THE PENTECOST RITUAL
“People, it’s time to kick some butt. They’ve had it easy for too long…”
“Mes amis, il est temps pour nous de combattre nos ennemis maintenant. Ils ne peuvent pas nous arrêter…”
“Es hora para nosotros de matar a la gente malvada. Tenemos fuerza…”
The Pentecost Ritual is the stuff of legend itself. While under the effect of the ritual, what you say is understood by every human within hearing range, regardless of whether they speak your language or not. They understand the meaning you are trying to convey, rather than hearing a confusing literal translation. If you use poetic phrases, idioms or cultural metaphors, they are converted into similar embellishments that the hearer understands. Best of all however, if you are trying to convince people of something, they will hear the type of language and level of eloquence that they need to hear, making them tend to want to agree with you. It is a power that has been sought down the centuries by kings and politicians, priests, demagogues, generals, salesmen, and academics alike, but few have ever mastered it, despite the relative simplicity of the ritual.
The base ingredients for the ritual are the tongues of people who speak more than one language fluently. A dozen whole tongues must be harvested from people who spoke at least 20 different languages between them, including Mandarin, English, Hindi, Spanish and Arabic. The ‘donor’ need not be alive when the tongue is taken, but it must be fresh when the ritual commences. That means the tongue must have been separated (or the donor have died) no more than 2 days ago if at room temperature, or a week if refrigerated. Do not freeze any of the tongues.
Put the tongues into a large wooden pestle, and mash them together with a mortar which has a handle shaped like an owl’s head. They must be mashed and stirred together for 24 hours without pause. Every thirty minutes, the stirrer must add a minor charge and at least a tenth of a pint of their own blood into the bowl, which is soaked up by the tongue mash. During all of this time the entries from a dictionary must be continually read aloud in alphabetical order. The dictionary does not have to be English, but it does have to be long enough to support the 24-hour recitation; if the last entry is reached, the ritual will fail. Similarly, the stirrer does not have to do the reading, and both stirrer and reader may be relieved by colleagues providing neither activity actually ceases. All the blood must come from one person, so if the stirrer does take a break, someone must siphon some of her blood off for each half-hour mark. The minor charges can come from any combination of participants, however.
At the end of 24 hours, all the unread entries from the dictionary must be torn from the book and laid on a silver plate blessed by a priest, and the paper they are written upon burnt. The ashes are then added to the pestle, and three significant charges spent on the mixture. Providing that none of the tongues came from a person who was born on a Sunday, the mixture will reduce and clarify into a sparkling blue potion, which must be decanted into a crystal container.
When the entire potion is drunk, it confers the Pentecost effect upon the drinker, subject to certain limitations and dangers. In practical terms, the speaker will by sympathetically understood by anyone who understands a human language, and will gain a +25% shift to any soul skill used during that time. Listeners will want to hear what the speaker has to say. The speaker’s voice may be amplified without spoiling the effect, but not recorded or transmitted to another location. The ritual effect ends when the speaker stops talking for more than five seconds, although the effect the speaker’s words had on others continues.
There is a price, however. At the end of the effect, the speaker is left unable to communicate directly or indirectly with anyone or anything for an amount of time equal to the amount of time spent talking. She cannot read or understand speech, sign language, the meaning in pictures, or anything else. Similarly, she cannot express her cognition in any form whatsoever. Everything is gibberish, both in and out. If she expects the effect she can make allowances, let herself be led away and shepherded along. Either way, the strain requires checks against Isolation, Self and Unnatural stresses, at rank 4 if the effect is expected, or rank 7 if it is not.