Summer Magnitude 18
Performing the Ritual
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
As long as the target fleet engages in privateering during the coming season, it encounters adventures, obstacles and opportunities that result in additional profit. The ritual increases the effective level of the target fleet by 6 ranks, which is sufficient to slightly more than double the production of a starting fleet.
The character who controls the target resource experiences a roleplaying effect for as long as the enchantment persists: you feel a yearning to see new things, visit new places, and engage in acts of heroic or glorious adventure.
The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event. If the owner of the resource does not attend the next event, then the additional production provided by the resource is still added to that character's inventory. If the fleet does not engage in privateering during the next downtime, the ritual has no effect.
This ritual can affect additional fleets belonging to characters in the same territory. Each additional fleet increases the magnitude by 14. The character who controls each fleet must be present throughout the ritual.
Under normal circumstances, the privateering action represents hunting barbarian vessels in the Bay of Catazar. A player who controls a fleet enchanted with this ritual is encouraged to create stories of exploration and adventure beyond the Bay of Catazar if they wish.
The ritual was based on an arcane projection developed in Winter 380YE by the Freeborn Andreas i Sol-Devorador i Eirgo of the Krakenfire Armada. It was initially devised as part of a challenge issued by General Karkinos, a herald of the Summer Eternal known as King Rhianos, the Regent of the Eternal Ocean. It was codified at the Icy Crag of the Eternal Sun under the guidance of Luke of the Shattered Tower, who serves as regent of that college of magic. Work was completed shortly before the Spring Equinox 380YE.
The ritual enchants both the crew and the vessels in equal measure. The ship (or ships) that form the fleet are strengthened against mundane dangers … but also, inexorably, attract such dangers. Even as an unexpected tempest blows the ship off course, so the sails and the rigging resist damage from that storm. Even as the ship draws the ire of a behemoth beast of the deep ocean, so that beasts talons and beak fail to quite penetrate the planks of the hull.
The crew is likewise invigorated with the enthusiasm and optimism of youth. Like young men and women secure in their own immortality, like youths who have yet to experience the spectre of death that dogs the heels of every mortal from the moment of birth, they throw themselves with gusto and reckless abandon into dangerous situations – not only for the opportunity to secure profit, but for the sheer wild thrill of running along the spines of a great behemoth to drive a spear into its eye, or exploring the tiger-haunted jungles of a mysterious island.
While the enchantment persists, the fleet encounters strange obstacles - mist-shrouded islands not on any map inhabited by unliving courtiers; a disgruntled Night magician with a penchant for making people think they are pigs; a pod of friendly dolphins who help lost sailors find fresh food and water on an island of marvellous orichalcum apple trees; a sea battle with an angry independent pirate who must be faced down or outrun; a ghost ship haunted by the spirits of dead Sarcophan who must be defeated in a rhyming contest lest they try to drag the Imperial vessel beneath the waters; an island populated by savage dodo birds who guard strange egg-like stones of tempest jade and emerald; a leviathan whale that spews ambergris all over the deck of a ship; strange birds with gems set in their foreheads; the ruined tower of a stormlord of ancient days, long since gone to dust, but whose walls still bear valuable tapestries; an uncharted island that turns out to be the shell of a great sea turtle ... and so forth. Each of these encounters presents a challenge that, when overcome, leads to a little booty and a tale of daring to tell in Anvil.
Those members of the crew who are a little too reckless, or a little too unlucky will find that the danger presented by these adventures is very real. Some may fall, or be crippled, or broken in spirit, or claimed as consort by shapeshifting horrors or undead courtiers. Perhaps the captain will secure a ransom in orichalcum and jade, but the damage to their ship will be so extreme that they must spend most of that ransom keeping their vessel afloat.
Regardless of the details, the ritual brings an experience, an adventure, an opportunity to be seized. The opportunity for wealth is truly the least interesting element of the ritual's power.
The ritual will not aid a fleet that engages in trade, or seeks to support a naval military force. The enchantment ensures that a privateering fleet will encounter adventures that lead to increased profit. It seems to touch a power similar to the serendipity that is evoked by several Autumn rituals. Fate and destiny, and the powers of chance, are gently warped to favour the preferred outcome – that a ship and its crew will encounter opportunities for risk and adventure.
Under normal circumstances, the Summer realm does not resonate with ideas of profit and wealth – and this ritual has little interest in such Autumnal elements. Rather the ritual weaves themes of prowess and triumph together to guide the hand of chance. In theory, a fleet enchanted with this ritual could end up destroyed by the dangers they faced, or receive no extra profit at all – beyond a wild story of behemoths, forlorn princes, cruel merrow pirates, and sea-tigers.
One element of the ritual that may need to be carefully monitored is that it fills the sea captain with the urge to seek out new vistas, new opportunities, and reckless endeavours – a stronger version of the same urge that takes the crew of the ships the ritual targets. Individuals already prone to reckless pursuit of the new, those addicted to the thrilling excitement of roof-top chases and deadly challenges, are in significant danger of losing control and getting themselves killed, or captured by Grendel pirates, or challenging terrible foes to single combat.
Performing the Ritual
The ritual both strengthens a fleet and fills its crew with an urge to seek adventure. It is equally resonant with the Rune of Discovery and the Rune of Battle. A blood mage might share blood with a visitor to the Empire, seeking to draw on their exotic and alien nature to guide the ritual to seek out new things and new experiences. An Imperial Orc or Varushkan might have the target swear an oath to seek opportunity and adventure without concern for the risks involved.
Lanterns, lightstones, or lamp oil may be used as a conduit for the ritual. Woven with magic, enchanted and purified, they are sent with the target fleet which uses them to light its way over the seas. Stones from a distant shore may also be used, especially those stones taken from the ballast of far traveling vessels.
Totemic magicians call on beasts that travel far across the sea. In The Brass Coast, dolphins are called on; among the Winterfolk, an albatross. For the Dawnish, the Kraken or the Wingèd Horse, or the legendary beasts of distant nations may be named. The theurgist may evoke Zemress; the goetic will surely call on Rhianos, regent of the eternal ocean..