Domin / Dei - Most powerful gods, rulers of the others. Great sacrifice required to move them to action, but their interventions are dramatic and powerful.
Sicar / Ius - Gods of war, raids, butchers, harvest, conquest. Respond to even small amounts of sacrifice with equivalent actions; takes a great deal of sacrifice to bring move them to great action, but a tiny amount will bring tiny divine interventions
Sacrifice rules according to the laws of nature are simple - the thing sacrificed must be destroyed utterly, and the response from the gods will be proportional to the value of the thing to the person offering it up.
Priests have added a great deal of meaningless ritual to this simple fact.
Shadows danced across the altar as a purple robed acolyte lead a bull on to the dias. The dawn was silent except for the crackling of the bonfire and the bull’s pained snorts. The legion, with its customary efficiency, had gone quiet just before the main sacrifice was to be made. No man wanted to be the one to disrupt an offering to Jupiter on the eve of battle. Even the birds seemed to hush in anticipation.
Marcus stood in the front rank, shield braced against his legs and right hand on the pommel of his short sword. He’d always wondered if the bull knew what was coming. If maybe the gods whispered something soft and comforting in its ear before the cut that would drop its guts steaming to the altar. He’d never been this close before, of course. The most veteran soldier would be forty men back, craning his neck to see over the feathers and insignia of the centurions ringing the dias. But he’d been promoted to lieutenant after the last battle, and in the Fifth legion the newest officer always stood closest to the sacrifice. The gift of the gods was felt strongest there, and when it came the new man’s dedication would be sealed.
Or so he’d been told.
In times of peace, when priests and senators only sought wisdom and good fortune, the proper offering to Jupiter was a white heifer slaughtered at high noon. The entrails were burnt and the meat passed around as a feast in the god’s honor. The pageantry was