All beings in the Hari Ragat universe possess Baraka, spiritual energy, in varying degrees; supernatural creatures have more of it, as do the Orang Dakila, the noble warrior class, being descended from the gods.
Baraka can be transferred from one being to another in various ways:
Slaying a being rich in Baraka allows the slayer to absorb some of that being’s Baraka; eating of its flesh, or taking its head, allows absorption of all the slain’s Baraka.
Intimate physical contact also transfers some Baraka from the being with more of it to the being with less; thus a mortal who makes love to a Diwata will gain some of the Diwata’s Baraka.
Because Baraka can also be leached away, the Vijadesans have developed many practices to prevent its unnecessary loss. For example, because the act of sex transfers Baraka, warriors are enjoined to remain celibate just before a battle. Contact with anything that could make the warrior’s spirit impure will also leach away Baraka, so these too must be avoided.
People also try to avoid sites known to be infested with spirits, lest the spirits draw away their Baraka. Similarly, people make sure to offer to the spirits with every meal, lest the spirits take offense and steal the diners’ Baraka.
Harvesting Baraka is a vital part of Vijadesan culture. Warriors and shamans are continuously expending their Baraka in their efforts to protect the community, so it is very important that they strive to gain more.
In war it is customary to take the head of a worthy opponent, as this allows the victor to absorb all of the slain’s Baraka. As each side wants to prevent the enemy from taking the Baraka of its heroes, the fall of a hero often spurs a furious fight over the slain hero’s body to prevent the taking of his head.
Players can spend their characters’ Baraka to achieve magical effects in the game. Shamans spend Baraka when casting spells; warriors spend Baraka to increase the efficacy of their attacks and defenses.
It’s also possible to ‘fix’ Baraka into objects by ritual means. Sacred tattoos convert a character’s Baraka into a permanent ‘tattoo magic’ pool at a 5:1 rate. For example if my character has 25 Baraka, I can convert those to add +5 to my character’s tattoos. This pool is self-renewing, unlike the Baraka pool which, like money, is gone once it’s spent. The same rule applies to magical weapons and shields.