Honoring the Gods

"In Eternal Darkness, a spark of light enters...
In Unending Light, a shadow of dark follows...
Thus is the edict of Balance of which all centers.
Life and Death, Chaos and Order, joys and sorrows.
May the love of Light and Dark in me forever abide
That the Flame of the Three in me never subside."

As clerics, one of the most important aspects of our lives is our bond with our deities. Performing rituals that honor the Gods is how we cultivate that bond. By maintaining a close relationship with the Gods, you gain many benefits

When you first start out as a cleric, you will have very low devotion, and have some trouble with power perception (Type [perceive] to sense the mana in your area and you should see the effect your devotion level has). I recommend that as soon as you can, begin your attempts to please the Gods. Personally, I feel that you should try to achieve the highest possible level and maintain it at that level.

A lot of people do not realize the importance of keeping high devotion levels. Devotion not only affects your power perception skills, it also affects your mana usage and spell effects. With lousy devotion, you will have difficulty casting spells because of the mana penalty. Also, some spells in our repertoire depend on your relationship with the Gods. Lousy devotion = no spell

One thing important that you should remember is that not all rituals work all the time. Some rituals cease giving you devotion when you reach a certain level, or when you repeat it too soon.

The messagings that show that you are successful in your attempts (please read Devotion Problems). You do not have to get both messagings to know that you have gotten devotion. It can be one or the other.:
You sense that you are as pure of spirit as you can be, and you are ready for whatever rituals might face you.
You feel that your gods have smiled upon you for your attempts to please them.

Devotion Benefits

  • Devotion affects your power perception skills. High devotion gives you a bonus.
  • Devotion affects your ability to cast certain spells. The stronger the bond between you and your God, the more effective your spell can be.
  • Devotion enables you to make use of commune abilities. These abilities can be used after successful completion of various quests given to you when the time is right.

Devotional Levels
Devotional levels are not static levels. Think of them like a row of bottles which you need to fill. 1 bottle represents 1 level. E.g. there's a full level, a half-full level...etc.

Type [commune] to sense your bond with the gods. The lowest devotion level to the highest are as listed:
  • You feel unclean and unworthy. (this messaging taken from Micwolf's site)
  • You close your eyes and start to concentrate. In a moment a vision appears of a barren garden, parched and thirsting for nourishment. You have an intense desire to tend it. (This appears to be the default level when you join)
  • You call out to your god only to find an emptiness within you. (Or maybe this is the default messaging, not very sure now)
  • You call out to your god but there is no answer.
  • After a moment, you sense that your god is barely aware of you.
  • After a moment, you sense that your efforts have not gone unnoticed.
  • After a moment, you sense a distinct link between you and your god.
  • After a moment, you sense that your god is aware of your devotion.
  • After a moment, you sense that your god knows your name.
  • After a moment, you sense that your god is pleased with your devotion.
  • After a moment, you see a vision of your god, though the visage is cloudy and impossible to make out clearly.
  • After a moment, you sense a slight pressure on your shoulder, leaving the feeling that your efforts have been acknowledged.
  • After a moment, you see a silent vision of your god, radiating forth with a powerful divine brilliance.
  • After a moment, you see a vision of your god who calls to you by name, "Come here my child and I will show you things of wonder.
  • After a moment, you see a vision of your god who calls to you by name, "My child, though you may not always see my face, I am pleased with thee and thy efforts.
  • After a moment, you see a crystal-clear vision of your god who speaks slowly and deliberately, "Your unwavering faith and devotion pleases me greatly, [name]. Go forth and continue your works and you shall only attain a greater level of purity."
  • After a moment, you feel a clear presence like a warm blanket covering you beneath the shade of a giant Sana'ati tree.
The clear presence messaging appears to be temporary. After sensing that, the next commune check bumps back down to the crystal clear vision (which I consider, for practical purposes, the highest level of devotion). I believe this to be a sign that you are at the highest peak of devotion and something special may happen when you sense that. *wink*

In case you're wondering if I copied this: I personally rolled up a character and walked her through it. There appears to be some levels left out with other listed sites. These are as I found them in game.

Ritual Run
When performing rituals, it is important to do so before the eyes of the Gods. Consecrated ground or areas, such as altars, or special pool areas, should be where you do your rituals. You cannot simply perform these rituals anywhere. It has to be holy ground. Some altars are not fully functional (i.e. You can do some rituals at these altars, but not all rituals.)

I recommend doing a slew of rituals all at once. Then wait some time before repeating. I like to do ritual runs (a set of rituals done one after another) every now and then, even when I have reached the crystal clear level. (Just because you reach crystal clear does not always mean you have achieved the top.)

My Favorite Rituals
Praising the Gods
This is where you can be at your most creative. Reciting a prayer in praise of the gods can bring their pleasure upon you. (Type [recite] to figure out how to write out a verse)

Your prayer should contain one or more of these key words: The name of a neutral aspect god, praise, love or blessing(s). Kalira listed "unity" as a keyword, but I have yet to have that word trigger devotion. The length of the prayer needed to gain devotion can vary, depending on how well you create your prayer. I usually prefer 6 lines or more for my prayers.

It is possible to write out a prayer without mentioning a neutral aspect deity (see recitation at the beginning of this page). I recommend writing your own prayers. It makes the moment a little more special, in my opinion.

Planting Sirese Seeds
This is one of the most popular high-end rituals. For the most part, areas where you can gather sirese seeds are obvious because you can see signs of sirese in the room description. There are a few places that don't have this. For example, an area in Aesry but it's fairly obvious once you think about what sirese seeds become when planted...and that's your first hint to that area in Aesry!

Hints for new clerics: In Zoluren, I know of two areas. Both are along the Northern Trade Route. I forgot where the Riverhaven sirese seed is. You could try checking out any holy spots. Sorry, novices! As for areas in other provinces, if you're smart enough to leave your starting city, then you're smart enough to figure out the sirese seed gathering areas yourself. ;)

To gather seeds: [Gather seed] to try and get the seed. If it's an area that has gatherable sirese seeds, you will know. It can be hard to gather the seeds at first, but keep at it.

Once you have the seed, make sure you have a vial with holy water in it, and go to a nice wildlife friendly area and plant your seed. Finally, sprinkle the area with holy water. If you did it right, you'll know you pleased the gods.

Holy Baths
This ritual often have young clerics confused. A common misconception is that ANY bathing pool will do. This is false. It has to be a pool that is designed for the clerical bathing ritual. So do NOT go to Orem's Bathhouse!

In Zoluren, there are three pools which you can use. One is located in the Crossing Temple's grounds. It's kinda hard to miss and it's outside the actual temple, by the way. This pool is seasonal and has another devotion-giving puzzle (hint: it needs to be filled up occasionally and you should have the Bless spell if you do it alone). The second and easiest to use is located in the secretive Damaris' shrine which is somewhere near Kaerna Village. The third pool is located near Leth Deriel by the moss meys' hunting area. There are no pools that I know of in Riverhaven. Move to Crossing, novices!! ;)

You need two of the 3 different type of herbs sold at Father Durantine's Shop. These can be bought cheaply, or foraged if you know where to look.

Once in the holy pool, rub the herbs on you. My advice: Have faith in your god. You will know when you do it right.

Offering Devotional Beads
This is a ritual that requires skill, thus is not for the young and inexperienced. You need to carve a bead from a stick or a limb. There are clerical NPCs around Dirge, Riverhaven, Shard and other cities (not in Crossing though) who sell primers. These primers can be studied and will tell you how to carve a bead, and what you need to carve a bead.

Once your bead is carved, you should place it on your prayer chain and meditate upon the chain.

You can only offer a bead that you made yourself. This is a devotional ritual that grows with you. The better quality beads you can carve, the more devotion you will gain. Work your mech lore and scholarship skills!

More information on Devotional Bead Carving

This is another popular ritual. I grew to like it late in life as a cleric. :) It is one of those rituals which cap out at odd places; It seems to be right in the middle of the "thee and thy" devotion level.

So sometimes when you tithe, you'll get nothing if you are on the high end of that level. You can get to crystal clear by tithing when you are at thee and thy. If you do not, try casting a low-level commune or two, then tithe again. It stops giving devotion the moment you see the crystal clear vision.

Some believe that below crystal clear, getting devotion for tithing is random. Who knows. I believe what I want to believe.

Look for an almsbox near the Temple in Riverhaven or Crossing. Look or read the almsbox. It will tell you how to donate money. I recommend 5 silver kronars. Some almsboxes, like the one on Ratha, aren't in areas where you'd think to look for a cleric's almsbox, but generally, they DO make sense when you think about the purpose of the box.

Other Common Rituals
  • Kissing the altar - You should humbly do this by kneeling.
  • Cleaning the altar - A dusty or dirty altar will need cleaning. Do so with a container of holy water.
  • Dancing before the altar - Dance...need I say more?
  • Pouring wine on the altar - The Cleric Shops sell sacramental wine.
  • Offering skins from evil/undead creatures - Sprinkle the skin with holy water, then place it on the altar and offer it.
More details regarding devotional rituals, and rituals specific to provinces can be found at these two web sites:
The Wolf Den and Kalira's Journals.

This section on devotion rituals does not cover all possible rituals. I only covered the rituals that I feel are enough for you to improve your devotion. There are also a number of rituals that can give decent to immense devotion which are considered in-game secrets and you'll have to find out about them by figuring it out yourself, asking around, or scour websites which spill all.

Thanks must go to the many clerics in-game and clerical websites who taught me about rituals when I first started out.

Devotion Problems
As I have mentioned earlier, some devotional rituals cease to please the Gods enough to affect your relationship once you reach a certain level of devotion. In other words, when you reach a certain level of devotion, you stop getting devotion from performing it.

At the time of writing this, there is no way of telling which rituals still give you devotion, and which ritual does not. Some rituals, such as tithing, do let you know that you are not getting devotion. But there are many other rituals that do not do the same.

I speculate that simple rituals that require little to no effort, such as kissing the altar and dancing, give no more devotion after you have a high enough devotion level, eventhough you still get the messagings of getting devotion.

However, it is also possible that these low-level rituals do still give devotion. If this is the case, then once you reach the top levels of devotion, the devotion given by these rituals are so little that it is practically impossible to affect your devotion level significantly. (i.e. it is pretty much like you are not getting any devotion from these rituals...)