Potions & Poultices - An Introduction
Like any good fantasy setting, The Cloud Factory has its fair share of mystical remedies and magical pick-me-ups. With both in high demand, those who can provide them fill a crucial role in this world’s society. These individuals can be broken down into three basic categories:
- Herbalists - The most abundant of the three, herbalists can be found just anywhere there are people. Most valley folk learn the basics as part of their childhood education, but those who continue their training find themselves equipped to handle a broad range of common ailments. Herbalists create simple remedies from plants and minerals and require no magical skill to carry out their job.
- Apothecaries - Having received advanced medical training through a hospital or academy, apothecaries can offer a more complete range of treatments. Basic apothecaries don’t use magic in their practices either, relying instead on their knowledge of biology and chemistry.
- Arcane Apothecaries - While all medical practitioners are valued, none are as versatile or sought after as the arcane apothecary. These individuals can enhance their concoctions with magic, resulting in the most powerful treatments, cures, and augmentations. However, because their services require specialized knowledge, rare materials, and the ability to use magic, they often come with a hefty price tag.
The illustration above shows examples of what kinds of products you might find at your local herbalist or apothecary. From left to right:
- River Lily Pad Poultice (large green jar) - Provides mild relief for sore muscles, minor scrapes and burns, swollen injuries, and insect bites. Simply mash fresh lily pads to a pulp with purified water and apply to the affected area. Wrap lightly in linen gauze for protection.
- Honey Salve (light green ointment) - This mixture of luna bee honey and the natural gel from river lily petals helps sooth and heal mild to moderate burns.
- Antiseptic (ivory balm) - Usually made from dried, powdered river lily pad and beeswax. Prevents infection and expedites the healing of minor to moderate cuts and scrapes.
- Pine Infused Honey (tall jar with pine sprig) - When added to tea or taken straight, this simple remedy provides cough and cold relief. Add powdered moon blossom to the mixture for a good night’s rest.
- Lily Caps (clamp jar of pills) - When powdered and compressed, the dried river lily root creates a powerful ingestible pain killer and anti-inflammatory.
- Willowbark Powder (linen pouch) - Adding a scoop of willowbark powder to a cup of tea or water will quickly calm an upset stomach. In a pinch, chewing on a strip of untreated bark or small twig can provide mild relief.
- Minor Health Elixir (small blue phial) - Distilled essence of river lily in a specially enchanted bottle boosts the body’s natural healing process, instantly sealing minor cuts and reducing healing time for more severe injuries.
- Major Health Elixir (large blue phial) - The shape (or number) engraved on the bottle of arcane brews indicates how potent it is. This variant is two degrees stronger than its minor counterpart, and will heal wounds twice as severe twice as fast.
- Antidote (dark green bottle) - This complex enchanted cocktail of dried marshflower root, river lily oil, and various minerals can counteract all common toxins and household poisons.
The last three items in the lineup, if you haven’t already guessed, can only be created by arcane apothecaries. The mixtures inside the bottles by themselves have naturally beneficial effects, but they are greatly amplified by the enchanting process.
I’ll discuss enchanting in greater detail in a later post, but the basic idea is that the bottle and mixture are placed in the center of an enchanting array, and the resulting product depends on what additional components are used, how many are placed, and what incantation is spoken. Some potions require a specific starting mixture to achieve the desired effect, but many others can be made from a base of purified water.
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