Ritualist

As the Ritual commands,
I make the Eldritch rite.
As the Ritual commands,
I take the bloodied knife.
As the Ritual commands,
I seed the unliving thrall.
As the Ritual commands,
I read the forgotten scroll.

As the Ritual commands,
I weave the holy ward.
As the Ritual commands,
I cleave thine flashing sword.
A wand to cast the Rite I bear
Within my blood stained hands.
And into the arcane light I stare,
As the Ritual commands…

The oldest of the arcane orders, Ritualists were the first to unlock the ancient mystery of magic. As Aeryn became ever more imbued with the gift of magical energy, it was discovered that this power could be accessed through complicated patterns of ritual. Sometimes called hedge mages, Ritualists continue this ancient art, and their abilities make them one of them most unique, multifaceted, and potentially dangerous forces in the world. Ritualists cast no spells; rather all of their magic involves the careful enactment of ceremony.

Through their mysterious rites, a Ritualist can imbue items with magical spells, craft unliving golems, augment their allies, and weaken their foes. The Ritualist can also invoke rites that temporarily change their abilities – giving them the power to function as another profession. Finally, Ritualists are the only profession that is able to create Banners. Banners are special rituals that are unique to certain professions. Only by working with a Ritualist can members of these professions take advantage of the miraculous effects granted by Banners. The path of the Ritualist is not an easy one – and those who follow this path are warned to give themselves completely to the ritual – or perish in the attempt.

The Nature of Ritualism

So – you vant ritual to vard off nasty neighbors yes? Vell – I have solution for you. Go to neighbor house. Take dis knife in left hand. Take off clothes and spin ‘round like moon mad dervish and scream at top of lungs three times, A-Villow-villow-vallow! A-Villow-villow-vallow! Oh – and very important you throw bag of salt over right shoulder. Vhat ritual do? Absolutely nothing, but it scare neighbor away for sure.

~Madame Devorah, Romani Mystic

It is our belief that magic must not be captured – rather it must be cajoled into being. It is our mistress – our goddess – and we are her humble priests. Oh no – we are no religion to whine and grovel under the heel of imperfect gods. Our mistress is perfect in every way. She is infallible. She does not fight unnecessary wars or enforce doctrine and dogma. Yet she does demand that we respect her. Ritual is an offering to her – and in return she grants us power.

Ritual is our tool. It is the brazier that holds the flame – the lever that moves the stone – the lock that seals the door. Don’t you see? They call us hedge mages but what do they know? Ours is the most civilized application of magic. Ritual is the safest instrument by which it might be manipulated. It is – all things considered – a most practical science.

Don’t just stand there like some war crazed Reaver who’s lost his sword. Make yourself useful. Here. Hold this knife. That’s it. Good.

It is all about us, yet it is an elusive force. Many and many more go through their entire lives unaware of it and yet it is there all the same. Some will tell you that magic must be described and categorized. Others will tell you that magic is a gift that we should use whenever we wish. I feel that the magic simply is – like air in the sky quietly flowing – mastered by none, but with the right device – harnessed for a time before being released again in a pure, unpolluted form. If magic is the wind, then ritual is our windmill.Now stand over there. No not under the bucket. To the left. LEFT! Mind the cat. Good. Good.

Some have a hard time understanding what ritual truly is. When I speak about it this way they begin to understand, but unless they are willing to devote themselves body and soul the meaning quickly escapes them again. Magic is the air. Ritual is the mill. Do you see it? Does it make sense to you? The blades of the windmill grasp the air which in turn spins the gears and wheels inside. Does it make sense to you now? Well…I certainly do not have time to repeat myself.

Well if you’re going to force me to continue, then at the very least do make an attempt to be helpful. Just take this and spread it out over the ground. Never you mind what it is just sprinkle it about the circle three times starting here and working around widdershins. No..oh…(sigh)…well too late now. I suppose that will have to do. Now – where was I…? Oh yes – well now that you have a basic understanding of what ritualism is about, we can proceed to where it began.

The truth is no one is absolutely sure. Oh the Arcanists claim one thing and the clergies quite another, but neither myself or any other self-respecting Ritualist believes anything any other profession has to say on the matter. We believe that somewhere – someone being of pure magic was born. No fey such as dwell in the Astral Realms no…this creature lived ages before those petty sprites came to be. It was awesome to behold – but alas it was all alone for it was quite unlike gods or mortals. It was unique – and terribly sad. We call it Mythos.

Perhaps it was a result of being so alone, but Mythos turned to the path of darkness long ago – and was properly destroyed for his infractions against the world, which were many. The battles waged against him are said to have been quite terrible. He created the Warlocks to defend him – and they – let me tell you – were hateful beings to be sure. Don’t let this go too far but – well between you and me there is some speculation that the Warlocks are still out there in the world – eager to destroy any who dare practice the magical arts.

Scared you did I? Oh no need to be. It’s just a myth.

Oh splendid – you’re doing well. Now just continue around in the direction you are moving and stab the ground with the dagger at each of the cardinal directions. (sigh) No it’s not stupid – its magic so just do it. That’s better. Now where was I?

Ah yes – Mythos. Well the gods couldn’t harm him so it fell to mortals to win the day. And win the day we most cleverly did. Do you know how? Of course you don’t, but I’ll tell you. RITUAL. Haha. Yes – magic did the trick. No god had ever thought of that one and that’s just what we did to destroy Mythos. But how did we learn to be Ritualists you ask? It was an elf lord by the name of Aelethan who taught the art. Some say that he learned it from a warlock who had turned his back on Mythos – while others seem to think that Aelethan was himself a warlock once upon a time. Personally I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Aelethan was a student of Mythos before he fell to madness. But this is all here-say. As with all things it is best to seek our own answers.

Since that far flung age we Ritualists have passed our traditions down from generation to generation keeping the Art alive, and – if you don’t mind me saying – keeping our purses fat with the proceeds. Oh don’t look so shocked – how much coin would you part with to enchant a magical ring or imbue a sword of fire? That’s how they did it in old Imperia – oh to have lived then…

Ok that’s quite enough stabbing. We don’t want to plow a field lad, just put in a few holes. Now take this milk and pour it into the holes you’ve made. Then cover them over. That’s it. Very good.