Cure for the "Black Blood" Disease

Ken

Artisan
Alliance Logistics
I have news for those in and around the lands of Acarthia regarding the plague that began afflicting thousands who had been influenced by the Outsider known as Umbrasil. As you may know, normal curatives stave off death for a time but do not cure it. We at the New Acarthia chapter of the Healer’s Guild spent much of this past gather devising a cure, and I am happy to say that effective and reasonably cost efficient remedies have been developed. While we have sent the recipes, the required leaves (which I will describe shortly) and batches of completed cures out via the Acarthian Riders for dissemination, it may take significant time for these to filter out to the far reaches of the kingdom or to those living beyond our borders. While I am unsure of how many I can reach by the Dream Realm, if I can reach a few then perhaps the word can be spread.

All of the recipes we have developed are dependent on a type of leaf known as Life’s Ebb. It greatly resembles many autumn leaves in shape and basic coloration but is more vivid and has a certain sparkle and sheen to it that makes it unmistakable for more mundane leaves. I have personally only seen these leaves in the vicinity of New Acarthia, but it is possible that they could be found throughout the Howling Woods or even in other forests. If you discover them elsewhere, please spread the word.

Before I present these recipes, I would like to note that all inquiries about requisition of the curatives or their components should be directed to Guildmistress Cynder of the New Acarthian Healer’s Guild - as an apprentice, I do not have the authority or access to grant such requests. Likewise, if you possess any skill at all with alchemy or potionmaking or simply have the capacity to gather components, I believe the Guildmistress is organizing an effort to brew as much of the cure as possible before the leaves lose their potency during the winter.

— Apprentice Markov Corsi​

[OOG: If you’ve got an IBGA to spare and want to help with production, talk to Cynder about that.]

Life’s Ebb Tea
This first recipe, brought to us by the Royal Healer’s Guild, is quite simple and has the benefit that it requires no particular skill or resources beyond a single leaf. The only downside is that it is inefficient and produces only one curative per leaf. While I would not resort to it if your settlement has even novice alchemists or potion-makers, if you are lacking in even that then it is better than nothing.
  1. Crush a Life’s Ebb leaf in a crucible for no less than 30 seconds.
  2. Brush the leaf and any residual oils into a cup and add hot water, boiling or hot as possible.
  3. Steep 3-5 minutes. At least 3 minutes are necessary to achieve the desired effect. Steeping longer than 5 minutes has no particular benefit, but will not harm the tea, except perhaps to make it more bitter. If you do not own a timepiece, steeping for longer than you think is necessary would likely be best.
  4. The resulting tea must be consumed entirely by a single patient. Do not attempt to divide the tea up, as doing so will likely result in an insufficient dose, and none of the patients are likely to benefit much.
  5. If you find the tea unpalatable or need to give it to finicky children, sweeteners such as honey or sugar will not harm it. However, do not use any type of creamery, as this has proven to negate the tea’s benefits.

Life’s Ebb Elixir
This version of the cure can be produced by anyone with basic alchemical training - I myself am a novice of such arts but had no difficulty with it. The researcher who developed it is unknown, but their work is appreciated. In addition to the leaf, it requires the addition of mandrake root, a fairly common herb. This recipe produces enough elixir to treat five patients from a single leaf, so it is worth the extra effort.
  1. Crush leaf in crucible along with one mandrake root for no less than 30 seconds.
  2. Brush leaf and mandrake and any residual oil into a vessel.
  3. Add cold water, icy or cold as possible, and let sit for 1 hour.
  4. Pour into 5 sealable vials and seal with wax. Each vial is enough for exactly one patient, who must consume the entire contents to be effective.

Life’s Ebb Potion
This version of the cure requires only novice-level potion-making skills, along with a bit of ginseng root. I received a copy of this recipe from a potion-maker operating in the vicinity of New Acarthia. If you are receiving this, good potion-maker, know that your contributions have been noted at the Healer’s Guild, but I will maintain your anonymity in this medium. This version is faster to produce than its elixir counterpart but requires roughly the same effort and for the same number of doses.
  1. Crush leaf in crucible along with one ginseng root for no less than 30 seconds.
  2. Brush leaf and ginseng and any residual oil into a vessel.
  3. Add hot water, boiling or hot as possible, and steep for 5 minutes.
  4. Cool liquid and pour into five sealable vials, then seal with wax. The same disclaimers about splitting doses apply.

Life’s Ebb Concoction
This is an unusual hybrid procedure I developed. Elwin and some of his associates gave me the idea. It first requires that a batch of both the elixir and the potion be produced following the recipes above, though delay dividing these into vials until the end to reduce unnecessary toil. While this procedure is somewhat more complex in setup and requires knowledge of processing both alchemical elixirs and earth potions (or a duo with such knowledge), it is still a novice-level recipe in terms of actual technique required. While owning a set of evaporative distillation flasks would simplify the setup, it is not difficult to arrange more common flasks and bowls to perform the same task. The benefit to this concoction is that it doubles the number of patients that can be treated from the same ingredients, so that two Life’s Ebb leaves, one ginseng root, and one mandrake root combined can cure 20 individuals. While I take some pride in this recipe, I am no master of either art and know that someone out there must be able to improve upon it, though with the leaves expiring soon I do not know if we shall have the opportunity to find out.
  1. Place the potion fluid in a vessel over flame and raise the temperature until all cooled liquid steams.
  2. Capture this steam using a cooled covering over the fluid, arranged such that the purified liquid falls directly into the elixir, which is to be kept cold during the process.
  3. The concoction is less stable in the presence of air than the two component fluids, so it is important that it be bottled within 5 minutes of completion of the steaming process, lest it separate and lose potency.
  4. As previously mentioned, this produces 20 doses if done correctly, so have plenty of vials and wax to seal them with on hand, or else a large urn or similar vessel that can be made air-tight.
 
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