The magic of Spring is wild, unconstrained, energetic and vital. It is akin to the force that pushes a shoot up through the soil and urges it to grow into a massive oak. It lives in the blood and sap, in the breath, in the ceaseless motion of the sea and the life-giving power of the river, spring and stream. It is utterly amoral, refuses to be bounded or contained, and is the magic most likely to explode with unexpected consequence.
Spring magic is the most potent form of healing magic, but there is much more to this realm. It deals with the raw energy of life, both encouraging and harming; it encourages fertility and adaptation; it is savage and merciless; it brings destruction without hate or malice; it is the essence of chaos and turmoil. Magicians who work extensively with spring magic often liken the experience to trying to hold back a river; the magic is easy to initiate, but very difficult to direct or control.
Although Spring magic is the most powerful realm for healing, its tendency to infest the target makes it the subject of superstition and fear. Its reputation is not helped by the wild and unpredictable nature of powerful Spring magic. The most infamous magical catastrophe known in the Empire - the creation of the Vallorn - is inextricably linked with the fundamental nature of Spring magic.
Spring magic is the most powerful because it allows control of the most potent forces in nature - from nurturing new life, to healing the sick, to unleashing devastating storms, to unstoppable tidal waves.
Healing and Vitality
The most obvious magic of Spring is the magic of healing. Spring magic is powerful when refreshing, revitalising and regenerating a subject. Sometimes the way the magic works can be unsettling. A ritual to cure a disease might work by accelerating the symptoms to a nightmarish degree while providing the vitality to survive them. Rituals that restore the flesh are usually painful, often to cast as well as to receive while rituals that use Spring magic to dull the pain invariably drive the target into a narcotic delirium. Spring is powerful in all ways that support life, but it is never benign.
Spring can do more than just heal, it can grant unnatural vitality and endurance. Spring resonates strongly with magic that attempts to grant the subject increased physical and mental strength.
Spring is also the magic that deals with fertility – it can ensure conception, even when no conception is possible, or ensure safe delivery of a child. Superstition surrounds Spring magic: birthing a child with Spring magic ensures it will be born healthy, but there are claims that Spring magic can mark those it touches. There is no evidence that a child born using Midwife's Recourse's or conceived using Fan the Flame of New Life is more likely to be a briar but the rumours persist. And there is no denying that healing magic can cause a subject to express a previously hidden briar lineage if the wounds are severe.
The fertility of Spring magic can affect plants and animals as well as humans. The fertility is wild, though - a ritual to bless a farm makes the weeds grow as well as the crops. A ritual to bless a herd of animals encourages multiple births; a ritual to make a battlefield fecund cultivates fungi in dead flesh and breeds odd ferns and flowers from blood-soaked soil.
The Spring Realm resonates strongly with poison and venom of all kinds. Poison is the perfect natural weapon: both plants and animals use it, and poisonous creatures are found throughout the realm. No other realm rivals Spring's ability to poison or envenom someone else. Curse of Gangrenous Flesh is an example of a disease ritual - infesting the victim with a voracious sickness.
Like Day magic, Spring can be used to help a patient suffering from poison. However, where Day works by purifying and removing the taint, Spring magic causes the poison to course through the target's veins while simultaneously giving them the strength to survive it.
The wild chaos of the Spring Realm lends itself easily to rituals that fill the target with wild passions, especially rituals that make the subject feel ruthless, bloodthirsty, and ferocious. Such rituals are often inextricably linked with the power needed to grant the strength and vitality. Many powerful Spring rituals to strengthen the target have unavoidable side-effects that cause the subject to feel rage or similar reactions. Spring curses can force the victim to struggle with base urges like anger and greed.
All Spring magic is chaotic and difficult to control, as it were trying to escape the caster. Some magicians have even poetically suggested that Spring magic wants to be cast, it just hates to be controlled. Whatever the nature of the Spring Realm, magic that draws on it all too often has unforeseen consequences. Perhaps as a result, wild natural phenomena resonate strongly with Spring: storms, gales, and floods are part of Spring, as are tremors and quakes. If a magician wants to unleash wild uncontrolled destruction over an area, then Spring magic is by far the most powerful choice.
Imperial Lore does not include any rituals that create plagues, due to the inherent impossibility of controlling who is affected, but the Druj are known to possess magic of this kind.
Spring magic finds it easier than other realms to destroy man-made things. Buildings can be torn apart with vines, collapsed with tremors or simply rot away. In part this reflects the power of the realm to cause all things to succumb to the natural process of decay - for instance dead bodies can easily be made to quickly decay using Spring Magic. In part it reflects the wild power of Spring magic, expressed through storms and tremors, as well as the limitless power of nature to consume everything given time.
Spring is poison and giant hunting spiders under your bed, and all of your stuff going mouldy, coming to life, and then trying to eat you. Spring is strangling thorny vines that drink blood; it is turning into a horrible plant monster in the blink of an eye; it is going to the pub and coming back drunk to find your entire civilisation destroyed by a creeping vegetable horror. Spring is is lying down for a nap on a nice day and waking covered in a moving carpet of stinging and biting bugs. It is scratching that little insect bite you have only for it to erupt into bud and blow magical spores into your eyes. Spring is awful.Simargl, the Empty One
Fine control is always difficult with Spring magic: it has a prevailing tendency to run amok. It is hard to aim a ritual with any accuracy beyond "what's in front of me". A storm will hit everything in a territory. A plague will quickly spread. A blessing of fertility may cause unlooked for side-effects such as increasing likelihood of being a briar.
Spring magic creates roleplaying effects that encourage rebellion, independence and selfishness, as well as those associated with savage ferocity. The more targets at one time the worse it gets - enchanting an Imperial army with Spring magic is likely to encourage the army to bloodlust and disregard for authority. It is very poor for enchantments that encourage groups to cooperate and work together such as congregations, military units and armies.
Complex concepts and ideas, especially social structures like trade, alliances, and relationships are also beyond Spring. Spring magic is ill-suited to anything that requires subtlety or this kind of complexity.
Powerful Spring magic lacks subtlety. It is direct and tends to overwhelm opposition rather than circumvent it. It doesn't gently erode a wall, it tears it down with animated vines. Curses won't make the victim feel on edge or unwell, they send them into fevered convulsions. Roleplaying effects create energy and passion.
Spring does not work well with objects made by mortal beings, either creating or restoring them. Living things can be healed - Spring magic can lend supernatural haste to the natural process of recovery - but it cannot repair broken objects. It might make a tree-branch into a temporary club or wind trees together to make a sanctuary, but restoring the unnatural craftsmanship of mortals to something that has been damaged is anathema.
Conformity and Stagnation
Spring magic can be wild and chaotic and it has a powerful tendency to cause these results even when they are undesirable. Because of this it is particularly poor for casting rituals that require things to conform, to grow more similar in nature or form. Spring magic hates stagnation and status quo. It is good at changing things but especially weak when trying to preserve things just as they are.