Sharp Eyes of the Corsair
Day Magnitude 10
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets a military unit. This ritual targets a military unit. The character who controls the target personal resource must be present throughout. This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
This ritual places an enchantment on the target military unit that enhances their prowess in the field of information gathering. This will increase their effectiveness by 40 force, but only for the purposes of assisting a spy network.
The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event.
This ritual can affect additional military units belonging to characters from the same banner. Each additional character increases the magnitude by 8. The character who controls each military unit must be present throughout the ritual.
The ritual was based on research performed during Winter 378YE by Anwar I Erigo, a hakima belonging to the Seers of Oran. It was one of the last rituals Anwar developed before leaving the hakima to serve in the Imperial Senate. It was codified during Winter 378YE at the Halls of Knowledge in Zenith under the supervision of Octavius of the Spire of the Auric Horizon, the Provost of the Halls of Knowledge. It was added to the body of Imperial lore by declaration of the Imperial Conclave during the Spring 379YE summit.
With an increased interest in lands outside the Empire, the usefulness of a ritual that would help scouts and agents uncover details of a hostile territory was obvious. By the Winter of 378YE, the Senate was operating spy networks in the Barrens, in Liathaven and in Verthandi (in the Thule nation of Otkodov). Furthermore, it seemed likely that similar networks would soon be established in the Mallum (the lands controlled by the Druj to the east of the Empire) and, with the approaching end of the Jotun ceasefire, with the western barbarians as well.
Traditional enchantments such as those provided by Raise the Standard of War or Merciless Wrath of the Reaver are ineffective when supporting a spy network. Even Shroud of Mist and Shadow, an otherwise quite versatile ritual of the lore of Night, proved of limited use when it came to gathering precise information about territories, settlements, trade routes and the like.
The lore of Day lends itself particularly well to uncovering information, however. The benefits the enchantment provides are twofold.
Firstly, it grants additional precision to the soldiers themselves. It sharpens their senses, granting additional precision when it comes to measurements or observations. When scouting, they will naturally avoid areas covered by other scouts and receive some additional advantages when it comes to finding routes and outposts from which to observe – but avoid – enemy forces.
Secondly, it helps the soldiers to submit reports about what they have seen that are clear and useful to the civil servants responsible for collating the experiences of the various companies involved in gathering information through the spy network.
During the codification of the ritual there were some complaints from the notoriously sour Urizen mage Lucien of the Halls of Knowledge (enjoying an extended visit to the distant Lyceum to take advantage of the excellent climate during a particularly cold winter in the peaks of Zenith). This elderly and outspoken magician pointed out that as a ritual of the tenth magnitude, Sharp Eyes of the Corsair was less “efficient” than it could arguably be – a consequence of the Law of Scale.
By simply doubling the magnitude, he claimed, the effectiveness of the ritual would increase by around two-and-a-half times. A twentieth magnitude iteration of this ritual would allow the most basic company of military men and women to effectively double their contribution to espionage activities using a spy network. Doing so would be relatively easy – it would certainly take no more time than codifying the ritual at its established magnitude.Calmer heads prevailed, however. The ritual as defined by the Provost might be slightly less efficient, but it is possible for a mistress of Day magic to perform the ritual without the assistance of a coven which could prove to be a significant advantage that should not be discounted.
While the ritual involves enchanting a body of soldiers, it also involves elements of divination – as such, common elements appropriate to either or both form of ritual magic are appropriate to the performance of Sharp Eyes of the Corsair. The ritual is also based on initial research performed by one of the Freeborn hakima, so elements of Brass Coast magic are also appropriate. Indeed, the soothing and harmonious music that often accompanies Erigo rituals seems a particularly good fit for this ritual of the realm of Day.
As with all rituals designed to enhance a company of soldiers, Sharp Eyes of the Corsair uses the leader or captain of the company as a focus, exploiting the Law of Dominion to overcome the Law of Presence. The ritual often involves the targets of the enchantment being anointed with oil or fresh water; a Dawnish researcher recommended girding the subject with symbols associated with clear sight such as a spyglass or map of the area their soldiers would be expected to explore. Providing the commander with a banner marked with an appropriate symbol of Vigilance, Wisdom or clarity is also quite an appropriate element for this ritual.
The ritual resonates strongly with the Wintermark Rune of Discovery – Sular represents not supernatural revelation but the knowledge that comes from exploration and active investigation. That this rune is commonly referred to as “the Ship” is a happy coincidence that makes the chosen name for the ritual even more appropriate.
Astronomancy would tie the ritual to the Key, with its strong resonance for unlocking secrets and discovering truth. Some Urizen magicians point out that the ritual also has a resonance with the Spider – the hidden eye that observes things, especially things outside the Imperial sphere of influence. Spiders are also a Varushkan symbol associated with Wisdom – making them doubly appropriate.
At the time of this writing, there has been little opportunity to experiment with dramaturgy. However, a theoretical Marcher arcanist at the Lyceum by the name of Jenny Greenteeth suggested that the Bishop would be an excellent persona to use with the ritual, combining the concepts of strengthening and revealing with the vital virtue of Vigilance.