Although most will not openly state so, all realms allow for the personal Defense of Ordeal. Part of the reason for this is the presence of the Powers That Be themselves, who do take an active interest and participate in the daily affairs of the people. The problem is that they do not always work together, and sometimes work at cross purposes – a particular person undergoing trial may be fiercely loyal to a particular deity but have angered a different one.
During the ordeal, the opposing deity may act to harm the individual with intent, while the supportive one may simply not be paying full attention.
Nevertheless, there is usually someone who requests it. Often the young, who are beginning to lose the fear of the Powers That Be and the anger towards them. An interesting thing about Trials by Ordeal involving magic comes to mind. Some have figured on using magic to escape the effects of an ordeal. The spell is cast, and for all intents appears to work perfectly, except if it goes against a God’s Will, nothing happens.
Ordeals are overseen by the Temple and replace a standard trial for that region unless the realm has a formal declaration of Trial by Ordeal. The outcome of a trial is absolute – it is as the God’s desire, and only a damn fool argues with a God.
Ordeals can only be called for by the Accused, and while they can demand it beneath any Power they are consecrated by, it may be done under the power of the Accuser’s Power.
While it is not perfect, for the most part the Powers That Be do, in fact, pay attention and intervene. The possible Ordeals are as follows:
Accused faces the trials designed for the Grand Games
Accused must submit to being branded
Accused must place hand in a fire or grasp a hot stone
As above, but each side selects a Champion
Individual fights Accuser in a one-on-one battle. First blood, usually, death for high crimes
Accused and Accuser must stand with arms raised parallel to ground. First to drop
Accused is buried except their face for a specified period of time
Accused is tossed into water – if they sink, they are innocent if they float, they are guilty
Accused is submerged in frigid water for five minutes
Accused must ingest sacred items (such as holy water)
Accused must endure having molten metal poured on their body
Accused must retrieve a stone from the bottom of a cauldron full of boiling oil
Accused must sit within a pyre for five minutes
Accused must endure without food or water, unclothed, in a chamber, for a set time
Accused must drink a concoction of some sort (traditionally Sulphur)
Accused must walk three paces (9 feet or so) across burning hot coals
Accused must retrieve a stone from the bottom of a cauldron full of boiling water
Accused has stones equal to the weight of themselves/ their accuser placed on top of them for a variable amount of time