Fan the Flame of New Life
Spring Magnitude 6
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets two willing characters. Each character must be present throughout.
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
Both targets are under a roleplaying effect: they feel lusty and vigorous.
Any attempt at conception between the two target characters during the duration of the enchantment will be successful, provided one of them could have carried a baby to term when they were in the prime of their physical health.
The ritual was originally designed to allow conception where characters were old or otherwise infertile. It will temporarily alleviate both infertility and impotence and other curses that might prevent conception. The ritual is not powerful enough to allow characters of different species to conceive. For example, it will not allow conception between an orc and a human. It can allow two female characters to conceive (though only one of the parties to the ritual will become pregnant) but is not powerful enough to allow two male characters to conceive.
The enchantment lasts until the next sunrise.
As with Midwife's Recourse, this ritual is viewed with a little suspicion in some parts. They fear that they are potentially exposing an unborn child to the magics of the Spring realm risks tainting them with the Briar lineage. Imperial scholars have found no concrete evidence that the ritual has any lasting negative effects on the targets or any children conceived with its help - although the way the briar lineage manifests makes it very difficult to get conclusive proof either way.
The ritual is sometimes included as part of a marriage ceremony, especially where the couple involved are keen to start a family. It is a costly indulgence, but the romantic effects of the ritual mean it is sometimes used even where there is no chance of the partners conceiving together. The ritual is particularly popular with women in same-sex relationships who wish to conceive, the cost in mana being a small price to pay for something that might otherwise be impossible. The ritual is not powerful enough to allow two men to conceive; that would first require magic to grant one of the parties the organs needed.
One word of warning that is often given to targets who could conceive normally without assistance is that the use of the ritual somewhat increases the likelihood of twins, or occasionally triplets.
The ritual is equally effective on animals as it is on humans, although the expense rarely makes it worth the effort of using it to improve the fertility of pigs, oxen or goats.
The most common element used in this ritual is the rune Bravash although there are some magicians who are unsettled by the implication of comparing a human to a goat or other domestic animal. The rune Verys is sometimes substituted - often with a certain amount of ribald commentary from onlookers.
The attitude towards sexuality demonstrated by the targets, the performers or their nation often influence how the ritual is performed. For example, in some parts of the Empire it is viewed with a certain degree of earthy frankness and open reference to the act and symbols of procreation are used. In other parts of the Empire the mystery of conception and the power of love will be expounded upon in a subtle and gentle ceremony designed to bring two people into spiritual as well as physical harmony.
As with all rituals that target more than one person it is common for the performance to include the sharing of a drink, or for the targets to be symbolically bound together, often with red cord or sashes at one of their wrists. The primal imagery of fire may be evoked as well - the targets may leap through or pass between fires, representing both the ability of fire to thaw frozen earth and the idea of 'heating the blood' to inspire passion. In The Marches especially the targets will walk barefoot across freshly-tilled soil, and may scatter handfuls of seed as they do so, drawing a connection between the land's fertility and their own.