Shimmering Kingdoms FATE
The calling comes to each in their own way, yet the institution of the Pantheist League, with its political structure and intrigue, soon establishes its regulation on the life of the clergy. The lay laws are many, and even the lowliest acolyte learns the basic tenants of church law and organization (It is highly recommended to purchase the Lore: Church Lore skill). Men and women have very different roles in the church. Women are usually cloistered within monasteries as Sisters, whereas men may find their following in the Brotherhood at a monastery, or they may choose the Priesthood. Some even seek the exalted office of Grand Primus, a lofty and arduous path that very few ever realize. Note that members of the brotherhood are not referred to as ‘monks.’
Each member, brother or priest has a title granted within the church. True Faith is rare, even among the priesthoods of the pantheon. Not all Priests have True Faith, however, but may still have power and prestige. There are many separate orders within the Priesthood, and even the most ambitious of The Faithful may find themselves assigned to a parish that does not suit their goals. Best learn the nature of your betters and strive to remain in their graces.
Divine magic is unlike other magical paths, in that its power does not come directly from the one wielding it. Devotees of particular gods are sometimes granted a portion of their deity’s power, enabling them to manifest that power directly in the world, and help influence it to serve their god’s designs. Such individuals are known collectively as The Faithful. Most often the Faithful are acolytes, priests, or sometimes holy warriors, of a given god, but that is not always the case – many are called by the family of the Pantheon themselves. The precise way that divine magic might manifest can vary as widely as the gods themselves, and is difficult to categorize.
Wielding true divine magic is not especially common, even among the priesthoods (and occasional military orders) of popular gods, but neither is it rare. Being Faithful means a person is an avatar of their god (or all gods) in the mortal realm, granted power either to serve as a chosen representative of that god, or to serve as an exemplar of its ideals. Few things are universal about the Faithful, as the sorts of abilities they might display are as varied as the gods they might serve, but there is one constant – all the Faithful bear the sigil of their god somewhere on their body. To the untrained eye, this mark generally appears as a tattoo, scar, or birthmark – often with an unearthly sheen about it – in the shape of a common symbol that represents that particular god. The mark is not always prominently visible, but when seen by either another Faithful, or anyone with the Sight, it is easy to discern for what it is. Some devotees of various gods will mimic these marks with mundane tattoos, but the difference is easy to detect for any with the proper sensitivity.
Faithful is a stunt costing various refresh, depending on the calling.
Being an acolyte (known in the church as a prospective – one who has not taken been ordained or taken vows) or a Brother/Sister or Pastor – costs 1 refresh. The main distinction is that the faithful has no access to rituals.
Becoming an ordained cleric (known in the church as a member of the priesthood) opens the Faithful to even more access to their Patron (primarily rituals, both sacramental and magical) and costs 2 refresh. These ministers may perform rituals, both magical and sacramental.
Being divinely faithful requires an aspect – usually a high concept – that reflects this, such as Marked by Purgissa or Chosen Soft Voice of Sylantrope, though the specific phrasing may vary. Exactly how this aspect may be invoked and compelled will vary depending on the nature of the god, and how that god is viewed locally, but all the gods have distinct strengths and weaknesses that the Faithful will be subject to as well. For example, Sylantrope is a goddess of peace, justice and prosperity, so those touched by her may invoke their Faithful aspect in advance of such ideals, and be compelled to uphold them.
Each god has a portfolio and a set of domains – the Faithful who serve them can access up to 4 blessings from their deity that reflect these skills in various ways. Each blessing serves as a self-contained rules element, somewhat like a stunt, but they do not cost extra refresh, as their cost is included in the Faithful ability itself. Additional blessings that fall inside the domains of a Faithful’s patron deity may be purchased as regular stunts for 1 refresh each. Activating nearly any blessing requires a Faith roll, though there is generally no preparation required (other than possession of their deity’s holy symbol), and no other cost – the power comes from the gods, not the Faithful. Magic Skills Base Difficulty and Details apply (standard casting time, target, and duration apply unless otherwise noted). Magic Manipulations may be applied.In addition to access to their god’s blessings, a Faithful may substitute their Faith for Will whenever their mental fortitude is being tested in a way that their devotion to their god might come into play.
Again, blessings usually do not require spending a fate point, unless they are used in a manner outside the scope of the power as written. Generally, if the Faithful attempts multiple blessings during the same scene (day or even month, or locale), a fate point should be warranted. Some retries or second blessing attempts will outright fail, depending on the circumstances and the judgment of the table.
Each God will (eventually) contain their own entry including the blessings for that deity.
Priests/Clerics (not acolytes) can perform ritual magic, earnestly praying to their deity, which allows them to cast a spell with increased potency and/or effects. See Magic Use Methods on the Magic page for details on the specifics.
Additionally, such advanced magic will follow the standard rules for casting spells. The Faithful may invent spells within the domains of their deity, as long as they prepare them ahead of time. Learning new spells to cast on the fly requires purchasing the spell as a stunt, and restrictions may apply.