Fading Suns and Flaming Heresies
Temple Avesti Rituals
Knowing the False Heart
(Level 1, Perception + Empathy, G, sight, prolonged, 1W)
Essential to the Avestite pursuit of justice, this rite allows the theurge to act as a human lie detector. Since this rite focuses only on intentional dishonesty and deliberate untruthfulness, it is sometimes possible for the target to dissemble, hiding or twisting the truth with a contested roll of Wits or Calm + Charm. This roll can receive a negative modifier if the target is trying to hide a sin of his own, and a positive one if the target is protecting an innocent under suspicion. The Avestite may still detect half-truths with three or more victory points, and may guess their exact nature with a critical success. This rite affects only a single target.
Scent of Evil
(Level 2, Perception + Empathy, GP, sensory, prolonged, 1W)
Casting Scent of Evil enables a theurge to “sniff out” acts of Antinomy, the actions of a psychic’s Urge and the presence of demons or alien artifacts with a negative influence.
This rite only indicates the presence of such evil, but does not show the theurge exactly what is going on; some degree of precision is possible, however, with a more successful roll. One victory point, for example, merely signals evil’s presence in a general area (“There is evil in this house!”); with three, a more specific area can be sensed (“Somebody in this room…”); five or six gives the theurge a sense of the type of evil present (i.e., Antinomic, Urge, alien, etc.). With a critical success, the evil’s source can be pinpointed (“J’Accuse! Antinomy most foul!”).
Sting of Conscience
(Level 3, Extrovert + Impress, LG, sight, prolonged, 1W)
This rite is usually accompanied by a verbal harangue from the theurge or another Avestite, the two combining to make the target feel incredibly guilty about some past sin or misdeed. If uncontested, the target will feel compelled to confess and make up for the transgression. The target may choose to contest with a roll of Calm + Stoic Mind.
When this rite is cast without the verbal accusations to guide it, there is no telling exactly what its effect may be. A relatively guiltless person may begin to obsess on some minor bit of mischief from childhood, while a truly sinful person may be driven to wildly self-destructive acts that could endanger everyone around him.
(Level 4, Passion + Focus, G, touch, temporary, 1W)
With this rite the theurge can create a flame without using lighters, matches or flint and steel. After the first 10 turns, the fire will need fuel to burn like any other, but it can be kept burning without fuel by spending one Wyrd point for each extra five turns. Normally the flame can only be ignited at touch, but a 6th level version of this rite exists in which the flame can be created anywhere in sight.
Fault of the Soulless
(Level 5, Passion + Impress or relevant Tech Redemption, LG, sight, 1W)
Developed soon after the Fall, this rite targets a piece of high-tech and causes it to malfunction. Normally used against personal technology (blasters, comlinks, a single computer terminal, a robot of human size or smaller), this rite can be used to target larger machines with an additional Wyrd expenditure based on size and complexity (e.g., 2 points to disable a personal land vehicle, 5 points for a building’s security system, and 50 points to take out a starship. At the gamemaster’s discretion, this can be adjusted by circumstances; for example, a theurge with sufficient tech knowledge may try to target only the starship’s control systems for 7 points.)
The severity of the malfunction is based on the victory points: One would be simple mishaps taking only a few turns to correct, such as misfires, jams, etc.; three is more serious but repairable damage which cannot be corrected until the next span, like dead batteries, overheating motors, system crash, etc.; five or six means the machine is permanently ruined and unfixable, with broken chassis, cracked casings or wiped memories. With a critical success, spectacularly destructive effects may occur: fuel leakages, core meltdowns, smoke and sparks pouring out of the control panel while gears and springs drop out of the bottom of the console.
(Level 6, Passion + Impress, LG, sight, prolonged, 1W)
This rite is identical to the level 6 Brother Battle rite of
the same name.
(Level 7, Passion + Inquiry, L, sight, temporary, 1W)
Use of this rite is the theurgic version of a shot of truth serum; the target is compelled to answer all questions addressed to her. Questions must be answered fully, completely and honestly, without evasion or trickery. If the target chooses to contest the rite, the theurge’s Faith rating is subtracted from the contesting roll.
Tortures of the Damned
(Level 8, Passion + Impress, LG, sight, prolonged, 1W)
This rite has basically the same effect as the psychic power BrainBlast, incapacitating the target with unimaginable pain, except that this theurgic version floods the target’s mind with images of Gehenne (hell). These visions may take the form of Orthodox and Avestite description, burning hellfire or numbing cold lasting (or at least seeming to last) for eternity, or may take a more personal form, the reliving of a traumatic event or seeing one’s greatest fears come to pass, or some amalgamation of both. In either case, the target will be a pathetic, sobbing wreck for at least seven turns after the rite is discontinued. Due to the deep psychological nature of this experience, however, residual effects (such as dementia) may last for long afterward.
This rite may not be cast on a target suffering the effects of the psychic power BrainBlast.
Petition to Jachemuyelos, Lord of Judgment
(Level 9, Passion + Impress, LGP, 1W)
This exceptionally rare and powerful rite, a closely guarded secret of the sect, enables a theurge to contact and summon to the physical world one of the “bodiless powers of the Empyrean,” the stern but fair arbiter of disputes known as Jachemuyelos. According to Eskatonic doctrine, Jachemuyelos rules in the Fourth Emanation from the Celestial Sun, among the ranks of the Dominions.
Odd as it may seem to outsiders, the guidance of Jachemuyelos is what keeps the more fervent and overzealous inquisitors in check; this is not an entity of blind wrath and damnation, but a truly objective intelligence with a perfect comprehension of the balance between retribution and repentance. Only the most malevolent enemy of life and faith will ever see the harsh and vengeful aspect of Jachemuyelos, which is only spoken of in euphemistic whispers. All interactions with Jachemuyelos must be worded in rigid and precise legalese, as a counselor approaches a judge. The visible aspect of Jachemuyelos is that of an older man with a long beard and stately judicial robes, holding the scales of Justice in one hand and the gavel of Order in the other.