Name of Material: Ivy
Type of Material: Enzyeme to be spread and Ingested
How To Gather: Harvesting
Gathering Requirements/Processing Requirements: Detection-Competent and Surgery-Competent or Hunting-Competent/Chemistry-Expert or Poison-Master or Medicine-Legendary
Rarity: Very Rare
Uses: Causes Thorns to Erupt through the Skin
Estimated Price: 150GN , very heavily monitored
Native to: Nashaki
Information: The Thorned Horse of the Hotlands is representative of what it takes to survive in the desert wilds. The canopy-styled tail for immediate shade, uniquely specialized layers of skin providing numerous types of protection and fluid conservation, and the thorns themselves, protruding from the skin. But there is a considerable portion of these thorns that does not protrude beyond the outer dermal layer. Radical-thinking chemists in these desert lands have discovered an unusual benefit that can be gained from processing the animal's natural mutagenic enzyme that alters the rubbery fat layer into becoming these thorns. The benefit is the drug called "Ivy".
This is only done with the beasts that have outlived their enjoyable life span, much as horses in other lands are rendered down for meat, leather, glue and sinuous fiber material. It is fortunate that mortals do not possess any similar type of natural mutagenic capability, or the results of taking the drug might be permanent. The enzyme is separated into the receptor and the metabolizer, the first being spread over the desired area of effect, and the metabolizer simply being swallowed. The reaction of the two chemicals causes the bones nearest the area of effect to sprout thorns through the skin.
Needless to say, this is extremely painful, but there are other chemicals to take care of that, if necessary. The purpose of this is to grant an extraordinary boost to a person's ability to climb a nearly sheer, smooth wall like a spider. It is not foolproof, of course, but a person with any previous training in climbing will take a giant step forward in competency, becoming an expert after about fifteen minutes of excruciating pain. Of course, experience gained through the use of such unnatural means will net no true climbing experience, but most people use this to sneak into palaces and steal loot, not become better climbers.
Even in the local markets of Nashaki, this is a highly prized and monitored drug, wealthy aristocrats not wanting it to be available locally to those of a larcenous mind. A cat burglar can expect to pay 150gn or more for a single dose, even though there are old Thorn Horses being rendered down every day. The one unusual backlash of this is that, since these people do not like it being used in their own neighborhoods, they see to it that most doses are shipped out to foreign markets, making it no more expensive in other cities than it is in Nashaki. The only real withdrawal, other than nausea and dizziness, is a similarly extreme pain when the bones morph back to their normal condition; and the possibility of infection due to hundreds of tiny holes in the skin.
There is a rumor of some rare condition, either natural or manufactured, that can cause the effects of this drug to fall short of complete reversal. It is the worst of both worlds, gaining no benefit since the thorns are not sufficient to improve grip significantly, but are sufficient to be painful and disfiguring.