The material below is Open Game Content
Woad is a small plant that stands about three feet high (but usually shorter), and has a soft, brown stem with a white root, yellow flowers, and blue-green leaves. It is very noxious, rapidly pushing out other plants in the area where it grows. It’s also hard on the soil, draining it of valuable nutrients within a couple of years.
While known for having some minor medicinal qualities, woad’s resilient pigment is where it really shines. Crushing the plant’s leaves produces a vibrant, deep blue juice, which can then be processed with limewater and fermented to create dye.
As a linen colorant it’s generally pretty feeble, requiring almost three times as much pigment as would be needed from other plants to make indigo, this particular shade of blue’s nearest equivalent. However, in northern climes it seems to react better to the colder, less humid air and, as such, is used as an indigo substitute. The pigment isn’t only cultivated for textile use, it should be noted. In some cultures, warriors stain their bodies with it before battle, both as a way to intimidate their enemies with their fearsome, demonic appearance, and as an astringent that clots wounds as they are received. It also works well as tattoo ink.
Climate/Terrain: Any temperate land
Bindings: Abjuration 7, Conjuration 3, Evocation 9
Traits: Bloodthick (Ebbwither) 15, Readheal 5, Pigment 15
Bloodthick (Ebbwither): The astringent quality in woad seed oil causes blood to clot faster and wounds to seal more quickly. However, this only works if the oil, which must be processed by an herbalist into a mundane conocoction, is applied to an area in advance. When an oil-coated area of the flesh takes damage, 1 hit point heals automatically at the beginning of the following round. Seed oil used in this manner is effective for about one hour, and can benefit as many hits as are dished out during that time.
Herbalists awaken this trait to make a highly sought-after regenerative salve called Lugh’s blessing.
Readheal: Woad leaves contain a chemical that reduces inflammation when rubbed on irritated skin. Used in their raw state, this has the ability to heal 2 points of burn damage per application; only one application can be made per patient per day. If made into a mundane concoction, it provides a +2 Heal skill check bonus when working with inflamed or burned tissue in addition to healing the 2 points of burn damage. Again, only one application of the concoction can be made per patient per day, and mundane and natural applications don’t stack.
Awakened, this becomes a pleasant-smelling temperature shield called frost-skin ungent.
Pigment: The pigment extracted from crushed woad leaves is the plant’s most famous trait. A rich blue color (although some say it’s really a light indigo), it stains whatever it comes into contact with, including skin. Superficially, the pigment isn’t indelible but it does tint skin and clothing for many weeks. Only when it is mixed with other materials by an herbalist or used for tattooing does it become permanent.
If awakened, it becomes an incredibly strong dye called woad rage that is absorbed into the blood and drives the recipient into a battle rage. Strong-willed creatures can keep this reigned in, but just barely.
Magical Concoction: Lugh’s Blessing
Trait: Bloodthick (Ebbwither) DC 30
Cost: 11,625 gp
Made from woad seed oil, this salve bestows upon the user the power to regenerate wound damage. It’s a translucent, oily substance touched by a hint of smoke-gray color. Regardless of surrounding environmental conditions, it is always warm to the touch. A few minutes after application, the heat fades and the user’s skin tingles with enchantment as the body recovers lost hit points, and possibly even regenerates lost body parts (this last is at the GM’s discretion, since the concoction’s powers might be overstated by some herbalists of dubious character).
The rate of regeneration is a number of hit points per round equal to the creature’s Constitution modifier; this effect lasts for 30 minutes. One dose is enough to coat an entire Medium-size creature with a thin a layer of the fluid.
Lugh’s blessing also amplifies woad pigment, in any form, when applied over it, making ink designs glow with a blue light that has the strength of a torch or a candelabrum.
Magical Concoction: Frost-Skin Unguent
Trait: Readheal DC 20
Cost: 275 gp
This mushy ointment, which has a sharp scent like the first winter snowfall, is applied to the skin to block the effects of extreme heat and cold. It’s yellow-white in color and has the texture of paste. As it’s applied to the skin, a thin patina of hoar frost forms across the patient’s body, chilling him to the bone for a brief moment before cracking and falling apart.
A one-ounce canister of salve is enough to lightly cover a Medium-sized creature from head to foot. Fire- and coldbased attacks against one so coated do half damage for a duration of one hour per Constitution modifier point he possesses, with a minimum of 1/2 hour for those with a zero or negative modifier. Fortitude saves against these elements are made with a +5 bonus.
Ingesting the salve has no effect other than to turn the lips and tongue blue.
Magical Concoction: Woad Rage
Trait: Pigment DC 30
Cost: 3,075 gp
This dye usually comes in a deer-hide wineskin, allowing the user to selectively squeeze it out through the mouth as needed. Its rich, blue color stains whatever it touches for weeks on end. In some cultures, warriors have been known to rub the salve all over their bodies before battle, fighting in the nude for greater freedom of movement and to terrorize their enemies with their frightful blue presence.
The primary benefit of the pigment, though, lies not in its unique hue but rather in the temporary psychosis it induces. Absorption takes approximately 15 minutes. Once the pigment kicks in, the affected creature may release its rage as a barbarian does on his action, a number of times equal to its Will modifier plus 1, with a minimum of 1 time for those with a zero or negative modifier. Every time it rages, its Strength and Constitution scores increase by +4 and its hit points temporarily increase by 2 points per level. It also gains a +2 morale bonus to any Will saves. Unfortunately, while raging the creature can’t use skills or abilities that require patience and concentration, or use the Expertise feat, item creation feats, metamagic feats, and Skill Focus. Each fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s improved Constitution modifier, and the creature may end it voluntarily.
After ending a rage, as long as he has another rage left the creature’s ability scores and hit points return to their normal values. The final time the creature releases its rage it becomes fatigued (–2 to Strengh, –2 to Dexterity, and can’t charge or run).
However, it returns to normal after 12 consecutive hours of solid rest. Woad pigment remains viable on a creature’s body for up to six hours. After that time, if all of the rage hasn’t been expended yet, the aforementioned fatigue sets in. Woad rage doesn’t stack with Barbarian Rage.