Digital Sacrifice

While the esoteric aspects of my life are in many ways the most important, it is not unknown for me to spend hundreds of hours exploring a select few hack and slash role playing games in the downtime between occult projects. True, the weird has been with me as long as the blood in my veins. But my heart also beats for the thrill of the kill and an all consuming lust for virtual treasure as well. Before I was a magickian I was a gamer, and it shows.

I am by nature a collector, a hoarder of unreal trinkets, and as such I take my time building the perfect digital treasure hunter to get the job done. Yet if my existence up to this point could be defined by a single tenet, it would be that the magick always wins. As such it never takes long for my more mystical interests to shade their way into the many and varied hobbies that make up my already limited free time.

One solid example of this is the following ritualistic endeavour, which I have called the digital sacrifice. All that is required to succeed in this operation is a suitable RPG, a couple of hours here and there to play it, and the skill to stay alive. Because the game has to be one utilising that usually most frustrating of optional features, the permadeath. This is an additional packet of code that binds itself to your character’s save file and erases them outright when they die. 

A little too real for most casual players perhaps, but exceedingly useful to those that dabble in Technopaganism, as you will come to appreciate by the end of this blog. In simple terms I am proposing the use of said game, and the associated option, to create and fire a meta sigil based around a given intent. Fuelled by the continued mental strain needed to keep the character alive, this is finally triggered by their all too planned demise at a certain point against a previously chosen foe.

The process is simple. Firstly, go through all the stages to create a bog standard sigil for whatever you desire at the time, but only up to the point where you have a short stream of nonsensical letters. Instead of drawing an image with these, jumble them around as you wish until you get something approaching the usual post Tolkein gibberish favoured by talentless fantasy writers, adding vowels back in as required.

This deconstructed text, in all it’s Conan-esque glory, is then used to name your character, and play begins once the permadeath option is selected. And that is all there is to the set up for this particular trick. Now, every time you revisit the status or inventory screens during the game you will be presented with the name that you have chosen, but without the time to ruminate on the meaning behind it.

Even better, during either particularly intense combat sequences requiring a swift change of equipment or the always dull and prolonged city hub trading trips essential in keeping your character well stocked you will stop noticing the name at all. This allows it to sink down deep into your subconscious where it can lay its slimy little eggs in the darkest of mental corners to eventually hatch your desired results.

Meanwhile, every close call, every hair trigger escape from a potentially ritual breaking early death works towards charging your sigil bound digital avatar with the mental energy required to make the spell fire when the time comes. This will be at a point that you decided upon previously. A given experience level perhaps, or a certain game realm. Even a boss battle that speaks to you in some personal way can work, or the successful hunt for a certain sword or spell scroll too.

After leaving any particularly choice equipment with another of your characters all that remains is to journey to that location and release your adventurer to the ages, thus firing the sigil and completing the operation successfully. The game that you decide upon to perform the digital sacrifice is up to you, though I personally like either Diablo or Torchlight, and where possible I obviously play as a necromancer. Guess I am a purist at heart after all, at least where my digital avatars are concerned.

And it is worth noting in closing that an unplanned death is not a sign that the desired outcome is doomed to failure. It is just a symptom of bad planning in game, and not automatically tied to the effectiveness of your sigil. Remake your character with the same name and start again. The key is to keep trying until you get to the point that you chose to end it all, before letting your character go gently into that good night knowing that his or her sacrifice was far from in vain.