Rules

Spring Magnitude 80

Performing the Ritual

Performing this ritual takes at least 10 minutes of roleplaying. During the ritual the casters must be in a strong Spring regio.

This ritual targets a specific region. During the performance of the ritual the casters must name a region within the target territory which has the "forested" keyword.

The ritual may target a region in a territory which is under Imperial control (that is, which is eligible to appoint a Senator) when cast from the Imperial regio. To effect a region in a territory that is not under Imperial control, the ritual must be performed at a regio within the target territory.

This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.

Effects

The ritual targets a single region of forest within a territory. Over the course of the next few days a powerful enchantment settles over the region which offers protection to armies belonging to the force that controls the area.

The magical structure mimics the effect of a 2,000 strength fortification in the enchanted region. The fortification helps determine victory, and if the region is attacked it may inflict casualties. Unlike a mundane fortification, the magical fortification does not absorb any casualties itself. A region may only contain one fortification, regardless of whether it is magical or mundane in nature..

The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event.

Description

This enchantment causes existing vegetation to weave itself together into defensive structures. Thickets of thorns and briars form, and in some places masses of branches and roots mesh together to create veritable walls of living vegetation. In addition, the forest itself becomes sensitive to the presence of living creatures, acting to hinder 'enemies' and parting to allow the swift passage of 'allies'. The enchantment seems to choose who is friend and who is foe based on who has the greater claim to the area.

In addition existing vegetation becomes more dangerous. Fungal blooms sprout in damp wood that release hallucinogenic or poisonous spores when enemies come too close. Open wounds caused by briars or thorns quickly become infected, potentially leading to fever and even death. Insects become larger and more hostile, and any wasp or bee-sting is likely to result in painful swelling rather than a mere nuisance. While vegetation does not move when anyone is looking, trails and clearings often seem to vanish overnight leading to armies and scouts becoming lost.

This ritual increases the difficulty a hostile force will have in claiming a region, even if there is no army to oppose them directly, Local militia and the like are able to take advantage of the defensive enchantment (once they recognise it for what it is) to engage in effective guerilla tactics, harrying and confusing a much larger force, at least for a time.

The ritual is an enchantment, and can in theory be made permanent with ilium. This has not been done in the history of the Empire, however.

The ritual can occasionally backfire; the ritual always aids the force that claims the region. Occasionally Imperial ritualsts have inadvertently aided the enemies of the Empire when a dramatic shift has allowed a barbarian force to claim an area of land while the Forge the Wooden Fastness was in effect.

Common Elements

During the performance of the ritual it is common to weave strands of thread, wool, rope or vine together either to form makeshift walls or to create complex, shifting patterns. Often.natural plants are woven together as part of the performance, symbolising the formation of larger structures in the target forest. Poisonous creatures may be involved as part of the ritual, and noxious herbs may be burnt.

A map is often used as the focus for this ritual and obscured during the casting, buried in fertile earth or soaked with water and left for spores or even plant cuttings to overwhelm. Sometimes the map is created from sand or painstakingly drawn with salt or coloured powders, so it can be easily washed away at the culmination of the ritual.

The runes Bravash and Hirmok are commonly used during this ritual, and the constellation of The Oak is often invoked. It is not uncommon for Navarr vates and Suaq icewalkers in particular to reference cunning folk heroes. A dramaturgical performance often includes the Captain, often lost in the Garden or lead astray by the Mountebank. The Eternal Irra Harah is often evoked, but Llofir might also be mentioned when the ritual is performed in a suitable location (such as the marshy forests of Therunin).