Sanctuaries are safe havens* and respawn points in Salt and Sanctuary. Players will find them throughout the game and be able to claim some for their chosen Creed or join a different Creed already present in said sanctuary. You can also convert an already claimed sanctuary to your Creed by using Crystal Sphere.
*Enemies are rarely able to track players into Sanctuaries, where any NPCs placed in the Sanctuary will rush to the player's aid in defeating the intruder.
At the Altar inside the Sanctuary, players have the chance to perform a few different actions. Those are:
- Level Up: the method of spending Salt to increase your character's HP and earn Black Pearls.
- Tree of Skill: the skill system in Salt and Sanctuary that allows players to build their characters using Black Pearls as skill points. a Black Pearl is gained on each level up and can also be found throughout the world in a few different locations.
- Make Offerings: this allows players to spend the Stone Idols to summon NPCs to the Sanctuary. Each Sanctuary receives different area bonuses based off of the Offerings you choose. Each Sanctuary can only hold up to 4 Offerings at any given time. So choose wisely.
A player can only make offerings if they have aligned themselves with a Sanctuary's Creed. If a player has not aligned themselves with the Sanctuary's Creed, they are given a fourth option to join the Sanctuary's Creed and abandon their own. This will result in gaining Sin from the Creed the player has left.
Sanctuaries already belonging to a Creed can also be desecrated by using a Stained Page. To desecrate a sanctuary you must equip the Stained Page to an item slot and walk up to the altar. Upon desecrating a Sanctuary all NPCs within the Sanctuary will become hostile to the player. Before you can use the Sanctuary you will have to defeat multiple waves of challenging "Sanctuary Guardians". The Sanctuary cannot be used until these waves of enemies are defeated, thus you can impede your ability to progress if you cannot defeat these Guardians. You can not desecrate a Sanctuary belonging to your own Creed.
Upon death or loading into a game, players will respawn at the last visited sanctuary. Players may return to the last sanctuary they visited at any time using the Bell of Return, travel to any sanctuary that has a Stone Guide using the Calling Horn, or may port to any sanctuary they have visited by talking to a Guide.
There is a second type of Sanctuary that can be claimed throughout the game, these are called Shrines. These are more like checkpoints that the player can access throughout the larger areas in the world, often found before boss rooms or halfway through long levels. These are denoted by a small room with several candles. Once the player has lit the candles, the room acts as a checkpoint and can be used to refill health and focus potions as well as any items obtained from the player's Creed. Players will also respawn here if it is the last checkpoint rested at. Unlike Sanctuaries, Shrines cannot be populated with merchants, teleported to using Guides, or specified with a creed; rather, they give the benefits of whatever creed under which the player is currently aligned when used.