The prime colour of the world
Megan considered stepping over the thick patch of briar that was growing next to the trod. She was late, for the reunion with the other members of the Striding... but.. she had her duty. Sighing to herself she draw a long bladed heavy knife from a scabbard and began to cut the briar back.
Something was definitely up. The trods positively pulsed with powerful Spring magic at the moment - and she could feel the familiar benefits as she marched along. The price of all that magic was that the trods needed occasional maintenance to avoid them becoming overgrown. Usually she'd have to spend half an hour of her time no more than once a twice a day this way - but this was the third time today she had had to cut a fresh path through overgrown brambles and it was barely lunch. Maybe it was just her frustration at running late - but it definitely seemed like there was a lot more work to be done to keep the trods clear.
As she cut away the last of the brambles she noticed something, an unusual flower growing in the long grass, protected from heavy feet by the thorns. She examined it carefully - and then with long practiced skill began to expertly remove the plant. She painstakingly dug the plant out, excavating the soil all around the roots first to avoid damaging it. It was Realmsroot - very rare - and worth a fair few crowns. She might be late, but it appeared the day would not be a disaster after-all.
The work complete, she continued on her way, quickly leaving the remains of the bramble patch behind. As she sped off to rejoin her Striding, a slow trickle of water begin to appear in the hole where the rare root had been been.
During the Spring solstice, the Sherard Hunters of Wintermark took advantage of the potent conjunction of the Fountain to weave the powerful Spring enchantment known as the Hallow of the Green World. Following extensive preparations, they were able to raise the magic to spread the fecund power of the Green World across the Empire.
In addition to dramatically increasing the amount of Cerulean Mazzarine available to be harvested in the Empire, the enchantment has also made animals, plants, and people significantly more fertile. The impact of this profligate fecundity is not immediately apparent - but the coming seasons will likely see a dramatic increase in the size of herds, and the quality of harvests, across the Empire.
At the same time, there are going to be a great many more healthy children born to Imperial citizens. There is a superstitious belief that the children conceived under the influence of the Hallow of the Green World will express the briar lineage in later life, but the way the briar lineage develops has made a definitive study extremely difficult.
The magic also serves to temporarily empower weak Spring regio across the Empire, and encouraging the heralds of Spring eternals to become more active, and more interested in the Empire, and the activities of Imperial citizens.
There are several enchantments (such as Wondrous Forests of the Night and Bright Eyes Gleam in the Depths ) that work at such a level of power, but this is the first one lain across the Empire since before the reign of Emperor Hugh and seems to have been specially effective, possibly due to the influence of the potent conjunction under which it was performed.
Every herb garden in the Empire has produced an additional bounty of Cerulean Mazzarine over the last three months, cumulative with the effects of other enchantments such as Ruthless Vigilance, Healthy Crop. The Sherard Hunters chose Cerulean Mazzarine specifically, no doubt inspired by its use in several potions of particular value to the Empire.
Any character with the briar lineage may choose to take advantage of the powerful Spring magic to strengthen the trappings of their lineage.
Furthermore, the lingering effects of the enchantment mean that any briar can choose to strengthen the influence of their natural briar instincts for the duration of the Summer Solstice. In particular, many briars who are exposed to the Hallow of the Green World find themselves feeling vigorous, energetic, and enthusiastic - but conversely find it more difficult to resist lashing out physically at things that irritate or confuse them.
The Waters of Life
The Rivers of Life evoked in Kahraman has been particularly effective thanks to the Hallow. The extensive floodwaters resulting from the dire winter weather have carried the power of that Spring curse down the river, and spread additional fertility along the length of the Scorrero. Every farm and herb garden in Kahraman, Segura, and Madruga has benefited from even further enhanced production.
This particularly fecund Spring season has seen a very rare plant called Realmsroot blooming in unprecedented quantities across Upwold, Hahnmark and Miaren. Realmsroot is a naturally occurring plant that has a propensity for reacting to certain types of magic. It is occasionally found growing around strong regio or mana sites in the western Empire. Each individual plant flowers once every six years, and it is at this point that the herb is at its most potent. The properly infused roots can be ground into a paste that has a dramatic narcotic effect on the lineaged.
Owners of herb gardens in Upwold, Hahnmark, and Miaren should find a dose or two of the prepared Realmsroot in their character packs.
The Garden of Tiberius' Bequest
This opportunity is no longer available.
It is not just the personal herb gardens of Imperal citizens that have benefited from the Hallow of the Green World. Indeed, the revelation of hitherto unknown locations of Spring magic have provided a valuable opportunity for the sinecures that produce herbs.
One particular opportunity is available to the newly constructed Gardens of Tiberius' Bequest in Laroc. Obviously, the Civilian Commissioner of Dawn ensured that the newly-commissioned sinecure was built in a fertile location, but to the surprise of many the chosen area turned out to have a Spring regio at the centre!
This unexpected benefit has resulted in a unique opportunity to take advantage of the current enchantment to increase the effectiveness of the garden. With a suitable announcement by the Dawnish commissioner or a successful motion through the Senate they could use 2 wains of mithril to create a series of carefully positioned mirrors that will capture and reflect the font of Spring magic welling at the centre to make the garden especially fertile. The work would cost 4 crowns for the labour.
If the expansion were carried out, the production of the gardens would improved dramatically, increasing production to twenty-four Cerulean Mazzarine each season instead of the current eighteen.
Problems with the Morass
The potent Hallow of the Green world has not been without its downsides, however. The spread of the Morass in Holberg has been a matter of some concern for some time now, and the powerful enchantment appears to have exacerbated the situation. In the absence of repairs and replacements to the dikes and dams that keep the southern marshes in check, large sections of Rebeshof have reverted to their original, sodden state.
As a result Rebeshof has been officially declared a marsh (it now has the marsh quality). This deleterious change has the immediate effect of permanently decreasing the production of farms in Holberg by 18 rings. If Ennerlund also succumbs to the marsh, the penalty will double.
Assuming nothing changes, Ennerlund will have become a marsh by the start of the Winter Solstice. Should any further powerful Spring enchantments be placed on Holberg - specifically Thunderous Deluge, Rivers Run Red, Rivers of Life, Thunderous Tread of the Trees, or similar spontaneous magic - or should the Hallow of the Green World be cast on the Empire again, it will speed this reversion up dramatically and see Ennerlund swallowed by marshes at the end of the season in which the magic is evoked. If Ennerlund does become a marsh, the newly opened Great Pits of Ennerlund will need additional pumps and precautions, permanently increasing the upkeep of this important Bourse resource by 2 Thrones per season.
It is too late to prevent the marsh spreading into Rebeshof, but Ennerlund could still be protected. With the expenditure of 60 wains of weirwood, and 15 Thrones, new dikes could be built and some effort made to replace the paths and bridges the Druj have destroyed. This great work would add 75 random herbs to the production of herb gardens owned by League citizens in Holberg.
Alternatively, the Senate could abandon efforts to stop Ennerlund being swallowed by the marshes and instead try to make the best of the situation. The result would be a vast, teeming marsh partially tended by skilled herbalists and doctors that would nearly rival the Kallavesa marshes for valuable healing herbs. This would cost the same as the plan to prevent the spread of the marsh - 60 wains of weirwood and 15 thrones but would provide 100 random herbs each season to League herb gardens in Holberg. The downside is that both Rebeshof and Ennerlund would be marshes by the time the work was finished.
Green is the prime colour of the world, and that from which its loneliness arisesPedro Calderon de la barca
The majority of the effects of this powerful enchantment have now faded. The rare realmsroot is no longer flowering and most of the plants have returned to their natural dormant state - although some of the herbs are still available here and there for purchase. The opportunity to improve the Garden of Tiberius' Bequest has not been taken, and is now no longer available.