Doskvol needs Sin Eaters!

I’m not sure if that already came up here, but I think this is too cool to not include in your games for Blades. As usual Atlas Obscura posted this some years ago (Link)

“WHEN A LOVED ONE DIED in parts of England, Scotland, or Wales in the 18th and 19th centuries, the family grieved, placed bread on the chest of the deceased, and called for a man to sit in front of the body. The family of the deceased watched as this man, the local professional sin eater, absorbed the sins of the departed’s soul.”

Now, let’s imagine the impact of life in Doskvol:

  • Is this ritual a real one?
  • Does the Sin Eater have to be a Whisper or just some talented person? Or is it a Spirit Warden (see below)?
  • Is there a formal education / school of Sin Eaters?
  • What do the Spirit Wardens think of this habit/ritual? What is the timing concerning this ritual and what the Wardens do with the body.
  • What does the Extasy of the Flesh thinks about it?
  • Is this just a fancy thing for the rich and famous?
  • what’s the cultural background, like Akoros, Skovland, Tycheros, all of them?

A penny for your thoughts about this.


If it is a thing I would imagine it would be an underground cult activity. Given that the Church of the Ecstasy of the Flesh preaches the corruption of the soul it would probably seen at the very least as a dangerous time waster that prevents the proper authorities from claiming dead bodies, or at worst a heretical practice that proposes that sin can be cleansed from the soul. Perhaps the church maintains that the soul is itself the embodiment of sin itself. In any case I don’t see his being a widespread practice, and certainly not one that is formally taught, much less to the Spirit Wardens


It seems like it´d be a rather heretical cult thing, like Cochlearia says, because the soul itself is assumed to be evil (hence ghosts), supposedly balanced by the virtuous flesh.


@Cochlearia @Argent Thanks for your thoughts!

I see it a bit differently. Good point regarding sin and spirit as seen by the Chruch. For me sin eating is a thing only for the rich because it doesn’t come cheap. The expensive promise of the Sin Eater is that there is, after all, a small piece of the spirit that is good and may be treasured if one manages to separate the dark, sinful part of the spirit from the rest.
It may be that this is not an official interpretation of the church, but there have always been people in every group who want to be more equal than the rest.
This says nothing about whether the promise is real, whether it is a genuine ritual or just a hoax to separate the rich from their money. Maybe it’s also a good opportunity to divert some of the Ecoplasma in advance (before the Wardens appear) and sell it afterwards (Dimmer Sisters are certainly a good buyer).

So, thanks again for you time and thoughts. Always good to see it from another perspective.


I didn´t mean to say that I thought it would be wrong! The very concept of a heretical cult among the ultrarich, seeing themselves as a cut apart from the rabble, is a perfect fit for BitD. I only meant in the sense that it is probably a hush-hush thing kept in secret salons (which incidentally makes it perfect for blackmail and conmen!).