The Land of living is a small island in this endless sea of the dead. It stands to reason that there are other islands. Much like the oasis in the desert, there is only a small place where life can happen, concentrated more and more till there is only the person.
Aa’boran, the faith of the Shariqyn, worships the revelation and awakening of self. This occurs through internal purification. Aa’boran has no formal priest structure, and Magi pass on their knowledge from person to person without an overarching organization endowing anyone with special authority.
Aa’boran espouses the virtues of meditation, and uses a meditative trance in place of the prayer found commonly in the worship of Holy Benalus in the Throne. During meditation, the magus attempts to still their weaker mind and contact the atma, the Higher Self. Atma is perfect and contains no flaw of reason or action. The ultimate goal of the magus is to unify the Higher Self with their essential spirit, and achieve this perfection. The Sahirim, the magicians of Water, are considered by the Shariqyn to be masters of this art.
There are two broad sects of Aa’boran – the traditionalist Aa’boran Tariq, which is practiced primarily by the altariq nomads, the jharad slaves, and a diminishing few of the saqim in the cities. Magi’Tariq guide their tribes as experts and wise councilors, helping those around them find their path to atma in the traditional forms that have been practiced for thousands of years. The highest of these are a sisterhood of all female Magi’tariq called the Indr’atma, which are said to be able to read the flow of atma and guide fate itself. The Indr’atma do not bother with the normal Tariq rites, and practice secret rites known only to their sisterhood.
The other form is the Aa’boran Biraq, a form of Aa’boran that was reinterpreted by the prophet Danarius at the beginning of the Lion Age, and takes a far more academic and esoteric approach to the religion, practiced by most of the city-dwelling saqim, the Sahirim water mages, and many elite asirim slaves. The Magi’biraq are scholars and sophists, and their rituals try to expand the mind to contemplate new ideas and access greater magical power.
AA’BORAN Primary RITUALS
The Primary Rituals are practiced by all forms of Aa’boran.
Atone through deprivation.
“The water is life, and we need it to anchor our spirit to the land of life and peace – but we must also be strong enough to be without; by our will alone choose our fate, even if those choices are sinful, by will alone can we invite the water back into us, and wash away the filth by renewing the cycle inside us.”
Ritual: The magus gives one last ritual drink of water to a practitioner of Aa’boran, then admonishes them to meditate on the damage that they have done to their atma. They then refuse water for up to thee days before finally sitting in discipline before a bowl of clean water for thirty minutes before drinking.
Effect: Beginning a half day without water, the subject gains Trauma and Misery. On the second day the subject gains the temporary Mild Compulsion: Drink water, and on the third day without water the subject becomes Battered. The magus may choose to end their fast by meditating in front of a bowl of clean water for a scene, after which they may drink, losing one Depravity for each day they have gone without.
Note: It is not necessary for the player of the character to abstain from water, for safety reasons.
Passage to Heshiyah, the Land of the Dead
Send a spirit to the afterlife.
“Farewell, my brother. Never again will you feel the hot sun upon your neck, never the grit of sand on your tongue; the sting in your eyes and the sweat of your brow are eternity now, and your soul will swim in the seas of Heshiyah forever after.”
Ritual: So long as a faithful Shariqyn died with a vessel of water on their person, their spirit flows into it and it retains their essence. During a period of silence, the magus can empty the vessel into a large body of water to deliver their spirit to Heshiyah where this iteration of their spirit can find peace and unify with their atma and all of their other concurrent lives.
Effect: The deceased’s spirit can rest in peace. They will not return as undead.
Lead a chant during a meditation.
“And as their chanting grew in intensity, a new, deep and powerful voice joined the chant with theirs, adding its weight to their own voices, and the union of Self became nearer.”
Ritual: At dawn, zenith, or dusk, spend 30 minutes with the Spiritual in meditative chant.
Effect: All Spiritual participants in this ritual may add the amount of chanters to their Faith for the purposes of Meditating, per the Spiritual Faith ability. While being performed, this ritual provides +1 Mastery to any other Rituals that a Magus may perform during the scene, for each of the chanters.
Elevate status through marriage.
“Women are the greatest treasure in all this world. They have the divine powers of creation and beauty, and must never be allowed to come to harm or to be caused hardship, strife or toil. Never should their hands touch dust, their toes strike mud, their lips touch blandness. They are our most sacred wonder, and no gold glitters as brightly as their hearts.”
Ritual: A large celebration ensues for five days in preparation during which time a bride is given jewelry, silks, perfumes, and garments to wear during the ceremony, which become her personal property. During marriage, the bride is elevated above the groom by a palanquin, while the groom promises to protect and cherish her so that she need never come to harm or toil, while in exchange she promises to protect their home and children and to be obedient before they agree to be married for the rest of their lives.
Effect: The groom must provide wonders and luxuries for each wife, requiring one gold per month in expenses. Each wife yields esteem and respect from Shariqyn peers – with people presenting as Shariqyn, the groom gains 1 additional Rank of any Social Skill for each wife they have. Failure to meet the expense does not end marriage, but does disable the bonus, partially or totally, until the cost can be met again.
Waters of Past and Future
Reflecting upon the turning, continuous nature of water, you discern a world pattern.
“In the water you can see the entire world, all of its myriad forms and destinies play out before you in an ancient dance that gives its secrets to any who will look. You have but to open your eyes and your mind, and you will see the truth.”
Ritual: At least two Aa’boran practitioners gather around the largest body of water available, at least the size of a large tub or pool. The magus and any assembled practitioners gaze within and watch its movements, occasionally dropping stones, sand, or floating debris within to understand their role, discussing difficult topics amongst themselves and decide upon the best action.
Effect: For each Aa’boran practitioner present, after the magus, a storyteller will kibitz with the assembled for 10 minutes as they work through a dialogue about the subject at hand, what they know about it, and how they might proceed. The storyteller will offer inferences and alternative ideas, but only in response to information already gained by the assembled, offering to help with processing the information, not ever offering new information of their own. This ritual requires Staff to be notified at least one hour in advance.
Mantra for Fear
Call the true self to banish terror.
“There is no true fear. Fear is an illusion and I am the truth.”
Ritual: The magus recites a 15 second oath aloud to become the true Self and ignore Fear while making the sign of inner focus with his right hand.
Effect: The magus may immediately overcome Fear and return to normal. This ritual can be used while under the effects of Fear.
Garner respect by providing for guests.
“Through dignified manner we show our wisdom of the Higher Self, and it is never so sacred as at meal. A wise man is always polite, even to rude people, and provides a guest’s honor even to his foes.”
Ritual: The magus provides and serves a meal to his guests with his own hands, and provides for their every need. During the meal he may not refuse any polite request of him if it is within his power to grant.
Effect: For the duration of the scene, the Magus may use one Social Condition at any time for each guest at the meal. This effect is lost if the Magus refuses any request.
Breathe of Enlightenment
Alter the state of being through intoxicants
“The Higher Self can be reached only by changing the Self, which changes the world. The World may change the Self; the Self may change the World.”
Ritual: The Magus prepares a drug that contains any of Intoxicant, Pleasant, Hallucinogen, or Clarifier. The magus places the drug into a water pipe and intones a chant while lighting and preparing the coals. The Magus and any other present Aa’boran practitioners take turns imbibing the drug from the water pipe until the coal is extinguished.
Props: Water pipe (untagged item)
Effect: Regardless of the original duration, the drug uses the Slow-Acting duration scale and the user does not gain any Depravity.
Aa’boran Tariq Rituals
These rituals are only practiced by Magi’Tariq, the traditional wise men and wise women of the tribes, and especially the Altariq. Magi’tariq act as spiritual guides for their tribe to help them achieve their highest self. The following ritual’s effect changes depending on which caste the ritual is performed for – altariq, jharad, saqim, or Shahzada.
Drinking the Water of the Path
Challenging Rite – 20
Guide a practitioner of Aa’boran toward their atma.
Ritual: The Magus sits with a practitioner of Aa’boran Tariq over a bowl of clean water, and listens to their prepared tale of their accomplishments, their lessons, and their path. These are recorded upon a scroll, specific to that person, which is kept safe by the Magus. If satisfactory, the Magus declares the them further along the path, and having achieved a greater closeness to atma. The subject drinks from the bowl, rises and bows to the magus, then the magus drinks and bows to the subject.
This ritual can be used to consecrate someone to their path for the first time, such as the first blooding of a warrior or the tattooing of a jharad. The subject continues to recite all of their accomplishments from their very first use of this ritual, every time they perform this ritual with the Magus, the journey of their path growing ever longer. On subsequent performances of this Ritual, the subject may spend Personal Achievement Points in order to purchase anything from the following list, by caste, purchased at a -3 Discount (minimum 1). The Magus does not need to know these abilities, they merely facilitate the path toward atma.
The Ramal’qital Fighting Style
Curb the Foolish Self
Difficult Rite – 25
Focus improves personal discipline.
“Like the desert flower, you must close your body away from the harshness of the outside. Reserve yourself there, fold your mind upon itself in layers of willful force. When you bloom once more, the beauty of your purpose will be redoubled.”
Ritual: During meditation, the magus must assume a lotus position for the duration, and meditate on the force of their inner will and spirit. This is taxing, and even afterward, they must walk slowly and carefully to maintain their focus.
Effect: The magus is Winded for the next hour after meditation. So long as they have Meditated but have not yet expended the Meditation bonus yet, or taken any kind of charge or running actions or anything more physically strenuous than simply walking around, the Magus may add their Faith dots as extra uses of the Discipline. The ritual must be performed again to recover these bonus uses.
Ignore hardship with inner focus.
“Attachment is the trap of the physical world. Turn away, and worldly things, even your body itself, cannot limit you.”
Ritual: The Magus washes their face, hands and eyes with clean water, and makes the sign of inner peace with their hand.
Effect: Expend Meditation to ignore Battered, Trauma, Misery, Winded, Stun and Bleed for one scene or hour.
Aa’boran Biraq Rituals
Convert a believer to the ways of Aa’boran.
“And I do swear that I shall abandon fear, doubt, guilt, anger, and all the evils that make me less than what I ought to be – to attain a new pinnacle, to become pure and perfect, as he was.”
Ritual: The 142 principles and the symbols of the wheel are placed on the body in henna. The subject then recites the principles and teachings of Danarius and agrees to live by them, making several sacred promises.
Effect: The supplicant ceases to be part of whichever religion they originally subscribed to and becomes a Spiritual Aa’boran practitioner for the purposes of Aa’boran rituals, even if they are not of Shariqyn descent.
Assumption of Atma
Very Difficult Rite – 35
Attain spiritual detachment from Hubris
Ritual: The magus must meditate from dusk until dawn uninterrupted. At sunset, he verbally cries out to atma to stop him from completing his vigil meditation. During this time, his friends, family and masters will attempt to dissuade him from doing so using any words they can. If events occur to interrupt the ritual, they must do nothing to impede them, for it is atma. At dawn, he walks forth to the place of assumption and calls out to atma declaring himself one with it, on the path of the mirrored self, joined forever with atma and unable to be dissuaded from his path and purpose.
Effect: If the magus completes the ritual, they no longer suffer the Hubris Sin against Aa’boran.
Unshackle the Mind
Challenging Rite – 20
Attain a higher consciousness through hallucinogens
Ritual: Through ritual chants during the imbibing of sacred herbs and tonics, the Magus may unshackle their mind’s normal constraints, able to release it from the prison of the physical world and contact atma.
Effect: For every trait of Hallucinogen the magus is currently affected by (usually from a drug prepared by an Apothecary and imbibed through the Breath of Enlightenment Ritual), they may add one level of the Faith Attribute or the Zeal Skill, up to Great Faith ʘʘʘ or Zeal 5.
The Unbroken Self
Remove Insanity through meditation
Ritual: The magus may focus their mind to achieve a strong image of their higher self, complete and resplendent. This self is liberated of the corruptions of the world, and the magus may then guide their current self and higher self to meet.
Effect: The magus may expend their Meditation to remove downgrade one level of Insanity.
Challenging Rite – 20
Makes magic more stable through Meditation
Ritual: The magus can hold forth his atma, his highest self as a pattern for the workings of sorcery in order to allow their own purity to harmonize with the magic. By performing a sacred chant with other Aa’boran practitioners, each may expend their Meditation along with a spell being cast.
Effect: For each Meditation used, any Anacrusis events are delayed for one hour, and do not occur if the spell is unweaved before the time ends.
Alignment of Atma
Atma makes effects more powerful
Ritual: The magus may bring forth the chants of Faithful Shariqyn and harmonize them to amplify their purpose.
Effect: After several minutes of chanting, the magus may perform any ability they possess that has a called effect, and add the number of Spiritual Aa’boran chanters as Power to that call.
Ritual: The person whose fate is to be judged may shuffle the foretelling cards while spending their Meditation. The indr’atma selects a question, then lays down cards, one at a time until she chooses to stop.