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Occult Rituals

Occult Rituals

It’s a common belief that only those initiated in the rites and practices of arcane, divine, or psychic magic can cast spells, but this is not strictly true. Hidden within dusty libraries and amid the ramblings of lunatics lie the mysteries of another form of spellcasting—occult ritual magic. These spells are rare, coveted by both those eager to gain their power and those wishing to hide their existence. Most traditional spellcasters consider these rituals dangerous and uncontrollable, something to be avoided or used as a last resort. They fear the power these ceremonies grant to the uninitiated, as the rituals allow those with only a glimmering of understanding the ability to interact with the underlying fabric of magic.

While anyone can attempt to cast occult rituals, the process is fraught with peril. The strange and intricate incantations are often challenging to perform with precision, and failure can weaken the casters or even unleash horrors upon the world. Even when successfully performed, each occult ritual has a price—a backlash that affects at least the caster leading the ritual, and often those assisting in its performance.
Click here for the full rules on Occult Rituals.

Scarlet Vigil

Source Occult Realms pg. 57
School necromancy; Level 7
Casting Time 7 hours
Components V, S, M (a giant mantis claw), SC (at least 2, up to 4)
Skill Checks Heal DC 30, 2 successes; Knowledge (religion) DC 30, 3 successes; Perception DC 30, 2 successes
Range close
Target one corpse and secondary casters; see text
Duration instantaneous; see text
Saving Throw none; SR no
Backlash All secondary casters take 2d6 points of damage.
Failure The primary caster is stunned for 1d6 rounds (no save). The targeted corpse is immediately revived, as if via the spell resurrection.


This ritual requires the intact corpse of a target slain by the primary caster, who must possess at least 5 levels in the Red Mantis assassin prestige class. Each of the secondary casters must possess exactly 1 level in the Red Mantis assassin prestige class. During the ritual, the primary caster reveals meticulous details about the victim’s demise to the secondary casters, describing in anatomical detail the damage done to the individual and pointing out visual cues on the corpse, all while connecting the methods of execution to the teachings of the mantis god Achaekek, patron of the assassin order. During the ritual, the secondary casters must use a giant mantis claw to draw blood from themselves in a place where the corpse was damaged; in the case of poisons and similar effects, the location can be symbolic. If the corpse took damage in many different locations, the secondary casters must draw blood from themselves in the place where the victim sustained the most damage.

If the ritual is successful, the secondary casters gain an intrinsic link to the deceased individual; from that moment on, the secondary casters know if the assassinated creature is returned to life, as per the Red Mantis assassin resurrection sense class ability. An assassinated body used in a failed scarlet vigil occult ritual cannot subsequently be used in another such ritual. Since failing to correctly perform this ritual unravels the primary caster’s assassination and puts all casters at risk, high-level Red Mantis members choose their secondary casters carefully, sometimes watching them for months to determine whether they are worthy of participating, as well as seeking guidance from senior leadership and Achaekek concerning which novices are the best choices.