Rules

Day Magnitude 18

Performing the Ritual

Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying.

Effects

This ritual allows the casters to ask a specific question of the eternal known as the Leviathan. The purpose of the ritual is to try to divine a past cause or event that has led to a present-day state of affairs or consequence. It calls to the as Leviathan, asking them to thread through the weave of cause and effect to pick out the key fact that explains the current situation.

During the ritual, the casters must vocally indicate the target of the ritual in the form of a question about what has caused or led to a current state - for example, "Why are the Druj renewing their raids on the Barrens?; "Why is the Lord of the Five Winds moving her troops into position near our borders?"; Why are the merchants of the Sarcophan Delves so keen to purchase green iron?"; "Why are the Feni attacking Kahraman?" and so on.

Leviathan will endeavour to appear at the nearest regio one hour after this ritual is performed. A suitable casting of operate portal by a magician in the regio will allow Leviathan to approach. If this happens, then the Leviathan will provide the response to the question asked to everyone present in the regio. If this does not happen then Leviathan will await another opportunity to provide the answer.

Description

This ritual is powerful, but problematic. It always provides a truthful response, and Leviathan is adept at sorting causes that are useful from random minor details, but the being is not infallible. For example, in response to the question "Why are the Druj renewing their raids on the Barrens?" the answer is much more likely to be something like "Because they have agreed to supply the Thule with a thousand slaves before the end of the year" or "Because the Druj shaman wish to distract the Empire from their real interests in Reikos" than "Because the Druj warlord gave the order to attack the Barrens".

The question for Leviathan to answer, must ask about a motivation or a cause. This means it must usually be phrased with a "Why?" rather than a "How?" Attempts to find out, for example, how the Druj raids might be stopped will fail utterly. Leviathan may answer questions asking "Who?" is responsible but the answers are usually cryptic, or almost useless. Asking "Who is behind the Druj attacks on the Barrens?" might give the name of a Druj chieftan or shaman, but is much more likely to name an unknown figure who, at some point centuries in the past, set the Druj on the path to war with the Empire ... or even to suggest it is Atun, for bringing the Highborn to these shores centuries ago.

Another weakness of the ritual is that the more tied-up in the affairs they enquire about the casters are, the more general the response. For example, asking Leviathan to divine the cause of "the Talbot senator being elected today" is likely to name the First Empress as being behind it.

These caveats aside, provided the events are large enough in scale, the ritual can provides vital information. Discovering an alliance between the Druk and the Thule to exchange prisoners, or that the Lord of the Five Winds has been hearing rumours of Freeborn intention to invade Faraden, or that the Feni are being driven out of their safe locations by a plague of vallornspawn can all be vital steps in preventing disaster or using the circumstances to the best advantage of the coven.

Common Elements

This is a divination ritual, and often involves runestones or cards, and interpretting their outcome may form the core of the ritual. Reflective surfaces such as mirrors or - especially - silver or weltsilver bowls of fresh or salt water are often involved. The name of the Leviathan is usually invoked, as may Paragons and Exemplars of Wisdom. A recitation of the details known about the event being scried, or recreation of the circumstances around it, may also serve as a useful focus.

The rune Ophis is often used with this ritual and is often combined with Queros which covers plots and the idea of events spreading from a single cause.