Revision as of 16:59, 29 December 2023 by Dre (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Lilac was common in the city. It was vigorous and hard to kill and had to be. The flower buds were noticeably swelling. He stood and stared, as a man might stare at an old battlefield. Even here, there were flowers. Even here. Amwell's eyes prickled with something hot and sharp, that rose up from a place within him he thought he'd long since sealed over. He wiped his eyes quickly, hoping nobody saw. It was the first nice day of the year, and the streets were thick with people just enjoying the sun. He didn't really like crowds - a rare trait in a Holberg native - and hoped they'd be on the move again soon. Peitro had been talking about taking them north, to fight wolves in the Varushkan woods.

The rest of the band were already gathered on the iron chairs outside the café. Bruna waved to him, and he quickened his stride to catch up. As he got closer he noted that Cienna and Leo had sprigs of lilac pinned to their sleeves, and Sofi had a garland of marrowort flowers around her shoulder that must have taken her quite a while to weave together. A new fashion, then. Being from Sarvos, those three were always the first to find whatever new thing that everyone else would be doing by the end of the week. He wasn't sure he liked this new craze. It reminded him of things he'd rather not remember. The orc drums. The screaming. The blood. His hand twitched slightly, and for a moment he felt the shock of his blade cutting through the het's side and scraping against bone. He shrugged it off, collapsing into a seat between Sofi and Bruna.

Breakfast was already on the table and predictably perhaps it was sausage. Lots of sausage. Peitro made a point of filling up on sausage whenever they were in Holberg, and complained constantly that you just couldn't get a good sausage anywhere else. Amwell poured himself warm tea, and pinched a bite of meat from Leo's plate, which led to some mock stabbing with forks and general laughter. He noticed Cienna staring at him.

"I know it's the fashion to wear spring flowers this year," she said slowly. "But... you seem to be trying to outdo us, Amwell. Trust a Holberger to go one further!"

She gestured with her fork to his temple. He raised a hand and found something unexpected. Growing across the side of his face, over the bark, were a half dozen rough shapes. He plucked one between thumb and forefinger, and discovered it was a tiny purple flower.

"Oh for goodness..." he dropped the bud. Leo pulled out a sliver of mirror - he always had a sliver of mirror on him - and angled it so Amwell could see his face. Even as he watched, a couple more buds unfolded from the rough surface that covered the right side of his head, and unfurled. There was a little more laughter, but it was a little awkward. Unsure of itself.

"Ah well," he said, "They didn't last after Brocéliande, I'm sure this is a temporary thing. I'm too old to be sprouting flowers at my time of life. Anyway it's spring! And everyone loves flowers, don't they?"

The laughter strengthened, Amwell waved the mirror away, and took the opportunity to spear another piece of sausage off Leo's plate inspiring another burst of faux outrage.

"I think they suit you," said Bruna quietly. She'd been with him at Rebeshof, she knew what he was thinking. Their eyes met and they shared one of those unspoken understandings that neither of them would ever put into words, and then the moment passed.

"On the subject of Spring," said Amwell easily. "I heard a new joke the other day. It seems a spider, a rabbit, and a waterfall walk into a bar and..."
Blooming Lilac.png
Flowers blossom across the Empire like never before. Familiar spring flowers, and a riot of unfamiliar blooms infused with Spring magic.


The Sails of the First Flame of the Brass Coast have unleashed the Imperial enchantment known as the Hallow of the Green World. The irrepressible power of the Spring realm floods the Empire. In addition to the expected effect of filling Imperial herb gardens with a bounty of healing herbs, the enchantment has a number of other unpredictable effects. As ripples of Spring magic roll across the Empire, streams of fertility and life are focused along the trods, which serve as channels for the energies of the wild magical realm. Everywhere there are flowers, a great profusion of natural Spring blooms and stranger blossoms that thrive particularly well in the Empire's forests. The lingering power of the enchantment enthuses those of the briar lineage with energy and enthusiasm for the coming year. While the Hallow was last invoked in 380YE, this is the second time in less than a year that an Imperial Spring enchantment has been created - the thunderous deluge that engulfed the Empire. This may go some way towards explaining why the power seems to have been more far-reaching this time.

Regardless of the reason, the soil sings with unparalleled life and fertility, and while there are a few minor downsides, for the most part, it looks like it is going to be a fine Spring.

Additional information connected to this wind of fortune can be found in Rain king, which covers the involvement of Lord Rain, and A murder of one which covers the involvement of other eternals and the sudden plague of boggarts besetting the Empire.

Imperial Territories
The Hallow of the Green World enchantment only touches those territories that were Imperial at the end of the Winter Solstice 384YE. As a result, none of these effects apply to resources in the Barrens, Bregasland, Liathaven, Brocéliande, Spiral, or Feroz. If your character has spent time in one of the other territories that are affected, it's fine to experience the more personal effects of the enchantment. A briar who lives in Bregasland but roleplays they have spent the last three months avoiding the war in Mitwold is free to strengthen their lineage trappings for example. A noble whose house is in the Barrens is free to start the game with some peculiar spring flowers they have picked on their way to Anvil. But the herb gardens and forests in these territories do not benefit from the additional production granted by the enchantment.


  • Wild flowers are growing in great numbers across every Imperial territory
  • As well as natural blossoms there are flowers in colours and shapes not familiar to Imperial botanists
  • Every forest in the Empire has produced an additional bounty of spring flowers

Everywhere, there are flowers. A profusion of late-winter and early-spring flowers blanket the Empire in a riot of colours. Wherever one looks there is winter honeysuckle and aconites, pale snowdrops and golden mahonia, pansies, jasmine, sweet box, and witch hazel, and lilac. So much lilac. There are also flowers hitherto unknown in the Empire - peculiar-shaped blooms in a profusion of shades. These flowers are particularly prevalent in areas where the land is already touched by magic - where dragonbone, ambergelt, beggar's lye, and iridescent gloaming are harvested. With the approach of the Dawnish and Urizen Spring celebrations - the Festival of the Net and the Night of Flowers - these undoubtedly magical blooms are very much in demand. A fashion for wearing unique flowers in the hair, or pinned to the sleeve sweeps the League, and this grand panoply of colour and scent adds grandeur to every Marcher spring festival..

The unique flowers that grow in forests and woodlands across the Empire can be phys-repped with any kind of blossom you like. Artificial flowers in any colour or combination of colours can be used to represent such a flower, and any character can have acquired one. Painting or colouring flowers in colours not found in nature is also acceptable; the chaos that Spring magic revels in is not always horrible or harmful.

In addition every forest owner in a territory covered by the Hallow of the Green World will receive a special ribbon in their pack for a Spring Flower. Players are encouraged to create their own phys-reps for these flowers. They create a roleplaying effect but also function as magic items infused with the power of Spring, following the rules for talismans. A character must bond to one to be able to benefit from its magical powers, it counts as the character's talisman, unbonding from it prevents bonding to another talisman until the start of the next day and so on. Their magic is short-lived, and they all expire at the start of the Summer Solstice, losing their special properties.

Scions of Spring

  • People with the briar lineage can increase their trappings if they wish
  • Once during the Spring Equinox a briar can heal themselves with a burst of Spring magic

During the last three months, characters with the briar lineage have been exposed to powerful Spring magic, with a number of potential effects. Every briar is affected differently, and it is fine to ignore these changes, or to downplay their effect. The Hallow of the Green World has strengthened the influence of the Spring realm on briars, and its effects may linger for the duration of the Summer Solstice, increasing the impact of one or more of the briar's roleplaying trappings. Briars who have been exposed to the Hallow of the Green World may 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. A briar character may also find that the Hallow has strengthened the trappings of their lineage. This may specifically include flowers, which may bloom in areas covered in bark. Any briar character may add flowers to their lineage trappings as a result of the Hallow, either permanently or just for the duration of the Spring Equinox event.

In addition, the lingering Spring magic allows any briar character to use a special magical ability once during the coming event. Following five seconds of appropriate roleplaying during which you visibly experience a surge of energy or enthusiasm, you may restore up to three lost hits. You suffer all the normal effects of any hits taken while using this skill, and cannot take any offensive action or move from the spot while you are performing this appropriate roleplaying. It must be obvious to everyone within ten feet that you are doing something special - this ability cannot be used secretly. As with similar abilities, it can't be used if you are weakened. After the battle or encounter where you use this ability, you experience a roleplaying effect: you are physically exhausted, your briar reserves of boundless vitality entirely drained, and only an hour of rest and relaxation can restore your energy.

Living Things

Whenever the Hallow of the Green World is invoked, it makes animals, plants, and even people significantly more fertile and healthy. 385YE will certainly see an increase in the size of herds, and the quality of harvests, across the Empire. It may also see a marked increase in the number of children being born to Imperial citizens. It's already apparent that the chaos so characteristic of Spring magic is not as rampant as it has been during earlier castings of the Imperial enchantment. Perhaps it is the influence of Lord Rain, perhaps it is the lack of influence of the Green Mother.

While there are plenty of examples of odd plants and flowers across the Empire, the enchantment has also promoted the growth of all kinds of natural plants. It also means that herds of animals across the Empire, both domesticated and wild, will grow significantly in the coming months. This bodes well for those Winterfolk returning to Sermersuaq, and for the proposed Hunt of the North. It also bodes well for the Shepherd of the Great Herd, and for those Imperial Orcs following their example and raising their own herds in Skarsind.

Field and Forest

  • For a season following the Spring Equinox there is no cost to diversify a farm or forest

Following the Spring Equinox, there will be no cost to diversify a farm to produce herbs or forest resources, or to diversify a forest to produce different natural materials. Normally, diversification costs 1 Throne but until the close of downtime, it will instead be free. It's still only possible to diversify a personal resource once following the event.

This benefit even expands to the unique option for Marcher farms to gain the assistance of the landskeepers to construct a mana-focusing menhir on their land.

Buying the Farm

  • Anyone can exchange their personal resource for a farm without the normal 2 crown fee
  • Characters with an upgraded resource can exchange it for a farm with the same number of upgrades for 2 crowns

With the great burst of fertility and fecundity spreading through soil and water, there are more opportunities than ever before to start and expand farms. The eternal Lord Rain has offered a way for farms to take advantage of the Spring magic and increase their fertility, but these benefits are only available to people with farms. At the same time recent experiences in Rachensgrab, the depths of Brocéliande, and in the Barrens have seen some soldiers disillusioned with the military life. Those who have completed their two-year service in the armies are keen to retire rather than sign on for another period of service. The Hallow of the Green World has made finding farms for these veteran warriors easier than ever before. Not only warriors are feeling the urge to settle down - there are rich merchants from the League to the Marches who hear the siren call of a simpler life, mariners from the Brass Coast to Skarsind who find themselves yearning for solid ground beneath their feet, priests who tire of the politics of the Synod... all can take advantage of this opportunity.

Any character may choose to replace their personal resource with a farm. If they have a resource that is not upgraded, they can do so without the usual administrative costs - there is plenty of land available for Imperial citizens to set up a new concern.

If their resource has been upgraded, however, they can ask the civil service to find them a larger or potentially richer area of land on which to retire; in this case they still need to spend the usual 2 crowns administrative fee but they will receive a farm of the same level as their previous resource. Such farms can be in any territory appropriate to their nation. Taking advantage of this opportunity requires either an email to before the event or before downtime closes after the event.

The Trods Rise

  • Any Navarr adept of Spring Lore who also owns a mana site can harvest a single pawn of Spring vis

While Imperial heroes battled the Jotun in Liathaven during the Winter Solstice, the Navarr of the Voice of the Quiet Forest coven were finally able to restore the trods linking the territory to the rest of their network. With new trods in Sküld and Ossium, the network has never been larger, and has never linked so many vallorn together ever before.

The magical energies unleashed by the Hallow of the Green World settle over the trods like water falling into a channel. The trods surge and ripple, and anyone using them experiences their power like never before, allowing people to walk for almost an entire day before taking a few hours rest, and being ready to keep moving the next morning.

Some of this power takes on more tangible form, in places where magic naturally pools. Navarr magicians who know what to look for can harvest small amounts of Spring vis from the trees and plants that thrive nearby. Every Navarri magician with the Spring lore skill who also owns a mana site personal resource will gain a single pawn of vital honey as a result.

Chaos Fruit

The magic flowing along the trods, perhaps infused with some echo of the vallorn, may go some way to explaining another odd phenomenon related to the "chaos fruits" brought out of Brocéliande during last year's daring expedition. They possess magic as unpredictable as their appearance, but a method was quickly uncovered to cultivate them in Imperial forests. The Hallow of the Green World has helped keep the raw fruit "fresh" and infused the newly transplanted fruit with fecundity that extends and expands on the original opportunity.


  • A forest can be prepared to grow chaos fruit; it requires five different fruit and the ritual Rampant Growth
  • The forest will produce a single chaos fruit and two fewer measures every season for each time it has been diversified in this way
  • This option is only available until the end of the Spring Equinox 385YE

For chaos fruit to prosper, there needs to be a wildness to the trees around them, meaning they will only thrive as part of a forest resource. To prepare a forest to produce chaos fruit, the ritual Rampant Growth must be cast, using five different chaos fruit as the focus. The fruit are consumed in the process. Only an unopened chaos fruit lammy can be used in this way and the description must be different for each one. The ritual will have its normal effects, but in addition the forest will permanently produce 2 fewer measures of magical material, and instead produce one random chaos fruit each event going forward.

Thanks to the Spring magic, however, there is an additional option for forests that have already been diversified during the Winter Solstice Thanks to Hallow of the Green World, it's possible to diversify a forest a second time at the Spring Equinox.

Even fruit that have been harvested after the Winter Solstice will work when used in this way, their fertility restored by the Imperial enchantment. After the Spring Equinox 385YE, the last of the vitality in the fruit will have faded and it will no longer be possible to cultivate more chaos fruit.

Probably Not Vallorn

  • The chaos fruits are not vallorn seeds and are not interdicted by the Imperial Conclave
  • Some concerns have been raised that they may present a threat in the future

Though "vallorn seeds" are subject to a Declaration of Interdiction these fruit don't seem to be that. These appear to simply be fruit infused with a powerful resonance of chaotic Spring magic. However... there is some concern that it might be dangerous to cultivate their growth in a forest in Liathaven, Brocéliande, Hercynia or Therunin due to the presence of the vallorn there. The Conclave has not interdicted the magical practice of cultivating chaos fruit, but virtue requires constant vigilance.

The Navarr Enfys Larksong raised these concerns in the Navarr national assembly. Their judgement calls for “Imperial citizens who choose to cultivate this fruit to not keep such a decision a secret.” A number of other Navarr agree, and point out that this is not the first time that plants originating from the vallorn have been cultivated in the Empire; in Summer 379YE for example. It might not be a bad idea to keep track of them as well. There are two straightforward ways a list of forests cultivating chaos fruit, and farms where plants touched by the vallorn are grown.

First, a Cardinal could instruct the Silent Bell to look into this situation, and create a list. Depending on the wording of the statement of principle, the list might be made public or might be shared only with the Cardinal. This latter situation makes some Navarr uneasy – surely the point of Enfys' statement is that it is important for everyone to know where these potential threats might be?

Alternatively, the Navarr national assembly might raise the following Mandate.

The fruits of the vallorn have the potential both to be a useful resource, and to contain a hidden threat. We must be vigilant, and so we send (named priest) with 25 doses of liao to seek out all the places where such things thrive.

Synod Mandate, Navarr National Assembly

If this mandate is upheld, the named priest will receive a list of all forests in the Empire where chaos fruit have been cultivated at the Summer Solstice. After the Solstice, the list will be made public (put on the wiki). Navarr walking the trods will remain alert for signs of fruit, and investigate any rumour of such things when they hear of them. In theory, once the Spring Equinox ends there is no way to cultivate more chaos fruit, so the list should remain correct.

There is also an opportunity for the Highborn assembly to assist here. The grey pilgrims also walk the trods, and they have an interest in both opposing the vallorn and in working with the Navarr. They can also raise a mandate.

The fruits of the vallorn have the potential to be a hidden threat, even though they are also a useful resource. Vigilance guides us, and so we send (named priest) with 25 doses of liao to seek out all the places where such things thrive.

Synod Mandate, Highguard National Assembly

If this mandate is enacted by itself, it will provide the same list of forests where chaos fruit are being cultivated that the Navarr would have received. If both mandates are enacted however, then both characters receive the list, and it will also include details of farms and forests where vis-producing vallorn plants are cultivated in Casinea, Astolat, and Semmerholm.

Long Road to Ruin

  • The burgeoning spring magic has inflicted significant damage on some of the Empire's roads

Not all of the effects of the Hallow of the Green World are welcome, however. With wild energy surging across the Empire, and running wild along the trods, another resonance of Spring magic has come to the fore: the resonance of ruin. The Spring realm has little patience for mortal artifice. Weather and plants naturally pick away at structures around them, and if left to their own devices will tear any building or road apart. The spring magic has greatly speeded this process across the Imperial heartlands. In most places it is simply a matter of being a little more vigilant, of cutting back a few more weeds, or trimming the ivy a little more than might normally be needed. In other places though, there is extensive damage. Particularly to the Empire's roads.

The Blood Red Roads of the late Lorenzo “La Volpe” Macelliao von Temeschwar bear the brunt of the damage, but the Sunset roads in Segura and Madruga also suffer from the Spring magic. All roads worsen with age, but the ruinous impact of the Spring magic seems to have caused three decades worth of additional wear and tear over the course of three months.

The White Roads in Highguard – the granite roads connecting Bastion, Necropolis, and Reikos – seem to have sustained less damage most likely because they have only recently been completed but even they are showing some signs of erosion in wilder places. The Iron Roads of Varushka, which have also just been completed, seem to have been left alone by the Spring magic. The Varushkan builders nod soberly, and point out that their roads are protected. The Pilgrim's Trail in Kallavesa also seem to have been less affected, but the construction there is very different to the bold roads of white granite that crisscross the Empire. The mystics and priests who dwell in Kallavesa already have to spend a little time making sure the paths remain clear of marsh growth. The last season has been very challenging indeed but they have persevered.

The roads that have been damaged are becoming overgrown with vegetation, washed away by streams and rivers, reclaimed by the wilderness through which they pass. Something needs to be done.

Saving the Roads

  • The Senate can pay to maintain the Blood Red Roads and Sunset Roads
  • If the roads are not maintained, their effectiveness will slowly erode

The Blood Red Roads are a great work that provides additional income to the farms and businesses of Temeschwar, Sarvos, Tassato, Holberg, Casinea, Astolat, Semmerholm, Upwold, Hahnmark, Miaren, Madruga, and Karov – although in the latter case they stop short at the gates of Delev. The Sunset Roads extend these benefits into Segura.

The civil service estimates that it will cost a total of 26 Thrones each season to maintain these roads in their current state. Unless the Senate instructs them to do otherwise they will assume the great work is meant to be preserved and will act accordingly. Work crews will be employed to deal with the damage already inflicted and to keep the roads maintained.

The Senate may not wish to expend this money however, in which case they can use a Senate Motion to instruct the civil service not to maintain them. This will essentially mean abrogating the Blood Red Roads and the Sunset Roads.

Even without the civil service maintaining them, the roads will remain serviceable – especially in the vicinity of settlements – for years to come. Without constant attention, however, the benefits they apply will slowly erode. Each season the additional income to both businesses and farms will permanently drop by a Throne. Within nine months (after three seasons) the great work benefits will have fallen away entirely.

There is one last thing to consider; the prognosticators are deeply concerned about the speed with which this damage has taken place. They are concerned that if the Hallow of the Green World is cast again within the next year or two, then no amount of maintenance will preserve these roads, and the White Roads and the Iron Roads will likewise be in danger.

Further Reading