Shadowed Glass of Sung
Night Magnitude 8
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. The ritual targets the nearby area.
This ritual requires a mirror, reflective surface, or similar focus that is studied during the performance.
This ritual presents information about an area, focusing on secrets, enigmas, or mysteries. It answers the question "Is there a specific secret, mystery, or enigma associated with this location?"
As with many Night magic divinations, the precise information presented by the ritual varies dramatically. It may be straightforward and clear, or couched in the form of a symbolic vision, or even a riddle. The information usually comes in the form of one or two sentences, but may involve a short vision of some sort.
Examples of results with this ritual might include: "There is a secret room in the nearby mine that can only be opened by someone who has studied astronomancy" or "The dead lie unquiet in their graves - in their fitful slumber they continue to fight the battles of ages bone by. They will attack without mercy anyone who reminds them of their ancient foes" or "You have a brief vision of a pale woman with a twisted staff watching you from beneath the shadow of the trees. Before you can draw attention to her, she breaks apart into a flock of ravens, leaving you with a vague feeling of creeping dread. For the rest of this quest you may ask the question "Are you the woman from my vision?" as if using the disguise rules."
Each contributor receives the same information.
Not every location reveals information to this ritual - either because there is no information or because there is so much information it overloads the magic. The divination function of the detect magic spell can be used to discover if there is information that can be revealed with this ritual.
On rare occasions, an area may be under the effect of a magical shroud or obscuring magic. If the shroud has a higher strength than the magnitude of the ritual, it reveals only whether there is information to be discerned, and the presence, realm, and magnitude of the shrouding effect.
The magnitude of this ritual may be increased to allow it to penetrate more powerful shrouds or obscuring effects.
This ritual is primarily intended to be used on quests, or during player events. As a consequence the definition of an area is left intentionally vague. At a main event, the entire quest area might be treated as a single location, while a player event might have different information for each room in a building. If it is relevant, the referee can indicate what counts as an "area" when the ritual is cast, or when detect magic is used to determine the presence of information.
When cast in Anvil, the ritual usually reveals the same enigmatic riddle "The world is made of secret knots." Ritualists have debated for centuries as to what precisely this means. A detect magic spell may occasionally reveal if there is specific, additional information in a specific part of Anvil.
Unlike Clear Lens of the Eternal River, the ritualist stares deeply into the focus, rather than through it. Some magicians explain that the sensation of performing the ritual, especially when doing so without a coven, is as much about looking within as being aware of their surroundings. When cast by a coven, the same focus is usually passed from ritualist to ritualist, each seeing fragments of the larger vision as they slowly combine the details to understand the import of the rituals' divination.
Rituals like this have been used since time-out-of-mind by groups as diverse as the Kallavesi mystics, the Navarr vates, Freeborn seers and League diviners. As with many Night magic divinations, even when it provides information it is often fragmentary, symbolic, or metaphorical, and interpreting it can prove quite challenging - there are plenty of stories of magicians understanding what they have learned only after exploring an area and encountering the dangers their magic divined.
It is difficult to predict what information, if any, will be revealed, Some academic magicians compare it to Signs and Portents, rather than to the thematically similar Clear Lens of the Eternal River. Indeed, there is some evidence that the information it provides can shift and change over time - although generally in the course of several days or weeks meaning it is rarely effective to perform the ritual twice in the same place on the same day.
The ritual is popular in the League, drawing as it does on the hearth magics of mirrors. It is also somewhat popular in Varushka, where a talented volhov who can perform the ritual solo can gather vital information about the places they visit, and potentially receive valuable insight into a threat. .
In Imperial lore, the ritual takes its common name from the Night eternal Sung, the winged serpent who seeks after mysteries and enigmas, but it does not specifically draw on her power. Her name is often invoked during the casting. This is the original Dawnish name for the ritual - some magicians prefer to refer to it by its Highborn title - Through the Glass Darkly - or by the Urizen name The Mirror of Enigmas.
This is a divination ritual, and often involves runestones or cards as well as the reflective surface that serves as the focus. The mirror, is often painted with runes during the ritual. The surface may also be made of a special material - weltsilver-backed glass is very popular. Some magicians prefer to use an orb of crystal - especially tempest jade, usually with a flaw at its heart on which they can focus their attention. Rarely, a totem item such as a small statue of an animal might be used - especially by a solo-caster - that the magician focuses their full attention on while performing the ritual. There are stories of
Swirling red and black designs painted around the eyes of the ritualists are another common element, marking their attunement to the specially prepared mirror. Likewise, blood magic involve dripping drops of blood from a particularly wise individual onto the glass. There are reports of special magic items, specifically ritual foci that can be used to make it easier for a single caster to perform the ritual (and, so the stories go, to empower certain other other divinations). Unfortunately, the creation of such items is not common knowledge in the Empire although they are said to be common in part of the Principalities of Jarm.
The rune Xun and Diras is often used with this ritual, as are scenes of divination and magic involving characters such as The Bishop or The Doctor, or the evocation of the virtues of Wisdom or Vigilance, or of wise animals or creatures such as sphinxes.