Knights of Glory
Summer Magnitude 120
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 10 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets an Imperial army. The general responsible for the army (or the egregore if the general is not at Anvil) must be present throughout.
During the ritual the casters must be in a strong Summer regio.
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
This ritual summons a number of warriors from the Summer realm to support a campaign army. The presence of these supernatural warriors will raise the strength of the campaign army by the equivalent of 3,000 additional soldiers. The additional army strength granted by this enchantment is affected by the orders given to the army. While the effect is expressed as being equivalent to additional soldiers, this enchantment never reduces casualties suffered by the army.
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 draws on pacts with Eleonaris the Eternal Queen of the Fields of Glory in the Summer realm. The ritual calls one of her hosts to join an established campaign army and fight alongside the troops for a season. These troops are a mix of heralds and embodied spirits. They are usually attired in gold-and-crimson surcotes and fight under the lion banner of their mistress, although some of their heralds will also fly pennants appropriate to the main army if they are asked to do so. They are almost invariably attired in heavy armour, often of burnished bronze, sungold or (in the case of champions) orichalcum-steel. They will die as easily as mortal troops, but they seem to treat death as a minor inconvenience or even a surprise - it is as if they consider themselves immortal. If challenged, they are likely to shrug and comment enigmatically that their slain comrades will "Return to the fields of glory, by and by."
The summoned soldiers fight with the appearance of great bravery and civility; they are cordial to mortal soldiers, although a little distant. They engage mercilessly, with great ferocity, and seem to take an almost unholy joy in challenging and defeating any enemies. They will happily engage in tourneys or honour duels with mortal champions, but they lack a sense of consequences - duels often end in death, or maiming, unless their opponents are very clear on the rules. They are also disinclined to stealth, ambush or other guerilla tactics preferring to face their opponents head-on. They love to fight other forces summoned from the realms - they will single out groups of shadow warriors, crystal warriors or especially grim legionnaires unless explicitly ordered otherwise, and even then they chafe under such restrictions.
Knights summoned with this ritual are unable to pass through the Sentinel Gate. As with creatures such as the shadow warriors bound by the Conclave of Trees and Shadow or the prismatic soldiers raised by Carve the Crystal Guardian it seems that the magic of the gate cannot transport them; attempts to do so simply seem to result in the knights returning to the Summer realm prematurely.
When the enchantment ends, the knights travel to the nearest Summer regio and depart the mortal realm. They carry with them any of their number who have fallen in battle, and the arms and armour of any soldier left behind tends to disappear at around this time - never overtly, but when unobserved the items vanish.
Eleonaris receives a full report from her troops when they return to her, and if they are mistreated, betrayed or misused in some fashion she is likely to swear vengeance against the perpetrators. On the few occasions in the past when this has happened, she has called a truce with both her perennial rival Jaheris and her more occasional sparring partner Hayaak the gryphon-king and enlisted both of them in seeking revenge on those who have dared to betray her trust.
Some enchanters have claimed that Jaheris, the consort-rival of Eleonaris, has been known to offer gifts that allow the summoning of troops loyal to his silver-and-blue Unicorn standard when this ritual is performed. Similar gifts have been offered in the past by Hayaak the Lord of Wrath to summon his hosts of vengeance; by Cathan Canae to call forth her cold-hearted giant warriors; and occasionally by Barien, the arbiter of worth, as a reward for those who have bested one of his challenges Regardless of the truth of these claims, the Commander of the Golden Armies seems to have put paid to such things happening again when, shortly before the Autumn Equinox 383YE she claimed she had "[Power,_corruption,_and_lies#Eleonaris|taken back control]]" of the ritual. The ritual was crafted with her power, she claimed, and it had only been through her grace that other eternals had been able to make use of it to bring their servants from the Summer realm to the mortal realm. That grace was now withdrawn, as was her right. The ritual will now only bring forth knights from the Fields of Glory. "Let other eternals create their own magical rituals if they wish to aid the Empire," she concluded.
(OOC Note: Under most circumstances any knights created during Profound Decisions events will unfortunately have to remain primarily as a downtime or plot resource rather than something that can be used on the field. At player events, this might not be the case; but we cannot commit to phys-repping eternal warriors at short notice nor can they be used in uptime battles due to their inability to pass the portal.)
Enmity and Neutrality
At the Winter Solstice 379YE the eternal was given Enmity by the Imperial Conclave. It was thus a crime to perform this ritual. At the Spring Equinox 380YE Conclave voted to return Eleonaris to the state of Neutrality, which among other things made this ritual once again legal to perform.
It is exceptionally common to include a flag, pennant, banner or standard as part of this ritual, especially one that bears the device of Eleonaris - a golden lion on the red field. Other common elements include the invocation of brave warriors who have fought for the Empire in the past, and symbols of Pride and Courage. Other elements include girding the military leader, the sound of martial horns or drums, and the presence of warriors from the same nation as the target as witnesses.
The rune of victory, Tykonus, is favoured for this ritual both for its association with banners and flags and for its connection to the Eternal Lady of the Crimson Host.