Spiritual Power

Priests and spiritual awakening

A Priest is someone who has, through Awakening to his or her own spirit, had their Soul turned into a part of the God despite the Priest not being dead yet. As such, their Souls have a ranking in the spiritual hierarchy of their God, and the Priest can give lower-ranking Spirits orders.

Spiritual Awakening is extremely rare - perhaps 10% of those who dedicate their lives and their work to a deity will achieve it - and this truly life-changing experience is bestowed only in recognition both of individual merit and of great potential. The actual act of Awakening is quite short and dramatic; it usually involves the obvious presence of the will of the relevant deity, either through a Spirit, a spiritual presence, or very rarely a personal appearance. An Awakened priest typically feels a duty to fulfil this potential by serving their god's interests and spreading their god's worship, be this within the church hierarchy or without. If you wish to become an Awakened priest in play, please notify the ref team in advance.

It will generally be considered that the Gods cannot read your mind except in very limited, extreme circumstances (for example, at the moment of Ultimate Faith you are close to your God with much of their attention focused upon you for a short duration. At this moment your wishes may be more likely to be heard.) This is because the refs cannot read your thoughts or your characters', so we cannot take these into consideration. What your character does is far more important than what they mean to do or what they think.

Prayer which is silent will not be noticed, however your character may choose to pray silently anyway and this is a roleplay decision. Spoken words may be more likely to be heard, but the Gods will mostly notice your actions, especially when you are on holy ground and/or actively carrying out your God's work.


When a Spiritually Awakened priest performs their daily devotions to their God - at noon or at midnight - they are granted a certain measure of authority to command that miracles be performed by the Spirits of their deity. This is represented by Spirit points, granted by the Spiritual Power and Spiritual Blessing skills. A miracle costs one Spirit point to cast per level. Note that this is not personal power but authority to command others; it is possible for a sufficiently powerful angel to outrank a priest and have the authority to ask (but not compel) the priest to do things for them.

By longstanding treaty, the Gods grant only certain abilities to their faithful; any prayers for a miracle of less than 8th level which is not on the list of those already granted by the God will by met with silence. Each God (with the exception of Balance) grants the ability to learn miracles from four specific Miracle Trees, and commands all their priests to learn all the miracles of one of those Trees. Balance grants only three miracle trees, but allows its followers to choose for themselves what those trees are. In order to gain the next level of Devotion, a priest must have learned the mandatory miracle of their current Devotion level and one other of that level.

Miracles are cast by 'vocals' - prayers out loud consisting of at least eight words, plus one word for each level of the miracle. A vocal must call upon your god, by name - however you may also call upon the power of another god in the same pantheon as yours, expending twice as much spirit. It is also inadviseable to call on a god to do anything they would disapprove of, such as raising the dead in the name of Azrael. The entire vocal must be audible to the target, but you may attempt to pass it off as normal conversation; it is impossible to affect a target ten metres away with a whispered miracle in a noisy room. Ask the Refs for examples of good and bad vocals.

Gods grant power to their chosen followers who have been spiritually awakened. During spiritual awakening, a god will ask their follower if they wish to take on this power and responsibility. The mortal may always decline. If they accept, they are given a measure of spiritual authority depending on their standing in the eyes of their god. They may use this authority to cast a limited number of powerful effects each day. These effects are called miracles. Priests may restore their authority by performing devotions once per day. Priests of the Hammer Pantheon perform their devotions at noon, Priests of the Dagger perform devotions at dawn, and Priests of the Moon perform devotions at midnight. Priests of the Balance may choose when they perform their devotions and may change, but changing this time will require 36 hours.

Miracles also have somatic components - that is, they require gestures in order to work. The only mechanical effect of this is that one must have a hand free in order to cast. This prevents casting whilst affected by a PARALYSE or STASIS effect.

If a weapon or effect, or any call strikes you while you are casting, then your casting is interrupted and you must start the vocal over, but do not lose any magic or spirit. The only exception to this is if the call is, precisely, "NOTHING". This is very strict, so a RED NOTHING will interrupt anyone, even a pyrokin, as it is not a "NOTHING" - the reason being that even that effect is distracting enough to break your concentration. This means you are interrupted in all other situations, for example if you Dodge a blow, or you have magical armour. You are not mechanically interrupted when someone distracts you, say, by throwing a bucket of water over you, however you should feel free to roleplay losing the spell or miracle and starting over. You can't parry when casting, it's as good as an interruption. You can hold your weapon out in front of you in a vaguely threatening manner, but you can't move it around to parry, or push against an incoming blow, without losing your miracle.

Holy Symbols

Every religion has a well-known holy symbol. This acts as a way for the priest to focus their will upon their God's spirits, and they may not cast miracles without either having one upon their person or being able to see one. Each God's holy symbol is detailed upon the relevant page of the website; ask the refs for examples if you are unsure. A priest must spend one fortnight attuning themselves to a Holy symbol in order for it to work, but a priest may have any number attuned at a time (starting from 1 at character generation.) Holy symbols count as a powerful Arcane Connection and if someone else obtains a priest's Holy Symbol they may be able to perform powerful affects on that priest without their presence. Holy symbols do not respond to Detect or Recognise Spirit. Body parts do not count as holy symbols unless they are not attached to a body.


It is known by all priests, most lay worshippers and any unbeliever who cares that there exist spiritual effects that aren't the standard miracles, and that the way to achieve these is to pray with the correct form of words and actions. These forms are known as 'rites'. Some priesthoods make heavier use of them than others, and it known that it is possible - though skirting the borders of heresy - to invent new rites. A rite is always at least partly a public act (though it is not always recognisably an act of worship), and it may require that some of it be performed on ground that is sacred to the God. Most rites will have at least some component that must be performed in uptime; doing public rites in downtime is possible, but it's usually difficult to book time at one of the regular temple services at short notice.

Rites come in two kinds. The first kind of rite is generally for things that are so fundamental to the task of a priest of the God concerned that they will be done regardless of a priest's station or how much of their authority they have used on any given day. These rites are generally short and to the point, very like the casting of a miracle to the untrained eye, but involve no expenditure of Spirit. They tend not to use any consumable material components - though they all require the use of the priest's holy symbol - and they tend to have only small game mechanical effect. These rites require at least one witness in order to work.

The second kind of rite is a method of ceremonially casting a miracle in order to extend its usefulness in some fashion. These rites will require one or more witnesses, may require consumable material components, will require a holy symbol, may require a sacrifice (of time, money, rare materials, blood etc), and may require more than one priest in order to be effective. Their effectiveness is generally variable.

Please note that you must inform a ref if you wish to attempt any rite of the second kind, even if you have used it before, and any new rites which you have not used before, of either kind (apart from recognise spirit and Lay to Rest.)

Spirit wrack

Gods expect appropriate behaviour from their priests, and this often requires taking positive action as well as simply refraining from acting against the strictures. The higher level the priest, generally the more favoured they are in the eyes of their god, but they also come under greater scruitiny and the gods will be less forgiving of a high-level priest bending the strictures than a low level one. The most common form of punishment for breaking the strictures is Spirit Wrack, which comes in various degrees but is universally unpleasant. For a minor slip in judgement or accidental breaking of a stricture, the priest may receive a headache and a nagging feeling that they have forgotten something. For a major breach of stricture a priest can usually expect to find themselves in tremendous pain, with their power to cast miracles revoked at least until they can redeem themselves.

Cry of Ultimate Faith

All priests may make a special petition to their deity, known as a Cry of Ultimate Faith. To invoke this power, a priest must call "By my Ultimate Faith in <Deity>". This will directly attract the deities attention, and the priest may ask their deity directly for aid. The deity is not compelled to grant this request, and will evaluate whether it is in line with their own principals, how much favour the priest has in that god's eyes, and whether the situation is really serious enough to warrant calling the god's own personal attention. Regardless of the outcome, such a religious experience is almost invariably fatal for the invoking priest, who is taken to their god's paradise at the end of their involvement in the effect.

Arcane connections

An arcane connection is an object which can serve as a supernatural link to another person, for instance a personal possession, or even a part of them, eg hair clippings, blood. They can be used in both magical rituals and spirtual rites, most famously those of cursing from a distance.

Arcane connections decay over time. Personal possessions last a fortnight, hair maybe a month, blood a couple of months and a severed limb/holy symbol about a year. A Spirit weapon remains a powerful arcane connection for as long as it remains empowered.

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