Merciless Wrath of the Reaver
Spring Magnitude 8
Performing the Ritual
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
The military unit gains a significant boost to its effective rank, provided it engages in Independent Action. This temporary bonus increases the effective fighting force of the unit by 60, the equivalent of 3 normal upgrades.
When the ritual is complete, the character who controls the target resource experiences a roleplaying effect; they feel aggressive and ready to solve any problem with violence; they have little patience for anything that gets in the way of their immediate gratification. The effect persists for at least ten minutes..
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 military unit does not engage in independent action during the next downtime, the ritual has no effect.
This ritual can affect additional military units belonging to characters in the same banner. Each additional military unit increases the magnitude by 6. The character who controls each military unit must be present throughout the ritual.
This enchantment grants a military unit vigour and primitive strength, and heightens their aggression. The more bloodthirsty they are, the more the magic of Spring encourages them and strengthens them. It encourages the members of the unit to deal with problems directly, and with violence, and their willingness to "get stuck in" often takes their opponents by surprise. If they operate in more restrained activity such as fighting alongside a campaign army, or garrisoning a fortification the enchantment quickly fades.
It is common for those who receive the benefit of the spell to offer a portion of any plunder they gain in the coming season to the ritualists, although this is by no means mandatory - not least because some ritualists prefer to be paid in advance rather than trust to the short memories of raiders.
The Merciless Wrath of the Reaver can be a little risky. The soldiers in a military unit are unlikely to direct their violence inwards unless they are already on the verge of turning on each other, but there are stories of bloodthirsty warriors who lost the last vestiges of humanity under the influence of this enchantment. This effect is especially pronounced if the enchantment is placed on a unit of Imperial Orcs, who are often already in danger of giving in to violent urges
The nature of the paid work the unit undertakes is likely to influence how the ritual effects the soldiers. For example, if they engage in a raid against barbarians or bandits they are much more likely to attack ferociously to kill or cripple their opponents as quickly as they can and show little mercy. A band of soldiers engaged in providing additional muscle to a business, in contrast, are much more likely to beat a troublemaker up and throw them into the street than to murder them in cold blood, while a sortie into dangerous territory to raid a lost ruin is likely to see a lot of doors being kicked in, and any monsters encountered torn limb-from-limb.
This ritual is sometimes called Across the Boundary, especially in The Marches, where they have a well-developed sense of 'their' land as opposed to barbarian lands - as well as a nod to the potential for the enchantment to cause the military unit to "cross a line" socially or morally. In The League and Highguard it is commonly called Bloodthirsty Blades because of the way it encourages soldiers to fight mercilessly against their opponents.
The ritual fills a fighting force with both vigour and bloodlust. Ritual performances often include the evocation of the rune of storms or the constellation of The Claw. Blood is often shed during this ritual, often mixed with a cup or bowl of water or spirits and shared by the targets. Sometimes the ritual involves the targets cutting themselves with a blade and swearing oaths to be merciless in pursuit of their prey. There are often invocations of wolves or other predatory animals, especially dire beasts and occasionally manticores during the performance of Merciless Wrath of the Reaver.