Pox Paste

Imagine a loaf of bread left in running water for an hour. That's what pox paste looks like.

As seen in Demons Drink Coffee
Technically referred to as Gibralt's Arcane Application of Creation and Destruction (or GAACreD), pox paste is a goopy substance magically imbued with a combination of creation, destruction, and transmutation. Uniquely designed to function against vector pox, Gibralt took the unusual (and dangerous) step of integrating a destructive element rather than focusing purely on healing (that is, creation) magic. The paste shows consistent success in slowing the progression of the pox, though cannot cure the condition.  

Construction

Gibralt describes the paste as "an infusion of destruction to remove the pox and a bastion of creation to hold back the disease." The base component of pox paste is a unique plant extract. Sap from Rund maples located in the Southern Rund Forest within approximately ten miles of the World Tree are aether-infused, possessing substantial amounts of mana. Gibralt suspected the local flora were affected by the expansive root system of the World Tree and experimented with a wide variety of extracts, fruits, and leaves. The vast majority were rejected after testing, but the so-named 'Rundic Arboreal Secretion' proved most effective.   Other components of pox paste primarily serve as a delivery method for the extract and for limiting side effects. These additions include skin cream to lessen irritation, scents to mask the 'fishy' odor (which is only partially successful), and pigment to change the natural and offensive green tinge. The other active ingredient is a trade secret kept by Gibralt and a set of close enchanters with which he partners. However, competitors deciphered the purpose of the substance: to accept and charge the enchantments.   Recent advancements in magic opened the possibility for applying finely-tuned destruction magic as a means to heal, but Gibralt is the only wizard known to have successfully put theory into practice. While the exact enchantments are unclear, the suspected purpose is to simultaneously remove and mend the tissue between the outer layer of skin and the location of the mana vectors. Theorists attempting to re-discover the process believe the destructive spell operates quickly to dissolve said barrier and creation slowly rebuilds it. The lagging healing allows for the sap to suffuse the vector prior to regrowth.  

Side Effects and Complications

Complications are unfortunately common. Destruction magic is not subtle and, if miscast, could rob a wizard of their limbs. The exceptional cost of non-military use of pox paste contributes to a thriving sub-market. While most are transmuted with creation magic (and effectively harmless), counterfeits infused with destruction can maim and debilitate the subject.   Patients given early formulations of pox paste reported semi-permanent skin irritation and inflammation. They applied typical home remedies or common creams to alleviate the symptoms, but these introduced further problems, such as burning, intense prickling, itching, and, in some rare cases, blackening coloration. Rather than address the conflicts themselves, Gibralt and his associates integrated substances limiting the side effects, thereby removing the need to apply other solutions. Affected wizards with consistent skincare regimens are advised to cease them immediately.  

Controversy

Gibralt, while lauded as a genius innovator, is under scrutiny by the Rundheart government, specifically the Rundic Magical Experiment Oversight Authority (RMEOA). The ongoing, years-long investigation stems from a series of anonymous reports regarding the early iterations of pox paste. While the experimentation laws in the mercantile nation are not strict, Gibralt's 'exuberance' for widespread application of untested concoctions on humanoids did not go unnoticed. He is accused of skipping non-humanoid phases of magical development entirely and beginning with poxed wizards instead, flagrantly violating established law.   Although the RMEOA is rumored to have developed a strong case against Gibralt, the magical community expects him to receive merely a fine instead of imprisonment. This would be due to the considerable revenue, taxes, and tariffs generated by the paste and the positive impact of the invention on the well-being of the afflicted. Even though the proceedings are not native to the Aemark Kingdom, the Glassers leverage the affair as modern evidence for abolishing magical practice.

Hand of Gibralt

Interested in joining the leading group of healing researchers? Join Gibralt in pioneering new frontiers of creation magic! (Non-master wizards need not apply.)   As you may imagine, they are awash in government and military funding (with the requisite limits on who can work on the research).


Cover image: by Mia Stendal (Shutterstock)

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