The Ignobilis Ritae are more varied and informal rituals used by the Sabbat. While the Auctoritas Ritae are performed by all Sabbat members, the Ignobilis Ritae are optional to a point. Presentation and exercise of these rituals vary greatly from pack to pack or city to city - each pack will personalize the ritual to reflect the personality of those that make up the pack.
The Ignoblis are less structured and more personal in nature than the Auctoritas Ritae. They also rely on faith, but can substitute individual loyalty for religious fervor, allowing a tightly-knit pack to perform Ignoblis Ritae even if their belief in Caine is not particularly strong. Most Ignoblis Ritae are created by pack priests and are used to foster pack loyalty.
Beyond the pack, the Sword of Caine can be a chaotic and unpredictable environment, as rebellious splinter groups and political factions rise and fall — often leaving little trace of their existence. Others have survived the test of time. These feuding political groups push doctrine and guide the mindset of the Sect. Individuals can swap factions over the years, changing political alliance as their personal beliefs mature or alter. Many Ignoblis Ritae have sprung up among these factions as a result.
Today, the primary political contingents of the Sabbat are the Ultra Conservatives, the Orthodoxy, the Order of St. Blaise, and the Loyalists. Two other factions, the Pander caucus and the Status Quo, have less political power in recent nights. Further, some Sabbat simply don’t care about politics. Vampires not affiliated with a faction are known as “Moderates.” Most Moderates claim no unifying cause, and therefore Moderates do not have Faction Ritae.
Faction Ritae are used only by members of specific political factions. Like other ritae, these rituals rely heavily on faith to power their magic. Vampires who do not genuinely believe in the principles of a faction cannot successfully take part in that faction’s rituals. If a vampire with divergent beliefs participates in a faction’s Ignoblis Ritae, the ritual will fail. This makes it nearly impossible to infiltrate another political faction for very long; eventually, the spy will be forced to partake in a Faction Ritus, and will be discovered.
Packs that bridge factions may have members who possess Faction Ritae from multiple factions. Unfortunately, as noted, an individual must believe in the principles of the political group in order for those rituals to function successfully. Such packs often break up, or else unify their political ethics through argument and strong vinculums. An individual can leave a political faction for another, but in doing so, she loses the capacity to cast any ritae belonging to the faction in which she was previously a member.
Examples of Ignobilis RitaeEdit
This ritus welcomes a new member to a particular pack, to recognize the ascension of a recruit, or any time a change in power or membership occurs (such as a new Ductus or Pack Priest). Each member of the pack must recognize the new position of their fellow Sabbat in a personal manner, be it by sharing blood, the giving of a gift, or whatever. The Sabbat being accepted must make an oath of allegiance to each member of the pack, and to the Sabbat cause in general. The Acceptance Ritus differs from the Creation Rites because it is more social than supernatural. A Sabbat may have received his Creation Rites, but may be snubbed by a pack that refuses to extend him the ritus of acceptance.
Even Sabbat commit sins and indiscretions, for which they sometimes need to atone. The Contrition Ritus allows for this, much in the same manner a Catholic confession works. This ritus is perhaps the most important of the ignoblis ritae, as many Inquisitors, Black Hand operatives, Pack Priests, and Ducti offer a choice of contrition or death to Sabbat who have committed wrongs upon the Sect. All sensible Sabbat take these ritae as seriously as they would any other, for only by the grace of their betters can they continue to exist. Of course, many disingenuous Sabbat may make an insincere act of contrition, but they might not be extended the option next time.
In the interests of maintaining silence, some packs take extra precautions and invoke favorable omens. In the Stealth Ritus, all participating vampires bite out each other’s tongues and spit them into a fire. Though this causes no health levels of damage, the immediate bleeding and healing consumes one blood point. The Pack Priest or Ductus usually bows out so he can issue orders, but some packs have developed complex hand signal systems so they may communicate silently while on stealth-intensive activities.
The Sun Dance tests Cainites’ endurance and bravery. During the ritus, vampires writhe and gyrate in a hypnotic dance around a symbolic inscription of a fiery sun from sunset to sunrise without pause, until they collapse in exhausted heaps, covered in blood sweat. The ritus always takes place during a full moon, and pack members usually dress for the occasion, wearing frightening masks or red body paint. Pack members prove their courage by seeing who among them, after an exhausting night’s dancing, can remain in the open the longest. A Blood Feast sometimes follows the Sun Dance (especially when it is performed at heavily attended Sect functions), as the vampires must replenish their spent energy constantly for the duration of the ritual.
Used to greet other Sabbat. Welcoming rites of both packs are combined with each bringing something new to the gathering. These rites are more like a party but two points of protocol are carried out during them. A the beginning of the rite all pack members greet each other individually, presenting their names and their home. At the peak of the celebration a gift is usually exchanged from pack to pack. The leaders often use this ritual as a time to discuss Sabbat plans.
Used when bidding a fellow Sabbat farewell, when a pack leaves a city, when a pack member leaves for an extended period of time, you get the drift. Typically they involve the leader praising the one(s) leaving.