The Mercantilist's Mask provides the wearer with a greater understanding of the tides and rivers of wealth that flow through the Empire and beyond; they learn to better manipulate such forces to benefit business. It is rare for one of these masks not to incorporate a Wintermark rune - most often Pallas the Rune of Wealth. Some artisans make use of subtle Queros or serendipitous Ull. Outside Wintermark, the rune is often inscribed on the interior of the mask, often in such a way that it will rest just above the lips of the wearer.
These masks are seldom opulent or bejewelled, instead preferring a subtle touch of gold trim or silver inlay on a plain and well crafted base. Coins are an obvious motif to include when fashioning such an item; in the Brass Coast a popular form of this mask is a lower-face veil composed of two dozen ring coins bound together with orichalcum wires called (unsurprisingly) a Veil of Rings.
Fish are sometimes used - the scales of a fish can appear metallic, and they navigate literal tides in the same way the magician seeks to navigate metaphoric economic tides (as well as having obvious resonance with the Art of the Deal ritual). In Varushka the mask may be engraved with bees, but a mask in the shape of a squirrel may also work well with the magic employed (the squirrel is wise, but it also collects and stores nuts in a way that has obvious resonance to the behaviour of a business owner).
As with all the magical masks, these foci are used to grant additional power to perform ritual magic. In this case, the Mercantilist's Mask empowers the Streams of Silver, Rivers of Gold, and Art of the Deal rituals. All three rituals deal with the accumulation of wealth; subtly nudging synchronicity to ensure a steady flow of coins into the pockets of a business owner.
By itself, it will allow even a novice autumn ritualist to perform Streams of Silver without having mastered it and without the assistance of a coven. It is sufficient to empower that simple ritual enough to let a ritualist add one or two additional businesses to a performance depending on the mastery of the wearer. It is not quite so impactful when used to perform Rivers of Gold or Art of the Deal - in theory, it might allow a master of Autumn magic who is familiar with the ritual to perform it by themselves (perhaps one who has access to an appropriate potion or ritual staff). More likely it will help a coven gather sufficient power to perform the ritual with limited mastery, or enchant an additional business or fleet that might otherwise be beyond their power with a single performance.
- Form: Talisman. Takes the form of a ritual focus. You must be wearing this item or holding it in hand to use its magical properties.
- Requirement: You must have the magician skill to bond to this item.
- Effect: Gain 1 rank for the Streams of Silver, Rivers of Gold, and Art of the Deal rituals, subject to the normal rules for effective skill.
- Materials: Crafting a Mercantilist's Mask requires five ingots of orichalcum, three measures of dragonbone, and three measures of iridescent gloaming. It takes one month to make one of these items.