The Cuckoo's Egg
Night Magnitude 6
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets a character, who must be present throughout. The target character must be willing. The ritual must be performed near the Sentinel Gate when it is performed in Anvil, or near the gate's return point if it is performed elsewhere.
The ritual must include giving the target a new name, appropriate to the nation of the coven performing the ritual. If the target is not of the same species as the coven performing the ritual, the target must also wear an article of clothing or marking appropriate to the coven's nationality (a mask, a cloak, a Navarr-style symbol painted on the face and so on).
When the ritual is complete the target may be brought through the Sentinel Gate as if they were an Imperial citizen of the same nation as the coven who performed the ritual. They must be accompanied by at least one member of the coven performing the ritual.
The ritual allows one trip through the Sentinel Gate which must take place within ten minutes of the ritual being completed.
This ritual cannot target Imperial citizens (it cannot be used, for example, to allow players to participate in a battle their nation is not attending).
This ritual can affect additional characters from the same band. Each additional character increases the magnitude by 4. Additional characters must be present throughout, and must receive a different name.
This ritual was developed under the guidance of the Varushkan Simargl, the Empty One of the Circle of Zulgan-Tash during his tenure as Dean of the Lyceum. A quintessentially elegant exercise in the use of the magic of Night, the ritual tricks the magic of the Sentinel Gate into allowing a non-Imperial to be brought through in one direction or the other. It does not actually change the nationality of the target - it simply creates a short-lived deceptive aura that interferes with the ability of the gate to determine the identity of the target. The glamour is very specific - while it allows someone to pass through the Sentinel gate who could not otherwise do so, it could not be used to (for example) trick a magical ward that allows only Freeborn individuals to pass.
While the subject of the ritual must be willing, they do not have to be happy about it. A prisoner could still be subjected to this ritual provided their consent can be secured; may prisoners would consider agreeing to this ritual to be preferable to death or torment. That said, it is obvious that the ritual is more useful in rescuing foreigners from dangerous situations, or allowing them to accompany questing groups or heroic sorties alongside Imperial allies. In the latter case it must be remembered that the magic allows passage only in one direction - the ritual would need to be performed again to bring the target back through the gate.
Several scholars involved in devising the ritual have suggested that a more potent effect that functions as an enchantment on the targets might also theoretically be possible, allowing the target to travel in both directions on more than one occasion during the duration. They also opined that a more potent version could be devised that allowed an unwilling target to be brought through the gate. It has also been pointed out that a similar effect could be achieved with relative ease using the magic of the Autumn Realm, creating a similar effect to that of The Ambassadorial Gatekeeper.
Even though the ritual only requires guising the target if it is of a different species to the magicians performing it, it is common to include that element even when the species is the same. Another common element is the use of hearth magics related to identity such as girding, masks, mirrors, cowls and veils or donations of clothing. Similarly, symbolic ceremonies of adoption or marriage might be employed, often followed by an equally symbolic casting-out or divorce once the gate is passed. A Kallavesi involved in designing the ritual suggested that certain animal masks might also be appropriate - symbolically casting the subject as an animal companion rather than a member of the same nation.
The constellation of the Three Sisters is quite appropriate to this ritual, as are the runes of mystery or plots. Dramaturgical performances using the Witch, especially those involving cases of mistaken or concealed identity, are also a good fit for this magical glamour.