Hook of the Hoarfrost Guardian
Summer Magnitude 40
This ritual is part of Urizen lore rather than Imperial Lore. Any Urizen character with the appropriate lore can master or perform this ritual. A character from another nation who mastered the ritual before it became part of Urizen lore may still perform it, but does so under the usual rules for performing a ritual learned from a ritual text.
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 possess the weapon master skill.
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
In addition, the target experiences a roleplaying effect: whenever you feel you are being thwarted, belittled or insulted you feel an urge to batter the source of your irritation until it stops moving. You find it easier to endure cold climates (within the bounds of OOC safety considerations), and find the idea of spending time in snowy wastelands or high mountains appealing.
If the target regains all spent hero points by some method, such as drinking an Elixir of Exalted Puissance or being targeted by the effect of Sutannir's Promise, they also regain all spent uses of this ability at the same time. Other methods of restoring hero points (such as drinking a Philtre of Strength), even if they return the character to maximum hero points do not restore uses of the STRIKEDOWN call - only effects that say they restore all lost hero points will work.
The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event.
This ritual can affect additional characters from the same banner. Each additional character increases the magnitude by 25. Additional characters must be present throughout.
Any caster who has mastered the ritual may choose to substitute tempest jade for crystal mana when contributing to it. Every 2 ingots of tempest jade spent counts as 1 crystal mana when contributing to the ritual.
This ritual draws on the power of the ice giants who attend the court of Cathan Canae. As part of the agreement with the heralds, the ritual will lose all potency and ceases to function if "the spear of Heyrrokyn should ever be destroyed." This information has hidden in the wording of the ritual text and uncovered quite by chance by a librarian at the Grand Library of Canterspire after the ritual entered Urizen lore. Unfortunately, there are no notes in the original text as to what the spear of Heyrrokyn is, where it may be found, nor why the ice giants would care about it's destruction. While it is certainly possible for the ice giants to empower the ritual again should the assurance be broken, it would require a new set of negotiations and there is no guarantee that it will work the same way it did previously.
This ritual was one of the very first to become part of Urizen lore, following the Autumn Equinox 383YE. Contributed by Mord Thorntarry of the spire of Auric Horizen, the ritual was one of those contained in the book Meditations. Written by Callus Tacitus, Dean of the Lyceum during the reign of Empress Britta, the book also contained Swords in the Noonday Sun, Good Green Oak, Eyes of the Hills and two rituals that had already become part of Imperial lore - Find the Best Path and Hammers of the Brilliant Shore.
The ritual draws on the "strength and viciousness of the “ice giants” that accompany Cathan Canae, and evokes the image of their hooked pole-arms". The eternal commonly known as the Queen of Ice and Darkness or the Lady of the Frost is not directly involved, but from a legal standpoint there is no difference between drawing on the power of the heralds of an eternal and drawing directly on Cathan Canae herself. This judgement has been further supported by recent discoveries around the way heralds and eternals respond to the declarations of amity and enmity. As such, performing the ritual while Cathan Canae is under enmity would still be a crime. Codified in the reign of Emperor Guntherm, it was formulated at a time where the Mistress of Blizzards had only recently ceased to be considered an enemy of the Empire; her open support for the Jotun orcs has long complicated her relationship with the Imperial Conclave. According to Meditations, the ritual was formulated during the peace with the Jotun secured by the Emperor so that he could focus his attention on the Druj in the east. However it allegedly saw little use before Cathan Canae was again placed under enmity by the Conclave for her alleged role in the death of the Wintermark Throne.
The Marchers in particular seem to appreciate this ritual, although I understand that there have been some problems with their friars. They dislike the anger the ritual brings with it, apparently. On the few occasions I was able to perform it on one of them I must confess I saw very little difference in their dour exteriors.''Meditations'', Callus Strategos
The western barbarians are certainly aware of this ritual, or at least possess a common boon from Cathan Canae that works very similarly. Callus wrote of encountering a Jotun warband whose warriors appeared to employ a similar enchantment that involved great spears marked with the runes Tykonus and Verys on their hafts. It lead him to express a suspicion that "sneaky Heftan the Fox – who did much of the work on the foundation of this ritual – might have been a better thief, or a better diplomat, than he was a magical researcher."
Employing Hook of the Hoarfrost Guardian can be a little dauntiny; it fills the recipient with barely controlled fury as well as with savage combat mastery. Obviously a warrior whose poise is without question can control and channel this rage into even greater effectiveness of the battlefield, but less sophisticated recipients of the ritual might end up being overwhelmed by the anger it creates. As such, Urizen magicians are advised to take care as to where and upon whom they employ this powerful enchantment.
As a personal enchantment, the ritual often includes anointing or girding the recipients in some manner as a symbol for the bestowing of power. Pure, cold water poured or dabbed on the forehead, shouders, and hands has a particular resonance with the ritual, especially if that water is made by melting ice or snow. Even better is actual ice or snow, although securing such material is dependant on the weather. Marking the weapon of the recipient in the same manner, or tying something indicative of strength or potency to the haft of the pole-arm, is also appropriate. Practitioners of blood magic have indicated that a little blood taken from a changeling mixed with water is especially appropriate for such anointing.