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Can't find the info! Anyone got good ideas?

Discussion in 'Research' started by The Blue Lotus, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    So my WIP is a ripped from the headlines type deal.

    Unfortunately, some of the details are being kept quiet...

    So basically I'm seeking a "potion" recipe to prevent someone from becoming a Strigoi. I know two of the supposed ingredients, I don't know what else these people would put in there. Folklore is sketchy on details and my research has been a bust.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    What are the two ingredients? Where have you looked? Need a bit more context here.
     
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  3. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    The ashes of the heart of the body of the person they presume is going to turn, and vervain. I assume there is more than just water added to make this concoction but the people who make it are not talking. (This is apparently very old, folk Magic/Healing type stuff.) I can literally piece together the rest of the ritual, but this is the info I cannot find. :(
     
  4. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    Most of the lit I can find regarding the old folk magic refer to Ashes of the heart, sometimes the liver too, Vervain in a few cases and "Other Materials thought to bring healing, and protection." All are "Mixed with water and passed around for all those who have fallen ill due to the strigoi's presence to drink... Shortly after, everyone recovered and the deaths stopped."
     
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    So, why do you think there's more to it? Kill the vampire, burn the heart, drink the ashes. Add vervain if desired, but it looks pretty optional. Who is keeping the details quiet?

    "...Unfortunately, some of the details are being kept quiet..."
     
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  6. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    Like I said this is being taken from a real police accounting of actual events, and most of the file has been redacted. UGH.
    I don't care so much about the rest of the missing info, I don't care that I can't get pics of the scene, I just want to make sure the "potion" these crazy people used is correct. However, I could stitch one together if needed. I suppose I'm overthinking it a lot-a-bit.
    It just seems too simple I guess. One expects that if you're going to take the time to desecrate a grave, dismember a body, steal and then ritualistically cook internal organs there would be more to it than dump ash in water, add flowers and drink. It's possible that is all there is to it though.
     
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Ah. You did say "ripped from headlines" but I didn't make the jump to an actual police record. When dealing with real-life human behavior, darn near anything is possible. They might have used root beer. <g>
     
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  8. I can't help but wonder if the vervain is an active ingredient or just there for flavour to make the whole thing drinkable. I can just imagine an alchemist or mage experimenting with it. Man, writing does funny things to your imagination...

    Wikipedia (Strigoi - Wikipedia) only mentions burning the heart, mixing it with water and drinking it. So it does seem to be that simple. I can imagine it's already complicated and terrifying enough for the participants.

    If you're looking for ideas to make it more complex in a story setting, then silver seems to be a very common monster problem solving option. You could mix bits of silver in the drink. Using holy-water instead of just regular water will also help. Or mixing in burnt remains of religious stuff (burn a bible or a cross and add the ashes) are also an option.
     
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  9. I have no clue on the actual information you seek but I do recall seeing my great grandmother's handwritten notes on Slovakian folk remedies for many ailments (circa pre - 1900) and they were all very simple cure-alls. Something for sweetness/masking (IF you were lucky), something for dilution and the main ingredient(s). Nothing more. Best of luck!
     
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  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    >Something for sweetness/masking (IF you were lucky), something for dilution and the main ingredient(s).

    This is the best summary of folk medicine I've read. Fantasy authors would do well to keep this as a formula for concocting their own in-world remedies (and poisons).
     
  11. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    I second the idea that it's holy water. That stuff was treated as a cure-all ingredient for so many things, and for some people still is.
     
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  12. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    You know what, that just might work!
    Thanks guys.
    I just did not feel "water" was the correct answer, and since the actual ritual is still kinda a mystery even given the trial I'm using for inspiration, they totally redacted the parts I needed lol. I can see why; maybe... but ugh. LOL.
     
  13. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    Yeah, it took some work but I got the cliffs notes version of the records.
    Rootbeer... Hmm. And I agree with those below you that folk med was fairly basic, and my Witchy-type friends have suggested pretty much the same things.

    You all ROCK!
    Thanks for the assist. :)
    XOXO TBL.
     
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  14. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    I have numbered your post to make it easier to reply.
    1) I'm not sure I will have to do some quick research, I do know that in other areas of the region some people simply hunt down wild-growing vervain and plant it around the grave of anyone they suspect to be "turning." So either way, it does work.
    2) Right! My partner about chocked when I told him what I was working on and what the pkg was that got delivered and had to remind him to not let the baby anywhere near it. He can read a tiny little bit and... yeah... I'd rather not risk him picking it up and figuring out what mom does in her 1 hr of free time per day. lol.
    3) WIKI is useful, but it seems they are working from the same disadvantaged point I am, a lack of in-person info on things people don't really want to discuss. For a variety of reasons. lol. I can appreciate not wanting to tell the world you're out there digging people up and doing some strange "voodooy" chit though.
    4) I could go simple or complex, personally, I feel complex is the way to go with my story inspired by these events though.
    I fully agree creek water or tap water would not be the option I'd go with if I was out there eating people parts... I'd want a little otherworldly protection added. Kinda like a safety vest on a construction site. :p
    I legit forgot about all the Silver lore until you mentioned it. I really miss my encyclopedia of monsters and mythology.

    You all have given me some good ideas to run with and I really appreciate it. :)
     
  15. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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  16. I didn't know that existed, but it looks like an amazing resource. Added to my gift-wishlist. Thanks :D
     
  17. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    No this was a series of books, they covered everything from folklore to critters that reside in mythology.

    Last name of Bane, I Can't remember her first name.
    I spent a good deal of money collecting those books one at a time. Saving up from every side gig I could get, IDK why the ex decided that he needed to keep all my research, books, PC, clothing, etc. It's not like he will appreciate them at all! (SMH)
     
  18. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    I'm so sorry that happened. I know how I feel about my research library (and my computer!) and that would just crush me.

    There's a series a lot like that called the Time Life Enchanted World series that my dad got me, month by month, when I was about 12. I have most of them, and they are wonderful inspiration with beautiful artwork. Not a scholarly text by any means, but the bibliography is a treasure trove of references. They still have a lot of them on Amazon and Ebay, though they went out of print years ago.
     
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  19. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    That's awesome!
     
  20. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Sage

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    Have you tried contacting the Library of Congress? They have online archives, searches, scanned books, etc. I know that it might be closed due to Corona Virus protocols, but if you need something this specific they will probably be able to track it down. Or point you to a university that would have an academic/ archive able to answer your question.

    I would approach it from three research angles: forensic case study, cultural/folk study and newspaper archives. If it was a headline that got translated into English, there's a high likeliness that somebody has used it for research or reference purposes.

    The fact that you're using a heavily redacted source is.... odd. Just how recent was this headline?

    And, yes, Holy Water or Sacramental Wine seems to be a logical conclusion as a carrier for human ashes to ward off evil.

    As far as herbal additions, it could be in the form of tea, tincture, essential oil/ extract, poultice, or ash. In my understanding is (granted my practices don't require Holy Water) that you would add Holy Water to something, or something to the Holy Water, but RARELY adulterate the Holy Water. For instance, you would not boil Holy Water to make tea to add to a potion or decoction. You would boil tea in plain water, then bless the tea (and whatever other ingredients) by adding the Holy Water.

    Your source may cite something else ritualistically specific, and if it does, use that.

    As a "yes I'm serious" suggestion: try submitting your research question to the "Today I Found Out" or their sister channel "TopTenz" research team on Youtube. Just for funsies, I actually went to their links in the description below to documents and sources on some random topic.... holy sh$t was that a treasure trove!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020 at 3:26 AM
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