The Middle Isles
Herbs and Poisons
Herbs, Poisons, and Potions:
An A-Z Sampler
By Zachary Houghton
Not all treasure can be measured in coins and jewels, and not all healing is derived from the ministrations of a cleric or physician. Nature yields a bounty all her own, one that can be used for healing—or far darker purposes!
Silver costs per dose, region and difficulty are listed with each entry. The cost is per dose, unless otherwise listed. In terms of region, this description will help tell you the most likely place to find these herbs. If an herb is not listed as growing in a region the characters are in, the chances of finding it would be very small indeed. Difficulty shows the penalty any sort of Herbalism or Alchemy skill would be to attempt find the item in question; thus, an item with a difficulty of -20% would be harder to find than one at -10%.
Note: This is just a sampler of a much larger list, intended to give a start in the Middle Isles for herbalists and alchemists.
Region: Hilly (temperate)
Description: The pungent leaves of the alom bush are akin to smelling salts, and when put in front of a character’s nose, will wake them from even the deepest sort of sleep. Non-addictive.
Region: Plains (temperate)
Description: A small shrub that sees its leaves often used as a stimulant, Brizen very briefly gives the body a burst of energy that allows an enhanced rate of activity for a short time. When Brizen leaves are chewed, for 1D3 rounds, the user may gain an additional action point. However, once the effects end, the user is at -40% to all actions for the next 1D6 rounds, as their energy level crashes back down to reality. Moderately addictive.
Region: Plains/light forest (temperate)
Description: Although somewhat bland, the bark of the cullindir tree is edible, and will substitute for a single ration or meal. Lost adventurers and travelers have often been saved by stumbling upon a cullindir tree, though they will be understandably very happy to get back to food with a bit more taste to it. Decidedly not addictive.
Description: Known as “Ranger’s Blessing”, this bloom can be found poking through the melting snow of the late spring of the frigid climes. It bestows a sort of hyper-focus to the use for a limited amount of time. Once ingested or brewed as a tea, it will grant +20% to the character’s Perception skill for 2D10 hours. Exceedingly addictive if used continually.
Region: Plains (temperate/cold)
Description: Far more common than its northern neighbor, the Red Dogflower is also known as “Ranger’s Bane”. If ingested (or if a brewed tea is imbibed), it causes a -20% to the character’s Perception skill for 2D10 hours. Mildly addictive.
Region: Plains/scrub (temperate/cold)
Description: The juice of this winter berry is boiled and then applied to a blade, spear point, or arrowhead. Upon successfully striking the victim, it does an additional 1D6 of damage, plus 5 more points of damage for 1D6 rounds afterwards. Non-addictive.
Region: Plains/forest (temperate)
Description: This lovely little red flower hides a nasty secret. It can be made into a paste that is used by warriors to apply to their weapons. On a successful hit, an opponent struck with a weapon coated in slothweed must make an immediate Endurance check. If successful, they will function at -20% to all actions for 2D10 rounds. If they fail, they fall asleep immediately for D6 hours.
Region: Hills (temperate/cold)
Description: When properly distilled, this herb imbues the user with a quick burst of strength. Add +10% to any Strength-related skill for 1 hour afterwards, and +1d3 to damage in the same time span. Extremely addictive.
Description: The sap of this cactus seems to enhance arcane powers. When carefully prepared into the proper elixir, it allows a +10% to Folk Magic or other arcane skills for the next 2D6 rounds. Ingesting more than a single dose per day has the opposite effect, and results in a -20% to all casting skills for the next day.
Region: Forest (warm)
Description: Growing in warmer and subtropical regions, this mushroom has powerful healing properties. A single dose either ingested or brewed into a tea will result in 1D4 Hit Points being recovered at 1D4 body locations. Moderately addictive.
Region: Coastal (warm)
Description: The blooms on this vine yield a low-grade poison. As a soluble paste, if it is placed in water, wine, ale, etc., it will leave them at -15% to all actions for 1D6 hours after being consumed. Vocal paralysis is another effect of the poison, leaving the affected unable to speak for 24 hours after consumption. Very mildly addictive.
Region: Forest (temperate)
Description: This herb, once ingested, helps the user focus. It subsequently grants a 10% bonus to any Lore or other Knowledge-based skill for 1D6 hours. Severely addictive, often with unpleasant aftereffects.
Region: Forest (all)
Description: This tiny flower may be made into an elixir capable of sending one individual into a deep sleep for 2D4 hours if imbibed, contingent upon failing a Willpower check (victim at +10% for this). Non-addictive.
Region: Plains (temperate)
Description: This prairie grass completely neutralizes the effects of alcohol or drugs for 1D10 hours. Non-addictive, but as a side effect, there is a chance of temporary blindness (1D4 days) if the user fails an Endurance skill check (+20%) upon usage
Region: Swamp/marsh (temperate/warm)
Description: This small plant makes a paste which, when either ingested or via a wound from a weapon coated with it, causes grotesque seizures and death within 1D10 rounds (Endurance skill check at -65%). The only hope for the poisoned individual is to have Palonshin administered before that happens. Its possession is gravely forbidden anywhere the reach of law extends in the realm.
Region: Mountain/highlands (cold)
Description: The leaves of this spiky, gnarled tree can be boiled and made into a valuable healing elixir. When immediately applied to a dire injury, it can sustain the wounded party and bring them back from death’s door. When this is used on a gravely wounded character they will gain whatever is needed to bring them back to minimal consciousness and functionality. Non-addictive.
Description: The elixir made from this unassuming, near-impossible to find mountain bloom can cure any poison, and bring even the most grievously wounded bodies back to health almost instantly. If Palonshin is imbibed, the lucky character is back up to full health. Additionally, any adverse effects from poisoning or injury are completely healed. It may also be used to regrow limbs (1 dose/limb), which will occur over 1D10 hours of the application. Non-addictive.
Region: Coastal/lakes (any)
Description: This foul-tasting aquatic plant acts as a mild healing agent when ingested, restoring 1 Hit Point to a random location. Highly addictive if used more than once.
Region: Any (cold)
Description: When eaten raw, the flowers of this weed produce little more than a mild nausea. However, if cooked beforehand, these foul-tasting white blooms will impart a -10% penalty to all Willpower rolls for 1D10 hours. Non-addictive, but often used to lower the inhibitions of individuals.
St. Exid’s Bloom
Region: Forest (temperate)
Description: This purple flower is often found near caves. It is much prized by healers. If ingested or rubbed on the user, it will heal 1D4 Hit Points to a targeted location. Non-addictive.
Region: Coastal (temperate)
Description: More commonly referred to as “Mageweed”, when this weed is burned, it creates a thick, roiling smoke that seems to hinder the arcane arts. Anyone within approximately 15 meters/yards of this smoke will be at a -30% to any casting/magic skill roll for the duration of their exposure to it. The weed is notoriously hard to light, and is often used with some manner of accelerant. Non-addictive.
Region: Plains/valley (temperate)
Cost: 60sp (per bushel), 35sp (per bottle)
Description: A bushel of Ullo Berries may be fermented into a wine highly valued for its healing properties. The berries, however, do not do well in domestication, making their discovery in the wild a welcome find indeed. A bottle of wine made from Ullo Berries is considered extremely top-shelf, and a half bottle will actually heal a level of Fatigue (although the usual effects of alcohol are still in effect). A single bushel will make two full bottles of the wine. Moderately addictive.
Region: Any (warm)
Description: The dried leaves of this warm-weather plant are noxious to all manner of insects and arachnids alike when burnt. It drives away swarms of insects, and even large or monstrous insects act with a -20% penalty when confronted with the acrid smoke of this bug deterrent. Non-addictive to man and insect alike.
Region: Forest (any)
Description: The tea made from the bark of the wart willow is the hungover adventurer’s best friend. It is a time-honored remedy for hangovers of even the most formidable kind. Gulping down a dose of wartbark will handily and quickly do away from with effects of an evening’s carousing.
Region: Swamp/coastal (warm)
Description: When this dried root is applied to water or other refreshment, it neutralizes roughly any poison therein (with the exception of legendary poisons such as Noctum Narsus). A dose can serve to purify a single cask.
Region: Any (temperate/warm)
Description: If ingested this mold will cause nausea, cramping, and diarrhea for 2D6 days. Over that time, all actions will be at a -25% penalty. In small doses, it is prized by herbalists and physicians as a potent purgative.
Region: Forest (temperate)
Description: When the dried root of this herb is put into water, ale, wine, or the like, it is virtually tasteless and untraceable. A dose in a shared cask is enough to put 1D6 individuals to sleep, pending their failure of an Endurance skill roll at -20%.