Thief's Arcane Gambit
Night Magnitude 4
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. The character or item bearing the target enchantment, as well as the character or item intended to receive the enchantment, must be present throughout.
This ritual targets an enchantment on a character or item. At the completion of the ritual, the enchantment is moved from the character or item it is on now to a new character or item (as appropriate).
The entire enchantment is moved along with any remaining duration or power (in the case of enchantments that can be used a number of times each day). All effects of the enchantment are moved; the enchantment ends on the donor, and any effects that might be triggered by the enchantment ending occur. The enchantment is then gained by the new target, and any effects that might be triggered by the enchantment taking effect on a target occur.
The "donor" of the enchantment must be present throughout, but need not be willing.
The enchantment must be moved to a legitimate target. For example, you cannot move an enchantment that targets a character onto an item, and you cannot move an enchantment that requires a character with the magician skill to a character who does not have that skill. Note however that the new target does not need to be in the same band as the old target, nor does it need to be the same nationality.
The ritual will move an enchantment with a magnitude up to double that of the thief's arcane gambit. The exception is any enchantment that obscures or conceals information; to move enchantments such as Masque of the Blinded Weaver the magnitude of Thief's Arcane Gambit must be at least equal to the magnitude of the target enchantment.
The ritual can be used to transfer enchantments such as Blessing of New Spring which target a resource but use a character as the focus for that ritual. This is much more prone to failure, however, as it is difficult to be certain about the magnitude of the target enchantment, or be certain what the targeting restrictions are.
You may increase the magnitude of the ritual to attempt to target a more powerful enchantment.
Despite similar terminology, the qualities of a magic item are not enchantments. They are an innate part of the item - it is impossible to move the magical properties of a magic item to another magic item using this ritual.
Misdirection, cleverness, cunning and transformation ... in this case these all boil down to the ability to take something from one place and move it to another. Often this ritual is used for quite legitimate purposes - to move an enchantment to a new target who will benefit from it, with the collusion and approval of the donor character. Other times, the enchantment is moved for underhand reasons - effectively stolen from a legitimate target and placed on someone undeserving. The law is not entirely clear on whether this counts as theft or not; often the Imperial Conclave is called on to determine if a theft has taken place. It is more common for an unwilling target to be a restrained barbarian or prisoner of war, but it is also possible to use trickery to cause the bearer of the target enchantment to remain unaware of the true purpose of the ritual - an apocryphal tale speaks of a Marcher ritualist who persuaded a spy to receive what she believed was a ritual to purge venom when in fact the clever Bregaslander used Thief's Arcane Gambit to transfer Secrets of the Empty Heart from the spy to himself before handing the spy over to the magistrates for interrogation.
Still, some ritualists balk at the more underhanded possibilities of this ritual, and insist on calling it Transfer of Power or Gift of Enchantment.
The ritual will fail if it is cast at insufficient magnitude, so it is sensible to use detect magic before beginning, to ensure the correct magnitude is achieved. Detect magic does not provide any additional information, however, and incautious use of this ritual may lead to infortunate repercussions of this. On one memorable occasion, for example, a barbarian enchantment turned out to fill the citizen to which it was transferred with a lust to consume the flesh of humans as a side-effect of the martial enhancement it offered. Often this lack of knowledge can lead to the ritual failing - for example, when ritualists are unknowingly transferring an enchantment that requires a specific kind of target.
This is also an element when transferring an enchantment from one resource to another. In such cases ,the target enchantment needs to have been placed on a resource controlled by the 'donor' character, and the recipient needs to have a suitable resource that satisfies the targeting criteria of the initial ritual. This is particularly tricky when trying to move Strong Ox, Golden Sun or Gathering the Harvest, for obvious reasons.
There are few enchantments that are placed directly on objects, and so this ritual is much more likely to target a person than an item.
This ritual often involves symbolic transfer of something from the donor to the recipient. For example, in a consensual ritual the donor might hand a token or item associated with the enchantment to the new target. In less consensual uses, the target may be stripped of valuables, especially items of jewelry, which are then given to the recipient character. For the Navarr, blood is often shared between two characters effected by the ritual, or the same design traded on both characters or items. When runes are used, the same runes are painted on both the target with the enchantment and the target who will receive it. Commonly the rune Xun is used.
It is common for Night ritualists to wear masks, hoods or cowls ... it is especially common if they are performing this ritual on an unwilling target.