Riddle Hides the Reward
Performing the ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets a single magic item or character, either of which must be present for the duration of the ritual.
Riddle Hides the Reward obfuscates the presence of all bonds attached to the item or the character, making them hard to break with unbonding effects. Spells such as create bond and items such as Lodestone Shears cannot target any of these bonds. The effect targets all bonds present at the time it is performed; new bonds created to an item such as a magical standard are not affected with this ritual.
Any magician who contributed to the performance of the ritual can use the create bond spell to break an affected bond.
The effect of this shroud lasts for a year or until all effected bonds have been cut.
The higher the magnitude the harder it is to remove the effect with rituals such as Black Iron Blade or Piercing Light of Revelation.
Removing the Shroud
The Winter ritual Black Iron Blade can be used to break the bonds effected by this shroud, and a sufficiently powerful Piercing Light of Revelation will remove the effect of the shroud from an item or character without severing any bonds, if it is of sufficient magnitude. The bond is also dissolved if the target magical item is destroyed with Words of Ending. As always, the bond does not break if the character involved dies.
This ritual works by making it hard for a magician to locate or understand a bond; perceived with magic the bond often appears to slip away or twist out of the grasp of a magician, or change shape and colour. It does not stymie divination magic, but it slips away from the energies used to cut a bond. Powerful Day magic can strip the protection from the bond, and potent Winter rituals can cause it to fray and snap, but under normal circumstances only one of the magicians who performed the ritual - who understand the riddle woven into the bond - can destroy it without effort and powerful magic.
This ritual serves two purposes; firstly, as a shroud, it prevents an individual from breaking a bond with an item. This is usually merely an inconvenience, but it can also serve as a punishment, and might be more dangerous if the item in question has unwanted effects. Secondly, it can also be used to make it more difficult for an item to be stolen - a thief cannot easily unbond it and rebond it.
Performing the Ritual
Things that enhance themes of secrecy and concealment are common elements with this ritual, as are images that involve tying or restraining the target. Ritualists are often masked, cowled or veiled and often ask rhetorical questions or unanswerable riddles.
The rune Diras is commonly evoked with this ritual; scenes of confusion and misdirection involving an item, or the power of The Wanderer may also be included.