Pallid Flesh of the Dead King
Winter Magnitude 13
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets a character, who must be present throughout.
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
The target gains three additional ranks of endurance. At the same time, they are affected by venom. The supernatural venom caused by this enchantment cannot be removed by a purify spell (although attempting to do so will not cost the caster any mana) unless the enchantment is removed first.
If the venom is removed by other means (such as Ascetic Star of Atun or the use of Imperial Roseweald for example) the enchantment immediately ends and the target loses three hits from their current total.
While under this enchantment, the target also experiences a roleplaying effect: you occasionally feel as if your body is wrapped in heavy chains, and suffer instants where an arm or leg will not move. You regularly suffer dreams of being buried alive, or entombed unmoving in a great empty chamber for eternity.
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 10. Additional characters must be present throughout.
Any caster who has mastered the ritual may choose to substitute ingots of Orichalcum, Weltsilver, and Tempest Jade for crystal mana when contributing to it. Every 2 ingots spent in this way counts as 1 crystal mana when contributing to the ritual. However, a magician may only use this option if they make it clear through their roleplaying that these are gifts for the eternals of the Thrice-cursed Court, generally by invoking the name of Tharim. It should be obvious to any observer that these ingots are a tribute.
This enchantment lets a target shrug off the effects of sword-blows but renders them vulnerable both to arrows and to sustained injury. It provides short-term protection at a price, and a short-sighted, incautious target is likely to die under the influence of this ritual. Only a warrior who understands the limitations the enchantment places on them can use it safely.
The power of this enchantment is drawn from the Bound King of the Thrice-cursed Court. It demonstrates their obsession with power that comes at a price. Some scholars of the eternals believe that this ritual alleviates a portion of the Bound King's own curse as long as a mortal 'benefits' from the enchantment, and this explains why the heralds of the court often bear items that make it easier to perform this ritual. Suspicious minds suggest that in theory if enough people were subject to this ritual at one time, the Bound King would be permanently freed from his chains.
Performance of this ritual often involves feeding poisonous or noxious liquid to the target, or binding their wrists or in some cases even going to far as to wrap them in chains while simultaneously crowning them in a symbolic way. The target is often sitting when this enchantment is performed. Some ritualists require that the target verbally confirms that they understand the price for the strength the ritual grants, and agree to seek no vengeance should they die as a consequence of its performance; some Varushkan ritualists go so far as to demand an oath to that effect.
The ritual often involves the runes Verys and Naeve together; whatever its ultimate source, the enchantment grants strength through weakness, or perhaps demonstrates the idea of offering weakness in one area as a price for strength in another.