Woad Pen Item in Tower's Fall | World Anvil
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Woad Pen

Woad pens, or 'festival pens' are more common in the southern portions of Lialin. While the pens themselves are no more complicated than a 'sack of dye with a spout,' they contain a specific type of dye mixture, tailor made to work on skin or hair without causing harm. The colors they produce are most often shades of blue varying from a pale gray color to near black, with vivid shades in between.    The markings left by these pens vary in size and design based on regional or personal preferences, but all fade with enough time. During the Tempest festival, markings are made and then washed off at midnight, for the new symbols to be applied. The result from the half-cured symbols leave faint impressions, representing the lingering effects of the past year, and the brilliant new marks for the year to come.   The primary ingredient is the woad for which they are named, also used to dye various woods or as an ink in more traditional writing. Woad is sometimes tended to as a planting crop rather than a garden-harvest plant, particularly near the coast, or by those already producing lavender.   Both Theolin and the Eastern portion of Orellia see them surge in popularity around the new year. During festivals, they're easy to find, and some merchants may even set up pop-up shops or carts at festival spaces specifically for that purpose. During time between festivals, the local tanner can likely produce one, and the head of weavers or other dye-maker provide a safe filling.   Each household usually has at least one woad-pen, though they're also replaced with some frequency. A hole in the dye bag can lead to great stains, and the cone tip lost or bent or torn.

Mechanics & Inner Workings

A rather simple design, the tip is held close to the skin, and the 'bag' portion of the cone is twisted or pressed. The laws of physics do the rest.


Woad pens are used to make the body markings during summer festivals, particularly at the turn of the new year. The designs they're used to make are often either to commemorate the passing year, or wishes for the next.   Some areas also participate in the body-painting during Astest, the stargazer's holiday, by drawing constellations on the skin. During Fabrest, its not uncommon for artists to demonstrate their work by decorating the hands of celebrants in the same fashion.
Item type
Seasonal Availabilty
25 grams
7.5-8 in.
Base Price
2 cp filled, 1cp empty

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Cover image: by Zac Cain


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