Elixir of Regrowth

The loss of a limb can be devastating, but in the World of Cartyrion, it is not necessarily a permanent situation. The miracles of alchemy offer a solution in many cases: the Elixir of Regrowth. When properly prepared by a skilled alchemist and imbibed by the one wishing to have a lost limb restored, this elixir causes a new and fully functional limb to replace the lost one.

While this sounds like a fantastic solution to a horrendous problems, it should be stated that there are some limitations. The first of these has to do with the preparation of the elixir itself. Unlike many of the elixirs and other products of the alchemist, the Elixir of Regrowth cannot be brewed in advance or purchased "off the shelf". The reason for this is that one of the critical ingredients of the elixir is a fingernail or toenail from the original lost limb. Furthermore, in order to ensure success, it must be from the limb that actually belonged to the intended imbiber of the elixir. Also, a person who has lost multiple limbs may also have unexpected difficulties when trying to restore one or more of their lost limbs - even if they satisfy all of the other requirements.

Cost and Skill Level

The preparation of the Elixir of Regrowth is extremely complex, and is beyond the capabilities of most alchemists. While some Masters of the art have been known to successfully brew the mixture, it is typically the purview of truly Legendary practitioners. The cost of the preparation can be prohibitive for common Folk as well - current estimates are that such a preparation costs 10,000 gold pieces or more.

Limitations

The requirement of a fingernail or toenail implies two things: that the lost limb can be recovered, and that it is not so badly damaged as to have destroyed the fingertips or toes. Thus, a limb bitten off by a dragon, for example, is likely lost forever if the beast swallows it. A limb badly burned off in a fire is likewise probably lost forever.

Attempted Substitution

There have been many attempts to use a "donor" fingernail or toenail to prepare an elixir to restore a limb. There have been some cases in history where such attempts were made to replace a weak or deformed limb with a hale and strong one. But in almost all cases, these attempts fail. The new limb grows, but it soon dies. The result is a "zombified limb" which is only marginally controllable by its new owner while it remains intact. And it does not remain intact for too long. The skin and muscle die, rot, and fall off in chunks. Sinew and bone take much longer to crumble, but even these eventually fail.

Multiple Limb Replacement

In the unfortunate event that a victim loses more than one limb, they need to think twice about making use of the elixir - even if they have carefully preserved the lost limbs or recovered the necessary fingernail or toenail without damage. This is because the elixir, even when prepared by the most skilled practitioners of the alchemical art, are not guaranteed to regrow the first replacement limb in the right place! In some cases, this may simply result in an awkward appearance with only limited impact on function. One who has lost both arms, for example, may end up regrowing their right wrist and hand below their left elbow. The second elixir would then regrow the left hand below the right elbow. Much worse is the person who has lost an arm and a leg. Having the arm regrow alongside the good leg almost certainly guarantees the person will continue to be unable to walk, run, jump, or carry loads properly. And a leg growing out of a shoulder isn't much use either.

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