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Epicurean Enchantments:

by Carl Quaif

This is a large book, 1' wide by 2' tall, bound within wooden plates covered in white leather. The name is picked out in gold leaf on the front cover. The majority of the pages within bear recipes and cooking instructions, both plain (Beef Stew, Roast Turnip, etc) and exotic (Hippogriff Steaks, Owlbear omelette, and others). Although mainly a cookery book, The tome also contains details of a number of spells created or adapted by the author, which - although primarily focused towards the preparation and improvement of food - may be converted to combat or other uses, if necessary.

Epicurean Enchantments was penned by Delia of Bettelyn, the world-renowned "Culinary Mage", and is one of a number of cookbooks self-published by her. It was the first volume, however, to contain details of actual spells used in creating her edible masterpieces. Delia and her apprentices have produced dozens of copies of Epicurean Enchantments over the last ten years; it is probably the closest thing to a mass-produced spellbook Mystara has ever known.

The spells contained within the volume are detailed below:-

Seasoned Dish
Level: 1
Range: 10'
Duration: permanent
Effect: Spices foodstuffs
This simple spell is used to imbue foodstuffs with strong or subtle flavours, as the caster desires. A single pinch of the chosen spice or herb is required as a focus for the spell, which is scattered into the air while the spell is being cast. The caster may choose how strong the effects of the spell will be - a pinch of pepper, for instance, could delicately season a dish, or make it absolutely inedible. A single pinch of salt, bulked out by this spell, can preserve even the largest cut of meat. This spell is ideal for allowing a chef with dwindling herb-stocks to eke out her supply.

Certain herbal substances, such as those found in Hule and elsewhere, can be harmful if ingested in too-great quantities; this spell might easily be used to poison food by employing those herbs, but this would certainly be considered an Evil act.

Carving Knife
Level: 1
Range: 10'
Duration: see below
Effect: Carves meat
This spell allows the caster to chop, carve, slice, dice and otherwise dissect any single piece of meat, from a tiny sausage to a whole cow, in any way they choose. Once cast, the spell requires that a chopping motion be made with the hand to begin. This takes as long as is necessary, one cut at a time, and can slice through the toughest flesh. The spell cannot cut bones, but can peel every scrap of meat from the bone. The spell only affects dead meat, whether raw or cooked, in this fashion; if used against a living being, the spell causes 1d4 slicing damage before failing; however, such a wound is so deep it must be healed or bound tightly, otherwise the victim suffers a further 1hp damage every round from continuing blood loss.

When used against Undead, the spell inflicts 1d6 damage before it fails; however, the blood loss effect does not apply. Since bone is not affected, the spell cannot harm Skeletons at all.

Level: 1
Range: 15'
Duration: 12 hours
Effect: Food-related Charm
The situation many chefs fear the most is when their culinary creations, so lovingly crafted, are returned uneaten because they fail to appeal to the consumer. This limited Charm spell ensures that scenario will not take place, as it enhances the appetite of those affected.

Gourmand may be cast on up to 1d4 individuals of 10 HD or less (class levels do not count); for the next 12 hours, the victim's willpower to resist food is much reduced (to resist, make a Save vs. Spells at -2), and his enjoyment of it becomes much greater - anything eaten during this time appears to taste better than anything the victim has ever had before, for instance. If attacked, the victim will fight and respond normally - the spell is not powerful enough to distract him that much - but he is likely to see practically any provider of food as a dear and beloved friend for the duration. It is suspected, although not confirmed, that Delia - who has been married at least three times - may have made regular use of this spell herself, judging from the massive girth sported by each of her husbands...

Purify Food and Drink*
Level: 2
Range: 5'
Duration: permanent
Effect: Removes impurities and poisons
An adaptation of the 1st level Clerical spell Purify Food and Water, this spell removes impurities from foodstuffs of all kind, erasing mould, decay, and even poison. The spell affects sufficient consumables for one person per level of the caster; at 3rd level, for instance, three portions can be so affected. Unfortunately, the spell also negates seasonings, flavourings and beneficial moulds, which causes all affected food and drink to become rather bland and tasteless - although nutritional value is unaffected.

The reverse of this spell, Putrefy Food and Drink, causes food to become inedible, wine to change to vinegar, and even water to become brackish and revolting. Should someone persevere with such an unappetising meal - under the effects of a Gourmand spell, perhaps - he must make a Save vs. poison or suffer severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting for 1d4 + 3 days. The spell cannot affect food or drink which has already been consumed, nor can it actually create poison.

Level: 2
Range: 15'
Duration: see below
Effect: Heats food from within
An exceptionally useful spell when camping or travelling, Cookfire allows the chef to heat, bake, or roast any foodstuff from within by increasing its internal temperature. The spell excites the molecules of the target meal, generating a precise level of heat as chosen by the caster. No external flame or heat-source is required, and the Cookfire gives off little heat (and no light), making it ideal for providing hot food in enemy territory without fear of detection. Spell-duration depends entirely on the meal to be cooked, according to the caster's choice.

Like Carving Knife, above, this spell only works correctly on already-dead organic matter; if cast at a living (or even Undead) creature, the spell works for a single round, causing 1d6 hp damage, before cutting out. Constructs such as Golems are undamaged by this spell.

Trail Rations
Level: 3
Range: touch
Duration: see below
Effect: Preserves organic matter
This spell is designed to preserve food from spoiling while travelling, negating the need for tough, barely-edible iron rations. The spell preserves enough rations for 1 person per level of caster - so a 5th-level caster could preserve enough food to feed five people for one day, or one person for five days - and keeps it fresh for 1d6 days + 1 per level of caster. Individual portions can be released from preservation ("thawed") by touching them and speaking a command word, chosen during casting - this may be spoken by anyone, not merely the caster, thus allowing a non-Mage traveller to make use of pre-preserved foodstuffs.

The spell has other useful applications, such as preserving portions of slain animals or picked plants which are being retrieved for spell components or other purposes. It has also been used to preserve the body of a slain comrade until he can be brought to a Cleric capable of casting Raise Dead - days spent under the effects of this spell do not count towards the maximum number allowed before Raising no longer functions.

Level: 3
Range: 20'
Duration: 1 Turn
Effect: Shapes sugary substances
This spell allows the chef to create fantastically-intricate spun-sugar confections - the perfect coup de gras to any meal. The spell requires sugary substances, such as icing or even raw cane sugar, as a focus. The substance may be worked and shaped as much or as little as desired for the spell's duration, which can make it ideal for entertainment and story-telling purposes - a caster could use the spell, along with a little spilt sugar, to form detailed messages, if necessary.

The spell permits animation of up to one pound of material per level of caster. If desired, the caster can animate a glob of material as an amorphous Sugar Golem, with 1HD per five pounds of mass, for the duration of the spell. A Permanence or Improved Permanence cast on the Sugar Golem will render it independent of the spell, but obedient to its creator; such creatures rarely survive more than a day or so, however, so such an expenditure of magic is effectively pointless.

Elemental Under-Chef
Level: 4
Range: 50'
Duration: 1d4+1 hours
Effect: Summons Elemental servants
As any good chef knows, good help in the kitchen is both essential, and very hard to find. This spell solves the latter problem by summoning help from the Elemental Planes.

There are four versions of this spell, one for each Plane; the caster should select which Under-Chef will be most useful in a given situation. A smallish amount of the required element is needed to form a body for the Under-Chef - a burning log fire, a small pool of water, etc; when summoned, an Under-Chef appears as a 2HD, three-foot-tall humanoid made of its native Elemental substance, in "solid" form - a Fire-Chef will not burn whatever it touches unless ordered to, for instance. All Under-Chefs obey whatever commands are given to them, and do not require constant mental control; however, they cannot and will not fight, even to defend themselves. Given detailed instructions, any of these Elementals can prepare and serve adequate meals by themselves, or assist in more ambitious feasts. Each type has its own special capabilities; Fire-Chefs can heat, cook, or burn foodstuffs by touch, Water-Chefs can soak or boil them, Air-Chefs can whisk up ingredients, and Earth-Chefs are ideal for tenderising meat with their heavy fists.

Note: Elemental Under-Chef can provide servants for other purposes than cooking and serving food, if the DM allows, but under no circumstances can these creatures be used in combat. If an Under-Chef is slain, the caster cannot summon another from that particular Elemental Plane for a month; two slain Elementals within a year denies the caster access to that Plane's Under-Chefs forever.

Phantom Banquet
Level: 4
Range: 30'
Duration: 1d4 hours
Effect: Multi-sensory illusion
Even the best of chefs cannot always create a splendid feast on demand, particularly if time is short and choice is limited. Phantom Banquet allows the caster to make even the blandest of fare look, smell and taste like the most delicious meal ever produced by a kitchen - or make a delicious meal appear to be the blandest of fare.

Phantom Banquet is a multi-sensory illusion, and as such is subject to chances for disbelief if the diners suspect the meal to be false. The dishes produced by the illusion must be laid over real food, since eating thin air will break the illusion immediately, and must also be dishes that the caster has seen, made or tasted at least once in her lifetime. The spell can be used to disguise spoiled, rotten or even poisoned food (see Purify Food and Drink for the effects of rotten food in the digestive system; poison rules in the Rules Cyclopaedia apply in the latter case); Alternatively, the spell can create the illusion of spoiled or poisoned food (as above, but the effects - if not immediately disbelieved - wear off after 1d4 rounds).

The description of this spell in Epicurean Enchantments advises that this should be a "spell of last resort", in case of a complete disaster in the kitchen - those who habitually use it to spice up bland meals will find that their guests see through the illusion automatically after eating 1d6 such meals within a three-month period. Spacing the spell's usage out over greater periods of time, however, prevents this "immunity" from developing.