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 Post subject: the religion of baphomet
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:02 am
Posts: 14
I watched a series called "Game of Thrones" in which a priestess called The Red Woman conceives a shadow demon and uses it to kill the enemies of the king she served. It seemed like an interesting concept, so I tried to include it into my world. This setting takes place in an alternate version of medieval Europe. Witchcraft was not feared and persecuted like it was in our world. It is respected, with the worship of Baphomet being the official religion of the land. It came to power during a great plague which devastated the continent. When the Judeo-Christian God failed to help and stayed silent, Baphomet heard their pleas and came to their aid and offered power to the first witches to save their people. As a result, Witches became the dominant power in society and gathered together to form covens, which are the center of political and religious power. Schools and research are given over to studying the occult as magic took the place of science. Spells require various components and materials, as well as the knowledge of certain chants. Time limits vary, with longer and more powerful spells taking many hours to complete.

Witches have the power to summon a familiar. These creatures are ethereal daemon spirits summoned from the spiritual realm to exist in servitude to their master, and can be used for various purposes. They exist as formless entities until brought over into the material realm, and are considered minor deities in their own right due to their connection with Baphomet. They can serve as magical batteries or amplifiers for the witch to increase power for a spell. They can also be used for battle or assassination, or a repository for special items, etc. Witches are connected to their familiars for life, and can communicate telepathically and see through their eyes.

The resulting daemon is a reflection of the person's personality, and can take various forms, and no two familiars are the same. Because of the intimate connection and lifelong nature, a witch can only ever have one familiar. Therefore, witches wait until they are extremely confident in their abilities, status and personal preferences before using their single chance. It grows in power and size with her until it reaches full maturity. The magical prowess and understanding of the practitioner increase as they are bound for life to one who was literally made from it. Through the connection between one and their familiar, one can manipulate their spells to degree that was previously impossible for them. It also allows for one to be able to understand spells and magic that they would have no understanding/knowledge of quicker and more readily.

The summoning of a daemon is a year long ritual that takes the form of three steps, each meant to test the individual in some way. The first is a period of fasting, which is meant to test devotion and committment. This takes place over the course of three months and includes much prayer and meditation. The second test involves an ancient spell meant to test the willingness to sacrifice. A coven of witches participate, with the initiate using herself as a conduit between the physical world and the spiritual world, opening herself up to be indwelt by the spirit. Chanting and various components such as sigils and runes connected to the god are used. A sacrifice must also be made on the altar due to the rule of equivalent exchange: To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. If all goes well, a daemon spirit is drawn into the initiate from the spirit world. the seed gestates in the womb for a period of nine months, and becomes bound to the individual's soul.

The ritual concludes with a final ceremony in which the daemon is birthed into the physical world. This is a test of endurance, and the pain of labor may be too much to bear for the weak. The ones who survive however are welcomed into the priesthood and are among the most powerful of magic users. Having a daemon familiar is seen as a mark of prowess and a status symbol of power in society, and are highly prized.They are respected and revered by the population due to their strength of will and devotion to Baphomet and their craft. There is a downside however. A witch must have never born children in order for this ritual to work. Giving birth to a familiar also destroys a woman's ability to give birth to children the normal way - this is intended: witch has to make a sacrifice of both body and soul to make the bond possible and give the familiar a physical form. A witch who has spawned a familiar can never have children or create a lineage, which is part of why familiars come with such prestige - it indicates a powerful dedication to the art.

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