Winter Magnitude 150

Performing the Ritual

Performing this ritual takes at least 10 minutes of roleplaying. If the ritual is cast using the Imperial Regio it requires at least 5 minutes of roleplaying instead.

During the ritual the casters must be in a strong Winter regio. This ritual targets a territory, and must be performed at a regio in that territory. If the ritual is used to target an Imperial territory, it may instead be performed at the Imperial regio at Anvil.

This effect is a curse. A target may be under more than one curse at a time.


Over the next thirty years, the fertility of the target territory undergoes a marked decline. Fewer and fewer animals and people are born there, and while plants are not as seriously affected, they tend to produce less blossom and thus less fruit. Cereal crops become sparser, and less fruitful, which may lead to increasing hunger or even famine.

Vallorn and vallornspawn in the target territory tend to become slothful and quiescent for the duration; they are not harmed, but they rarely expand beyond their borders unless provoked.

The ritual has no real effect on resources, even farms, but over time the population of people and animals in the area will drop dramatically.

The curse has lingering effects on creatures who have spent a lot of time in the area making conception more difficult if not impossible without magical assistance.

Over time this will have a significant effect on a foreign or barbarian region, damaging their agriculture and industry and reducing their capacity to field troops and feed their people.

The effects of the ritual are obvious to anyone living in or passing through the territory. As with any effect that targets an entire territory, there may be unanticipated consequences to this ritual. The nature of the area and the current situation there may prompt additional unpredictable effects, often resulting in an entry into the following seasons Winds of Fortune.

The effects last for around thirty years.

Removing the Curse

The curse can be removed by certain powerful creatures or items with powers associated with fertility (most likely the eternal Yaw'nagrah) although such assistance is unlikely to come cheaply. It could also be removed by an extremely powerful ritual, probably from the Spring realm, that restores fertility but such an effect is likely to approach magnitude 200, and potentially higher if it is to remove lingering effects. Recent interest in removing the curse placed on Brocéliande to weaken the vallorn there underlines what a challenging prospect prematurely ending this effect would represent.


The ritual has mostly been used to encourage vallorn and their spawn to quiescence. It is not foolproof, and unfortunately it has the same effect on birth-rates of people and animals who share the territory, so is rarely an ideal solution to vallorn expansion. In recent times, the curse has been used twice. In Summer 382YE, it was placed on Liathaven, and a year later, on Brocéliande. In both cases, it was a response to a dramatic increase in vallorn activity sponsored in some fashion by the renegade Heirs of Terunael faction and their allies. The curses served their purpose - the vallorn's activity has been curbed - but at significant cost. Major questions have been raised about the future of Navarr steadings in Brocéliande, for example. The situation is even more complex in Liathaven, where remnant Navarr, Jotun, and Feni communities all lie under the effect of the curse. The Jotun seem to be broadly ignoring the curse, but the Feni are much more eager to see it removed - even temporarily risking an alliance with the Heirs of Terunael in the hopes of seeing the magic lifted. Unless something significant happens - and removing Wither the Seed prematurely from either territory will be extremely challenging - the effects are expected to persist until at least 402YE ad 403YE respectively.

Some scholars believe that this ritual was performed on The Barrens centuries ago, and that some residual effects linger there to this day. There is also some evidence that the Thule of Otkodov maintain a version of this curse on their own territory of Sküld as a way to keep the vallorn that apparently lurks in the southern regions quiescent. Some scholars are fascinated by these claims; it is hard to guess what potentially permanent changes might have taken place in the territory if it has lain under the influence of this potent Winter curse for an estimated ten centuries.

The ritual has some resonance with the eternal Kaela, although she claims to have played no part in its creation. On occasion she has offered boons to help in its performance, but on the understanding that anyone who accepts them will receive no aid from her in removing it. In theory, an eternal so fascinated by endings might be the perfect choice to bring such an effect to a close, but in the past she has been loathe to offer any encouragement to do so. Infusing a territory with potent resonances of the Winter realm as Wither the Seed does may make it uniquely attractive to other eternals of that realm. For example in 383YE, the Bound King and the Burnt Knight of the Thrice-cursed Court both offered to use the magic as a starting point for blasting the entire territory of Liathaven. The Empire, perhaps wisely, declined this offer.

Common Elements

A map of the target territory is a common focus for this ritual, or a collection of items representing the fertility and "life" of the area (bundles of flowers, fur, bones, or depictions of the animals that live there, crafted items symbolic of the inhabitants joie de vivre and so on). These articles are usually destroyed or marred during the performance of the ritual. It is generally accompanied by slow, sonorous music and quiet incantations. Likewise dust and ashes may be scattered over an area, and are often used to obscure or occlude any map or symbols of the target territory. The entire ritual tends to have a feeling of inevitability or slow decline about it; for all its power this is a subtle and insidious curse.

The ritual often involves the evocation of the Yoorn rune, which represents Endings, although Kyrop, the rune of Weakness, might also be appropriate, as might the rune of Hunger. The eternal Kaela is sometimes evoked due to her connection with entropy and slow decline.

Further Reading

  • Desolation_of_Yoorn - 383YE Autumn wind of fortune that summarizes the placing of the curse of Liathaven and Brocéliande