Initiation Script for Hermetic Sorcery

Hi, I would like some input on this proposed initiation script. This is for a character in the Thebean Tribunal that is part of a mystery cult associated and run by the Witches of Thessaly. How does the Script sound? Do you think a Sympathy Bonus of +1 is too little or too much?

The Mystagogue and Initiate spend a season wherein the Mystagogue questions the Initiates about the Goetic Arts and leads the Initiate into developing insights into the similarities of the Goetic Arts to Hermetic Arts. After this season, the Mystagogue and Initiate travel to the temple of Hecate in the caves of Erebos and arrive by August 13th. On the night of August 13th, the Initiate must sacrifice a black dog into the service of Hecate. and drink a concoction of yarrow, mandrake, and honey mixed with the Initiate's own blood in a cup made of yew. After drinking this, the Initiate must meditate and will receive a vision during their meditation of Hecate. Hecate will ask the Initiate to swear a vow to respect the sanctity of the Witches of Thessaly and to ensure that no persecution comes to any Witch without due cause (Vow). After swearing this, Hecate will instruct the Initiate in the ways of Hermetic Sorcery. While this will all occur on the night of August 13th, the Initiate may experience a distorted source of time during the vision. By the morning of August 14th, the Initiate will have woken up and will have discovered that aligning oneself to cthonic influences so greatly also means that upon entering an aura of the Divine of sufficient strength (4+) the Initiate will bleed spontaneously from their orifices.

Script Bonus: Mystagogue's Time (+3), Specific Time and Place (+3), Medium Ordeal (Two Minor Flaws gained)(+6), Sympathy (+1)

+1 sympathy sounds about right, possibly +2; the rite is strongly thematic for Hecate and the Witches of Thessaly, but only weakly for Hermetic Sorcery specifically.

Does this apply exclusively to the Hermetic lineage, or does it also include the "wild Thessalians"/Daughters of Erictho? If the latter, you have a severe problem: this is either just shy of meaningless (if the wording of the vow permits "dealing with the Infernal" to count as "due cause"), or requires Dark Secret as an extra Major Ordeal if it does not, since the character has probably committed a High Crime by willingly and knowingly making a formal agreement of noninterference and protection with Infernal forces (see HoH:TL p51, though it's not explicit that this applies to servants of devils as well as devils themselves; still, someone is absolutely certain to claim it does if it's found out). You could claim ignorance of their infernal nature, but that would be a very tough case to win.

Furthermore, the Theban Tribunal routinely commissions magi to slay hedge wizards who have refused OoH membership; if the wild Thessalians count for your vow, you're obligated to protect them from such persecution, which is likely to lead to conflict with other magi and a further High Crime charge for violating the Enemies & Allies clause of the Hermetic Oath (and possibly for attacking another magus outside of Wizard's War).

1 Like

Thank you for the input. The vow itself does not include protecting the Daughter of Erictho. The conflict would come from defending the Witches from zealous Christian Quaesitori, possibly House Tremere, agents of the Church and possibly the Daughters of Erictho as well (who could use demons to influence local nobility and/or clergy to make mundane moves against the Witches). It's only a minor flaw so that's why I thought it was suitable.

Gotcha. If it's just the Ex Misc Thessalians then you should be good :+1: definitely some good story potential there.

1 Like

The august 13th date for Heacte was established in 1985, and was because that was when a new moon happened to fall that year. The new moon preceding the harvest would probably be a closer association.

1 Like

Cool, thanks for pointing that out