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Melandhim

Overview

O god, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
and it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.

The followers of the archangel Melandiel are considered the most humble order among the Benalian faith. Following in the footsteps of Saint Bathier, they eschew worldly possessions in order to better spread the word of god throughout the world. A mendicant order, they travel throughout the known world ministering to those who need them the most- the impoverished, the hopeless, the weak. While the Melandhim do not seek power for themselves, they do try to work for the betterment and empowerment of others. What remains of their gospel mentions the importance of working against injustice and oppression.

 

Melandhim rely on the kindness of their fellow humans and their faith in god to provide. They teach that one cannot be fixated on attaining wealth and personal power and also be focused on the aid of their fellow man. Therefore, as examples to the world, they reject finery, wealth, and personal possessions. They believe that asking for help and shelter is an act of humility and grace that spreads from one act of goodwill to another. They also are firm in their belief that Benalus was a shining example of a man of profound faith and spiritual leadership – but he was still just a man, and anyone has the potential to be as he was and once again lead the world out of its current hellscape and into a bright future. Everyone has the potential to be a person of great power and faith, even to become a saint, if they can embrace forgiveness and understanding of their fellow man.

Saint Bathier himself was a traveling monk who gave up a life of wealth and power he was born into in order to strip himself of all distractions from his faith. He found that when he was attending to matters of production and profit, he had no time left to attend to matters of the soul or create any lasting betterment in the lives of those around him. Thus, Melandhim, while they may have their own flock or followers, try to follow a similar life and avoid institutional power in order to better serve those who have been abused by the strong. They are generally not tolerant of those who surround themselves with luxuries or who stockpile and hoard goods needed by all to achieve a life of ease. Nor do they

approve of those who simply go through the motions of living their life without any sort of personal improvement. Those who simply stand by and allow wrongs to perpetuate are also the worst kind of weak in their apathy. While every failure is forgivable, it is always necessary to stand up, take the next step, and do better.

The Melandhim duty to spread the word of god to all corners of the world means that they are often more well-traveled than the other orders of the Benalian faith, and the Melandhim themselves often say that the journey itself is the point. As they travel, they learn and improve, and as others from far and wide experience their example of a life well-lived, the more others may grow in the faith themselves.

Vow: Never show aggression or defend yourself until those who oppose you have drawn blood.

Rank 1 

Anoint Blessed Candle of Melandiel

Craft a candle bearing the blessings of Melandiel.
“No one is to be called an enemy – for you seek to guide all. You have no enemy except yourself and your own desires.”
Constellation: Aldhiyib
Orthodoxy: 5
Observances:

OfferingLinen is cut into 4 strips and braided together.
Offering – An iron pot is placed above a bed of coal or charcoal and set alight.
OfferingBeeswax 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“God, make me an instrument of your peace and your love. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is anger, peace. In Veritate.”
Offering – The candles are covered with holy water, allowing them to cool.
Act – The Sigil of Melandiel is carved into the side of each candle.

Mechanical Effect
This Rite creates 2 Blessed Candles of Melandiel. 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. 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:

May expend a Divine Dodge call against a single attack or spell.

Dedicate Shrine of Melandiel

Create a shrine to Melandiel
After Fenristadt, Bathier left his shepherd’s crook upon the emperor’s throne, and left the city without shoes or supplies. Though none of us knew where he had gone, we knew that all men would find him. Though I never saw him again, I felt his spirit in many places. The journey that we took is the journey of all mankind; the brave, unhindered by evil, the meek, unbent by greed, the meager, unfettered by arrogance. We, the mendicants, spread out through the land and carried his word to every corner and dale, the Heralds of Mankind.
Constellation: Arnab
Orthodoxy: 3
Observances:

Act – The priest obtains a slab of flat stone to serve as the surface of the shrine.
Offering – The stone is cleansed with 3 holy water such that no part of it is left unpolished.
Act – An art piece depicting Melandiel is positioned at a central place upon the stone, or on the wall behind the stone if it is meant to be hung upon a wall.
Liturgy – “Melandiel, Windsong, Change Bringer, Champion of the Heart and Walker of a Thousand Paths, I call to thee. I beg of thee to accept this gift of a shrine in your honor. May you see through the eyes of your likeness, and gaze into the souls of those who would supplicate themselves before you. May you humble the proud, who would stand upon the backs of their fellow man, and comfort those worthy souls with a boot upon their throat. The kindness of others I give in sacrifice, that you might know me as your servant. In Veritate!
Offering – An inedible object freely donated to the order is placed upon the stone, in front of the art.

Mechanical Effect
This rite creates a Shrine of Melandiel that may be used in Rites requiring one as a Focus.

Any may trigger the Shrine by leaving an offering of calcite, a rabbit’s foot, nightcrawlers, a dogwood wand, locust flour, or the Manifesto of a Madman, and using the Prayer ability at the Shrine of Melandiel.

If triggered, the target is immune to the Pain condition until the Hopeful state earned by prayer is expended.

Blessing of Daily Bread

Thank god for a meal and bless all who share it with you.
“While you are proclaiming humility with your lips, ensure you have it even more fully in your heart.”
Constellation: Jamus
Orthodoxy: 1
Observances:

Act – The priest sits with whatever meal is about to be eaten, and joins hands with whomever is sharing the meal. All bow their heads. If alone, the priest clasps their hands together instead.
Liturgy“Dear god, holy in our hearts, we thank you for the gift of life and the food of the earth you give us to sustain it. We thank you for our blood and our breath. We thank you for the path before us and the purpose you provide us. We thank you for the chance to serve your will from this day until our final breath. In Veritate.”
Offering – Those assembled eat the meal prayed over.

Mechanical Effect
All who share in the meal, including the cultist, gain a Divine Resist call against any Poison effect for the remainder of the day or until they participate in another Blessing of Daily Bread rite. This also removes the Miserable state.

Rite of Fasting

Deprive the body to feed the mind
When Bathier came upon the Reikengard fields that had suffered so badly in the Henberger Rebellion, he was deeply moved by their turmoil and bid we all stop and 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. Markgraf Boritz 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 led him to challenge the thane directly.
Constellation: Tariq
Orthodoxy: 3
Observances:

Liturgy“God, Lord of all and highest at the table of any host, hear me. In times of turmoil and great need, so often it is so that some must rely on faith to sustain their bodies and forego the providence of your forests, fields, and streams. I am grateful that you have so equipped me to trust in you, and that you trust in me that my faith shall never falter. A thousand times and more, in gospel and in my own experience, you have seen fit to inspire kindness in the hearts of strangers who have provided enough for the humble soul to live. I beg of thee the opportunity now to return this kindness, to be the vessel of your providence, and to mirror the mercy you have shown to me time and time again.”
Act – The priest gives all food items they own to someone or some group of people that has shown them kindness.
Liturgy“The burden is lifted, O’ Lord, and I lay myself at your feet. But as I shall never go to you with an unclean soul, nor should I beg your gifts with unclean flesh. These waters you have sanctified, and as they tear away the dust and grime that clings to me like a stain upon the linen, let them tear away also any shred of lingering doubt, any fleck of inhibition in submitting myself totally to you, any deviation from your righteous and holy path.”
Offering – The priest washes their entire body with 7 vials of holy water.
Liturgy“In this time of troubles, where you shall test every one of your creations of their dedication to righteousness, their purity of purpose, and their devotion to you, I beg of you to make me equal to the task. Guide me in all things, that I might always choose you. Let me not be tempted to stray, gird my heart against wickedness, let not even hunger and thirst draw me from your table, and let me be a vessel of your untempered will upon the earth. The passion of your love alone sustains me, and it is all I shall ever need. Make me in the image of what you most wish to see in Man, and [sharpen my mind/strengthen my heart/sanctify my spirit] to better serve your will. In service to you, and to the Song of the World. In Veritate!”

Mechanical Effect
The cultist immediately becomes Miserable. For as long as the Cultist remains Miserable, they may choose one Mental Attribute to increase by 1. This boost cannot be switched to a different Attribute once chosen, and must be chosen at the point of declaration in the Liturgy.

Cultists who sustain this state of Fasting for exceptionally long periods have been known to occasionally receive divine insights and revelations.

On Quiet Paths

Hide your followers from detection
As we fled through the forest, we were harried by the riders of the Markgraf, who wished to see us slain for his humiliation. They chased us through the woods, and many times we heard them riding down the road, but then past us, then doubled back and missed us again. Bathier lead us directly through wood and wild, having no need for the signs and paths of others. When I asked him how he knew the way through the dark of the wood, he replied only that “All roads lead to the Lord.”
Constellation: Ramah
Orthodoxy: 3
Observances:

Offering – The priest takes a sheet of linen and dips it in a unit of ink mixed with water.
Offering – They wring out the stained linen and cover their head with it.
Focus – A silver leonem is dangled from the priest’s right hand.
Act – Once the conditions necessary to enter Stealth are met, the priest recites the liturgy.
Liturgy“Melandiel, I pray to thee to guide me on the path. Protect and shelter those who trust in me from wicked hearts, and forgive us our trespasses as we walk all god’s creation. May our shadows offend none, our footsteps offend none, our whispered adorations offend none in this world or the next. Keep us safe and steady, our feet firmly on the road, for it is told us in the gospels that all roads lead to the Lord.”

Mechanical Effect
The Cultist and up to seven targets linked to them by touch are made difficult to discover.

For as long as the Cultist continues to whisper the Liturgy, the Cultist and all targets may enter Stealth, even if they do not have a skill that allows them to enter Stealth normally. The Cultist may take additional steps in Stealth equal to their Cultist Rank, and may take steps on behalf of the affected targets. At least one target must have a hand on the Cultist, with all other targets physically linked together in some way. The Cultist may repeat the Liturgy indefinitely to prolong the effects of the rite, though it ends as soon as they misspeak or cease the Liturgy, or any of the group take violent action of any kind.

Blessing of Peaceful Slumber

Be wakeful to danger
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.
Constellation: Arnab
Orthodoxy: 4
Observances:

Focus – The priest goes to a building in which a resident has offered them a place to sleep.
Offering: A candle is lit.
Offering: Oil is warmed above the candle before it is used to mark the door of the room with the seal of Melandiel.
Liturgy – “Lord god, Melandiel has once more guided me to hearts inspired to kindness by your providence. I humble myself before you for this gift, and ask only that you reward those who listen to your word upon the wind. Protect and shelter this generous heart, and let them rest in peaceful slumber.”
Act – The priest presses their forehead to the forehead of a target that lives in the building, using one hand to gently grasp the nape of their neck and hold their brows together until the Liturgy has been completed.
Liturgy – “[Brother/Sister/Kind companion], I swear to you, as one of god’s children to another, that your generosity will not go unrewarded. Melandiel, my shepherd and muse, watches over those with open hearts and righteous minds and guards them from the claws of the wicked. He watches over you now, and will not leave your bedside all throughout the night. You and yours can rest peacefully, knowing no harm will come to you, for of any danger we will be forewarned to take up arms and defend each other as kin in the land of the Lord. Still, now, any worries of your heart, for the Lord rewards all who stand as stewards of the earth. In Veritate.”

Mechanical Effect
The Cultist and the target gain the Light Sleeper perk if they did not have it already, which lasts until dawn. If the Light Sleeper perk granted in this way is not triggered throughout the night, the target may choose to shed the Traumatized or Battered states upon waking. If the Cultist does not sleep in the same building as the Target, the effect ends immediately but does not make the ritual Vulgar. Performing this rite multiple times within the same abode, or upon multiple targets, makes every Observance Vulgar.

Angelic Blessings

Fortify yourself against harm
No guilt in life, no fear in death, I walk the path that others forget.
Constellation: Tariq
Orthodoxy: 1
Observances:

Offering – The priest enters a protected space and lights a small fire upon which they throw an herb with the euphoric effect.
Focus – The priest sits before the fire and breathes in the smoke while focusing on a silver leonem.
Act – The priest holds the leonem over either a bowl of holy water or a large, horizontal silver surface and recites their last rites three times.

Mechanical Effect:
The priest may spend their Prayer to extend their last rites, allowing them to say their rites twice rather than only once.

Rank 2 

Hospitality of Man

Build brotherhood between humanity
As we left the small respite of our host, we were fed and clad, but none wanted to remain. Eager we were, to be along the way once more, for we knew that though we had passed into another land, word of the growing parade of mendicants would frighten those ahead as well as those we left behind. Before long, the horses were upon us once again, now of several banners instead of but one. As even our new boots and clothes became ragged once more in our trek, we found that our speed across the land only increased – each breath filling us with joy instead of dread. The lightness of our spirits matched the quickness of our journey and even the horsemen, wicked of heart, could match our pace.
Constellation: Saqir
Orthodoxy: 3
Observances:

Focus – Two or more targets are gathered inside a building. The priest may count themself as a target. The following words are repeated: “Brothers and sisters, we have gathered today to make something greater than the sum of its parts. Alone, we are like the birds of the hills, taking flight at the approach of a predator. Together, though, not even the leopard would brave the ire of the flock.”
Act – All targets announce their allegiances. If the priest believes a target is lying when they announce their allegiance, they may accuse them of such, and then announce where their loyalties are known to lie. They are considered to be part of the allegiance the priest announces for the purpose of this rite.
Liturgy – “God is with us here, as we create a new allegiance, a new brotherhood. As we drink together we swear to avoid violence and the threat of violence against the other members of our new allegiance. What we bind together none but god will break apart.”
Offering – The priest distributes 1 drink of wine to each target and makes a toast to all in attendance, wishing them good health and stating the purpose for which they have been gathered. All targets must ingest the wine.
Act – The priest must perform the Blessing of Daily Bread with 0 Vulgarity.

Mechanical Effect:
Should any target of the rite do violence or threaten to commit violence against another while still within the building, they and all members of their declared allegiance become Damned, and suffer the “Drain Hope” call. This includes implied threats, such as “Let us take this outside to settle it, once and for all.”

Regardless of whether or not the priest is correct in their assessment of the loyalties of a target they accuse of lying, the target may be excluded from the declared allegiance or assigned to a different one.

If any targets should be killed their final death while under the protection of this Rite, they stand a high chance of returning as a powerful Malefic to take vengeance.

Hospitality of the Lord

Protect a space with the will of the lord
At the halls of Meridia, where dwelt the Guildmaster Halgas the childless, wealthiest man in what was then a meager town, 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, 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.” Halgas offered Bathier money for his travels, but he refused it, asking only that those who had come to follow him be fed and clothed. From that day on, Halgas became known as the plentiful and bore a dozen sons to his name.
Constellation: Aldhiyib
Orthodoxy: 3
Observances:

Act – The priest must be approached by a person who willingly offers them a place to sleep for the night without the priest’s prompting. They shall accept the offer, and ask to see the abode. They shall refuse all further offers of comfort, accepting only offerings of bedding, simple food, and water.
Offering – All window frames and door frames must be anointed with holy water as the priest speaks the Liturgy, repeating it for every door and window.
Liturgy“What is done to our fellow men on earth is mirrored in heaven, those acts of kindness that we offer others are reflected back upon us tenfold. Melandiel, praise be to you and the lord, may you bless those who have granted me such kindness.”
Offering – The Sigil of Melandiel is drawn on all entrances to the building with chalk, while the priest recites, “Do not fear what will happen tomorrow, for the lord provides us with protection just as we protect others. He will shield us from suffering, or give us the strength to bear what will come. Be at peace, and put aside all anxiety within these walls. In Veritate.”
Offering – A bay laurel is burned in their fireplace or in a shallow bowl.

Mechanical Effect:
The Cultist must decide if they mean to protect the abode from Humans, Malefic, or Spirits. For the remainder of the event, any creature of the chosen type that does not honestly believe the building to be their home must spend a Discipline to enter. Even if they do spend the Discipline, they are affected by a Stun Offense call as soon as they cross the threshold. A tag must be posted on all entrances to this effect.

If any targets should be killed their final death while under the protection of this Rite, they stand a high chance of returning as a powerful Malefic to take vengeance.

Dei Providentia

Make edible food out of nothing.
I watched as the Markgraf brought forth the meal he had promised us. The flesh was discolored from age and flies worried it with their attentions as the Markgraf’s women put the carcass on our board. As I turned my head from the stink to regard Bathier, he smiled kindly to the Markgraf, 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.
Constellation: Tanin
Orthodoxy: 3
Observances:

Offering – The priest makes a fire out a bed of soft wood.
Act – A pot is filled with water and the priest performs the Tears of Benalus rite upon it with 0 Vulgarity. None of the Holy Water may be removed for other uses.
Offering – The pot is set upon the fire and the priest waits for the holy water to boil.
Act – All targets are implored to add something to the stew, assuring them no matter what they have to give, the Lord will thank them for their generosity and will provide them with food. This can include common food items as well as inedible things such as axeheads, poisonous herbs, and cloth. Anything that would be a sin to ingest should be refused, such as human flesh or intoxicating drugs. Objects added must be tagged, items, and there must be a minimum of 5 contributions. The priest must thank everyone for their contribution as they add it to the pot.
Liturgy – “All for whom the next life means more than this one, the Lord does provide. All for whom his fellow man means more than his earthly possessions, the Lord does provide. All for whom community, comradery, friendship and love are worth more than any shiny metal or feather bed, the Lord does provide. So many of you have joined together, arm in arm with your brothers and sisters, to share the love and light of god between you. It shines out your hearts like a beacon, a lighthouse on a cliff guiding our ships through stormy seas. Melandiel rewards you. The Lord our god rewards you. Feast, now, of the bounty your love and god’s providence have made! In Veritate.”

Mechanical Effect:
Enough food for every person who added an object to the pot is made, and one serving removes the Miserable condition as normal. Any diseases that would be gained by consuming the inedible materials are burned away, and all who eat the stew gain one Resist call against catching a Disease. This Resist does not refresh and lasts until they sleep. If someone who eats the stew already has a disease, they may expend this Resist call immediately to reduce its symptoms by one step, though they are not cured.

All objects added to the stew are consumed and cannot be salvaged, unless they were magically or divinely protected, in which case their addition does not provide additional servings. The taste of the stew is described as, “Bland, but better than you expected.”

Rank 3

Winds of Change

Destroy that which is evil
Even as we arrived in Fenristadt, the soldiery had anticipated us, and clapped Bathier in irons. He did not resist as they put him before the Prince of Gotha, this so-called Emperor, petty and petulant on his throne before the serene dignity of Bathier. The charge was treason and inciting rebellion, but despite these lies, Bathier was without wrath. His voice was as the thunder above as he called the very authority of the court into question.
Constellation: Jabal
Orthodoxy: 7
Observances:

Focus – The priest obtains an audience of no less than 7 witnesses that are not Members of the target organization. The priest may not count themself among the witnesses.
Offering– Each witness and the priest are anointed with the seal of Melandiel on the forehead with oil. This will take two oils.
Act – The Leader of the target organization is approached in a public space. They may have Members of the target organization with them.
Focus – The priest thumps the butt of a staff on the floor until you have the attention of the Leader.
Act – The priest describes how the organization, its members, and/or its leader have violated the will of god. They explain either how the Core Values of the organization offend god, how the Leader or Members of the organization violate Core Values in alignment with god’s will, or how the practices and actions of the organization offend god. If available, the priest should present any evidence they have to prove the accusations of wrongdoings, and implore any of the witnesses gathered to voice their agreement with your assessment.
Liturgy“<Organization> sits before the dread seat of judgement and has been found wanting. Let us take from the body of the church this putrid and incurable member who so refuses to serve his fellow men, in order that the rest of the body of the brotherhood may not be poisoned by such a pestiferous disease. God has turned his face from you. In Veritate.”
Offering – The Leader’s face is splashed with Holy Water.
Offering – The priest turns their back on the Leader and stands stationary while they thump the butt of a staff on the floor three times. The staff will shatter upon the last thump.
Focus – The priest walks away from the Leader, saying nothing until they have knelt before a Shrine of Melandiel.

Mechanical Effect:
Should the Cultist sustain any injury from any member of the target organization during this Rite, so long as it has no Vulgarity, the Cultist is immediately killed and the Rite is automatically completed. This still requires the Cultist to draw from their Star Stones to determine success.

The Leader and all Members of the target organization lose their Organizational Downtime action for this event. If the rite is completed normally and not by the death of the Cultist, the Leader sustains a Personal Failure. An organization may only be the target of one Winds of Change rite per event.

Vestments of Concordance

Create the vestments of the lord
As we emerged from the wood, we were ragged, our clothes ripped and our feet bare from the ordeal. Bathier touched my feet, and spoke the words over them, washed them and set me upon the path again. “All they need is the word of the Lord to cloth them”, he said, and my strength was renewed for the path ahead.
Constellation: Aldhiyib
Orthodoxy: 7
Observances:

Offering – The priest lays out a Practical Outfit that has been donated to the order or has been crafted by a Melandihim cultist out of donated materials.
Offering – At least five pages are torn out from a blank book or journal and covered with the words of St. Bathier. This destroys the item.
Offering – At least five pages are torn out from a blank book or journal and covered with the words of the Testimonium. This destroys the item.
Act – A witness capable of working fabric (Tailoring 1) is implored to sew the pages torn from the Gospel into the interior of the Practical Outfit (Requires Professional Tailoring Tools). While the witness works the cloth, the priest chants the following Liturgy, and repeats it until they are finished.
Liturgy“In god alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song,
Melandiel guides to solid ground
Firm through strongest wind, darkest throng.
Hands and heart, feet, soul and spirit,
What heights of love, what depths of peace
Through brotherhood my spark is lit,
Through work all fears begin to cease.”
Offering – The witness is anointed with holy water, offered the blessings of Melandiel, and thanked for all the work they’ve done.
Focus – The priest dons the Outfit and kneels before a Shrine of Melandiel as they chant the following Liturgy.
Liturgy“Lord I am not worthy to receive you. In my time upon this plane I have been many things unworthy of your grace. But I come to you now without sin, without blemish, and ask that you make me an instrument of your glory so that I may bring your lessons to my fellow man. In Veritate.”
Offering – An appropriate offering is made to the Shrine of Melandiel.

Mechanical Effect:
The rite creates Vestments of Concordance, which only the officiating cultist may gain Divine benefit from. For all others who would wear the garment, it has no effect.

Instead of the mechanics of the Practical Outfit, the Vestments of Concordance confer the following Divine benefits to the cultist so long as it’s worn:

  • May call “Divine Disarm” on a single human target weilding a melee weapon within speaking range once per scene.
  • May call “Divine Obey: Let me pass” on a single human target once per scene.
  • May call “Divine Obey: Do me no harm” on a single human target once per scene.
  • May call “Divine Obey: Protect me” on a single human target that has submitted to the Do Me No Harm command once per scene.
    May call “Divine Believe: I am not your enemy” on a single human target once per scene.

Though the Vestments of Concordance do not naturally expire, if they are ever Sundered they are automatically destroyed. Only a cultist of 0 Depravity may gain any value from the vestments. If the cultist ever gains or bears Depravity while wearing the Vestments, all Divine benefits bestowed by this rite are suppressed until they have 0 Depravity.

Winds of Unseen Travel

Blind the eyes of others to your deeds
So came we out of the land of the merely petty and the miserly and into the land of true wickedness. The sky turned as ash, and filled with great black birds. They dove for us, and perched upon branches, watching with keen and clever eyes, speaking taunts and warnings. Bathier knelt at a brackish pool, and scooped forth a bowl of the water, praying for it to be blessed and clean. This he spread across all of our brows, calling out our names to the Melandiel, who he named Herald of the Lord. A great wind shook the branches, and threw the birds into bedlam, their howling anger matching the rage of the wind.
Constellation: Jamus
Orthodoxy: 5
Observances:

Act – The priest performs the Tears of Benalus rite with 0 Vulgarity.
Focus – A glass vial is obtained.
OfferingOne application of Holy Water is transferred to the glass vial.
OfferingSilver shavings are added to the vial.
Act – The Sigil of Melandiel is carved into the glass vial with a sharp instrument while the priest chants the following Liturgy, repeating it until they are finished.
Liturgy“Hide <name> Melandiel, from those who are lost- who have blinded themselves to the grace of our god. Protect us from those who do not follow your light- shadow them with uncertainty, plunge their eyes into darkness. Protect us as we do what must be done. In Veritate.”
Offering – The name of the target is carved into the glass vial on the side opposite the Sigil of Melandiel and a Blessed Candle of Melandiel is heated and reduced to liquid so that the vial is sealed with its wax.

Mechanical Effect:
The rite creates a Blessing of Unseen Travel tied to a specific individual, which may be the cultist themself.

So long as the Blessing of Unseen Travel is on the person named in the rite, they are immune to all forms of divination, including but not limited to magic, rites, seer abilities, and tracking.

The Blessing of Unseen Travel retains potency until the end of the event, after which point the vial and blessing are consumed.

Rank 4

Bless the Founding

Bless a new organization
The streets churned with the crowds of the righteous, for as word of Bathier’s supposed crimes had reached the capital, so too had the word of his true deeds, and the people were aghast that the crown would turn on the people of the Lord. Though the people were not in the armaments of soldiers, when they arrived at the palace gate, the crowd subsided for Bathier, who stepped forward and, with solemnity, demanded the gate be opened. The soldiers complied rather than face the righteous, and Bathier and his followers pushed through to the very throne, where the Emperor was removed from power.
Constellation: Sahm
Orthodoxy: 6
Observances:

Act – The priest approaches a target they know to be founding an organization as its Leader, and offers to counsel them in the creation of their new organization, that it may be right with the Lord and blessed of Melandiel. If they agree, the priest proceeds with the Rite.
Focus – The priest sits across a table from the target in a public space with a writing kit between them. Any number of witnesses or none may be in attendance.
Offering – A Blessed Candle of Melandiel is lit.
Offering – A bottle of sweet wine mixed with an herb with the clarifier effect is served.
Act – The priest facilitates a scene with the target wherein they negotiate and come to a mutual agreement on the following topics: the Organization Type, the Organization Name, all 5 Core Values of the Organization, the founding Members, the access Benalians have to lands claimed by the Organization, and the punishments the Organization may righteously bestow upon those that misuse or mistreat their members, land, or property. All actions proposed must cause 0 Depravity if they were to be carried out. The priest records or has a witness record all agreements with the writing kit.
Focus – The target places their dominant hand upon the holy writ of Melandiel and swears to lead the organization justly, with a generous heart and a mind towards the long term effects of their actions upon the children of god.
Offering – The target is anointed with Holy Water.
Liturgy – “Remember this- when you leave this life behind, you cannot take with you any of your possessions that you have taken. All that you will have are the gifts of the spirit- and the good will that you have earned. Bless you, and bless <Organization> before god and Melandiel. In Veritate.”

Mechanical Effect:
The founding of the organization is blessed by Melandiel.

The Leader of the new organization and the cultist may agree on and choose an unoccupied Turf, and place 4 control chits upon it. These are considered in place before the event’s Organizational Maintenance Phase.

If the organization ever changes the Core Values laid out by the leader and cultist in this rite, or if the Leader ever violates these Core Values, any Melandihim cultist may officiate a Winds of Change rite against the organization. If they choose to, and cite these violations as reason that the Organization deserves to be dissolved, the Winds of Change rite gains the additional effect of allowing the officiating cultist to remove 4 control chits from any Turf that organization controls before that events Organizational Maintenance Phase.

An organization may only ever be the target of Bless the Founding once.

Midnight of the Soul

Bring the lone wolf into the flock
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.
Constellation: Ramah
Orthodoxy: 6
Observances:

Offering – A Blessed Candle of Melandiel is lit after dusk.
Focus – The priest kneels at a Shrine of Melandiel and places the candle upon it while speaking the following Liturgy.
Liturgy“It is not in fullness that we experience the grace of god. Rather, it is in pain that we find truth. It is in deprivation that we find clarity. I have been called to serve more than the willing, those already on the path of grace. I have been called to heal the wounded, to unite that which has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way. In Veritate.”
Focus – A lone, unbaptized target suffering a Personal Failure is approached by the priest and they are offered some manner of comfort from the priest, be it in the form of a blanket to warm them, food to feed them, or simple words of encouragement. They then ask for a discussion of what caused the target’s Personal Failure.
Act – The events that caused the target’s Personal Failure are discussed, so that a complete understanding of how it came to pass is gleaned. If the target has a Devotion that runs counter to the beliefs of the Benalian church, the priest steers the conversation towards questioning the foundations of those beliefs, instilling doubt that their Devotion is what should be most important to them. The priest then steers the conversation towards considering how the situation could have been avoided or improved with god’s guidance. They may use any Social Skills at their disposal.
Act – The priest continues the conversation, evangelizing the Benalian Faith and how turning to a virtuous life would improve the target’s situation. They encourage the target to swear oaths to live a more virtuous life, with specifics negotiated between them and the target in the scene, before witnessing any oaths they choose to swear. The priest may use any Social Skills at their disposal.
Act – The priest then attains the consent of the target to perform a Baptism upon them, and they perform the Baptism rite upon the target with zero Vulgarity.
Act – The priest returns to the Shrine of Melandiel with the target and has them blow out the Blessed Candle of Melandiel lit at the beginning of this rite.

Mechanical Effect:
The Rite does not suffer any Vulgarity from any target that is Faith in Self.

Any oaths the target chooses to take during this rite become tenets in the target’s Honor Code. If they did not have the Honor Code flaw, they gain it without the XP granted.

In addition to the effects of the Baptism rite, the target has the option to change their Devotion to one that is in line with what the tenets, virtues, or other structures of the Benalian Faith. If they choose to change their Devotion in this way they remove the Despair state, exit the state of Personal Failure, immediately receive a Personal Victory, and gain the Hopeful state. If they are missing a Touchstone Memory, this moment becomes one. The cultist gains a Personal Victory regardless of their Devotion.