A Druid's Tale

Bandeaux crept through the wood as best he could. This was not where he belonged. He was not naturalist or tracker, he was an alchemist. He wanted to be home with his brews and dried herbs, instead he was ankle deep in swamp mud. The children of his village however, had fallen sick and nothing was being done to stop the disease. He had heard of the old man in the woods and the seemingly magical herbs hidden there. Maybe they could help? Even if they couldn’t… he was out of options. He would abandon the village if something couldn’t be done. He was not a brave man and could not bring himself to watch all those people die.

Suddenly the dark and deep of the forest broke into a sunlit glen with a small mud hut and a quaint garden beside it. Not nearly as impressive as had been described to him, but what could you expect from mere rumors? A quick look inside showed that the hut was empty but more than that – he had never seen a home so plain or devoid of…everything. Quickly, his attention turned to the garden next to the house. Well…that was different. In addition to common food stuffs grew some of the rarest and meticulously cared for herbs he had ever seen. He pulled out clippers and a small cloth bag. He wouldn’t take much. Just enough to try making one more batch of remedies–

“You want some herbs? Is that what you want? Came here for my herbs? Here! Have some herbs!”

Bandeaux felt something hit the back of his head but before he could turn to face whoever was speaking, the garden erupted into vines holding his arms and legs in place.

“Thief! Come here. Looking for things that aren’t yours. Did you even ask those plants? No, of course you didn’t. No one ever cares about the plants. But then no one ever cares about me. That is why I am here, thief. The plants and I understand not being listened to.”

“Please. Sir. I meant no disrespect. And… uh… I did not ask your plants’ permission. I regret that.”

“Well…” the voice behind him came closer “Fine. Put the thief down.” With that simple admonishment the vines released him and Bandeaux could finally turn to face, who he assumed was, the owner of the hut. He was not sure what he was expecting but this was not it.

The fellow was short and lean with a hard creased face more like leather than anything else. His clothes, that label was being generous, were mixes of mosses, lichens, and leaves. There may have been something that was once a tunic in there but it was heavily obscured by the muck. “So thief. What do you want with Mathieu’s herbs? Hrm?”

“I am truly sorry Master Mathieu, but the children…there is a sickness and I hoped something here could make a medicine for them.”

The old man let out a bodily noise that could only be described as disgust “Medicine” he scoffed. “Did you hear that? He wants to make medicine out of you. He doesn’t understand. No he does not. What is medicine? Is it food? Is it poison? He doesn’t even know my loves. Does he want you beautiful nightshade? No he does not. But why not? He eats tomatoes doesn’t he? Stews potatoes?” There was a quick sniff of the air. “Smokes too I bet. Doesn’t understand that it is all related. Doesn’t understand this is no disease the wee one have. This is magic boy. Magic takes magic to heal. Fine. If it is what will stop you from tromping around my gardens we will help the Thief.”

Bandeaux did not have words to express what was happening so he simply turned and started walking back to the village. On the walk he tried desperately not to listen to the old man’s ramblings “Worm wort. Babybells for the children. Rotwood to purge, it’s brittle thief. It breaks and leaves the good behind. Sympathy thief. Everything as a meaning outside of its own and you have to understand that for everything there is an herb that sympathizes with it. Foolish thief, thinking you can force a plant to care for something unless it chooses to. So tell me, Fengul Frond, will you help with this? Yes? Good good. In the pouch you go.”

So the hour walk went with Mathieu sometimes begging for a plant’s assistance and sometimes browbeating it into helping. Bandeaux never turned to actually watch what was happening. In his imagination the plants themselves were jumping into the small pouch around Mathieu’s neck but that was ridiculous. Wasn’t it?

When they finally returned to the village Mathieu went straight to work, letting himself first into one house and then another, paying no heed to the family or the owners’ startled faces. Quickly to each sick child he walked, placed a small seed in their mouth, whispered a few quiet words, and then just started to brush the blackened veins off the children like it was so much dust. When he was done, Mathieu approached Bandeaux, “All done thief. For now. But worse is coming, thief. A storm is coming. Soon we will all be like that sickness. Dust blown away. I will make some poppets for the people. Keep them safe. And some sachets. Keep those in the window sills. Maybe you will survive. If not… ask the swamp to take you. It would be better than what is coming. I will give you those, thief. Then… then I will be gone. Back with the Swamp again. But what will I have sympathy for thief? Even I don’t know.”

Cost Summary
Druid TierPre-ReqMana CostAbilities
1st, 10XP2XP / ManaBasic Sachets; Spell Flux, 8XP each
2nd, 10XP10 Mana3XP / ManaExtra active Sachet; Counterspell, 10XP each
3rd, 15XP20 Mana4XP /ManaComplex Sachets; Extra active Sachet
4th, 15XP30 Mana5XP / ManaExtra active Sachet
5th, 20XP40 Mana7XP / ManaMaster Sachets; Extra active Sachet
Casting Costs
  • Basic Spells: 1 Mana per spell cast
  • Complex Spells: 2 Mana per spell cast
  • Master Spells: 3 Mana per spell cast
Book of Arwen

Book of Awen is a required phys-rep for Druid players.  It should be able to wholly cover standard paper pages of 8.5” by 11”.  This is a tagged item created when someone is inducted into the Druidic tradition.  During this initiation they learn the basic properties of all common herbs, how to make three simple sachets, as well as a crafting a single in depth entry of one herb.  There is no limit as to how many pages the book can contain.  New books can be replaced at no material cost but requires one BGA of time to craft.  Crafting books does not automatically copy all the included recipes.


Sachets are medicine pouch style bags that are worn from a belt or as a necklace.  Each Sachet should be at least the size of a golf ball but no larger than a pool ball.  They should be stuffed and padded so that they never cause harm. The tagged herbs that are being used must be in the Sachet as well as whatever is used as padding to make it appear full.  The Sachet must be held or otherwise touched with the hand in order to channel a Druid’s Mana.

Each Sachet Recipe contains 3 spells (Basic, Complex and Master )

For each Tier of skill a Druid may have one active Sachet. Each Sachet takes 2 minutes of roleplay focus, typically a mix of begging, threatening, or bartering with the individual herbs that will go into the Sachet in order to convince them to lend their power. Once created a Druid may channel as much of their own personal Mana through the Sachet in order to cast the desired spell. Players are encouraged to rest their herbs at night when they themselves rest.

If unmade, a Sachet is no longer active and the Druid may make a new one. Assuming that the plants are available and willing.


Druid magic allows for plants to be harvested without the Survival: Gardening skill.

Common Druid Spells
  • Simple Sachets:  Shell (2), Snare Arms, Snare Foot, Cure Disease, Stabilize
  • Complex Sachets:  Snare Body, Calm Animal, Nature Meld
  • Master Sachets:   Knockdown, Circle vs. Human
Book of Arwen Examples

Sachets always tend to have themes, and grow in power. These are only examples. Additional starting spells are found on the the druid welcome packet and may be discovered or created in-game.

Name: Satchet of Iron Bark

Basic: Earth Shell 2
Complex: Earth Shell 3
Master: Earth Shell 4

Required Herbs:  Unknown

Mana Charge:  Can hold up to 10 Mana activations before the herbs need to rest unless other modifying herbs are used.

Name: Sachet of the Healing Stream

Basic: Stabilize
Complex: Heal Wound 2
Master: Heal Wound 4

Required Herbs:  Unknown

Mana Charge:  Can hold up to 10 Mana activations before the herbs need to rest unless other modifying herbs are used.

Herb: Ember Eyes

A very temperamental but aggressive plant.  It can dominate a garden if not properly cared for.  The flowers of this beautiful dear are bright orange or red often making for a stark contrast to the brown debris or mulch they prefer.  Alchemists want to destroy these for their little more than their own pleasure.  These vines cut and processed make fragrant oils and tonics of various effects.  Such a waste.  Who would sacrifice a precious life for a such a brief vanity or relaxation?

Properties:  Vine, Evergreen

Consume:  Restores 1 Mana

Inspiration Images

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Herbs in Altera Awakens are represented by artificial plants, along with an item tag. If an artificial plant is found, it may be harvested by characters possessing at least 1 level of Druid, 1 level of Alchemy, or 1 level of Gardening. Once harvested, the artificial plant may be turned in at Production for a random herb tag. If an artificial plant is discovered with a tag attached, it is that specific herb. In all cases, the artificial plant should be turned into Production as soon as is convenient, to keep the phys-reps in circulation. Herb tags found by themselves with no associated phys-rep (such as in a treasure chest, or a bandit’s pouch) may be picked up by any character, though they will not be able to identify the herb as anything more than “some plant that might be valuable”.

Herbs in Altera Awakens have magical and mundane properties usable by Alchemists and Druids. See those skills for more information on the specific uses.

Herb tags are always double sided.  The name of the Herb will be on both sides and on the left of the tag.

One side will have information related to Druid properties of the various plants.  This will list the mystical or physical correspondences such as vines, thorns, beauty, itching, soothing, hardy, etc.  How different herbs interact with each other must be discovered in play. The qualities of plants known to all Druids are Hardy, Soothing, Vine, Evergreen, Thorns, and Rapid Growth.

On the reverse side is the herbs the Alchemy information such as healing, poison, salve, draught, recreational, etc.  How these various properties interact with Alchemy must be discovered in play.

Each of these will also have a numerical value next to them 1-10 reflecting how much potency they have for that given aspect.  That number is always representative of how many coppers can be offset in a proper recipe.  How different Herbs interact with each other must be discovered in-play.  Any specific Herb can only be used for one type of cost reduction even if it has multiple needed properties.  Additional Herb always stack with each other.

Common Herbs can be bought with starting money at their component value.

Example Herbs & Plants

These are herbs that will reliably be found around each game to some degree.

Gilled FrondHealing,
A frond plant with blue tinted leaves.
Sapstick ReedPoisons,
A tall grass
Ember EyesRecreational,
Contact Poison
A vine with small red flowers
Blushing VioletPoisons,
Rapid Growth,
A small flowering shrub
A small thorny seed pod
Lotus Petal EnhancementsUnknownRare
Night Shade Poisons, AcidsUnknownRare