Rural Witchcraft

Travelers are advised to negotiate the roads between fortified towns only when necessary and as quickly as possible, avoiding at all costs the hospitality of the indigenous Breton populace. Outside the influence of urban sorcerocrats, fear and superstition reign unchallenged and the deplorable mockery of Imperial presence will sooner get you into trouble with the Covens than save you from their curses.

Tales of crops ruined due to rain falling skywards and of witches eating the hearts of unfaithful men out of their chest at night are probably exaggerations, of course. During the day, the hardworking women of rural communities do not appear any more, nor any less inclined towards the abuse of magic than Breton women elsewhere. It is only at night, when the watchful Eye of Magnus is closed, that the signs of unsanctioned witchcraft can be descried, as the chimneys grow alight and shadows rise in macabre dance.

Sinister customs developed around the dark power of the night. A man who seeks to ruin his neighbor should but leave a jug of water out in the evening, and will find it turned to vinegar in the morning; a drop suffices to poison a dog, and a thimble fells a cow. If a young woman wants her future children to be gifted in magic, she must brave a lonely hill at night and let the wind spirits enter her body, after which she will no longer be considered a virgin even if untouched by man. For a blessing of health, one needs to bake a wax cake with two holes at midnight, and for a blessing of manhood, one needs to relieve himself through the keyhole an hour before sunrise, without spilling a drop in the house. It is said that General Lavidius, who at one time commanded Fort Wavemoth, made an overly enthusiastic attempt to perform this ritual, and could not extract his swollen limb from the keyhole for three whole days, during which the natives gathered in crowds to laugh at the typical example of Imperial ambitions and their likely ends.


Notes

Submitted to Temple Zero.

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