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Rites of the Female Face

Overview

Vecatra does not rule the world, she is the world- manifest in each of us, she is known internally by every soul, just as she knows and guides us through her cycle.

When one thinks of Vecatra, the first image that comes to mind for the uninitiated is a mother-nature-type figure; a feminine goddess of the seasons, flora, and fauna. This is only a piece of the truth. The female face of Vecatra is only one-third of the whole, but it does symbolize much of what humanity associates with the natural world. This aspect of Vecatra is associated with balance, growth, and sustainment – the delicate harmony between life and death that preserves the whole. The female face is considered to be a mediator between her male side and that of the other, ensuring that neither becomes dominant and that equilibrium is maintained so that humanity and its needs do not overrun everything, nor does all perish in the dark. She governs care and conservation, ensuring that the wilderness is not losing what it cannot afford to give, while also standing vigil against the darkness that it may not swallow the light entirely.

The feminine aspect is also tied to blood and the experience of pain and loss that ties all souls on this world together. The female face knows suffering and sacrifice; giving of yourself to a larger cause and ensuring that the wheels turn even when hope seems lost. This is the aspect most closely tied to farming, gathering within the fields and forests, and growth. To know this face is to understand the shifting of the tides, the changing face of the moon, the despair of loss, the sharp pain of a healing wound, the blooming warmth of hope; it is to be both the deep roots and the stretching branches.

The female face must also be stern, for it is she who governs rites of passage and judgment of the guilty. She must punish her own so that they might learn. She must teach and guide, knowing that the reward is death and a continuation of life anew. She is the gate that opens the passage between life and death, and it is that natural order, progression, and exchange that must be revered.

These concepts are older and deeper than mankind; they are foundational truths of the world, and thus some priests suspect that Vecatra may not even have originally been a god of humanity. Yet regardless of how far back the road of worship stretches, it is man who has taken up the mantle of Vecatra and who sacrifices and worships in her name. It is man who must set right the Malefic wrongs which haunt the nearly every corner of the earth. It is man who must learn the lessons she is teaching. Those who follow the female face of Vecatra believe, deeply and truly, that through the reverence for the balance of life and death, waxing and waning, predator and prey, the blighted earth may be healed, and the proper cycle of creation can be restored.

Vow: Never return from death.

Rank 1 

Dedicate Shrine to the Female Face

This is a ritual to create a space sacred to the Female Face. This is a space that can be used for other rites and rituals.
The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.
Constellation: Aldhiyib
Orthodoxy: 3
Observances:

Act – The Cultist gathers a group of three witnesses who have sworn an oath to the Cultist and proceed to a calm, peaceful place in nature.
Act – The Cultist finds a sapling or young tree in the area the shrine is to be consecrated in that has green living leaves.
FocusFour Mage’s Sight Mushrooms are placed in a perfect circle, even space between each fungus, around the sapling.
Liturgy“The world is your womb, and we are still children, holding your hand as you guide us through this life. Your warmth surrounds us, steers us, makes us safe. You provide for us, more than any hunter could, and we strive to be the children you want us to be. We ask you, mother, for your wisdom and compassion, as we purify this space for your workings.”
Act – All of the participants join hands and walk around the sapling in a counterclockwise circle three times.

Mechanical Effect
The Cultist will now be able to conduct rituals that require a shrine of the Female Face to complete.

Additionally, when anyone uses the Prayer ability at the shrine, while giving an offering of an Amethyst, Fairy Ring Cap, Robin’s Egg, Raw Honey, or Flying Ointment presented with prayer, if you experience the Pain effect you may bandage one of your wounds on your own without a bandage or until you have expended the Hopeful condition gained by this prayer.

Spiritual Binding

This ritual will allow two people to spend their lives together as a bonded couple. The two participants must have atoned beforehand, be willing, Sained, and at an age of maturity. Before the ceremony, the couple should have determined that one partner must designate themself as the protector, and the other as the provider.
“And the youth blushed, and the love of the maiden diffused itself through all his frame, transforming him, his thoughts, and his actions.”
Constellation: Sahalia
Orthodoxy: 6
Observances:

Offering – A bonfire is constructed using some fallen leaves of your Sacred Tree.
Offering – A goat body is brought as an offering to the bonfire, and sacrificed. Once this is done, the couple stand together, and the couple paints a circle of blood around each other so that they are enclosed together.
Act – Every witness, save for the Cultist and the couple, clasps hands to form a second circle with themselves outside of the blood circle.
Focus – Inside the blood circle, a weapon is gifted by the protector to their betrothed
Focus – Inside the blood circle, a crown of flowers is gifted by the provider to their betrothed.
Act – The couple clasps hands, and the Cultist wraps a red string round each of their wrists and their clasped hands, then draws the rune upon their hands.
Act – With their hands clasped, the couple walks around the fire in a clockwise fashion, reciting any vows they feel they want. (Ex. I vow to keep you safe until the end of time, I vow to never let you go a day hungry.)
Act – Once the couple has walked an entire circle around the fire, the couple breaks the circle of blood with their feet as they exit.

Mechanical Effect
The couple is now bound in an oathbound partnership. One spouse may attain Personal Victories on behalf of their spouse, treating their spouse’s Devotion as their own, or take a Personal Failure on behalf of their spouse, treating their spouse’s Devotion as their own. Once a failure or victory has been taken on behalf of the other, it cannot be transferred back.

Reconciliation

This ritual is used to repent for one’s sins against nature and Vecatra.
The hardest walk you can make is the walk you make alone, but that is the walk that makes you the strongest.
Constellation: Nahr
Orthodoxy: 4
Observances:

Act – The Cultist gathers the Sinner, as well as two people of the Sinner’s choice.
Act – The group proceeds to the nearest Sacred Tree.
Act – The Cultist sits with their back to the Sacred Tree, while the Sinner sits directly in front of them. Have their companions sit on either side of them.
Liturgy “Confess, young one. Mother is listening.”
Act – Once said, the sinner confesses their wrongdoing. For every sin that needs confessing, the Cultist repeats the liturgy.
Act – The Cultist prescribes a punishment task the Sinner must perform for each sin that was confessed in order for the lesson to stick so that the Sinner can grow into a better version of themselves. This task should be chosen using the information learned through the Cultist’s discussion with the Sinner to make an appropriate judgement. The punishment task should be harsh but fair.

Mechanical Effect
Upon completing the punishment task, the target loses all Depravity gained from the confessed act. Should they commit another sin of the same category confessed to before they have completed the punishment task, the ritual fails and no Depravity is lost.

The Mother’s Gift

When a child enters the world, the Cultists of the Female Face are there to welcome the baby.

This rite is designed to be done with two Cultists of the Female Face
“Opener of Ways, hold your torch high to guide new life’s soft feet upon their path. They have not grown callouses yet.”
Constellation: Ramah
Orthodoxy: 6
Observances:

Act – The Cultist declares the parents of the child, who must be two individuals who have been bound together in Spiritual Binding.
Act – The Cultist leads the Mother, who is dressed in a robe, and her oathbound partner, or the surrogate Mother and the two parents, to a room empty of any other humans.
Act – The Cultists lay the birthing mother in the middle of the room and draw the upon her body.
Offering – An oval is drawn around the mother with Chalk that encloses her entire body.
FocusFive Candles are placed around the oval with equal distance between them.
Act – One of the Cultists sits on her right side while the other sits on her left and they join hands above her body.
Liturgy“Oh mother, sweet mother, we welcome your newest child. May they grow strong at your breast, may they grow wise at your feet, may they grow righteous in your hands.”
Act – The Cultist grasps the child as they emerge from the womb and presents the newborn to the parents

Mechanical Effect
The mother cannot die during childbirth.

Either parent can change their Devotion to Love of Family if they wish. If they choose to do so, they automatically gain a Personal Victory after receiving the child.

Whenever a parent is holding their child prop, they have one resist or Divine resist call per scene. However, this does put the child at risk of plot.

Witch’s Brew

Cooking something with care and knowledge, a priest of the Female face may increase the potency of potions.
Leaflight, bloodroot, grain reborn, turning the cycle we keep you in mind, Lovelight, starshine, flower & thorn. Spinning the web we call you and bind.

Constellation: Saqir
Orthodoxy: 4
Observances:

Focus – A Cauldron is set atop a fire in a hearth.
Offering – An Ingestible Alchemical Potion that you desire to enhance is emptied it into the cauldron.
Offering – A Bat’s Wing is put into the Cauldron and the mixture is stirred three times sunwise.
Offering – An Eye of Newt is dashed into the Cauldron and the mixture is stirred three times widdershins.
Act – The Cultist decants the new concoction into a desired container.
Liturgy – During the three minutes of waiting for the items to incorporate, repeat the following three times:
“Goddess, mother, provider, peacebringer. Your creations are as enigmatic as the stars above, but I am honored to follow in your footsteps. Bring power to this potion, for you know its nature far better than I ever could.”

Mechanical Effect
Target alchemical potion gets potent, extended, and increases any positive attribute changes by +1 and any negative attribute changes by -1.

This can only be used on ingestible potions or poisons.

Tranquility of the Glade

Create a space in which all may gather safely, no matter their form
What if all trees refused to let go of every dying leaf? Let go what is lost, take in what is new and good.
Constellation: Aldhiyib
Orthodoxy: 5
Observances:

Focus – At least four witnesses who have sworn an oath to the Cultist are gathered within the space that you would like to protect.
Focus – The boundaries of the location are etched into the ground by the Cultist with a branch of oak.
OfferingThree bottles of Sweet Wine are placed within an open container at the center of the clearing.
Act – The four witnesses grasp hands to form a circle around the container of sweet wine.
Act – The Cultist hums a note and everyone in the circle matches their tone, sustaining the sound for 15 seconds. Everyone in the circle must sway left to right.
Liturgy – Sing while the circle continues swaying: “Blood of my blood, witness my love, protect from below, and protect from above. Strengthen this circle, fill it with grace, strengthen this circle, bless all this place.”
Act – The Cultist gives everyone in attendance a sip of the Wine.

Mechanical Effect
This ritual creates a space in which all who enter it, including non-humans, are peacebound and any who incite violence gain the Damned state. Everyone who enters the circle must be offered a sip of the wine. The ritual ends if the Cultist leaves the circle, if there are ever less than three entities in the circle that have not sipped the wine, when the wine has run out, or at dawn.

Rank 2

Talismans of the Mother

Using charms crafted in the ritual Talisman Crafting, the Cultist may imbue the charm with a mechanical effect. Each charm is consumed upon use.
“And they beseeched the druid for a charm that would keep their mother safe while they were away on the hunt. Something to give her the strength of a bear, or the resilience of the ivy should the Blight come to the village.”
Constellation: Jamus
Orthodoxy: 2
Observances:

Liturgy“Mother, bless this charm with the gifts of your children.” The Cultist should then speak the name of the desired plant close to the charm.
Focus- The likeness of a plant is carved into a Talisman with a Dagger.
Offering – A plant matching the likeness is crushed with the Cultist’s hands and the juices rubbed into the talisman
Focus – A drop of blood is taken from the Cultist by cutting a slit in their thumb with a Dagger and pressed onto the charm.

Mechanics:
Each charm is consumed upon a single use by using the call of Divine <Resist>/<Effect>

Plants:

  • Black Nightshade: Resists one case of poisoning.
  • Mistletoe: Interrupts a spell that is targeting the wearer of the charm. This activates once the spell has been cast.
  • Pinyon Pinecone: You can resist Tracking for a scene.
  • Hawthorn: Gains claws for one hour.
  • Oak Branch: Gain one extra armor call.
  • Walnut: Gain one social disregard call.

Protection of the Bounty

Using this ritual, the Cultist of the Female Face may preserve Malefic essences so that they do not expire. Each casting of this ritual preserves two essences of a single type.
So skilled were the vessel preparations of Sidheag that one could place hot mead in her jars, and they would stay warm when poured in the east and arrive all the way in the west.
Constellation: Sahalia
Orthodoxy: 2
Observances:

Focus – The rite is performed at the shrine to the Female Face.
Focus – The following behavior is performed, dependent on the essence preserved:

  • Sanguine – Two sanguine essences are placed inside of a Cauldron filled with water and boiled for five minutes.
  • Choleric – Two choleric essences are placed inside of a Jar filled with warm sand for ten minutes.
  • Phlegmatic – Two phlegmatic essences are placed inside of a Cauldron filled with cool water for five minutes.
  • Melancholic – Two melancholic essences are placed inside of a Jar filled with cool ashes for ten minutes.

Liturgy“So that I may protect and provide for the future, I bless this [insert essence name here]. You shall not rot, you shall not turn sour. You will remain useful until the end of time.”
Offering – The liquid essences are poured into a clay pot marked with the rune.

Mechanical Effect:
This ritual makes it so that the essences within the pot cannot expire, as long as they remain within the container.

Cleanse the Pollution

This ritual allows for a Cultist of the Female Face to remove any toxins, diseases, poisons, or alchemical agents from the target of the rite.
When giants fight, it is the grass that suffers.
Constellation: Tariq
Orthodoxy: 3
Observances:

Focus – The afflicted items, numbering no more than three, are brought to a shrine of the Female Face.
Offering – A corpse of an animal larger than the items is opened by a long cut in its belly
Offering – A lump of Coal is broken into small pieces and stuffed into the slits in the animal.
Act – The Cultist places the item, or items, within the slit in the animal
Offering – An herb with Fortifier quality is burned over the animal, moving the herb in the form of the rune.
Mechanical Effect:
Any potions/poisons/alchemical concoctions are immediately removed from the item. This ritual cannot affect more than three items.

Rank 3

Banshee’s Branch

Know if another has fallen
And so the winds screamed his name all round the eaves, and I rushed to look at the disc that bound us. It had shattered, and so I knew my love was no more.
Constellation: Sahm
Orthodoxy: 3
Observances:

Offering – An elm branch is taken and carved into two pieces.
Focus  Each target of the rite is given a piece of the branch, and the Cultist pierces each of their thumbs with a silver dagger.
Liturgy –  Each target looks into each other’s eyes and repeats the following, “Earth grows, water flows, air blows, fire glows, and spirit knows.”
Act –  Each target presses their bleeding thumb against first their own piece of wood, and then the other.
Act –  Using the dagger, The Cultist marks each disc of wood with the rune.

Mechanical Effect:
If one of the targets is killed while carrying their elm branch charm, the paired branch will break. The person carrying the paired branch will know the other has died, as well as roughly where their body fell. It is the responsibility of the deceased target to either go “OOC” and inform the other person, or communicate via text or other means.

Bunadh an Beatha (BON-nuh an BA-huh) The Origin of Life

When a woman wants to conceive a child, they may ask a Cultist of the Female Face to assist them in boosting their fertility.
There can be no joy without affliction.
Constellation: Arnab
Orthodoxy: 4
Observances:

Act – The Cultist takes a hopeful mother to the shrine of the Female Face.
Act – The Cultist lays the mother down on a bed of branches.
Focus – A Bronzeleaf Ivy is placed over the mother’s eyes.
Offering – The Blood of a Virgin is poured on the mother’s belly and the Cultist presses their bare hands to her stomach, drawing the rune in the blood.
Act – The Cultist instructs the mother to imagine feeling a baby kick from inside while the mother feels the warmth of her body beneath her hands.
Act – The Cultist takes water from the closest moving water source and washes the blood off of the mother’s belly.

Mechanical Effect:
The cultist may cast this ritual upon themselves. This ritual will increase the chances of pregnancy from copulation during the event at which this rite is performed.

This gives the mother a Divine resist call against any disease she encounters for the first time during her pregnancy.

Anoint the Female

This ritual is used to create a Cultist of the Female Face.
No snowflake thinks it caused the avalanche. No rain drop the flood.
Constellation: Nahr
Orthodoxy: 7
Observances:

Act – The Cultist has the Initiate who wants to become a Cultist of the Female Face bathe themselves in a Basin of Water and don a robe or other bit of hooded clothing.
Act – The Cultist and the Initiate proceed to the shrine of the Female Face.
Act – The Cultist uncovers the head of the follower.
Act – The Cultist has the follower sit on a bed of branches built in front of the shrine.
OfferingTallow is rubbed onto the forehead of the Initiate.
Focus – An Opal is placed into the mouth of the follower and is held on their tongue for the duration of the ritual.
Act – The Cultist kneels in front of the follower and they press their foreheads together and meditate on the bounty of Vecatra for a moment.
Liturgy – The follower must repeat the following liturgy after the Cultist:
“I am here for the mother, that she may use me to keep the peace, to nurture and heal and arbitrate for the good of us all. Let me show your kindness, so that we know we are loved.”
Focus – A copy of the holy writ of the Female Face is provided to the Initiate after the completed ritual. It takes a downtime and a Blank Book for the Cultist leading the rite to copy their own writ.

Mechanical Effect:
The follower is now a Cultist of the Female Face.

The Cultist is now bound by the vow of the Female face.

Rank 4

Bis Taobh (brish TEE-uv) The Other Side

This ritual allows the caster to astral project, letting them interact with things that are not on the physical plane.
Build your roofs of dead wood.
Build your walls of dead stone.
Build your dreams of dead thoughts.
I have chosen a different way.

Constellation: Tanin
Orthodoxy: 4
Observances:

Act – The Cultist retreats to an open space with a clear view of the sky and kneels on the earth under dark of night.
Focus – A Quartz point is positioned directly in front of themself.
Act – The Cultist holds their hands out to either side, holding two lanterns at shoulder height.
Liturgy
“On the wings of memories,
Drifting through the sky,
Hearing distant reveries,
A silent passer by.
Let me see what I desire,
Let me see it true.
Let me touch the things unseen,
And bring them to my view.”
Act – The Cultist hums a melody that is comforting.
Act – Setting the lanterns down on either side of their body, the Cultist bends down so that their upper body is also pressed to the earth.

Mechanical Effect:
The Cultist becomes incorporeal. If they wander away from their physical body, the player must leave a physical representation of their body with an informational tag on it.

While incorporeal, they can speak to and interact with spirits, but cannot be physically touched by them.

Social attacks still work on the Cultist, and any psychic or mental attack sends them back to their body

The Cultist can still be seen by all as a ghostly image of themself, and is not invisible.

The body of the Cultist can be injured while they are away from it, and any such injury brings them back to their body in however long it takes the player to return to the spot their body lies. If they are killed while they are away from their body, the Cultist is lost and untethered. The Cultist may not resurrect until they locate their body wherever it reforms at the next liminal period.

Summon the Goddess

Summon an avatar of the female aspect of Vecatra to gain wisdom. This takes three Cultists of the Female Face.
Shed a tear to show your love, but do not worry, stay filled with joy, for Vecatra walks even now.
Constellation: Saqir
Orthodoxy: 7
Observances:

Act – Three Cultists of the female face gather at the shrine of the Female Face. One of the Cultists disrobes and the other two tie the volunteer to the sapling with rope.
Offering– A cloak of leaves is draped over the bound Cultist.
Offering – A fire with 2 maple branches is lit just outside the bounds of the shrine.
Act – The Cultists perform the rite of Cleanse the Pollution with no vulgarities.
Offering – A dose of Flying Ointment is applied to the gums of the bound Cultist by one of the others.
Offering- The bound Cultist is bathed by the third with water and a piece of Linen.
Act – The bound Cultist remains still until they are physically unable to withstand the heat of the fire, for about three minutes.
Offering – The two attending Cultists cut their hands deeply, wounding them, once the bound Cultist begins to show signs of pain, and rub blood upon the Bound to ease their suffering.
Liturgy“Join us now, that we may see the bounty you have put before us. Reveal yourself to us so that we might celebrate your beauty. Show us the face that has inspired the sagas, the paintings, the passion. We beg of you, Vecatra, show us the face of our mother.”

Mechanical Effect:
Let staff know before the event if you are going to conduct this ritual. This can only be performed by the Cultists involved once per game.

This rite summons an avatar of the Female Face that possesses the bound Cultist. The possession takes over the body of the Cultist and they relinquish control of their actions.

The Cultists may ask the avatar of the Female Face three questions total. The answers will be a maximum of one sentence long.

While possessed, the bound Cultist gains the powers of the avatar of the Female Face though they are not under their control, and the results may be catastrophic. Every creature can understand the voice of the avatar.

The avatar of the Female Face maintains control until they decide to leave the Cultist’s body.