I ignored the advice of all the tales,
I stepped in the darkness and followed the trails,
To the swamp from which no one returned,
To tell the old witch of the love that I burned.
~A common Gothic song
The Lurites are a storied cult which many have strong opinions about. Most people know of someone who has interacted with one or sought them out, despite their shadowy and underground status. The Triumverati hunt them, and thus while their skills are in high demand, there is a seedy black market quality to all interactions with them. They operate in hidden basements and attics, secret rooms, caves, and shacks on the outskirts of town. They are both reviled for their association with a defunct religion and illicit business in human flesh and blood, and revered for their miraculous ability to heal injuries thought incurable and restore function to useless limbs and maimed parts.
The Lurites are named for the angel they follow: Lurien – the angel of death – the one who weighs the souls of the dead and whispers truth in their ears, and the one who may be petitioned to forestall the inevitable. It was Lurien who heard the lamentations and petitions of mankind, and visited them, imparting to a chosen few the wisdom of healing through the materials already provided to humanity – wasted flesh from the battlefields, the science of humors, and the sacred knowledge of anatomy. One of these few was the celebrated Saint Istra, the Fire of the Blood, the Gleaming Blade, she who was both healer and warrior; she who knew the ways of blood and the price of life. Many of her words were lost to the ravages of time, but some remain, and it is to them that the Lurites cling. With their sacred gospel, they know how to utilize the wasted flesh of bodies to restore function to mangled and missing body parts, to graft dead flesh onto living, and have it operate seamlessly with the host’s body.
These rites may be prohibitive to some, for the materials can be costly, the prayers long, and the danger of discovery ever present. But Lurites do what others cannot. Their apprenticeships are lengthy; for their training takes years of reading, observing, practicing, and being tested before they are able to move to a patient on their own. Their knowledge of the healing arts is based upon ancient wisdom, using a combination of prayer and modern methodology, and they can encourage healing of wounds that many would say are impossible.
The Lurites believe that a mastery over the body can lead to a mastery of the soul, and therefore one’s focus should be on the one thing that control can be exerted over – yourself. They place emphasis on the healing and health of the body, so that it might be a vessel for the mind and spirit. If one need not worry for the body, then they are more free to continue to learn and exercise lessons of the soul as well. Lurites also pride themselves on only using their blades to heal, and they are never supposed to bring deliberate injury to another.
Lurien loves those things that make the impure pure, smoke, fire, silver, and prayer; clean cloth, and spilled blood all with due care- and values faith, sacrifice, and redemption.
Vow: Never refuse to heal the injured, sick, or disturbed.
Anoint Blessed Candle of Lurian
With the power of Lurien and the strength of the Fire of the Blood, grant a soul more time to finish their last rites and perhaps return to battle.
To know the Will of God, then, is fundamental to all deeds. Devote yourself to His Voice and His Word, thereby devoting yourself to Goodness. Devote yourself to His study, His grace. Feel His weight upon your brow and His scorn in your heart. Every man is given the ear to hear His voice – though not the wisdom to know the Word He speaks in it.
Offering – Linen is cut into 4 strips and braided together.
Offering – An iron pot is placed above a bed of coal or charcoal and set alight.
Offering – Beeswax is placed into the pot and allowed to melt.
Act – The ends of the braid are dipped into the melted wax, lifted out to allow the clinging wax to cool before they are dipped into the wax again and again. This should slowly form two candles, connected by the linen wick in the center. While doing this, the priest performs the Liturgy, repeating the appropriate phrase as a chant until they are satisfied with the size of the candle.
Liturgy – “Lurien, hold thy hand, I beseech thee. As St. Istra said, it is noble to fight on. Conflict, though painful, brings strength and understanding. True peace is not known to any man. For even in times without battle, we wage wars of our own design. Therefore, let each wage their battles a little longer if possible. It only serves to temper them for that which comes after.”
Offering – The candles are then covered with holy water, allowing them to cool.
Act – The Sigil of Lurien is then carved into the side of each candle
This Rite creates 2 Blessed Candles of Lurian. Candles created in this way are activated by being lit, and once lit are considered to be used and may not be lit for mechanical effect again, even if it is not useless for the purpose of shedding light. Once lit, any person that is Faith in Higher Power may blow out, snuff, or otherwise put out the candle to gain a one-time effect.
When next the target is downed, the target may repeat their Last Rite a second time before dying.
Dedicate Shrine of Lurian
Dedicate a shrine to Lurian, the Archangel of death and dreams.
“A Sacred space may further beckon the Grace of Lurian, if it is pleasing to His eye. This work shall only be done in a place which is Holy and clean of all malicious intent and free from the stains of Sin. As He is shrouded in moon-white robes, so too shall such a space be draped. And fragrance and smoke which are most pleasing to Him shall be offered day and night. In such a space may the faithful feel the comfort of true sacrosanctity.”
Act – A large number of stones is gathered together as if to make a cairn and a wide base is laid out, no smaller than five stones by five stones. After that a silver blade that has yet to taste blood is presented to the sky.
Offering – The cultist then roughly hacks off each limb of the body from a corpse of a human that has yet to ash, while the words of the following liturgy are spoken and blood from each limb is allowed to soak into a layer of the stones before the limb is placed within the stack and another layer of stones is placed atop. This is repeated until the stones are at least four layers high.
Liturgy – “Hail Lurian, black-winged herald of the night which must fall for all men. In your name, and as St. Istra before me, I swear to never again be an agent of my own pride. In aiding humanity, I am a messenger of your divine mercy and sweet release from suffering. The power of what lies beyond the barrier of mortality shall use me as a vessel, and I shall provide succor and relief. I shall ease the pain of departing souls, and be a bearer of solace and comfort, in a world that often provides neither.”
Offering – The remains of the body are placed before the cairn and an unsullied linen is draped atop the cairn while the following liturgy is spoken.
Liturgy – “Let me not wander in the dark. Guide my hand that I might give more time under the light of the moon, and allow mankind to sing the songs of Faith, Sacrifice, and Redemption.”
The priest will now be able to conduct rituals that require a shrine of Lurien to complete.
Additionally, when anyone uses the Prayer ability at the shrine, while giving an offering of a moonstone, an owl pellet, a locust flour, mistletoe, or a piece of linen stained with the dying blood of five different people, presented with prayer, they are immune to the Miserable or Bleed condition until they have expended the Hopeful condition gained by this prayer.
Draining and Accretion of the Humors
Collect the essence of choice from a human or corpse
“The composition of the body is this: 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. These are the delicate threads which weave us together.”
Focus – A willing human or a human corpse that has yet to ash and has not yet been harvested in any way is brought to a Lurite.
Focus – While keeping the body absolutely still and talking calmly and reassuringly to it, the Lurite spends ten minutes of uninterrupted cutting and draining using a blade or set of medical professional tools. This must be done whether the body belongs to a willing living human or a corpse.
Focus – A blade is then used to drain the relevant fluids into a glass vial.
Through careful cutting and precise draining, the Lurite takes the essence of their choice from a willing human, which may include the Lurite cultist, provided they still speak calmly and reassuringly to themselves as they do so. The person who is losing the humors suffers a Weaken condition depending on which humor is taken:
- Phlegmatic – Intellect
- Choleric – Fortitude
- Melancholic – Faith
- Sanguine – Strength
If a human already has a Weaken condition in Intellect, Fortitude, Faith, or Strength, then their corresponding essence may not be harvested.
The Lurite may also take the essence of their choice or body part from a human corpse that has yet to ash and has not yet been harvested by another, but only one essence or body part may be gathered from any human body.
Preserve the body for future use
The voice haunts me still. Lurian spoke of mankind’s frailties and failings. Our arms lack true strength. Our hearts lack true conviction. Our backs break under the weight placed upon them. We willingly soil our souls, and call it growth. We block our own path to Heaven.
Offering – A single weight of salt for each essence or part to be preserved is placed in a bowl.
Offering – A single sanguine human essence is placed within the bowl as well. A Lurite may use their own essence in this ritual, but doing so gives them the Bleed condition. If they do so more than once a day then they receive the Battered condition, and they may not draw from themselves if they are currently Battered.
Offering – The human or malefic essences or body parts that are to be preserved are placed within the bowl as well. If they are body parts, they cannot number more than one, if they are essences, they cannot number more than three.
Act – The Lurite places within the bowl some clean water. They then hold their hands over the bowl and speak the following liturgy:
Liturgy – “Lurian of the White upon Black. Lurian, the Shepherd of the Dead. Lurian, who comes in the space between dreams, moving as the moon through the night sky, and gives us the choice, to preserve or to destroy, preserve this that I bring before you. Take this essence, this representative of mankind’s frail form, and imbue it with your shadow and keep it from rot and death.”
The cultist makes a liquid of salt and human essence to preserve an essence or body part, whether human or Malefic. The preservation creates an item tag that has no expiration date.
Bring restful sleep to those in pain
There is also the healing which comes with sleep and time. For in our sleep, we dream, and in our dreams there lies both peril and redemption, for our thoughts are ever present, even if we do not recognize them as our own. The sleeping mind is also more open to warnings and blessings, to even from the most cherished God himself. The True Follower can also lull the mind into this state even while waking if they use the words and tools bequeathed to us.
Act – Under the light of the night sky an open bowl is placed before a Leonem or Benelean shrine
Offering – An edible food item or meal and is placed within the bowl
Offering – Alcohol is added to the bowl and the meal or food item is pressed into a paste while the following Liturgy is recited:
Liturgy – “Let the Archangel of Nightfall settle upon this feast and stretch his hand forth, extending the shadow of his presence and bring forth the strength of true sleep. As St. Istra stood agape in His shadow, let us too be awed and blessed by his presence.”
After the rite is successful, the substance in the bowl will turn into a dark shadow and can be placed in a vessel with the “Divine alchemical substance” tag. This shadow may be added to a single drink or meal which, if consumed, will place the person who consumes it into a deep sleep for a half an hour. While this is not a poison and cannot be countered by natural abilities, abilities that sense impurities or poisons in an item can sense the shadow.
Dull the Pain
Bring solace and comfort to one in pain.
Bare of arms and armament, I set out to undo my bloody work a hundred fold before I could finally rest.
Offering – Oil is placed within a lamp or bowl and lit aflame. The target is asked to kneel before the light, so that it is at eye level.
Offering – A lock of human hair coated with one melancholic human essence. That essence is then thrown upon the candle and allowed to grow fragrant while the patient watches the flame.
Focus – A leonem is dangled between the patient’s view of the flame and their eyes and allowed to swing back and forth while the following liturgy is repeated slowly.
Liturgy – “I was the messenger of the divine, and the power of the world which lies beyond the barrier of mortality used me as its vessel. I could provide succor and relief. I could ease the pain of a departing soul. I could be the bearer of solace and comfort, in a world that often provides neither.”
Using this ritual the Priest can choose one of two effects. They may dull the sensations of the subject until they do not register pain or other stimuli, functionally the same as a drug with the Aesthetic trait for approximately an hour. This allows a patient to use an injured limb as if it was uninjured.
Alternatively they may cure the traumatized condition by placing the patient in a deep trance and removing their memory of the event from them. However, after awakening the patient suffers a Weaken Intellect effect for approximately an hour.
Sear the Spoiling
Seal the break in the body against harm and strengthen its natural healing.
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.
Offering – A serving of wine is placed within a bowl
Act – The bowl filled with wine over fire is heated over a torch, or other lantern and the following words are spoken over it.
Liturgy – “Fire and heat have ever been the agents of the divine. Therefore, make judicious use of these, and though it be difficult, and the screams be insistent, if the work is done with the blessings of God, then the cries of the Believer shall be heard, and Lurian may show mercy.”
Offering – The heated liquid is poured atop the patient, burning them and giving them great pain before the area is bandaged with a clean bandage.
The patient is burned by the boiling wine and has an untreatable Miserable condition until they rest for at least 2 hours, after which the patient finds that the limb or torso that was treated with the ritual has any wounds, injury, or Battered conditions removed. The cultist may perform this ritual upon themselves.
Break that which has been healed badly, and using the flesh of another, set the flesh aright.
Eventually, it all matters not in the end. Lurian’s victory is inevitable, but smaller victories are always possible for mankind.
Focus – A blade of silver is prayed over and then used to reopen the wound
Offering – A body part from a human that applies to the affected location, or a preserved bone for a torso maim, is used to reset the wound, by stitching the replacement body part as closely as possible to its original state while repeating the following liturgy three times. The patient must not move during this process to show their strength of courage.
Liturgy – “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.”
Offering – One Phlegmatic Human Essence is poured onto the bandage
Offering – The wound is then bound tight with a piece of linen or bandage is inked with the words of St. Istra
This Ritual gives a wound the area that it is done to and can reduce or remove a maim that was acquired in game. If the Ritual is successful, the Maim will downgrade one level of severity as the area with the wound recovers naturally. This ritual cannot heal head maims. if the ritual fails, the maim is increased in severity one step.
Shock the body to get rid of a Weaken effect.
Therefore, let each wage their battles a little longer if possible. It only serves to temper them for that which comes after.
Focus – The patient is brought to a place where they can lie down and a leonem is placed at their head and feet.
Offering – A fire is built out of coal or charcoal.
Focus – A preserved human bone is sharpened to a point with a knife or rock is heated in the fire while the Lurite prays over the patient.
Offering – The bone is then coated with the relevant human essence for the effect below and driven into the upper shoulder of the patient.
The Lurite takes the patient and shocks the body with one of the four essences that the Lurite has previously harvested. This painful process repairs one of the body’s natural attributes if it has been weakened, depending on which essence was used:
- Weaken Intellect – Phlegmatic
- Weaken Faith – Melancholic
- Weaken Fortitude – Choleric
- Weaken Resolve – Choleric
- Weaken Speed – Sanguine
- Weaken Strength – Sanguine
If the patient is bandaged after the ritual they find the wound gone after an hour and the limb suffers no ill effects from the ritual, although it still has any ill effects it may have had previously. The Lurite may perform this ritual upon themselves.
Seek the Truth
Return the mind to innocence
Conflict, though painful, brings strength and understanding. True peace is not known to any man. For even in times without battle, we wage wars of our own design.
Act – The subject is brought to a shrine of Lurien
Act – The subject is asked to give their consent. If they do not give it, then the ritual suffers from one Vulgarity
Offering – The patient consumes a meal or alchemical item that has either the euphoric, intoxicant, or hallucinogenic effects
Act – Dull the Pain is performed successfully
Act – The Lurien walks around the subject three times, slowly, while praying to Lurien, before returning to the patient’s field of vision and asking them a question.
The subject of this ritual will willingly answer the question to the best of her knowledge. This knowledge can come from memories that have been blocked or otherwise forgotten and the subject is assumed to have perfect memory for the purposes of answering, although memories that have been hidden by magic, ritual, or lost in the haze of resurrection can not be recovered in this fashion.
Pass the curse of the blood to a stronger vessel.
My faith and my desire to right countless wrongs gave me strength, but there are ways to enhance one’s defenses.
Offering – Clean white linen is sewn into the shape of a doll
Offering – The linen is then stuffed with fibres
Act – Hair, blood, and a sanguine human essence are harvested from the target using Draining and Accretion of the humors
Act – The Lurite brings the patient to a Shrine of Lurien and forms a doll from the offerings. They then place the doll on one side of the Shrine and the patient on the other, and repeat the following liturgy while standing between the two.
Liturgy – And so spoke St. Istra, “Thus, I healed, in fire and blood, and I entered those cities that were most wicked, and thus most punished. I shrouded myself as one of the dead, and moved along the dying. I obscured my features, that no putrid demon or spirit might recognize me and access my body.” So too might this curse pass from into this vessel, which I name. In Veritate.”
Act – The doll is then placed upon the patient and must be kept on them until sunrise the next morning. If the doll is kept safely upon them, and they remain among the living, the doll must then be burned in flame. This act is passive and is considered operational even if the officiating Cultist leaves or does something outside the bounds of the Rite.
Immediately inform staff that you have performed this ritual. The Lurite creates a doll that represents the patient and contains their blood, hair, and one of their essences. They place the Damned state or Curse within the doll, which must be kept on the patient at least until sunrise the next sunrise and they must remain alive. If they do so, then the Curse or Damned state is passed to the doll and may be disposed of in fire to rid the patient of the Curse or Damned state. However, while the Curse or Damned state is being passed to the doll, Malefic creatures are drawn to both the patient and the doll- intent upon harming them both. If either do not make it through the night the Curse or Damned state remains and the character awakens from death with a new permanent insanity.
Create bandages from flesh.
Offering – Flesh harvested from a body that has not yet ashed is preserved with Preservation
Offering – Crushed Charcoal is mixed with Human Sanguine Essence
Offering – The Lurite takes the flesh and one linen and tears and cuts each into strips before mixing them in the charcoal mixture together.
Act – They then pull these strips out of the mixture and weave them together into a long braid of linen and flesh. This braid is allowed to dry for at least an hour.
Act – While praying to Lurien the braid is cut into widths about the size of the Lurite’s forearm and bound together with the remaining linen and flesh.
This ritual creates 5 Blackened Bandages for each level of faith that the Lurite has, at a max of 15. Like Flat Bandages, these bandages may be pressed to a torso or limb rather than wrapped about. With the relevant skill, these bandages may be used on top of armor.
I also learned of the rot of wickedness which may plague the flesh, and how to guard against its spread.
Act – Beneath the night sky, a lit lantern or other source of light is brought before a shrine of Lurien along with the target.
Offering – The big toe of a corpse that has been preserved using Preservation is placed within a bowl.
Offering – A lock of human hair is added to the bowl
Focus – A water filled with silver shavings is added to the bowl as well
Act – The Lurite takes the bowl and then they then extinguish the light and repeat the following from memory:
Liturgy – “As St. Istra says, “I strode out to the heart of the battlefield, my home of old, and shouted the bargain that turned the Gaze of the Archangel full upon me. I could feel my bones chill, and my blood still, as death washed over me. And yet I stood. And yet I lifted a sword of silver. And yet I brought it swiftly down to fell those before me. My quietus was upon me, but it was a Righteous Doom. I had become Death. And while Lurian watched, presiding over this battle, I destroyed all who I touched. I shielded Benalus with my cold body and tirelessly reaped the fields before me. I was as unstoppable as the Night, and as relentless as the Tides, and those who would stand against us knew the Fear of their own inevitable end.” So too might this bear the doom that would come upon you.”
Act – The toe is removed from the water and attached to a necklace.
The Lurite prepares the big toe of a corpse that they have preserved into a necklace which must be worn around the neck of the user. The next time the user would have been affected by the Stun, Paralyze, or Weaken state, the toe instead turns to ash and they are unaffected. They may call “Lurite Disregard.” Only one toe at a time may be worn for any effect.
Help a body to absorb its poison
Upon the fields we clashed, his humans and mine, brothers turned upon one another. Our wounds wept and the sky thundered in admonishment. The rains fell upon us, and we fell upon each other, and in the churning earth, our colors were all the same.
Focus – A Glass Vial is opened and placed before a lit fire
Offering – The ashed remains of a human who has resurrected is poured into the glass vial.
Offering – Human Choleric Essence preserved with Preservation is then poured into the vial.
Offering – Hard liquor is added to the vial and the entire item is mixed and closed.
Offering – A pale sheet of linen is placed atop the closed vial so it covers it.
Act – The Lurite opens a wound in their hand and grabs the vial and linen both, staining them with their blood as they pray loudly and feverently to Lurien while rocking back and forth. They must end their prayers with a shouted “In Veritate!” after which they suffer the Stun Body effect.
If the ritual is successful the cultist prepares an antidote that may be used against any poison. As long as the antidote is able to be ingested it is effective. This antidote expires after 6 months. The Lurite takes a wound to their arm by completing this ritual.
Rot of the Mind
A patient is brought close to death in order to heal the wounds of the mind.
Yet while one cares for the body, they must never neglect the mind. 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
Act – The Lurite brings the patient to a Shrine of Lurien at which they bathe and cleanse them.
Act – The Lurite then successfully performs Dull the Pain on the patient.
Focus – The Lurite then takes a blade with the driving quality and recites the following liturgy.
Liturgy – “I stood there, bleeding from a wound I did not know, and staring, as the angel appeared before me. Lurian did not come down from on high – He rose up from among the piles of dead. He stood before me and I knew fear. I knew I had been blind to the road before me; lost in the dark. Thus 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. I was, and had always been His.”
Offering – The Lurite takes the blade and drives it into the the eye of the patient, removing that globe, causing them to be downed and the immediate application of bandages to be necessary.
Offering – After waiting several moments, the Lurite removes the bandages and uses an eye (either preserved or fresh) from another human to replace the removed eye.
This lowers one insanity one step or lowers any head maim acquired in play to be lowered by one step, although a failure on the ritual causes instant death.