The Grave's Treacherous Edge
Winter Magnitude 60
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets a character, who must be present throughout. The target character must be a contributor participating in the performance of the ritual.
This spell is an enchantment. A target may only be under one enchantment effect at a time.
While under the effect of the enchantment, the target experiences a role-playing effect: they feel distinctly unwell, with symptoms including mild fever, nausea, dizziness, stabbing headaches, and occasional attacks of shaking, sweating, and itchy skin. They are constantly thirsty, and no amount of liquid appears to be able to completely quench that thirst with one exception; even a small amount of fresh human or orc blood is sufficient to remove the unnatural thirst for an hour or so.
The effect lasts until the end of the next battle, skirmish or quest the character participates in; or until the end of the current event, whichever is sooner. The power of the ritual can be invoked only once during this time.
The ritual can affect additional characters from the same coven. Each additional character increases the magnitude of the spell by 35. Additional characters must be present throughout, and each must contribute to the performance of the ritual.
Any caster who has mastered the ritual may choose to substitute beggar's lye for crystal mana when contributing to it. Every 2 measures of beggar's lye spent counts as 1 crystal mana when contributing to the ritual.
If you enter a battle, skirmish or quest with one of these enchantments active on you, you must let a referee with a radio know about it shortly before or after your passage through the Sentinel Gate.
If you are expecting to deploy one of these effects, you are invited to bring this to the attention of any nearby referee or marshal shortly before you do so; they will then be able to assist the targets in taking the call correctly
This battlefield ritual allows a powerful magical attack to be unleashed against a group of enemies, filling them with supernatural sickness, leaving them teetering on the very edge of death.
This ritual is similar to Fetid Breath of Teeming Plague, but as befits a powerful Winter ritual it deals more with cursing the opponents with fragile grasp on life rather than by filling them with something as simple as poison. It is useful when facing groups of creatures with regenerative or supernatural-healing abilities, such as undead, vallornspawn husks, or more mundane forces supported by a number of healers. It is also useful for terrorizing opponents and breaking their morale; those caught in the arc of the spell are left in no doubt as to the risk of death if they continue to fight.
When performing this ritual, a coven often invokes symbols of sickness, old age and despair. Some magicians prefer to weave incantations that suggest disease, sickness and pestilence; natural disasters such as famine or drought may be mentioned, and used to evoke spirits of hunger or thirst. Bloodletting is also common, symbolic of the wounds that will claim the lives of the targets. Some ritualists ceremonially destroy healing or medical items. eternals associated with death and suffering such as the tomb-king Sorin or Kaela, lady of hosts, may be invoked.
Other common elements in this ritual might include the runes Naeve or Yoorn, the evocation of The Drowned Man, the slow ringing of heavy bells suitable to a funeral, or even evocations of deadly beasts such as plaguewulf or catoblepas.
if the coven uses beggars' lye to gain additional power, it is often burnt and the fumes inhaled by the subject, or else dissolved in water and used to anoint the target. Beggar's lye is caustic, and even dilute it will cause painful marks on the skin that fade slowly.