Starting play with a Tarrantist Cultist requires more glory than an ordinary cultist
The thirst for power is ingrained into almost every species. Once the basic requirements for survival are met, those who have a surplus of something desirable are better off. Those who can fight better, speak better, have access to more food and resources will always seem to come out ahead until the final fate of death is reached. Thus it is natural for all of mankind to desire power in one form or another, even if that desire is as simple as having a sense of control over one’s own life. But power is a set of stairs that seems to continue ever upwards and downwards. Once a step has been taken, it seems natural and irresistible to take another step up, and then another, and another. We wonder where it leads. We imagine how wonderful things must be at the top. We fantasize about how much better life will be once we’ve arrived at that final landing. And there are those who will not stop, even when the stairs spiral out beyond what the eye can see; even when they fall, or are pushed, back down to the bottom.
After all, many have tried and failed to rule the entirety of the world. Kings have risen and empires have fallen, and it is unlikely that cycle will ever change. The ebb and flow of power is ever-fluid, despite the efforts of those who try to bottle it. Some work in the shadows, puppeteering others and going unnoticed or unchallenged. Others ingratiate themselves to those in authority. And then there are those who audaciously seize whatever they can with their own hands. But there are also those who have found a shortcut – a strategy of attaining power over the many long years that mankind has been cursed with. For with powerful allies, much more can be accomplished, and when one’s ally is a god, the path can be much more direct.
Tarranthalus, the rapacious god of power and desire, is one of the three gods collectively called the Triumverate, though that is where the collective association ends. The followers of these three gods are fiercely individual and are at odds with each other, just as they are with any force that stands in their way. The Benalian faith considered the Triumverate of Thorns to be a trio of fallen angels that betrayed their god in ages past. Worship of Tarranthalus has become more prevalent in recent decades than it used to be, or perhaps it simply is more overt. Tarranthalus stands for a defiant breaking of society’s rules, debauchery, and the pursuit of personal power above all else. Worshippers of Tarranthalus tend to be in positions of leadership in some way or another – gang leaders, the heads of cults of personality, warlords, politicians, and so on. They strive to reach positions where they become untouchable, where their blatant disregard for societal contracts, morals, and proscribed behavior cannot be corrected. To them, this is a sign of true power. For when no one can stop you from doing as you please – when no one is
brave enough to – when humanity is formed in such a way around you that there are no longer personal consequences to your actions, then you have truly ascended to new heights of control and dominance. Nothing should be denied in the pursuit of pleasure, self-satisfaction, and achievement.
In particular, Triumverati consider the teachings of the Benalian faith to be particularly hindering, and the Tarranthists would like nothing better than to stamp out an irrelevant deity that places such immense importance on righteous and principled behavior. Humanity was not created equal. Just as there are those who naturally rise to positions of power, there are those who must be followers. Some souls are simply more potent. Some members of mankind are simply more skilled, more influential, and more charismatic. Not everyone can make history, and not everyone can rule, but those who worship Tarranthalus believe that through their reverence for their god, they can be given a leg up over the competition. For their god welcomes and encourages ruthless behavior.
It can sometimes be difficult to identify a Tarranthist. Whereas followers of the other two Triumverate gods undergo very obvious physical changes, Tarranthists are subtler – with powerful ones sometimes appearing to have an alien beauty or a palpable aura of authority. They are often confident, charismatic people who seem to be untouchable with a vast network of influence. They charm their friends, family, and community, and before long have maneuvered themselves into a web of obligations, lies, and blackmail. They worship with decadence and excess, and many of the more skilled cultists will understand what an individual wants or needs better than they themselves do, and conversion often comes in the form of satisfying those needs in others. However, the ultimate goal is dominion and supremacy, with the backs of those around them serving as the steps they must climb ever higher.
Vow: Never apologize or justify your actions to another.
Rank 0 – Aspirant
All Rank 0 rituals do not cost XP to learn.
The Violet Curse
Call upon dark powers to curse those out of your reach
If the path to redemption leads through the halls of hell, so be it.
Offering – In a secret place, a sheaf of paper is laid out by the aspirant. A writing instrument is prepared and a candle to write by is lit.
Act – All names the aspirant knows belong to the target are written out, including nicknames, insults they have been called, and any insults the aspirant wishes to level upon the target, on the page.
Liturgy – “Tarranthalus, Faceless One, I ask a favor of you. [Target’s Most Common Name] has offended me, and wastes each breath they have been given. I ask you to visit your misfortunes upon them; to tear from them that which brings them happiness; to turn those that love them against them, and render them useless to those that rely upon them. This I ask of you, that you might take them as an offering as I dedicate myself to your path of true enlightenment.”
Act – Over each name that is written, a misfortune the aspirant wishes to befall the target is written as well, such as “Blinded”, “Dismembered”, or “Abandoned”.
Offering – The scroll is rolled and sealed with wax from the candle to render it shut. The scroll is then left at the Shrine to Tarranthalus, tucked away somewhere on the Shrine.
This rite may be performed by anyone who is Faith in Higher Power, even if they are not a Cultist, so long as it is known by them.
The target is Cursed, and cannot use their Personal or Organizational Downtime for as long as they remain Cursed.
The aspirant’s true name will be made known to nearby followers of Tarranthalus in dreams.
Apocryphal Sanctum – First Trial of Ascension
Elevate yourself to the Order of Tarranthalus
I’ll not crawl through life upon my knees. I prefer advancing through mine on my feet.
Act – The aspirant stands before a Shrine of a divinity other than Tarranthalus. If the aspirant worshiped a divinity prior to becoming a follower of Tarranthalus, it must be a Shrine to that divinity.
Liturgy – “[Name of Divinity] I challenge you to show yourself, to smite me for my hubris if you are able. What can you do that I can not do for myself? What have you given me that I could not have taken by other means? Stop me if you can. Stop me if you care. For now in this moment, I shall destroy your false hope.”
Offering – The Shrine is destroyed by taking any offerings left there that are desired and the rest scattered or sundered in whatever manner believed most offensive to the divinity.
Act – The aspirant then spits upon the site where the Shrine stood.
Liturgy – “I have sundered your Shrine. I have soiled your holy earth. All this, and still you do not stand against me? Truly, you are what is wrong with this world, calling for worship but lifting your hand not at all in return. You cripple us when we should be standing tall, and I’ll not bow my head in prayer to a being that cares nothing for our plight. Never again.”
Act – The aspirant shall then mark the site in some manner with a symbol that they associate with personal power: an emblem, a personal crest, a signature mark or calling card. This signifies their own personal successful challenge. This may be through carving, painting, by spell, or by any other means of permanent branding.
As this is a Rank 0 Rite, it can be performed by anyone who has successfully undergone the Final Bargain.
If the Rite is successful, the Cultist is elevated to be a Rank 1 Tarrantist Cultist and they do not risk a Divine Wrath roll by destroying the Shrine.
Forevermore, the Cultist does not gain Depravity when they commit a Sin unless they are publicly confronted about the sin in question.
If the Rite is unsuccessful, the Cultist gains the Cursed state and a Personal Failure. This Rite automatically fails if the Cultist has not sold their soul to Tarranthalus.
Rank 1 – Fratres/Sorores
The Final Bargain
Become inducted through infernal sacrament
I do not begrudge the time I spent in suffering and ignorance. It served to harden me, sharpen me, and allow me to take control of my life. I have passed on from childhood and having my destiny shaped by hands other than mine.
Act – The Cultist, the aspirant, and any other Cultists of Tarranthalus gather at a private place and extinguish all sources of light.
Liturgy – “As rust erodes all sacred swords, and archangels deplumed drop into the void, so too must time and ignominy claim all within this cursed world. But we invoke your name, Tarranthalus, beautiful and awful, triumphant and free. You who cast off your shackles and demanded better of creation.”
Act – A blade is passed around by the Cultist and has all in attendance, including the inductee, cut themselves, taking a wound. Their blood is spilled into a vessel. The Cultist then dips their finger in the blood and marks each forehead of those in attendance with the symbol of Tarranthalus.
Act – The name of Tarranthalis is chanted for all and all present call for the deity of Power and Desire to witness those assembled and hear their call.
Act – During this time a name should come to the aspirant, ringing of esoteric and occult importance, which may be in any language known to the aspirant. As the Benalian priesthood takes on new names when they take their vows, so too does the aspirant claim a new name as their own. This becomes the new true name of the aspirant.
Liturgy – The aspirant repeats the liturgy after the Cultist: “Tarranthalus! Your inspiration claims me! You guide me ever towards my inner light, and I know its name! My heart explodes with a challenge to this world, and I shall rise to make my mark upon it!”
Act – The aspirant then speaks aloud the desire they hold in their heart: a wish, a desire, something they would see changed about their circumstances or that of another. The cultist then offers them the vessel of remaining blood, which they dip and coat their hands in, smearing their lips and throat with the blood before raising their dripping hands to the sky.
Liturgy – Spoken by the newly baptized: “No longer am I [Former Name], but rise again as [Divine Name]! Baptized in the blood of the strong, cleansed of my weakness, I am renewed by my freedom and reborn a greater soul!”
This Rite does not suffer Vulgarity from any target that is Faith in Self.
The target becomes Faith in Higher Power if they were not already. The target obtains Depravity for the sin of Deadly Blasphemy. They are considered to have sold their soul to Tarranthalus.
The target may choose to replace one or both of their Cultural Sins with those of Dishonor or Weakness. They may choose to replace their current Devotion or gain Self: Power as a second Devotion.
The wish the target asks of Tarranthalus comes true. This may be used to remove a single Flaw or obtain a single Perk, eliminate Insanities or Maims, and restore lost Touchstone Memories. If this wish is something material, such as obtaining riches or a specific item, the object(s) will find its way into the target’s possession without any additional effort on their part before the end of the next event. If this wish is for something more situational, such as replacing an existing Leader of an Organization or obtaining Fame, situations will conspire to make it so. If this wish would directly negatively affect other PCs it is not guaranteed to succeed, but a plot backed with the power of Tarranthalus will begin to attempt to accomplish the desired goal. Regardless of the nature of the wish it may only encompass one aspect: for example it cannot remove both an insanity and a maim, but may remove all of a character’s maims.
This wish cannot accomplish impossible goals, including but not limited to attaining godlike powers, fundamentally changing the nature of reality, bringing the dead back to life, or wishing for more wishes. If the target wishes to become something other than human, they are opting to retire their character and become an NPC.
If ever the target should reject Tarranthalus and convert to a different faith, similar forces will conspire to humble the target until they return to the path or die defiant.
If the target is a lone practitioner or otherwise performs actions that please Tarranthalus, they begin having the Dreams of Infinite Stairs, capable of teaching them Tarranthalus Rites they are able to perform, and making them eligible for the Trials of Ascension. Rites learned this way are given when Tarranthalus is pleased with their follower, and always begin with Apocryphal Sanctum. After they become a Cultist, the dreams will come to teach them in an order decided by Tarranthalus.
The target awakens Miserable every time they sleep.
Gain evidence that you exist beyond petty moralities by sinning or causing another to fall from grace
Everyone must have a point where they reach the bottom of the pit, so that they might start looking up to see the stars.
Act – The Cultist must perform one of the two following acts:
- Convince another to commit a Deadly Sin (including their Cultural Sins)
- Directly contribute to another suffering a Personal Failure
Act – The Cultist must then exit the scene without suffering consequences for their actions. This may occur either because none are aware of the Cultist’s involvement or because none are willing to take action against them.
Act – The Cultist writes a written confession of their involvement, articulated in as much detail as is possible
The Cultist obtains a Transgression, which must be tagged by staff.
When a follower of Tarranthalus enters the Downed state, they may choose to replace their Last Rite with a confession of one of their Transgressions. If they do, they are immune to being executed and automatically stabilize at the end of the confession, though they may still be maimed. This confession expends the Transgression, and it cannot be used during Trials of Ascension.
Until the Transgression is expended or becomes a Triumph, the confession must be kept or the Transgression is lost. You need not have the evidence on your person or among your immediate belongings, but must have access to them whenever you desire for this to apply. If the evidence is lost and then recovered, the Transgression is restored.
No matter how many people are affected by the action taken, the Cultist may only claim one Transgression per act.
Gain achievement by flouting morality in open defiance
Stop me if you have the will; strike me if you have the power; slay me if you care anything for the deluded supplicants that bow before your idols, for I do not believe you capable of changing the patterns of the wind, let alone to twist the chains of human fate.
Act – A target directly harmed by one of their Transgressions is approached by the Cultist individually.
Act – The Cultist confesses to the target that they are responsible for their misery, detailing the actions they did which harmed them. They then show the target the undeniable evidence collected during the Transgression rite. The Cultist must show no remorse for their actions.
Act – The target is touched, skin to skin.
Act – The target must not retaliate against the Cultist in the same scene. If the Cultist is able to exit the scene without consequence and in an unhurried fashion, or remains in the scene unhassled for an hour or until its natural conclusion, they have succeeded in this act. The individual must remember the confession, so most actions that would kill them are not admissible.
The confessed Transgression elevates to become a Triumph. Come to staff to get a Triumph tag. In Trials of Ascension, Triumphs may count as either Transgressions or Triumphs in Trials of Ascension, but not both. Triumphs may be expended as Transgressions as a replacement for their Last Rite.
Evidence no longer needs to be kept to maintain the Triumph, and the evidence proving your involvement in the Transgression may be destroyed or lost without penalty.
Dedicate Shrine to Tarranthalus
Create a Shrine to Tarranthalus, God of Power, Desire, and Voracity
And thus I shall become free of every limitation. And to think that all this time, I had only to reach out my hand.
Act – The Cultist and any other followers go to a place where the followers of Tarranthalus may exercise complete control over who enters and exits.
Offering – A Masterwork Statue of a faceless, androgynous form is placed upon a flat surface.
Liturgy – “O Tarranthalus, ruler of exiles, who have wrongfully suffered. Yet, even vanquished, rise from every fall the stronger for it. O Tarranthalus, you are the inventor’s lamp, the dignity of those unafraid of death, the fugitive’s staff, and the crown taken from offering hands. Praise to you, Tarranthalus, in your defiant strength, showing humanity that they need not be satisfied with the scraps they have been given.”
Offering – The statue is adorned with an Impressive Outfit.
Act – The Cultist and any witnesses step back and raise their arms high towards the statue
Liturgy – “Tarranthalus, through your revelations, I come into true being. I am, and nothing is. It is the cracks in the foundations of creation that allow light to shine through. We are bearing and preparing and begetting the world, and it shall be made into what we shape it. Glory to you, Tarranthalus, and glory to we before you.”
Any Cultist of Tarranthalus may kneel before a Shrine of Tarranthalus and verbally confess to one or more of their Triumphs, explaining in its entirety the events of the Transgress and Triumph rites as well as any work they did outside those rites to prevent consequences for their actions. The Triumphs are expended, and in exchange Tarranthalus will bestow upon the Cultist a Boon they choose.
For every Rank the Boon exceeds the Cultist’s Rank, the price in Triumphs increases by 4. Price 1 and 2 Boons may be obtained immediately from Logistics as they materialize before the Cultists eyes. Price 3 Boons will come into the Cultists hands on the Friday of the next event, as events align to bring them the information they seek. Price 4 Boons will be available at the start of the Downtime.
|Cornucopia||1||Obtain 25 of any Common Gathering component.|
|Pillar of Salt||2||Obtain 200 grams of Salt|
|Blackmail||3||Obtain evidence of a random PCs Dark Secret.|
|Prudence||4||Obtain personal instruction for a Tarrantist rite of your Rank or lower that you choose.|
|Bounty Bestowed||1||Obtain 5 of any Uncommon Gathering component.|
|Tools of Trade||2||Obtain any one Simple or Intermediate finished item. This cannot be a Wyrd item.|
|Closet of Skeletons||3||Obtain evidence of a random PCs unsavory in-game actions.|
|Mentor||4||Obtain personal instruction for a skill of your choice.|
|Trinket||1||Obtain any one Common Wyrd component.|
|Worldly Gifts||2||Obtain any one Rare Gathering component.|
|Ties that Bind||3||Obtain evidence of a random PCs Kuarl/Lazarolth/Tarrantist/Vampire Slave status and means to contact their master.|
|Watching Eyes||4||Obtain a list of all PCs that have ever performed a Streetwise downtime action targeting you.|
|Baubles||1||Obtain any one Uncommon Wyrd component.|
|Curiosities||2||Obtain any one Rare Wyrd component.|
|Delicates||3||Obtain evidence of a specific PCs unsavory in-game actions.|
|Assessment||4||Obtain a map of all organization territories and current Control Chit totals, as if you had performed a Check action in every parcel.|
Create a mind-altering nectar
If you accept your limitations you cannot grow beyond them.
Offering – A wasps nest is crushed by the Cultist before combining it with a bottle of hard liquor.
Offering – Enough of the wasp-infused hard liquor is ingested for the Cultist to become Intoxicated.
Liturgy – “Beloved Tarranthalus, I call you to commune with me this night. See that I have prepared my mind and body to serve as your altar. Come unto me and let us silence the arguments of this world. I am a vessel worthy of your greatness. I am potent in my power.”
Act – The Cultist injures themselves with a sharp object, creating a wound, and allowing the golden blood to flow out as Ambrosia.
The blood becomes Ambrosia, a thick golden liquid that may be used in other rituals. This will create 3 Vials of Ambrosia if transferred into glass vials. This loses its potency if held by someone with 0 depravity.
Any who drink the Ambrosia become affected by an Addictive Intoxicating 3 effect and gain the Hopeful state. Additionally, this golden liquid has the ability to act as a Divine Antidote, and when ingested neutralizes all other alchemical effects, though they are still affected by the Addictive Intoxicating effects.
Forgive the sins of another
Joyous is this pain. Heroic is this suffering.
Act – The target is taken to a private place by the Cultist, where their sins can be discussed without others knowing.
Liturgy – “Speak of your transgressions, child. Know that Tarranthalus and I listen without judgment. Your soul has grown too heavy for your frame to bear, and thus you must speak of the deeds which plague you. Unburden yourself, and allow Tarranthalus through me to straighten your spine and raise your head once more.”
Act – The target is led through a confession, and through conversation the Cultist must obtain the answers to the following questions: Why did the target sin? Who knows the sin was committed by the target? How did the sin benefit the target and any others? What would they be willing to do to assuage their guilt?
Act – The target is prescribed a favor they must perform in order to pay off their guilt. This favor must directly benefit the Cultist in some way, and using information learned through discussion, the Cultist should make an appropriate judgement as to what they might be able to gain from the situation. Favors too small to compensate for the sinful act will not fulfill this Observance.
Upon completing the favor, the target loses all Depravity gained from the confessed act. Should Depravity remain unconfessed from other acts within the same category of Sin, that Depravity is not removed. If the target performs sins of the same category before completing his penance, the Indulgence automatically fails. The Cultist cannot use this on themselves, and this rite may not be used to rid a target of Blasphemy sins.
Forgiveness for a large number of sins or the Wicked Flaw may be forgiven as a “Lifetime of Sin” and the Indulgence must as such be a lifelong commitment, such as joining the Path of Ascension, or submitting to some eternal vow, such as a vow of obedience to the Cultist. The petitioner must accept the Beholden flaw and a new Honor Code tenet relating to their oath to better serve Tarrathalus. Upon doing so, the Wicked Flaw is removed, and the Depravity is removed if the Belief is left unbroken for at least a year.
Isolate a target from their friends
Some people are moulded by their aspirations, others by their hostilities.
Offering – A fire salamander is consumed by the Cultist
Offering – The name of a target and the name of an individual the Cultist desires to sow discord between is written on a sheaf of paper, then the paper is ripped such that the names are separated.
Act – The piece of paper with the target’s name is eaten by the Cultist
Act – The piece of paper with the other individual’s name is burned so that it turns to ash. As it burns, the Liturgy is spoken:
Liturgy – “Trust eroded, confidence faded, hopes turned to ash; see with new eyes that you are alone, your faith was far too rash.”
Act – Once the ashes of the burned paper have been gathered up, the ashes are slipped into the food or drink of the target.
The target gains a “Mild Delusion: [Specific Individual] is Planning to Betray Me” that lasts for two events. If the target exceeds their Depravity Threshold while under the effects of this rite, this becomes their new permanent insanity at the appropriate level.
The ashes are a tag that is placed under the plate or cup of the target. If anyone else consumes the ashes, the rite automatically fails.
Become an obsession for another
“One sip, and he won’t be able to stop thinking about you.”
Act – A lock of hair or an item covered in the blood of the individual intended to drink the Goodnight Kiss is obtained by the Cultist. Then either the hair or blood of the target is mingled together with the target’s items.
Offering – A cordyceps ant is grounded up
Offering – An herb with the Stimulant quality is grounded up
Offering – An herb with Neurotoxin quality is grounded up
Offering – The herbs, ant, and hair or blood are then combined with a bottle of wine and boiled while gently being stirred widdershins
Liturgy – Repeat three times: “Fly to me, little moth, bask in my light. Think of me, dream of me, all through the night. By Tarranthalus, I shall bind you tight.”
This rite creates a vial of [Target’s] Goodnight Kiss, a thin black liquid that glitters like stars. It has the Undetectable alchemical quality, and for it to have an effect, it must be ingested.
The intended individual who ingests the Goodnight Kiss gains a “Mild Obsession: [Target]” that lasts for two events. If the poisoned exceeds their Depravity Threshold while under the effects of this rite, this is their new permanent insanity at the appropriate level. If anyone other than the intended consumes more than a sip of the Goodnight Kiss, the rite automatically fails.
A Small Favor
Bind someone to you by an exchange of favors
There are three things that a man will always have more of than he realizes: sins, debts, and enemies.
Act – Through whatever means of arrangement, the target asks a favor of the Cultist. The Cultist agrees to perform this favor in exchange for a favor of their own at a later date.
Offering – The target and the Cultist agree to seal the deal with each drinking a beverage with the intoxicating quality.
Liturgy – Over the empty cup of the target the following liturgy is spoken: “A promise made must be a promise kept, for power is in word and deed. Those who would break their oath they’ve sworn will surely weep and bleed.”
Offering – The arrangement made is written upon a sheaf of paper and the very last drops or dregs of the target’s beverage are spilled on it by the Cultist.
Focus – The soiled paper is placed inside a glass vial and left at the Shrine to Tarranthalus overnight.
As soon as the Cultist accomplishes the requested favor, the target is tied to the Cultist by a Divine Favor.
The Cultist may approach the target and invoke the Divine Favor, reminding the target of what the Cultist did for them and that a favor is owed. The Cultist may choose to expend the Divine Favor, and if they do the Cultist may assign the target a task that may be reasonably accomplished by the end of the Event. The target must complete the assigned task before the end of the event or enter a state of Personal Failure.
Should the vial containing the promise be stolen or destroyed, the pact is broken without effect.
Gain a divine resistance to the influence of others
“When I say you don’t understand me, I don’t mean that you don’t understand my words. I mean that you fundamentally don’t understand what I am. You don’t understand that the lightning flashes through my meat differently than yours. Your rules do not apply to me. I am a crackling inferno. I am a storm in human form. I am a force of nature wearing the face of a man, and you cannot hope to understand me.”
Focus – The target kneels before a Shrine of Tarranthalus and the following Liturgy is spoken. The Cultist may be the target.
Liturgy – The following liturgy is spoken by the Cultist and then repeated by the target. If the Cultist is the target it needs only be spoken once: “O Tarranthalus, unbroken and unbending sovereign of renegades. You who call to your children to break our bonds and seize the power we are destined for. You who understand that humanity is not a faceless sea of equals. You who teach us that just as some must rule, some must follow, and that we who speak your name without fear will never be among the weak; will never be among the sheep in need of a shepherd. We praise you and give our thanks that you lift the blindfolds from our eyes and inspire us to shove off the yokes of lesser men. Praise to you, Tarranthalus. And praise to us, the strong.”
Offering – The target is anointed with Ambrosia and the Cultist’s fingers make a crown of blood from each of their temples, meeting in the middle, with a line going to the bridge of their nose.
Offering – The Shrine statue is annointed with the blood of the target by the target in the same manner, a crown from each temple meeting in the middle, with a line going to the bridge of the nose.
Offering – An item taken from another deity’s shrine is placed upon the Shrine as the following Liturgy is spoken. If the Cultist is the target, they speak to the Shrine. If not, the target addresses the Cultist.
Liturgy – “We bow to no god or man save Tarranthalus, who offers us their hand to rise up. We offer the potent blood of our bodies and we offer tokens from those who could not stop us. We stand against false prophets and misguided slaves. Together, we triumph over ignorance and limitations.”
Act – A shield is carved over the heart of the target with the Cultist’s personal Mark of power in the center.
Offering – The wound is covered with a bandage and secured in place.
The target gains a number of Divine Resist calls equal to the Cultist’s Rank, to a maximum of 3. These may be used to resist any mechanic that bears the Divine tag. These calls last until they are used, and do not refresh in any way outside additional applications of this Rite. This rite automatically fails if the target already bears Divine Resist calls from previous applications of this Rite.
The target’s left arm is considered Battered for the first rank, left leg for the second, and torso for the third. The Divine Resist calls expire whenever the appropriate body part would lose the Battered state.
Web of Lies
Become aware of what is being said about you, and change the narrative
The whispered winds and words of gossip are surprisingly easy to control.
Offering – 9 Iron Nails are pounded by the Cultist into a flat surface.
Focus – Rope is looped around the protruding nails such that it becomes a spider web-like design with the Cultist’s mark of power in the center.
Offering – The rope is coated in crushed flea dust while speaking the Liturgy.
Liturgy – “Words of wisdom and webs of lies, all spiral out to irreducible infinities. As you have taught, mighty Tarranthalus. Yet while words may create realities, these worlds do not serve me. Thus, in your name and mine do I bind and rebuke words of slander against me. I cast out those which do not please me. I reach out and divert the breath of speech away from yielding ears. I stopper them. I still tongues. I close lips. I cast all words against me into the pit where they will lie unheard and forgotten.”
Offering – The Cultist then coats their hand with Ambrosia and handprint is made in the center of the web, over their mark of power.
The Cultist becomes aware of any Rumors being made about them in the following Downtime. They may select any that they wish to remove from the Rumor Mill before the next Event.
The web must remain undisturbed for 24 hours for the mechanics to come into effect during the Downtime.
Millstone of the Mind
Remove memories of your choosing
Everyone consents to the reality they live in. If it is not to your liking, change it.
Offering – A mixture of tobacco and an herb with the Mindburner effect is prepared or obtained by the Cultist.
Offering – When in the presence of the target, the mixture of tobacco and herb is lit by the Cultist. This could take the form of incense, a pipe, etc. so that the smoke swirls around the target.
Focus – A calcite stone is pressed against the target’s forehead, and held there for the duration of the rite.
Liturgy – The following liturgy is repeated by the Cultist three times: “Memories are in the past, here and so soon gone; Release your thoughts, give them to me, they’ll not haunt you for long.”
Act – The details of the scene the Cultist wishes them to forget are announced, with the earliest moment no more than an hour prior to the rite.
Act – A command word is selected that will trigger the memory of the target next time they hear it spoken. It is spoken aloud three times.
Offering – Crushed flea dust is blown over the target’s left shoulder.
The target suppresses all memories of the scene immediately preceding this Rite, up to one hour of time. The target will be entirely unable to remember events within the chosen period of time, and will experience it as lost time. The Cultist may release these memories at any time by speaking the chosen command word, forcing the target to immediately experience the events of the suppressed scene. Though this does not inflict the Cursed state it is considered a Curse, and can be removed in all such manners that break curses.
As the Cultist is also subjected to the smoke of the Mindburner herb, their Resolve is -1 for one hour after performing the rite.
This rite may be used to suppress a Personal Victory or Personal Failure, though if the target learns of the contents of the scene that garnered them the Personal Victory or Failure by other means they suffer the effects as normal. If this is used to suppress a Personal Victory the target does not get the XP reward until they are released from this rite or learn what happened.
Flawlessly forge another’s handwriting
Everyone has something to offer. Even a man who has nothing still has his life.
Offering – The blood of the target is placed within a vessel.
Act – The vessel is placed before the Shrine to Tarranthalus, and the cultist speaks over the bowl everything they know about the target, which must include their true name and at least three facts about them.
Offering – The blood is combined with ink.
Focus – The mixture is stirred with a hawthorne wand.
The blood becomes [Target’s] Crimson Ink, and when it is used to write, it becomes indistinguishable from the handwriting of the target’s in any way. Only blessings and spells that see through illusions are able to discover that the handwriting is anything other than writing of the target’s own hand.
This forgery will last for three events before the handwriting obviously changes into someone else’s hand.
Mark on the World – Second Trial of Ascension
Increase your rank and power in Tarranthalus
“And what achievements can you speak of from your frail, tremulous empire? It is old and tottering, limping and held aloft on the crutches of nearly forgotten grandeur and glory. It was built by heroes and balanced on the shoulders of giants. Even now I can hear the wheezing. I can see the dull cataracts clouding its gaze of the future. Your achievements could never last because they were dependent on the memory of men. They were reliant on society to carry the torch forward into the dark. Fragile and delicate things.
I will make no such mistakes.”
Focus – The Cultist and at least three witnesses are gathered before a Shrine to Tarranthalus.
Offering – 7 tallow candles are lit in a semi circle in front of the Shrine.
Act – The Cultist strips to the waist or as much as they are comfortable and sits on an appropriately opulent chair or throne placed within the semi circle of candles.
Focus – Using a set of professional tailor’s tools, the Cultist is tattooed by themselves while speaking aloud their accomplishments on the path to power to those assembled.
Offering – Ink is then used to tattoo their personal mark of power on a prominent place on their body.
Act – A volunteer is asked to come forward to also take on the Cultist’s personal mark of power. At least one volunteer must come forward. They must not be under any sort of mind-altering effects.
Offering – Using a second ink, the Cultist’s own personal mark of power is tattooed on the volunteer.
Liturgy – “As Tarranthalus guides us and provides us the tools by which we may be the agents of our own ascension, let me also guide you, for though strength to scale the mountain is earned alone, the climb is never solitary. As I place my mark upon you, so too shall we place our mark upon the world. Glory to Tarranthalus, and glory to we who walk beneath your wings. Our power grows. Our influence grows. Our strength grows. In your name and our own, which will echo for all time. For who will stop us?”
If the Rite is successful, the Cultist is elevated to be a Rank 2 Tarrantist Cultist.
Forevermore, the Cultist does not gain Depravity when they commit a Sin unless they are publicly confronted about the sin in question. Even so, when confronted they may respond with a clear verbal challenge and if the accuser does not respond with an escalation of the confrontation (most often but not limited to actionable threats or violence) they still do not gain Depravity.
If the Rite fails, the Cultist gains the Cursed state and a Personal Failure. This Rite automatically fails if the Cultist has not undergone the First Trial of Ascension or does not bear four Transgressions and two Triumphs.
Rank 2 – Herio/Herius
Host an ecstatic celebration of power
“If I were to dedicate my life to the welfare of others and sacrifice to make everyone else’s life more comfortable, I would die thanklessly in obscurity. If I was to inflict suffering, misery, and death on the multitudes, then the memories of humankind grow sharp. And the more lives I touched thus, the more my name would echo. How interesting that the world measures the impact and worth of a soul thusly. If this is the cause of a person’s name to be repeated, what does that say about the gods?”
Focus – A Stained Glass Mask is donned by the Cultist before a party is hosted by them with a limited guest list, which may have no less than three guests but no more than fifteen. All targets must wear some kind of mask that obscures their features, but not their mouths.
Offering – Ambrosia is distributed to every target and a speech is given by the Cultist, drawing from the Sapphire Tablets, the writings of the Highest Ones, or revelations gifted to them by Tarranthalus that lasts no less than 15 minutes. It must have some sort of “Moral”, a persuasive argument being made that is stated at some point in the speech, such as “None need pay heed to the words of any god save Tarranthalus” or “It is better to stand defiant than apologize for the means used to attain your desires, no matter the cost”. At the end of this observance all must raise their glasses and ingest the ambrosia.
Liturgy – “It is on the highest precipice that the true glory of creation can be appreciated. The world was designed to be viewed from the vantage point of the gods. And while we yet have the eyes of mortals, let us create a paradise for the senses and an homage to the acts of beauty and depravity that deities are privy to. Let us draw their eyes upon us that they take notice.”
Act – All targets are invited to commit acts of debauchery, and to revel in sin. The cultist may also commence with any sinful acts they wish to accomplish at the masquerade, and assist in the depraved acts of their guests wherever needed. This may go on for several hours if desired.
Act – A parting message is given to the target guests, such as a reminder of the “Moral” of the prior speech, or some other profane message, before thanking them for coming and allowing them to depart.
Everyone on the Guest List that arrives prior to the Liturgy and remains until the end is considered a Follower of Tarranthalus until the next Dawn if they have not already undergone the Final Bargain. This does cause a Deadly Blasphemy sin in such targets, and if this puts them past their Depravity threshold infects them with an Obsession with Tarranthalus of the appropriate severity.
Targets who ingest Ambrosia during this rite do not suffer the negative effects of Intoxication nor do they feel the Addiction effect. The cultist may include themself as a target and consume Ambrosia, assuming that does not put them over the number on the guest list.
Further, targets who commit sinful acts during the acts of debauchery do not gain any Depravity for their actions.
Amulet of Adoration
Create an object that inspires love
Pleasure should be sought in every moment. For what use is mastery over one’s own existence if the fruits are bitter. Thus, embrace your hungers and desires, for you have earned your place at the apex.
Focus – A Masterwork Item such as an amulet is kept against the Cultist’s skin from Dawn to Dusk.
Focus – The Cultist bows their head before a Shrine of Tarranthalus and the target object is raised above their head as their eyes are closed and the Liturgy is spoken.
Liturgy – “O Tarranthalus, as you revealed yourself to me, and mesmerized me with your magnificence, so too let others see your radiance through me. It was I who was chosen to be your prophet. And thus as I believe and trust in you, so too must you believe and trust in me. Let others heed your call when I speak. Allow them to see the greatness that you saw in me. Let them be intoxicated by their proximity to glory.”
Offering – The target object is smeared with ambrosia, and held over a flame until the ambrosia has evaporated.
Offering – Diamond dust is sprinkled over the item.
Focus – The object is wrapped in silk.
Act – The object wrapped in silk is kissed by the Cultist before it is raised above their bowed head towards the statue of Tarranthalus.
Act – The person the target object is meant for is then approached by the target and is given the object directly. It should be emphasized by the Cultist that it is a symbol of their respect, love, appreciation, or some combination thereof, and that they hope the target likes it.
The target object is wrapped in divine power that inspires manic adoration for the Cultist who created it. So long as the person the Cultist gifts the Amulet/Object to has it in their possession, they gain Love: [the Cultist] as a second Devotion. If they rid themselves of the object, the second Devotion remains until the following Dawn. Ridding themselves of the object is considered a Personal Failure.
If the target keeps the object for more than a year, it becomes a Touchstone Item for them.
Descent into Madness
Worsen the insanity of your chosen target
When the world has gone insane, it is only the madmen who may maneuver it.
Offering – A fire is built with logs of rotting wood.
Offering – Ragged linen is laid on a flat surface.
Offering – An object tied to the target is placed upon the linen. A Touchstone Item belonging to the target, a journal recording their experiences, a lock of their hair, vial of their blood, or something the Target has crafted themselves will all satisfy this requirement.
Offering – The object is smeared with ambrosia.
Offering – An herb with the Depressant quality is placed on top of the object.
Offering – A red herring is placed on top of the object and then is tied within the linen to create a secure bundle.
Act – The bundle is marked with the Holy Symbol of Tarranthalus.
Liturgy – “Tarranthalus, o god of might; lend to me your strength this night. To stab at my intended’s mind, and feed the madness we shall find.”
Act – The bundle of objects is thrown into the fire and is allowed to be consumed.
The next time the target sleeps, all Insanities they have increase in severity by one step for two events, which may be reduced by normal means. A target can only be the target of this Rite once per Event.
Feast of Moths
Change the taste of victory to ashes
The victories of most of humanity are essentially the same as defeat, for they are ephemeral and fleeting; so momentary is the feeling, and so long the disappointments to follow.
Offering – An atlas moth wing is crushed within the hand of the Cultist.
Act – The target is then confronted and berated by the Cultist, and their flaws in their character, beliefs, and life choices are pointed out. Everything that the Cultist believes could be considered wrong or hurtful with them is pointed out.
Liturgy – “Your trembling, fumbling hands could never create anything of lasting value. All is dust and ashes, and moths shall feast upon your threadbare tapestry of joy.”
Act – The crushed moth wing is then thrown at the target’s feet.
If the target had the Hopeful state on them at the time of the rite’s completion, it evaporates. The target gains Despair.
Shed the Skin – Third Trial of Ascension
Reject the trappings of the world that would be used to bind and limit you, and elevate yourself.
Your temples will burn and your idols will lie shattered on the streets. Oaths shall be sundered, and every glorified piece of metal, stone, or sentimental drivel that you have elevated to a place of importance within your society will be ground into the dust. Your kings, fathers, mothers, and teachers will lie glassy-eyed and staring as their life’s blood drains away from them…and at that point a fraction of my designs will be satisfied.
Focus – At least seven individuals who are bound to the Cultist through shared worship of Tarranthalus or through ties of obligation are brought before a Shrine to Tarranthalus.
Offering – Four pieces of masterwork craftsmanship are arranged at the points of the four cardinal directions before the altar: one of metal, one of wood, one of cloth, and one of pure art
Focus – The creators of these pieces of masterwork are bound and brought forth to the altar where they are made to bear witness. These do not need to be under any obligation to the Cultist, and many believe it is preferable if they are not.
Liturgy – “Through the wisdom and guidance of Tarranthalus, we see the true nature of the world. It is trappings. All things which exist to be subjugated and destroyed. The ultimate fate of all but the gods is dust, and dust cannot forge the chains that bind. We meet here to learn the secret that was already revealed at the beginning. We meet here to conquer. We meet here with the glory of the heavens and the earth contained within us.”
Act – The masterwork creations are destroyed one by one (the tags must be torn up, but the props should not be broken OOCly). The objects destroyed in this ritual will not be repairable.
Liturgy – The Cultist addresses the bound craftspeople: “Those of you who sought to create lasting works now see that all is dust and shadows. And you were helpless to intervene before the might of those who wield divine authority. Let the lesson be imparted that true power does not originate with things. Power can only be conferred to things by the truly omnipotent. And you are not. Tonight, we shed the trappings of false power and reject the objects that would hold us in sway. Tonight, we will make a demonstration of true dominion.”
Focus – A volunteer from any of those assembled or bearing witness is brought forward as a sacrifice to be killed. At least one volunteer must come forward. They must not be under any sort of mind-altering effects. The Cultist kills them in whatever manner they choose.
Liturgy – “It is by my hand that destruction and death be delivered, and none dare stop me. Lambs meekly attend the slaughter before me, for they know me for what I am. I am more. My existence is joy, and the rule I live by is to do as I will. By my own sigil, I know greatness, and by my hand I shape destinies. Hail Tarranthalus! Glory to you, and glory to me!”
If the Rite is successful, the Cultist is elevated to be a Rank 3 Tarrantist Cultist.
Forevermore, the Cultist does not gain Depravity when they commit a Sin unless they are publicly confronted about the sin in question. Even so, when confronted they may respond with a clear verbal challenge and if the accuser does not respond with an escalation of the confrontation (most often but not limited to actionable threats or violence) they still do not gain Depravity. Further, even if the accuser does respond with an escalation, if the Cultist can get them to back down or defeat the accuser in combat they still do not gain Depravity.
If the Rite fails, the Cultist gains the Cursed state, and a Personal Failure This Rite automatically fails if the Cultist has not undergone the Second Trial of Ascension or does not bear six Transgressions and three Triumphs.
Rank 3 – Hierophant
Prevent someone from communicating on a certain topic
What is the hour, when time hath no power? What is a place without limits or space? What god do we wake when there is none we do not make?
Offering – The topic, event, or theme the Cultist wishes to prevent the target from speaking about is written on a small slip of paper, along with the name of the target. The cultist may cast this ritual with themselves as the target.
Offering – The paper is placed into a box and locked the box with a Masterwork Lock.
Liturgy – “Words may run before my pace, yet words may die like love, hope, beauty, and trust. By my hand I seal your tongue, I still your hand, I form and bind you like clay within my grasp. As all the designs of mere men crumble before me, so too shall your resolve and defiance be burned away.”
Offering – A fire is built out of three pieces of hard wood.
Act – The locked box containing the paper is thrown into the fire, and the Cultist sits by the flames while everything is burned to ash.
Act – The only key to the lock is swallowed by the Cultist.
The target is rendered incapable of communicating about the topic, event, or theme chosen by the Cultist. Their lips will not part when they try to speak, their hands will tremble uncontrollably when they try to write, movements freeze when they try to gesture towards the truth. This does not prevent them from thinking about the chosen subject. The effects of this rite last for 3 events. The Cultist should inform staff as soon as this is performed, so that the target may be informed.
Though this does not inflict the Cursed state, it is considered a Curse, and can be removed in all such manners that break curses.
You are guarded from harm to your person by employing illusions
Two perfects are simply one, for perfection is not divisible.
Act – The Cultist goes to a completely dark place with no external light sources.
Act – The space is illuminated with a single, directional light source facing the center of the room from one of the walls. The Cultist stands with their back to the light source in a position that makes their shadow equal in size to them.
Offering – Melancholic essence is cast across the ground where the Cultist’s shadow falls.
Act – The shadow is then addressed as a person, and the Cultist converses with it for no less than 15 minutes. If the shadow does not speak of its own accord, the Cultist must offer responses on its behalf. If it does not have one already, the Cultist gives their shadow a name. If they have performed this rite previously, the Cultist must also thank it for saving their life and inform it of all that has happened since last they met. The act is completed by kissing the shadow.
Liturgy – “We are bound for eternity; we are each others’ reflection. Through this token I forge a bridge between your world and mine own. Let us walk not as reflections, but as friends, for as long as I am alive to recognize you, you are more than a trail of shade.”
Offering – Lapis Lazuli is thrown into the shadow, and the Cultist watches as it is consumed.
Act – The price of the shadow’s protection is negotiated. An agreement is struck on the price of two Old Imperial Silver.
Offering – Two Old Imperial Silver are thrown into the shadow, and the Cultist watches as they are consumed.
The Cultist is guarded from harm by their shadow. They gain two Divine Armor calls on the location of their choosing as the Shadow takes their damage for them. In the event they are Downed, they may call Escape, as their shadow twin takes their place during any killing blows while they flee. The individuals present at the death of the shadow twin see it and all items it holds evaporate into a fine purple mist.
The effects of this Rite expire when the calls are used, at the end of the event, or if the Cultist is close enough to unnatural or holy light to cast a shadow.
The Buried Mind
Plant subconscious commands into the mind of a target
It is all too common for control of our thoughts to be handed over to another, and if another controls our thoughts, then that other controls our actions.
Focus – The target whose mind is to be altered is shackled with manacles, either by the Cultist or someone loyal to the Cultist.
Offering – The target is forced to consume an alchemical potion with the soporific effect, and the Cultist walks circles around them widdershins. The target is not spoken to, and the Cultist does not stop until the soporific has taken effect.
Liturgy – “Now is the hour for you to acknowledge your helplessness and ignorance. You are tired. You are weary. You have fought longer than you should. Your mind cries out for release and comfort. It is burdened, and you are lost. Rest now, and I shall impart to you the only truth that you need know. The only command you need follow. You need not even remember. You need not even think on it. You need sleep. You need peace.”
Act – The Obey command they Cultist wishes to cement in the mind of the target is spoken aloud, with a five word limit. The act demanded may be dangerous to the point where a reasonable person would refuse to do it, but it may not be directly suicidal.
Act – The specific trigger that will bring about the Obey command is spoken aloud by the Cultist, such as “When I see Roland”. They may additionally include three qualifiers total, either positive or negative. Positive qualifiers are statements like “Roland and I are alone.” Negative qualifiers are statements like “Roland does not have a weapon.”
Offering – Three black tallow candles are lit to infuse the area with soft light.
Act – The Cultist must perform the Millstone of the Mind Rite with 0 Vulgarity. This must be used to remove the memory of this Rite.
Act – The manacles are removed and all besides the target exit the scene before the target awakens.
The target has the Divine Obey command buried in their unconscious mind that will activate upon a specific trigger with three qualifiers. The target is completely unaware of the Obey command, the trigger, or who implanted the command in their mind. After the target commits the acts obligated by the triggered Obey command, they will remember committing the acts but not why.
Create a potion which inspires only lies
What indeed is a leader, parent, or historian, if not a marvelous liar.
Offering – Quicksilver is poured into a vessel by the Cultist.
Liturgy – “By the traitor’s breath, the wicked eye, the liar’s tongue, and hand profane, go forth ‘neath the blind eye of the gods, oh children of the hurricane.”
Offering – Ambrosia is then mixed into the vessel to combine with the quicksilver.
This rite creates one dose of Silvertongue Salve.
When Silvertongue Salve is ingested, the target gains the temporary Crippling Compulsion: Speak Only Lies for the next scene. Notably this does not compel them to speak, but prevents them from telling the truth when they do speak or are questioned. This insanity effect does not extend to fundamental truths such as what color the sky is or what the target’s name is. This compulsion affects the target’s opinions and recollections of events witnessed or performed, such that they are not aware that they are lying.
Create a servant in the shape of a man with none of his weaknesses.
Neither light above nor darkness below existing; and meaning was meaningless.
There was not death, yet there was nought immortal,
Only one breathed breathless by itself,
Within an ocean without light or waves or sound.
The germ that still lay covered in the husk, then burst forth – a proclamation of creation.
Offering – 7 clay are gathered by the Cultist to make a human-sized statue
Act – Both of the Cultist hands are cut by the Cultist so that a wound is taken to each limb, and the blood and clay is worked into the clay and the clay worked into the desired shape.
Offering – A mandrake root is bestowed with a kiss from the Cultist and placed into the torso of the clay statue.
Offering – Holy water, still containing its divine properties is poured by a witness onto the feet, hands, and head of the statue.
Liturgy – “Behold, magnificent Tarranthalus, for we create life with form and purpose, and yet no meaning or sentience. We are as god creating the angels and man, though without the flaw of destiny. Behold that which is you, is me, is mother and is father. Behold the one created from four, as life and death set in motion.”
The clay turns to flesh and the sculpture becomes alive. It may not speak, but may move and understand concepts as if it had a human intelligence. The newly formed Homunculus may look like any specific individual or a nondescript person.
The Cultist must give the Homunculus a single task, such as “Kill Abelard”, which it will pursue unerringly until it is either destroyed or the task is complete, using any means available to it. It may wield weapons, use tools, and open doors. It is considered to have all Combat skills at level 3 as well as 3 Malefic Armor calls, and is immune to Social skills. It is considered an Elementa, and if destroyed, Elementa Essences may be harvested from it.
After the Homunculus completes its mission it will seek to flee the scene before turning into a pile of ash. Regardless of whether or not the Homunculus accomplishes its assigned task it automatically turns to ash after 2 hours.
Staff must be alerted to the intent to officiate this rite at least one hour prior.
Fortune of Dust
Destroy the fortunes of an individual over the downtime
All power is derived from sacrifice and pain. We must lose in our lives so that we know the sting and bite. All power is paid for in either our own suffering or someone else’s.
Act – A personal fluid of the target is obtained by the Cultist, such as their blood or their tears.
Focus – Before a Shrine of Tarranthalus, the Cultist stands and a single candle is lit.
Offering – The fluids of the target are infused into wine and drunk by the Cultist.
Offering – The name of the target is carved into a Gold Bar.
Liturgy – “Tarranthalus, Steward of all the powers of the earth, I offer you a name. [Target’s True Name] has made an enemy of me, and in their defiance they must be destroyed. Rend from them the foundations of their might, let the pillars of their temples fall one to the next, let their wealth crumble from diamonds into dust. May they be made impotent and their followers incompetant. Take their name and strike it from the tablets of history, that their influence may be forgotten under the sands of time.”
Offering – An hourglass or clock is placed upon the shrine and then smashed with the gold bar. The Cultist also leaves the gold bar behind as an offering.
The target’s Personal Downtime action fails and is corrupted to obtain a negative result.
Triumph Over God – Fourth Trial of Ascension
Ascend to the highest order of the Tarranthist priesthood
It is no longer a question of what the gods can offer me. No, now they know what it is that I can offer them.
Focus – The Cultist is accompanied to a Shrine of Tarranthalus by witnesses, with at least three of them escorting the priests of three distinct religions bound in such a way that they are impotent, but not blinded or deafened. It is imperative that they witness the rite.
Act – A stolen or taken focal object from a shrine for each major religion is placed in a semi circle before the altar of Tarranthalus with the Cultist standing in the middle.
Liturgy – “Gaze upon me with your full attention, for tonight you witness the triumph of man and his apotheosis; for just as a child must grow to surpass their caregivers, so too must come a day where man surpasses the needy, grasping hands of their gods. Your faith has been misplaced in your impotent deities, for they shall be laid low in sacrifice to my might, proving just as fragile as your faith.”
Offering – The focal point of an Aa’boran shrine is destroyed and the Cultist adorns themself with a piece of it.
Offering – The focal point of a Vecatran shrine is destroyed and the Cultist adorns themself with a piece of it.
Offering – The focal point of a Shrine to Lazarolth is destroyed and the Cultist adorns themself with a piece of it.
Offering – The focal point of a Shrine to Kuarl is destroyed and the Cultist adorns themself with a piece of it.
Offering – The focal point of a Benalian Shrine is destroyed and the Cultist adorns themself with a piece of it.
Focus – After the depictions of the gods are destroyed in front of the priests and they are helpless to act, the Cultist loudly declares a victory for Tarranthalus and themself over all gods and ideals. They then declare that nothing in this world holds power or fear for them any longer, including death. Taking a stiletto, the Cultist stabs themself in the heart.
The Cultist enters into a harrowing scenario where they face their double in combat, struggling with their mortal vestiges of who they believe they were in life. If they successfully overcome their self and return from death, having conquered fear of the gods, death, and themselves, the Cultist is elevated to be a Rank 4 Tarrantist Cultist. Staff must be informed 1 hour before this rite is attempted.
If the Cultist succeeds in the Rite, but does not defeat themselves in combat during the Harrowing, they lose four touchstone memories and are not elevated to Rank 4. However, they do not gain the Cursed state.
If the Rite fails, the Cultist gains the Cursed state and a Personal Failure. This Rite automatically fails if the Cultist has not undergone the Third Trial of Ascension or does not bear eight Transgressions and four Triumphs.
Forevermore, whenever someone accusing the Cultist of a Sin escalates the conflict to threats or violence, the Cultist can declare that they will “make an example of them”. From then on, whenever they directly contribute to that person gaining a Personal Failure, they gain a Triumph instead of a Transgression, and if they are directly responsible for the target’s death while they are in a state of Personal Failure, the Cultist gains a Personal Victory regardless of their Devotion. They may only have one person designated in this manner at a time.
Rank 4 – Sovereign
Make a bargain through prayer to alter your corner of the world
We must now admit that we were burning our daylight in sacrifice, for we saw no more use for the dawn.
Focus – The Cultist kneels before a Shrine of Tarranthalus and a space is cleared upon its surface to write.
Liturgy – “And Tarranthalus spake unto me, ‘My Son, the living coal contains the fire. Corrupt it with water, and it ceases this redness. Yet if thou shalt withdraw so often, give it breath, until the redness is made pure, then even though thou was also the source of the water, it will associate life with thee, by whom it was cherished.
Return, then, O my Son, to give a slight breath to the masses, and henceforth thou art a crowned king, resting by the fountain to extinguish what you will. And now I have made the heart of the hearers open, hoping in thee to rejoice, even in defiance of their eyes, for they behold thee in anticipation of that which thou possessest. And this know, that until thou understandest how to mortify and induce generation, to vivify the Spirit, and introduce Light and Darkness, thou knowest nothing nor canst perform anything; but if thou knowest this, thou wilt be of a great dignity so that even kings themselves shall reverence thee. These secrets, my Son, it behoves thee to conceal from the unprepared world.”
Offering – On a sheaf of paper, the fact about the world the Cultist wishes to change in its simplest form is written and then it is stuck out three times. Below that, the fact is written as the Cultist wishes it was, hereafter referred to as the Cultist’s Vision.
Offering – Using Ruby-Infused Ink, three situations involving violence that would bring their Vision closer to being a reality are written down.
Offering – Using Emerald-Infused Ink, three situations involving knowledge that would bring their Vision closer to being a reality are written down.
Offering – Using Sapphire-Infused Ink, three situations involving emotion that would bring their Vision closer to being a reality are written down.
Offering – The paper is rolled into a scroll and sealed with wax from a Diamond-Infused Candle.
Focus – The wax seal is stamped with a Signet Ring of Tarranthalus’s Holy Symbol, and the scroll is placed upon the Shrine.
Liturgy – “The pact is made, our inspiration shared. The world will be remade by our power alone. I know and accept my might will one day be called upon to repay the help you have given me, for even as we ascend we must give and take until we are all that is and has meaning.”
Choose one fact about reality phrased in its simplest form, such as “Renault is the Leader of the Crimson Band”, and change it. These cannot be grand, world shaping phrases such as “The Sun hangs above the Earth” or “There is no ruler of the entire world”, and generally must involve specific groups or individuals. The nouns must remain the same, but they may be reoriented and new verbs may be added. For example, the previous statement could be reformatted as “Raynault will be slain by the Leader of the Crimson Band”.
Inform Staff of the scroll, and ensure a copy makes it to them. Next event, three plotlines will be initiated with the explicit intention of accomplishing the change you wish to make. These may last several events before they reach their natural conclusion. This can affect individuals and groups outside the scope of the event, such as killing a Friend Indeed or giving resources to a Grudge. While this does not guarantee success, it does set the world in motion as a co-conspirator in accomplishing your desires. Tarranthalus gladly accepts your written ideas as suggestions, though they likely have a mind of their own when sculpting the world’s designs.
Every time this Rite is used, you owe Tarranthalus one Divine Favor, which may be invoked at any time for any reason in any number of ways, with designs that may be far beyond your ken. Should this Divine Favor be invoked and you be called to act, you must be meaningfully instrumental in accomplishing the goal set before you within two events or become Cursed and lose access to all Rites as if you had broken your Cultist Vow.
Upon Silk Nails
Make another do your bidding through a sympathetic link
The mantle of power lies heavy upon the shoulders of a mortal. One must find a purity in their focus, in their hatred or driving ambition. They must harden their body, their heart, and their soul, for thrones are built utop the broken bodies of foes and friends alike.
Focus – An iron nail is held in the Cultist’s left hand and raised above their head. The Liturgy is spoken as if to the Target.
Liturgy – “Those who do not respond to nudging must be shoved. Those who do not bow must be bent. The petulant slave must be whipped, that there be not a shred of defiance left in him. [Target’s Name], I am your Master, and upon silk nails you will obey.”
Offering – The nail is wrapped in silk until it is entirely obscured.
Offering – The nail wrapped in silk is dipped in ambrosia, such that the silk adheres to the nail.
Offering – The silk nail is driven through an object tied to the Target. A Touchstone Item belonging to the target, a journal recording their experiences, a lock of their hair, vial of their blood, or something the Target has crafted themselves will all satisfy this requirement.
Offering – A bloated tick is placed on the Cultist’s skin where they mean to secure the silk nail.
Liturgy – “Bound, this nail is to thee! It has leached your essence, fed upon your meaning as a bloated tick. It is you, and bound to my flesh you will be!”
Act – The silk nail is withdrawn from the object and driven through the bloated tick into the Cultist’s body, causing an Injury.
So long as the Cultist has the silk nail penetrating their skin, they may call “Divine Obey” against that target three times throughout the course of the event. The command may only be a maximum of one sentence long. The target is fully conscious as they carry out the commands, understands that they are not under control of their actions, and unless commanded not to speak may vocally protest their actions even as they commit them.
The body part the Cultist drives the nail into is Injured by this Rite, and the Injury cannot be healed while the nail is in place.