Freezing Brand of Irremais
Winter 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. The target character must be aware that this ritual is being used on them.
This effect is a curse. A target may be under more than one curse at a time.
This ritual marks a character with a magical brand in the shape of the Irremais rune. The target character must be aware that this ritual is being used on them, although they need not be willing - this often means they must be restrained in some way.
During the ritual, the ritualists announce a single action that they believe the target took that requires punishment. This is the reason for the brand and must be clear to the target if the roleplaying effect below is to work.
At the conclusion the rune Irremais is marked onto the skin of the target, usually appearing on the forearm or cheek (the ritualists cannot specifically define where the mark appears). While the curse is in effect, the brand cannot be removed; if the skin in that area is removed or damaged, the mark reappears somewhere else.
The target also experienced a powerful roleplaying effect: If anyone asks you whether you have been branded with Irremais, you feel excruciating pain if you do not answer them in the affirmative. Likewise, if they ask you why you were marked, the brand burns with cold fire that is extremely painful unless you give them the reason the ritualists gave when they performed the ritual.
It does not matter if you believe you are guilty of performing the action the ritualists named; the ritual does not compel you to say you are guilty, or that you did it, only to give the reason the ritualists gave for their action.
The detect magic always detects the presence of this curse; rather than providing realm and magnitude it specifically tells the caster that Freezing Brand of Irremais is in effect.
The roleplaying effect caused by this curse cannot be removed with the exorcism ceremony, and while it may be resisted for a short time by abilities such as those granted through the use of hero points you should roleplay the great effort it takes to suppress the pain of the brand if you wish to avoid admitting to its presence, or the action the ritualists have defined as your 'crime'.
The effect of the ritual lasts for a year (until the start of the Profound Decisions Empire event four events from now).
Removing the Curse
The brand can be removed by certain powerful creatures or items with the power to break oaths. It could also be removed by a ritual of at least magnitude 40, although it is likely that doing so would have permanent implications for the target. Finally, a coven made up entirely of ritualists who contributed to placing the brand in the first place can perform the ritual again with the express intention of removing the brand.
When deciding the reason for the brand it is usually best to be clear and succinct. "You killed your friend" or "your negligence cost dozens of lives" or "you showed cowardice in the face of the Jotun" are easy for the target to remember and to provide when asked. The target does not need to use the exact wording, so ambiguously phrased reasons may provide them with a loophole; that is absolutely in keeping with the nature of the magics involved here.
The target may choose where the brand appears (forearm or cheek or, with the approval of a referee, somewhere else). It may be phys-repped with make-up but a prosthetic or textured material such as collodion is ideal. Profound Decisions make-up department may be available to help phys-rep the result of this ritual, but it is especially ideal if the players who performed the ritual can help the target.arrange the brand.
After a year, the magic of the curse fades and the mark may be removed by the usual (almost certainly magical) means; it is otherwise permanent.
This ritual is a punishment, pure and simple. It can also be abused for use as a tool of subtle torture. While it is most often used to mark someone who has committed a serious transgression, there are several stories of innocent men and women condemned to bear the brand due to the machinations of their enemies. The brand cannot easily be removed, so many ritualists refuse to perform it unless they are absolutely sure it is warranted.
Its main value is that it prevents a target from hiding the fact of its existence, or denying that the punishment was inflicted. It serves as a constant reminder that the target has been punished - either with good cause, or unjustly. Once it becomes common knowledge that the rune exists, life can easily become a living torment as people who consider themselves clever or funny (or who have been wronged) force the target to repeat the details of their punishment over and over.
Receiving this brand often spells the end of a political career, but this is not always the case. While being forced to admit to bearing the mark, or repeat that it was placed due to negligence, can both be frustrating, some politicians have refused to allow their alleged shame to stop their ambitions.
Symbols of law, vengeance, justice and punishment are used with this ritual, as are chains, locks and physical brands. The target may have the rune branded or carved into their flesh as part of the ritual, and both ice and ice-water are commonly used. The ritualists must be clear what the reason for the brand is, and this is often written down on a scroll that is given or pinned to the target.
This ritual is usually performed in public; the more public, the better. It obviously involves the evocation of the rune Irremais, but may also include the names of certain eternals associated with punishment or curses, including the Lictors and Wise Rangara. Dramaturgists may invoke the authority of The Prince, or the cold judgement of The Doctor.