So you want to form a Spring coven

Part 4 in our ongoing series on Covens.

Today let’s talk about Spring covens, what would you tell anyone thinking of starting one up?

What are the cool rituals, what kind of items would you recommend they make or look out for, what potions? Would you recommend any particular Magical Traditions to them? What kind of shenanigans do Spring Covens get up to? Which Eternals should they talk to, oppose or at least have frosty silences with? How do they work in your particular nation’s magical traditions and Hearth Magics?

And the most important question, what is the aesthetic for Spring Magic this season? What is the new green? How should Spring mages accesorise?


So you want to form a Winter | Summer | Autumn | Spring | Day | Night Coven

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Hi, ex Archmage of Spring here. I was really an Eternal-botherer, that was my major go-to, but I tried to keep a finger in every known kind of shenanigan. (For those who think that this lot here contains any secret knowledge… it doesn’t.)

  • Rituals

    • Soloable rituals of note - Midwife’s Recourse and Fan the Flames of New Life are basically roleplaying rituals, but I was amazed how much people would walk up to me and ask for them. Blessing of New Spring is something one can specialise in, pretty efficient for its mana cost, and best at large sizes, but you might have big competition depending on your nation. If you have Spring 3, or if you’re working in a small coven, Merciless Wrath of the Reaver is occasionally in gigantic demand for plot reasons.
    • Battlefield rituals - Hands of Sacred Life and Blood of the Hydra are both actually pretty efficient and excellent compared to their competitors, if you can get the setup working.
    • Buff rituals - The smaller the buff, the more bang for your mana. The wider the buff casts its net, the more bang for your mana. Fountain of Life can be really, really good in its specific niche - if you’ve got targets for it, it’s better than taking the mana onto the field and casting healing rituals. Call Down Lightning’s Wrath and Chirurgeon’s Touch are towards the expensive end of things I’d expect to be handing out, but they’re things people would really like to have. Oh - and Unending Cascade of Blood’s Fire is more hilarious than useful, but it’s very hilarious.
    • The piracy buff, Blood and Salt, has a nice roleplaying effect and is a nice level. We like. It’s also sometimes in massive demand for plot reasons, but that’s not something to bet on.
    • But this isn’t why I was in Spring and it may well not be why you were. Every ritual of magnitude 40 or higher in Spring is really good. The only one that is not self-evident is that Curse of Gangrenous Flesh is a curse, and therefore it’s a player versus player tool first and foremost. All of the others - they say what they do on their tin, and they do that thing, and they are really really good at that thing. Note, of course, that you have to have either a Magic army (the Citadel Guard of Urizen) in the territory, or you need to own the territory, before you can cast rituals on it.
    • The other thing to note is that territory-target rituals, especially big ones, especially new ones, especially, uh, nasty ones, occasionally get you famous. Other magics may have some ways of placing your thumb on the scales in a spectacular fashion… Spring has many. (Magical atrocities may be illegal and come with legal liability or risk to life or limb. War crimes are not for everyone. Please contact your archmage for further advice.)
  • Concerning ritual traditions, Spring’s uncomplicated and unless you’re being weird about it (and being weird is cool) then I’d say that uncomplicated is the way to go with its performance. We were doing something a bit unconventional, being Urizeni who were handling the dirty messy force of generation and destruction with nice clean star magic - the more conventional Spring mages would use dirtier and more chaotic means like blood magic, or simple quick field-expedient stuff like runes. My favourite Spring coven ever did their magic via seat-of-the-pants dramaturgy / childrens’ storytelling involving puppets (and the horrifying implication that only people represented by puppets were real to them - that everyone else was represented by a fetish made of sticks that would be torn apart and destroyed as part of the ritual).

  • Eternal wise -

    • The servants of the Eternals are, how do I put this? They are for things. They cannot usually be what they are not. Trying to turn them to your will is like pulling a twig off a tree and pretending you’ve got the whole tree in your hand, and the tree cares about as much about what you’re holding.
    • The Green Mother is not to be trifled with, and you can find out more easily in play.
    • Llofir is a bit of a checkered figure, who is completely immovable and relentless in terms of what they want, and that’s not necessarily what you want.
    • Nobody knows much about Ossegrahn
    • Arhallogen looks like the evil one, but what they are is the Eternal of bullies and poison, and that’s something a lot of characters can get behind.
    • Irra Harrah, again, checkered relationship, there’s stuff that happened in play around this one
    • Siakha has mostly shown up as an antagonist.
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I used to play a small-time Spring mage with 1 lore, but a talent for cat-herding the farm rituals. Spring is straightforward, which is a great strength if you don’t know or care about the fiddly bits of the magic brief.

  • I’m going to mime snorting lines of True Vervain off the back of my hand by singing a song about agriculture for a ritual that you can use that herb in.

  • I’m going to ask someone to bring a carrot from their farm and then spend 2 minutes making unsubtle fertility jokes about it.

  • Do you want your magic to be held together with baling wire and nails, or the arcane equivalent of either a chainsaw sculpture or a fertiliser bomb? Do spring magic. The one that wrecks battlefield forts is literally just a reimagining of what the word “fertliser bomb” means. It makes that fortification so fertile it decomposes :P.

  • Bring mushrooms, bring plants, bring some fake blood and a big stick of charcoal. Go big, obvious and Good Enough. You don’t need a nice even constellation, whack the approximate shape on your prop and go to town. It’s Spring magic, it knows what it does. Just aim the charging bull and give it a shove.

  • I’d got Chirugeon’s Healing Touch mastered, back when True Vervain reduced its Magnitude, rather than counting as mana. It was amazing with Spring 1 back then, as I could solo this 10 Mag ritual. but now it’s a bit cheaper and a lot of fun.

    • 2/day Stay With Me for 4 mana, what’s not to like? if you’re using True Vervain, it compares pretty well to stuffing that into potions, and it’s more dramatic to play with. Especially if you’re really obvious about TIME FOR SOME SPRING MAGIC! on a Marcher or Navarri.
  • Call Down Lightning’s Wrath is interesting. It’s a bit costly up front for "I want an offensive spell, but it gives a really nasty effect very cheaply. Hero Points are usually worth about twice as much as mana, and it gives you a hero call for a mere one mana. Plus the surprise value when a magician knocks you on your ass because they are not supposed to be able to do that.

  • Unending Cascade of Blood’s Fire is worth taking for the name alone, am I right? The big deal about this enchantment is that the 4/day VENOM recharge in any Chamber aura. Which means it’s like sticking 4 extra personal mana on you, that you can only use for VENOM. If you want to obliterate Vallorn husks left right and centre, this is for you. Good fun at player events.

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Worth noting the RP effect on Unending Cascade. The magic gave you a STING. If startled or threatened, STING THEM.

I should also note the following combination of RP effects that you might meet -

BRIAR may respond to auras of relaxation and lassitude with a burst of supernatural energy.
The most common aura that regenerates mana is CHAMBER OF DELIGHTS, a magical aura of relaxation and lassitude.
UNENDING CASCADE.
Combined: release your inner wasp!

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Actual footage of a unit of battlemages powered up with that ritual:

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Another thing to keep in mind is that (from a purely roleplay side of things) spring magic wants you to cast it. It just doesn’t like being told what to do. Getting spring magic to do what the ritual says might not be difficult, but getting it to ONLY do what the ritual says is a challenge. If you use runes, then hirmok is your friend. Keep your spring magic on a leash!

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what would you tell anyone thinking of starting one up?

Spring magic is best magic, be prepared for “banter” from people about Vallorn and Briars with witty comebacks :wink:

Think about whether you want to bring the UNSTOPPABLE HEALING WAVES (See below) on to a battlefield and make yourself every fighters best friend. :smiley: Some risks entailed. :wink:

What are the cool rituals ,

Behold my extensive wisdom as a militant ritualist :smiley: To be honest its mostly stuff to avoid, though dont forget you can change your ritual masteries!

Blood of the Hydra: Cast it once, to be honest, Physiks are usually on broken limbs like wasps on jam, take it if you have a spare slot somehow.

Hands of Sacred life Far and away my most cast ritual, dont forget people will often pay you if you ask nicely and/or guilt trip them or their combat leaders!

It only gets more efficient as you up the power but beware enemy action as you are squishy and super easy to shoot. I have however performed this ritual lying on the ground with arrows flying around the place, all fun times :smiley:

But yeah, ideally, pick a lull in combat and lure over a group of wounded slightly behind the line, talk to your captains and generals if needed to time this, trying to work amongst a mass of stressed out physiks doesn’t really work and effort gets duplicated. When in doubt, run around slapping your targets on the back shouting YOURE FULLY HEALED because half the field does not understand esoteric ritual magic :slight_smile:

Turns the Circle For legal reasons i have certainly never cast this :wink:

Hearthfire circle Almost always overkill, rich people might pay you to hang around with this on standby. Probably wont though, curse you sovereign specific potion!

Call down Lightnings Wrath I have genuinely felt OP using this at player events in combination with a mana restoration aura. Strikedown for 1 mana is brutal and dont forget it works through weapons so just tap the tip of egregious polearms and make them kiss the dirt. Win almost any solo fight! Pricy if you arent casting it solidly though, so invest in some mana potions or similar for battlefield use.

Churning Cauldron of Bravash Unless you find some weird rare herb, its awful. I mean unless someone is paying.

Merciless Wrath of the Reaver Solid earner if you can find someone who does not know some absolute git casting it for free :stuck_out_tongue:

Rampant Growth someone paid me to master this, i have never cast it.

Blood and Salt Another solid earner, works with some fleet actions so go out and promote if one of those is going on!

Unending cascade of Bloods fire I mean just say it, its badass and the Vallorn absolutely MELT when a couple of casters with this hit them.

Thats about my limit as a habitual solo caster, but i should mention Curse of Gangrenous flesh is absolutely brutal and threats of its use can terrify people into doing things for you if you put your thumb over the Magnitude in your grimoire while showing them. Allegedly.

Please try to avoid war crimes when casting the big curses :wink:

what kind of items would you recommend they make or look out for, what potions?

I am mostly a battlemage but the +Lore staves are obviously good as are the various potions that boost your castings. They are all a bit pricy but can push you to a new ritual that might be very handy. Let your maths folk debate it. You need someone who loves maths incidentally. ASAP. Best coven asset there is.

I tend to wear unstoppable granting mage armour because arrows are a thing.

Would you recommend any particular Magical Traditions to them?

Blood magic is the true hotness but i also dabble in Theurgy because Highguard and frankly, fake blood is super awesome on battlefields but juggling a weapon, fake blood and situational awareness is sometimes perilous!

Essentially its the Pratchett quote, you can do it with 2cc’s of mouse blood in a pinch :wink:

What kind of shenanigans do Spring Covens get up to?

Most of my casting is battlefield healing, i sell buff rituals to fund my lavish healer lifestyle (lolololol) as mentioned above though it tends to be loyal return customers and friends despite me telling anyone who will listen that Call down lightnings wrath is life changing. :wink:

Which Eternals should they talk to, oppose or at least have frosty silences with?

most of the Spring Eternals tend towards being antagonistic, because they are super elemental and the things they represent tend to not go with Empires :wink:

The ones that arent outright enemies are still working against us long term, that doesn’t mean we cant use them, just dont forget it.

Dont forget Llofir invaded the Empire recently!

How do they work in your particular nation’s magical traditions and Hearth Magics?

Highguard! My character is an Unconquered rather than a Magister for various reasons so i cant comment too closely on that.

Hearth magic wise, Cleaning goes very well with blood magic, assuming you have not bought super cheap fake blood that WILL NOT DIE.

Bells, chimes, Cowls and veils are all great ritual props used correctly, props are always a bit handy to fill space and look great!

A Journal can also double as a super handy grimoire and rules reference to all the rituals, pre calculate as many numbers as possible and scrawl them in the margins to save time! I have literally printed out all the rituals, potions and handy things and stuck them in mine to get the wording exact, then, as mentioned, scrawled IC notes, maths and ideas all around them. Add arcane projections, ideas, observations about barbarian magic to taste.

And the most important question, what is the aesthetic for Spring Magic this season? What is the new green? How should Spring mages accessorise?

Black is the new Green, with a white secondary :wink: Green is out baby! Get yourself a staff and some mage armour to crack heads with lightning and stop the first barbarian with legs chopping you up, then grab every ritual prop your hearth magic recommends, then a few more, oh and a good ritual knife, also handy for cheeky barbarians.

Then some more knives. You can never have too many knives!

Never forget, Spring magic is best, Briarism is welllll under 1% as a side effect.

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One borrowed spring ritual anecdote I have is that at E1 when the Brass Coast realised they didn’t have enough healers for the upcoming battle one coven threw resources at a casting of Fountain of Life and bam the whole coven had heal, purify and restore limb. Saved a lot of people, got a commendation for being excellent healers :slight_smile: .

If you want to give a mage significant extra utility on a quest, skirmish or battle just throw this at them and some mana potions, instant healer. Yeah there are cheaper ways of doing this, but screw it sometimes you need healers and don’t care how you get them. It’s super cool as well if you want to buff new players and give them a taste of what it’s like. If you’re on a limited numbers quest through the gate, this lets you make a person or two significantly more useful. Oh yeah, it can also be a lifesaver when you’re at a combat based player event and realise that everyone thought that someone else was bringing the healers and physicks :laughing: (This has actually happened more than once).

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