Shroud of Mist and Shadow
Night Magnitude 10
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets a military unit. The character who controls the target personal resource must be present throughout. must be present throughout.
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
The target military unit gains a bonus to both its effectiveness when it supports a campaign army or engages in an independent action. This temporary bonus increases the effective fighting force of the unit by 40, the equivalent of 2 normal upgrades.
The character who controls the military unit experiences a short-lived roleplaying effect: they are filled with the urge to hatch clever schemes, especially those that misdirect or mislead their enemies or show their cunning. The effects last at least two minutes, and may last longer
The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event.
This ritual can affect additional military unites controlled by members of the same banner. Each additional military unit increases the magnitude by 6. The character who controls each unit must be present throughout the ritual.
This ritual lacks the brute force power of Raise the Standard of War, but what it lacks in might it makes up for in versatility; it is also easier to cast on a number of targets at once. The enchanted military force is shrouded in a veil of concealment. Usually this veil takes the form of a natural phenomenon such as mist or rain, but when such a force is active synchronicity conspires to help them remain undetected until the last moment. Stray winds or sudden spills extinguish lanterns or lamps; odd noises distract sentries or patrols; a guard might sneeze at just the right moment to cover a careless footfall. It may also occasionally be more overtly supernatural; a warrior might manage to hide behind a birch sapling for a few vital moments; a trained scout might mistake heavy boot-prints for deer tracks; a bobbing witch-light might lead a military unit into an advantageous position from which to launch an ambush.
On the battlefield, warriors under this enchantment are often able to attack from ambush, giving them a momentary advantage. Over the duration of an entire battle the protection of the shroud of mist and shadow tends to even out, but in swift engagements it can give a decisive advantage. When a military unit partakes of paid work, the shroud helps them remain unobtrusive until they need to act, making it especially popular with business owners looking to hire some additional security. It also has obvious effectiveness when a unit raids a bandit encampment, or strikes out into dangerous territory in search of adventure and riches.
This ritual enhances a small military force, using a connection to its leader to spread magic through the entire unit. It is common to include a banner, standard or even occasionally a musical instrument that will be used by the target force as a focus for the ritual. On occasion the banner is shrouded in white or black cloth to hide the insignia, and any heraldic devices or livery on shields or surcoats are likewise concealed when the ritual is performed.
Other common elements include the invocation of paragons and exemplars of Vigilance and Wisdom, or of folk heroes known for their cleverness, cunning or subtlety. Other elements include girding a military leader in robes, cowl, veils or masks; the quiet sound of disturbing music, dim lanterns moved in seemingly random patterns; the burning of incense to create clouds of smoke that represent mist, and the presence of blindfolded warriors as 'witnesses'.
The Rune of Mystery, Wyr, is often included.