The time has come to harvest the weeds cursed and blackened by the weather, the time has come for the winter burn.
Folk who have never worked on a magical farm but enjoy winter’s crisp, clean mist as they gallivant through a haunted wood rarely realize said mist is a farmer’s handiwork. I’m not here to sour anyone’s grapes — no need for adventuring folk to necessarily know how the gears of the world turn — I’m simply glad for this platform to share one of my seasonal occupations with the interested.
The base for the winter burn is dryad’s hair hemlock, an emerald green tree found at the heart of spellfields.
I want to emphasize that this is not actual dryad hair, and if you attempt to ignite the head of a forest monarch, she will likely kill you and it will hurt tremendously the entire time you are dying.
This type of hemlock burns slowly and retains heat for days. You’ll need a bit of tinder to get it going, and few things work better than a glob of dragon mucus. Poor dears always get a cold ‘round this time of year, so the snot is not hard to acquire. Oh, they will fuss and say they are fine, might even try to eat you, so it is best to send a fool in your place. Someone like ol’ Atty Redghost (if you are reading this, old hag, I jest in love, but also as a request: I need a few jars of snot when your schedule allows.)
From here, fill a cauldron with the hemlock, pour a good handful of snot, and add anything you have in your compost pile. Light a match, drop it in, and poof! If you’ve done this inside your home, you are in foolish trouble, but if you are outside, the magical currents will soon pick up the smoke and send it where it needs to go. Most of it gathers up and dooms someone, but some wisps will help create the mists and clouds that help bind the world together.
Part of magical farming is the joy of building a better, more destructive evil in the world. Many small scale winter burners will be satisfied with this, keeping the ash and residue as a token to remember their work. Folk with larger productions collect the post-burn ash apply it to green, fresh spaces come spring. A few years of consistent application will corrupt the ground, allowing only poisons and vile things to grow.