Rituals, Devotion, and Theurgy
*** What is Theurgy? ***
To those returning to Cleric-dom for the first time since the release of DR3, welcome to the land of guild-specific skills, such as what rangers and moon mages have had to do for years. The new theurgy skill is trained by, influenced by, and influences the cleric super-magic abilities known as communes. So first, what exactly is Theurgy?
To quote Wikipedia,
“Theurgy describes the practice of rituals, sometimes seen as magical in nature, performed with the intention of invoking the action or evoking the presence of one or more gods, especially with the goal of uniting with the divine…”
To relate it to the religion of Dragonrealms, theurgy is the practice of performing devotional rituals and communing rituals and both tie directly into a cleric’s devotional state – again similar to other guilds’ metrics like soulstate or prediction pools. Training theurgy is a hard requirement for circling, but also makes cleric commune abilities more powerful, last longer, and be used more frequently.
*** How Does One Train Theurgy? ***
Theurgy is trained primarily by performing communal rituals – invoking the power of the Immortals to additional magical effects outside normal magic use such as inflicting extra damage to the undead or stopping blood loss from wounds. Using these commune abilities will draw from the cleric’s devotion state, the more powerful communes providing more theurgy training but being more taxing on devotion, also.
To increase one’s devotion pool, a cleric must perform simple rituals to appease the Immortals and maintain their places of worship. At the bottom of this post, I’ll provide a list of common rituals, but there are many more available besides just what’s shown here. Rituals will generate a small amount of theurgy, but the amounts are typically very small and get smaller as a cleric increases his or her theurgy. Younger clerics (those under 20th circle) will get a decent amount of theurgy from a full sequence of devotionals, but the amount tapers off pretty quickly.
So to simplify, you must COMMUNE with the Immortals which trains theurgy and costs devotion. Performing RITUALS will cost time but yield devotion. Ultimately, theurgy boils down to taking the time to train it like every other skill.
As a side note: clerics have always had the option to draw from their devotional state to power these extra abilities, but few ever did since higher devotion resulted in a boost to power perception. Since the release of 3.0 and theurgy, there is no longer a bonus for higher devotion. So in addition to requiring spending devotion to train theurgy, there is no longer any incentive for holding onto a higher devotional state.
*** Communing ***
There are several communions that can be performed by the cleric, most are learned before reaching circle 20. I won’t list them all, they’re best discovered and tried earnestly, but the two you learn will be extremely valuable for practical and training purposes.
Your first commune ability is to ask a blessing from Tamsine to empower your targeted magic damage against the undead. Clerics have many exciting hunting grounds available where the plague of undead or the accursed can be cleansed from the lands. Slaying of these creatures will periodically grant devotion and theurgy, and some undead/evil creatures grant higher return of coins and treasure over some of the mundane denizens of Elanthia. For example, Moss Meys can only be struck by blessed weapons or fists, but are skinnable, drop coins, gems, and boxes that have greater returns than other similarly difficult creatures.
The second communion talent is Eluned’s blessing of water. This will allow a cleric to procure water from even the most inhospitable places. As you’ll see in the list below, water is very useful for performing many rituals, and several communes also require the use of holy water. Once learned, a cleric can merely commune to Eluned with a handful of dirt and She will turn it to water which can be collected if the cleric is holding an appropriate vessel in the other hand, or into a pool on the ground (weather appropriate) from which others can collect the water.
*** Rituals ***
There are many rituals that can be performed, far too many to list here, but I’ll mention the most common and easiest ones below.
- Praying to a specified Immortal
- Praying and kissing an altar or prayer mat
- Marking a prayer badge at an affiliated altar (by pushing the altar with your badge)
- Praying upon a prayer badge
- Pouring sacred/blessed wine on an altar or prayer mat
- Dancing before an altar, in a consecrated room, or on a prayer mat
- Praying upon a prayer chain with beads before an altar or in a consecrated room
- Waving lit incense at an altar or prayer mat
- Washing an altar or anloral pin with holy water (warning: an anloral pin will break if you interact with it if the animal represented is not the same as the Immortal from whom you received your most recent favor!)
- Tithing five silver coins
- Offering unskin, unlooted dead enemies in a consecrated room – cannot be undead, evil, or cursed
- Planting a sirese seed and sprinkling the room with holy water (this grants sizable theurgy experience for younger clerics)
- Bathing in a sacred pool with appropriate herbs
- Offering of stolen goods, sprinkled with holy water, on a dark aspect’s altar
- Offering of your own blood on a dark aspect’s altar (warning, this is very dangerous)
- Studying the wall at Urrem’tiers hidden chamber in the Eyes of the Thirteen
- Reciting a prayer parchment in a room of people
- Reciting an appropriate prayer before an altar or in a consecrated room
- Breaking of bread at the anlas of Hodierna’s Blessing and eating it