Spring Magnitude 12
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual requires a receptacle such as a bowl or cauldron into which the target herbs are placed.
This ritual requires up to five drams of realmsroot, which are placed into a container such as a bowl or cauldron.
The ritual creates one dram of realmsroot for each realmsroot placed in the container during the ritual.
The referee will put the additional herbs into the container. It may take up to an hour for the additional herbs to form, and the referee may offer a prompt when the cauldron has finished churning. If the herbs are removed prematurely the ritual may fail, or result in fewer herbs being created.
This ritual was developed at the Lyceum under the auspices of Dean Simargl of the Circle of Zulgan-Tash, and completed shortly before the Autumn Equinox 381YE. The original design was undertaken by the Navarr vate Eirwen Brackensong. Its name is apparently an homage to the Navarr brand of the Bitterbark Tea House, Madyn Bitterbark. The ritual was entered into Imperial lore by the Conclave during the Winter Solstice 382YE
During the process of concluding the formulation, several problems were encountered. The limited availability of realmsroot with which to practice meant that a lot of the initial codification work was theoretical. Once the magicians working to formulate the ritual had access to some of the rare herb, however, they discovered that their initial patterns had not taken into account the unique and shifting nature of the magical herb. Used to working with the stable energies of True Vervain and similar herbs, they failed to account for certain elements in the make-up of the realmsroot that make it significantly more difficult to work with.
This ritual is clearly based on the Churning Cauldron of Bravash, used so effectively by Imperial magicians to provide additional herbs to physicks and apothecaries. That ritual has proved extremely effective at producing quantities of true vervain, Imperial Roseweald, Cerulean Mazzarine, Marrowort, and Bladeroot. It is, however, utterly ineffectual at creating additional drams of other herbs.
Given that realmsroot does not grow in quantities anywhere in the Empire, this ritual provides a valuable ability to create more of it without being at the mercy of the vagaries of the natural world. The ritual requires at least one dram of realmsroot to serve as a “seed” from which an additional dram is “grown” by the magic of the ritual The "seed" is not consumed, leaving the caster with additional realmsroot. The more drams of realmsroot that are available, the more effective – and efficient – the ritual becomes.
As with the Churning Cauldron on which it is based, the ritual cannot be used to “extract” realmsroot that has been used to make a preparation or potion.
On the nature of Realmsroot
Realmsroot is rare. In the western regions of the Empire it is known as bright mandrake, but some pre-Imperial texts also refer to it as gatebloom. It is certainly a magical plant – it always grows in magical places – it takes its ancient name from the fact that early magicians identified that the places where it grew often had strange qualities. It is found growing around strong regio, and around places rich in unharvested crystalline mana. Requiring the ambient magical energies emitted by such places to prosper, it is extremely difficult to cultivate.
The potence of the herb is found in its root, which some herbalists compare to the bulb of bladeroot. Each individual plant flowers once every six years, blooming with vivid colourful blossoms that indicate the herb is at its most potent. Once dug up, the magically-infused root can be ground up into a paste that has a narcotic effect on the lineaged when rubbed into bare skin.
There are some references in old texts at the Lyceum to other uses for realmsroot. There are marginal notes and some academic references that talk of realmsroot being used in “alchymerical rites, woven with with the power of the Night realm.” The references all refer to a process called “The Marriage of Wyr and Xun” - a method of using the magically mutable realmsroot to create unique alchemical substance infused with the power of a single realm. Several Freeborn magicians are especially intrigued by this discovery and wonder if it may be something related to Murit or Soghter.
Prior to the landmark performance of Hallow of the Green World during the Spring Equinox 381YE, realmsroot was quite rare in the Empire. Imperial herbal knowledge is not sufficient for realmsroot to be widely grown in herb gardens. This ritual may go some way towards providing a new source for this valuable plant.
Performing the Ritual
The most obvious element included in this ritual is the cauldron or bowl used to hold the herbs. There is some debate as to whether a receptacle used for Churning Cauldron of Bravash could be safely repurposed for use with this ritual as well. Practical covens may simply carve the rune Xun alongside the Rune of Fertility on their existing bowls and pestles.
Using a container with a lid or cover reduces the likelihood that the realmsroot might be removed before they are ready. It may be made of precious materials, and one Dawnish scholar involved in the codification took great pains to acquire a covered basin with the symbols of the six realms painted around the rim equidistantly.
Water is a common element used in the ritual - the receptacle may be filled with a little fresh water to encourage the growth of new herbs. Symbols and images related to the power of the realms may be evoked; not the creatures of the realms but the realm itself – the grim, sour soil of the Wasteland; the brilliant meadow flowers of the Fields of Glory; the sprawling fecund competition of the Eternal Forest of the Spring Realm; the peculiar metallic foliage of the great mountains of Autumn; the rainbow coral of the oceans of Day; and the incomprehensibly, unique diversity of the great trees of the forests of the Night.
Simargl has made it clear that in his opinion it is only appropriate to call on the aid of Wise Rangara when performing the ritual – she is after all a patron of wise apothecaries.
A blood mage will often want to sprinkle drops of blood from those who possess strong lineage on the herbs before the container is sealed – especially if they can find volunteers with each of the six lineages.