(My apologies for the late post! We’ve spent the last couple of days moving to a new residence – only about a hundred miles away, which is relatively close by American standards, but still a complex undertaking – and I ended up without the open time that I had hoped to use for the final edit and posting. Please accept this belated but thematically appropriate offering.)
This is another family of rituals, akin to the Guardian Charms. A black stone from a river, hung around the neck on a thread of braided horsehair, can prevent heat stroke. A green or blue river stone kept under the tongue can prevent death from thirst. Carrying a coin with a hole drilled through the middle in one pocket and a knotted sheaf of dry grass in another, whether the pockets are in a saddlebag or worn by a human bearer, can keep carried supplies from going bad. A ball of wool or cotton, wadded around some of the bearer’s hair and tied with undyed thread, can prevent blisters and chafing if attached to an anklet or one’s footwear.
Each of these charms costs one strain and three fatigue to create and an hour to craft, has a base difficulty of d4, and lasts for up to one month, or until the bearers spends more than two nights in the same location. Increasing the difficulty by one step doubles the maximum duration for both travel and sojourn; doubling the cost in strain decreases the difficulty by one step.