Eyes of the Soul's Past
Day Magnitude 10
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets a character, who must be present throughout.
This ritual reveals information about a past-life vision, potentially answering the question "Who was I during this vision?".
If the target has not experienced a past-life vision (such as that caused by true liao) within the last few days, the ritual reveals this and no other information.
If the subject has experienced a past-life vision within the last few days, they experience a roleplaying effect that lasts until the next sunrise: you become calm and focused, and the experiences of your recent past life vision becomes clearer and more immediate.
In addition to the roleplaying effect, the target receives a clear sense of the role they played in that vision. They receive an answer to the question "What was my identity during my recent vision?"
The ritual reveals a name that the target would have called themselves at the point of the vision - "I am Eduard de Vexille", "I am Ivana Ivanova, the Butcher of Delev", "I am Atticus Visius Tarquinius" - regardless of whether that name was verbalised during the course of the vision. It will also provide some information about their role, or wider identity - for example "I am the earl of House Vexille of Dawn", "I am the boyar of my vale in Karsk", "I am the guard of the Tarquinius family tomb in Asavea"
In addition the target gains a sense of roughly when the events in the past life vision took place. This will be a historical period, like the basic information provided by Skein of Years.
This information is provided to the target of the ritual, not the ritualists.
You may increase the magnitude of the ritual to penetrate shrouds or masks.
Along with Secrets of the Soul's Desire, this ritual was proposed for inclusion in Imperial lore during the Summer Solstice 383YE by Tanus of the Auric Horizon. The ritual's provenance is not entirely clear - the text is very bare-bones and what detail there is focuses more on the structure of the ritual than its history. It is apparently associated with a group called the "Seers of the Throne", a political group in Urizen interested in gaining influence over the Throne and the Empire "for the betterment of both".
According to the accompanying notes, the ritual was created to help the subject of a True liao vision to place the actions they participated in or observed in some kind of context. The ritual relies on the resonance of revelation and focus to allow the target to order their experiences and expand their understanding of their recent vision. By helping them to examine or focus on details they may have missed, or that may have seemed less important at the time, they can gain additional understanding of the identity they assumed during the course of an often confusing visionary experience. In this way, the ritual attempts to help the visionary to better understand the consequence of the events they have witnessed.
Like its sibling ritual, Eyes of the Soul's Past is a highly introspective ritual. It provides no information to the magicians who perform it; rather it helps the visionary themselves to expand their understanding of their recent experience. It is useless if it is applied after too much time has passed, or if the target has not actually experienced a past-life vision. It is difficult to predict exactly how the information will be imparted - it may come immediately. Alternatively, the power of the ritual may trigger next time the target sleeps. It may create an awareness of new information in the mind of the target, but in rare cases it triggers a supplemental visionary experience in which the target perceives additional scenes from their vision - albeit in a distant manner very different to the full impact of a true past-life vision.
This ritual works well with a meditative atmosphere in which the subject is made comfortable and attempts to achieve a balanced, calm state of mind shutting out all external distractions. Providing a rhythmic sound on which the target may concentrate, or using incense to further stimulate a calm environment may make the working easier. Marking the target with a rune or symbol associated with understanding, or that resonates with the details of the vision that the visionary can remember, may also help.
The ritual may be performed in relative silence, or use music (especially the music of the spheres) to weave the magic rather than risk distracting the visionary. A mask or mirror may help with the performance - the target meditates with their eyes closed until they feel that they are ready to receive the insight the ritual provides, or else they perform their meditation gazing into the depths of the mirror allowing them to see their visionary identity in their reflection.
The rules Ophis, Sular, and Aesh resonate well with this ritual. A dramaturgist is likely to call on the persona of the Bishop with her aspect of revelation and spiritual matters, often in a scene that simulates a Library. The Lantern may play a key role as well - perhaps as a focus for the meditations of the rituals target. Both the Key and The Lock are of use to the astronomancer seeking to work this ritual, while a blood mage might favour either shallow cuts on the back of the hands or forehead, or the painting of designs using blood from a donor who bears some metaphorical connection to the person the liao vision revolved around.