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"I have never seen the point of an exorcism. The risk to the Exorcist and the individual is never worth it. In my experience, fire is the only solution to Daemonic possession."
—Kleber Reinhard, Witch Hunter[2a]
Exorcist

Exorcist

An Exorcist is a practitioner of one of the spells of exorcism, be it "Exorcism" to banish hostile spirits, or the "Ritual of Exorcism" to banish Daemons.[1a][2a]

Spirit ExorcismEdit

Among the many dangers (natural and unnatural) facing the people of the Old World is possession by malefic spirits. Seeking to do harm in the land of the living, these spirits take over the bodies of their victims with the goal of wreaking as much havoc as possible. Some are nearly mindless, sending their hosts on violent rampages ending most often in the death of all concerned. Others are subtler in their activities, using the victim’s unwitting friends, family, and associates to help it carry out horrifying deeds. Among the Undead, possession commonly reflects a desire to resume the life the spirit once led, to be close again to a loved one, or to have revenge.[1a]

To battle this vile threat and, if possible, save the life and soul of the possessed victim, some cults have assigned particular individuals to be specialists in driving the possessing spirit out. These exorcists spend countless hours pouring over tomes of forbidden lore. They are men and women of dedication and strong will—they have to be, for exorcism is a test of faith and will between exorcist and spirit. Some, however, crack under the strain and break down, their licenses revoked and their careers over. Others become corrupted by the lore they studied so assiduously and begin to serve the powers they once fought against.[1a]

Exorcism Lesser SpellEdit

Exorcists of the various Old World faiths are the most frequent users of this spell. It is less common amongst other spell casters.[1a]

The caster engages in a battle of wills with a spirit possessing a mortal body. The caster must remain within 2 yards of the possessed for the length of the casting, so the spell is most commonly used on victims that have already been physically subdued. The caster engages the spirit in a battle of wills, which, if successful, casts the spirit out, and the victim recovers his wits and control of his body.[1a]

Exorcism is useful for removing spiritual contamination or possession by ghostly beings and even a few minor fiends, but it is insufficient to deal with most Daemons.[2b]

Daemonic ExorcismEdit

Not an established group per se, Exorcists are normally Sigmarite Priests and Witch Hunters trained in the Ritual of Exorcism. Where the Exorcism spell—known to some Priestesses of Shallya and a few other religious groups—casts out possessing spirits, the Ritual of Exorcism is designed to force out possessor Daemons, a vastly different enterprise. Ghosts and other spirits can take possession of an individual and can, with some effort, be forced out of the host. Daemons, however, are far more difficult to oust, requiring hours of prayer and a controlled environment, if there’s any chance of success.[2a]

The Ritual of ExorcismEdit

The cornerstone for the removal of a Daemonic Entity is The Ritual of Exorcism. Very few outside of the cult of Sigmar, and those Witch Hunters who’ve been trained as Priests, know this potent ritual. Though most can learn the methods and words required by the ritual, few have the resolve to face down Chaos in its most awful form. To be a Sacred Exorcist, one must be in peak physical health, no older than middle-age, and particularly dedicated to the faith. The methods of Chaos are many, and Daemons search out any weakness they can to defeat the holy men of the Heldenhammer. Far too many would-be Exorcists have found themselves physically or psychically destroyed by the power of a Daemon.[2b]

When faced with a possessed mortal, more often than not it is too late to help the subject, and it falls to others to destroy the vessel and send the Daemon back to the Realm of Chaos. However, in some instances, the Daemon has not yet devoured the mind of the subject, and a trained Priest can remove the offending spirit through magical means.[2b]

Ingredients for this ritual are an illuminated copy of The Book of Sigmar, the sign of the hammer or twin-tailed comet, new Priestly vestments, rope and nails for binding, a vial of holy water, a hammer, a goat (or some other animal) or mirror, and a roaring fire. The ritual incorporates five basic steps:[2b]

  • Dispelling the Façade: At this stage, the Daemon hides within the host as if it’s not there at all. Whilst it retains complete control over the mortal’s body, its movements are natural as is its speech. The Exorcist must reveal the Daemon and learn its nature. This is often the hardest part of the exorcism since the Daemon is not cooperative. Furthermore, the Exorcist must be vigilant and resist the temptation to engage in unnecessary conversation. For the exorcism to work, the Exorcist must be firm in his resolve and committed to the effort with all authority granted to him by Sigmar. The Priest must spend a solid hour praying, questioning, and probing.[2b]
  • The Revelation of the Inner Daemon: It is when the Daemon’s pretence breaks that the exorcism truly begins. Such moments are accompanied by all manner of supernatural effects. If the possessed is not restrained, it lashes out and attacks any individuals within reach (hence the nails and rope). In addition, strange phenomena occur. Animals panic, the ground shakes, lights go out, and a malodorous wind blows, always from the north. If a mirror is used, the victim reflects the appearance of the possessing fiend instead of his own. The Daemon thrashes about and utters blasphemies and repellent offers of lewd conduct. Should the Daemon fail to convince or frighten away the Exorcist, it threatens to harm the host. In short, the Daemon uses any trick it can to escape the exorcism. Exorcists, Priests of Sigmar, and Witch Hunters reduce the difficulty of this test by one or more steps depending on whether or not they have performed an exorcism before.[2b]
  • A Chorus of Evils: Next, the Daemon’s voice becomes a torrent of words, always offensive, often nonsensical. The exorcism cannot continue until the Daemon is silenced. This can be achieved with a simple trick. More powerful Daemons require a little more effort to quieten. In extreme cases, the Exorcist may be forced to cut the tongue from the victim.[2b]
  • War of Wills: Once the Daemon falls silent, a palpable presence descends in the immediate area. At this time, the Daemon and the Exorcist wage war for the host. The Exorcist forces the Daemon to reveal more about itself and establishes a firm control.[2b]
  • The Casting Out of the Possessing Spirit: Assuming the Exorcist defeats the Daemon, the entity flees the host’s body for the Realm of Chaos. Its passage is manifest, and all experience its flight. In some circumstances, there is a rush of sound as the thing escapes. If the time of possession was short, the host resumes control over his body with little to no recollection of what transpired. Most, though, do not emerge from this experience unscathed. Aside from physical injuries caused by the Daemon, there are psychic scars, and madness is often a result.[2b]

SourceEdit

  • 1 Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Sigmar's Heirs
    • 1a: pg. 123
  • 2 Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Corruption
    • 2a: pg. 126
    • 2b: pg. 127

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