A cassock is an ankle-length robe especially popular with priests of Highguard and the League. Among the priests of Varushka and the Navarr it is more likely to be a long coat, usually of stout wool with simple embroidery, and both nations tend to call it a Guide's Coat (albeit with slightly different implications). It may be tight or loose-fitting, and while it is often sumptuously dyed in rich colours with gold, silver or mithril embroidery, the Mendicant Cassock tends to be a much more utilitarian garment. Generally a Mendicant Cassock is of a singe colour, and styled for comfort and practicality rather than ostentation. Only in the Brass Coast are these vestments likely to be brightly coloured, if only because of the negative associations with black or white clothing.
Despite its simplicity, the power of the Mendicant Cassock is not to be discounted. It allows a priest to perform a small number of ceremonies without the use of liao, which can be an especial boon to priests without access to a congregation, or whose primary focus is on the politics of the Imperial Synod rather than the accumulation of this precious substance. Traditionally, wealthy priests have looked down on those who rely on a Mendicant's Cassock - the assembly of Prosperity in particular has gone through periods in which priests relying on this magic item were actively disdained.
The Mendicant Cassock is quite limited - it provides the equivalent of only a single dose of liao to a single ceremony each day. If a priest wishes to take advantage of abilities to create more durable auras, they will still require some actual liao. It is valuable, however, in that it is equally useful to a priest who performs a ceremony by themselves as to members of a sect not all of whose members participate in the Synod.
The use of this vestment is not restricted to Imperial priests. It is known in the Sumaah Republic, where it is treated in much the same way it is in the Empire. By contrast, in some foreign nations where liao is difficult to acquire, the priests value this item considerably more than their Imperial counterparts do. In Jarm and Sarcophan, followers of the Way must often rely on garments such as this to perform any religious ceremonies due to the difficulty of securing liao at a reasonable price. There are likewise stories of certain Axou spiritualists and Asavean slaves making use of similar items in their pursuit of spiritual power.
- Form: Armour. Takes the form of a robe. You must be wearing these vestments to use their magical properties.
- Requirement: You must have the dedication skill to bond to this item.
- Effect: Once per day when you perform or cooperate in the performance of a religious skill you may do so without using a dose of liao.
- Materials: Crafting a Mendicant Cassock requires no special materials. It takes two months to make one of these items.