Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fallen Empire - The Imperial Cult, New Class and Spell lists



PRIEST/PRIESTESS OF THE IMPERIAL CULT 

Below is a new sub-class of Cleric I have been preparing for my Fallen Empire setting, it's an evolution (perhaps the final one) of the 'casting die' based spell mechanics that started with animal shaman in the Pahvelorn campaign and which I currently use for some clerics in HMS Apollyon. I generally like this system for divine magic as it makes it unpredictible and strange without adding too many new rules.  It also allows player imagination to expand the spell list by inventing new patrons, which makes it potentially very fun for players who enjoy world building and setting immersion. A PDF of the class can be found HERE.


Within the Successor Empire there is only one religion of power, the Imperial cult stands alone and falsely claims a spiritual unification.  The Cult’s claim is disingenuous as it has birthed a thousand little schisms, divergent traditions, and is big or vacuous enough to contain almost any beliefs.  The Cult worships the Emperor, and while the qualities of the imbecilic Zeno the 14th, current and 754th Emperor (210th of the Successor dynasty), do not lend themselves to worship even his devotees receive mystical power from their belief.  There are hundreds of other Imperial Emperor Saints that also grant power, and many of them conceal the syncretic adaptations of other conquered religions, often worshiped under multiple names.

The spirits of individual emperors offer their devotees unique powers based on a special religious portfolio, and while most priests limit themselves to one or two preferred saints, a few of the most powerful, half saint themselves, can channel many different divine spirits.  However, even these greatest of holy men and women can only call upon one power at a time and must wear the correct panoply to do so.



Class Limitations
Imperial Clerics are often well trained in arms, and have no melee weapon restrictions; they are even sometimes trained in shield and heavy armor use.  However a priest is first a scholar or devotee of their cult, rather than a soldier and will never develop the complete comfort in heavy armor of a trained warrior and always suffer a -1 to initiative while wearing heavy armor (or a -2 to hit perhaps in a system with group initiative).  Likewise, while priests are trained in the fighting arts, it is not the focus of their life, and they only gain 1 point of attack bonus at 1st level and an additional point at 3rd, 6th, 9th and 10th level (Assuming a maximum character level of 10th).  Imperial Priests generally do not focus on the use missile weapons, and as an element of doctrine and training missile weapons are deemed inappropriate for properly chastising the unbeliever.  Priests never gain an attack bonus to missile weapon use, always acting with the +0 of an untrained individual.

Turning
Imperial Priests can shun and drive off a variety of creatures and enemies, from undead and demons to animals depending on the nature of the Imperial Saint they are channeling. Turning is based on the level of the priest and Hit Dice of the creature driven off.  To shun or turn an enemy the priest must chant the appropriate prayers to the Saint invoked and boldly display their mask.  While turning the priest cannot take aggressive action or cast spells, but as long as the prayers continue a successful turning will drive off the targets and prevent them from coming within 100 feet of the Priest.  Turning is accomplished with the standard 2D6 roll, on a T result the creature is automatically driven off while on a D roll undead or otherworldly creatures are banished, but terrestrial enemies are only driven away with a permanent fear of the priest..

To Turn
1 Hd
2 Hd
3 Hd
4 Hd
5 Hd
6 Hd
7 Hd
8 Hd
9 Hd
10 Hd
Cl Lvl 1
6
8
10
12
-
-
-
-
-
-
Cl Lvl 2
6
6
8
10
12
-
-
-
-
-
Cl Lvl 3
4
6
6
8
10
12
-
-
-
-
Cl Lvl 4
T
4
6
6
8
10
12
-
-
-
Cl Lvl 5
T
T
4
6
6
8
10
12
-
-
Cl Lvl 6
D
T
T
4
6
6
8
10
12
-
Cl Lvl 7
D
D
T
T
4
6
6
8
10
12
Cl Lvl 8
D
D
D
T
T
4
6
6
8
10
Cl Lvl 9
D
D
D
D
T
T
4
6
6
8
Cl Lvl 10
D
D
D
D
D
T
T
4
6
6

Spell Casting and Saintly Possession

In order to cast spells an Imperial priest or priestess must commune with one of the spirits of the emperors (or other power masquerading as one) conducting a ritual that takes several hours and donning the proper mask (some of which can be very expensive) and robes. Mechanically an Imperial Priest selects a power to commune with and channel prior to each session and cannot change the power or linked selection of spells until the next session or perhaps a return to civilization/camp.

When casting spells, an Imperial priest or priestess is invoking the power of their divine patron and channeling its power into the terrestrial universe.  This process depends both on the caster’s belief and the willingness of the divine patron to act.  It is quite possible for overly ambitious priests to annoy their patron, or lack sufficient personal belief and so suffer negative consequences.  In order to determine if a Priest casts a specific spell the Priest must make a D20 roll (like an attack roll) adding their level and up to one point of any Wisdom or Charisma bonus while subtracting one point for each time the spell has been cast or attempted immediately prior (in the same combat or previous turn) to the current casting.   If this adjusted number is higher than the target number listed with the spell the spell is cast successfully, if it is lower than the ‘failure’ number a magical catastrophe occurs (this failure number is usually 5 pips less than the success number).  If the spell casting roll is between the success and failure numbers the spell is not cast, but the Priest suffers no ill effects.

Priest spells are broken into four categories, miracles, boons, rituals and sendings.  Miracles may be cast in lieu of a combat action (taking one round) and take effect immediately.  Boons require an exploration turn to cast and remain active for some time afterward while Rituals not only require a turn to cast, but also require space, ritual objects (usually chalk or something else to mark out prayers and signs) and effort to prepare.  A Sending is a special ritual that summons a spirit, creature or otherworldy force. Rituals and Sendings also take a turn to cast, but usually have an immediate and instant effect. 

Multiple Divine Patrons

Imperial Priests will begin with the regalia and favor of one divine patron, but as they grow in power they may gain more.  The process requires both reserves of fervor (Class Levels) and the sanction of the Imperial Cult’s leaders or the Imperial Saints themselves.  Additionally a priest seeking to channel additional powers will need to purchase and prepare appropriate vestments.  While the most important of these is the mask, but robes, talismans and other garments are also required.  These items are costly, and due to the jealous nature of divine or outsider entities like the Imperial Saints they also become more costly and ornate with each power added to the priest’s repertoire.  While the first power a priest communes with may only require garments worth a couple hundred gold later powers will demand vestments of higher quality: 1,000 GP, 10,000 GP and even 100,000 GP for powers after the third.

The jealousy of the Eternal Emperors is not limited to manifesting only for a devotee in the proper vestments, but powers after the first will also place strictures on the behavior of priests that wish to call on them.  Limitations on action or speech and even compulsions to act.  Examples include: forbidding the use of blunt or edged weapons, forbidding the use of armor, requiring a tithe of treasure, slaying certain beasts or sects  wherever they are found, remaining silent except for spell casting, always obeying Imperial authorities or drinking only wine.  These strictures must be observed at all times or the power will leave the Priest and refuse to return. 

THREE DIVINES

The three Imperial Saints listed below are exemplars of the sorts of powers that the Imperial Cult worships and can employ, they are also three of the most popular of the Eternal Emperors and their sects are the most widely spread.

THE FIRST EMPEROR
Regarded as the greatest of Imperial divines, shrines to the First Emperor are everywhere in the Successor Empire, and his priests and priestess common in their high collared white robes and plain porcelain masks. Depictions of the saint himself (or herself as sometimes alleged by the more schismatic of the 1st Emperor’s priesthood) show only a carved figure of bone, white clay or bonewhite, lacking in detail or distinguishing marks.  Some of the oldest of his shrines depict the first Emperor with childlike proportions, but this may simply be a product of ancient aesthetic conventions.

The Priests and Priestesses of the First Emperor concern themselves with life and growth, as a mark of their order they wear white clothing and plain, nearly featureless white masks with small mouth and eye holes surrounding the vaguest suggestion of a nose. The mask must be worn while channeling the powers of their divine spirit.  Strictures of the First Emperor revolve around sparing lives, helping the injured and never shedding blood as he is one of the least warlike of the Imperial divines.

Turning: The First Emperor abhors ablife and his/her priests can dive away or destroy the undead.

RITUALS, BOONS, SENDINGS AND MIRACLES
NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Divine Light – Miracle
10
4
DESCRIPTION
By means of this boon the priest is able to create shimmering white light, either a ray that can blind one target (on a failed save the target will be blinded for 1 turn per level of the priest) or a glowing orb that floats above the priest’s head and acts as a light source (50’ radius) that is exhausted after a single ‘spell exhaustion result on the exploration/random encounter die.

Failure will likely result in: extinguishing all nearby lights, an area of magical darkness or temporary blindness (1 turn per level) of the caster.

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Divine Grace – Boon
13
7
DESCRIPTION
By means of this boon (1 turn to cast) the priest may bless up to their Level in human or humanoid targets, including himself.  Under the influence of this spell these individuals will sparkle softly with white motes of light and radiate a small amount of divine energy that provides protection against supernatural creatures and anomalies caused by spoiled magic.  Creatures such as shadow sendings, demons and magical sports (like owlbears) will be unable to attack these individuals in melee combat, unless attacked first.  Relatively unintelligent creatures are likely to flee, while intelligent otherworldly foes such as demons will look upon the blessed with even greater loathing and search out cunning ways to harm them from a distance (such as throwing boulders).  This boon also provides a +2 to all saves vs. magic (except celestial magic, including the spells of Imperial Clerics).  The boon will last for two spell exhaustion pips on the exploration/random encounter die.   

Failure will likely result in a temporary curse of -1 to all actions, or a sense of hopelessness and in some cases, extreme fear (as the spell).  These curses are likely to affect all targeted by the spell as well as the caster (though the spell cannot be made to intentionally fail), and will last for the same duration as a successful casting.

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Renewal – Ritual
14
8
DESCRIPTION
A short ritual invocation, involving clean white bandages sprinkled with holy oil/water (1/4 of a vial at least) and taking an exploration turn allows the Priestess of the First Emperor to channel power into a wound, dulling pain and melding together torn flesh.  If successful the ritual will heal 1D6+Preistess Level in HP.  The ritual may be performed multiple times to fully heal injuries, but each application of divine power to an injured patient after the first will drain life (1HP) from the caster and take an additional turn.

Failure will likely result in: healing 1D6/2 damage, by directly draining the life force of the caster causing injury equal to the damage healed.  These failures will also prevent the use of the spell for the remainder of the session.

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Sanctuary – Ritual
14
9
DESCRIPTION
By drawing the names and marks associated with the first emperor in a circle the priest may create a zone of placidity, within this circle (10’ in diameter per turn spent in inscribing it) violence is impossible, and peace reigns.  Missile attacks and spells directed from the outside are at a -8 to hit or +8 to save against and the attacker must save vs. spells or suffer paralyzing shame for 1D6 turns. 

The spell will last as long as the priest continues to intone prayers to the first emperor from within the circle (for every turn after the 3rd the priest must make a CON check to avoid stopping from exhaustion).

Failure will likely result in: a wave of violence and ferocity that sweeps out from the caster making him and all within 20’ bloodthirsty and aggressive (+1 to damage and hit and a four point penalty to AC) for 1D6 turns.

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Mark of Life – Ritual
20
15
DESCRIPTION

The first Emperor creates and preserves above all else, and with the saint’s direct intervention can restore life to the recently dead.  By means of this miracle a priest of the 1st Emperor can return a human (but not a demi-human) from death if the target has been dead less than 24 hours.  The ritual itself requires 8 hours (48 turns) to complete and requires 500 GP in powdered ivory, clean white cloth and pearl dust, which can be difficult to find outside of larger Imperial settlements. 

By taking a small part of his own life force and offering it to the Imperial Spirit the Spirit will sometimes restore life to the fallen.  Regardless of the spells success the priest will take 1D6 HP of damage from the attempt.  If the miracle is successful the target will rise at one HP at the end of the ritual having suffered a permanent loss of 1 point of (D4) 1- CON, 2- STR, 3-DEX, 4-CHR from scarring and the stiff white nacre that has filled in their mortal wounds or replaced their mangled organs.  The GM may elect to add more serious penalties for characters raised after especially horrible injury.  The priest conducting a successful Mark of Life Ritual will permanently lose 1 HP but is entitled to add a single silver disc to their regalia as a mark of their holiness.

On an unsuccessful casting the dead will remain unaffected, and the priest will fully regain the hit points lost to casting at the normal rate.

Failure has two negative effects, as some sort of intervening spirit, demon or entity has corrupted the spell.  The priest will suffer the same permanent 1 HP loss as with a success, but the recipient of the spell will be  raised as a corporeal undead similar to a wight, but more or less powerful depending on the level of the caster and recipient.  This abomination will seek to escape and lair up in some hidden place to hunt the living, especially the priest that created it.

THE GOLDEN EMPEROR
Another godling concerned with growth, the reign of the Golden Emperor was one of abundance and decadent excess, and his portfolio relates to commerce, luck, travel and wealth.  The Golden One is a popular divine; his priesthood remains wealthy and is one of the few organizations within the Empire that could still be described as actively commercial, with its bejeweled fingers in almost every aspect of internal and external trade.  Gold masked actuarial priests, in their conservative suits of black wool are common in both the shrine/lending houses of the Golden Emperor’s cult and travelling amongst Imperial merchants to profit the cult and observe and enforce fair-dealing and a lack of fraud.  The Golden Emperor’s cult also employs priests militant, lean and deadly adversaries (wearing intentionally tarnished gold masks) who commit targeted assassinations and acts of economic sabotage against the cult’s enemies and those who attempt to undercut Imperial merchants.

The Golden Emperor is fond of excess and fair dealing, and his more devoted priests make a point of always enforcing Imperial tax laws (an onerous tithe on their personal wealth), preventing lies and falsehood and only eating or drinking the finest foods and liquors.

Turning: The Golden Emperor knows the hearts of men and his followers can drive off (but not destroy or kill) humans (or near humans) or their creations (automatons).


RITUALS, BOONS, SENDINGS AND MIRACLES

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Luck – Boon
11
5
DESCRIPTION
If this boon is granted a single target will be filled with the Golden Emperor’s favor and in addition to eyes that leak golden light like thick syrup will have extraordinary luck in the next few efforts they undertake.  The target will gain six bonus pips to add (or subtract) to any roll they make during the remainder of the session.  These bonuses can be used one time per successful spell casting, but can be spread amongst multiple rolls until exhausted.   This spell is tiring however and the caster will suffer a -1 D6/2 HP per casting beyond their current level per session in non-lethal exhaustion damage (falling into a multiday magical slumber upon reaching zero HP). 

Failure will cause bad battle luck, with the next blow aimed at the caster striking automatically, or the next injury to the caster inflicting critical damage. Self-inflicted damage to avoid this curse will have no effect.

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Dross – Ritual
11
6
DESCRIPTION
The priest lays out a circle of coins (at least 10 GP worth), each marked with the head of a different ruler (they may be foreign coins, but must have a representative image on them) and begins a low chant.  A single object is placed in the center of the circle will gain the appearance of being much more valuable for four ‘spell exhaustion’ rolls of the encounter die.  Objects so enchanted will transform into something similar to their original form, but far more costly – a lump of rock becomes a diamond, a handful of copper coins become platinum or a scrap of paper a lost painting by an ancient master.  Such objects will appear to have a value of 1D6x200 GP per caster level and unless examined magically or by a true master appraiser (Acumen tests are at -4) .   After the spell wears off in four “spell exhaustion” pips (or about a day) the object will return to its original, likely worthless, appearance.

The spell may also be used to alter the appearance of the caster, making the priest appear as someone else and effectively creating a disguise that requires a -3 legerdemain check to unravel.  The caster cannot alter their appearance to that of a specific person, only a general category of person [e.g. palace guard].  Of course this spell will not disguise or change the caster’s equipment in any functional way, though a suit of regular armor could be transformed to give it the appearance of another suit of the same class (light, medium or heavy).  Such changed appearance endures for two “spell exhaustion” results on the encounter die.

Failure of the Dross spell will create an aura of bad feeling around the caster, effectively reducing their CHR to 3 (with corresponding reaction penalties). This effect will last for the remainder of the session.  Continued failures may result in permanent CHR loss.

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Awe – Miracle
14
9
DESCRIPTION
The majesty of empire, the refined pomp, sybaritic opulence and unimaginable finery of lost ages distilled into a single burst of awesome glory that spills forth from the mask of the Golden Emperor.  The priestess can direct this flood of awe inspiring visions at several targets (1 + [caster level/2]) who must save vs. spells or remain stunned, lost in a reverie of wealth and the glories of the Empire at its golden peak. The stunned state persists until injury or for on “spell exhaustion” result on the exploration die.   If allowed to expire naturally victims of this spell will have no memory of the priest or being under the spell’s influence, and often ascribe their visions to divine inspiration (though not necessarily to the Golden Emperor).

Awe may also be used to impress allies, filling them with visions of unity and the ancient power that is the font of the Imperial cult.  Mercenaries will know that their contracts are to be honored with bonuses, fanatics will see their visions of paradise clear and true, and treasure seekers fight harder in the certainty that the next haul of loot will be the ‘one’.   The priest must chant while using Awe in this way, directing and tailoring the spell’s visions to the beneficiaries of its divine inspiration.  Chanting prevents the priest from talking other actions during the effect of the spell, but allies targeted by the spell gain an additional attack per round.

When the Awe spell fails the visions it produces are hollow and infuriating, causing rage or despair granting enemies an additional attack each round or allies a -5 to initiative.  Repeated or gross failures of the spell will also often reduce the priest to a state of nervous exhaustion (stunned for one “spell exhaustion” result while weeping inconsolably) or age the priest several years.
 
NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Golden Key – Ritual
16
10
“Wealth will open all ways” is a maxim of the Golden Emperor, and with this boon the Emperor makes it a truism for his priests.  This boon may be used to open any lock, mundane or even magical (if ensorcelled by a caster of lower or equal level to the priest).  It may also magically seal portals and doors making them immune to force or cunning (but susceptible to magic) if 100 GP worth of valuable metals are offered to the Emperor as a sacrifice.  For greater sacrifices the god will open more complex ways.  With a 1,000 GP sacrifice a passage will form in any magically unwarded wall up to 10’ thick and remains for 1 turn per level of the priest.  If 2,500 GP are sacrificed the priest can teleport himself, his personal effects and anything living within 5’ of him up to 1,000 miles to a destination he has seen previously or that contains a shrine of the Golden Emperor.

The Emperor is greedy, and upon a spell failure he will certainly take any funds offered as well as some other portion of money from the priest, his allies and even businesses he owns.  Usually the Emperor will limit himself to valuables on the priest’s person or in his vicinity.  If the Golden Emperor is annoyed or displeased he will take special items or even memories (XP), traits (Statistics) or body parts as well as valuables.

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Divine Insight – Ritual
18
13
DESCRIPTION
The Golden Emperor is magnanimous and knows many things: the past and future of every coin, what each person desires, the key to every vault, and the location of every hidden treasure.  If properly plied with honeyed words and promises of devotion the Emperor will share some of these things with his most favored Priestesses.  Performing this ritual requires an offering of the priestess’s own blood (1D6 HP worth) mixed with wine and drunk from a golden goblet of at least 500 GP value (the goblet is not sacrificed). If the ritual succeeds the Priestess will be offered a chance to ask her deity one question, which the Golden Emperor will answer to the best of his ability.

A failure of this spell indicates that the Golden Emperor is offended, a dangerous situation resulting in permanent, often disfiguring consequences such as blindness (the eyes transformed into golden orbs), a hideous, crippling pox or gout (-1D6 to CHR and/or DEX) or other affliction.

THE QUIET EMPRESS
The founder of the Successor Dynasty, the 545th Emperor began as a provincial cousin of the main Imperial line, living in a Western capital as the young wife of its ruling sorcerer prince. Yet during the century leading to the succession, the main line of Imperial family had become increasingly beholden to powerful demonic allies, and the 544th Emperor fell entirely under their sway, abandoning the traditional outsider allies of the Empire, “The Celestial Thrones”.  Driven by demonic power and ambition, the 544th Emperor’s reign turned to chaos and slaughter and soon the Imperial Family was little more than a pack of blood gorged hosts for numerous demons.  All except for the Quiet Empress and other distant relative.  The Empress, who, divorcing her provincial husband to assure the rural nopbilty of the Empire that she would not favor a particular house, assumed the title of 545th Emperor and rallied provinces against the center.  In exchange for renewed allegiance of the Celestial Thrones the Empress sacrificed her voice and later married one of the divine Yazata, forever linking the Successor Empire to the Celestial Thrones (and perhaps guaranteeing the unnatural deformity and insanity of the line).  In the long, cataclysmic war that followed, the 545th Empress’s forces were triumphant and terrible, wrecking destruction that still scars the face of the world, forever corrupted the Southern and Eastern portions of the Empire, caused millions of deaths and set back Imperial arcanism and technology by thousands of years.  Yet the Empire endured, smaller, weaker and uglier perhaps, but still as something other than a huge farm for mortal souls and blood to sate the ravening appetites of demons.

The followers of the Quiet Empress wear masks of silver, and robes of red, with the hems and cuffs dipped in sanctified blood (or striped with brown cloth in more civilized shrines).  The Empress’ devotees are warrior priests, and the Empress’ powers are those of destruction, vengeance and uncompromising war.  The Empress demands action and blood from her followers, and many of her greatest holy warriors are silent except for a certain eloquence of slaughter.

Turning: The Quiet Empress was always an enemy to demon kind and her priestess can shun and banish demons, devils and all other outsiders except celestial thrones.

RITUALS, BOONS, SENDINGS AND MIRACLES
NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Holy Wrath – Boon
11
6
DESCRIPTION
The rage of the bloody handed Empress is terrible and her followers can channel it to provide themselves with supernatural reserves of vigor.  The violence of this boon will be evident on its recipient (either the priest or a willing recipient) in their wild eyes, bulging veins and howling madness.  While under the effect of the Wrath person gains +2 to damage and a -2 per die to damage received, however; when filled with wrath combatants are less likely to protect themselves, suffering a two point Armor Class penalty and are too filled with bloodlust to engage in missile combat or retreat from battle. The spell lasts for one combat and afterward the recipient must rest for 1 turn, and eat a ration of food to regain their strength as if exhausted.

The Empress’ wrath is freely given and failure of the spell will result in excessive magical rage, turning the recipient of the boon into a ravening berserk for one turn.  Under the influence of unbridled wrath a combatant will attack anything nearby, starting with the nearest target (usually an ally) and gaining +4 to damage -2 per die to damage received and a 6 point armor class penalty.

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Destruction’s Embrace – Miracle
13
8
DESCRIPTION
Most on the battlefield wish not to be there, they think of home, peace, family and times of joy or plenty.  To the Quiet Empress and her followers these weak souls are grain for the scythe of her implacable will.  The Quiet Empress never shirked from battle, never turned aside the blade when it was above an enemy’s neck and it is an abomination unto her to do otherwise.  With this miracle a priestess of the Quiet Empress writes one of the secret symbols of war in her own blood across her silver mask and it burns in the hearts of whomever she chooses to fix her gaze upon reminding the victim of war’s immutable nature.  A successful invocation of this spell will cause any one foe to fear battle.  Those enemies with HD equal or less than the priestess flee automatically, while creatures with HD greater than the priestess may save vs. spells to stand firm.   If the priestess’s magical gaze is fixed upon an ally the target will be emboldened, rallying if fleeing and gain immunity to negative morale effects and fear for the rest of the combat.

When this spell fails it reminds enemies of their own power to reave and take life, granting them a +2 to hit and damage for the rest of the battle.  Allies targeted when this spell fails collapse (if they fail a save vs. spells) overcome by exhaustion and terror.  They will recover in in 1D6/2 turns.

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Spectral Legionary – Sending
15
10
DESCRIPTION
The greatest glory is to die in the battle, serving the Imperial will.  Those who fall are never truly lost. With this sending ritual, requiring the skull of an imperial soldier (or anyone who has sworn loyalty to the Empire – including most current imperial subjects over twelve) and four bent or broken weapons, the Quiet Empress’s chosen vessels can summon a Spectral Legionary to fight for her cause.  The Spectral Legionary will persist for three “spell exhaustion” results or until destroyed, and will attack any target it is directed at except for imperial soldiery.  Legionaries may also perform simple tasks and respond to commands up to three words long. 

Spectral Legionaries are the ectoplasmic forms of ancient soldiers, their vague features and equipment reflecting several thousand years of imperial military style and technology.  The skull used in the ritual will lodge in the head of the spectral soldier, and the ghostly body will wield its decayed weapons with supernatural fury. Spectral Legionaries have fighter Hit Dice equal to the priest summoning them,  fight as fighters of the summoning priest’s level, with an AC of 15/[5] and inflict 1D8 damage per attack.  The attacks of a Sepctral Legionary can strike creatures immune to normal weapons and they take only ½ damage from normal weapons themselves.  Otherwise Spectral Legionaries move and fight as normal human soldiers, but never make morale checks and cannot be affected by mind effecting spells (their controller can however).  Spectral Legionaries may be turned or controlled as undead.

Failure to properly invoke this ritual will generally result in the Quiet Empress gathering up a nearby soul, usually of a subject who has felt or expressed disloyalty to the Empire (everyone at some time or another) and adding it to her ghostly army.  This may be the Priest, but is more likely an ally or companion and is never an enemy.  The victim of the saint’s death spell suffers 1D6 x casting priest level damage, but may save vs. spells to take only a single point per priest level.

A side effect of this spell’s grim components is that most priests and priestesses of the Quiet Empress are festooned with garlands of skulls and carry bundles of rusted, broken and decayed weapons, only enhancing their reputations as death obsessed lunatics.

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Exorcism-Miracle
16
11
DESCRIPTION
The Quiet Empress hates the foul stink of magical corruption and with a successful invocation of this miracle her priest can destroy or block arcane magic and banish outsider creatures in a flash of red light.

Magical wards and spell effects are sundered and disenchanted with this miracle.  Wards or permanent effects originally cast by practitioner of higher than or equal level to the priest conducting the exorcism Save vs. Spells, and on a successful save will be immune to future exorcism attempts for a year and a day. Supernatural, otherworldly creatures (except celestial thrones) exorcised with this spell are banished to their home plane if they have fewer Hit Dice than the invoking priest.  Creatures with Hit Dice greater or equal to the exorcist suffer 1D6 x exorcist level damage from the spell. 

The final use of this miracle is to create a protective bubble 10’ in diameter around the priest’s current location.  This shield of shimmering reddish haze will deflect up to 2 x the exorcist’s current Hit Points in Magical Damage and give a bonus of 2x the exorcist’s level to any Saves vs. magical effects made by those within the stationary shield.  

Failure of this spell severs the priest’s connection to the divine for three magic exhaustion results on the exploration die and may require further atonement in the form of sacrifice and meditation if the Quiet Empress is displeased.

NAME
CASTING TARGET
FAILURE
Storm of Steel – Miracle
19
14
DESCRIPTION
The storm of steel is the most terrifying manifestation of the Quiet Empress.  This miracle produces a scything circle of screaming blades in a 10’ diameter circle around the priest.  Anything in the circle that is not immune to normal weapon damage will be diced to ribbons almost instantly by this fierce manifestation of the war goddesses’ might.  Creatures of ½ or less the HD of the priest will be slain instantly without recourse to a save (including all creatures of below 1HD).   Creatures that aren’t slain instantly, with HD up to the casters must Save vs. Breath or die, slashed into giblets.  Even those creatures that make this save or are above the caster’s HD will take 1D6 points of damage for each level of the caster as they are thrown clear of the maelstrom of blades.  Only a small space at the center of the steel storm, big enough for the priest to stand or sit is free of the baleful swarming blades.  The spell will last for 1 turn and may not be crossed during this time without suffering its effects.  Even the casting priest is trapped for the spell’s duration, their movement constrained and unable to cast spells over the howling clash of the surrounding weapons. When the spell is complete the magically manifested weapons will clatter to the ground, revealed to be 2D10 swords, axes and daggers of various ancient makes and utterly mundane quality.

Failure to invoke this spell properly has dread consequences as the Quiet Empress does not release the blades pledged to her with ease.  The priests own weapons will vanish (undoubtedly to appear in a storm of steel in some future century), and the caster (or an ally) will become a magnet for attacks, suffering automatic injury from any bladed weapons swung at them for at least a turn.  Worse results are in store for priests who fail to cast this spell repeatedly or who do so without a weapon on hand to offer the Empress, including instant death as hundreds of sharp blades burst from their bodies or petrification as a statue of rusting steel.

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