I read somewhere that characters can gain Divine Virtues by going on a pilgrimage. I think this may be in "The Church" - though I do not own that book (and frankly, it's a bit low in my priorities since the church itself plays a rather small role in my saga). I was just interested in this particular mechanic.
How does it work? And perhaps more importantly, is it just for Christian characters? Or does it work for anyone following the Divine - in particular Jews? We have a Kabbalist PC in our saga, and the player was wondering about "Divine initiations" - something that RoP:TD hinted at, but was never, as far as I know, given explicit rules.
It's in The Church, and as such is focused exclusively on Christian traditions... since it is the Chruch after all. Essentially, it's a meta-mechanic for designing adventures around a prilgrimage with the focus on gaining a certain Divine virtue. I find it close kin to the Initiation mechanics, in that you have a certain target number to reach and do so by accumulating "bonuses" which are gained by performing certain actions or facing certain challenges while on pilgrimage.
For a Kabbalist character, I would personally be disposed to adapting the Initiation mechanics from Mysteries. These would be more appropriate then the Prilgrimage mechanics, IMO.
If the church plays only a minor role in your saga , then the Story elements will be of little utility.
The Church , page 16:
A minor pilgrimage is a single-session story.
A major pilgrimage takes multiple stories and more than one season to complete and return ,
and involves some significant risk to the characters.
Target Level: 18
To gain a Minor Virtue , including Minor Supernatural Abilities associated with the Divine ;
To lose a Minor Flaw (or Virtue , if desired) ;
To remove a negative Personality Trait ;
Target Level: 30
To gain a Major Virtue , including Major Supernatural Abilities or
Methods and Powers Virtues associated with the Divine ;
To lose a Major Flaw (or Virtue , if desired) ;
To self-initiate in Holy Magic (requires True Faith) ;
You select Oppositional Elements (page 16) to equal the target level of the pilgrimage.
In addition , it is important that the characters completely avoid mortal sin on pilgrimage ,
and confess and receive absolution for venial sins on arrival at their destination. (page18)
More importantly (and without going into the details of the mechanics), it should truly fit with the character and that character's development, as it is the spiritual journey and progress of the pilgrimage, rather than the physical distance and obstacles covered, that form the crux of this process. That is, it's not a holiday, not some scenic route marked on the tourist map that any character can follow if they're bored that season, but a deeply personal and religious connection to personal belief.
In short, if the character is not religious to begin with (and/or becoming "more religious" isn't a believable element in their storyline), a pilgrimage is just a long, uncomfortable detour - altho' you do get to keep the little tin medal at the end, for bragging rights...
Divine Initiation Scripts could be done as with Ravenscroft, above, with Self-Initiation Ease Factors, or with Mystagogue Initiations with Ease Factors of 15 and 21, respectively.
This could be done as part of a Monastic Order, Lay Confraternity or Crusading Order or other Divine Organisation.
1/ An Order of Monks could Initiate "Strong Willed" with their "Monastic Vow" as an Ordeal.
2/ They could then Initiate "Sense Holiness and Unholiness" through a quest to save a faithful soul straying into sin. They must identify the person, and pull them back to the fold. (+3) They must then make a pilgrimage to a major shrine, sitting vigil for 3 days, with no food or water (+1 time). This attunes their senses, but their new attunement to spiritual direction, leaves them disoriented to the physical world (No sense of direction +3).
3/ They could find clarity of thought through their focus on the truth of God: Clear Thinker for a Pilgrimage, and gaining the Personality Flaw "Pious"
As a rule, if they act against the holy "flaw" or "vow" they should lose the virtue.
Monastic Orders ought to be able to initiate several substantial Divine Virtues, by helping their members delve deeper into their devotion to God.
Other Virtues: Greater Purifying Touch; Common Sense; Good Teacher; Inspirational etc.
Remember that Holy Orders were reputed to be able to work supernatural works due to their piety.
As an afterthought, any "religious"-ish character (NPC's included) that's connected to the Covenant could be seeking to pursue this - and you could use that as a hook, without worrying about the exact RAW mechanics. Let the Pilgrim wander off and do his thing and use that as a lead in to whatever travel/story/plot you need.
If you look at The Mysteries book and Initiation, you can get a reasonable idea of how it works, and fake it from there if you had to, since (as you say) "religion" plays no significant part in your Saga.
I think that including something Supernatural Divine Virtues in the Initiations are not bad. Other thing, if the Character with the Initiation has True Faith, i think that a Inciation shouldn't include a Ordaly(Flaw) in all the cases. The Pilgrimage on the time and on the way to be made can be sufficent, with Sacrificy and anothers things.
The Oppositional Elements take care of that.
This is more serious than direct physical confrontation as the occasions for mortal sin will be greater (imho).