Throughout Koria exists a lot of things which can harm or kill you. That doesn't necessarily mean the Spiral, demons or the things from under the Emerald Planes, no. It could mean a broken leg or an arm or burns from when you are the lucky fellow who angered a Sunfire Moth and got away.
Brewing & Effects
Technically everyone can brew a potion with a bit of knowledge and the right ingredients. Those depends entirely on the specific species one wants to treat. A human potion can't heal a Garladan or a Dragonborn, but a potion for a Dragonborn could kill or mutate a human for example.
Healing Potions are a part of the alchemy and are regulated by the Alchemist Guild. Which means that they control, research and alter the recipes of each healing potion. And other potions, because that is what the guild does.
Every potion has a basic recipe which is not allowed to be altered, but every potion brewer can add new ingredients how they see fit if they think - or better, researched it! - the new ingredients are going to help.
So, everyone can brew potions if they want to. But for when you want to be sure that the potion is going to work the way it is intended, you are going to an Alchemist. Most Alchemists have their own shops in most settlements, but like the Blind Judges or the Wandering Healers they tend to wander the continent to search for new or different ingredients and to heal those in need.
The effects of a healing potion are just that: they restore ones body to a certain degree.
"But Master, how does the potion know how my body should look like?"
"It does not."
"Care to elaborate?"
"Ok, fine. The potion itself is not designed to know what you are look like and should be look like after the healing. It has just the properties to activate and enhance the healing capabilities of your own body."
"Like an amplifier?"
"A supporting one, but yes."
Brewing a potion is not an easy task. It seems simple, but most potions need a long time over the fire to cook and simmer. This means that a "quick" potion brewing is taking a few hours at least. Good Alchemists tend to have a few prepared potions in their luggage just in case. And it does not help if you increase the temperature or add "enhancers" like chilis to it. It is a common misconception that chilis produce heat. A bad Alchemist might use them to sugercoat their failure and lack of knowledge.
"How long do you suggest shall we cook it?"
"Hu... six hours at least."
"Yeah. It is better that way. We don't want them to be just a bit weaker than we need them."
Technically an Alchemist can whip up some fast working potions in just a minute. But they will be merely a band-aid like you would pour a glass of water on a campfire. It is going to work, but you need a lot more. It can help and delay certain things like bleeding out, ease the pain and extend the time you need to die, but they are never ever the same as a fully cooked and correctly brewed potion.
The main ingredient for every potion is blood and a few herbs. The herbs are always the same because they "activate" the healing properties once the amplified blood is reaching ones digestive system. So every Alchemist is relying on a good supply of blood from various species. It is often the case that an Alchemist specialises on one or two, maybe three, species since the brewing itself is not that easy and not even fast.
The most common healing potion is for the humans. It has a vibrant red colour and is considered the weakest of all potions. It can be considered a multiuse potion because it works on every species. That means that a human potion can be used as an emergency potion for every species.
Which also means that a Dwarven potion is stronger than a Human potion and not necessarily fitted to be used by those weak fleshlings. The Elven potions are stronger than a Dwarven potion because of their need for replacing and restoring both of their body parts and everything with a certain functionality as well as a Garladan potion.
Underling potions sit in the middle just because they are more otherworldly, but humanoid. Orcs are strong, so they need strong potions. Garladans have the same problem as Elves and need to have a potion which can heal all of their body, since they are hermaphrodites. And Dragonborns are the strongest (more or less) humanoid being with the strength of Dragons so they need the strongest potions which can also heal a Dragon to an extend.
Rankings of healing potions in the order of strength, from the weakest to the strongest.
- Human potions
- Elven potions
- Dwarven potions
- Underling potions
- Orc potions
- Dragonborn potions
"No no no, that is a Garladan potion and not one for the Underlings!"
"Why, how do you see that?"
"The Garladan one is darker!"
But what if you drink a potion which is not suitable for you? Well, the answer to that is as clear as usual: it depends.
A Dragonborn who is drinking a human potion might not feel a thing besides an interesting taste. A Garladan potion might taste strange, but this potion would work. Not as good as a potion suited for a Dragonborn, but it would. To an extend.
The other way round a Human who is drinking a Dragonborn potion is much likely healed to death, which means the potion overstimulates the cells and causes them to mutate in unpredictable ways. Hair and flesh are growing in a fast and uncontrolled way. It is written that a Human is likely to drown or suffocate in its own flesh because of this rapid growth. It might not do that with an Elven or Dwarven Potion, but there could be some side-effects to it.
Potions can go bad after a long time. Most of them just loses their effectivness, but some are outright poisonous. Which is also a Black Market activity because a normal person can't see the difference between a good or a bad potion. Some Alchemists can also brew poisons which look a lot like designated healing potions.
The only exception to the rule - ha, gotcha! - is the Multiuse Potion. This one is a very expensive potion and only more experienced alchemists or Masters of their craft are allowed to brew them. This is not only because of their really long list of ingredients, but also because of the exact measurements and the brewing time.
To brew a kettle, barrel or other liquid container of Multiuse Potion two Alchemists need to work together and in shifts for six days and six nights. One alchemist starts the brewing process and with the mixing of the ingredients for the Human Potion. They let it simmer for exactly twenty hours, which means they need to control and stabilise the heat from the fire. Not too cold, not too hot. That means the alchemists need to sleep and work asynchronous: while one is awake and preparing the next potion and controlling the heat of the kettle, the other one sleeps and vice versa.
Every to-be-added potion needs simmering for twenty hours. As the linking ingredient the alchemists need to use crushed quartz powder so the ingredients work seamless together. Which is one of the reasons the potion has this vibrant colour.
On the seventh day the basic potion without the species' blood should be glittering in the colours of the rainbow. But why without the Blood of Elves or Dwarves or other species? Because it is a Multiuse Potion. The mix of different bloodtypes would cause problems nobody wants to deal with (like suddenly growing new organs or scales).
And how to use it? That is the easy part: drop up to a maximum of three drops into a cup (pure or with water, nothjing with alcohol or sugar!), add any amount of blood to it, shake or stir it and it should be working in the next seconds. No worries if it is starting to look like it would be cooking, that are the ingredients "eating" up the blood and starting to work.
Consumable, Food / Drink