Rules

Spring Magnitude 4

Performing the Ritual

Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. The ritual targets an unborn baby. The mother of that baby must be present throughout the performance of the ritual.

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

Effects

The unborn baby or babies will be carried to term safely, and be born live and well. Both mother and baby are protected from sickness, weakness and other complications that might arise during the pregnancy.

The enchantment lasts until the child is born.

Description

Despite the obvious benefits of the ritual, Midwife's Recourse is viewed with suspicion by many. who fear that exposing an unborn child to the magics of the Spring realm risks tainting them with the Briar lineage. Some briar parents, by contrast, seek the spell out specifically because they hope it will encourage their offspring to develop the briar trait, fearing that their progeny might otherwise reject them when they come of age.

Imperial scholars have found no concrete evidence that the ritual has any negative effects on child or mother. Only the most extreme individuals would place concern that a child might develop lineage above the safety of mother and baby, and even in the most reactionary parts of the Empire this ritual is used to help with difficult pregnancies.

Even the more suspicious magicians agree, however, that this ritual creates an enchantment on the unborn child, rather than the mother. Consequently, it is generally held that further enchantments, or the use of further Spring magic, that target the mother should have little effect on the baby itself.

Many midwives or physicians see the use of this ritual to be a blessing, but just as many prefer to make use of it only during difficult pregnancies, reassuring expectant parents that there is no need for the magic in routine pregnancies. Despite this it is very much favoured by mothers who must enter high-stress environments during the term of their pregnancy, allowing them to remain active right up to the weeks before birth.

The performance of this ritual is often combined with a meal to celebrate the coming birth, with friends and family often giving presents intended for the child to the expectant parents. In Dawn the Weaver cabal performing the ritual will often provide carefully woven swaddling, or an embroidered sling, intended as gifts for the child to offer it protection even after it is born. It is not uncommon, especially in Varushka, The Marches and The Brass Coast for one or more of the magicians who performed this ritual to be present at the birth.

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 protect a pig, ox or goat.

Common Elements

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 may also be appropriate, especially if the woman targeted by the spell is a warrior. Some ritualists may invoke the name of the eternal Yaw'nagrah, but this is rare due to unfounded concerns that this further increases the likelihood the child will have the Briar lineage.

Evocations of protection, health and warding are frequently combined with promises to protect mother and child; recitations of the child or the mother's lineage (especially among the Freeborn); invocations of the bonds of Loyalty between family and friends; or the use of herbs to soothe and strengthen the expectant parents.