The Impalement Ritual, also known as Rite of Stakes, is a ritual in Fatal Frame III: The Tormented to put a chosen Tattooed Priestess to sleep and carry all the sorrow's of the living to the other side with them. The ritual was a way to keep Tattooed Priestesses who could not stay asleep from awaking and wandering around.
The Impalement Ritual takes place in the Chamber of Thorns. The four young Handmaidens hammer tattooed stakes through the priestess' hands and feet, pinning her in place. While doing this, the Handmaidens sing the Sleeping Priestess lullaby to help her fall into her deep eternal sleep.
PreparationEditThe first thing to start out, was picking a woman to be the next Tattooed Priestess for the ritual. To do so, they find one that had great sorrow in her life, losing all of her loved ones or such. The woman is then brought to the Kuze Family, and taken in as their own and placed in a special room to live in. Through her life, she is taught about writing all her sorrows down onto a mirror to forget everything and let things go. The Handmaidens, four of which, are picked to learn the song of the Lullaby, Sleeping Priestess. They practice, by driving stakes into red paper made dolls into one of the four small rooms that they watch and practice in. While the Priestess and Handmaidens prepare, it is then that the Head of the Kuze Family allows outsiders and visitors to come inside to pray. Most of these people are women, and with them they tend to bring large bundles wrapped up tightly. These bundles are the dead bodies of their loved ones. Whenever a male was brought into the mansion, it was either to continue the bloodline, or to kill them for their living blood, called Red Ink, to go with the visiting women that gave some of their blood. The dead bodies are drained completely of all the blood they have, known as Blue Ink. Through this collecting the Engravers, or Needle Women as they are called in the game, mix the blood together into a Purple Ink, called Ink of the Soul in the game, that is used on the Priestess at the time. As well, the Priestess is soon placed in a hanging prison, "etching her sorrows" into a special mirror brought to her so she can forget her own pain.
The RitualEditThe first thing to do, before the Impalement Ritual is to begin, is for the Engravers to start etching the ink onto the skin of the Priestess. This happens in a special shrine deep inside the mansion. And only where the Priestess, Engravers, Handmaidens, and the Family Head go. Slowly, as the start of the tattoo is placed on her skin, in almost a supernatural fashion, it starts to grow and etch across the Priestess' skin on its own. At that time, she is then placed in another hanging type cell, but this one deep down inside of the shrine, close to where the Tattooed Priestess is supposed to go. While the Tattoo of the Holly and Snake completely cover the woman head to toe with the blue markings, except for the eyes, it is then that she is lowered down to the circling staircase to where the Handmaidens walk down while singing the Sleeping Priestess Lullaby. Once there, the Tattooed Priestess is then taken over two pathways, over a semi-deep river cave that is hidden under the mansion and is supposed to lead to the Other Side. As they travel, it is said that the Tattooed Priestess, Handmaidens, and the Family Head soon come to the Chamber of Thorns. Where all Priestesses were staked and placed there to sleep for all eternity. The Handmaidens soon do their job, and place the Priestess in a spot in the Chamber of Thorns, and begin their duty. Singing while they stake the Priestess' four limbs to the ground or wall. Once done, it is said that the Priestess will soon fall asleep and forever dream a long dream, carrying all the sorrows and pain of people with her to the Other Side.
In the warnings of the ritual, the tattoo is to never suppose to reach and cover the eyes - or they will turn into mirrors and reflect back the sorrow and pain onto everyone else around. It is also said that if this was to ever happen, the shrine carpenters are to make a Shrine of Sleep around the Priestess, to keep her locked up inside. Sacrificing their lives to lock it, and the Tattooed Priestess to never leave at all. But in the end, it happened, and the ritual failed. Men were never allowed deep inside the shrine, or inside the Chamber of Thorns, but it happened. And it was with one male's death, that caused the tattoo to be reflected out of the mirror-like eyes of the Priestess and soon spread across the mansion.
Another rule is that handmaidens are to never let in outsiders or men into the mansion at any costs. If they do, they must be staked down at the bottom of the circling stairway to the Chamber of Thorns, just like the Priestess herself.