Nigrum Librum De Caelo
Nigrum Librum De Caelo (Book of the Black Heavens)
00000 Mirror of Silence
This ritual is deceptively simple, belying its terrible power. This ritual works on the principle of sympathy, drawing its power from the silence and emptiness of the Abyss. Requiring a point of vitae from the intended target, this rite allows a Magus to forevermore silence a target by turning their mouth into a void from which nothing may escape.
System: The Magus casting the spell must first acquire a point of Vitae from the target. This point must be in some way preserved, such as by way of rituals like Engaging the Vessel of Transference. This being done the Magus must cut out their own tongue with white hot knife, requiring a willpower roll at difficulty 8 and a Rotschrek check to go through with the process, and dealing a level of aggravated damage. Having symbolically emptied their mouth, they must pool the point of blood from the target in the hollow where their tongue once rested. This being done they use Shroud of Night to produce an orb of shadow, which they then shrink until it may fit in their mouth. The magus then places the ball of shadow in their mouth, swallowing both it and the point of blood from the target, making their casting roll (intelligence+Occult, diffictuly 8). If the casting roll is successful, the mouth of the target will become a gateway to the abyss, consuming all blood they attempt to ingest, and preventing them from speaking at all. The ritual will last for a week per success rolled. The ritual may be dispelled normally, but the curse may be ended early if the Magus regrows their tongue (which must otherwise must remain removed for the duration, by not healing the level of Damage inflicted), or if the target manages to drink a point of blood from the Magus, in a crude mirror of the ritual that cursed the victim.
Side Effect: To maintain the effect of the ritual, the caster must not heal the damage (an as a result not regrow their tongue) for the curation of the ritual.
000 Shadow Conclave
This ritual allows Magi to link their shadows, and thus their strength by use of the Shadow Play power. Through the use of this ritual, a group of Magi may weave far greater workings of Gramarye than would otherwise be possible for a lone Magus. This ritual is always linked to another Abyssal Thaumaturgy ritual.
System: The Magus that is to cast the following ritual is both the focus of this ritual and the primary limiter of its potential. The number of Magi beyond the focus of this ritual is limited to the number of dots the focus has in Obtenebration. The ritual is performed by the Magi casting this ritual linking their shadows to the focus by use of the Shadow Play power. The ritual itself has two effects. All magi casting this rite gain the ability to spend a point of willpower on casting rolls to add automatic successes as normal. In addition to spending willpower, for each Magus involved in the rite, the difficulty of the rite is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 3.
Side Effect: For so long as the ritual is in effect, every shadow in the vicinity will reach towards the focus of the ritual, not merely those of the casters, which is both unsettling and potentially a breah of the masquerade.
00000 Void Blossom
This insidious ritual uses the power of the Abyss to alter the properties of a white rose bush, turning it into a source of an extremely dangerous poison. The poison works by infecting the target with Abyssal Magic, causing them to wither away as their life force is slowly consumed. Those slain by the poison produced by this ritual have their bodies dissolve into black particulate that doesn’t have any discernible chemical composition.
System: The Magus must first acquire a rose plant with white petals. Having done this, every night, within a minute of midnight, the rose bush must be watered with a point of blood from the Mystic casting the ritual. This must continue for 28 days, a symbolic cycle of the moon, and must begin on the night of a dark moon. At the end of each week the Magus makes a casting roll, intoning prayers to gods of darkness and death in Ancient Persian, adding the successes scored to a total. Over the course of the month, the thorns and petals of the rose will grow blacker and blacker until they take on the tell-tale black sheen of the Abyss. When this happens the plant is ready for harvest. The plant grows exactly four doses worth of poison, which may be harvested from the petals by running them through alchemical processes taking a full night of work to produce one dose of poison. The poison, once made, lasts indefinitely in a sealed vial and is virtually undetectable, as it takes on the properties of the substance it is mixed with, though it also tends to leech heat, cooling the substance slightly below the normal temperature.
Once ingested, the poison begins its work, and deals one level of aggravated damage every hour, which may be resisted by kindred with Fortitude by rolling against a difficulty equal to the creator's Obtenebration +3 at the time they began creating the plant. The poison will last for a number of night equal to the number of successes scored on the initial casting roll. The poison is Abyssal in nature, and so is dormant during daylight hours. The poison cannot be neutralised except by burning the plant from which the batch was made, or by cutting open the throat of the victim with a thorn from said plant, which will immediately leech the poison from their system. The plant, provided it is watered at least once a week, will produce a new dose of the poison once a month on the night of the new moon, storing up to a maximum of four. The poisons can also be drawn from the blood of the victim if they’re fed upon, at which point each victim of the poison will suffer through half of the remaining duration.
Side Effect: Void Blossoms serve only one purpose: Murder. As a result, successfully creating one requires an immediate conscience roll, failure on which will result in the loss of a dot of conscience.
00 Shroud the Silent
This ritual is very similar to Donning the Mask of Shadows, but is slightly more diffcult to pierce, due to the strong resonance it has with the school of magic.
System: The Shroud lasts fr a number of hours equal to thenumber of successes rolled on the casting roll. It requires a Perception+Awareness roll against a difficulty of the caster's Obtenebration+Occult to pierce, difficulties over 10 add threshold. If a character posesses Auspex equal to or greater than the caster's Obtenebration they may piece it freely. The Shroud lasts for a number of hours equal to the number of successes rolled on the casting roll. The caster may shroud as many epople with this ritual as they have dots of occult. Every additional person adds 5 minutes to the casting time.
Side Effect: Voluntarily speaking will break the effects of the ritual for the person that spoke.
000 Call from the Mountain
This unusual ritual allows the Magus to seek an someone of sufficient skill and dedication to serve as a potential apprentice. This ritual works by casting half of the ritual ahead of time, and binding it to a book containing the steps for the remaining half of the ritual. When performed by a mortal, never a vampire or ghoul, the ritual will draw the attention of the Magus, allowing them to observe and evaluate their potential apprentice, both for their personality and for their potential as Magi.
System: The magus must first prepare a tome containing the instructions for the second half of the ritual that must be performed by the mortal. These instructions must be clear and precise, as if they were intended to instuct a pupil, requiring an extended Intelligence+Expression roll, requiring a total of 5 successes. Following that the Magus must perfrm the first half of the ritual over the book, which must be bound in natural leather. This is done by infusing five points of blood into the book over the same number of nights and takes an hour a night. This will turn the book a shiny black colour. Upon completion, the caster makes their casting roll (Intelligence+Occult), each success reducing the number of successes the apprentice must score to complete the remaining half of the ritual. The caster may elect to use less successes than they scored, if they wsh to make it harder on a potential apprentice.
The second half of this ritual requires the apprentice to come across the book and begin following the steps outlined within. The tome instructs the mortal in making the required Intelligence+Occult casting roll, against diffculty 6. They must score 10 successes over the course of a month of casting, one roll per month, -1 for every success the caster imbued into the book. The book, however, opens with a preparatry ritual that links the potential student to the Magus, allowing them to observe the student at any time by spending a point of vitae. Each time the apprentice makes the casting roll, starting on the second roll, they will be required to cast a piece of paper containing the answer to a question for a question into a patch of shadows. If the thing they cast into the darkness is a lie, it will vanish into the void forever, if it is true, it will travel through the Abyss to the Magus for evaluation. The magus may choose which four questions to ask, but the traditional questions are:
What do you seek?
Why do you seek?
What will you do to find it?
At any point the caster may choose to fail an potential apprentice and recall the book, and it will sink into shadow and return to the hands of the Magus. Should the magus find the apprentice worthy, however, they may send a mental message to the apprentice, alongside a mental compass that points unerringly towards the caster. After the potential apprentice reaches the magus, the ritual ends and the Magus and potential aprentice may do as hey please.
Side Effect: So longas this ritual has a potential apprentice following the steps, themagus loses one dice from all Perception dice pools as a part of their attention is always focussed on the apprentice. This penalty stacks if the Magus has multiple iterations of this ritual active simultaneously.
00000 Ahura Mazda's Respite
This extremely useful ritual allows a Magus to suppress the visible side ffects of their abyssal Paths, Rituals, and Flaws at the price of Vitae. Having more visible side effects makes things more complicated, but he Magus may essentially hide the signs of Abyssal Thaumaturgy the same way they do signs of Vampirism.
System: The Magus must use a white hot poker to sear into their flesh the Alchemical symbol of the sun (which deals a level of aggravated damage, and requires a willpower roll, difficulty 8) over their heart while beseeching Ahura Mazda to blind others to your power that you need not harm them if they see you. At this point the caster spends a permanent dot of willpowr, and one point of blood for every flaw, path, and permanent ritual drawback that may be hidden. The caster then makesa casting roll once and hour until they score a number of successes equal to the number of blood points spent. Thereafter the Caster may spend a point of blood to suppress those flaws for the duration of a scene. If the caster gains more flaws after the complettion of the ritual, all they need to do is spend another point of willpower, as well as any blood, and meet the new total number of suppressable drawbacks in successes on a new series of casting rolls. If the Magus uses the path or ritual associated with a suppressed flaw, all of their flaws re-emerge in full and the Magus must spend another point to suppress them again.
Side Effect: Uniquely, this Abyssal Thaumaturgy ritual has no side effect.
00 Doom of Damocles
This ritual allows the Magus to suspend the effect of another Abyssal Thaumaturgy ritual until such a point as they wish to release its power. This makes for both a potent defence, and a powerful threat, as the Magus can hang deadly powers over the heads of others to force them to comply with the wishes of tha Magus.
System: This ritual is performed immediately prior to the casting of another Abyssal Thaumaturgy Ritual. The magus may ssuspend as many rituals in this was as they have dots in obtenebration, thoguh they may store those rituals for as long as they wish. The magus may at any point elect to dispell a ritual witout releasing its energies, but in so doing they take a level of soakable lethal damage for each level of the ritual dispeled. The magus simply conjures a Black Stylus and marks their skin with a sigil that is symbolically tied to the ritual in question, then performs the ritual they wish to store. If the ritual requires some kind of mutilation (Such as Mirror of Silence) of the self to remain effective, then this ritual may not store that ritual unless the magus elects to retain the mutilation until they release the ritual.
Side Effect: Spells suspended in such a manner are obvious to those who know how to look, giving a +1 difficulty on all rolls to remain hidden from supernatural means of detection for each ritual so suspended.
00000 0 Shade Form
This Obtenebration power is an improvement on Tenebrous form, allowing the user to assume the form of an Abyssal Shade. A being made of a pitch black, roiling smog. The form can move extremely quickly, covering enormous amounts of ground in relatively short order. In addtion to rapid movement, it grants the user the same benefits as those granted by tenebrous form, such as allowing the kindred to fit through gaps only molecules wide, though unlike Tenebrous form, the kindred is not achored to the ground in any way and may fly freely, though they are not capable of eye contact in this form, the kindred may speak in a low, raspy whisper.
System. The kindred spends 2 points of blood and makes a Willpower roll, difficulty 6 to transform into a cloud of roling black smog that occupies about the same space as the kindred would. While in this form the kindred may fly freely at up to 500 mph, streaking across the sky like a shadoy missile. The kindred is no more capable of navigating easily at this pseed than they are in their normal form, so such speeds are best reserved for long distance travel. The kindred is, naturally, immune to all normal forms of attack, but is still vulnerable to fire, sunlight, and magic. The transformation will last until the vampire dispells it, if they can find a way to maintain a steady stream of blood without the ability to feed normally.
00000 Noblis Noctis
This ritual is a spell woven by a furious Magus to exact revenge on someone who has earned their ire. Once invoked, this potent rite turns darkness itself against the target of the Magus's ire, starting innocuously enough, doing nothing more than causing shadows to flicker at the edge of their vision. As time wears on however, the target will find that the night itself becomes their enemy, which for kindred can be an extremely dangerous position to find themselves in.
System: This ritual works in several steps, all of which must be fulfilled in order to successfully cast the ritual.
-First, the Magus must stand before the target of their ire, and demand satisfaction for their transgression with the following ritualistic phrase, 'You, (name of target), have offered insult and injury to me and mine. For this offense, honour demands that satisfaction be offered in kind."
-The Magus must then offer the offender a chance to respond, if they respond with with at least some degree of willingness to offer restitution, then the magus may negotiate with the for terms of recompense. This continues until either a satisfactory bargain is reached, in which case all is well, or negotiations fail, and the next tep comes into play.
-Upon receiving an unsatisfactory response, the Magus then warns the offender that 'Then you will leave me no choice but to seek satisfaction elsewhere."
-If the offender is then willing to begin negotiating, the Magus proceeds as per the previous step. If negotiations then fail, the Magus proceeds to the next step.
-At this stage of the ritual, the Magus asks the target "Are you afraid of the dark?"
-If the target responds in the positive, the Magus must respond with, "Then this will remind you why", if they answer negatively, the Magus must respond with "Then this will serve as an object lesson".
-The Magus then makes their casting roll (Intelligence+Occult, difficulty 8) and spends a point of willpower.
-For each success scored on the casting roll, the target loses one dice from every dice pool in which the shadows may in some way detract or otherwise hamper the target. This is more than capable of making actions in which the target unskilled quite impossible, and even in tasks in which they are skilled may become as good as.
-The curse lasts indefinitely, until either the cursed person offers restitution to the Magus in the form of a suitable boon, or until the Magus rescinds the curse.
Side Effect: When you levy this curse against someone, you suffer +3 to the difficulties of all social interactions with allies of the target who know of the curse you levied.
000 Pact of Clarity
This ritual allows the Magus to gift themselves with perfect recall, granting them the Eidetic memory merit.
System: On the night of a full moon, the Magus draws a circle using a point of their own blood, big enough to encompass themselves. The magus them spends an hour meditating, making a willpower roll against difficulty 8. The Magus must achieve a total of five successes, making one roll each hour until they achieve the required successes. Once the magus has achieved he required successes, they gain the Eidetic Memory merit.
Side Effect: You permanently gain the Deep Sleeper Flaw, as your perfect memories occupy your sleeping thoughts.
00000 Veil of Janus
This deceptive ritual allows the Magus to create a second persona, and a second appearance to go with it. The false appearance is formed from the nothing-stuff of the abyss, so to those who can see through illusions, the false form seems to be made of pure darkness.
System: The Magus enters Tenebrous Form, then spends a point of blood and makes a casting roll (Difficulty 8). At least one success will form a ody of semi-solid shadow around the caster's tenebrous form. For the duration of the scene, the Magus appears to be another person, real or imagined. This ritual can only make on alternate appearance, but can be researched multiple times to give the Magus additional appearances to use. Anyone attempting to see through the false veil must have at least Auspex equal to the Obtenebration score of the Magus, and must succeed on difficuty 8 Perception+Awareness roll, scoring more successes than the Magus did on their casting roll. Success will allow them to see through the layer the ritual creates for what it is, a covering of Obtenebration nothing-stuff in the shape of the illusion.
Side Effects: The Magus must dedicate a portion of their concentration to controlling the Shadw Form, and so in combat situations is considered to be splitting their dice pool (The 'pool' for Shadow Form is made of Manipulation+Occult).
000 Casting Long Shadows
This ritual allows the Magus to extend their influence across cast distances by creating a construct of Abyssal Shadow-stuff at distant locales within the Magus realm of purview.
System: The Magus must first have some way of directly observing the location in which they wish to manifest their presence. Any form of magical scrying will suffice, but watching the scene through a camera will not. Having established a link to the location in question, the magus then allows three points of blood to fall into their own shadow and makes their casting roll (Intellignece+Occult, difficulty 6). At the target location, from a shadow of the Magus's choosing, a facsimile of the caster, made of pure Obtenebration shadow-stuff, emerges. The Magus has full control over the shadow, but their physical form falls into a torpor-like state while their mind is elsewhere. The shadow-form has only one health level, but cannot be harmed by anything except fire, sunlight, or magic. The Shadow form is clearly unnatural and so inspires the standard fear induced by Obtenebration. The number of successes scored on the casting roll determines which disciplines may be used through the shadow form.
1 Success Cannot use Disciplines
2 Successes Can use Auspex and Other Sensory Powers
3 Successes Can also use Presence and other powers of emotional manipulation.
4 Successes Can also use Dementation, Domination and other powers of mental manipulation.
5 Successes Can also use Chimestry, Necromancy, Thaumaturgy, and other mystical powers.