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This ritual is part of Urizen lore rather than Imperial lore.

Rules

Day Magnitude 22

Urizen Lore

This ritual is part of Urizen lore rather than Imperial Lore. Any Urizen character with the appropriate lore can master or perform this ritual. A character from another nation who mastered the ritual before it became part of Urizen lore may still perform it, but does so under the usual rules for performing a ritual learned from a ritual text.

Performing the Ritual

Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets a character, who must be present throughout.

This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.

Effects

The target of this ritual gains remarkable precision and a keen sense of the perfect moment to launch a projectile. They gain the marksman skill.

In addition, the target experiences a powerful roleplaying effect; you feel a strong sense of clarity and calm, and experience an urge to watch events unfold around you before taking sudden decisive action.

The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event.

Additional Targets

This ritual can affect additional characters from the same banner. Each additional character increases the magnitude by 13. Additional characters must be present throughout.

Description

This ritual was codified at the Halls of Knowledge while they were still in Zenith under the supervision of the last Provost of the Halls of Knowledge, Octavius. Work was completed on formulating the magic shortly before the Spring Equinox 380YE. The seed of the ritual came from an arcane projection prepared by Octavius. It is said to have been inspired by the Urizen archer Cato of the Spire of the Auric Horizon. Cato had been strongly engaged in attempting to promote the use of bows and similar ranged weapons across the Empire – this ritual goes some way towards helping to spread their ideas.

The formulation encountered several problems that needed to overcome before the magic could be codified. Initial estimations placed the ritual magnitude as significantly lower. As time went on it became clear that this estimation was optimistic. The methods of actually weaving and controlling the magic were a good deal less straightforward than had been initially projected. The primary difficulty was accounting for the different levels of natural ability and experience of the targets; the enchantment needed to be exceptionally nuanced as a formulaic ritual – the performers would not be able to tailor the magic to the individual during casting as was feasible with a more spontaneous effect. The Day realm does not work well with the more “brute force” approach of Summer magic, which simply applies a “strong-arm” tactic to give a base level of physical prowess.

Further complicating the codification, a significant stumbling block in the shape of the Law of Scale reared its head. The professors of the Halls of Knowledge discovered that the transitory nature of an enchantment based on an arcane projection with a short-lived duration was incompatible with the subtle magics of a formulaic ritual. While the magic could have been formulated with a daily duration, it would have been the exact same magnitude as an enchantment that lasts for a season. After much discussion, the decision was taken to simply follow the path of least resistance and codify the ritual with a season duration.

The magic draws on resonances for mastery, perfection, focus, and force. Mastery provides the gift of lucidity to those who can appreciate it. By encouraging calmness, rationality, and clear-headedness, the archer can select their target more easily, and engage in the smooth motion required to launch an arrow with deadly precision. The Day realm is ideal for rituals that provide self-control of the mind and the body, focusing the attention and meditating to unlock internal strength.

The resonance of perfection abhors weakness – and seeks to remove it wherever it can. It promotes perfect, unchanging order. The pursuit of perfection is a powerful cultural urge among the people of Urizen. Coupled with the ability to focus effort to achieve a specific end, and uniting the desire to destroy and opponent with the skill to loose and the precise correct moment to strike.

Performing the Ritual

This ritual is designed to grant a chosen individual the power to use a potent tool of warfare. As such, performing the ritual benefits from using both the individual, and the weapon they will use, as foci. A ritualist might trace matching runes on weapons and putative warrior, or might encourage them to run through a weapon-drill; oiling and stringing the weapon; filling the quiver with arrows; nocking and drawing and experiencing the endless moment of the perfect shot. All this without actually shooting the weapon. An alternate method that is especially appropriate is to have the archer prepare their weapon whilst blindfolded, inspiring them to rely on senses other than sight. At the climax of the ritual, the arrow is launched and (hopefully) strikes the target.

The ritual is often combined with an oath or promise to use its power (or not use its power) in a certain way or against certain specific targets.

Legendary warriors, especially those who fought only when necessary, are often invoked as are Paragons and Exemplars who showed heroic judgement; the name of Zakalwe the eternal Master Strategist is also appropriate. The virtues of Wisdom and Ambition may be referenced in literal or symbolic forms. Any of the Day runes might be evoked. Sular, the rune of Seeking and Aesh, the rune of thought, are commonly marked on the weapon and the wielder respectively. An evocation of the Key may be appropriate with this ritual, but the Stork has particular resonance with the magic of perfection and excellence.

Evocations of birds of prey – especially the keen senses of the eagle or hawk. A Dawnish practitioner of heraldic magic might call on images of gryphons swooping from the clear sky to destroy an opponent, while a darker themed ritual might instead focus on the image of unexpected death that comes without warning from the sniper's bow.

The resonance for blood magic is obvious – the blood (or presence) of a skilled archer especially one who has achieved a great victory over a dangerous foe – may help empower the ritual. A Suaq Icewalker who was consulted about this ritual suggested that nicking each arrow against the thumb of the archer before it was loosed would help infuse it with the “will” of the warrior, guiding it to its target.