Sacred Rites

The following Thaumaturgical Rites are available to anyone in the Solar Dominion of Xur either as stand-alone Thaumaturgical Procedures or via acquisition of Thaumaturgical Degrees.

SACRED RITES OF THE UNCONQUERED SUN

THE ART OF HUSBANDRY

Greeting the Sun (0, Charisma, 1, Five minutes): First Age Solars mandated a schedule of worship wherein all mortals made five daily prayers to the Unconquered Sun: once at sunrise, then at noon, midafternoon, sunset and midnight. These prayers were not simply shows of respect to the Most High, they enabled the sun’s righteous blessing upon the people. A successfully completed daily prayer to the Unconquered Sun obviates one botch between the time of the prayer’s performance and the next scheduled prayer in the cycle, making it a normal failure instead. (A prayer at sunrise would alleviate the first botch that occurred between dawn and noon.) By the end of the First Age, the Solars had allowed most mortals to grow lax in their devotions, and the majority of individuals did not awaken to make a midnight prayer. As a result, the small hours of the morning became widely associated with misfortune and disaster, an association that has persisted into the current day. Only a very few communities still greet the sun according to the old methods, though the Cult of the Illuminated has recently revived the practice among its training camps. This procedure uses Performance in place of Occult.

THE ART OF WARDING AND EXORCISM

Impeding the Nemesis (2, Intelligence, 4, One hour): Ritual preparations using prayer, salt and crushed pyrite render an area 100 yards in diameter inhospitable to creatures of darkness until the sun next sets. All actions by creatures of darkness of Essence 2 or less while within the boundary of the wards suffer from a -2 internal penalty.

SACRED RITES OF LUNA

THE ART OF HUSBANDRY

Thanks for the Hunt (0, Wits, 2, one minute): Luna promotes this ritual in her Full Moon aspects, including that of the Bloody Huntress. In a short rite of dedication, a hunter crouches over a fresh kill, daubing his chest with its blood in a pattern sacred to the Silver Lady. Successfully completed, this procedure makes the meat free of disease and twice as nutritious as normal for the next day. A minor variant of this ritual instead grants one bonus die on all Craft rolls to make useful tools or artwork out of the slain beast.

SACRED RITES OF THE MAIDENS OF DESTINY

THE ART OF THE DEAD

Proper Funerary Practices (1, Manipulation, 3, three hours): Various societies throughout Creation have dozens of variations of this rite. Most Western isles attempt this ritual, though many lack a sufficiently knowledgeable priest. Even the Realm habitually works a variant on these thaumaturgic funeral practices into the last rites given to its Exalted dead. The funerists of Sijan know virtually all recorded versions of the funerary rites of Saturn, and are willing to perform them for an appropriate fee. Properly performed, this ritual encourages the spirit of one who has died in the last three days to peacefully pass on into the next life. While it regrettably has no influence over the individual’s po soul, the rite does carry considerable weight with the hun of the newly dead. If the target of the ritual passes on into the Underworld as a ghost, he is immediately subjected to a powerful unnatural Compulsion to pass on immediately into Lethe. Resisting costs three Willpower.

THE ART OF HUSBANDRY

First Greeting (1, Perception, 1, five minutes): This simple ritual is practiced in countless Threshold communities to name newborns. It must be performed within one day of an infant‟s birth. Beseeching the Maidens for their wisdom, the thaumaturge intently examines a newborn child, attempting to discern the name that would most fit the plans destiny has laid out for it. While it is debatable whether Heaven cares what any individual mortal is called, success on the ritual‟s activation roll grants the practitioner a flash of insight and a name. If that name is granted to the infant, the child enjoys a +1 bonus on all Resistance rolls for its first year of life.

Harmonious Union (0, Charisma, 1, one hour): Small variants of this marriage rite are used throughout Creation. A successfully performed ceremony not only makes a union between two beings (regardless of their sex) legally valid in the eyes of Heaven, it also increases the likelihood that the first child conceived by the couple (assuming they are a man and a woman) is free of defect or disease. It also grants a bonus die on all Temperance rolls by the couple to avoid any temptations that might endanger their union throughout its first year.

Sundered Union (0, Charisma, 1, five minutes): While Venus holds the various marriage and partnership rites of Creation to be sacred to herself, Saturn claims dominion over the small, cold legalisms that end such unions. In its various cultural iterations, this rite is short and curt. Properly performed, it legally dissolves any existing romantic union between the subjects of the ritual in the eyes of Heaven, as long as the individual in the partnership with the highest Essence score consents. (There exists a standing exception from First Age law which has never been stricken from the rolls of Heaven. No divorce or annulment involving a Solar Exalt and a non-Solar entity is legal or valid unless the Solar in question consents, regardless of respective Essence ratings.) The two newly divorced individuals suffer a -1 external penalty to all Compassion rolls with regard to one another for the next year.

THE ART OF WARDING AND EXORCISM

Scarlet Passage Idol (2, Intelligence, 3, six hours): It is a sad truth of the Second Age that even the wealthy and the mighty must contend somehow with the dangers of the Great Western Ocean. The Dragon-Blooded cannot adorn their ships with red-haired mastheads, for to do so would be to admit the power of the Storm Mothers and would violate the Immaculate Philosophy. Instead, through a painstaking ritual, thaumaturges prepare small feminine wooden idols for their clients, hair stained with rare red dyes and body stained yellow to acknowledge the power of Mercury. Secreted away somewhere within a ship, the idol negates the power of Storm Mothers the same way a red-haired female masthead would. An idol retains its power for one season, at which point it must be repainted and re-enchanted.

Sacred Rites

To Stand at the Saigoth Gates Gelo