Excommunication prevents the victim from using any ceremony that requires liao. The effect is visible as an indelible mark to those with insight, and it is permanent in nature. Without outside intervention, the target will never be able to use liao again - and cannot access magic items such as Labyrinthine Vestments that would normally allow one to perform a ceremony without actually consuming liao. Characters with the same virtue can cooperate to perform an excommunication to create a stronger effect or to remove an existing one. A stronger excommunication is more difficult to remove.
The ceremony itself is used sparingly; there has been a significant amount of discussion in the Imperial Synod about the potential damage using this ceremony might do to the soul of the target. It is not Synod doctrine, but it is a common belief that anyone who dies while under the influence of the ceremony of excommunication is condemned to walk the Labyrinth for all eternity, cut off from the cycle of reincarnation.
The evidence to support this belief is far from conclusive. There is a surviving record from the time of Empress Teleri that claims to report the failure of a dose of true liao stolen by a citizen who had been excommunicated. In addition those who have studied such things claim that there are no records of any past life visions involving individuals who were known to have been excommunicated before they died. However the extent of available records is extremely limited following Nicovar's destruction of the libraries.
Regardless, it is clear that the ceremony does not seem to have any lasting effect on the soul of a target; it does not remove the effects of dedication or testimony, for example, and examination of a subject with insight after an excommunication has been removed shows no sign that the ceremony had ever been invoked.
Within the Empire, there are legal ramifications to the use of excommunication. If the target has not been issued a writ of excommunication, the priest may face condemnation by their peers - the Synod may decide that their use of this ceremony amounts to the religious crime of abuse of powers.
Being subject to this ceremony severs a person from connection to spiritual power, but does not in itself prevent them participating in the Imperial Synod - it is the possession of a congregation that assures access to the Synod. Indeed, they can still be dedicated to a virtue, even if they cannot employ the ceremonies of a priest.
- Requires a dose of liao and at least ten seconds appropriate roleplaying
- Requires the presence and assistance of a referee
- Creates an excommunication
- The target must be present for the ceremony and close enough to touch by one of the priests.
Excommunicating a character uses a dose of liao. Performing an excommunication requires at least ten seconds of appropriate roleplaying.
The target need not be willing, but must be present and close enough to be touched when the ceremony is performed.
- The target is prevented from using any religious skill and cannot experience a past life vision
- The insight ceremony will reveal the presence of an excommunication
- The excommunication is permanent unless removed
- Orcs cannot be excommunicated
The target of excommunication cannot use any religious skills; cannot access magic items that would allow them to perform a priest skill; cannot use true liao to receive a past life vision; and cannot serve as a guide priest on a past life vision. Furthermore, they do not dream (or do not remember their dreams), although they can still have magical dreams such as those provided by Sift the Dreamscape's Sands or Dreamscape of the Endless Hunt.
In addition, they suffer a persistent roleplaying effect: they feel uneasy, and have a sense of being disconnected from the world.
As with any aura, you can only be under the effect of one excommunication at once. An existing excommunication can only be replaced by one with a higher strength.
- Excommunication is permanent unless removed.
- The excommunication skill can be used to reconnect an excommunicated target with their spiritual power.
The effect of excommunication persists until it is removed. The excommunication skill can be used to reconnect a target to their spiritual power, removing an existing excommunication. The ceremony must have a strength at least equal to that of the existing excommunication.
- True liao can be used in place of liao to perform the excommunication ceremony.
You can use true liao in place of normal liao to perform a true excommunication. This resulting excommunication is equivalent to a true aura; it cannot be removed except with an effect that also includes a dose of true liao or substance of equivalent potency.