Eyes of the Sun and Moon
Day Magnitude 14
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual requires a map of the target territory.
At the completion of the ritual the contributors receive images that reveal information about military forces in that territory, including:
- the presence, name and allegiance of a campaign army, along with an estimation of its current fighting strength.
- the presence, name and current allegiance of any fortification, as well as an estimation of its current strength.
Each contributor receives the same vision. These visions are not symbolic, but clearly detailed within the limitations of the spell.
If the target territory is under an effect that obscures information such as Drawing the Penumbral Veil, this spell can only penetrate it if it has been performed with a magnitude at least equal to that of the enchantment. Otherwise only the presence, Realm and magnitude of the concealing effect are revealed.
If one or more military forces in the area are under an obscuring effect, the ritual will reveal the presence, Realm and magnitude of the concealing effect, but no other information about that target - including whether it is a fortification or an army. The ritual reveals information about other forces in the area as normal.
You may increase the magnitude of the ritual in order to pierce more powerful rituals of concealment.
The result of this spell may be delivered in the form of a written vision. If this is the case, the contributors can study their vision as long as they like, but cannot discuss it or make notes until they have handed the slip back to a referee; at that point they are free to roleplay however they like - they may play through the process of receiving the vision, or act as if they have been in waking trance and the vision has already passed.
This ritual is valuable for helping generals make decisions about the threats that face the Empire and how best to respond to them. It allows for a reasonably thorough evaluation of opponents and allied armies alike, and is adept at spotting special enemy forces that might otherwise escape detection - especially those under magical shrouds.
It takes its name from the way that the visions usually begin at a great height above the target territory and then quickly focus inwards. The casters have a sensation of incredibly fast movement, as if their viewpoint were roaming back and forth over the territory at blurring speeds, then suddenly halting to observe a specific force before moving on, again at a break-neck pace.
Many Suaq icewalkers call this ritual The Flight of Birds and claim that the mystic viewpoint it provides is much closer to that of a fast-flying bird than of any celestial body. In the Marches it is often called Beating the Bounds, and the landskeepers who perform it use imagery that includes both the idea of protecting their land from interlopers and intruders, and symbols that include knowing the nature and extent of one's territory. It is very common for them to include the senator for a particular territory as an additional focus, or to gather people with connections to the regions of the territory under observation.
This is a divination ritual, and often involves runestones or cards as well as the map which serves as the focus. Mirrors, crystals and other reflective surfaces are often involved, set up around the map to grant new perspectives on the information it contains. Symbols connected to the sun, moon or stars are common, as are bones or feathers of birds (especially for Winterfolk or Varushkan ritualists). Tokens representing known or recent information about the forces in a territory can also help when performing this ritual. Some ritualists carefully pore over the map as the visions unfold, while others focus on expanding their consciousness to gain a 'bird's-eye view' of the area under consideration. The ritual is often performed out-of-doors under the open sky, especially when the sun or moon are visible.
The magical ritual Strigine Mask is sometimes used to empower this ritual - its magical powers can enhance the ability of a small coven to perform the ritual or provide additional power for overcoming a concealing shroud.
The rune Sular is often used with this ritual, as are scenes in which military strategy are discussed with characters such as the Captain or the Doctor; the evocation of the virtues of Wisdom or Vigilance; or of keen-sighted animals such as eagles or hawks; or creatures such as sphinxes.