Wisdom of the Balanced Blade
Winter Magnitude 6
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. The ritual targets a single character or item which must be present throughout and, in the case of an item, close enough to touch. It can also be performed to target the immediate area surrounding the ritualists.
The ritual reveals information about any and all curses on the target person, place, or thing. It is most often used on a character or item that is present, but can also be used in an area that is under a curse such as that created by Naeve's Twisting Blight, provided the contributors are in that area.
When completed the ritual answers some or all of the following questions about each curse that is present on the target:
- What does this curse do? How does it work?
- How long will it last if nobody intervenes?
- How can the curse be removed?
- Will anything make the curse worse?
- Where has this curse come from? This will usually indicate a general source rather than a specific one - "an eternal" rather than "the eternal Sorin" or "a spirit" rather than "the King at the Crossroads". If the source is a ritual, it will reveal the realm and magnitude. If the source is a spirit, it may reveal the strength of exorcism required to remove it.
The magic that analyses the curse can be stymied by shrouds or masks of greater magnitude. In this case, it always reveals the realm and magnitude of the shroud, and whether there is any information that can be discerned by Wisdom of the Balanced Blade.
The divination function of the detect magic spell will indicate if there is information that can be found with Wisdom of the Balanced Blade - which is usually a clear sign that the target is cursed in some way.
You may increase the magnitude of the ritual to penetrate more powerful shrouds or masks.
The ritual is least useful when used to analyse the effects of ritual curses that are in Imperial lore. It can be used in a territory under the effect of a curse to determine details of that effect. This effect cannot be achieved by performing the ritual at the Anvil regio - attempts to do so simply provide information about the Anvil regio and any magical effects on Casinea.
While many Winter magicians are adept at identifying the effects of curses that are part of the wider body of Imperial lore, this ritual helps analyse a curse whose details and potential counters are unknown. It may be used to divine the details of a curse that has come from an eternal, from the rituals of a barbarian magician, or from more esoteric sources - it can discern the details of curses inflicted by malign spirits, as well as those brought down by less understood means such as broken oaths or vile transgressions.
The ritual has some similarities to Bright Lantern of Ophis, but it only analyses curses - while the Bright Lantern cannot analyse curses at all. Sometimes the information it provides requires some interpretation. For example, it might discover that a certain farmer has become cursed, and that the provenance is "their own dark deeds" and that the curse can only be removed by "atonement" - what precisely that may mean will require further investigation. Usually, the information is much more straightforward - a curse is due to the actions of someone else, and the method of dealing with it may be difficult but clearly understood.
When used to study a curse placed by an eternal, the ritual rarely reveals the precise eternal involved - usually it will simply provide the realm. This is not always the case - some eternals seem to want their involvement in a situation to be clear, especially those of the Winter realm. Likewise, when providing information about how a curse might be lifted it is just as common to learn that a "powerful supernatural creature such as an eternal" might lift a curse as it is to determine the precise eternal capable of doing so.
The ritual is sometimes called (Grandmother's/Grandfather's) Appraising Eye.
This ritual usually involves carefully examining the target. Active divination may take place, often with runestones or cards. Other, more exotic, methods of diagnosis might be used as well such as observing if the presence of the target has any effect on a lodestone, or on fresh milk; letting droplets of their blood, phlegm or sweat fall into fresh water or cream; or getting the target to throw a handful of runestones or sticks, or spatter blood onto a hide covered in runes, and observing the results. Lenses might be used to examine the target; lights used to make their shadow move; and mirrors used to catch their reflection. The rune Irremais is commonly invoked, as are the names of wise Paragons and Exemplars, folk heroes or the eternal Wise Rangara.