Vale of Shadows
Night Magnitude 20
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets a farm, forest, mine, business, herb garden, mana site or congregation. The character who controls the target personal resource must be present throughout. Please note that this ritual cannot target National Bourse Positions.
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
Magical means of divining information about the resource will only work if they are performed at an equal or higher magnitude. Lower magnitude divinations will merely detect the presence and magnitude of the Vale of Shadows enchantment in the region.
The effect of the ritual lasts for a year (until the start of the Profound Decisions Empire event four events from now). If the ritual is performed again at the end of the year, the resource will remain shrouded.
You may choose to create a more powerful effect, which is harder to penetrate or remove. You may increase the magnitude of the ritual by any amount.
This ritual can affect additional multiple personal resources in the same territory. Each additional resource increases the magnitude by 12. The character who controls each resource must be present throughout the ritual. It is worth noting that adding additional resources in this way does make it harder to pierce or remove the Vale of Shadows on any of the targets - adding extra targets makes the enchanted shroud more powerful for every targeted resource.
Instead of increasing the magnitude by 12 when adding additional targets to this ritual the casters may substitute 12 measures of Iridescent Gloaming. This does not increase the magnitude of the ritual either for purposes of performing it, or for purposes of trying to penetrate it. No partial measures are possible - the full dozen must be used - but the ritualists may include some targets using Iridescent Gloaming and others by increasing the magnitude.
This ritual uses Night magic to shroud a resource from the eyes of hostile forces. It does this through a combination of glamour to encourage enemies to not notice the resource, shadowy illusion and mirage that actively conceal the resource, and a subtle influence over chance and even the weather to ensure the area is cloaked in heavy rain or thick fog.
The ritual is a little risky; while it is difficult to penetrate, the presence of the Night magic may still attract unwanted attention. Still, when a barbarian army is rampaging across a region the risk is usually worth it, compared to losing control of the resource entirely. There are still believed to be a few resources in territories lost to the barbarians that are protected by this magic (perhaps enhanced with ilium, but that have been largely forgotten by the outside world. It is surmised by some scholars that the Feni use some variation of this ritual to conceal their settlements. There is no actual evidence for this - indeed, other scholars have pointed out that if it were the case then surely Imperial diviners would be able to detect the presence of the Vale of Shadows itself.
One fascinating element of the ritual is the way that including additional resources makes the shroud over each location harder to pierce. While the same effect can be achieved simply by increasing the magnitude of the ritual (and indeed can be combined with that approach), a number of magicians feel that it is simply more effective to shroud additional resources against the barbarians where that is an option.
The ritual creates often involves a map of the resource to be enchanted, or items that come from that area. The map is often ceremonially burnt during the ritual, symbolically removing it from all maps. The ritual is often performed with ritualists in masks and cloaks, and is another one where the magicians begin in dim light and extinguish those lights as the ritual reaches a climax. Strong alcohol, powerful narcotics and incense are all used as components to create feelings of disorientation (the alcohol and drugs are not necessarily consumed).
The runes Diras is often used with this ritual, sometimes in conjunction with Sular - although in such cases the Rune of discovery is usually inverted or destroyed as part of the ritual. The eternals of the Whisper Gallery are occasionally evoked with this ritual (which makes a location 'secret'), although some Freeborn ritualists prefer to draw on Sung (choosing instead to make the location mysterious). Some practitioners of Astronomancy may use the constellation of The Lock while others work with The Spider. A small group of ritualists caution against using the Spider, for the same reason they caution against evoking eternals - they perceive a definite risk in drawing the attention of mysterious forces to the hidden location.