PaxLair City, Felucca, Chesapeake (PaxLair Times) – May 12, 2013 – by Ashlynn – A few weeks ago I stumbled across some old documents hidden away in a pile of other books, scrolls, research notes, letters, and other similar items. There were entire boxes of such papers nd while many were of a mundane nature, there were several others of possible value (at least to those with an interest in the esoteric).
An extract from one particular scroll was printed in the Times previously (along with a few others) but will be repeated here for the convenience of my loyal readers.
…most notably, since it’s transformation I have discovered that the water of the spring now exhibits some interesting alchemical properties. When prepared in the right manner it produces what I can only call a potion of courage – a concoction that gives even the most craven peasant not just the will, but the strength to face the toughest of tests.
Proper preparation requires 8 parts spring water mixed with 1 part each of ground black pearl, mandrake root, and powdered wyrm heart. Once throughly mixed, the tonic is heated for several hours in an alembic. The resulting opalescent liquid is then fit for consumption.
In at least half of cases the tonic has worked as desired, but there seems to be a failure rate I am yet unable to explain. The last subject given the potion – a laborer from Minoc – stood terrified and immobile as the headless one he faced tore him to pieces. I have since been reprimanded and told to be careful with any further tests…
The author of this scroll goes by the name of Ally Saffron, an obscure alchemist of PaxLair City (or more likely the surrounding area) in years past. Of Ally’s history I could find very little – not even where she was born or what happened to here in the years since. But this previously unknown scroll penned by her hand had aroused the interest of the Governor, and it was soon decided that we should attempt to reproduce the tonic mentioned therein and ascertain as to whether or not it was genuine.
The Quest Begins
Following the meeting at the end of last month, everyone present was given the task of collecting the ingredients listed in the old document (without prior warning I should add!) I had copies prepared and handed them out to all present.
The reagents were quickly acquired, but when spring water was sought we were all in for something of a surprise. It seemed that a spirit – or perhaps simply the spirit of the spring – had been watching us, and as we were about to collect the water, it appeared to us. Strangely the feminine spirit seemed to have some idea of what we were doing, but she set her own task of sorts, asking us to retrieve a number of white wyrm hearts.
And so off we set for the freezing dungeon of Ice, sword and book in hand, and surgical blades at the ready. For our band of courageous warriors the draconic creatures proved no match. Having faced many such foes in the past our skilled group quickly cast them down. And to the spring we returned.
There were some problems acquiring the spring water – it would seem that a spirit’s partly incorporeal nature makes manipulation of even simple objects difficult. But with everything we needed – reagents, wyrm’s heart, and spring water – we headed to the alchemy shop where Lady Winmere mixed the ingredients, producing a brilliant pearl-white liquid.
We quickly returned to the spring to ask the spirit for a final blessing before it grew bored and disappeared. It had been content to wait and once it was satisfied with our mixture it seemed our potion was complete!
As the hour was growing late we decided to hand the two containers of Courage Potion to Lady Winmere and Ms. Bug for safekeeping before retiring for the night. I also took a small sample for Lazulli to analyze.
And of the Potion?
We have not yet been able to test the potion but some progress has been made in that regard. Lazulli is preparing a report on the potion as I write though I pray her words are not too incomprehensible.
And plans are afoot to test the true potency of the tonic. Alchemist Ally made no mention of a spirit in her research notes which suggests that the strange failure rate could simply be a result of the absence of it’s blessing.
I believe a true test will require the aid of one of the citizenry – one who has never picked up a blade and has no desire to. One who gazes upon the visage of even a mongbat with a look of terror. In the hard times that have befallen our Kingdom of late, such people should not prove difficult to find.