia was Benalus' most loyal and dedicated general. The book of Dumal was penned by the scribe, Innotus, on Dumal's death bed. It speaks of how to live with the burdens of war upon you and how, even in times of strife, one cannot compromise his faith. It touches on peace by any means, using war as a necessity only when all else has been lost; for there is no greater tragedy than mankind's own pride and greed subverting the will of God.
Covenant: Mercy - A member of the Mithrihim must always grant protection to those that surrender to her and ensure that no harm comes to them as long as they continue to yield, no matter who they are.
Rites of Mercy
Execute your foes with dignity.
Death is a certainty in the Throne's many conflicts. When death calls, few can refuse, but a man can choose how he dies - else hope someone chooses well for him. A warrior priest, who finds a battle closed with captives, must decide the deaths of those men.
Ritual: After Last Rites are administered, the condemned should be set to knee and a sword driven through the base of the skull at the neck with one clean strike. The corpse should be set face up and its eyes and jaws shut to be prepared for burial.
Mechanic: This act does not yield any Wrath. Rites of Mercy can be performed for surrendered opponents without breaking the Mithriel Covenant.
Bury and honor the dead after a conflict.
War is a time of cold comforts when half-measures are sometimes all one can hope for. Still, men are men and deserve the dignity and comfort of a grave, even if cold comfort is all one can afford. Great conflicts and terrible outbreaks find these long trenches outside city walls or in the killing fields.
Ritual: The Priest spends their Downtime action traveling to the site of a recent battle, less than a month old, (they must thus have the means to reach it) and spends their Downtime praying for and burying the dead, and administering Last Rites.
Mechanic: The Commander of the slain forces is forgiven for their act of Vanity in allowing their forces to die.
Rite of Conflict
Pray for your foes to consecrate a battle.
Know that God does not take sides in the petty affairs of men, concerned with a far greater worldly plan. Though he could never turn a blind eye on his children, His plan is not for one little lord or the next, but the greater good of all men. As such, know that he cannot abide the killing of our brothers, but knows it is sometimes all too necessary for the wheels to move forward.
Ritual: The priest addresses those present in a speech She reminds everyone that no matter who dies today, it is great tragedy that man should shed the blood of man and that a moment of silence be spared for those about to die. This takes at least a few minutes.
Mechanic: The next battle today is consecrated and no Wrath is gained from killing for those who listened to the speech.
Construct a banner that will rally allies.
All men are of God. The holiest of which shall bear his name and marker. And those who glimpse the memory of God shall know a dignified heart that fears nothing and bears the trials of his works silently.
Ritual: The priest must construct a banner. This requires a haft made from ash with the seals of the seven archangels carved into it - Mithriel's seal being highest and largest. The banner itself is at least a yard long and bears the Leonem placed above any other heraldry, separated by three crowns. The field has words from this gospel copied onto it. Finally, metal end caps that are in the shape of Leonem and have been quenched in holy water are placed on each end.
Props: Decorated Banner.
Mechanic: The banner can be used as a weapon and has Quick. If anyone other than the priest wields it, it also receives the Unbalanced trait. This counts as a medium weapon. Additionally, any of your allies who can see the banner in battle receive free uses of Discipline during combat equal to your Rank.
Redoubt of Faith
Grant protection in battle from enemy weapons.
Faith protects. More than any shield or breastplate, faith can carry you through the blows and strikes of a hundred foes. Through any trial or challenge, God protects.
Ritual: The priest prepares a sheet from the Book of Dumal and tacks it onto a shield or chest armor with white sealing wax. Upon sealing it to the armor, the priest reads aloud the sheet and beseeches The Lord to grant this warrior divine favor in battle. The Priest may also tear strips from the Book of Dumal pages and seal them with wax onto other pieces of armor, such as arm and leg armor, or tie a cloth prayer blessing around the brow of a helmet.
Props: Page of scriptures sealed in place, torn from the Book of Dumal, purity seals in wax, affixing strips of prayers, or cloth prayer around a helm.
Mechanic: The blessings only function for the one who wore the armor or shield as it was blessed. Shields so blessed receive some protection against Sundering, granting the wielder an extra Steady for this purpose as the page tears instead of the shield. The character's chest piece grants an extra use of Armor. For the armor effect to work, the weapon must strike against the blessed gospel page. Leg and arm blessings make that limb immune to the Pain effect. The helmet blessing grants the Priest Rank in Steady calls to the user. All of these effects can be combined, but each takes a new ritual prayer and activation.
Bring respite to the wounded after a battle.
After a battle there are many wounded. Some may join the Lord before the night is over. A warrior priest can bring relief to the wounded by traversing the camp and bringing with him the presence of the Lord, as well as something to hide the smell of vomit, gore and corruption. These men's strength may be needed again before the night is through,
Ritual: A censor burning with lavender and dragon's blood incense is carried through the camp while prayers are recited from this gospel. The priest makes seven circuits through the camp before ceasing his patrol around the soldiers in his charge.
Props: Censor with lavender and dragon's blood incense.
Mechanic: All wounded soldiers temporarily recover enough to return to fighting condition. Injured limbs recover and Battered characters behave as Healthy for the next 15 minutes, or until next Rest. Additional damage affects them normally and counts toward Maiming.
Invoke an aspect of the legendary hammer of Mithriel.
It is written that the Archangel Mithriel forged His hammer, The Ramulthien, when the traitorous angels created a fortress that protected from every possible attack. Seven days it took Him. When it was complete, the fortress could not withstand even a single blow.
Ritual: Mark your weapon with the Angelic Seal of Mithriel
Props: The mark itself.
Mechanic: The marked weapon gains the Power quality when the Priest wields it.
Learn inklings of the future.
God is the master of all time and fate, the mighty architect that lays the foundings of all events fore and gone. How can any army stand before one whose patron is the Master of Earth and Sky? How can the army of the Lord Himself be stopped? We are His soldiers, His holy knights and generals, and He will show us when and where to strike the blows of His mighty sword.
Ritual: The priest enters a sealed chamber with a question in mind, and petitions the divine for advice. Setting up a chain thurible of incense, the priest breathes in the smoke while focusing on a silver leonem. The priest holds the leonem over either a font of holy water or a large, horizontal silver surface and continues to focus on the question at hand.
Props: Censor and incense, leonem, mirror or water.
Mechanic: The priest will receive an answer after its completion. The possible responses are "Weal," or "Woe." This ritual takes one hour and may be performed once a day. Misuse of this power for questions not concerning the greater good and matters of war may go unanswered or risk misinterpretation.
Weighted with Authority
Battle ready your gospel to handle more than just the rigors of combat.
Again and again St. Baldre struck at Ransur the Untouchable. Shattering every bone, sundering limb and armor alike. When Ransur renewed himself with pleas to dark powers, Baldre returned his foe again to his knees until these heathen idols grew deaf and bored with their champion. When this Anathema finally lay defeated, the delivered folk found St. Baldre armed with only a book and nothing more.
Ritual: The Warrior Priest binds and weights her gospel in steel and chains it to her armor. A steel leonem is attached to the front cover that was quenched in holy water.
Props: Gospel, bound in protective foam to make it a boffer weapon.
Mechanic: This gospel can now be used by the Priest as a melee weapon with the Subduing flaw. It must be padded appropriately. When foes are struck with the weapon, it delivers Slam.
Bind your closest allies to you, so that you may stand together stronger.
All men are connected by the Lord's favor. Those who stand together fall together or not at all.
Ritual: The names of your closest, dearest allies are written on the inside cover of your Gospel in the blood of each person.
Mechanic: If any of those allies are rendered incapacitated during battle, you and all those allies still standing near you gain Hope until the end of the scene. This Hope is cumulative with each other and any other Hope. Thus four fallen allies elicits four Hope to each ally still standing until the end of the scene. This functions even if the priest is incapacitated.
Swords To Plowshares
Swear your enemies to peace and set them free.
After the battle he looked around and saw the innumerable dead, the scores and multitudes of God's people laying face down in filth and gore, his eyes came to rest upon his prisoners, he felt the great weight of sin pressing upon his shoulders and brow. He could bear it no longer, and rather than execute the treasonous ilk of Moraband and his spearmen, he forgave and set them free. Years later, Sir Moraband the Redeemed died saving his lord from ambush.
Ritual: The priest has the captured foes before him with their hands bound in front. Enemies who swear to never raise arms against you or your allies again are set free and cared for.
Props: Rope or other binding for hands.
Mechanic: Those who violate this promise to you and God are damned to the end of their line. God casts a terrible pox on the lineage. All such characters should take 15 points of the Cursed flaw, chosen by Staff.
Gain sacred protection from harm.
With only one night before the eclipsed moon, we had lost fully half of our number to the Vecatran heretics and their black-hearted sorcery. Our brothers lay dead among the corpses of a hundred wolves, the remaining men exhausted and despairing. With but half of the force we needed to breach that black glade in time, the word on the wind was to flee. "No," I called. "Let not their sacrifices be for naught! Let not these oak-hearted monsters use their blood upon their blighted altars!" I snatched up Brother Vaustus' legionaire's leonem from his throat and affixed it to my breast, and bid others do the same. "Pray tonight, for tomorrow our brothers spirits are within our keeping, and we shall not stain their souls to balk in the face of heresy!"
Ritual: A sacred leonem is fastened with silver chain around the shoulders and chest, coming to rest over the heart against bare skin. The priest intones prayers while holding a full day and night's vigil over an ally who was slain in battle of a common purpose to the priest to bless the leonem.
Props: Leonem and chain
Mechanic: The first blow that would Down you while wearing the blessed leonem instead immediately recovers all of your spent Defensive Actions and does no damage. The leonem is immediately shattered as a result.
Mithriel bestows a great and mighty weapon to you for a single day.
But for the grace of God, we all knew it: there was no way to victory. No path but through Him. The forces of Hell and Earth were arrayed against us, the Red Titan Himself present in the gutteral roars and pounding drums as they beat out their advance under a sky of crimson terror. God help us, the steel at our hips was useless to even draw, and we bent our knee before their blasphemous march. Bent knee, and prayed. After what seemed an age, I looked up, into the sky, the color of blood. There I saw our sign, a flaming comet that cut through the plumes of fire and soot that stamped out the sun. I dug my steel fist into the dust and rose, bid the men to follow, and there, in the clearing, searing and smoldering with all the fury and anger of Heaven itself, it lay.
Ritual: Without any interruption, the priest kneels and prays for Mithriel to deliver his just cause to victory over and over again for an entire Period. Only the most dire needs may be answered, as the weight of this invocation is nothing short of beseeching Mithriel for a miracle of the greatest magnitude. At the end of the prayer, if even answered at all, the priest will receive a vision of a great weapon from Mithriel's personal armory that He has placed upon the world for you to find and use. The weapon will be in such a place that it can be recovered before the battle, but not necessarily with ease.
Prop: Awesome weapon
Mechanic: The weapon discovered has a number of perks equal to your faith assigned by the Staff in a way that suits your character and situation. The weapon has no flaws and is of a weapon type that is favorable to your character. This can be a shield that orbits around the character deflecting blows, a sword that is so Mighty it can cut through anything, or any other conceivable armament. The weapon also has the effects of the Invoke Ramulthien ritual.
If the weapon is lost or stolen, it loses all of its perks and gains Cumbersome and Unbalanced instead as it resists new masters. At the end of the battle it must be buried with the dead who have been slain by it. If this final act is not completed, natural disasters, great plagues and horrible catastrophe shall befall all of the surrounding land until it is done.
SANCTAE VIAE, VIRTUE OF PILGRIMAGE
This gospel speaks on the words of Saint Bathier, a traveling monk that took great measures to strip himself of all distractions from the Lord. Within, he speaks on how one's life is a battle of constant excess that leeches from us our ability to commit wholly to God's vision. This gospel seeks to redefine the role of the priest as one without limits of institution, expanding a shepherd's flock to all he can walk to. Thus, the texts are steeped in controversy, and many ranking cardinals do not appreciate how it undermines the will of the church.
Covenant: Poverty - The Melandihim may never accept payment for any service be it spiritual or practical, either in coin or in barter. He may accept donations freely offered, but may not take them as a form of exchange.
Blessing of Peaceful Slumber
Receive advance warning of attacks in your sleep.
Dark had been my dreams that night. I dreamt of running, trying to catch myself before it was too late, though brambles and branches tore at me. And when I stretched out my hand to ward myself of the danger, I awoke suddenly, and with great alarm. Thank the Lord that I did.
Ritual: The priest invokes the blessing of Melandiel, the Archangel of Travel, and begs that He watch over the faithful as they rest so that he may continue the work of the Lord as he marks off an area in chalk around where he sleeps.
Prop: Chalk perimeter, door tag
Mechanic: When danger, or someone with ill intent approaches where you sleep, you will awaken with a sense of alarm. Add a note to the door tag - You must wake the Priest before interacting with the cabin with ill intent.
Refuse food to bolster Faith.
When Bathier came upon the Reikengard fjords that had suffered so badly in the Henberger Rebellion, he was deeply moved by their turmoil and bid we all stop at assist them in any way we could. The people of Reikengard needed food most of all, for the fields had been burned and the harvest utterly failed. Of what food he had, Bathier gave every morsel to the people in direst need, and said that he would suffer with them, as one of them. Thane Jocta had siege provisions in the keep of the fortress nearby, but refused to use them as relief for the people in case Henberger's sons returned from exile with armies. Many people wished to take the food, but were too weak to raid the storehouses or demand relief. Yet even as they starved, Bathier seemed to grow more powerful with each passing day, until finally his righteous anger lead him to challenge the thane directly.
Ritual: The priest simply does not eat, instead choosing to pray in silent contemplation of the Lord.
Mechanic: After one day of fasting, the Priest gains Fatigue and the Winded condition persistently. The Priest may begin play having fasted if he chooses. Until the priest eats, he may treat his Faith as if it were one step higher for all purposes. This ritual ends if the Priest eats in character or loses the Fatigued or Winded conditions, though out of character eating is permitted away from other characters.
Purity of Daily Bread
Purify food of corruption.
I watched as the thegn brought forth the meal he had promised us. The flesh was discolored from age and flies worried it with their attentions as the thegn's women put the carcass on our board. As I turned my head from the stink to regard Bathier, he smiled kindly to the thegn, and thanked him as any guest to a generous lord. He prayed then over the filth we were insulted with, and as I watched, the flies left, the stink abated, and Bathier did eat of it, and bade us all do as he. "No man can despoil what God Himself grants to his flock," he told me, and the meal did save us from our starvation and sickness.
Ritual: Five minutes of silence before a meal spent in silent prayer. Any who also eat with the priest and bow their heads may gain the benefits of this ritual as well.
Mechanic: Food or water becomes safe to consume and all traits from drugs and poisons are removed from the meal.
Divine the direction of the nearest church.
Bathier and followers are all lost in the woods and no one knows the way out. Bathier explains that all roads lead to the lord.
Ritual: The priest dangles a little leonem on a silver chain while whispering prayers for guidance.
Props: Leonem, chain
Mechanic: During Downtime Travel, the individuals travelling with the priest treat the Threat Level** of any province they pass through as 1 lower (this may reduce threat to 0)
Hospitality of the Lord
The Lord grants a divine favor to a hospitable home.
At the halls of Meridia, where the Guildmaster Halgas the childless ruled over then a meager town, St. Bathier came dressed in the humble clothes of a mendicant. He besought of Halgas his hospitality for a single night, refusing wine and other pleasures, but allowing himself the indulgence of a roof and water. Upon his leaving, St. Bathier gestured to his hall and declared, "Allowing the Lord's servants into one's home is to allow the Lord Himself to stay; and as I leave, He shall remain." From that day on, Halgas became known as the plentiful and bore a dozen sons in his name.
Ritual: At the doors of a home that has offered the priest a good meal or a place to stay the night, that the priest has accepted, he may then trace holy water along the front door frame and window lintels, speaking to the Lord and asking him to deliver this home and its residence from the evils of circumstance.
Props: Tag on door, water
Mechanic: The residence is sanctified and deters the presence of malefic creatures for the duration of your stay and several weeks afterwards.
Vestments of Travel
Priest vestments are enforced and made durable for use during travel.
Bathier's followers were ragged from traveling, and Bathier tells them that all they need is the word of the lord to cloth them.
Ritual: A leather long coat is modified to hold a linen inner lining that is layers thick. The linen is permanently died with the symbol of Melandiel, Archangel of Travel along with the entire Sanctae Viae, copied amidst the layers of linen in ink. Outside, the coat is stained on the shoulders to bear the blazing lion or to bear a silver leonem hanging around the neck of the coat. The construction of this coat takes one Downtime to copy enough of the scriptures to fill the inside of it and to stain the shoulders.
Props: Scriptured lining and a leather-looking coat costume
Mechanics: The coat counts as Armor, gaining one Armor call per Priest Rank, as well as being extremely durable. This amount can exceed but does not add to normal Armor.
In Melandiel's Footsteps
Travel More Swiftly
Bathier was pursued by mounted soldiers, trying to chase them down, but somehow Bathier and his followers managed to stay one step ahead of them along the roads to their haven.
Ritual: At sunrise when a journey begins, the priest gathers all who wish to gain divine favor. Chanting and praying with a leonem, the priest mixes ashes from burnt holly with holy water and anoints the bare feet of the gathered with the mark of Melandiel.
Mechanics: While travelling during this downtime, the group travelling with the priest count their speed as one higher
Angel of Unseen Travel
Creates a charm to hide the bearer and her friends from scrying and notice.
Bathier walks into a wicked place past all the spying crows and scrying witches, and kills a necromancer.
Ritual: The priest fills a small glass vial with holy water. On the glass is etched the name of Melandiel, the Archangel of Wind, and the name of the charm's bearer.
Prop: Vial of water, marked with the seal and the name of the holder.
Mechanic: This charm protects its holder and nearby allies from magical divination of any kind, as well as causes strangers the holder encounters to casually forget their presence after they go. The Priest's rank (at time of blessing) is added to the effective Streetwise of Downtime actions for the purpose of resisting being spied upon.
Station of Brotherhood
You remind others of your station as the Lord's will and word.
Bathier was put on trial for inciting an uprising, but did not get angry, speaking with a compelling tone that turned the trial to his favor.
Ritual: You must present yourself with dignity and decorum. Doing so, you must be unarmed, unarmored, and dressed in Official Priest vestments (per the Outfit) of your station.
Props: Priest Vestments
Mechanic: People can not attempt any social skills on you, and you cannot use any on them. This effect lasts until the Priest does not maintain a dignified presence, the Priest uses a Social Skill, or the end of the day.
The penitent whips herself or others in punishment for transgressions.
Bathier stood and watched the executions, tears twinkling in the firelight. He told me that he had to watch them die, as their deaths were due to his vain sermons against their masters. As the last man fell limp from the shock of the blows that scourged his flesh, Bathier went to the soldier and, removing his robes, asked to be beaten, but the man recognized Bathier as a holy man and refused. Seizing the man's scourge, Balthier fell to his knees in the bloody street and began to weep prayers of forgiveness for his pride as he played out the agony of his soul upon his flesh. The gathered serfs and soldiers watched the blood of the holy man mingle with that of the dead he had wronged. When Bathier stood again, all could see he was a man redeemed in the eyes of God. He returned the whip to the soldier, but the man refused it, instead kneeling in the street and bearing his back. The soldier then begged Bathier to take his sins from his hide so that God might know of his sincerity.
Ritual: Saturday morning, during a Convocation rite, the penitent is brought forward before all assembled in prayer and whipped with a scourge. The penitent must recite the verses of this scripture or ask God for forgiveness. The process of being whipped takes at least 5 minutes.
Props: Flogger or soft whip
Mechanic: The priest may whip another character, including himself, to the point of being Downed, taking about five minutes. Once the penitent is Downed, he can be tended to as normal and loses one Depravity of the character's choice.
Awe of Consummate Virtue
Enter unbidden to any location.
Bathier and all his thousands of followers barge into the Imperial Palace and throne room and confront the Emperor
Ritual: Cleanse the soul of all sin and maintain 0 Depravity. The Priest and his entourage must dress in humble robes (Uncomfortable Priest Outfit) and be unarmed and unarmored.
Props: Humble robes
Mechanic: The Priest and his entourage will never be stopped or detained for entering any area for which they might not otherwise be allowed to enter or explore. They are always seen to, if not belong there, then instead be so impressive and awe inspiring that no one dares gainsay their presence. This effect lasts for the scene.
Abstinence from Tribulation
Travel unmolested by evil creatures.
Bathier is a little boy and is an actual shepherd. He is the only one who can get a flock of sheep through the wicked forest and gains fame as a child which starts his career.
Ritual: A shepherd's crook with a silver bell is held as a walking stick and a charm is placed around the neck of the subject of a ritual. That person must neither remove the charm from her neck, nor eat or drink anything for the duration of the ritual, instead taking that time to pray to Melandiel for passage.
Props: Shepherds crook with bell. Charm or necklace.
Mechanic: The user of the charm suffers each day of use, during which time no evil creature will will act aggressively to the user and her companions. Evil or malefic creatures will seek to avoid the group, but will fight if threatened directly, and thus the users can expect no trouble from monsters of any kind so long as this miracle is active. The risk of Travel is removed completely, but the Priest is malnourished at the next event.
Become unto the people as a spiritual leader.
After Bathier's death, his direct followers went all over the place to reprimand everyone and everyone felt so guilty that they just fold before them.
Ritual: The priest divests himself of all lands, possessions, titles, and wealth, living a life of total humility and poverty trusting only God to provide for him. The priest must maintain a Depravity of 0.
Mechanic: So long as the priest maintains this lifestyle, all people can see his inherent virtues and cannot help but respond to the higher calling that he represents. No character can take overt aggressive actions against the Priest, even vile enemies like Anathema would rather let him live than actually slay him directly. Further, all characters that the character meets can be treated as allies, per the A Friend Indeed Perk at its highest level, and thus can be motivated en mass to almost any task. These effects end should the priest fail to meet the stringent commitments of his lifestyle.
THE SACROSANCTUM, GOSPEL OF PROTECTION
Penned by the Nameless Saint, the Sacrosanctum tells of the many forms and shapes the Night Malefic will take. Both a field guide and gospel, it is a common trapping of experienced hunters and slayers. It concludes that the night malefic is an imbalance made manifest of natural law and that in order to cleanse an area, indirect wrongs must be righted. Knowledge and faith are more common methods than fire and sword within the writings and it preaches that through unity and brotherhood, the world can be taken back.
Covenant: Chastity - The Nuranihim may never take a spouse and must remain celibate at all times.
Call of Pathos
Detect an emotion tied to an area.
Contrary to popular thought, emotions do have weight. The tangible world is but shadow - it is the intangibles, hope, faith, despair, worry, regret, that are the only things that are truly real. We exist in both places, but the tangible world is the only way we mortals may truly apprehend the divine.
Ritual: The priest weighs a trinket representing an emotion against a simple load of identical weight on a small scale. He then waits in silence.
Mechanic: The scales will slowly tip in favor of the trinket if an emotion is strongly tied to the area or a malefic being present. For example, the wedding ring of a man unjustly tried and executed will weigh heavily in an area where injustice has spoiled the land. Priests with this ritual, when using the Archaeology Downtime action, may designate one trinket they discover, and what it represents.
Give a malefic creature a moment of doubt, clarity and regret.
I had not yet observed a reaction of remorse for what had been the otherwise base and inhumanly driven creatures, until I beheld my son, and he I. We both wept then, until he and I regained our senses and remembered our roles.
Ritual: The priests presents an object of sentimental value to a malefic creature that once was human. While doing so, the priest will say its former name and call it back to humanity.
Props: Prop for object in question
Mechanic: The malefic creature will pause to stare longingly and mournfully at the memento, comparing what it is to what it was, often reacting emotionally, bawling or crying out in anguish. It is considered Stunned before it returns to its malefic self. This works once per Malefic being, per scene.
Diligently study your enemy and gain insight into defeating it.
Subject shows advanced signs of decomposition across the arms and trunk. Teeth show signs of bone augmentation. Skull plating shows weakening due to transformative ridges. Reanimation ceased once both the spine and heart were disconnected, and reconnecting them has not resulted in any recovery of flesh or spirit.
Ritual: The priest carefully chronicles his experiences and all facts relating to a specific Malefic creature, culminating in an autopsy dissection of the creature once a corpse is produced. Diagrams, notes and drawings specific to that creature must be recorded both in and out of character.
Props: Handwritten book with drawings
Mechanic: Once complete, the Instinct profile that creature possesses is revealed. The book required for this ritual is a book.
Use wicked items to root out more wickedness.
The old, wicked oak tree in the forest had drawn the children in their sleep with the sound of its swaying, awakening naked in the wood from awful dreams. The old pederast had been long dead these many winters, all that left the shackle he had used to keep the children in place to the iron ring still twisted into the tough bark. With no direction for my anger to go, I felt alike with the lost souls that haunted the hillside - my anger was all that was real, my sense of self merely a shade to house it. The shackle seemed to recognize the sinful appetite shared in the old man's son. Strangling the man with the shackle seemed to quiet the madness that the place caused in me.
Ritual: The Priest must aquire some object that is tied to the malefic presence in question, either by use in the inspiring event, or by possession of someone afflicted by the original curse. The Priest then wraps a sacred leonem around it on a silver chain and ties the object tightly, sealing it with a spoken prayer to Nuraniel.
Props: leonem and chain, item prop in question
Mechanic: The object, so long as it is on the Priest's person, will gently and silently pulse if the Priest becomes quite near to someone, something, or some place related to the curse. So long as the Priest holds the item, the Priest may take actions to attempt to resolve a Malefic situation that correspond symbolically to the situation rather than being true resolution. The Priest may punish a living criminal whose crime resembles an unpunished injustice to attempt to bring resolution when the criminal that caused the disturbance is long dead. The closeness in the two situations affects how effective this is to bring closure to the Malefic situation.
Arm yourself with holy water.
Ritual: The priest places holy water into a small, glass flask or vial. On the container is etched the symbolic name of Nuraniel, Archangel of Redemption. A pinch of dirt from the grounds of a cathedral is added to the water before it is immediately sealed with cork and wax.
Props: Small flask or phial with the seal of Nuraniel
Mechanic: When the contents of the flask are emptied onto the target, If truly a malefic creature, then the water will sting and burn like a terrible flame upon them. The wracking pain causes the Malefic creature to be Stunned. Against normal people, even Anathema, the water does nothing.
Seal of Heaven
Sanctify a small area to ward malefic entities.
Ritual: An area is sectioned off with silver filings mixed with ash while the priest chants. The priest is marked with the sign of Nuraniel and must stand within the bounded area.
Props: Dark-colored sand
Mechanic: The Priest gains an additional amount of Liturgy codes equal to his Priest Rank while standing within the circle. All Malefic creatures must spend a full 10 seconds spending their total undivided attention to pass over the perimeter during which time they can neither defend themselves or attack. The effect only ends when the Priest exits the perimeter for any reason. One unit of silver filings is enough for one person. If the circle is larger than that, it requires one additional use of silver filings for each person to be included.
Weapon of Dawn
Empower weapons with the bane of daylight.
Ritual: The priest lays the weapons in question in the sun for the last six hours before sunset, touching the Sacrosanctum gospel. At the end of the period, each person to wield the weapons comes forth to claim their weapon, placing their hand upon it while the priest intones a blessing of protection upon them. Note: This ritual becomes vulgar for each hour missed.
Props: Gospel, weapons
Mechanic: The weapons so blessed Stun malefic creatures every time they strike or are stopped by Toughness.
Remove ungodly influences from the mind.
Ritual: The Priest wets a cloth with holy water and wipes the brow of the person in need of salvation. The Priest then begs the awesome power of Nuraniel to liberate His servant from the bondage of lies and evil while squeezing the cloth out over the supplicant's head.
Props: Wet cloth
Mechanic: The target character may immediately shake off any intrusive influence upon her mind. The subject of this ritual gets another chance to resist whatever influence is upon them, refreshing their maximum total Discipline uses, if any, and adding the Priest's Rank as additional. This includes any foreign influence, including curses, influence of ghosts or malefic being, or arcane sorcery.
Create a candle that will summon the Night Malefic in full force.
"All the darkness in the entire world cannot snuff the light of a single candle. Creatures of the Maleficence know this and covet such power, while despising such defiance."
Ritual: A white candle is lit in an area with no other light sources. It is made from incense mixed with beeswax and is placed within a metal bowl of holy water.
Props: White scented candle
Mechanic: Using this ritual requires the Staff to be notified one hour before its use.
The light of the candle can be felt for a great distance by Malefic creatures and they will seek it out. All Malefic creatures who can see the light source will do everything in their power to snuff it out, including create plans or use diversions if they are mentally capable. The candle may only be lit once.
A volunteer becomes the voice of evil.
Ritual: The subject, who must be within the heart of the cursed stain, must be anointed in soot, ash and mud, so that their face, hair and hands are filthy. The subject places a mixture of poison, strong enough to kill the subject, and offal upon their own tongue freely. The ritual begins when they swallow.
Props: Soot, ash, mud, something gross tasting.
Mechanic: When the ritual begins, the volunteer becomes temporarily possessed by the stain which uses them as a direct voice, speaking in a language that can always be understood. Speaking sometimes with one voice, sometimes with many, the creature must speak the truth but the meaning of the words are not always obvious, sometimes wrapped in riddle. The character is no longer in control and certain precautions might need to be taken to prevent her from hurting herself or others. While under the effects of Vocifera, the possessed character gains one power of the Malefic creature this stain represents. The Priest may end the possession at any time but for every minute the possession persists, the host takes a hit to a location on the body which manifests as bleeding and vomiting. The subject gains Fatigue at the end of the ritual and should check her Grit against the ingested poison at the end of the scene.
Purify an area of its evil presence.
The specific invocation goes here.
Ritual: The priest must enter the heart of the desecrated area, a place where the malevolence has become the most apparent and has twisted the landscape. Once there, she begins to read from the Sacrosanctum while brandishing the sacred leonem, never moving from her position, and holding fast against evil.
Props: Leonem, gospel
Mechanic: This ritual requires Staff be notified one hour before it is used.
Every 60 seconds, the Priest may attempt a Liturgy trial as if casting a level 4 Ritual to complete one step of this ritual. If the priest fails any one of these trials, she must start over. At least three successes must be made before this ritual is complete (or more depending on the severity of the evil. The Priest has no way of knowing how powerful the evil is except her own observations). When this ritual begins, whatever evil force inhabits the area will immediately and murderously try to stop the ritual, calling whatever monsters are linked to it to its aid and creating new ones if necessary. Since the Priest cannot move during the ritual, she cannot defend herself in any way, and thus it falls to her companions to defend her long enough to succeed. If successful, the evil presence in the area immediately dissipates and loses all power to fight you.
Drive away evil with the power of prayer.
Vignette (The actual prayer goes here.)
Ritual: The Priest reads aloud from this prayer from his Sacrosanctum, speaking in a mighty voice.
Mechanic: For as long as he continues to shout the prayer, Anathema and Malefic creatures cannot by any means approach him past a distance of 10 yards. They will seek to disengage to this range at any cost, parting to let the priest and any within that radius pass. They also cannot attempt to use ranged attacks or other aggressive actions to assault the protected area. It is possible to recite this prayer from memory. If this used in conjunction with a church bell, it can extend to great distances.
Confront the intangible directly.
Ritual: The ritual begins at dawn and lasts for twenty-three hours. Costly powdered silver is spread in a large area encompassing the battlefield and a holy altar is placed at the center. White pillar candles are placed at the north, south, east, and west points of a second circle of powdered silver. Complex symbols are drawn upon the ground radiating from the altar in lamb's blood, and chanting continues on into the night. At the end of the ritual, a malefic creature is brought forth and placed upon the altar. The creature is killed by a silver knife and whatever it has that passes for blood runs down upon the lamb's blood symbols. As the two bloods mix, the Priest speaks the name of the being he wishes to call forth.
Props: Grey or silver sand, four pillar candles, fake or real blood, knife prop.
Mechanic: Day merges with night around the epicenter and an eclipse appears, tinting the area in strangely colored light. Any bodiless supernatural force, with no real limits, can be given form and be confronted with traditional martial means as if it were a living creature like any other. The being that this ritual calls forth will have power proportional to its significance, so the Priest and his allies should beware what they summon, but any being, be it a ghost, a demon, or even the Triumverate themselves, could be called forth.
WORD OF SAINT ISTRA, GOSPEL OF THE HOSPITALIER
St. Istra was said to have been able to speak to Lurian himself in her dreams. There he informed her of all of mankind's frailties and failings, both within and without. There he gave her a choice of becoming the world's greatest destroyer or the world's greatest healer able to cause ruin or care in a thousand forms and shapes. St. Istra went on to conquer the neighboring city-states. None could best her in combat, as even the simplest move rendered warriors lame and dying. For 10 years she fought undefeated in combat and war. Then, the visage of Lurian appeared before her, gazing at her with eyes like the sun. In his eyes, she could see her true death, unalterable, inevitable. It was here she knew that she had chosen poorly, exploiting her fellow man and embodying all that was weakest of him. When she put her sword down that day, it was never taken up again.
Covenant: Pacifity - The Lurihim may never initiate combat, only respond to assault to the level of deadliness intended by the attacker.
Oath of St. Istra
The priest swears an oath to heal the patient.
Istra of Agnis put down her sword, never to raise it up again. From henceforth she swore to never hurt another, claiming that man's greatest virtue could never come at the edge of a blade, but from his willingness to aid his fellows. So she set out, unarmed and unarmored, to undo her bloody work a hundred fold before she would finally rest.
Ritual: The priest swears an oath to never commit harm to a specific person while both are touching this gospel.
Mechanic: This ritual requires staff notification of its use.
The priest behaves as if caring for her patient is part of their Devotion. Forever after, no matter the circumstances, attempting to harm this individual is the same as acting against your Devotion.
Drive out impurity in the gut and blood
There is no filth which God cannot make clean. The world contains many wicked things, and when adulterated with the impurities of the world, the human body can be reminded of its sanctified state, drawn back toward holiness through application of holy tears.
Ritual: The priest places a silver leonem within a silver chalice and pours holy water over it until the cup is filled. The leonem is then removed, and the priest raises the cup skyward and recites a prayer to the Lord, then, holding the cup in two hands, pours the contents past the lips of the afflicted no more than a moment later.
Props: water, cup
Mechanic: If successful, the ritual negates one level of any drugs or poisons currently in the body of the subject by one level per Priest Rank, as if their Grit had been higher at the time of affliction, though ignoring traits such as Potent.
Trade one effect against another.
The Body has within it four humors that are balanced to allow us life. Each of these is analogous to the four elements: fire, water, earth, and air - Blood, Melancholic Bile, Choleric Bile, and Phlegm. Too much of any humor will result in maladies and disarray from within.
Ritual: The subject is drained of a specific humor via a dozen or so live leeches attached to key points on the body.
Props: A jar of fake leeches.
Mechanic: One of four effects is chosen below. The leeching takes 15 minutes, the effects beginning after that time.
1. Sanguine Balance - The subject becomes Winded for 1 Hour, but their effective Grit increases by 1 for the rest of the day.
2. Melancholic Balance - The subject will awaken Healthy the next day as Melancholic Bile is removed, but cannot benefit from Hope for the rest of the event.
3. Choleric Balance - Fatigue is removed as Choleric Bile is drained, but the subject gains Despair.
4. Phlegmatic Balance - The subject loses Despair as Phlegm is drained, but gains Fatigue.
Bind wounds with purified bandages.
Ritual: The priest inks the holy words of St. Istra and the marks of Lurian upon white cloth as small as they may write until the available space is full, then sprinkles the bandage with holy water. Bandages such as these dirty quickly, however, and it is customary to change them daily lest the wound spoils itself.
Props: Bandages completely inked with scripture.
Mechanic: The Priest may take one hour to craft these bandages, creating a number of them equal to her ranks in Liturgy in that time. These bandages immediately stabilize a Downed character when applied, and prevent re-injury from activity while worn. The bandages do not work when they are dirty, and are only good for one use.
Herald of Lurian
Create an armor against illness.
Then should the beak be filled with fragrant herbs, to remove the spoil of wickedness from the breath. Guide you the hand through oiled hide and tie you the wrist with sinew. Let no part of your flesh see the light, such that you dwell in shadow away from all mutable life. Be as his Holy Corviscera, awaiting death with removed vigilance.
Ritual: The priest can create a guise to protect him from the wicked spirits that possess the sick. A suit of oiled leathers is specially crafted and covered in every inch in blessed crow's feathers. A helm and mask must be specifically crafted with a long, hollow beak and goggles with red lenses, which is filled with fresh flowers before use. It is customarily worn with a hooded cloak or a wide-brimmed hat. Once the priest obtains the suit of leather armor, she boils it in holy water while intoning prayers to Lurian.
Props: Plague doctor mask, cloak decorated or accented with black feathers, wide brimmed hat or hood
Mechanic: This is a full suit of leather armor that has been customized by someone with the appropriate craft skills, and continues to act as leather armor for this purpose. When worn by any character, it effectively increases your ranks in Grit for the purposes of disease infection by the Rank of the one who blessed it, and makes a character immune to Inhaled and Contact poison. If a character owns this item, they may be assumed to wear it when an Disease outbreak occurs as long as they come into play wearing it, and until such time as they remove it.
Lull of Lurian
Put a subject into a dream state.
Ritual: You recite slowly the words of St. Istra, while dangling a little leonem on a silver chain. After 10 minutes, the subject enters an amenable state from which many suggestions are possible. In this state, the subject appears to be sleeping or in a trance and any interruptions or startling events will easily shake them from it, requiring the ritual be performed again. Subjects that are uncooperative with the ritual count as a vulgarity.
Props: leonem, chain
Mechanic: This ritual takes fifteen minutes. Once the subject is entranced, the priest may suggest one of the following effects:
1. The priest can continue the ritual putting the subject in an even deeper trance making them completely unresponsive and appear dead to all others. This effect will last for several hours before the subject automatically awakens from it fully rested.
2. The priest can recant a memory of the subject's and begin to suggest that such events never really happened. The subject will not forget the events unnaturally, but will believe them to have been a dream or otherwise a product of his imagination, and will not bring it up casually.
3. The priest can ask a single question of the subject and she will willingly answer to the best of her knowledge. This knowledge can come from memories that have been blocked out or otherwise forgotten and the subject is assumed to have the Impeccable Memory perk for the purposes of answering. If the memory is part of a scene that was forgotten through the haze of death and resurrection through the Shrine, they can remember vague details about it, but no proper nouns.
4. The priest can dull the sensations of the subject until they do not register pain or other stimuli, functionally the same as a drug with the Aesthetic quality for approximately an hour.
The priest can continue to add additional effects after the first, but each one takes another ritual test. If any rest is failed, the subject's trance ends.
Sear the Spoiling
Seal a wound against evil spirits.
Maleficent spirits are ever present and seek every opening that can be found to enter us and plague us from within. Even when wounds are fresh, they find a way to be bound in with a bandage. Best to erase all doubt and vanquish their presence, though the tax is steep. But the toll for doing the Lord's work is never paltry.
Ritual: Bring sanctified wine to a boil and pour it upon any and all open wounds.
Props: Heated (but not boiling) wine or red liquid, alternately, ice water.
Mechanic: The patient is burned by the boiling wine and is unable to use any Skills for the remainder of the evening. The subject of the ritual gains the effects of the Quick Healer perk, rising the next day with Injured Limbs fully healed, though they remain Battered if they were before.
Diminishes the severity of diseases.
Ritual: The priest heats incense upon a censer filled with hot coals. The more severe the disease, the more coals must be used. The patient and the priest breathe in the incense for at least 10 minutes, until the patient asks to proceed, swearing courage against the might of God. The patient must spend one point of Discipline for each step of the disease to be cleansed, one for Mild, two for Severe and three points of Discipline for Crippling diseases. If he succeeds, he may ask the priest to proceed, who will empty the brazier of coals upon the victim in the area that is most affected. This will frighten away Possession spirits as well as show courage and surrender enough to lift Judgments from the patient.
Prop: Ice cubes
Mechanic: This treatment is more than many bodies can handle, and if a given patient has less than a certain amount of Grit, the effect of this ritual changes. If the ritual is successful, the severity of the disease is reduced by one step and patients receive terrible scars.
Mild: With less than 2 Grit, the subject is considered Battered.
Severe: With less than 3 Grit, the subject is Downed, as if they had 0 Grit.
Crippling: With less than 4 Grit, the subject is Downed, as if they had 0 Grit.
Reset a badly healed injury.
The blade, God's most sacred tool. With it, a mere man can control fate. The blade can end life and give it back. It can create and destroy, the fulcrum of time and destiny.
Ritual: The priest must tightly bind off the affected area with red cord or white cloth inked with the words of the gospel. With a blade of silver, the priest must reopen the wound back to its original state as closely as possible, to call back the flow of time over the wound. The priest must then correct the wound's alignments and reset it upon a path to heal correctly while reciting from the words of St. Istra's prayers to Lurian. The patient must not move during this procedure to show courage in the face of death. Once the work is done, the priest will bathe the injury in holy water, pack it in clay, and cover it with a bandage.
Prop: knife, red cord or blessed bandage, water, clay
Mechanic: This ritual wounds the area that includes the Maim damage. If the ritual is successful, the Maim will downgrade one level of severity as the area with the wound recovers, available in its improved condition next session. Even fully recovered, a maim healed this way will always be painful to use. This ritual cannot heal head maims. if the ritual fails, the maim is increased in severity one step.
Commune with the remains of the dead.
And in the aftermath of these times, I would gaze upon the work that my hands had wrought and wondered who had actually guided me.
But these are questions which plague all sons and daughters. If we could but find the origin of action, we would gain understanding. But alas, all is dark
Ritual: The priest must go to the site where the dead lie, within a few paces of their remains, such as near a reliquary or a grave. There the priest kneels and prays for the soul of the departed for answers related to their guidance or their life, and cries a tear for them born of true emotion. The priest wipes the tear on the grave marker or cenotaph.
Prop: A single tear, truly cried.
Mechanic: The Priest non-verbally gains understanding regarding the question that was asked, as the departed understood the answer to be. If possible, the player of the character will be consulted.
Prayer of Mercy
Miraculously heals the wounded.
In a time of grievous emergency, a Priest may beseech God for mercy for His worldly agents and good servants. Lurian's judgments are absolute to all save God Himself. It is not wrong to appeal for succor when the need is great.
Ritual: A dying person must be placed in a ring of powdered silver with one tall white candle at each cardinal direction. Incense is lit with the northern candle flame and placed at the southern pinnacle of the circle. The wounded must be placed on a sheet of crimson velvet in the center of the circle, and stripped to only simple vestments. The supplicant prays vigorously for the mercy of God and to protect and sustain his good servant on earth. If the wounded is conscious, they too should pray silently and beg God's mercy. The prayer must continue until the candles burn down.
Props: dark colored sand, four tall white candles, red sheet
Mechanic: The Priest makes a ritual roll for the prayer every five minutes for fifteen minutes. The priest must succeed three times in a row to be successful, which restores her patient to Healthy, and while the outward expression of a wound will still be visible for some time, the wound will no longer be dangerous and will recover quickly. On a failed attempt, a candle will flicker out. If any candles go out during the ritual for any reason other than the ritual's completion, the patient loses 1 level from their effective Grit ranks for the day. If their Grit falls below 0, they immediately are Downed and begin dying.
Improve the mind through chirurgery.
The mind is the seat of thought, and exists within the head. Just as spoiled food rots the gut, spoiled knowledge rots away the mind, creating impure thoughts and actions. There is a way to help those unfortunates, to use the surgeon's art to banish the evil from a mind and invoke a portal to God's pure grace. Only the crest of the sea through the rise of the solar brow ridge is suitable to this task.
Ritual: While holding the patient still to a table, place straps of supple leather across the neck, shoulders, and brow, to be affixed to the table. Using a spike or a drill, open the skull with the instrument in the precisely correct area.
Props: spike or drill, straps
Mechanic: The patient is Downed and is dying. If the drill was used, lower all Insanities by one grade, or choose a (non eye-related) Head maim to reduce by one grade. If the spike was used, Intellect is permanently increased by one step. The spike can be used only once per character. Failure on the Liturgy attempt causes instant death.
Make a final pact with Lurian.
Then did He appear before me, in all His terrible glory. The sky grew black with the breadth of His great wings, and for the thousand crows that attended Him. My men charged past me unaware of His presence, while I stood agape in His shadow. 'Neath His great white hood I could see only darkness save for His blazing white eyes, beautiful and terrible. He was the herald of my death, of every man's death. He spoke unto me and I knew that my life had been a waste until this very moment, that I was and had always been His.
Ritual: The invoking Priest stands in a circle facing his allies. The Priest intones the most sacred prayer of Lurian, invoking his harshest judgments and calling upon all of his deeds in His name. While all hold hands and stand watching, at least two of the assembled must willingly take their own lives with a dagger.
Mechanic: The Priest and her companions, including those killed in the ritual, forestall Lurian's judgment and are unable to be killed for one hour. If any of them receive wounds that would otherwise kill or Down them, they instead are doomed to die at the end of the battle but may otherwise continue to fight. Characters that are doomed can hear and see the Archangel Lurian, who will preside over the battle, enormous, and shrouded in shadow and mist. Those who are doomed become avatars of death, able feel the power of their own death flowing through them, and can kill any other humanoid creature at will if they do at least 1 hit of damage to them or can lay their hands against them, perhaps requiring a Grab maneuver. They also do not feel tired or gain fatigue, never stopping no matter how long their grisly work takes.
THE LAST TESTAMENT OF DECIMUS
St. Decimus was, in his time, considered a criminal and a villain, responsible for the deaths of well-respected men of power and authority. Only long after his death, as he foretold, was the nature of his work widely understood and he given the remembrance he deserved. The Order of the Rose and Dawn, a powerful and wealthy knight order of the early Lion Age had secretly entrenched itself into manifold positions within the courts of the first Emperor, Victor von Herkheist. They had planned to overthrow the reign of the Emperor and Holy Benalian Church and install their own government with radical ideals. Though demonized for it at the time, Decimus, having received divine guidance from Cyaniel, Angel of Stars and Fate, removed each of them from power by intrigue or violence. Only later, when their absence flushed out the rampant corruption they had created, was St. Decimus canonized for his work.
The role of the Cyanahim is the advancement of the church. They do this through innovation, political power, removal of impediments to the church and through divining the will of God. To those outside the church the Cyanahim perform ritual blessings and act as mediators and spiritual guides, ingratiating themselves into the communities which they serve. Within the church, they act as leaders, oracles, and when necessary it is rumored, assassins. It is the duty of the Cyanahim to manifest God's will upon earth and ensure his throne is realized.
Covenant: Secrecy - The Cyanihim take an oath that they may never reveal a secret that they know. This does not include private personal information about themselves, but does include anything about any other subject that is known by very few people, or learned illicitly. This also means they can never explain their own motives for a request or an action if doing so means they must reveal secret information.
Eye of Cyaniel
Draw an eye of blessing
The divine sees all and knows all. To see through His eyes is to be everywhere. His protection upon all his gaze falls upon.
Ritual: The Priest draws the Seal of Cyaniel. This eye watches over and protects those gathered. The priest then marks those gathered with a mixture of chalk and water on the forehead, watching over those marked in their place in fate.
Props: Chalk, Mixture of chalk and water
Mechanic: All anointed gain Hope equal to the Priest's Rank for the day.
The Shrouded Eye
Gain subtlety in action
A lifetime of misdeeds had given me skill, but at times I asked even Cyaniel to turn his gaze from me, not for shame, but in mercy, and at these times I drew strength knowing I still acted in accordance with his wishes.
Ritual: The priest rests in meditation in a place with an unobstructed view of the night sky, they should choose whichever place is the most open or highest up for this ritual. They beg Cyaniel to look away for the tasks they must next do, and state this task. They conclude the ritual by covering their head, hiding themselves from his gaze.
Prop: A piece of hooded clothing.
Mechanic: The priest may add a number of Skill ranks equal to her priest rank, divided between her Intimidate, Stealth and Finesse. These ranks must be assigned as the ritual is completed and they last for the remainder of the evening, or until the stated task is completed - whichever comes first. A priest using the Shrouded Eye does not appear in the Stargaze ritual.
Avoid Wrath for killing specific person.
My hate for the man was real. It blinded me, burned me, consumed me. I begged for fate to bring him death, to punish him so that I need not violate another. Cyaniel answered me, put my hate inside my blade inside of my heart. Cyaniel made my hatred clean. I, like my blade, am but the tool of fate.
Ritual: Inscribe upon the intended weapon the true name of a person who will the be target of the ritual. Once inscribed, a deep cut on the palm of the dominant hand will tie the fates of the priest and the target together.
Props: Weapon, red marker or stage blood for cut
Mechanic: Cutting the hand causes the limb Pain until the Priest rests. After which, any time the priest holds the weapon and cuts himself with it again (taking the same injury), he gains a sense of whether the intended target is in the local area. Only one person may be tied to a weapon at a time. If the weapon is used for any target other than the intended, the ritual ceases to work and the Wrath is assigned as normal. Upon killing the individual intended with the ritual, they may explain their actions to the storytelling Staff. If the individual they killed was indeed an impediment to the Church, they do not gain Wrath for killing them; if they are wrong in that assumption, they gain Wrath as normal.
Know the Fate
Learn an individual's place in fate.
My hands need guidance, for as a man I am weak. I cannot see as the angels see, I can not know the nature of man. Show me their heart.
Ritual: The priest holds both of the subject's hands and whispers a prayer to Cyaniel for understanding and insight.
Mechanic: The priest learns the devotion of the individual upon whom they are performing the ritual
Fate of One
Gain insight into the flow of future success.
Ritual: Over the course of a scene, while sitting in the highest available place, the Priest studies the weather, clouds and stars and makes interpretations over future events, then goes to sleep holding a leonem.
Props: Leonem, sleeping
Mechanic: The Priest's sleep produces meaningful dreams, allowing them to have knowledge of the progression of events. The dream itself contains vague meaning for the future, but the Priest also is affected by his knowledge of fate. The flow of this ritual is broken into periods. For each period of time this ritual lasts, the Priest takes 1 to 5 Hope or 1 to 5 Despair, randomly determined. These periods of time are no less than a half hour, and do not pass to the next period without at least one significant action being taken that uses or attempts to use the Priest's Skills or abilities. The Priest knows the order of this flow of fate, and can plan accordingly, but may not tell anyone else. If they do, the staff reorders the remaining values and reassigns them in secret in any way they please. The Hope and Despair as part of this ritual are not emotional in nature and need not affect the Priest's mood - they are representative of the most auspicious and inauspicious moments to act.
The number of periods is as follows - Normal gets 5, Affirmed 6, Faithful 7, Zealous 8, and Heartless 3. For example, a result may read:
2 Hope, 1 Despair, 3 Despair, 2 Hope, 1 Hope, 5 Hope, 1 Despair.
Conspire with Fate
Learn how to intervene to satisfy Fate.
Ritual: At night, the priest performs a lonely walk around the outskirts of town, making one circle, alone. He prays to Cyaniel with an outcome in mind, he studies the sounds, the wind, the bird sounds and the stars.
Mechanic: The priest asks for guidance from Cyaniel with a task they are seeking to accomplish. They explain to the storyteller the outcome they are trying to achieve, and any relevant information which they have about this task. The storyteller will formulate their own plan, utilizing all their top-down knowledge, and reveal to the player the next step which they must take in order to affect this plan. After this step has been completed (or failed), the priest must wait a full day in order to confer with Cyaniel on that same topic. The priest receives no justification to how this step will help their cause, and the wisdom they receive may seem confusing or unclear, they must trust in the guidance of Cyaniel if they wish to affect their outcome. The fact of this divine guidance, though not the guidance itself, is considered a secret for the purposes of the Cyanahim Covenant.
If this ritual is used for the same topic sooner than a day after the previous event is completed, the answer divined is always to simply wait and see what develops. Performing this ritual also constitutes Praying for the desired outcome for the purposes of the Prayer ability, and for Liturgy.
Judge current events by the stars.
Ritual: The Priest spends at least one hour in silent contemplation of the stars, studying the hidden truths concealed in their positions and movements. The rite must be performed from the highest available location, with a good view of the sky.
Props: 2-way radio (or phone) and an OOC spotter.
Mechanic: The Priest uses the Basic Focus: Astrology to measure and calculate with the stars. Success on the ritual indicates that information that is quite specific can be known to the Priest. The Priest can know that a certain person is leaving a building, that a certain treasure is being placed in a stone chest, or that a target is sleeping in the bed of another. Only current events may be judged, not past or future ones. Once the ritual is complete, the Priest may continue to "watch" an area so long as he continues to stargaze. This ritual functions through the Eyes of Cyaniel, using any such marks as the viewing perspective of any witnessed action. The information gained is visual and generalized - the Priest does not learn the exact words of a conversation, only that a conversation is occurring, and between whom.
Delegate the work of Fate to your subordinates
Ritual: The priest and her subordinate, who must be part of the priest's Leadership tree, stand in shadow. The priest draws the Eye of Cyaniel upon their palm, and pours holy water into a silver cup with that hand. The priest then gives a single order to her subordinate, which must be a task or part of a task received with Conspire with Fate. The priest then hands the cup to her subordinate. The order may be as specific as the priest wishes, but the subordinate may not ask any questions or express any concerns. He drinks the holy water from the cup.
Mechanic: The individual must begin to carry out the task they are given. As soon as they question the order verbally, express concern, or take any task that does not immediately work to resolve this task, the ritual ends. During the length of the ritual the priest performing the ritual chooses a number of skills equal to their Rank and the recipient of the ritual receives these skills at the priest's ranking for the duration.
Know the location of a person or object during the next night of a full moon.
As I stood in the bathing pool beneath the palace garden, blade red in hand, I looked up past my hood to the sky above. My victim's words had confused me, and I found myself out of leads and answers. As I stared at the moon reflected in the bloodied waters of the pool, I knew what I must do next.
Ritual: The Priest prays over a pool of holy water, at least as wide as a man. The priest watches the progression of the moon in the pool as it travels through the night sky. As the moon passes over the pool, the priest drops a folded note written in wet ink with the true name of the person or object to be located and a few drops of blood, not from the Priest. After a few moments, the Priest draws the note out of the pool with a silver rod and unfolds it.
Props: Note, silver rod.
Mechanic: Smeared in the ink will be a representation of the location where the subject will be upon the next full moon, including the placement of the moon. The Basic Focus: Astrology can give insight into the location of the depiction if the place is completely unfamiliar to better understand where it is.
Dance of Masks
The group stays hidden as one.
Even as the sky cloaked in starry black is still blue under its midnight shroud, so too are the righteous who cloak themselves in cape, cowl and mask.
Ritual: Each member participating in this ritual wears the same cape cowl and mask. The Eye of Cyaniel is marked on the inside of the mask.
Props: Cape, cowls and masks for each participant.
Mechanic: Each participant in this ritual may replace Stealth skill with the Priest's Stealth skill if it is better.
Forge a shared fate with your allies
My brethren had done as I asked, believing the prophecy of the Archangel and their place in fate. They had spread across the Throne and killed in the name of the Lord, had ended the threat of these mysterious men and their Order. But the threat had not truly ended - too many had escaped into the shadows, too many loose ends left untied. My time was almost over, In seven days, the Knights Fenris would have me. I swore my followers to the service of fate to continue the vigil in my stead
Ritual: Seven conspirators, including the Priest, clasp their arms and hands together to form the Eye of Cyaniel. The Priest concisely states the goal of the conspiracy once, then each member repeats the goal one at a time. As each member speaks the goal, the Priest cuts the palm of their hand with a silver knife and allows their blood to fall on a flat surface below. He repeats the goal himself and cuts his own hand last. The blood that falls trickles into the shape of the Eye of Cyaniel, and becomes extremely difficult to wash away.
Mechanic: All of the allies gain a new, additional Devotion for the long-term goal that you set yourselves toward.
Destroy an organization by killing its leader
There is no sin of a master not shared by his servant. Each man bears the personal responsibility to act against evil with every measure of force than they can muster. When a man acts against evil, he acts in accordance with God and adds the power of the Lord to his act of righteousness. Nothing can stand against the might of the Lord. No man can put asunder what God's fate has decreed.
Ritual: The Priest or one of his conspirators within the cabal created by Unify Destiny, must kill the target and place the mark of Cyaniel on his forehead. The assassination must occur in such a way that the murder is dramatic and obvious to all, such killing a Duke while he addresses his city or stringing a corrupt whaler upon his own harpoons. The murder must be discovered fairly immediately and dramatically for the effect to work and often the Cyanihim contrive perfect moment with much planning.
Mechanic: The entire organization that reports to the person that was killed collapses into disarray and calamity. Any formal Leadership group is irreversibly sundered and cannot be recreated under another leader, and general chaos makes the organization implode from ineffectiveness. This effect works only on those who report to the target, not those he reports to. Thus, killing a military's captain would send all those forces he commanded into disarray, but killing the general would send the entire army into havoc.
Ensure loyalty through fear, or give a sinner one last chance.
Ritual: Tattoo the Eye of Cyaniel over the heart of a subject and whisper a prayer of binding to Cyaniel. At any time after that point, you may write the name of the subject on a piece of paper and burn it, speaking the same prayer.
Props: Tattoo markings
Mechanic: Within one hour, the subject will die under mysterious circumstances. They may fall to their death in an unlucky accident, or may simply take their own life without much explanation.