Icy Maw Devours the Spark of Essence
Winter Magnitude 15
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 10 minutes of roleplaying. During the ritual the casters must be in a strong Winter regio. This ritual targets a territory, and must be performed at a regio in that territory. If the ritual is used to target an Imperial territory, it may instead be performed at the Imperial regio at Anvil.
This effect is a curse. A target may be under more than one curse at a time.
The target territory is scoured with unpleasant weather, and magicians in the area begin to feel increasingly uncomfortable. In some cases they become depressed and lethargic, in others short tempered and aggressive.
All mana sites in the territory provide only half as many mana crystals as they would otherwise produce in the coming season. The ritual may also damage weak regio, as well as encouraging some magical beasts to either become lethargic or dangerously aggressive.
The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event.
The power of this ritual encourages bad weather across the territory, but also brings with it a malaise that seeps into the spirits of magicians - while their personal mana reserves are not effected, they often become either lethargic and depressed or short-tempered and aggressive if they spend an extended period in the territory.
The ritual also effects supernatural creatures, either encouraging them to become lethargic and docile or aggressive and ill-tempered. Used against the barbarians, it is most likely to penalise the Thule and the Druj rather than the Jotun or the Grendel.
The ritual is only known to have been invoked once in the last hundred years by Imperial citizens on an Imperial territory; during a dispute between a Freeborn covens based in Siroc and several troupes in Sarvos, the ritual was used by the Freeborn to drain the mana sites of the City of Jewels. In this case, the Freeborn coven were exonerated by the Imperial Conclave who deemed the matter to be resolved internally without the intervention of magistrates. The ritual is not deemed to involve theft - the mana is simply depleted, not stolen.
A few scholars are concerned about where the mana is going if it is not forming mana crystals; suspicious types suggest it is being stolen by or channelled into the Winter Realm in some way.
The ritual releases a malign, oppressive force into a territory. Grim, throbbing musical rhythms, slow threatening movement and invocations of dread and hunger are all used to raise and direct this malign power. It is common to evoke the rune Naeve or Kyrop with this ritual. Some Wintermark covens attempt to channel or mitigate its effects with Hirmok, or to channel the depleted mana towards their own mana site but they do not report much success.