Invoking the Rite of Admixture, the Night of Thirst offers homage to the Dark Six of Eberron. On the Night of Thirst, followers of the Dark Six celebrate cunning, victories, passions, death, knowledge, and the power of nature.
With Dolurrh remote to Eberron, followers of the Shadow gather at twilight. They break into groups of six, no more no less. Each group brings with them a Khyber dragonshard blade, and the holy symbol of each of the Dark Six (Devourer, Fury, Keeper, Mockery, Shadow, and Traveler).
The group then draws lots. The first picks one of the holy symbols and tells a story related to that god. The second picks from the remaining symbols, telling their story. And so on until all have told a story.
When each member has told their story, the six then offer verbal prayers to the Dark Six. At this point while still under darkness, all are regarded as willing participants and the Khyber dragonshard blade blessed for what comes next.
Again the group members draw lots. The winner chooses who will make the sacrifice; Most often they will pick themselves to perform the sacrifice, but may pick another. The one performing the sacrifice then chooses whom they will sacrifice.
Again the participant issue prayers to the Dark Six on behalf of the sacrificed as the participant performs the Rite of Admixture (see below).
With ritual complete, the remaining five tend to the deceased. They then go forth and re-tell the story of the one sacrificed.
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Rite of Admixture
When you sacrifice to your gods a willing sentient creature with a ritually blessed blade you gain the following:
You gain power and insight from the sacrificed creature. While you have this feature, you detect as undead.
- As reaction, you gain a single Resistance or Immunity of the creature you sacrificed. You lose this Resistance or Immunity after you complete a rest.
- As a bonus action, you gain a single Sense or Ability of the creature you sacrificed. You lose this Sense or Ability after you complete a rest.
- As an action, you may cast a special speak with dead. You may only speak with the sacrificed creature. You do not need material components, nor their body, and they may be deceased for more than ten days.
You can use this feature once per hit dice that you had at the time of the sacrifice. When you have depleted all of the uses, you lose this feature. When you perform the Rite of Admixture you lose any prior Empowered Offerings that you may have.
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I have long found the Dark Six fascinating. While written up as an “evil” pantheon, they reflect a more primal state. One that denounces the pressures of civilization, instead focusing on extreme liberty.
After listening to Manifest Zone's episode on Droaam I resolved to spend some time writing up possible situations surrounding Droaam. In Droaam, the “nation of monsters”, creatures openly worship the Dark Six. I wanted to design a ritual that highlighted devouring secrets and gambling for gain. I also wanted the ritual to be something ripe for politics and celebration.
And as I noodled on the ritual, I thought of Alex Schröder‘s “Halberds and Helmets” RPG. I remembered a captivating quote regarding Chaos. With its 3 point alignment system—Chaos, Neutral, and Law—Halberds and Helmets eschews Good and Evil. The Dark Six clearly reside in the realm of Chaos as defined by the following:
Life is Chaos: the weeds in the plowed fields, the orchards gone to woods, the shore worn away by the sea. Chaos is long patterns: the rivers unfurl, the clouds move as they will but each with their own way.
The Elves make homes in the trees, but not by killing them and cutting them into sharp-edged planks then watching those rot and weather. No, they watch for the trees’ patterns and shape them slowly and live among them; the tree living, the Elf living.
Order is the hubris that mans’ whims can be imposed on the world, and dooms them—man, woman, and child—to a lifetime of wearying burden. Chaos is not the burning of cities, but realizing the foolishness of building such at all. Chaos is not lawlessness, but realizing that men, like trees, have their ways, and to lay laws upon them without acknowledging this, is to cut them down and bury them in plank-sided boxes. Come with me. I know not where I'm going, but we will learn along the way.
From those two points, I wanted to create something mechanically powerful and also something that might make sense for followers of Chaos.
For more on Eberron, check out my Eberron Resources post or pursue my Eberron posts.