Barked Command of the Iron Serjant
Autumn Magnitude 14
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets up to three characters from the same banner. Each character must be present throughout. A character with the weapon master skill must also be present throughout (although they are not enchanted by the ritual).
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
This ritual targets up to three characters from the same banner. It requires the participation of a character who is part of that banner who has the weapon master skill. The target characters gain the ability to fight with one weapon type chosen from the list: one-handed spear, two-handed weapon, polearm, or pike, chosen by the character who has the weapon master skill. Each target receives the ability to use the same weapon.
As long as they are enchanted, the targets experience a roleplaying effect; they feel a desire to stick together, fighting alongside each other and with the character who 'trained' them in their new combat skill.
The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event.
This ritual can affect additional characters from the same banner. Each additional character increases the magnitude by 4. Additional characters must be present throughout.
While this enchantment does not precisely turn a group of raw recruits into an elite fighting force, it is considered valuable for its ability to grant soldiers the ability to quickly master a weapon favoured by their military unit so they can fight alongside them. It is especially favoured by Imperial orcs whose legions prefer to fight with a recognisable combination of weapons and armour, and in The Marches for allowing everyone the opportunity to take their place in a bill-block or pike-wall.
Some ritualists employ the effect of Barked Command of the Iron Serjant on themselves, forming a temporary banner with a skilled combatant and working the performance around their instructions. In Urizen where this ritual is often called Lesson of Shared Excellence the transfer of skills tends to be accompanied with more careful attention to stance and achieving the right feeling of centred discipline than on barking instructions at magicians as if they were green recruits on a parade ground.
The focus of this ritual is the character who acts in the role of the iron serjant. That person may be one of the ritualists, but is more commonly someone selected for both their martial ability and their capacity to convey their expertise to others. In The Marches or a League Free Company this is as often as not a boisterous drill sergeant or similar character, who runs the targets of the ritual through the use and care of the weapon while correcting their mistakes. The ritualists sometimes join this drill or mark the targets and their weapons with runes or tokens. At the climax, it is common for the targets and the iron serjant to share a drink or a toast to their eventual victory.
Oaths, toasts and rousing speeches are also common, as are recitations of songs favoured by soldiers while the weapon drill takes place. The ritual often focuses less on rousing the fighting spirit of the targets, and more on encouraging them to fight together and obey orders; invocation of Paragons and Exemplars of Loyalty are especially common, as is the use of the rune Lann.
Only their step was out. And their thrust was off. It was so bad, one of them almost dropped his pike. When it came to defending, he watched four of them die to an enemy inside their reach. It was awful.
"By Vigilance," he swore under his breath. He hoped they reaped better than they fought. As he watched, several of them lost and regained their footing hurriedly, and stepped without a thrust to catch up with their fellows. He turned to the Steward of the Household, who was busy trying to maintain some dignity beneath her obvious disappointment. "Who trained this lot?"
"That would be Blind Harry," she said. The old soldier had, perhaps, not been up to his former standard in the months before he'd died of old age. And his eyesight couldn't have helped.
One of them fumbled his pike, and tripped as he tried to force its tip out of the ground."By all that's..." Sergeant Dick gritted his teeth, "You're not sending this lot anywhere without an Autumn cabal. I'd say Summer, but I ain't trading competence for common sense. You need Autumn. Lots of it. I'll be their iron serjant, or they'll just get 'emselves murdered. Just tell me, please, by Wisdom, tell me you've got friends in Autumn." White-faced, the Steward nodded. "Course you do," the sergeant muttered, "Bloody townies, honestly, I tell you..."