|Official Name||Avant Leaf|
|Common Name||Warrior Leaf, Vaéllë's Clove|
|Common Use||Energy stimulant|
Avant Leaf is one of the few plants known to exist that grants its user a certain edge in combat. While it doesn’t negate pain like the concoction Dansey's Stride, the effects of Avant Leaf are often likened to an extra-strong Kaffee that grants the user increased stamina and vigor. Warriors frequently use Avant Leaf before a battle for the rush of energy it provides, sometimes supplemented by additional ingredients in the enhancement potion Thelwen Brew.
While Avant Leaf is thought to have existed on the continent of Daen long before the rise of the Elven Empire, most of its recorded history is tied to stories of ancient wars led by the Altalar. Records tell of the herb first being discovered along the edge of a Daendroquin creek, where it was mistaken for mint and used as a garnish for lamb meat. The rush of energy it provided in a raid that evening was noted, and it’s effects soon spread among Elven rangers and warriors. As effective as Avant Leaf was in combat, it was soon cultivated for use for areas of life. Many used Avant Leaf for the added benefit it provided in day to day physical labor. Slave masters often fed Avant Leaf to their slaves to enable them to be more productive, whether it was unloading cargo from incoming trade ships or tending to the fields during the harvest seasons.
While the history surrounding Avant Leaf is almost as long as the Elven Empire itself, the clove’s most prominent hour was during the arrival of the Orcs to Daendroc. Avant Leaf helped provide the Empire with an edge against the onslaught of the green menace. As war began to brew and the Empire found itself in an arm’s race with the Orcs to try and gain the upper hand, a concoction utilizing Avant Leaf as the main ingredient--Thelwen Brew--saw its first creation. The newly-crafted concoction filled Elven soldiers on the front line with exuberant amounts of adrenaline and energy, with some even losing their sense of fear or caution to the drug. The brew gave the Avanthar and Altalar troops a potent edge over their enemy. However, even this wasn’t enough to save their empire from collapse. Years after the fall of the Elven Empire, the Avanthar hordes continued to use Avant Leaf during their raids on Orc and Ailor alike. Widely known in today’s world, Avant Leaf has become a popular commodity, often dried and exported all over Aloria for its stimulating properties, and sometimes by thrill-seekers for the rush of energy it provides. The herb can additionally be grown in greenhouses in more temperate areas of Aloria, so long as the surrounding air is kept sufficiently moist.
To the layman, Avant Leaf hardly looks distinguished amongst other cloves. The most notable differences regarding it when comparing it to other herbs are its fairly large pentagon shaped leaves that boast a vibrant orange color on the vein connections on the underside of the leaves. At peak health the herb grows roughly no taller than a foot or width, and requires little in ways of maintenance or sunlight, only demanding a humid and hot environment to remain healthy. For this reason, it can commonly be found in Daendroc’s forests and jungles.
Uses and Abilities
When consumed, the leaves of Avant Leaf are used as an energy-boosting stimulant. The effect is more potent than Kaffee and provides the user with a certain buzz of energy that helps to ward off tiredness and fatigue. Rather than giving a rush of adrenaline like Thelwen’s Brew, Avant Leaf is often used to help warriors or laborers last longer in their arduous duties, causing them to tire much slower than they would otherwise. The effect lasts for roughly 6 hours, after which the individual’s energy will crash.
In the long term, excessive use of Avant Leaf can lead to heart problems, arrhythmia, anxiety, and other issues that may present themselves later in life. But as with all things, Avant Leaf is perfectly safe to use in moderation, and when taken short-term it is a useful stimulant.
- Avant Leaf is also sometimes used by Watchmen during the late night hours to help keep them awake for longer periods of time, extending their vigil.
- Animals can also be affected by Avant Leaf. The Avanthar sometimes give it to their horses to extend the length of their ride and the horse’s endurance.
- Rangers investigating a potential plague outbreak causing a local deer population to suddenly turn aggressive and attack both peasant and predator alike soon discovered it was no plague at all. The deer had been eating Avant Leaf, which led to some stags becoming a symbol of fearless warriors protecting their homes from invasion.