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Old 12-27-2018, 08:45 PM   #4
Icelander
 
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Left Hand Path Demonologists

For reasons entirely unrelated to any hypothetical villains, I'm looking for rituals that your classic dark magicians in a modern subtle magic setting might know, if they were not an ancient order of esoteric knowledge preserved over centuries, but had an institutional history shorter than the Die Hard franchise.

Let us say that there was a coven / cult of New Age satanists on the West Coast, specifically connected to, say for the sake of argument, UC Berkeley. Charismatic, plausible leader, preying on spiritually searching, socially awkward or just plain lost college kids, selling pop psychobabble in a condescending, post-colonial, glorifying Krishna and Vishnu (or Kali, Durga, Ahriman, etc.) kind of way.

Mythological antecendents decidedly murky, eclectic and syncretic. Equal parts New Age mhsticism, rebellious anti-Christianity, Hot Topic chic and a few courses of comparative mythology, cultural anthropology and freshman philosophy of religion. Not to mention demonology learned from Hollywood and RPGs.

But in the setting, there are incorporeal beings of great power that seek to interact with our world. At least there are now. They might have just emerged in the past couole of decades or they might have always existed and simply been having a century of limited connectivity, but now they hover outside the visible world, seeking attention, belief, a certain kind of mind. Seeking, in other words, someone to invite them in, offer them form and function, sacrifices and ceremony.

At some point, what was a silly social club, 'daring' rebellion against social norms, dabbling in drug use and the scene of the occasional sexual assault became something much darker. Unsavoury spiritual presences, whether accurately termed 'demon' or not, could offer incredible power and esoteric secrets to those who'd pact themselves to them and feed them as they desired.

I've established that a hypothetical magician who once belonged to the coven can summon some sort of inhuman presence to inhabit a physical body constructed out of mud mixed with blood. The presence is normally incorporeal, but it is not a ghost and likely was never alive, or at least is not the identifiable soul of a mortal now, whatever it may have been. The summoning requires a ritual performed in a place of negatively-aspected mana and, apparently, the sacrifice of a living person. It probably also requires an expensive fetish item, though the PCs did not stay to investigate the remains, but instead followed a 'surviving' mud golem body to try to find its creator.

What else might he be able to do?
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