A vitriolic orb item is usually crafted in the form of a bone, glass or ceramic orb inlaid with tempest jade; although there are some metal orbs of this type, they tend to become pitted and rusted very quickly, appearing diseased or unwholesome. They are rarely adorned, although they may be marked with runes. A vitriolic orb is infused with potent enchantments and attuned to the realm of Winter. A coven can use it to draw on the caustic and destructive power contained in measures of beggar's lye, aligning it with their own magic. This allows them to reduce or in some cases replace the need for crystal mana when performing Winter rituals.
The power of beggar's lye is like the power of Winter itself - dangerous, but incredibly useful when treated with respect and used wisely. Many vitriolic orbs are fashioned as bowls, chalices or cauldrons in which pure beggar's lye is mixed with water or blood; others take the form of braziers where resinous cakes are burnt. Even when the item takes the form of a traditional orb, it is often anointed with liquid beggar's lye as part of any ritual in which it is used. While the item itself is undamaged by exposure to beggar's lye, covens who make use of this 'covenstone' invariably handle it while wearing gloves - extended exposure to a vitriolic orb can raise welts or in some cases actual burns on unprotected skin. Regardless of the precise form it takes, a coven that uses it is careful to ensure that it plays a central role in their ceremonies - in addition to its ceremonial use it is a symbol of their unity of purpose and their coven oath - and often a quiet reminder of the repercussions of breaking those oaths.
- Form: Paraphernalia. Takes the form of a piece of ritual paraphernalia. The item must be present in the ritual to use its magical properties.
- Effect: Members of the coven who are performing a Winter ritual they have mastered may use beggar's lye in the place of crystal mana. Every two measures of beggar's lye spent count as one crystal mana.
- Materials: Crafting a vitriolic orb requires seven ingots of tempest jade, four measures of beggar's lye and three measures of dragonbone. It takes one month to make one of these items.