Blood and Salt
Spring Magnitude 12
Performing the Ritual
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
The target fleet earns additional profit during the next season, but only if it engages in privateering. The effect of the ritual increases the level of the target fleet by 5 ranks, which is sufficient to effectively double the production of a starting fleet.
The character who controls the target resource is under a roleplaying effect for at least ten minutes after the ritual is performed: they feel unrestrained and unconcerned about the consequences of their actions, with an urge to take what they want; they feel uninhibited about using violence against anyone who gets in their way.
The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event. If the owner of the resource does not attend the next event, then the additional production provided by the resource is still added to that character's inventory. If the fleet does not engage in privateering during the next downtime, the ritual has no effect.
This ritual can affect additional fleets belonging to characters in the same banner. Each additional fleet increases the magnitude by 8. The character who controls each fleet must be present throughout the ritual.
This ritual is sometimes called Blood in the Water, The Shark Amidst the Nets, The Corsair's Cruel Smile and other equally poetic names. It helps to ensure that a fleet will get good weather and excellent tides, and fires the crew up with vigour and primitive strength. The more aggressive the crew is, the more the magic of Spring encourages them and strengthens them; if they engage in the relatively bloodless pursuit of trade, the enchantment will quickly fade.
A crew enchanted by this ritual does not turn on itself (although there are stories of crews who were already mutinous who tore each other apart once the enchantment began to erode their inhibitions and restraints); nor do they become monstrous (although there are also stories of cruel, merciless men and women who lost the last vestiges of humanity under the influence of this enchantment); they are, after all, possessed of free will. If a fight does break out they are less likely to offer or accept quarter or mercy, and likely to fight with wild, terrifying abandon. In many cases, the sheer ferocity of the sailors in the enchanted fleet is enough to convince the prey to give up without a fight.
The ritual is obviously most common among the Freeborn corsairs and adventurous League privateers; there are also plenty of reports of the Grendel using similar enchantments. It is common for those who receive the benefit of the spell to offer a portion of any plunder they gain in the coming season to the ritualists, although this is by no means mandatory - not least because some ritualists prefer to be paid in advance rather than trust to the short memories of corsairs and privateers.
The ritual both influences the weather and fills a crew with both vigour and bloodlust. Ritual performances often include the evocation of the rune of storms or the constellation of The Claw. Blood is often shed during this ritual, often mixed with a cup or bowl of water or spirits and shared by the targets. Sometimes the ritual involves the targets cutting themselves with a blade and swearing oaths to be merciless in pursuit of their prey. There are often invocations of sharks or kraken during the performance of Blood and Salt.