Tonics of the Open Sky Revision as of 23:48, 27 December 2012 by Paul (fixed costs on tincture of surging flame)
The tinctures 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.
As tinctures, the herbs used to brew these potions are dissolved in a small amount of alcohol. Unlike the harsher Tinctures of the Deep Forest, the tinctures 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 tinctures 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 tinctures are collectively termed the Grimnir's Cloak. According to a popular legend, Grimnir Kaisa Bloodwing served the tincture 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.
These preparations add ranks of the Fortitude skill. Additional ranks never stack with anything else that grants additional ranks in the same skill.
Tincture of Sunlit Glass
This yellow-gold preparation is most effective when drunk by someone who already possesses deep reserves of fortitude. Even more than it's protective properties, it is especially valued for it's 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."
- Effect: You gain one rank of the fortitude skill. The effect lasts until the next sunrise or sunset. This will give you one rank of fortitude if you have no skill, or increase your number of ranks by one if you already possess the skill.
- Roleplaying Effects: The drinker feels a burst of optimism and positivity after consuming this tincture.
- Recipe: One dram of Marrowort and one dram of Imperial Roseweald.
Tincture of the Distant Shore
This dark red liquid has a sweet, dry fruity taste. It can dramatically extend the time it takes the average individual to bleed to death. It takes it's 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 tincture is often accompanied by a toast that taunts the ever-present spectre of Death.
- Effect: You gain two ranks of the fortitude skill. The effect lasts until the next sunrise. This will give you two ranks of fortitude if you have no skill, or increase your number of ranks by two if you already possess the skill.
- Roleplaying Effects: This tincture causes the imbiber to feel positive and optimistic, driving away feelings of worry, doubt and uncertainty.
- Recipe: One dram of Marrowort and two drams of Imperial Roseweald.
Tincture of Surging Flame
This deep orange-red liquid smells distinctly of apricots, oranges or other citrus fruit. It is a 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 exaggurated there is no doubt that under the right circumstances this elixir can grant a miraculous ability to stave off death.
If there is a downside it is that the nature of the preparation itself almost encourages the drinker to take foolhardy risks. The tincture 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 tincture of surging flame brings with it, and are driven to ever more courageous and glorious acts.
- Effect: You gain three ranks of the fortitude skill. The effect lasts until the next sunrise. This will give you three ranks of fortitude if you have no skill, or increase your number of ranks by three if you already possess the skill.
- Roleplaying Effects: Warmth spreads from the stomach to the entire body within moments of the tincture being drunk, and this warmth persists for the duration of the effect. It brings with it feelings of almost foolhardy confidence in one's ability to survive; the drinker finds it difficult to remember that risky behaviour might result in permanent injury or death.
- Recipe: One dram of Marrowort, two drams of Imperial Roseweald and one dram of True Vervain.