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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.

Second Apotheosis

Source Book of the Damned pg. 190
School transmutation [evil]; Level 5
Casting Time 5 hours
Components V, S, M (exotic incense worth 500 gp, burned offering of a family member)
Skill Checks Intimidate DC 23, 3 successes; Knowledge (planes or religion) DC 23, 2 successes
Range personal
Target caster
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; SR no
Backlash The caster takes 4d6 points of damage and is exhausted.
Failure The caster is rendered unconscious for 2d4 hours.

Effect

Preparation for the second apotheosis requires many more months of debased acts and vile plots, but at some point during this second year, the caster must contact her chosen fiendish patron, via either commune or contact other plane. A trusted minion or ally can cast this spell on the caster’s behalf; it’s common for a spellcaster to gain a cacodaemon, im, or quasit familiar so that it can use its commune spell-like ability for this purpose. Once contact is made, the patron must be told of the caster’s desire to become a fiend; during this time, the commune or contact other plane spell cannot be used to ask any other questions. At any point thereafter but before a year has passed, the caster must offer a significant sacrifice to her fiendish patron as a burned offering in a temple consecrated to the fiend. This offering can be either living or dead, but the burned offering must be of someone who is related to the caster by blood or family (such as a spouse or an adopted parent or child) and the caster and the offering must once have shared a positive emotional connection such as love or pride. If this ritual fails, the caster can try again, although the number of attempts she can make is limited in that each new attempt requires a burned offering of a different relative. Once the second apotheosis is successful, part of the caster’s body transforms into something fiendish as proof of her patron’s favor. Use the various fleshcraft grafts to model these partial transformations; the specific transformation granted is up to the GM, but typical results include claw gauntlet or wings of darkness. Once the caster successfully completes the second apotheosis, she becomes eligible to undertake the third apotheosis.