Sacred Time is the period at the end of the year in which your people reflect on the past year and perform rituals to influence their luck in the next. It is not part of any season of the Calendar.
You will learn how many babies were born to the clan, how many children were initiated as adults, and how many more or less people and herd animals there are as compared to last Sacred Time. The amount of goods your crafters and markets produced are also tallied, and if your treasures produced magic, goods, or extra animals, that will also be reported.
Your seers will report an omen. They may tell you that you will have good or bad luck in a certain regard, or that you can devote extra magic to a particular area, or none at all. More seriously, one of your gods may require you to take a certain action. If you succeed, the god will be pleased and will help your clan in some way; if you fail, you will suffer the god's displeasure. For known omens, see the List of Omens.
When the game begins, your neighbors will know you only for being the last clan to arrive in the valley. As time goes on, you will earn a more specific reputation, which can change depending on your actions.
If a Raven shaman is on the circle, you may gain or lose magic due to his actions. Additionally, her worshipper will act in preposterous ways that may affect clan morale in the coming year.
During Sacred Time, you can allocate your clan magic.
Putting points in a given area of magic will help the clan in that area for the entire year. Putting magic into War will give your fighters an advantage; putting magic in Crafts and Diplomacy will help your traders, and can even allow you an extra trade route.
Any leftover magic will help your clan's general luck, as well as being useful for divinations, spells, and rituals during the year. If you plan to attempt a ritual, be sure to leave some magic in reserve--if you're at or below 0 magic, you won't be able to send a quester to the Gods War.
In addition to the above, non-ritual magic allocation can aid you in specific ritual paths. For example, War magic is helpful in performing many options in "Elmal Guards the Sunpath", while Pastures magic is helpful for "Busenari Finds the Light".
You will be able to refer back to your magic allocation on the Magic Screen.
Having worshippers certain gods represented on your Clan Circle allows you to put more magic into areas associated with that god, and some of the gods you can bring from Nivorah in Clan Creation grant a permanent magic slot. The default amount of magic that you can allocate to any area is one point; with the right ring composition, you can put up to three points of magic in a given area. Occasionally, you will recieve an omen saying that you cannot perform rituals for a particular focus, or alternately that you can perform extra rituals. These are year-specific omens, not permanent modifiers, so take advantage of any opportunities while they last!
The effect descriptions are taken verbatim from Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind.
|Improves the yield of our crafters, supports trade, and helps evaluate goods|
|Diplomacy||Ekarna, Hyalor, Narva (Clan Creation)||Helps us negotiate, and maintain overall clan relations|
|Exploring||Zarlen||Helps our explorers return safely|
|Fields||Nyalda||Produces more food, and helps us appeal to the earth goddesses in a crisis|
|Harmony||Hyalor||Helps the clan mood and exerts a calming influence on disputes within the clan|
|Health||Erissa||Keeps our people healthy and helps us appeal to Erissa in a crisis|
|Pastures||Busenari, Gamari, Uryarda||Helps our horses, cows and goats produce more offspring, and helps us deal with livestock crises|
|Ritual||Relandar, Shaman, 7 different gods on circle||Improves our ability to sacrifice to the gods and perform various rituals in crisis situations|
|War||Elmal, Osara||Aids us when we fight, makes our warriors more fearsome, and helps us appeal to the war gods in a crisis|
|Wilds||Dostal, Inilla||Produces more food, and helps us call on Dostal and Inilla in a crisis|
Note that Raven worshippers do not count as shamans for this purpose (they do not grant ritual magic slots, or any slots at all), although both Raven and regular shamans do count towards the number of different gods on the circle. (In other words, if you have worshippers of five gods, a shaman, and a Raven shaman on the circle, you'll be able to allocate up to three points of ritual magic--one by default, one for the shaman, and one for the seven "gods" on the circle.)
Note also that the three-point maximum is a hard limit; if you already have Busenari and Gamari worshippers on the ring, adding an Uryarda worshipper isn't going to allow you to spend more magic on pastures.
While you may want to devote magic to many different areas, putting a single point in every area may not be the best course of action. In many circumstances, especially Gods War rituals, you need to put at least two points of magic in a given area to have an effect. For example, one point in War will help your warriors during the year, but you need to invest two points to help a quester in performing Elmal Path Guardian.