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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.

The Hungering of Shadows

Source Horror Adventures pg. 132
School evocation; Level 9
Casting Time 1 day
Components V, S, M (lavender and green ioun stone split into 6 shards), F (an onyx throne worth at least 40,000 gp), SC (6)
Skill Checks Knowledge (arcana) DC 47, 4 successes; Knowledge (geography) DC 47, 2 successes; Knowledge (nature) 47, 1 success; Spellcraft DC 47, 2 successes
Range 10 miles/character level of the primary caster
Area 1 mile radius/character level of primary caster
Duration instantaneous; see text
Saving Throw none ; SR none
Backlash The primary caster gains 2 permanent negative levels, and all secondary casters are permanently blinded and deafened. None of these effects can be removed by any means unless the ritual is reversed.
Failure The primary caster and all secondary casters are immediately transported to different locations on the Negative Energy Plane or Shadow Plane (50% for either plane, roll separately for each caster). The secondary casters remain catatonic for 1 hour upon arriving.

Effect

The primary caster sits upon the onyx throne, invoking ancient rites blaspheming against the light of the sun. The secondary casters offer up prayers to the gods of darkness. In turn, each of the secondary casters consumes one of the ioun stone shards, which induces a state of catatonia for 1 hour. Throughout the ritual’s casting, a localized partial solar eclipse marks the location of the throne with an obvious pillar of darkness from above, easily noticed by creatures throughout the ritual’s area.

If the ritual is successful, the area is draped in a curtain of eternal darkness, removing sunlight from the area. Illumination in the area can never be brighter than dim light, and only a miracle or wish can even temporarily alleviate this restriction (though direct intervention of a deity can end the ritual’s effect). Any light beyond dim light that would touch the area is instead transported into the ioun stone shards consumed by the secondary casters, making the secondary casters’ entire bodies glow. Any object with a light spell having its light thus dimmed by the ritual counts as a part of the secondary casters’ bodies for the purpose of a connection for spells like scrying. Collecting these ioun stone shards then piecing them back together while within the affected area ends the effects of this ritual.