Fire Dance is a brutal and rough ritual celebration in which Sabbat Cainites prove their own loyalty and bravery by jumping through fires. Many Sabbat war efforts as well as other Sabbat events begin with such a ritual as fire dancing.
OverviewEditTo most vampires, fire is something to be feared, respected, and avoided, yet not to the Sabbat. While they still fear it, they are not above turning it loose on their enemies. In a sense, this fearlessness shows how truly fanatical the Sabbat are. They gladly take something that is anathema to vampires and use it against their foes, hoping it destroys more of their foes than themselves. To be fully Sabbat, one must face the Rötschreck and master it. Additionally, mastery of fire emboldens the Sabbat to use this powerful weapon against others of their kind.
This ritus has no particular time or place; priests may create one whenever a morale boost or rally becomes necessary. It is generally held before War Parties, and several packs at one time converge and participate in the Fire Dance. The ritus is entirely a test of courage. Since the Sabbat values free will greatly, pack members are allowed to refuse to participate in the Fire Dance, but they put themselves at risk of derision and disrespect at their cowardice from the rest of the pack.
To enact this ritus, the priest lights a large bonfire in a place secure from mortal eyes. Through the rhythmic beating of a drum, chanting, or both, participating Cainites enter a trance-like frenzy, whirling around the flames, writhing before them and even prostrating themselves in front of the blaze. As the ceremony reaches its peak, the vampires rave and chant, and encourage each other to jump through the flames. They make fantastic leaps, some even turning aerial somersaults over and over again to the point of exhaustion. The Fire Dance comes to a close when the last vampire present has jumped through the flames and collapsed from all the activity.
For a vampire to even approach the blazes, the player must succeed in a Courage roll (difficulty only 5, because of the trance-frenzy). For a vampire to successfully leap the flames, the player must make a Dexterity + Athletics roll (difficulty 6 to simply jump the flames, though Storytellers should feel free to increase the difficulty if the character tries to leap in a particularly dramatic or acrobatic way, which, doubtless, would impress the other Sabbat present).
After a Fire Dance, characters who leapt through the flames gain a temporary bonus point of Courage for the three nights following the ritus. This bonus point may even exceed the normal Virtue limit of 5.
- Guide to the Sabbat, p. 150