Ritual Success – A Dirty Ten

From the Pen of the Herald’s Own – Magrat Sage
When I attended the moot I took time to visit the ritual circle whereupon I was entertained by one of the stranger rituals I have seen in recent times. Stepping into the circle with a small team of volunteers, Ser Graf set about tasking them with refreshing a hat that currently served as a ritual booster. She opened by welcoming the “watchers of illusion” to the circle of “evil and confusion” and invited them to phase once more in the time of adventure. With audience and contributors suitably intrigued she proceeded to seek a volunteer among the contributors.
 A man known as Antonio stepped forward and named his three advisors within the party – to the chagrin of Graf who supposed that they would suffice or be recovered from the void. She then used the hat in the manner of a blindfold, telling Antonio that he was to traverse a dungeon she would summon, donning the hat and linking it to a knapsack into which he was to place all the team could find that was invested in the power of ritual magic.
 The remaining contributors were transformed and became minions of the Dungeon of Nightmare and Antonio was plunged into the fray. With no eyes of his own to work with, his advisors set about guiding him around, calling for a sidestep here and a left turn there – instructions which were not always as clear as they might be and members of the audience were seen flinching once or twice. First he faced a lair of horrors, full of bones, frogs, lizards and snakes.
  Advised to avoid the gaze of the snake, the team let him behind a coiled serpent to recover a potion, and then onwards to a transportation pad. He found himself shifted from there into a new room whereupon he was seen by all present to be precariously placed upon a thin stone bridge bereft of handrails and surrounded by guarding automatons swinging swords. Expert guidance allowed him to traverse the bridge, collecting a sand timer along the way and onwards via a transport pad he went! Much cheering accompanied the successful arrival at the transport pad.
 Graf kept matters in hand, ensuring that he dallied no longer than necessary, pointing out that time is the enemy and the devastating effect that dithering was having on his life force within the dungeon.
  Luckily in the next room he chanced upon a friendly soul in the form of a jester. However, all was not well and although the jester was able to relay his first message, a strange round black device with a fuse was triggered shortly after he explained that a witch had asked him to carry it. His untimely death was something of a shock to all involved and although he had explained that therein the mechanics of spellcasting relied rather strongly on the “spell” aspect, he had not yet imparted the message regarding the safer path forwards and two were open. Not realising the dire state of the wretched jester’s pattern, Scarlet amongst the advisors pushed for a healing spell but to no avail. Thankfully Seraphin was able to step in and make an incantation based suggestion, leading Antonio to S-P-E-A-K with dead and find the answer to the way forwards. Guided there by the team he shifted to a final scenario.
  This time as the room formed the voices of angelic chanting were heard and an altar was seen at the centre of a small posse of worshippers. Antonio examined the table and was able to recognise by its unusual visage that the amulet beside the goblet and the chest was clearly valuable. Those in prayer were disturbed by his intrusion and insisted he not take their precious amulet of good and with a sneer Graf reminded the team of their purpose and intent and the nature of the circle. The hat, she insisted, needed to be made aware of how a team works with the flavour of the circle.
  Accepting this, the team attempted to guide Antonio to safety but with time growing short and the route unclear they were ultimately unsuccessful and he fell to the onslaught of the worshippers. The audience gasped as his life force drained and after berating the failure with a pointed “Oh dear” Graf traversed the realm of the advisors and that of the dungeon to stand over Antonio.
  Noting that the end was rather “nasty” she then took the opportunity to remind all present that the sacrifice was not real for all within the dungeon was an illusion. Antonio was helped to his feet and passed on to Graf the varied elements. She seemed satisfied with the small collection and moreso when she was able to doff the hat once more and drain the purethought potion bottle of its contents.
  In the manner suited to the realm they had traversed, the team bound the power to the hat with a final spell: Spellcasting B-I-N-D, then pausing briefly to ensure remaining power be sent to the Trinity of Albion, Graf dropped the seal to much grattitude from the highly entertained audience which was noted to have contained the Queen herself. Celebration continued upon the discovery that Erdreja had been thoroughly entertained also and the Watchers granted a score of 10/10.
  Later rumours reached me that the very action had left them feeling dirty, a cause the participants found much time to rejoice in.
I personally took my leave, grateful to have borne witness.