Codex: Ancient Sorceries (2017)

Ancient Sorceries

Over the millennia of organized sorcery, whether under the auspices of the Arcanum or before its existence, the practice evolved greatly.  Many of the old methods of using sorcery, or, more properly, collecting energy for sorcerous workings have been lost or set aside.  Some of these sorceries are well documented and have those in the modern era who attempt to reconstruct them.  Others are merely vague references, often in obscure texts, that may be nothing more than mere fantasy.

Blood sorcery, or blood rites, is one of the most well known.  We have ample evidence that the practice of gathering energy for sorcery from blood letting was common among ancient sorcerers.  Those among the Aztecs, both nahuatl and those concealed within the priesthood, and the Celts were especially fond of this method.  The Arcanum forbade, and later declared illegal, the practice for the last thousand years.  There are no recorded instances of the practice in the last five hundred, at least beyond isolated incidents of lone, misguided, sorcerers.

The second most well known is sex sorcery, or rites.  There is significant evidence of this method of energy acquisition being popular in Mesopotamia, parts of India, and some Taoist and Buddhist sects in China.  The practice was never expressly forbidden, but fell out of favor, except briefly during the Victorian era, for simpler, more osmotic, means.  Recently, the Society of Sensates, a sect of the Blue Order, is said to be researching and attempting to reconstruct the methods used.

As noted above, there are also some obscure references to other sorceries.  One text, Njal.VII.a3, briefly refers to draining power from spirits.  Another, Asbridge.II.e, indicates the possibility of removing power from magical items and artifacts to fuel spells.  Many Norse and other cultures suggest that runes or other symbols could potentially contain and shape sorcery.

The Arcanum Council, officially, will not approve of the study or reconstruction of any ancient sorceries.  The Council has ruled that the time and effort to relearn them would be a waste due to the prevalence of modern sorcerous methods and their efficacy.  The Council acknowledges that such sorceries may have been useful, even necessary, millennia ago, when sorcery was young and undeveloped.  The Council also notes that such sorceries were potentially necessary in order to combat the overwhelming Ravager hordes, thus requiring greater, more powerful spells.  However, with the advent of the Guardians, such measures are both no longer necessary and threaten the secrecy of sorcerers in relation to humans.  Therefore, they are best left to rest, beyond this brief discussion.[i]

[i] The unofficial truth is the Council thinks these sorceries are too similar to modern witchcraft, maybe theurgy, and they deny an ancient ur-magic.

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