THE CIRCLE OF LIGHT
HERBS OF EARTHDAWN
Firestone mushrooms grow virtually anywhere with sufficient moisture to feed fungi. They appear in clumps and are easily recognizable by their reddish / orange tops. Though they are (barely) edible their greatest value lies in a certain potion made from them known as Adepts Blood. The red syrupy liquid is made from boiling the mushrooms, straining the rendered broth, then boiling it again, the resulting syrup mixes easily with water or wine.
Healers in some areas of Barsaive use the potion to spark visions in apprentice adepts as they advance in skill, such vision quests are particular common among the Dinganni, Crystal Raiders and certain Windling Tribes. Adept’s Blood induces a state in which the adept experiences extraordinarily realistic waking dreams that guide home to new levels of understanding. In some cases images from such visions have been known to foretell the future.
As a side effect, Adepts Blood greatly lowers the imbiber’s resistance to illusion magic. Illusionists have occasionally turned this to their advantage, as have some spirits and even Horrors when dealing with adepts under the influence of the potion, for this reason Adepts Blood must be used with great care.
EFFECT: A character who consumes a dose of the Adepts Blood elixir experiences vivid hallucinations and waking dreams for the next 4 to 16 hours. This prevents the character from fully resting and they suffer a -1 penalty to recovery tests during the next day. The characters spell defence against illusion magic drops to 3 for the duration of the extracts effect.
The fleshy, spike shaped leaves of the Aloe plant hold thick sticky sap that makes an excellent poultice for burns. The sap also soothes such skin irritants as rashes and insect bites. Found throughout Barsaive Aloe is often cultivated for its healing properties, many name givers use it to make salves and creams that also contain other herbs.
EFFECT: The soothing properties of Aloe halve the recovery time for burns, including reducing the number of recovery tests required to heal burn wounds from 2 to 1.
Bloodwort grows in small clusters of rough stalks, topped with leafy tassels and lined with thin, spear like leave. The leaves and tassels are dark green, edged and speckled in dark red (hence the name Bloodwort) A poultice made from Bloodwort leaves or tassels helps blood clot quickly, prevents wounds from re-opening, and promotes swift healing.
EFFECT: Dressing a wound with Bloodwort staunches bleeding and grants a +2 bonus to recovery tests made to heal cuts and open wounds.
Found in large quantities in marshes along the lakes and tributaries of the Serpent River, Bog Moss is excellently suited for dressing wounds. When dried and cleaned a small amount of Bog Moss can absorb a vast amount of liquid. Wounds dressed with Bog Moss (and regularly changed and cleaned) are far less prone to infection and heal more swiftly and cleanly than wounds not treated. The dry moss can easily be stored in loose cloth bags, however this must be kept dry as wet Bog Moss is useless as a healing aid.
EFFECT: Bog Moss dressings prevent most infections and help keep wounds clean if used and changed regularly. They also grant an additional bonus recovery test to the injured character every second day of the treatment. This effect stops after the character has healed all the wounds or damage that has been treated by the moss.
Coreliander is a flowering vine that grows throughout Blood Wood. It is easy to care for and blooms all year round in a startling variety of colours. The scent of the blossoms is light and wholesome, making it a welcome addition to any home or garden. Of special note are the pure white blossoms, by far the least common colour.
EFFECT: A name giver who eats the white blossoms within 1 hour of picking it becomes more alert and aware, gaining a +2 bonus to all Perception tests made for 1 hour after eating the flower. Blossoms that are not freshly picked grant a +1 bonus for 1 hour, the blossoms lose their alertness enhancing qualities within one month after been picked.
The Dragons Tongue planet features two or three broad leaves surrounding a long, thin flower coloured a vivid red. The flower petals remain tightly closed until the plant goes to seed, giving it the look of a long, serpentine tongue with a slight fork at one end. When boiled in water or wine the leaves make a broth that can fight the effects of many poisons. The bitter tasting drink can also keep groggy patients conscious and alert.
EFFECT: Dragon Tongue is a mild stimulant and grants any character drinking it a +3 bonus to Toughness tests against ingested poisons. Provided that the character consumes the Dragons Tongue before the onset time of the poison. If taken after the onset time, the character gains an additional Toughness test against the poisons spell defence rating, but with a +3 bonus.
This small thorny bush grows amid various species of brambles. Its brilliant violet flowers can be dried and then steeped to make a tea that improves the imbiber’s night vision, thus enabling humans to see as well as an elf or an Ork. The tea makes the drinkers eyes unusually wide and sparkling, and its effects generally last for several hours. The dried flowers will keep their potency for some months, however after brewing the tea loses its effects after an hour or two.
EFFECT: Fresh Eyebright tea gives a human drinker Low Light Vision like that of an elf or Ork for 2 hours after the tea has been taken. This effect shows itself by a slight shine and sparkle in the drinker’s eyes. Eyebright has no effect on other name givers, only humans.
This wonderful flower is a true gift from the healing passion. The blossom has five white petals, shot through with veins of red and pink. The board leaves are rich, dark green, and the stem and root are fleshy and soft. The plant grows in damp lowlands and moisture rich places such as the Servos Jungle.
When crushed the flowers yield reddish oil that can be mixed with water to make a poultice or taken in tea to promote healing and recovery from loss of blood. An infusion made from dried and crushed flowers produces the same benefits. The fresh root yields clear syrup that likewise promotes healing and helps to close wounds, the root loses its potency once dried but the liquid can be extracted from the root and keep in bottles for later use.
EFFECT: Treatment with Garlens Hand encourages healing of all kinds. It provides an additional recovery test each day of treatment and helps promote smooth and rapid healing of most injuries.
The pungent bulb of the garlic plant, used to season food in many regions of Barsaive can be prepared and used to keep wounds clean and free from infection. Fresh juice squeezed from the garlic bulbs also sooths pain and itching from insect bites and rashes and repels small insects. Garlic grows wild in many areas of Barsaive and is commonly available medicine in almost every Barsaive village.
EFFECT: Garlic juice soothes and cleans rashes, repels small insects and forces larger insects to make a successful Willpower (7) test before approaching a character liberally coated with Garlic, however it won’t do much for the characters social life.
Helmet Mushrooms grow wild in dark moist forests but can be cultivated in any suitably wet climate. The mushrooms are quite tasty when fresh, though they have no medicinal effect. However a brown powder made from their cups known as Helm of Bravery can be mixed with hot water to make a dark bitter brew that dispels the imbiber’s fears and produces a temporary feeling of courage. Some Dinganni warriors use Helm of Bravery before battle or hunting to help them resist fear, this artificial fearlessness however, often leads the user to foolishly disregard dangers. The effects of the powder generally last a few hours.
EFFECT: When consumed, Helm of Bravery provides a +3 bonus to a characters social defence rating against fear and intimidation. Unfortunately the bravado it inspires prohibits the character from taking defensive stance or giving ground while under the influence of the drug. The character must make a successful Perception (9) test to recognize and withdraw from certain danger. The effects of Helm of Bravery last 2 to 4 hours from the time the mushroom is consumed.
The Jaikar plant is mostly long, wide leaves that spring from a white, fleshy root. Whether cooked or eaten raw fresh Jikar root serves as a powerful heart tonic, granting the eater great vigour and energy. The root can be used to counteract the sleep inducing effects of some poisons and diseases, as well as to maintain wakefulness for a full day and night without sleep. When the effects of the root wear off the patient will feel tired listless and irritable. Prolonged use of Jikar root can endanger one’s health causing chronic nervousness and bouts of irrational terror.
EFFECT: Fresh Jakar root gives the character a powerful energy boost that allows them to immediately recover all damage from strain and fatigue. However when the root wears off the character gains all of that damage back again and must recover it normally. This can be dangerous if the character had continued to exert themselves since taking the root. The accumulated damage can render the user unconscious or even kill him if it exceeds his Death Rating.
This rust coloured Mahogany Trinrose is native to the mid reach of the Serpent River, where its vines climb the steep sides of the regions many canyons and cliffs. Its strong, unmistakable cinnamon and musk scent often wafts across the whole of the Mid Reach on warm, breezy days. The petals can be boiled to make a pleasant tasting tea that promotes healing and general wellbeing, it is especially tasty with a touch of honey.
EFFECT: Any character who drinks tea brewed from Mahogany Trinrose petals gains a +3 bonus on his nest recovery test that day. Trinrose blossoms are also the only known cure for infestations of the blood algae that blossoms along large stretches of the Serpent River.
These ghost white trumpet shaped flowers grow abundantly in the steamy heat of the Mist Swamps, where they were first discovered, and also in other hot steamy regions of the Servos Jungle. So strong is the mist blossoms affinity for warmth that it dies rapidly if moved to cooler climates. The white flowers and delicate white leaves can be crushed and boiled to form a poultice for treating burns of all kind. A Mist Blossom poultice soothes pain and discomfort, promotes healing, wards off infection and helps to repair burned skin without scarring.
EFFECT: A poultice of Mist Blossom heals burn damage more rapidly than normal. Burns will heal like normal wounds, at the rate of one burn per recovery test used. Also Mist Blossom grants a +3 bonus to all recovery tests to recover from burn damage.
This plant known as Mynbrujes Staff grows in a straight stalk some two feet tall. Its leaves are hairy and broad, and small bluish purple flowers grow in a dense cluster near the top of the plant. Mynbrujes Balm flowers in the high summer and can be found in open fields and forest clearings. When boiled as a tea or steeped in wine the leaves create a brew that reduces pain and discomfort. Mynbrujes Balm smells and tastes much like lavender with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
EFFECT: A tea or infusion of Mynbrujes Balm eliminates all penalties from wounds and the effects of injuries for up to 4 hours, allowing the character to act normally during that time. However it does not heal damage or protect the user from further injury, and existing injuries may be aggravated if a character using the balms strains himself too much while under the pain linking influence. At the end of 4 hours the character once again suffers the full penalties of any current wound or injury.
Also known as Bone Stem the Sarfran plant has a thin brittle cream coloured stem and broad jagged leaves. When broken in pieces and boiled the stem and leaves yield a milky broth that promotes the mending of broken bones if taken regularly every two days. The broths chalky flavour can be disguised somewhat with the addition of sugar or honey.
EFFECT: A broth of Sarfran gives a character an additional recovery test per day to recover from damage to his bones, such as that caused by the Bone Shatter spell or similar injuries.
SERPENT VINE: A flowering creeper the Serpent Vine grows wild throughout many of Barsaives forests where it climbs the trunks and branches of large trees. The Serpent Vine has glossy arrow shaped leaves and sprinkling of white and yellow flowers that can be dried and then ground into a fine powder. When mixed with a little water to form a paste this powder can draw poison from a wound. It is especially effective against snake venom of all kinds.
EFFECT: A poultice of Serpents Vine paste applied immediately to a poisoned wound grants the character an additional Toughness test to purge it from his system. The character gains a +5 bonus to the Toughness test if the poison came from a snake or snake like creature.
The small pale blue flowers of this ground covering creeper can be crushed and applied to a wound or brewed as a tea.
EFFECT: The crushed flowers temporarily prevent blood from clotting allowing a wound to be cleaned and tended. Once a wound treated with Sindolin has been cleaned or closed other herbs can be used to speed clotting of the blood and seal over the wound. The tea serves admirably as a blood tonic and also cures certain diseases of the blood and heart.
The Sky Lotus is a rare water lily species that grows only in the calm eddies near the banks of the Tylon River north of Kratas. The Sky Lotus bears a beautiful blue flower sometime after mid-summer. Soon after the flowers open and the lily begins to float above the surface of the water, with only a thin threadlike stem connecting the bloom to its roots. By late summer the flower typically hovers 10 yards or so above the water. The phenomenon is caused by the small pockets of elemental air that the Sky Lotus traps within its bulbs. As summer progresses the Sky Lotus bulb expands absorbing yet more of the precious elemental substance and causing the bloom to float ever higher. Astellan of Kratas has observed that when fall comes and the lotus withers their bulbs simply drift away into the wind.
EFFECT: Alchemists and magicians across Barsaive will pay up to 12 silver pieces for a Sky Lotus bulb. 10 to 12 bulbs allow the magician to extract one kernel of True Air.
Thalen is a low growing shrub native to the Servos Jungle whose flat triangular leaves can absorb amazing amounts of liquid. Thalen leaves make an admirable dressing for wounds soaking up blood and soothing pain at the same time. I have heard tales of thieves and gamblers placing a Thalen leaf under their tongues to allow them to engage in drinking bouts without becoming drunk. Apparently the leaf absorbs most of the wine or ale so the miscreant stays sober while his mark becomes sodden. Whether these tales are true or not I cannot say.
EFFECT: If a games master desires the character can may hold a Thalen leaf in his mouth to absorb any liquid that he drinks. In the case of alcohol the leaf absorbs enough of the first few pints of ale of glasses of wine that the drink has no effect. However after that the leaf reaches its capacity to soak up more liquids and has no further affect. Of course the character now has a mouthful of swollen Thalen leaf to spit out without anyone seeing.
Trailfruit ferns are the result of an early experiment by blood warders to make survival easier for the blood elves during and after the Scourge. The ferns grow in small clumps with fruit in the small branches at the base of the plant. The oblong shaped fruit is brown and wrinkly about the size of an elf’s clenched fist. The skin is chewy but the flesh inside is smooth with no apparent seeds. Trail fruits taste a bit like spiced figs with an earthy aftertaste.
EFFECT: For most name givers, two Trail fruits are as satisfying and nourishing as a full meal, though trolls and Obsidimen have been none to need four or five. Unfortunately Trailfruit only retains its magical quality for a short time, two days after picking it is no more nourishing than a normal piece of fruit.
Numerous varieties of Tranceweed grow in Blood Wood, all recognizable by the small tassels on top of their stalks. These tassels contain seeds that scatter in the strong wind.
EFFECT: Burning the seeds produce a hallucinogenic smoke that inspires prophetic visions in those who inhale it. (The occurrence of accuracy of such visions is entirely the game master’s discretion) Chewing Tranceweed stalk produces a light calming trance that can be useful to aid relaxation. A character may voluntarily break such a trance at any time, but a character that stays in the trance for a full hour gets a +1 bonus to any recovery test made at the end of that hour.
Vreela grows in a thin woody stalk one or two feet tall from which spring leaves that are slightly curled along the edges. Fresh leaves bruised and then boiled in water make a poultice that that relieves the pain of many wounds. This poultice will make the patient slightly drowsy and disoriented, however if taken internally Vreela induces convulsions and vomiting followed by unconsciousness, and if enough is consumed the victim will die.
In certain hinterland villages small amounts of Vreela are sometimes ingested as an emergency measure to purge the system of other more lethal substances. However calculating a safe dosage is so risky that such use is ill advised. Care must be taken when brewing the leaves as the steam rising from the infusion sometimes induces hallucinations.
EFFECT: A Vreela poultice relieves any pain from wounds and eliminates all penalties for wound and injuries. It also makes the user drowsy giving the character a -1 penalty to all actions tests while the effect lasts. Vreela is toxic if taken internally, and will induce convulsions, vomiting, then unconsciousness and eventually death if enough is ingested.
Allow growing forest plant Star Root has silvery leaves covered with delicate hair and bears a small star shaped flower. The fruit of the flower, a dark blue cherry can be crushed and the juice mixed with wine to make a tincture that helps to counteract the effects of poisons and cleanse them from the body. However Star Root closely resembles Night Root which is deadly poison if taken internally. Thus one must gather Star Root with great care to avoid making a potentially fatal mistake. The leaves of Night Root are lighter on the underside than those of Star Root, and the berries are somewhat darker in colour.
EFFECT: Consuming the juice of Star Root berries lets the character make an immediate Toughness test against the spell defence of any poison in his body.
The Surrunic plant has a hard brown stalk that produces pods filled with small black seeds. When roasted these seeds can be chewed or brewed into a dark tea. In either of these forms the seeds induce a state of single minded concentration on whatever objective those who consume it have in mind. This stubborn attention to one single thing tends to make a character who eats Surrunic rude and thoughtless towards others, especially if those others are attempting to change his mind. According to persistent rumour Theran spies use Surrunic to resist interrogation.
EFFECT: Surrunic seeds gives a character who chews or drinks them in a tea a +3 bonus to his social defence for all interaction tests made against him. However Surrunic also imposes a -3 penalty on all of the characters own tests against other characters social defence and make the character single minded and rude. These effects usually only last a few hours.