Barrel of the Faithful

In wine lies the truth. In wine from the Barrel of the Faithful, that is.
  The Barrel of the Faithful is a mysterious and unique artifact in the form of a large wooden barrel. Besides its composition of almost unknown materials and age, the barrel also has the ability to imbue any liquid stored within it with magical properties. Most alcoholic beverages gain some kind of beneficial healing effect, as well as many different hallucinatory effects after being stored in the barrel for several weeks. It is currently in the possession of the Order of Vitukua in Selversheyn.  

Appearance

The Barrel of the Faithful is a large wooden barrel of unknown age and origin, roughly 2 meters in diameter and 3.5 meters in height. The wood, though undeniably from some kind of tree, has not been identified or associated with any type of known tree in Caramiza. It is of a dark brown hue with amber and rock-grey grains with a few oddly black streaks. The barrel is held together by two metal rings, one of them of matte anthracite the other shining white. The metal seems to be some type of steel, but of unknown composition.   Engraved in the center of the barrel are a set of runes similar to the Ancient Shortrunes found in the Ukanten Ruined City. The correct translation is a mystery but some scholars assume the text to read "The gods give freely but it is upon mortals to show restraint". There is still a lively debate about the meaning behind the words.  

Magical Effects

  Any drink stored within the barrel for at least seven weeks gains magical properties. These are usually some kind of healing effect, which will never fade after removal from the barrel. Depending on the liquid as well as the storage time, the effect varies in type and strength. Alcoholic beverages are known to produce the most effective healing potions.   The resulting effects are always the same for the same liquid, making it possible to purposely create specific potions. Almost all potions however have the side-effect of strong hallucinations, if consumed too much. Many unreasonable drinkers have been completely traumatized by their visions.   These hallucinations specifically have caught the attention of the Order of Vitukua. Their findings are, that a consumer of the potion will see a vision of the past, present, or future, usually related to the main deity the consumer reveres. Several people have claimed their deity has directly talked to them, often with words of wisdom or warning. The Order of Vitukua practices the consumption of specific potions to learn of the doctrine of Vitukua.  

Location and Origin

Currently, the barrel is in the possession of the Order of Vitukua in Selversheyn and is located at their central monastry in the city.   The barrel and its wonderous effects first became known when it was in the possesion of The Grinning Monk a very famous inn in Selversheyn. As far as it is known, their family owned the barrel for multiple generations, even from before they migrated down from the Ukanten Mountains to Selversheyn.   It is unknown who created the artifact and for what purpose. The runes show a possible connection to the lost culture in the Ukanten Ruined City but not much is known about them. It also unclear, what exactly provides the magical properties, although some magical scholars have determined strong magical energy emanating from the barrel's metal bands.

Further Details

 
"Overconsumption" of the potions varies strongly from person to person. Most can drink one glass of a potion per day without harmful effects, for some even a small sip can be detrimental. This is apparently not directly related to size or constitution but has a strong random component, including the time of day, the color of the consumer's shirt, amount spilled, and repeated tries.
The magical effect on a liquid seems to be dependent on which side you pour the drinks from. On the side of the dark band, the effect is more potent but with stronger hallucinations, while the light side only provides smaller healing effects with almost no side effect.
 
During a very bountiful fruit harvest a few centuries ago, some solid foods were stored in the barrel for the first time. It was discovered then that those foods also gain some magical properties.  
The Order of Vitukua claims the medicinal effects, as well as the necessary restraint to be shown when consuming the potion, are clear connections with their deity of medicine and restraint Vitukua.
 
Mixing different liquids in the barrel is not advised, as the effects seem to have cross-interfering effects. The last courageous drinker to try so has never been released from the insane asylum.
Water and milk produce potions that boost the self-confidence of the drinker to an almost dangerously ridiculous level. Any liquid tainted with blood will additionally provide strength and longevity but certainly makes the consumer heavily dependant on the potion.
Category
Artifact
Item type
Storage
Current Location
Owning Organization
Rarity
Unique, no known way of reproducing
Dimensions
⌀ 2.5m; Height 3m

Known Potion Results

Alcoholic Beverages
Wine
Vitukua's Cure
Acts as a remedy for almost all known illnesses, including a temporary relief for addiction. Some strong variants can even bring someone back from the brink of death.
Overconsumption leads to hallucinations of the deity the consumer revers or fears most. These hallucinations might last for several hours.
Beer
Potion of Healing
Cures small and medium injuries, including burns and broken bones.
Overconsumption leads to true visions of events in the past, sometimes related to traumatic catastrophies.
Greamski
Spirit of Resistance
This potion is a highly effective counteragent against most known poisons.
Overconsumption leads to true visions of the past, usually prophecizing the death or injury of the consumer.
Cherrynac
Concoction of the Clear Mind
This potion temporarily clears the mind of most afflictions including trauma, dementia and phobias
Overconsumption leads to true vision of events happening at the exact moment somewhere in the world, often indistinguishable from reality.
Non-alcoholic Beverages
Water
Lirini's Charme
Drinking water from the Barrel of the Faithful boosts the consumer's charisma significantly.
Overconsumption leads to overconfidence and reckless behavior.
Milk
Lonlon Digestif
Increases the digestion, also improving resistance to spoiled food.
Overconsumption leads to insomnia lasting several days at the minimum.
Blood
Bloodfiend's Curse
Any Potion tainted by blood additionally increases the longevity and strength of the consumer for a large span of time.
Even the smallest amount consumed will lead to a strong addiction to this potion. Repeated consumption will lead to strongly diminishing returns as will any potion with the own drinker's blood. Failure to regularly consume can lead to strong incapacitation and even death.
Solid Consumables
Root Vegetables
Root of Vision
These vegetables will enable the consumer to see in dark lighting and into a greater distance for a while.
Overconsumption leads to temporary complete blindness, sometimes even loss of smell.
Potatoes
Spud of Resistance
Potatoes will increase the physical resistance of a consumer for a while.
Overconsumption leads to increased weakness and brittle bones for several days.
Cabbage
Meal of Swift Feet
Cabbages will increase the speed and reflexes of a person, as well as accuracy
Overconsumption leads to slow and crippled movement, slow reflexes and cognition as well as a bad body odor.
Fruits
Fruit of the Worldtree
Fruits will increase awareness and wakefulness including observational skills and reasoning.
Overconsumption leads to increased conflict-seeking behavior and paranoia, especially irrational fear of being excluded.
Ginger
Soul of Understanding
Gingers will increas mental capacity and reasoning skills.
Overconsumption leads to unlearning of skills, including crafts, writing and maybe even speech.
Citrus Fruits
Fruit of Vitality
Lemons, Oranges, and other similar fruits will make the consumer less likely to fall ill for a while.
Overconsumption leads to longer periods of illness as well as stronger transmission of virus and bacteria to others.
Salt
Spice of Affection (aka. Salt of Cultism)
Unusually, this almost unknown effect is based on whoever created the effect by placing the salt into the barrel originally - it will make the consumer gain stronger and long lasting affection towards the creator.
Overconsumption leads to a deep dislike or even hatred towards the creator, even leading to deadly aggression.

Careful: Spoilers

Connections with the past
The Barrel's bands are actually part of the Manedir. Coincidentally the Order of Vitukua is correct: It was their deity that created the bands specifically for the godly artifact.

Comments

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27 Feb, 2021 19:40

I love the added detail of the different potions that can be made.

27 Feb, 2021 20:21

Very happy to hear that, Laura! And I can assure you I had a lot of fun with those! I wanted to make drinking the potions into a real risk and turning the effects on their heads was a fun experience.

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1 Mar, 2021 19:10

Really well-constructed article! It was a pleasure to read. You gave little touches to the design, and it pays off. One thing I have to ask, though - WHO thought of putting blood in there?! and who thought of drinking anything else after the barrel had (I imagine) liters of blood in it?! Did they clean the barrel between each use? How can you clean it if even water affects it? Very curious...


Let us unite against the enemies of Album!
4 Mar, 2021 16:35

Very happy to hear that =)   Inserting blood does not need to be intended. Anything put in there can be tainted with blood - sooo if you are not careful when you fill apples in and maybe scratch your hand hard enough... Then you might get troubles.   After that certain individuals might be more inclined to use bood in the barrel -seeing as they really really need it.   Cleaning should not be a big issue. The stuff needs to be stored for seven weeks at least - proper cleaning and drying would not produce any magical water.

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