Sacrificial altar

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There are various altars all around the city of Ephebe where you can donate money, offer gifts to the gods, and sacrifice animals to receive temporary divine rewards.

Altars

You can find the following altars around Ephebe:

Deity Altar Location Can Offer...
Aegadon Dockside Walk (at junction with Paradox Avenue) Fish
Astoria Southern Gardens (3n,2e from southern entrance) "Rose" items
Bast Eureka Chase (n, nw from House of Bathing) Fish
Cubal Own temple Coal
Flatulus Own temple "Bean" items
Offler Own temple Bird corpses
Patina Street of Enlightenment (1 sw of junction of Flatulus Walk, Long Avenue and Street of Enlightenment) Books
Reebox Tuvelpit Road (outside sports equipment shop)  ?????
Zephyrus Own temple  ?????

There is also a roadside altar on Philosopher's Walk (1w,1nw of the toga shop), with rotates as to which deity it is dedicated to. In addition to the deities above with permanent altars, the following deities have also been seen:

Deity Altar Location Can Offer...
Blind Io Philosopher's Walk Human eyes

The rotation happens about every 40-55 minutes, and seems to be random. It looks like this:

A priestess of Aegadon, God of the Sea strides in triumphantly and plasters over the old inscription, before carefully carving a new one.

Rewards

The actual reward received is randomly picked from the set of rewards for the deity in question. Moreover, the stat bonus reward--if it's more than one point--can be split among the stats that the deity in question can give you a stat bonus to. Sacrificing to Cubal might for example result in one of the following rewards:

  • Divine protection for a certain amount of time
  • One point strength and one point intelligence boost
  • Two points strength boost

The different deities offer:

It seems that better offerings result in better rewards.

Offering Stat bonus Major Shield Bless Tongues Clarify FTF
Chicken one stat point for ten minutes five minutes 380 seconds seven to nine and a half minutes
Goat two stat points for ten minutes ten minutes 290 seconds thirty-five to thrity-seven minutes
Calf
Item one stat point for ten minutes five minutes 410 seconds 60 - 210 seconds
money

Note that wizards and witches are excluded from receiving the above rewards, as per the Achievement: Sacred Stabber achievement text. The exception is Zephyrus, who will still grant FTF. Otherwise, there is no punishment for the attempt to offer, donate, or sacrifice. Animals may still be sacrificed at altars by wizards/witches for the sacrifice achievement.

Skillchecks

The check to use an altar is faith.rituals.special (and crafts.husbandry.animal.slaughtering, for animal sacrifices).

Offering objects

You can "offer <object> to <deity>" at these altars. This costs 30 gp. Each deity appears to have a specific type of item they accept, though what that item type might be is unknown for Zephyrus and Reebox.

For Astoria, items with the word "rose" in them appear to work (i.e., pale "rose" chiton). Similarly, Flatulus wants "bean" items (i.e., baked "bean", coffee "bean", runner "bean"...). For Cubal, the coal has to be a large enough piece: a 1/9 lb pebble isn't big enough, but some pebbles are.

If you try to "offer" an inappropriate or inadequate thing, you get the item back. Whether or not there's a punishment appears to depend on whether you pass the skillcheck--if you have enough faith.rituals.special, there's no penalty to experimenting.

Trying to offer something that's not the type of item they want:

You reverentially place the lightable torch on the high altar.  It looks so out of place that you quickly remove it, a little embarassed; maybe you should try something more to the liking of Cubal, Lord of the Flame.

Trying to offer Cubal an amount of coal that's too small:

You reverentially place the black mineral pebble on the high altar.  It looks like such a paltry amount that you quickly remove it, a little embarassed; maybe you should try a more substantial offering.

You also can't offer more than one item at once:

You would struggle to deal with that many items at once in a suitably reverential manner.

Sacrificing animals

Apart from deity-specific offerings, you can also sacrifice a chicken, a goat, or a calf. Astoria, alone, does not accept animal sacrifices: her altar has no provision for tying the animal to it.

There are several associated achievements for this, in the "Prayer" category:

Acquisition

Appropriate animals may be bought from Zevgatis' stall in the Harbour Market. You can also find chickens (hens and roosters) and goats wandering the streets of Ephebe--these can be led around and sacrificed exactly the same as animals you actually bought.

Be aware that if you buy an animal from Zevgatis, all that happens is that the animal is put into the room and is therefore available to be led around. The animal can wander off if you don't start leading it quickly enough.

Zevgatis will also offer to put a harness on the animal for you, for an extra charge. It's assumedresearch that this makes the skillcheck to lead it easier.

Leading

First, you need to get the animal to the altar. You simply "lead <animal>": this makes them follow you and prevents them from wandering off, and uses crafts.husbandry.animal.grooming. This takes 4 gp every time you go to another room while leading the animal. If you run out of gp and then leave the room, the animal is left in the room, you stop trying to lead it, and if you had a harness on it the harness is left in your inventory. When leading the animal successfully, it also follows through Divine Hand.

If you have a harness, you can "harness <animal>" with it first.

If you want to stop leading the animal, you can "unlead <animal>". Just losing the animal will make them stop following you, but it won't make you stop leading them--the distinction is important, since you can only lead one animal at a time. Tying them to an altar will also make you stop leading them.

Tying

Next, you'll need to tie the animal to the altar. This uses 10 gp and the syntax is "tie <animal> [to altar]". (If it was harnessed, the harness is automatically removed and left on the ground.) You can also "untie" the animal--if you do this, it will panic and run away (apparently only one room), requiring you to go after it and lead it again.

Sacrificing

Finally, you need to sacrifice the animal. The syntax is "sacrifice <victim> to <deity> with <weapon>". No special ceremonial weapon is necessary: a regular dagger will work. This uses faith.rituals.special and crafts.husbandry.animal.slaughtering, and takes a varying amount of gp--larger animals require more gp and higher bonuses.

  • Sacrificing a chicken uses 80 GP
  • Sacrificing a goat uses 120 GP
  • Sacrificing a calf uses 240 GP

A crafts.husbandry.animal.slaughtering failure looks something like this:

The plump brown and white calf dies.
Shouting incomprehensibly, you clumsily stab the plump brown and white calf with the black steel dagger.
As a method of killing something, this works quite well, but no deity would even notice such an amateur display.

This kind of failure doesn't give you any reward, but it doesn't count against you, either.

Failures

If an offer attempt is failed, some possible "rewards" for failure may includeresearch:

  • Nothing
  • Temporary blindness
  • Stat penalty (Dex -1, Con -1, Str -1, Wis -1, Int -1)

There is an achievement, Deity Displeaser, for being struck blind like this.

If you attempt to sacrifice to the wrong god--for example, trying to sacrifice to Offler while at the Cubal high altar--that is a failure.

sacrifice goat to offler with dagger
Screaming wildly, you plunge the black steel dagger into the heart of the spirited black goat in a very pious fashion that would make any deity sit up and take notice.
You spread your arms dramatically and loudly proclaim that no god is greater than Great Offler of the Bird-Haunted Mouth.
Your skin prickles and the air grows cold.  Perhaps that was the wrong choice.
The spirited black goat dies.
You feel the burning glare of Cubal upon you.
You have gained the minor achievement Deity Displeaser, in which you were blind to the needs of the gods. (5000 xp)
The voice of Cubal, Lord of the Flame, whispers in your head: "As you are blind to what pleases me, so shall you be blind to all."
The world goes black! You are blind.

However, this only applies if you try to sacrifice to a deity who accepts offerings. Trying to sacrifice to, say, Sandelfon, or misspelling the name of the deity you're trying to sacrifice to, will have no effect: you'll just be told that "You cannot offer to <name> here".

Doing this also leaves a corpse on the ground, while sacrificing an animal correctly doesn't.

Stealing offerings

The gods will also punish people who attempt to take recent offerings from their altars. Offenders will be struck by lightning, which reduces your hp to 1, makes you unconscious for three minutes, and does not allow you to actually take the offering.

There is an associated achievement, Shocking Theft, for doing this twice.

Time limit

You can only make offerings so often. If you try to make an offering less than fifteen minutes after the last attempt, the offering is "accepted", but you don't get anything from it:

offer candle to astoria
You carefully set the rose scented candle in pride of place on the marble altar.
You preach the glory of Astoria, Goddess of Love, in an inspiring and eloquent fashion.
The gods have already rewarded you recently; greed is not a virtue.
You feel Astoria did not deign to notice your offering.

An offering that you failed due to the crafts.husbandry.animal.slaughtering skillcheck does not count against this time limit.

Alignment

Making offerings affects your alignment. It appears that each deity you can make offerings to has a "target" alignment that offerings/sacrifices move you towards. The exact details aren't yet knownresearch, but roughly they seem to be:

  • Some good alignment: Astoria, Patina, Reebox
  • Neutral: Aegadon, Io, Offler, Zephyrus
  • Some evil alignment: Bast, Cubal, Flatulus

The exact amount your alignment is moved seems to vary somewhat. It seems that sacrificing larger animals may have a more significant effect.