Codex: Crafting Materials

Amrita Vein
 Codex entry Amrita Vein
Number: 1
Location: After finding an amrita vein

Amrita was a hedge mage, famed for her talent as an herbalist. She could brew philters to soothe every ache or ailment, even coax the ill back from the brink of death. As word of Amrita's talents spread, she was made a target for capture. Amrita fled from them, refusing to go to a Circle. The templars took off in pursuit, dogging her steps, until they came to the edge of the Western Approach. Knowing the templars were less than half a day behind her, Amrita forged ahead. When the templars came to the edge of the desert, they stopped and turned back, believing that Amrita would be doomed to die in that sand-blasted wilderness.

But Amrita did not die. She crossed the wasteland on foot, living off the strange plants that grew there, finding water in roots buried beneath the sand. On that long trek, Amrita discovered the herb now known as Amrita Vein. She brought it out of the desert with her and continued to study and cultivate it. Amrita's extensive writings about desert plants, including Amrita Vein, eventually found their way to the White Spire, where it was decided that her contributions would earn her a degree of freedom. She was allowed to continue living as she desired, as long as she submitted to the Harrowing.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium, by Ines Arancia, botanist

Arbor Blessing
Codex entry Arbor Blessing
Number: 2
Location: After finding an arbor blessing

"Blessed by the vine in spring,
I shall not fear the winter's sting."

Arbor blessing is a useful vine that is notoriously difficult to cultivate, as if it had a mind of its own. The wind often carries its miniscule seeds for great distances from the parent plant. It is hard to say what causes the seeds to sprout once they land. However, it has long been believed that comfort and abundance follow where arbor blessing goes. Perhaps the vine only chooses conditions that promote rich harvests from domesticated flora. Therefore, see arbor blessing in spring, and you shall not grow hungry in winter.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium, by Ines Arancia, botanist

Blood Lotus
Codex entry Blood Lotus
Number: 3
Location: After finding a blood lotus

Do not try to get out of this. We were told you were the best. That is why you were contracted. Was it not you who obtained the two hundred white blooming rose bushes for the Empress's winter ball last year? The comtesse has been infinitely patient 'til now, but she doesn't understand why it is so hard to fill the garden pool. She wants no more excuses. And no, she will not compromise with thedawn lotuses. They're white! The flowers have to match the silk canopies. It is crucial! Dark purple. Dark red. Do not try to frame this as a safety issue. The guests will be perfectly safe. Why, if they experience any hallucinations from the concentration of lotus essence in the air, I'm certain it will only make the evening more thrilling.

I don't care if you have to send someone to some Fereldan peat bog to get it all. Just do it!

—A note from Chamberlain Laurent to Grand Gardener Umbert Vauclain, over the decorations for Comtesse d'Arnee's summer garden party

According to gossip in Val Royeaux, the chamberlain did succeed in convincing Grand Gardener Vauclain to provide four hundred and twenty lotus plants. The party was considered by most to be a roaring success, even though the evening concluded with at least twelve guests asleep on the lawn, three in the pool, and one lady losing several teeth trying to take a bite out of a marble statue of the comtesse's father, which she was convinced was made of cake.

Crystal Grace
Codex entry Crystal Grace
Number: 4
Location: After finding a crystal grace

The flowers of the crystal grace plant are appreciated for their beauty as well as their medicinal value. Pale blue and shaped like delicate crystal bells, the flowers should almost tinkle in the breeze. In fact, I have heard a tale of an Orlesian lady who ordered crystal grace to be planted all over her bower and then hired a mage from the White Spire to enchant them to do just that. Eventually, she grew tired of the chiming and set fire to her lawn in a fit of pique.

Let us learn from this. These plants were created exactly as our Maker intended, and our interference rarely improves them.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium, by Ines Arancia, botanist

Codex entry Deathroot
Number: 5
Location: Upon finding a deathroot

Deathroot has been used in magic and potion making for centuries. It's a fragile-looking plant with a thin stalk and purple flowers, which fruits once a year developing bright red fleshy pods that cause disorientation and dizziness if ingested.

There are two varieties. The more common Arcanist Deathroot was first found by Archon Hadrianus when he discovered it growing on several dead slaves. The other, Lunatic's Deathroot, is most closely associated with the story of the courtesan Melusine, who sought revenge on a powerful magister and his family. She harvested the plant, baked it into small pies for the magister's banquet, and presented them to the magister at a banquet. All the guests were seized by terrifying hallucinations after eating the pies and tore each other to pieces.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium, by Ines Arancia, botanist

Deep Mushroom
Codex entry Deep Mushroom
Number: 6
Location: Upon finding a deep mushroom

"Deep mushroom" refers to the entire group of fungi that growsunderground in caves and many parts of the dwarven Deep Roads. Collection can be a dangerous task, as the Deep Roads are often infested with darkspawn. Because of this, dwarvenmerchants often recruit "casteless" hirelings for the job, and pay them a meager percentage of what they earn selling the mushrooms to surfacers.

The most common varieties used in the herbalist's trade are the Blightcap, Ghoul's Mushroom, and Brimstone Mushroom, almost all of which tend to carry the darkspawn's corruption. While they cannot transmit the disease, this trait often makes them quite poisonous. Deep mushrooms should only be handled by experienced herbalists and should never be consumed without first being adequately cleaned and prepared. Careless consumption has been known to cause insanity, severe abdominal cramping, and even death.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium, by Ines Arancia, botanist

Codex entry Dragonthorn
Number: 7
Location: After finding a dragonthorn

The wood of the dragonthorn tree is prized for its strength, and has been used to craft bows of remarkable quality, but the leaves are equally valuable. Alchemists have known for centuries that an extract of dragonthorn leaves will enhance and stabilize other, more volatile magical compounds.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium by Ines Arancia, botanist

Codex entry Elfroot
Number: 8
Location: Upon finding an elfroot

Elfroot was first used by the elves of Arlathan, hence the name. The root gave their medicines particular efficacy, so when theImperium conquered the elves, the magisters adopted its use and its popularity spread to all corners of the empire.

Elfroot is a hardy plant with large green leaves that grows wild in many places. It's so common that it tends to show up in most gardens and fields, almost like a weed. Unlike a weed, however, most people appreciate having access to the wonderful little plant. The roots can be used with very little preparation. Rubbing some of the juice on a wound, for example, will speed up healing and numb pain. And chewing on a slice of root treats minor ailments like indigestion, flatulence, and hoarse throats.

There are several varieties, but the most useful for herbalists are the Bitter, Gossamer, and Royal Elfroots.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium by Ines Arancia, botanist

Codex entry Embrium
Number: 9
Location: Upon finding an embrium

Embriums are flowers from the orchid family. Its therapeutic qualities were actually discovered because of the embrium's exceptional beauty.

The beloved daughter of Lord Ignace Poulenc of Orlais fell victim to a terrible sickness of the lungs, which her healers were unable to cure. Thinking the girl would soon perish, her parents surrounded her bed with brightly colored flowers, hoping that they would bring some warmth and cheer in her last days. Oddly enough, the girl began to recover from the illness, and grew stronger each day. Her parents were baffled, but overjoyed. The healers eventually learned that the fragrance of one of the flowers eased the child's breathing. The flower was an embrium, and later became known as the Salubrious Embrium.

The other variant that has certain magical properties is known as Dark Embrium.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium by Ines Arancia, botanist

 Codex entry Felandaris
Number: 10
Location: Upon finding a felandaris

The name felandaris is elven, meaning "demon weed," which is fitting for this rare plant because it grows only in places where theVeil is thin.

Felandaris is easily identified. It's a twisted, wicked-looking shrub with long, thorny shoots, and no leaves: a skeletal hand, reaching out from an unmarked grave. Many swear the plant radiates a palpable aura of malevolence, so it comes as no surprise that it unnerves many a junior herbalist.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium by Ines Arancia, botanist

Ghoul's Beard
Codex entry Ghoul's Beard
Number: 11
Location: After finding a ghoul's beard

Ghouls don't really have beards, do they?

I imagine some do. If they had beards before becoming ghouls, that is.

What? You don't think they grow them after be-ghoulment?

"Be-ghoulment"? Anyway, isn't it caused by the blight? Nothing can grow on blighted ground.

I don't think that applies to hair, does it? Skin isn't really ground.

Why are we discussing this?

I'm bored. Can you believe she's forgotten she already talked about ghoul's beard two weeks ago?

Be nice. She's... mature.

It's hardly useful, unless you want to kill someone, ruin their minds, or some ghastly combination of the two.

There was that one story about a cat that chewed on ghoul's beard and ended up bursting into flames.

You're just proving my point here. Ugh, I hope she doesn't make us touch it again. That thing is so repulsive. Plants really shouldn't be... hairy.

Like a ghoul's beard? Ha-ha.

Stop laughing! I think she heard you. *****, she's coming

—Notes passed between apprentice mages during a lesson

Prophet's Laurel
Codex entry Prophet's Laurel
Number: 12
Location: After finding a prophet's laurel

According to Orlesian folklore, Andraste's followers and sympathizers tossed sprigs of the laurel in her path as she was led to her pyre. After she burned, her ashes blew across the leaves on the ground, bestowing upon them their famed purifying qualities. It is just a tale, of course. The laurel was recognized as a healing herb long before Andraste's time. Ancient Tevinterscrolls describe the use of the laurel in poultices, tinctures, and even incense. Though the legend might be pure fabrication, the laurel will always be symbolic of Andraste's sacrifice. Its glossy dark leaves represent the Sword of Mercy; the red berries, the drops of her blood upon it.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium by Ines Arancia, botanist

Codex entry Rashvine
Number: 13
Location: After finding a rashvine

Be wary when harvesting rashvine because the plant comes by its name honestly. Indeed, calling its effect upon exposed skin a "rash" is an understatement. I've known apprentices who went without treating the red sores, assuming them irritating but harmless, and eventually required either magical healing or amputation.

Once the poison gets into the blood, it causes a painful calcification that turns the surface skin stone grey... and that's only the first symptom. In addition, it's primarily found in marshes and remote areas of deep vegetation, so there is often danger in finding rashvine patches, even aside from that in collecting it.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, if one happens to be a witless apprentice), rashvine has a number of useful applications: salves that harden the skin or otherwise provide protection, not to mention being one of the primary ingredients for Antivan fire. My advice? Use thick gloves and carry a sword.

—From Herbology in Thedas by Master Ilian Gravire

Codex entry Spindleweed
Number: 14
Location: Upon finding a spindleweed

It is an old country saying that spindleweed grows best for the sorrowful. Verdant spindleweed in a household's garden has often brought neighbors offering consolation, usually without even asking what might be wrong.

This originates from the plant's use as a seasoning for dishes meant to speed the recovery of the infirm. A person who grows much of it is likely caring for the fatally ill.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium by Ines Arancia, botanist

Vandal Aria
Codex entry Vandal Aria
Number: 15
Location: After looting a vandal aria

The vandal aria is a flowering shrub, related to the rare and nearly extinct felicidus aria, otherwise known as the Silent Plainsrose. Of course, neither variety of aria is a true rose, and they are called roses only because of their sweet scent. The fragrance of the vandal aria, however, is lighter and greener than that of her rare cousin, and redolent of honey and cut grass.

The felicidus aria is best known for being the only plant capable of growing on blighted land. Vandal aria lacks this quality, but is capable of proliferating almost everywhere else, even though she seems to favor dry, arid climes. If left to grow wild, the vandal will take over a space, choking out any other plant unfortunate enough to be in her way.

—An excerpt from The Botanical Compendium by Ines Arancia, botanist

Codex entry Witherstalk
Number: 16
Location: After finding a witherstalk

I said you could take a few components for your personal use. I'm certain I didn't say you could empty our stores! Enchanter Ines looked like she was *****ting hognuts when she noticed. Do you know how long it took to collect that witherstalk? I know what you're doing with it! No one needs that many warming draughts.

I'm locking the chest. Find your own witherstalk. Or perhaps either you or Ferran could try to stick to your own quarters.

—A note written by Apprentice Veralinn of the Fereldan Circle

Maker, Vera!
That is not what's going on! All the witherstalk in the chest was dried anyway, and you know it's only efficacious as a preventative when the sap is fresh. I'm more interested in its effects on the mind when combined with certain other plants. Ines knows all about it. Just ask her. She probably forgot that I'd already told her. Old bat.

And please, Ferran and I are more than able to amuse ourselves without resorting to the tired old dip-and-stir. Maybe if you got out of the botanical section and looked at other books.

—Apprentice Elodia's reply

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