• Initiation is the unique ritual which a magically awakened individual goes through to reach a "higher level of understanding of the mysteries of magic." It is measured in grades, beginning with Grade 1 and increasing (First time initiate becomes a Grade 1 initiate, so on). 'Grade' is a bit of a generic term. Shamans tend not to view magic in such linear terms and most Hermetics tend to have special titles reflecting each grade.
  • If trying to initiate alone, it can only be done once every two months. If initiating with a magically bonded group , it can be done once a month.
  • Every culture may have a different form of initiation ritual, but they all end up producing a more powerful mage. These may be vision quests for Native American shamans, writing massively complex research papers and tomes for Hermetics or some sort of human sacrifice ritual for some of the darker practices.
  • Characters must be at least one month present in ShadowlandSL before they can undergo initiation.

Benefits of Initiation

All of the below apply every time an awakened person initiates.

  • Those who can astrally project can travel to the metaplanes (the deeper realms of magic beyond the Astral).
  • Can learn a "metamagical technique" if there is someone or something available to teach it. Only one can be learned for every initiation ritual performed.
  • Can choose to receive the Really Fast, Really Strong or Fortitude traits for use in astral space.
  • If needed, initiation can be a "tie breaker." If two magical people get together and have the same abilities, the one who has undergone more initiation rites has the advantage.
  • Can also choose one of the following:
    • Can shed a "geasa" if the awakened person has taken one to avoid losing their power.
      • If a character has more than one Geasa, they must select one to be removed.
    • A mage can change their astral signature or "fingerprints", but to do this, must unlearn how they use magic, and relearn it all over again.
    • Gain +8 drain to use per day (sorcery capable only)
    • Learn one new power (adept only)
    • "Double" the strength of an existing power (adept only)


  • A "magical group" is a group of people who have chosen to undergo a ritual that binds their auras together. (See: Magic Groups)
  • The ritual that creates the group also gives them their first communion with their Avatar. It is through this Avatar that their auras are linked.
  • A group must have "strictures" or some ideals or codes of context (however simple) that its members must follow. These become part of the union that links them together.

The Ritual

  • The ritual for the initiation may take place as small roleplays over the entire month (or two months) that the player is dedicating to the initiation, or one or two big roleplays at some point during that month. Whatever the case may be, the process of initiation is a very important thing for the character and MUST be roleplayed out seriously. (See: Initiation Ordeal below)
  • The ritual should be appropriate to the culture or magical understanding of the one who is undergoing the initiation rite. For some, this can be a grand and complex rite of passage, for others it may not be anything all that impressive.
  • Any who undergo a ritual of initiation will encounter a being known as their "Avatar." There is one of these for either every individual, or one for an entire group. Much like the totem of shamans (and indeed, this avatar may take the form of a shaman's totem), this being is beyond true human understanding. A being of great, unknowable power, if a "being" at all.

Initiation Ordeals

Initiation will involve an ordeal, something that tests the candidate such as a trial by combat, a series of tricky meditations, or an odd spell hypothesis just shy of being made theory. The Avatar will be encounter for brief periods throughout the ordeal (The opponent to face at the end of your trial? A distraction during your meditation? A muse or mentor while researching?).

Ordeals generally fall into several categories, or general types. Characters should pursue other ordeals before repeating one already completed.

  • Astral Quest
    • To perform the Astral Quest ordeal, a character must progress into the Metaplanes. Shamans journey to the metaplane of their totem. Mages must journey to each of the four elemental metaplanes.
  • Asceticism
    • An asceticism ordeal involves physically challenging activities, such as rigorous fasting, strenuous exercises, ritual combat, or even self-inflicted torture. At the end of this ordeal, a character will suffer a permanent, debilitating mark that will provide a minor nuisance to their ability. (marked eye, injured nerve, bone that won't heal right, etc).
  • Deed
    • A deed ordeal requires a character to perform some task with a goal appropriate to thier path, their magic group (if applicable), totem, or moral code. Successfully accomplishing the goal makes it a deed.
    • This deed should come at the conclusion of a major roleplay event involving the character somehow. If there is a major event significant to the character already in progress, then the resolution of that event may be marked as the completion of the deed.
    • Other events that may qualify as deeds include:
      • Overcoming a major magical threat (corrupted spirit, insane magicians, etc).
      • Overcoming or dealing with a free spirit.
      • Experiencing powerful magic. Time in the presence of great spirits, an astral quest (outside of an ordeal) to experience a powerful phenomena, or some other significant experience that widens the character's knowledge of magic.
      • Living up to a magical or ethical code under extremely difficult circumstances.
  • Geas
    • To fulfill this ordeal, the character must take a geas of their choice and accept the new limitation on their spellcasting as a result. Adepts may take this ordeal by applying a geas to the power point gained from initiation.
    • A geas taken as an ordeal cannot be removed.
  • Meditation
    • The character must spend time in daily meditation, trying to bring their physical being under the control of the astral self. The character must pass three tests, of strength, agility, and endurance. This is a very demanding ordeal that requires time spent in relative solace, unhampered by the distractions of combat, high amounts of stress, or demanding labor.
  • Thesis
    • This ordeal requires a character to create a formula containing all of their accumulated magical knowledge. Hermetic theses are usually written texts. Shamanic theses are usually works of art (painting, music, sculpture, etc) expressing the spiritual insights of the shaman. Adepts can produce either type of thesis depending on the adept's way. A thesis must exist as a physical item (in hard-copy form, in the case of a text). The construction of a thesis is akin to the development of an extremely complex spell formula, and takes dedicated research and strenuous effort to complete.
    • The author of a thesis should pay heed to guard it carefully. It stands as a material link and can be used to target it's author in ritual sorcery if captured. For this reason, some are reluctant to have more than one copy of a thesis. Some groups require one, and hold it in a vault for safekeeping...Or as a silent threat.
    • A fragment of the author's magical affinity is expressed in the thesis. If every copy of a thesis is destroyed, it will leave an irreperable scar on the aura. The lost fragment would be forever gone.
  • The above are common examples of ordeals on the path to initiation. An ordeal may take the form of any one or fragments of several of these, so long as the experience is a personal challenge relevant to magic use.