The Apothecary of Orieb is an Imperial title created by the Senate in Winter 383YE to oversee the Palace of Orieb following the conquest of Ossium. The position of Apothecary is a sinecure and a ministry, producing a variety of herbs, including the rare realmsroot. The Palace is in the former Druj town of Orieb in Drownbark Forest, Ossium.


The Apothecary has no particular responsibilities; they simply receive a bounty of herbs from the Palace and are able to hire locals to greatly improve this bounty. If the Palace were to be threatened in any way, it would be the responsibility of the Apothecary to deal with those threats.


Bounty of Herbs

The Apothecary gains custodianship of a sinecure. Each season they receive 5 drams each of true vervain, cerulean mazzarine, imperial roseweald, marrowort and bladeroot. They also receive two doses of the rare Realmsroot.


7 Crowns14 random herbs, 1 dose of Realmsroot
17 Crowns28 random herbs, 2 doses of Realmsroot
30 Crowns42 random herbs, 3 doses of Realmsroot

The Palace of Orieb also functions as a ministry - the Apothecary can hire local humans and orcs to greatly increase its productivity. The Apothecary makes their decision how much money to spend during downtime from their character page. Money is removed from, and resources are placed into, the character's inventory when the downtime is processed.


The title is selected by unanimous decision of the Varushkan senators at the Winter Solstice. If a unanimous decision cannot be reached, the title may be appointed by the Imperial Senate instead.

The title can be held by any Varushkan citizen. The Apothecary serves until the next scheduled election. They can be revoked by the General Assembly, the Varushkan National Assembly, and by the Assembly of the Nine.

Winter Solstice 385YENikolai Desovich Patazca
Winter Solstice 384YENikolai Desovich Patazca
Spring Equinox 384YENikolai Desovich Patazca

Recent Elections

This title is currently held by Nikolai Desovich Patazca; it will be reelected at Winter Solstice 386YE. The table to the right shows the citizens who have been elected to hold this title in the years since Empress Britta died.

Palace of Orieb

In the depths of the Drownbark Forest is the settlement of Orieb, a ramshackle former Druj settlement surrounding a sprawling and labyrinthine palace. The Palace of Orieb is believed to have been home to the Buruk Tepel of the Bone Serpent clan, Bleakbane. Neither she nor her apprentices have been accounted for, although it is possible they were slain by either the Thule or the Druj orcs during the peculiar events at Orieb during Spring 383YE.

The maze-like structure is a peculiar and unsettling combination of living area, apothecary workshop, palace, political hub, and herb garden with plants growing inside the structure in internal gardens - some open to the elements and others roofed with glass or cunning wooden shutters that can be adjusted to control the amount of rain and sun that reaches them. Parts of the palace are flooded with waters from the surrounding marshes - but all the signs indicate that this is by design rather than as a consequence of any architectural failure. There are also a number of peculiar chambers focused around apparent veneration or propitiation of supernatural entities containing statues surrounded by a profusion of flourishing plants of all kinds.

The "town" of Orieb is composed of makeshift hovels populated by a number of freed orc and human slaves. They have thus far cooperated fully with the liberating forces, open in their relief that the Druj have been driven away. The only real concentration of Varushkans in the region is found here - bands of wagon raiders from Karsk and southern Volodmartz.

Some of the former slaves made a spirited attempt to gut the palace before Imperial civil servants requested that they stop and allow an inventory of the contents to be completed. The civil service reports that the Palace of Orieb is not only a web of secrets and mysteries, but a labyrinthine pharmacopeia that dwarfs even the now-destroyed Bitter Vats.

Following the Summer Solstice 384YE, the Minister of Historical Research dispatched an expedition, led by seasoned Imperial Orc adventurer Snowstorm Henk, to explore the palace and root out some of its secrets. They discovered several interesting facts about the place, as well as multiple hidden rooms, which are recounted in detail in the Expedition to Orieb briefing.

Expanding the Palace

  • An upgrade to the Palace could be commissioned to improve the facilities
Legacy of Thorns
7 crowns3 doses of Oil of Blackthorn
7 crowns3 doses of Redwillow Paste
16 crowns4 doses of Legionnaire's Stare
30 crowns3 doses of Oil of Blackthorn, 3 doses of Redwillow Paste, 3 doses of Legionnaire's Stare
Double-sided Blade
7 crowns3 doses of Warming Armour
7 crowns3 doses of Weakening Sun
16 crowns3 doses of Warming Armour, 3 doses of Weakening Sun
30 crowns4 doses of Warming Armour, 4 doses of Weakening Sun
Unshackled Gift
7 crowns2 doses of Ancestor's Word, 2 doses of Legionnaire's Will
7 crowns2 doses of Ancestor's Word, 2 doses of Indomitable Might
16 crowns4 doses of Ancestor's Word, 2 doses of Indomitable Might, 2 doses of Legionnaire's Will
30 crowns7 doses of Ancestor's Word, 3 doses of Indomitable Might, 3 doses of Legionnaire's Will

The apothecary facilities woven through the palace are badly damaged by a combination of fighting, Druj malice, and the fury of their former slaves. These could be restored with a commission at any time, either from the Senate or a Bearer of an Imperial Wayleave. Construction would require 15 wains of weirwood and 45 crowns labour costs. The project would take three months to complete. The Palace would then also provide a ministry that allowed the purchase of potions drawn from the Legacy of Thorns, Double-sided Blade, and Unshackled Gift potion lists. The potions associated with the Double-sided Blade were interdicted by declaration of the Imperial Conclave in Autumn 382YE. It is illegal for any Imperial citizen to make, use, or own either preparation, so this option would not be available while the interdiction remains in place.

Shrines at Orieb

Eternal Shrine
4 crowns2 doses of vis
10 crowns4 doses of vis
18 crowns6 doses of vis
  • The Menrothat could assist the Varushkans in expanding the Palace of Orieb to include shrines
  • Each shrine would need to have an eternal patron to function
  • Up to six shrines could be added; but only one for each realm
  • Each shrine would allow the title holder to purchase vis

During the Summer Solstice 385YE, Varushkan traders reached out to the orcs of Varushka, including the Menrothat sept of southern Ossium. They shared some of their understanding of the Palace. The Palace of Orieb was once home to two "shrines" that were used for ceremonies in which the ghulai of the Bone Serpent clan made offerings to their "spirit patrons" and in return received "treasure" - magical syrup and shards of frozen flame. Recreating the shrines seems to be relatively simple; a solid stone plinth and an effigy of mithril and weirwood that incorporated a bowl in which to place offerings and receive gifts. The findings of Skywise Slu and Blackbeak Ussa mention ways that herbs and berries were used to venerate the statues in ways that caused the bowls to fill with vis. Sadly, experiments to see if the Varushkans can repeat these effects have resulted in cramps and fatigue rather than precious vis. Clearly any deal agreed by Zask Bonetwister had lapsed.

The Menrothat know the secret of drawing on the power of the Palace; their people were often forced to perform these acts for the Druj. They claim that the palace stands above a fallen star, that warps and changes the magical nature of the area. The Menrothat ancestors once used it as a place to speak with the eternals - such as at Marshstand Skerry - but the Druj took it and turned it into something else. If the Varushkans want to start drawing on the full power of the place, they will need to find eternals willing to act as patrons for the shrines - a maximum of one of each realm. Once such a deal was agreed, the eternal would need to be provided with a single ring of ilium to seal the deal and allow them to connect to the Palace. After this, the Apothecary would be able to start harvesting vis of that realm from the palace.

Anyone could theoretically pursue such deals but it would require the Apothecary of Orieb to agree to the deal, and if the Menrothat are to be believed it would always require offerings of some kind to secure the gifts the palace could offer. There was some worry that such deals could be considered idolatry - and indeed they could still be judged by the Synod to be such - but the recent mandate enacted by Amris Johan Merikovich has done much to allay those concerns. What is such propitiation if not bargaining with dark powers?