Tonics of the Open Sky
The tonics of the open sky are useful preparations that slow bleeding and help mitigate injury. They allow a severely injured warrior finds it easier to endure their wounds, granting valuable time for a healer or chirurgeon to reach them. More than one veteran is alive today because of one of these preparations, and they are often referred to as elixirs of lifekeeping as a consequence.
The herbs used to brew these potions are dissolved in a small amount of alcohol. Unlike the harsher Tonics of the Deep Forest, the tonics of the open sky require a much weaker solution and usually possess a more mellow flavour. The recipes originated in the Brass Coast in pre-Imperial times. While they were initially a secret of the Riqueza family, the method of brewing these lifesaving tonics quickly spread to the other Freeborn families. In the decades before the formation of the Empire, Freeborn merchants engaged in a lucrative trade in selling them to foreign warriors. After the Brass Coast joined the Empire it was only a matter of time before the recipes became generally known. To pre-empt this, a family of the Riqueza simultaneously sold the formulae to no fewer than fourteen apothecaries in various nations, often through intermediaries, for quite astronomical sums of money. When challenged, their dhomiro simply shrugged, and said it was better to sell something while it still had value than to allow it to be stolen.
In Wintermark, these tonics are collectively termed the Grimnir's Cloak. According to a popular legend, Grimnir Kaisa Bloodwing served the potion to all the warriors of her Hall before a vicious battle against a besieging orc force. Her foresight meant that the healers were able to save more warriors than the orcs were able to bring down, patch them up, and return them to the fray. In the end the defending forces were victorious. While some historians question the veracity of this story, few can dispute the deeper truth - that no matter how wounded someone may be, if a healer can reach them in time, they can be saved.
Tonic of Sunlit Glass
This preparation is most effective when drunk by someone who already possesses deep reserves of fortitude. Even more than its protective properties, it is valued for its ability to inspire a positive attitude in those about to take to battle. As the Highborn general Aaron of Redwater wrote in his journal "Believing you can win is not enough by itself, but it is the first step along the road to victory."
- Form: Liquid.
- Description: When this translucent yellow-gold liquid catches the light it seems almost to glow. It has a faint scent of lemons, and a tiny drop on your tongue tastes of freshly squeezed oranges.
- Roleplaying Effects: You feel a sudden burst of optimism and a rush of positive emotions; you are reminded of past triumphs, hopes and dreams.
- Mechanical Effects: You gain an additional rank of Fortitude until the next sunrise. This is a tonic; the effect of any other tonic you have drunk immediately ends.
- Recipe: One dram of Cerulean Mazzarine and one dram of Imperial Roseweald.
Tonic of Surging Flame
This potent preparation provides a valuable healing benefit. If the drinker is mortally wounded, the elixir unlocks inside their body and suddenly fills them with renewed life and enthusiasm, healing their wounds and driving them back to their feet. If there is a downside it is that the nature of the preparation itself almost encourages the drinker to take foolhardy risks. The tonic dulls the sense of self-preservation that many consider so important to their continued survival. Some warriors, especially among the Freeborn, the Dawnish and the Steinr, welcome the feelings of self-assurance that the tonic of surging flame brings with it, and are driven to ever more courageous and glorious acts.
- Form: Liquid.
- Description: This deep orange-red liquid has a thin layer of sediment at the bottom; shake the container and it quickly settles again. It smells distinctly of apricots - or perhaps oranges. It has a delicious, citrus taste.
- Roleplaying Effects: Warmth spreads from your stomach to your entire body, and persists for the duration of the effect. It brings with it feelings of absolute confidence in your ability to survive no matter what happens. You find it hard to remember that risky behaviour might result in permanent injury or death.
- Mechanical Effects: This potion automatically activates the next time you are dying. After 30 seconds you are restored to 3 hits and stop dying even if venomed (does not cure the venom). The effect remains until used or until the next sunrise. Once you have drunk this tonic you cannot benefit from it again until after the next sunrise. This is a tonic; the effect of any other tonic you have drunk immediately ends.
- Recipe: One dram of Cerulean Mazzarine, two drams of Imperial Roseweald and one dram of True Vervain.
Tonic of the Distant Shore
This powerful elixir that can easily triple the bleeding-out time of the average person, and has even more dramatic effects when drunk by someone who already possesses uncommon reserves of fortitude. There are plenty of stories of warriors who survive for hours after they are incapacitated by their enemies, only to be rescued by a friend or passing stranger. While many are almost certainly exaggerated there is no doubt that under the right circumstances this elixir can grant a miraculous ability to stave off death.
It takes its name from an old Freeborn story in which the heroic corsair Bolivar i Riqueza tricks Death during a thunderstorm, engaging that dark spirit in a contest of riddles and enigmas. Constantly playing for time, Bolivar keeps the malign entity guessing until the storm passes and the ship reaches shore, saving not only himself and his vessel but all his crew in the process. It is not uncommon to see death mocked or presented as a bumbling idiot in Freeborn humour and a draught of this tonic is often accompanied by a toast that taunts the ever-present spectre of Death.
- Form: Liquid.
- Description: When this cherry-red liquid catches the light it seems to glow. A droplet of this sticky fluid on your fingertip stains it a deep crimson. It smells strongly of fresh berries and has a sweet, dry, fruity flavour.
- Roleplaying Effects: You feel a sudden burst of optimism and renewed hope; feelings of worry, doubt and uncertainty are banished.
- Mechanical Effects: You gain an additional three ranks of Fortitude until the next sunrise. This is a tonic; the effect of any other tonic you have drunk immediately ends.
- Recipe: Two drams each of Imperial Roseweald and Marrowort, and one dram of Cerulean Mazzarine.