|“||The Memory Palace...Cross the rainbow, then follow the drops of blood to the royal garden.||„|
|~ Words engraved on the Book of Rituals with a first image from Mt. Olympus.|
|“||Controller of the rainbow. God backwards like a devil. Follow the royal garden to the drops of blood.||„|
|~ Words engraved on the Book of Rituals with a second image from Mt. Olympus.|
The Book of Rituals is a mysterious magical spellbook possessing untold sorcery used simply in ritual magic to conduct ceremonies and cast spells and even to summon strange creatures and supernatural entities. This artifact is used in the side-quest sequence at the end of the videogame Shadow Hearts to acquire the power of the Seraphic Radiance. While there are officially only three mystic tomes of unfathomable power known as the Three Ancient Tomes, the Book of Rituals functions as a sort of forth book, though it origins are not as well documented as its sister books.
The Book of Rituals is one of the many forbidden texts that Father James O'Flaherty was hunting down though not specifically one of the Three Ancient Tomes stolen from the Vatican. It's history is a mystery but considering it is found in Father O'Flaherty's grave and James O'Flaherty was tasked by the Vatican to hunt down forbidden texts for safe isolation, Father O'Flaherty likely came across and confiscated it during his hunt for the Three Ancient Tomes. It seems likely the Book of Rituals has just as dark a history of use as the Three Ancient Tomes. It catalogs eldritch places and safe paths through them in it. It almost certainly was put to dark uses before James O'Flaherty got to it. Considering it was found at James O'Flahert's grave and not on his body, it is possible that the book was not actually in O'Flaherty's possession at the time he died; If this is the case, the most likely person to bury it with Father O'Flaherity is Roger Bacon himself to keep it's secrets hidden from the world.
How to Get
Have Alice Elliot and Zhuzhen Li in your party and then head to the Nemeton Monastery and head north, just north of Roger Bacon's house. The sequence can be triggered if Yuri Hyuga acquires the Émigré Manuscript before going to meet Koudelka Iasant just before entering the game's final dungeon. While Zhuzhen examines James O'Flaherty's grave Yuri will reveal his troubled childhood past to Alice. Shortly after the back-story Alice will begin to confess her feelings for Yuri however Zhuzhen will interrupt mid-sentence shouting about his discovery of the Book of Rituals.
The Book of Rituals itself is a manuscript used to summon the Seraphic Radiance. Open the book while on the World Map to open a new location called the Ancient Ruins. The book chronicles the path through the Ancient Ruins while the Émigré Manuscript chronicles the location of the Cave Temple. Completing both dungeons makes unlocking the power of the Seraphic Radiance a possibility.
The Ancient Ruins start off with a large open area with a pool of water in the center and a sealed door to the side. The first clue of the Book of Rituals gives you the path to follow. With the side-door blocked the only way to go is the main hallway. Going down the main hall-way will show three more paths, each with two torches on either side. The torches are different colors so finding the correct path comes from following the books descriptions as the flames reflect the elements. As the book speaks of drops of blood the first path is that of Red, followed by Orange, Yellow, Green, Light-Blue, Dark-Blue, Purple The passages are invested with monsters and so even following the correct path will be a serious trek through hostile territory. At the last phase Yuri is brought through the sealed door and the pool lowers to reveal stairs that go downward. A treasure room is at the bottom holding a chest with the armor of Alice's best armor. However the Book is not worked it's full potential yet.
Yuri needs to leave the Ancient Ruins and check the Book of Rituals again, it's text changes going to encourages the reader to walk the path backwards. Reentering the Ancient Ruins the pool will again be raised and the door sealed. In addition the position of the lights has changed in the first hallway. The opposite pattern needs to be followed naturally and the path is Purple, Dark-Blue, Light-Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. As before the passages are infested with monsters. Yuri will arrive at the doorway again and can progress into the pool. This time at the center of the treasure room is a large skinless winged humanoid named Seraphim. Seraphim indicates it has been sleeping and awoken by the rituals preformed from the book. Yuri will need to fight the creature once it awakens. Seraphim has several holy based moves and a massive physical attack but less than half the health of the previous boss, Cherubim, from the Cave Temple. Seraphim is described as a demon that takes on the appearance and name of an angel as a mockery of it. Defeating the Seraphim will allow Yuri and his team to get Halley Plunkett (also known as Halley Brankett's ultimate weapon.
Relation to the other books
As the Book of rituals is not one of the three tomes but requires all three to unlock the place and prep the rites to bring forth the Seraphic Radiance and save Alice from the Four Masks, it is vital to end game preparations for Shadow Hearts 's good ending. It's precise origin is never gone into. It is unclear if the book was actually written by Roger Bacon, as well, but seeing as Roger makes no claims of needing to hide it is is quite possibly entirely unrelated and may be a work of Vatican scholars trying to make use of the other three books. However as The Book of Rituals is largely an instruction manual it has no real innate powers by itself, that falls entirely to the user to create their own magic rites. Since there Cave Temple and Ancient Ruins are both guarded by child abusing spirits using the guise of angelic images, it is likely that the Book of Rituals specifically sealed them and has a means to unsealing them to those who would seek the power of those seals for their own ends. James O'Flaherty as an exorcist for the Vatican along with Morris Elliot, Alice's father, would have not only have access to the book if it was penned by Roger, since he was hunting for the other three, but might also have it if it was penned specifically by Vatican scholars. Since Morris Elliot traveled with O'Flaherty at first it is even possible that Elliot wrote the book himself and the rites were intended to seal the books with the demons within, this might make sense thematically as the Book of Rituals's rites are ultimately the only way to save Alice. However the precises origin of the book is ultimately unknown. In the following game Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Yuri states he and Roger hid the three books used but there is no indication as to what happened to the Book of Rituals, with no inherent magic powers it posed no threat on it's own so it was likely given to Roger as a simple reference book.
- The Seraphim is described as sneaking into the rooms of little girls and eating their dreams.
- It's counterpart in the Cave Temple, revealed by the Émigré prior to opening the Ancient Ruins, is called Cherubim, while the Seraphim is described as an incubus the Cherubim is described as a ghost, but both assume the appearance of traditional angels and both prey on children, Cherubim possesses children and eats them alive slowly from the inside.