Aspect of the Mountain
Summer Magnitude 20
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
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
This ritual places an enchantment on the target military unit that enhances their ability to fight defensively and take advantage of fortified positions. This will increase their effectiveness by 100 military strength when taking the Defend Fortification action.
The character who controls the military unit experiences a short-lived roleplaying effect: you feel an immediate urge to find a location that is significant to you, and to defend it against intruders or trespassers. Your definition of intruders and trespassers may reveal any prejudices you feel against other nations, species, or lineages or may expose a rivalry you feel for another person. You feel a strong urge to challenge such intruders or trespassers, and confronting them feels good and empowering. The effect persists for at least ten minutes after the ritual is complete
The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event.
This ritual can affect additional military units controlled by members of the same banner. Each additional military unit increases the magnitude by 15. The character who controls each unit must be present throughout the ritual.
This ritual was codified at the Summer 383YE by the people of Urizen under the guidance of the Ioseph of Phoenix Reach, Doyen of the Spires. It was the first ritualever codified under the guidance of the Doyen of the Spires following the restoration of the Heliopticon network in the wake of the Druj invasion of Zenith and Morrow, and the liberation of Spiral. It was codified in a single season, primarily due to the additional support provided by refugees from Zenith who had begun new lives in Morrow and Redoubt. In keeping with the unique appointment method of the Doyen of the Spires, the original arcane projection was presented by Ioseph of Phoenix Reach to the magicians of Urizen at Anvil during the Spring Equinox 383YE and judged the magical effect the nation should focus its attention on.
This ritual is closely modeled on the more familiar Raise the Standard of War. It empowers and enhances a warband, granting them strength of will and fighting spirit for the coming season. The ritual has the same resonance for enhancing the fighting spirit of the soldiers effected, making it easier for them to fight against difficult odds and giving them a surge in confidence in their abilities, it urges them to take up a more defensive stand than the more familiar ritual.
Warriors experiencing the enchantment gain additional constitution that helps them endure the privations of war more effectively. They also gain a new respect for, and greater understanding of, the defensive accoutrements of war – especially shields and heavy armour. One odd effect of the ritual is that the commander of the warband invariably experiences a powerful urge to find a location and defend it against “trespassers”. This effect is also experienced by the warband – in some cases it is theorised that performing the ritual on soldiers with deep seated prejudices could lead to problems in some circumstances. For example, a Marcher warband already suspicious of briars might find that suspicion enhanced to the point where it promotes undisciplined behaviour.
This ritual enhances a small military force, using a connection to its leader to spread magic through the entire unit. It is exceptionally common to include a banner or standard that will be used by the target force as a focus for the ritual. A symbol or banner representing the fortification the commander intends their warband to support might also be included.
Unsurprisingly, from the point of view of an astronomancer, the Mountain resonates strongly with this ritual – a fortification is a fine symbol of an obstacle that must be overcome by others or that impedes their progress. The ritual also resonates with the imagery and power of the Oak which teaches that “things endure”. A runesmith will find the rune of Strength resonates well with this ritual, while despite the name Theurgists might include the invocation of paragons or exemplars associated with defending others – Inga Tarn or Bolstering Bill are particularily resonant. A goeticist may call on the name of Summer eternals such as Cathan Canae and Adamant, both powers associated with unyielding defence.
A strong element to include would be the girding of the military leader in the style of the people of Dawn; the sound of martial horns or drums; and the presence of warriors from the same nation as the warband or the fortification as witnesses.