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Spring Magnitude 50

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 Spring 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.


The ritual targets a single territory. Over the course of the next few days a powerful curse settles over the territory. All casualties suffered by campaign-level armies fighting in the targeted territory are halved.

Navies are only affected by this curse if they are taking a coastal order, rather than a maritime order. The curse does not affect casualties caused by environmental factors, or by an army disbanding due to lack of support.

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.

This ritual removes the Rivers Run Red curse, and is in turn removed by that ritual.

The effect lasts until the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event.

Removing the Curse

Rivers of Life removes Rivers Run Red, and is also removed by it. Note that neither curse replaces the other. If a coven wishes to have Rivers of Life take effect on a territory currently under Rivers Run Red, they would need to cast the ritual twice (once to remove Rivers Run Red, and once to place the Rivers of Life effect).


Rivers of Life fills the rivers, streams and lakes of a territory with healing power and invigorating energies that refresh and restore those who bathe in or drink from them. Inhabitants of the area will benefit from hale and hearty health, but it is of most use to the commanders of armies as any wounded and injured soldiers who use the waters will heal far more quickly than normal. It is the obvious counterpart of, and counter to, Rivers Run Red and some magicians call it Rivers Run Green as a consequence.

This curse supports any army with the wit and awareness to make use of the enchanted rivers, not just Imperial armies. Even a large enough force of wild beasts to qualify as an 'army' could well benefit as they naturally seek out such water sources. The ritual can occasionally backfire; it is at its most effective when allied troops are significantly outnumbered in the targeted area - the casualties they inflict on their enemies will be reduced, but the more beleaguered they are the more effective the reduction in their own casualties becomes.

As with Rivers Run Red, the ritual is sometimes mired in controversy. Navarr magicians for example are concerned that using it on any territory containing a vallorn may be disastrous; they argue that the last thing that fecund horror needs is a massive infusion of Spring magic specifically designed to promote fertility. Indeed, there is real concern that exposing the vallorn to this ritual might promote its growth, so much so that there are no recorded incidents of the magic being used in Liathaven, Therunin, Hercynia, or Brocéliande - and not even in Miaren despite the fact the vallorn has been neutralised there - without it being swiftly countered. Furthermore, the orcs of the Mallum are known to make use of this ritual, or one very like it, meaning that it is sometimes seen as a "Druj trick", especially in nations that border that benighted eastern nation.

A Very Peculiar Curse
Rivers of Life is peculiar because it is a curse that has effects that can be beneficial, which is at odds with the way curses usually operate. In practice, it is a curse for game design reasons - it needs to parallel Rivers Run Red which is certainly malign in its effect. If it were an enchantment it would be much easier to remove, due to the restrictions of a single enchantment per target, both for the Empire and their enemies. In practice, while the effects are often described as positive, there are plenty of circumstances where Imperial strategy does not want reduced casualties on both sides of a conflict. Furthermore, the power of the curse is indiscriminate, and unlike a purely beneficial enchantment there is potential for the magic to cause very unpleasant side effects - such as if it were cast in a vallorn territory for example.

Furthermore, Rivers of Life does something that only one other ritual in Imperial lore does - directly impact the outcome of a campaign battle by changing the way casualties are calculated. In the past there have been efforts to replicate this effect with arcane projections to varying degrees of success. Going forward, it's worth noting that unlike other magical effects from multiple sources, it is not possible to "stack" several effects that change casualties in a territory. Only the most powerful applies a reduction (or increase) to a campaign battle.

For these reasons alone, Rivers of Life is a very bad ritual to use as the basis for an arcane projection; it doesn't work quite the same way as other large-scale magics do and anything that draws on it for inspiration has a high risk of failure. Sometimes magic is just like that.

The Thule are apparently great proponents of this effect; it preserves life and promotes growth and there is every indication it is regularly used in Otkodov. Indeed, they seem to have maintained a shroud of "beneficial" Spring magic uninterrupted over Sermersuaq ever since they took custody of the Silver Peaks in 379YE. There is evidence this has greatly expanded the herds and fisheries of that northern Wintermark nation - but also highlighted one of the potential dangers of over-reliance on Rivers of Life. The fecundity of the animals in Sermersuaq is tied to the bountiful power of the magic, and if it were discontinued it is likely there would be massive die-off of creatures no longer sustained by the life-giving power. Its also been noted by some critics of the Thule that they are not using the curse in other Imperial territories where they have a presence. Is there a reason for this, they ask? So far, the Thule have remained silent on the matter.

The ritual is known to be a favourite of Lord Rain . Indeed, it appears that the Imperial Conclave originally placed him under enmity due to his enthusiasm for ensuring every battle in the Empire took place under its aegis. Since his reconciliation with the Empire in 383YE he has offered several boons that make performing the ritual easier. Those who are still suspicious of Ossegrahn see this as just another reason to be cautious of this ritual curse.

At the end of the day, the mystery surrounding Rivers of Life are compounded by the fact it is a curse and not an enchantment. The indiscriminate nature of the Spring magic it invokes means that, in theory at least, the effects could be disruptive and dangerous as those of Rivers Run Red - if the circumstances were right.

Common Elements

Pure water, or other wholesome liquid, usually takes a central role in the performance of this ritual. Many magicians, especially those from the Brass Coast, favour rain water - the fresher the better. In the League and Dawn magicians may favour fine wine over water, the finer the better. Saltwater is rarely used except in an emergency; the dangers of drinking it mean it resonates poorly with the magic of the ritual. A blood magician will often mix in blood donated by physick, especially one who has experience of healing on a battlefield. The container for the liquid may also be significant; a cauldron, chalice, or ewer is most common, often made of simple materials and unadorned.

A map that depicts the target territory, or an object symbolic of it, is often used as a focus for the ritual. It is often drenched during the casting, although sometimes the map itself is created by pouring liquid onto dry sand, quickly tracing the rough contours of the rivers and lakes that are part of the target territory. In Highguard it is more common to eschew a focus on the territory, and instead focus on the act of washing and purifying, especially where someone born in the target territory can be included in the ceremony.

The runes Bravash and Hirmok are commonly used during this ritual, and the constellation of The Chalice is often invoked. A dramaturgist will likely evoke the Garden, although the question of whether they includethe Doctor, the Witch, or the Mountebank is said to reveal much about the inner nature of the coven involved. A master of hearldic magician might evoke the firebird or hydra, depending on how they feel about the nature of the ritual; a goeticist traditionally evokes Yaw'nagrah, although with the reconciliation between the Imperial Conclave and Ossegrahn, some of that eternal's many names might be substituted instead.