Continuum II – Healing Cantrips

   Today it’s the next portion of the Continuum II Cantrip list – in this case, Healing Cantrips.

   Healing cantrips are generally highly specific – the price of providing such useful benefits with so little magic – and thus are best employed by a competent physician. A tiny bit of power applied in just the right place can be quite effective however, and healing cantrips may be the only type of healing magic that an ordinary person living an unexciting life will ever need. Even an adventurer may find it worth their while to acquire a few – especially if they don’t happen to have major supernatural powers of some other sort.

   Cantrips in this category are generally limited to a touch range, will not work on unwilling targets, and are not cumulative with themselves unless an exception is specifically noted or is permitted by the GM. Nevertheless, they are surprisingly effective; they operate by focusing and enhancing the bodies natural recuperative abilities. Sadly, while this allows them to have fairly substantial effects, it also tends to exhaust the recipient. Receiving more then three in any one hour requires an endurance roll to avoid exhaustion (starting at difficult and increasing by +1d6 per additional healing cantrip) and no more then (End/3) will be effective on a character in any single day regardless.

   There were, of course, many other specialized charms beyond the ones I’ve listed here – charms for repairing hooves, claws, and nails, for fixing teeth, for inducing an immune response to a very small exposure to an infectious agent (also known as Vaccination), for enhancing or reducing sexual functions, for improving eyesight, for removing cataracts, for repairing a reptured eardrum or damaged sense of smell, for reducing the effects of diabetes, and hundreds more – but most of those were things for specialists, while every low-level adventurous warrior made sure that they were equipped with a cantrip ring and a few of the following cantrips. Being able to drain the poison from a giant spider bite, eliminate the fatal allergic response to toxic tomb molds, eliminate the effects of that martial artist’s nerve strike, or stop the bleeding of a near-fatal wound, was often quite invaluable.

   For those who haven’t been reading this series, here’s a repeat of the basic information on Cantrip Magic. For those who have been, it’s been offset for easy skipping.

   Cantrip Magic, drawing upon the modest reserve of magical energy which accumulates in any living creature, is the simplest and easiest of all forms of magic. That power is immediately to hand, focused, and attuned. It is inherently readily handled by the user – and the mere desire to use it is enough to get it partially shaped. Minor talents, basic magical training, or comparatively trivial talismans – such as the infamous “Cantrip Rings” – will suffice to channel it. Even more usefully, the simple instinct for self-preservation allows anyone with defensive cantrips available to use on of them per round as a reflex action, albeit at the cost of a “+2” on the user’s next initiative check.

   Unfortunately, Cantrip Magic is also the weakest form of spellcasting. The complexity of any given effect is moderate at most, and the personal mana which powers it is a very limited resource. Gods, fey, and spellcasters may build up substantial reserves – the residue of the energies they channel in other ways – but everyone else will only have a little based on their Endurance and the level of natural magic in the world they live in.

   On the other hand, Cantrip Magic is by far the most common form of magic in Continuum II. Minor mages, dabblers, and laymen use it, minor talismans and amulets produce and sustain cantrip effects for a time, embedded cantrips affect whatever inanimate object they’re embedded in permanently, and focusing talismans – such as those aforementioned “Cantrip Rings” – can focus their wearer’s personal mana into a list of up to seven cantrips whose patterns are embedded in item.

   The stuff is everywhere – and so a list of cantrips can be quite important. Their classification is somewhat arbitrary, but here’s the section on Healing Cantrips – charms which amplify the bodies self-repair and compensatory mechanisms.

  1. Ameliorate: This charm reduces the severity of organ malfunctions, such as the excessive production of hormones, liver or renal failure, and the effects of many poisons. Such effects are reduced by one level, and the cantrip will remain in effect for up to a week.
  2. Antiparasitic: Is an effective cure for parasitic infestations such as tapeworms, trichinosis, and other internal parasites as well as being effective against such external nuisances as fleas, leeches, and lice. It operates by making the recipients body mildly, but cumulatively, toxic. It remains effective for some 24 hours, but will eliminate most parasites within six. More powerful, active, or magical parasites may either attempt to resist the effects (checking once per hour against the recipients constitution) or voluntarily remove themselves.
  3. Awakening: Awakens one sleeping, stunned, drugged, or comatose character. While this gets the recipient conscious for at least 2D6 x10 minutes, it does not remove the cause, hence he may not be of much use.
  4. Balm: Heals 1D4 points of damage. Since this charm accelerates and focuses the bodies normal healing it will not be effective on injuries which would not heal naturally, does nothing to reduce scarring, and will not be effective on the same patient more then (Con/5) times daily. It is effective against loss of blood, ulcers, and similar complaints.
  5. Banish Fatigue: Removes fatigue toxins, making the user feel refreshed. This is equivalent to about one hours sleep, but does nothing to meet the need for dreaming or to restore mystic or psychic energies although it allows users to tap their final reserves more effectively, giving such an illusion. Overuse of this cantrip will leave the user bright, alert, and filled with power until he reaches the point of total collapse, and lapses into a coma for a few days.
  6. Birthbless: Eases giving birth, relieving much of the pain and reducing the chances for infection, bleeding, and other difficulties by 5% +1% per level of the user to a minimum of .1% overall. Since most such problems already occur at low percentages this charm is quite effective even in the hands of a low-level caster.
  7. Bonemeld: Fuses fractures and speeds the healing of broken bones. If the bone is fragmented or fully broken it subtly “steers” the fragments towards their natural position, making it easy for even an unskilled user to reduce a fracture or realign bone chips. It is still advisable to use a cast, but it’s generally ready to come off in about two-thirds of the normal time.
  8. Cauterize: Seals and disinfects a wound, preventing infection and most complications. If applied to a poisoned, dirty, or disease-causing wound immediately it reduces the effects, allowing a +3 on any saving throw and a -15% chance of catching any disease.
  9. Circulate: Immediately injects and diffuses thru the recipients body whatever substance the user has handy when he touches him. While it can be used offensively it is more often used for the rapid administration of antidotes and other remedies. It can also be used to distribute oxygen, an effect useful to victims of choking, suffocation and drowning. Unwilling victims receive a save versus spells and the effects of the substance used.
  10. Clotting: Stops internal and external bleeding. The effect lasts for one turn, but the clots are permanent and will prevent wounds reopening. It also reduces the effect of wounds that do 2 HP or more by one point during the active period. Reversed, it prevents or undoes clotting, causing wounds of 2 points or more to do an extra point every three rounds unless treated. This form relieves clot-caused strokes (ruptured blood vessels can be repaired with Balm), heart attacks, and similar disorders and can be used to slightly inhibit clotting for up to 48 hours as a preventive measure.
  11. Congenital Cure: This charm can only be applied to very young children or those who regenerate, it subtly guides their growth into normal patterns over the next few months/hours, eliminating a wide variety of “birth defects”. It can cure hare lip, cleft palate, infant heart conditions, etcetera, but cannot replace entirely missing organs or cure siamese twins.
  12. Deaden: Blocks all sensation in an area for two turns or partially relieves pain for 2D6 hours. There is a version which boosts pain, but it isn’t generally available and is generally considered reprehensible. It also requires special measures to keep the victim from resisting the effect, since healing cantrips require voluntary recipients.
  13. Denature: Speeds the breakdown and elimination of toxins. If used within 2 melee rounds after the full effect occurs, it adds a retroactive +6 to any saving throw. If this would make the roll a success the toxins effects will be somewhat reduced. “Death” might become to 2-5 days of weakness, vomiting, and intermittent unconsciousness with a possibility of some minor organic damage. There is a minor variant called “sober” which cures hangovers or drunkenness.
  14. Diagnose: Lets the user roll to determine the exact nature of a problem and gives him a fair notion of the underlying cause in any case. It will also give him a basic idea of the appropriate treatment, if any.
  15. Drain: Allows the user to drain away up to a pint of excess or inappropriate fluids from the patients body, or to decongest an area. Using this charm can drain an abscess, relieve pneumonia, and temporarily cure such afflictions as elephantiasis.
  16. Excision: Allows the user to mystically remove a few ounces of alien or inappropriate material from his patients body, such as arrowheads, kidney stones, the painful grains of calcified joints, small tumors, and other such objects, without resorting to surgery.
  17. Neural Bridge: This charm “jumps” signals past an inch or so of damaged nerves, relieving paralyzation or difficulties due to the damage and possibly (Con %) allows it to heal. The little energy this requires is supplied by the recipients body, hence the charm will last indefinitely. It will require (Dex/2) days for the recipient to become used to the new connections.
  18. Immunity Suppression: Prevents the recipient’s body from attacking it’s own tissues, relieving the symptoms of the various autoimmune disorders from up to a week.
  19. Immunity Tagging: Causes the recipient’s body to “tag” malfunctioning, cancerous, or otherwise abnormal and dangerous tissues for destruction by his or her own immune system. With proper supportive care the recipient should shortly recover from such ailments.
  20. Oxygenate: Infuses the recipients blood with oxygen. This will allow the user to hold his breath for an extra round without penalty, “restart the clock” for victims of suffocation or cardiac failure, let someone instantly “catch their breath” or give anyone who doesn’t need extra oxygen at the moment an instant case of hyperventilation.
  21. Physic: Reduces the severity of a disease by one degree. The degrees are; Carrier, Trivial, Hindering, Severe, Critical, and Terminal. Note that critical cases often die, but terminal cases always die without heroic intervention. This is not really effective against chronic diseases, it simply delays or relieves the attack for 1D6 days. Multiple applications cannot relieve or delay an attack for more then a week.
  22. Produce Blood: Vastly accelerates the recipients production of blood. While this will rapidly replace lost blood or enable the recipient to give a lot of blood, it places a considerable strain on his system.
  23. Purge: Rapidly empties the digestive tract. This is useful against intestinal parasites, ingestive toxins (halving the effect if applied within 5 rounds of the symptoms appearance), and excessive dignity.
  24. Reduce Inflammation: Reduces or cures inflammations from such things as allergies, sore throats, and other causes without interfering with the healing process.
  25. Regulate: Stabilizes the action of an organ which is normally regulated by the nervous system, eliminating problems such as irregular heartbeats, excessive variations in blood pressure, and digestive abnormalities. The effects continue for up to one week.
  26. Salve: Cures or removes minor skin conditions such as athletes foot, poison ivy, rashes, warts, and simple blemishes and birthmarks.
  27. Soothe: Eliminates the discomfort and minor symptoms related to a particular illness for up to three days. Sadly, this is merely a superficial effect; it may help with the sore throat and runny nose, but the underlying disease will simply have to run it’s course – and may take even longer to recover from than usual if the victim plunges into activities that would normally aggravate the masked condition.
  28. Speed Recovery: Eases and accelerates a patients recovery from the effects of illness or injury after healing is complete. It reduces the time normally needed to rebuild strength in a lately broken limb, to “get back in shape”, to regain weight lost to stomach ailments, and so on by one third.
  29. Stimulant: Administers a powerful dose of stimulant. For the next 1D4+1 hours the recipient will feel wide awake, alert, and refreshed. During this period it “restores” 2D4 hit points and gives a +1 bonus on the users reaction. It also leads to impaired judgement, tremors, inability to stand still, and a dramatic “let down” when it expires. Reversed, it administers a powerful depressant, allowing the recipient to sleep restfully, have nice calm nerves, and otherwise act a little drunk.
  30. Suppress: Temporarily suppresses the effects of an illness, usually for 1D4 hours. Unfortunately, after this time an endurance roll must be made or the severity of the illness will increase by one degree. Even if the roll succeeds, the user will be miserable for several hours.
  31. Suppress Allergy: Eliminates the allergic effects of any exposure to a substance that are currently underway or that would be stimulated within the next day. If repeated for several months, this may result in the elimination of the allergy entirely.
  32. Teach Compensation: Allows the user to rapidly develop compensatory mechanisms for the effects of permanent injury. A deafened character might develop skill in lip reading and interpreting the vibrations he feels within a week or so, those with neurological damage will regain at least partial function as other brain sections take over, and the blind develop other senses until they can nearly compensate for their blindness. While the time needed varies, with the aid of this charm the normal maximum is about a month.
  33. Transfuse: Transfuses up to a pint of blood from a willing donor to the recipient. When this charm is used the “type” is always compatible, as the charm alters it to match. This has the usual effects, healing damage due to blood loss, transferring anti-bodies, and so on.
  34. Unspasm: This charm relieves stress, “kinks”, muscle twitches, tension, pinched nerves, backaches, cramps, “charley horse”, and such. While this has a number of obvious uses, the most dramatic is as a remedy for the effects of “nerve pinches” and certain spells.
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