Today's post is a transition from the orc series into some more Halloween-themed posts. Given the orc clans and other terrible monsters that live there, why does anyone ever venture into the Daerkwood? This same question can be applied to any dark and spooky place. There are numerous secrets hidden within the Daerkwood to attract adventurers, but the most-common reason people go there is for the components used in powerful magics. The Daerkwood is an ancient forest steeped in magic and nearly untouched by civilization. Perhaps this is the reason for the rumors that say spells cast with components from the Daerkwood are more powerful than others.
As a GM, I have never been a big fan of spell components and I usually don't require players to keep track of them unless the situation requires it (PC's stripped of their belongings or those escaping capture and gathering herbs/components as they flee are a couple of examples that come to mind). Prior to 5E, most of my adventures having anything to do with roots, herbs, or spell components put them firmly in the macguffin category -- X the NPC needs you PC's to go to Y dangerous place and retrieve Z, the secret ingredient.
After 5E however, the new rules for developing magic by PC's led my players to begin writing their own spells and modifying existing spells. The question quickly came up, were there, or could there be, different grades of spell components, like there are grades of meat. In the beginning, this was a dangerous can of worms to open because it affected so much in terms of magic, economics, power, and overall balance in the campaign world, but the experience has been rewarding and the PC's don't mind keeping track of the spell components so much when they created the spell that is using them. Also, it adds another type of treasure and my PC's have managed to avoid monster attacks by trading and bartering spell components with them instead of fighting. Spell components have become an ongoing quest item that my PC's gave to themselves, and as a DM you can't ask for more than PC's who generate their own adventures.
Here are a few notes about the list. Each item will contain a common name, the orcish name, and a guide for its magical and/or healing uses. Without further ado, here are 20 Spell Components Found in the Daerkwood. Happy Gaming!
Quartz - Gushak - found throughout the cavern system that lies under the Daerkwood. Rare Star Quartz are used for spell focus booters. Quartz is also used in Wall of Force and Wall of Ice.
Phosphorus - Zajshak - found in low-lying areas within the forest like swamps and bogs. The mineral is used for several types of light and fire spells, like fire shield.
Clay - Bot - found everywhere in the the Daerkwood and a common ingredient in numerous spells of a thaumaturgical nature. Clay is also used in many earth spells, as well as the divination spell Tongues.
Spruce Wood - Gimog - Spruce is a common tree in the Daerkwood and so spruce wood is available almost everywhere. Spruce is used in the spell Pass Without Trace.
Wild Carrot - Ogar Ranaz - grows in the numerous open fields hidden within the thick tangle of the Daerkwood. This extremely effective component for the spell Darkvision doubles the effects range to 120'.
Yew Wood - Barshenat - found in a few areas within the forest, but generally an uncommon tree. The yew is often associated with witches, graveyards, and death (when it is not being harvested to make bows). Yew wood is used in both the spells Locate Object and Witchbolt.
Thorny Honeysuckle - Gajemabba Baum - found near rivers, streams, and swamps, this long-lived plant proves both an exceptional component for a Thorn Whip spell, increasing the damage to 1d8, as well as an exceptional target for the Awaken spell. Unfortunately, as the honeysuckle ages the damage returns to normal, so people are paying twice the price at market for no reason except name and reputation.
Skunk Cabbage - Grambog Baum - found growing in swamps and bogs throughout the forest. This plant is a key component to the spell stinking cloud, but it is difficult to harvest because of where it grows. Although it stinks, it is sometimes used as money because traders at the edge of the Daerkwood will pay a silver per cabbage
Sunstone - Dilgund - This rare stone can be found within the ancient ruins of a temple nestled deep within the Daerkwood. It is used to cast the spell Sunburst.
Wild Red Rose - Ogarkuk Lul - is a fairly common groundcover within the forest. It can be used for many things from the Sleep spell to the Thorn Whip spell.
Mistletoe - Drubabaum - found growing near the center of the forest in the area claimed by the Green Leaf Clan. Mistletoe is used in numerous ranger and druid spells such as Goodberry and Shillelagh.
Moonseed - Hanfar - is a plant that only grows in the area of the Daerkwood claimed by the Night Wind Clan of Orcs. Few are brave enough to venture into the woods and glens controlled by these cannibal orogs, but six seeds from one of these plants allows one to cast the spell Moonbeam and double the damage for the first round.
Rhubarb - Modargon - grows near the edges of some creeks and streams within the woods. Rhubarb is a key component in the spell Melf's Acid Arrow. Although traders will talk up anything from the Daerkwood as being "the best, most super powerful" components, but in the case of this plant it's simply not true.
Licorice Root - Ambol Ranaz - found in the southern section of the Daerkwood in the area controlled by the Moon Skull Clan. This is a super powerful component when used with the spell Haste; it causes the the speed to be 3X and the AC bonus to be +3, but doubles the recovery time of the spell's target.
Sumac Leaves - Holmla Flotta - are a common find nearly everywhere in the forest. These leaves are used in the spell Flame Blade, but like the rhubarb plant, they are nothing special.
Phosphorescent Moss - Shautrag Bish - found in low-lying areas within the forest like swamps and bogs. This glowing plant is used in numerous light and illusion type spells, such as Hypnotic Pattern and Light. Many claim that the "witch moss" from the Daerkwood is the best, but it's just hype.
Yew Leaves - Barshenat Flotta - found in a few areas within the forest, but generally an uncommon tree. The yew is often associated with witches, graveyards, and death (when it is not being harvested to make bows). Yew leaves are used to cast the spell Hallucinatory Terrain. Though no better than any other yew leaf, leaves from the Daerkwood (always a pale yellow/green), fetch double the price at market.
Holly Berries - Prral Kokari - found growing near the center of the forest in the area claimed by the Green Leaf Clan. Holly berries are used to cast the spell Conjure Woodland Beings.
Black Walnuts - Zau Kokari - are common in the Daerkwood. Cracked and discarded nuts and shells are relatively easy to find among the twigs and fallen leaves that carpet the forest floor. Black Walnut shells from the Daerkwood can be used to cast the spell Confusion with a 12 foot radius at base level.
Oak Bark - Dushak Lavozagh - is easy to find within the forest as oaks are one of the most common trees. Oak bark is used to cast the spell Barkskin. The target's AC cannot be less than 18 when using fresh oak bark from the Daerkwood. Like the thorny honeysuckle, as the oak bark dries out it returns to normal strength, but people still pay higher prices.