Nihil Pervenire Per Infinita
Nihil Pervenire Per Infinita (Reach Across the Endless Nothing)
Welcome, Magus, to the second of my penned works, and by far the safer of the two. Insofar as meddling with Abyssal Magic can be, at any rate. Unlike my previous work, the Libro Excitus Tenebrae, which was concerned with calling entities from the Abyss into this world, this work instead is concerned with reaching from this world across the Abyss and back into this world once more. This works by drawing upon one of the most basic principles of Abyssal Thaumaturgy: All shadows are one shadow, and the Abyss is the greatest shadow of all. From this point we build upon the principle of reaching across the Abyss from simple rituals to throw our senses across the world to marks wrought in shadow, to the complex and taxing technique of tearing open gates of blood and shadow through which we may traverse miles in moments. So read on, Magus, and learn from the wisdom of those who came before.
0 Black Anchor
This simple ritual takes but a moment and lasts only a night, but can be very useful in certain situations. The Magus pays a point of blood and touches an inanimate object. This touch leaves a black ring upon the object the size of a coin and thin as a hair, nearly imperceptible to the naked eye, but glowing with a black radiance under the use of Auspex 2, and visible with vision enhancing disciplines with a Perception+Alertness against difficult 8. For so long as the Mark lasts, the mystic will know the shortest route by foot to get back to the location of the mark.
System: The Magus spends a point of vitae and makes a casting roll of Intelligence+Occult difficulty 4 and touches an object with any point of bare skin, marking it. The sigil lasts only for the length of the night, but the Magus adds the successes they score on this roll to any dice pool for finding their way back to the location of the mark.
Side Effect: For so long as this ritual is in effect, the sigil niggles at the magical awareness of the caster, causing them to take a 1 dice penalty on any awareness rolls they make.
00 Abyssal Seal
This spell follows the principle that all things cast shadows, and all shadows are one, so all things cast the same shadow, and thus all things are one. The spell uses a unique sigil drawn on a target in Abyssal Shadow to remind the universe of this fact, allowing the caster to locate anyone upon whom they have inscribed such a sigil with a simple ritual. In addition to this, the caster may spend a blood point in any other ritual to carve the Abyssal Sigil on an object, which acts like blood for the purposes of sympathetic magic so long as the sigil remains on the target.
System: The Mystic spends a blood point to create a stylus of icy cold and glossy black Abyssal shadow, which they use to carve a sigil onto a target. This takes 6 turns, – 1 turn for every success on the casting roll, down to a minimum of 1 turn. This can be cast on an unwilling target, but they must be held still for the duration, by staking or other means. The sigil needs be no larger than a fifty cent coin, but may be larger if the caster wishes. The process of carving causes one level of aggravated damage to the recipient as the icy energy of the abyss frost burns the victim’s body, which may be healed normally, though the sigil remains. The location of the sigil is irrelevant, but putting it somewhere obvious makes it more likely that somebody will notice it. The heel of the foot is generally a good spot. Once the ritual has been cast the caster may scry the recipient by drawing the sigil in a point of vitae then summoning a Nocturne, which consumes the point of blood, but will show the target and their surroundings regardless of distance from the point of view of the shadow that has the best view of events, for so long as the caster keeps their attention on the orb.
Side Effect: Looking through shadows is a distracting technique, and its effects linger for some time afterwards. Any night during which one watches someone through the ritual, the mystic loses one dice from all perception dice pools for the rest of the night.
00 Black Dagger
This spell builds upon Shade of the Night, making the shadow summoned by the magic solid. Rather than summoning orb of shadow, however, this ritual summons a solid shadow of a weapon given freely to the abyss. By way of this ritual the caster may summon a shaft of bitterly cold darkness that saps the warmth from all who touch it, living or dead.
System: This ritual comes in two parts. The first part of the ritual needs only be performed once, and allows the second part to be performed as often as the caster wishes to invest the blood. The first portion of this ritual involves taking a simple melee weapon, be it a knife, a sword, an axe, or as the name of the ritual suggests, a dagger, and sacrificing it to the abyss. The sacrifice involves coating the weapon in a point of blood for every dot of Obtenebration the caster possesses and spending a point of willpower while whispering the name of the weapon to the Abyss, at which point the weapon is pulled into the nearest shadow and vanishes forever. At that point, the caster may then at any time drop a point of blood onto the ground and call the name of the weapon. The caster then makes an Intelligence+Occult roll, difficulty 5. The blood then quickly expands into a pool large enough for the weapon to rise through. The weapon shoots upwards to float about a foot above the pool, and the blood sinks into the abyss in payment. The weapon looks like an exact replica of the weapon that was sacrificed to the abyss, but is forged from inky blackness and glistening blood rather than mortal metals. It remains in the world for one turn per success rolled on the initial casting roll. At the end of that duration the caster may spend another point of blood to refresh the original duration, or may spend their turn to make the casting roll again, using that as the new duration. If the caster wishes, they may repeat the first part of the ritual once they have obtained greater skill with Obtenebration to create a more powerful weapon.
Side Effect: If the caster ever spends more blood points to keep the weapon summoned in one scene than they have permanent willpower, the caster must thereafter make a willpower roll, difficulty 5, to pick up any weapon other than one summoned by this ritual. The caster may spend a point of Permanent willpower remove this side effect, but it will return if they fulfil the conditions once again.
000 Call the Marked
This ritual graduates from taking knowledge from distant places to moving objects proper through the Abyss. This ritual has two components, one part preparation, which takes several hours, and another part which takes an instant. For the first part of the ritual a Magus must inscribe an object no larger than their palm with a unique sigil using a stylus made of Abyssal Shadow. From that point on, the Magus may spend a point of vitae to call the object to their hand at any point, no matter the distance between them, so long there is some shadow into which the Magus may reach.
System: The Magus must inscribe the object in question with a unique sigil and infuse the sigil with a number of points of vitae equal to 6 minus the number of successes they scores on the Intelligence+Occult casting roll (difficulty 6), to a minimum of 1 point. This process takes one hour, plus and additional hour for each other object already under the effects of this ritual. Once the sigil has been inscribed, so long as the magus can spend a point of blood to reach their hand through the Abyss and pluck the object from its location, no matter where it is in the world. A magus may have a number of such objects equal to their Obtenebration score. If they wish to remove an object from this ritual they need only use the sigil from the object the Magus wishes to replace.
0000 Bound in Blackened Blood
This spell is near the pinnacle of this school of magic, linking two minds through a combination of a combination of blood binding, the principle of identity and the Abyssal Magic. Using a sigil bound in blood and carved with shadow this spell reminds the universe of that fact. This spell allows two beings marked with the same sigil to communicate mentally, sending words, images, or ideas between partners. The thoughts must be directed towards the other partner, and so it is not possible to steal ideas from the other partner's head, no is it possible to send thoughts accidentally.
System: The caster of the Ritual summons an orb of pure shadow in their hands, which is formed into a stylus that is smooth and icy cold to the touch. The caster then inscribes the agreed upon sigil onto the back of the other partner's neck. The other character must make a frenzy roll, difficulty 6 to avoid frenzy at the perceived threat and the icy hot burn of the abyssal magic burning into the neck. The sigil inflicts a point of aggravated damage in the process, which may be healed normally once the ritual is complete, though the mark remains black like frostbite. Once the sigil is complete, the mystic hands the stylus to the other partner, who repeats the process on them. Once this is done, both partners must spill a point of vitae and rub it into the sigil on the neck of the other partner, completing the bond. The bond functions as long as the partners are within 1 mile per dot of the partners' combined Obtenebration dots, and will continue working indefinitely unless the mark is gouged off, causing another level of lethal damage in the process.
Side Effect: Those bound by this ritual are tied together in such a way that if you can restrain one member of the bond for long enough, through staking, for example, they may be used like a point of the other members blood for the purposes of targeting rituals (correspondence range 0).
This ritual draws most deeply upon the principle of all shadows being one shadow, allowing the Mystic to create a gateway between two shadows that living or unliving beings may pass fully through.
System: This ritual is expensive in terms of blood, requiring the caster to spend one point of blood for every ten miles to be traveled (up to five miles per dot of Obtenebration the Mystic possesses). The ritual is performed by smearing the blood on a flat surface, be it floor, ceiling, wall, etc. This doesn't require any roll, but once the blood is on the surface, the caster must make a casting roll of Intelligence+Occult, difficulty 8. On a successful casting roll a shadowy portal tears open, leading into an unknowable void. Characters who do not possess at least one dot of Obtenebration must make a courage roll (difficulty 8) to step through the gate, or refuse point blank to enter the nightmarish realm. The gateway remains stable for one turn per success scored on the casting roll, allowing one person to pass through per turn. Living beings take one level of bashing damage from the bitter cold of the gateway per point of blood spent in its creation. Once the portal destabilizes and collapses the surface on which the blood was smeared is left perfectly clean, as anything on the wall, blood included, was absorbed by the abyss. The portal deposits characters instantly on the other side of the gateway, usually none the worse for wear.
Side Effect: Opening a Shadowgate is a mentally taxing endeavour. As such, botching on the casting roll will cause the loss of a point of temporary willpower, much like botching a path roll. In addition to this, travelling through a Shadowgate more times in one night than you possess dots of willpower will give a traveller the flaw Eerie Presence, as something of the Abyss rubs off permanently on the soul of the traveller.