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

Rules

Autumn Magnitude 80

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. During the ritual the casters must be in a strong Autumn regio. This ritual targets an Imperial army. The general responsible for the army (or the egregore if the general is not at Anvil) must be present throughout.

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

Go to Ground
  • Defending order.
  • Your side must control a region with the hills keyword.
  • The ability of this army to defend territory is increased by a fifth.
  • Casualties suffered by this army are decreased by a fifth.
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are decreased by a fifth.
The army uses their supernatural understanding of broken territory to slow enemy advances. The unmatched ability of the soldiers to travel quickly via hidden paths, and to exploit the rugged terrain to hamper their attackers makes the army difficult to attack directly, and rarely presents the enemy with an opportunity for a pitched battle.

Effects

This ritual enchants a campaign army, granting the soldiers a supernatural understanding of and ability to move through hills and similar rugged terrain. The army loses any existing quality and gains the Hillwise quality for the duration. For the duration the general can issue the order Go to Ground when defending, but only while fighting in a territory where their side controls a region with the hills quality.

While the enchantment persists, the general responsible for the army experiences a roleplaying effect: you become suspicious of anyone moving in your peripheral vision, and feel an urge to ensure you always have a clear view of the exits from your location.

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

Options

Any caster who has mastered the ritual may choose to substitute green iron for crystal mana when contributing to it. Every 2 ingots of green iron spent counts as 1 crystal mana when contributing to the ritual.

Description

This ritual was one of the very first to become part of Urizen lore, following the Autumn Equinox 383YE. Contributed by Mord Thorntarry of the spire of Auric Horizon, the ritual was one of those contained in the book Meditations. Written by Callus Strategos, Dean of the Lyceum during the reign of Empress Britta, the book also contained Swords in the Noonday Sun, Good Green Oak, Hook of the Hoarfrost Guardian, and two rituals that had already become part of Imperial lore - Find the Best Path and Hammers of the Brilliant Shore.

There are few things more disheartening than facing an enemy army that has superior command of the terrain over which the campaign is fought. The Thule were like ghosts – they would vanish in one area and appear in another hours later. They fired arrows at us across impassable chasms; they confounded our catapults with the spurs of the mountains; they sabotaged and hid the passes. We spilled so much blood trying to push northwards it stained the rivers red.

All that changed when the Varushkans appeared. The Northern Eagle banner came up with the sun, and they fell on the Thule like the judgement of the heavens. They had a counter to every tactic and perhaps most importantly they had heavy woolen blankets. To this day, I have never forgotten the first night I spent in the warm embrace of a … but I digress. They were prepared, is what I am trying to say, and their preparations and training and simple awareness of the hills and the slopes of the mountains saved lives. Mine included.

When I became Dean, I remembered my experiences fighting the Thule and decided to find a way to impart understanding of the terrain to the armies of the Empire.

''Meditations'', Callus Strategos

A powerful enchantment of the Autumn realm, the Eyes of the Hills infuses soldiers with a supernatural awareness that allows them to quickly navigate rugged terrain. It also makes them preternaturally aware of living creatures, giving them unmatched ability to prepare ambushes and outmaneuver enemies relying on mundane senses. The army becomes adept at avoiding open battle, striking at their enemies and retreating, and making excellent use of the opportunities presented by broken ground, steep hillsides, cliffs, wild water, and even naturally occurring caves and tunnels.

The magic has a lingering effect on the general of the army however; their sensitivity to threats and awareness of their environment is heightened to potentially inconvenient levels. A nervous general, or one who is concerned about treachery, or who is already alert to the possibility of hidden danger - especially someone of the naturally alert for danger draughir lineage - might lash out at a perceived threat. Anyone moving around the general of an army enchanted with this potent defensive magic would do well to move slowly and obviously to avoid potential tragedy.

Common Elements

As an enchantment that enhances a campaign army, the general of the target army serves as a vital focus for delivering the magic. a banner or standard that will be used by the target force as a focus for the ritual is an obvious component, as is the presence of soldiers who have fought beneath that banner in the recent past. Other elements include girding or crowning the military leader, the slow and steady beat of drums, and the use of earth or stone from battlefields in suitably hilly environments.

The Mountain has a strong resonance for this enchantment - both as a literal representation of the magic and as symbol of the law Things are not easy." The Spider also works well with this ritual - the magic after all imparts potency to scouts, observers, and pathfinders moving stealthily to observe enemy positions.