Excommunication and rituals

So I was musing whilst driving earlier and wondered what effect if any does excommunication have on the magic of a ritual?

Does magic bind to a person’s soul or to the physical person? Would it only effect spiritual rituals that have religious effects? What would it do the ritual of whispers black through the black gate if the soul of the deceased is lost from the labyrinth? Or is it purely a spiritual effecting power?

mechanically the Rite of Excommunication only prevents a person from using Liao. Whether or not this has an ongoing effect on the soul post death are entirely a matter of IC theology, faith and investigation rather than hard and fast rules.

I don’t know of any one being whispered who had been excommunicated, but that’s mostly because of how few people have been excommunicated (I also don’t know of anyone being the target of a vision who has been excommunicated but again sample size).

Honestly as for Magic, souls and bodies there certainly is some overlap but seem to be at least partly seperated. But this is really an IC discussion…

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Exactly how much magic and the human/orc spirit interface is an excellent source of IC opinion and debate and mutual accusations of heresy.

From my favourite page on the wiki: https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Schisms_and_Heresies#The_Eternal_Schism

The Eternal Schism
There have been several attempts by various Synods to craft a Doctrine relating to the Eternals and their Realms, but each has failed to build a consensus. The biggest divide is along Inclusionist and Exclusionist lines. The Inclusionists hold that the Eternal Realms are part of the wider Creation and that contact with Eternals is inevitable and unavoidable, and must be carefully managed, not unlike a plague or forest fire. The Exclusionists hold that the Eternal Realms exist outside of the true Creation and are akin to parasites attached to the mortal world. They claim humanity will never be truly free to realise its own destiny until all ties are severed.

This bit of excommunication is the only bit which clearly links to magic.

Furthermore, you do not dream (or do not remember your dreams), although you can still have magical dreams such as those provided by Sift the Dreamscape’s Sands or Dreamscape of the Endless Hunt.

It might indeed get exciting with excommunication and Whispers through the Black Gate, but the experimental sample is understandably rather small…

Sometimes the spirit is unaware that it has died, especially if that death took place very suddenly or happened while the target was asleep. More often though, the spirit knows it has died and under what circumstances. Regardless, the spirit cannot speak about anything that has happened to it since it died. Attempts to learn more about the Labyrinth of Ages or the Howling Abyss have simply served to frustrate arcanists and theologians alike.

Otherwise there aren’t very many rituals that directly interact with the religion skills (aura clashing aside) but two are particularly interesting.

https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Chasuble_of_Majesty is a rare (only?) example of religious skills benefiting from ritual magic.
As is the implications of https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Last_Breath_Echoes


The consecration skill can also be used to remove location auras arising from other sources, including those created by some magical enchantments such as The Solace of Chimes.

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Interestingly, nothing on the Excommunication page or the Whispers Through The Black Gate page indicates that the Excommunication ceremony stops you using liao to make Whispers easier. (…nor for that matter does the Orc page say anything about this, but @MorkaisChosen may be able to answer whether that works in play or not :slight_smile: ).

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You could always have a go and see. What could possibly go wrong?

We emailed in before the Bonewall hit play and were told that orcish ritualists can use liao to reduce the casting cost of Whispers - the ritual consumes the liao, not the ritualists.

What I want to know is what happens if you use true liao on Whispers

That’s something to email in to rules@PD, I’d suggest. :slight_smile:

Since you can use True Liao in place of Liao in most situations, I imagine it would be FOIP…


I suspect the answer would be FOIP, and if anything ever happens to my current character, my next one will be an investigative theologian aiming to do just that!

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The answer might be “find out in play”, or it might be “this has been tried before, here’s the answer” - either way, if you are planning to do it at some point, do email in to rules@PD so that even if what they tell you is “find out in play”, they also know that there needs to be a ruling on it.

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Shame - just got a response back from PD. True liao apparently has no effect on Whispers Through the Black Gate. Well, at least that’s one less character concept bouncing round my head.


Is useful to know, though! So if you get your hands on some of it you can use it for something else that it does have an effect on. :smiley: