Wither the Seed
Winter Magnitude 150
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 10 minutes of roleplaying. 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 effected, 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 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.
This ritual was initially designed to be an 'answer' to the problem of barbarian orcs, but it has not been used. It was suggested as a bloodless way to deal with the barbarians but has several marked flaws. The most obvious is that the barbarians quickly realise what is going on, and leave the area; they often do so by invading Imperial territory.
As the populations of prey animals decline, predatory animals move out of the area. Any population that relies on hunting is likely to follow them. Within a decade, most areas effected by this spell will have been effectively emptied of natural animal populations which can have a devastating effect on hunter-gatherer societies..
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 any humans who share the territory with the vallorn so is rarely an ideal solution to vallorn expansion. Some scholars believe that this ritual was performed on The Barrens centuries ago, and that some residual effects linger there to this day.
A map of the target territory is a common focus for this ritual. The ritual usually involves the evocation of the Yoorn rune, although Naeve may also be referenced. 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 the map required to perform the ritual. The entire ritual tends to have a feeling of inevitability or slow decline about it; the eternal Kaela is sometimes evoked due to her connection with entropy and slow decline.