My group is currently playing in a Triamore campaign and we have decided to focus on the economical side of the problems with the count of Namur. This has had me thinking of various ways to increase the productivity of a manor like Triamore with magic.
Specifically I have thought about how to use magic to increase the output of the forest.
According to the CrHe guidelines in the core rulebook it is possible to bring a plant to full maturity in a single day or night at a base level of 15 (core rulebook page 136). I cannot see anything that would stand in the way of designing such a spell and use it to plant a whole bunch of trees, cut them down and do it again. In principle this should result in a fabulously productive timber business while circumventing many of the normal problems with timber cutting, namely that timber is for most practical purposes a non-renewable resource and that deforestation is bad for the magical environment, in that forests often contain ancient (magical) trees, vis sources and the like.
A spell to grow trees could even be put into an enchanted item to allow the income to be generated without the direct oversight of any magi.
I dont see any particular reason why it would be a ritual spell either as accelerated growth is not a ritual spell as it does not strictly speaking create something from nothing. I cannot see any reason for why the grown plant should be of a lower quality compared to a non-magically grown one.
What about using such magic to grow an entire orchard or other type of fruit/nut plantation?
Or to grow plants, perhaps over a longer timespan and forming them while they grow in order to more easily obtain pieces of wood grown into specific shapes?
The same principle could be applied to animal husbandry, but perhaps to a lesser degree as it would mostly serve to cut costs by not having to feed the animals while they grow, thus getting a large flock ready for slaughter or breeding quickly.
Am I missing something? Is it really possible to do this? I know that in the long term it would likely remain quite labour intensive to run a business based on rapid treegrowing as laborers are still needed to cut down the trees, process them into saleable timber and to clear them stumps to prepare the ground for new growth etc.
There is also the slight problem that in real life trees need to grow slowly and at least partially in adverse conditions to develop the resistance and hardness that makes for ideal timber, but perhaps the spell forces ideal growth in the sense of ideal for the plants health rather than ideal in the sense of extremely rapid. Also what is maturity like for a plant in mythic europe? In real life plants dont really have a defined state of maturity like animals do.
I am relatively new to Ars Magica and so would greatly appreciate some input on how to interpret the magic system in regards to the above.