Blackbirch is a skin condition unique to the world of Plane of Karenth. It stems (pun intended), from contact with the black birch plant. Even a small brush with the weed can leave parts of the body covered with the black birch skin condition.   Blackbirch skin consists of a thick hardening of the skin where it has touched the blackbirch plant. The skin becomes smooth and very hard, much like bark of a birch tree, but much harder. Those areas touched no longer feel pain, although the surrouning skin will.   While reports of the blackbirch plant are rare, it can be found in small numbers in wet deciduous forests as a plant or bush reaching no more than 2.5 meters tall (8 feet). It has black leaves shaped like a birch. There are even reports of large groves in a handful of places.   The skin condition is permanent unless cured by a cleric, other magic, or a cure disease potion obtained by the Karenthian Orc. Thier potions are particullarly good at curing diseases on Karenth Centralis, Continent of although the potions have a limited shelf life of usually 3 years.   While blackbirch turns the skin hard black and patchy, the skin continues to grow. In parts of the body with a substantial amount of the blackbirch, the body improves its armor rating.   There are reports of band of ogres who grow and harvest the blackbirch and anoint themselves with it regularly. Their whole bodies are covered with the blackbirch appearance and makes the feasome ogres even more fearsome to behold, and to fight due to the armor.   Getting rid of blackbirch plants is dangerous, and one must be careful to cover ones entire body before beginning and to be careful to remove the clothing and burn it once done, quickly followed by bathing.   Blackbirch takes 1-3 days before symptoms begin.

Cover image: by Elena Ivashchenko


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