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Celestial Circle

Labyrinthine Ways of Thorns

Cost: 30 motes

As soon as the last word of this spell is uttered, plants shoot out of the ground in intricate patterns. Within seconds they’ve grown with ferocious speed to high, dense hedges with wicked, razor sharp thorns. The hedges appear as sculpted by the finest gardener, with ornamental patterns, arches and, depending on the personality and strength of the sorcerer, even the occasional life-like hedge sculpture. At the maze's center, a large, beautiful orchid grows from the central stem of the magical plants. The sinister magics spontaneously rearrange the configuration of the maze by quickly growing and withering sections around creatures caught in it.

When the thorn maze is summoned, the sorcerer must be within it or at the edge of it. It only grows on ground where plants can naturally grow, even if it is just is moss or sparse grass. It grows around any obstacles that aren’t too big, cleverly incorporating them into the maze’s structure. The hedges are five yards high and the paths they form are just wide enough for two grown men walking almost shoulder to shoulder, or one man fighting or riding. The hedge maze has a radius of 50 yards for every point of the sorcerer's permanent Essence. To navigate the maze on foot, one must score as many successes as twice the sorcerer’s Intelligence + Essence rating on an extended Intelligence + Awareness roll. One roll can be made every turn. The maze regains two successes up to the original value each turn due to the way it constantly reconfigures itself. A botched roll means separation from one’s companions, or becoming completely walled in or lost in the maze.

The hedges are surprisingly hard to hack down – to hack an opening wide enough for a man to pass through, one must inflict 10 levels of damage (the tough hedge plants have a soak rating of 10B/6L) during one turn, but such openings remain only for one turn, then the hedge grows back. Also, any contact with the hedges’ wicked thorns inflicts 1L damage per turn. Only something like a massive fire, a flood or magic can destroy the thorn maze. Chopping the maze’s central flower off from its stem causes the maze to quickly wither. A full day after the maze was created it crumbles to dust by itself.

The sorcerer can move unhindered through the maze – the thorn bushes let her through without impeding or hurting her. Through the maze’s magic she can sense all who touch the ground or the hedges themselves like an extended tactile sense, as long as she herself is in within the maze. She can also reshape the hedges at will; up to a section Essence yards long per turn, and even make them lash out at targets caught in the maze. Such an attack counts as a dice action. The branches and roots can perform clinches and sweeps, and can be made to inflict lethal damage with the thorns. For combat purposes, the hedges' relevant attributes are equal to the sorcerer's Essence rating and their relevant abilities are equal to her Occult rating.

Hedge Lash: Speed 0, Accuracy 0, Damage +0B/+0L, Def 0, Rate 1


How wide are the hedge paths? This could be a very cruel trap for large creatures. - Quendalon

What exactly does hacking down a section do for you if you're just seeking to escape? I'd postulate that every section hacked through counts as an additional two or three successes in addition to whatever you got at the roll for that turn, but I'm really not sure.
-- Darloth