See also Spirit Powers.
Source: M. A. Lloyd
The Path of Spirits is concerned with true supernatural powers - monsters, the fey, demons, and gods. This is the path of summoning and banishment, exorcism and control of demons, conjuring up monsters, and creating undead. It is regarded differently than the other Paths in many traditions, as the knowledge marking a sorcerer.
Most traditions are associated with a particular assortment of supernatural beings, which can be called on and influenced by the Path of Spirits. Ordinarily the rituals involved contain similar elements for all the entities in the tradition - for example angels and demons both respond to the same holy symbols, the forms of the mass, and the names of God. This is not necessarily true between traditions. Once that didn't matter, but in the modern world traditions often interact, and an eclectic magician might deal with several sets of entities. In that case he needs several different Path of Spirits skills - angels don't respond to the non-Euclidean geometry, chaotic staring patterns and irrational interval musical scales used to deal with the Cthulhu mythos; and one must be careful not to confuse which entities are bound by the Seal of Solomon and which by the Yellow Sign....
Source: Jonathan Lang
This Path overlaps with a number of other paths in a few cases. In each case, the Path of Spirits treats the being as a supernatural entity first and an embodiment of the path in question second, while the other paths do exactly the reverse.
the Path of the Dead: Ghosts and other Undead the Path of the Elements Elementals the Path of Nature: Anima
Expels a spirit from a person, object or place, ending any form of possession or control. For the duration of the ritual the spirit may not return to whatever it was expelled from. At an additional -10 penalty the spirit may be expelled from the material world entirely, reproducing the traditional limited duration banishment.
Summons a supernatural entity by name. The framework is the same for most entities within a tradition - Command, Call and Invite are not distinct. An unmodified roll allows any willing entity to appear. Unwilling entities get a resistance roll, and may require a success margin (4 for moderate manifestations, 8 for greater manifestations, more for powerful gods). An entity can be summoned into a protected space if the magician helped erect the ward, but if the ward could potentially hold the entity, it will try to resist. Summoned entities are not constrained to do (or not do) anything other than appear. Powerful demons may respond willingly, confident the magician cannot Master them once they arrive.
This ritual enables the subject to hear and speak to spirits for it's duration. It can be used as a hostile ritual if the subject wouldn't want to hear ghostly voices etc. and would be resited as such if it were.
The ritual can allow the subject to speak *silently* to a spirit if cast at a -3 penalty.
Wards off spirits. As VO p80.
Compels an entity to perform one or more tasks. As VO p79. A task may be to share some bit of information, but teaching a skill is well beyond a single task.
Wards off In-Betweeners and Devourers. As VO p80.
Harms a spirit. As VO p80.
Any spirit under a sorceror's 'command', be it a willing ally or under the effects of a controlling ritual like Command, Evil Eye, Spirit Searcher or similar magic, can be subjected to this ritual, (It can be 'merged' with a controlling ritual into a single casting (both ritual rolls must be made and casting time is as for two rituals).
If successful the sorcerer can see what the 'servant' spirit sees.
This ritual works for any senses the spirit and the sorcerer share, but each sensing ritual must be cast separately, ie Mary casts Spirit Eyes three times on her Spirit Ally Jake to be able to see, hear and smell what Jake would. Range works for the combined IQ (plus alertness or relevant accute sense) of spirit and sorcerer combined.
Example: Mary has +2 Accute hearing, IQ 13. Jake has IQ 9. She would be able to see or smell what Jake did up to a distance of 22 miles, but hear up to 24 miles from the ghost.
Any severance of the link between caster and spirit ends the ritual. If Jake goes more than 22 miles from Mary, the hearing ritual still is functioning. Even if he gets closer, vision and smell are gone.
Harms an In-Betweener. As VO p80.
This ritual gives the subject an astral body component. It is a magic construction not an extention of the subject's form it provides one half (round down) the Will of the subject in hit points and 1 DR for every two points the roll is made by if the subject is an initiate, 1 DR for every 3 points otherwise.
As the name implies, the subject's body makes solid contact with spiritual enties and astral objects. The subject can physically strike a spirit. (If the DR of the contruct is 2 or higher, this adds +2 to any damage done. Otherwise use normal hand to hand damage for the character.)
He or she can also be struck by them, but the astral construct nature of this ritual means it will take damage but the subject won't. (Unless the attacking spirit can normally do damage to the subject.) Knockdown, Knockback and Slam attack results will affect the subject. The ghost of a 300 pound linebacker could plant the subject into a wall, for instance, or off of a cliff!
The spell can be used against the subject, magicks that keep spirits out WILL stop someone under the affects of this ritual and the subject would be trapped until the ritual wore off unless he or she could shatter the astral construct by ramming into the barrier enough times. Doing so runs a risk of demonstrating magic to mundanes however. A subject could make a running leap at the barrier and suddenly stop exactly as if he or she had hit an invisible wall.
The barrier has the same chance of being broken this way as it would against attacks by a real spirit.
I recommend simply removing one Voodoo ritual: Spirit Searcher. Of course spirits can explain anything, but that is no reason to add an effect to the Path of Spirits. If you want a spirit to search for something, summon one and use Mastery to order it to go searching.
This Mystery enchants an edged weapon. It will inflict normal damage on incorporeal spirits or other entities immune to weapons. Those that lack hit points suffer fatigue or lose will instead. Enchanted blades will not break on a parry, and automatically resist accidental breakage, rust or other random hazards, but are no more resistant to deliberate abuse than before the enchantment.
Binds a spirit in some object, to a particular place, or to a specific task permanently. The spirit must by at hand. The maximum constraint imprisons the spirit in the object, it is unable to do anything at all until it is released by the removal of the spell or the breaking of the object, though the GM may allow it to attempt to possess someone touching the trap. The caster may impose some other set of constraints on the spirit instead. He might bind the spirit to remain nearby and haunt (or protect) that to which it is bound, he might allow the spirit to do whatever it likes, subject to the constraint anyone can summon it to the item and require it to perform a service, or he might require the spirit to remain in the object and use its powers at the command of the item's owner, creating a magic item produces some power the spirit was capable of.
Spirits are going to resist most of the time, but sometimes may be willing to take on lighter services. Becoming a bound guardian might be better than dissolution for a ghost, facing a Ritual of Slaying, or even just sitting around in the notoriously dull spirit realms found in many traditions.