While any skilled Apothecary can prepare medicinal elixirs, the students of the Master Medicinal learn to make specialist potions that expand on the basic knowledge shared by all students of herbalism.
This bitter preparation is valued in situations where soldiers must recover quickly from one battle to prepare for another. It speeds natural healing processes, as well as soothing troubled souls and making the drinker pleasantly relaxed and disinclined to be active or aggressive.
In the Marches it is often called Tom Drake's Tea after the famous general. While some herbalists mix a spoonful of honey or sugar with the mixture to counteract the bitter taste, many yeomen prefer to drink it neat, or seasoned with salt. The famous General is said to have commented several times that the taste reminded him that even in victory, war is a bitter business. His constant companion, Friar (later Abbot) Agnes of Stockland, wrote in her journals that the tranquil nostrum also helped subdue and control the black moods to which the general was subject after every major engagement.
In Dawn, the tranquil nostrum is often drunk after Tourneys. Several households maintain a tradition where an injured noble drinks a toast to the assembled company using tranquil nostrum. While many nobles enjoy the attention of a household physick after an engagement, some nobles enjoy the opportunity presented by this preparation to join their companions in boasting and celebrating their victory - or commiserating their loss.
Used in more concentrated amounts, tranquil nostrum is a common treatment for the lingering effects of some traumatic wounds.
- Form: Liquid.
- Description: This yellow-green liquid clings viscously to the inside of the container. It has a sweet scent, but a tiny drop on your tongue reveals it to be extremely bitter, and a little salty.
- Roleplaying Effects: You feel lethargic, sleepy and relaxed, disinclined to be active or aggressive.
- Mechanical Effects: This preparation is used to brew a pot of tea. Each person drinking a cup of the tea recovers all lost hits after fifteen minutes of rest and relaxation. There is no effect if the drinker is on a battlefield or similar stressful environment. If the drinker attacks a target or is attacked during this time then the effect is negated. The tea loses its beneficial properties fifteen minutes after being brewed regardless.
- Recipe: One dram of Marrowort and one dram of Bladeroot.
This foul-tasting elixir is favoured not only by those who face sorcerors and enemy magicians, but also by those who expect to encounter Druj barbarians or the dark denizens of the Varushkan forests. A mouthful of this potion causes momentary retching and dizziness, but purges both venom and weakness. The preparation may also be effective as a treatment for cases of mild poisoning, minor curses or similar ailments.
- Form: Liquid
- Description: This deep crimson liquid has a thin layer of scummy froth atop it. It smells unpleasant, and has an oily texture. A drop on your tongue makes you salivate – it is vile and you feel a strong urge to spit the mixture out.
- Roleplaying Effects: You feel nauseous and dizzy; you may be overcome with retching and vertigo for a few moments.
- Mechanical Effects: You are relieved of both the venom and the weakness conditions.
- Recipe: One dram of Cerulean Mazzarine, one dram of both Bladeroot and Imperial Roseweald.
The Sovereign Specific
The Sovereign Specific is a potent healing elixir that is often seen as the pinnacle of the apothecary's art. It possesses near miraculous properties; when it is drunk it restores vitality, dulls pain, knits torn flesh and fractured bones, purges venom and alleviates weakness. While it is rare that all of its properties are required by a single patient, it is can be a literal life-saver for a warrior badly beset and far from help.
Among the Suaq and Kallavesi of Wintermark the potion is also welcomed for its versatility - while it is difficult to prepare, it is still a cheaper proposition that carrying doses of multiple potions with more specific effects.
- Form: Liquid.
- Description: This clear liquid seems almost to sparkle when it is shaken or held up to the light. It smells fresh and a little minty. A drop on your tongue reveals it to have a vibrant, pleasant taste.
- Roleplaying Effects: You feel light headed for a moment, then refreshed and full of energy, and an incredible sense of well-being suffuses you. It is hard not to be filled with optimism and enthusiasm.
- Mechanical Effects: This potion removes the venom and weakness conditions from you, restores all limbs ruined by cleave or impale, and restores you to full hits. You may ignore the roleplaying effects of any traumatic wounds you are suffering until the end of the battle.
- Recipe: Three drams of True Vervain, and one dram each of Imperial Roseweald, Cerulean Mazzarine, Bladeroot, and Marrowort.
"Now, woman, we shall see who has the last laugh!"
Jennifer of Adlecombe sagged, her vision blurred. Thanks to the wicked magician's vile incantations she barely had the strength to lift her enchanted greatsword. Her blood burned with the power of his supernatural venom, and she knew she had only seconds left to live. The outlaw sorcerer held his staff defensively before him, keeping her at bay easily in her wounded state.
The thresher sagged, seeming to support herself on her sword, and then in a smooth motion gulped down the potion she had palmed while her opponent gloated. Immediately energy flowed through her tired body, cleansing her of both the magical venom and the malign curse. She surged forward and in a smooth motion cleft the sorcerer's staff into kindling. The sorcerer had no more than a second to gape at his shattered implement before her second strike cleft through his rune-carved belt, lifted him off his feet and sent him sprawling in a spray of blood.
Unlike her prey, she wasted no time on clever wordplay. Her quarry struggled to rise, slipping in his own blood and whimpering as she approached him. She sheathed her sword, drew out a set of mastercrafted manacles and tossed them toward the prone man. Then she slowly took a small green potion out of her pouch and held it up in one hand, shaking it gently to attract the sorcerer's attention."Either you can lie there and bleed to death, monster, or you can put these on. The choice is entirely yours"