Inevitable Collapse into Ruin
Winter Magnitude 40
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 10 minutes of roleplaying. The ritual targets a single mage implement which must be present during the ritual.
The power of the ritual can be invoked only once.
The power granted by this ritual lasts until it is used or for ten minutes, whichever comes first.
This battlefield ritual deals with similar forces to Ravenous Tongue of Entropy, but on a much larger scale. it locates and exploits weaknesses in a fortification. Beams warp and split, mortar crumbles, hawsers fray and snap and the entire edifice groans under the attack of magic that speeds decay and ageing.
It often takes a short time for the full power of the ritual to manifest, which can make it a particularly dangerous ritual for the contributor charged with delivering the final stage and touching the target fortification. Some foolish covens have tried to perform the ritual while physically touching the fortification, while protected by heavily armoured warriors with powerful shields, but all it takes is a single arrow-shot from the defenders and the ritual collapses. It is much more common to see one or more well-defended ritualists fight their way through to the fortification with the charged implement, relying on the fact that at least one of them will make it into position - and then either hold against the defenders, or retreat while the magic does its work.
This ritual targets the weakest parts of a defensive structure. While it may not collapse or destroy an entire wall, it is likely that the ritual will create multiple breaches, tear down a gatehouse, collapse a row of mantlets or the like.
When performing this ritual, a coven often invokes symbols of slow destruction - wind and rain - and forces of neglect, incompetence and misfortune that can combine to bring even the strongest structure into ruins. The eternal Kaela may be invoked, and it is also common to use pieces from a ruined structure to help grant the ritual power.
The implement charged with this spell is a key element in the ritual, and the role it plays in the performance is very important. Some covens may create a special staff or rod, often constructed from the wood of a collapsed building or rotted tree, specifically for use with the ritual, which is then discarded after the battle. The implement may be passed between the ritualists, or placed at the centre of the ritual as a focus for the magic of the coven.
The runes Yoorn and Mawrig are often evoked with this ritual, and some Wintermark ritualists complete their casting by carving or painting them onto the structure they wish to destroy. The constellation of the Key is sometimes evoked, as is the Wanderer.