HistoryThe foul Merlin claims he knows the origins of collective spellcasting. No doubt he lies, since the magi can only steal and pervert the pure, but for the sake of understanding the enemy, I will retell the story. It begins at the end of Age of Misery, when the den of sin known as Babylon fell, and with it - The Dark Empire, a true atrocity in all parts of its essence. But the vile realm controlled all the magical knowledge, and with its death, all of that knowledge was lost. Old false gods were then the only ones who could let people perform miracles. With time, they would've faded to leave just One God in charge, bringing closer The Kingdom of Our Lord... But the Magi couldn't face their loss of power. Witches, warlocks and other foul spellcasters from all around the Ecumene went off on a fool's errand to restore the arcane. They traveled beyond the known realms and brought back a new kind of magic, writes Merlin, spawn of evil. They've restored some of the lost spells and combined them with this new knowledge. With this newfound power they've brought pain and violence, seized power and controlled the world, plunging it into chaos, degradation, spawned demons and deviants. With this claimed "restoration" they've aimed to rectify the loss of miracles with collective spellcasting. In the books collected by the soiled son of an imp calling himself Merlin, it is written that this technique was deemed a more kind-natured replacement for sacrifice made by those who practiced the most evil of all witch-crafts: Blood Magic. Of course, that claim is no more than a pitiful attempt at covering God's truth with foul lies. We don't know it for sure, but I find more plausibility in the story in which the Lord tells the Old Testament prophet Haggai the secret of the Collective Sanctimonious Ceremony, and the Romans stole this secret generations later.
The Ceremony allows holy men to rectify the withering of miracles by empowering the outcome of a prayer (or a sinful arcane spell). Not all spells can be enhanced in such a manner, but there are many that can. The praying should utter the words simultaneously and move in unison, concentrating on what they set out to achieve. With every holy man participating in a correct manner, the magnitude of the miracle increases. A radiant beam summoned by a bishop can level an entire gate when uttered in ceremony together with a lot more holy men. This type of sanctimony allows the Holy See to achieve the most daring of results. There are groups of ecclesiastical trainees in the Papal States who lay down their entire lives to perfect their ceremonial ability so they could protect entire fleets from malicious magic, or build an entire cathedral in a day.
The use of (not exactly objective) tone here makes the piece feel more like a document written in-world. Neat!
Andrew Belenkiy aka Teyvill Dost
Thanks! That's the idea! All the years I've studied historical sources (which are **all** biased in a way or another), never occured to me before to use it for worldbuilding, but now I think it's the greatest idea I had xD