Summer Magnitude 60
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 10 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets a fortification, and must be performed in a strong Summer regio in the territory containing the fortification. If the territory is part of the Empire, then it may instead be performed from the Imperial regio.
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
This ritual summons a contingent of several dozen golden lions in service to the eternal Meraud and binds them to protect the area around the target fortification. They fight alongside any garrison or friendly soldiers, and mercilessly attack any enemy soldiers who enter the region. At the same time the fortification is strengthened and made more resistant to damage. The effective strength of the target fortification is increased by 1,500.
The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event.
Any caster who has mastered the ritual may choose to substitute orichalcum for crystal mana when contributing to it. Every 2 ingots of orichalcum spent counts as 1 crystal mana when contributing to the ritual.
This ritual was given as a gift to the Rod and Shield by the eternal Meraud. Raewynn Farkas, then Grandmaster of the Rod and Shield, attempted to have the ritual added to Imperial Lore in Spring 380YE, but due to a number of bureaucratic problems the ritual was not actually made available to the magicians of the Empire until Autumn on the following year.
Golden Ramparts infuses a fortification with the power of the Summer eternal Meraud. The most obvious sign of the enchantment is the appearance of several dozen magical golden lions - denizens of Meraud's realm. These lions are intelligent, and articulate, creatures - they generally refer to themselves as knights of the Summer realm. They savagely attack anyone who seeks to damage the fortification, or the people of the region where it stands. They are sometimes accompanied by a cadre of Meraud's apprentices - heralds with powers comparable to those employed by Imperial battle mages who fight alongside the garrison.
At the same time, the fortification itself is reinforced. At sunrise, noon, and sunset, the ramparts and towers of the fortification shimmer with a perceptible golden aura. Soldiers who garrison the fortification feel confident and capable when in contact with the physical fortification itself, and certain that they can resist any attacker if they simply stand firm and fight bravely. This effect is particularly pronounced if the defender is a changeling or a magician - indeed a changeling magician may find the experience somewhat overwhelming and risk triggering an episode of lineage madness if they are not careful.
The power of the ritual helps to protect the entire territory where the enchanted fortification stands, but it is when attackers seek to assault the castle itself that it is at its most potent. The enchantment both makes it significantly harder to take the region where the castle stands, and causes attackers to suffer increased casualties. The weakness of the enchantment is similar to that involved in rituals such as Knights of Glory - the additional forces do not absorb punishment that might cause the castle to collapse.
During the ritual, the coven must clearly indicate the fortification they wish to affect – the name of the target, and both the territory and region it occupies, are the bare minimum required. The biggest restriction on performing the ritual is the requirement that it be performed in a regio. While it can be performed at the Imperial Regio at Anvil, this is of no help if the fortification that is to be enchanted is not in an Imperial territory.
The ritual itself has something of a shadowy reputation. There are rumours that it was a bribe used to encourage the Rod and Shield to attack the regio associated with the Icy Crag of the Eternal Sun, bringing the frozen wrath of Cathan Canae to bear on that college of magic. The source of the rumour is believed to be the eternal Jaheris, however, and as such should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Performance often uses a map of the territory where the fortification stands - or of the fortification itself. Images or effigies of the castle may also be involved. References to the enduring majesty of the stars – or the astronomantic constellation of the Mountain - resonate strongly with its performance. The runes Tykonus and Feresh, which represent victory and majesty, are another obvious component to use. In a dramaturgical context, the Bishop or the Captain would both be appropriate Personae to use.
An evocation of Meraud is a standard component of this ritual; indeed leaving it out could in theory offend the eternal whose power it draws on.