Mama Blackwing's Potent Preserver

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Mama Blackwing's Potent Preserver
Spell information
Nickname mbpp
Guild Witches
Type Miscellaneous
Description Extracts a liquid from an item or container.
GP cost 40
Mind space 20
Thaums 4
Components frog or wearable pet frog, candle
Crystal None

Mama Blackwing's Potent Preserver is a miscellaneous witch spell that desiccates an item, preserving it from decay in the process.

For other means to preserve, see Pickling.


This spell can be learned at 25 levels of magic.spells.misc. It is taught by Granny Weatherwax and Aunty Ogg-San.


When cast on any perishable item (such as herbs, fruit, etc), that item is:

  • Dried out, such that it cannot decay.
  • Reduced to 1/10 of its original weight rounded to the nearest 1/9, with a minimum of 1/9 lb.

When cast on a wet towel it soaks with water the frog (which croaks happily) and the caster (which might croak less happily).

  • You are soaked and don't look that well at all.

When cast on a liquid inside a container the spell makes that liquid boil. This upsets your frog because it doesn't get re-hydrated. If you do this enough times in a row then the frog will hop away.

You can hydrate the frog by putting it in a container or room with water or casting successfully with items that give their water to the frog.


This spell costs 40 GP to cast, generates 4 thaums and takes up 20 units of mind space.

It may be cast on any perishable item except for corpse parts. Theoretically, it may be cast on multiple targets at a time. Practically:

  • This works fine for continuous items (for example, you can cast this spell on 20 stalks of yarrow).
  • It doesn't work so well for non-continuous items (eg. two apples) - the difficulty and GP cost increase massively for multiple items.
  • Even if you have enough gp, it still refuses to work: You suddenly realise that casting this spell on more than one item is going to be too difficult.
  • The target or its environment need to be in your inventory: You would need to be carrying <determinate short> to be able to cast this spell on it.


  • cast Mama Blackwing's Potent Preserver on <object>
  • cast Mama Blackwing's Potent Preserver on <liquid> in <object>

To work around non living frogs and such you can try the following alias:

alias preserve get candle&living frog from every component pouch;light candle;cast Mama Blackwing's Potent Preserver on $*$ using living frog & lit candle;put candles & frogs in every component pouch


Focus tea results
120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300 320

The following skills are used in the stages of this spell:


The following components are required for this spell. None of them are consumed.

Note that the casting of the spell causes the candle to be held, displacing any items previously held in the player's hands.

Casting messages


You kneel on the ground and carefully balance your candle in your hands.
Looking around to see if anyone's near, you quickly sketch some occultish-looking symbols on the floor to impress watchers and mutter under your breath.
You gently enter the mind of the frog and hold it near the candle, allowing it to dry out slightly.  You feel how uncomfortable it is, being dry.
You use the uneasiness the frog has put in your mind to harness power, and hold the cured peeled apple above the frog, searching for moisture in it.  You point out to it how uncomfortable the frog is, and try to convince it to give up its water for the frog.

Success preserving

Suddenly, water trickles from <target> in a rush, drenching the frog, which looks much happier.
<target> shrivels in your hand.

What others see

<caster> kneels down, carefully holding a lit candle.
<caster> peers around and sketches some rune-like symbols on the floor, mumbling mysteriously.
<caster> holds a frog near the candle with a dreamy look.  The frog squirms.
Oddly, so does <caster>.
<caster> holds something near the frog.
Water trickles from between <caster>'s fingers, drenching the frog.

Success on a wet towel

A sudden wave of water takes you by surprise, splashing out of the frog green towel and catching you completely unawares!
You are drenched.
Your frog croaks happily.

Success on boiling a liquid

Two cups of <liquid> stirs gently, and then to your amazement, begins to boil!
It quickly evaporates away.
Your striped frog looks quite uncomfortable.

Failure (skill-related)

You suddenly lose concentration as to what you're doing, and slip a little bit too far into the frog's mind!
You become a bit confused as to what your real shape is.
You momentarily think you are a frog.
You crouch down.
<frog> looks quite uncomfortable.

Failure (item can't be preserved and dry towel)

You suddenly feel very foolish as you realise that <target> hasn't got any moisture in the first place, so you can't dry it.
You wonder if anyone noticed.
<frog> looks quite uncomfortable.

Failure (item is already preserved)

<target> can only manage to squeeze out a teeny tiny little dribble of moisture.
It seems it doesn't need preserving.

Failure (multiple items with enough gp)

You prepare to cast Mama Blackwing's Potent Preserver on <target>.
You suddenly realise that casting this spell on more than one item is going to be too difficult.

Startled, you singe your fingers accidentally on the candle and lose concentration.  Ow.
The spell slips away.

Failure (not enough gp)

You can't concentrate well enough to cast Mama Blackwing's Potent Preserver; it would cost you 75 guild points.

Failure (not a living frog)

You realise that you're trying to use a toy frog to cast this spell with, and feel a bit foolish.
Startled, you singe your fingers accidentally on the candle and lose concentration.  Ow.
The spell slips away.


For the purposes of preserving fruit for fruitbats, there are two options:

  • Preserving (what this spell does)
    • You need to keep the spell in your mind.
    • It tms well the 4 skills for the spell to at least 250+ bonus.
    • It works by removing the water, making fruits lighter. However the number of bites remain the same, reducing the number of bites was a bug. Whoops. Bites are said to be a bit less filling, but nothing extreme as before. You might need a couple more apples to a basket for the same effect.
    • It is more time consuming.
    • Casting the spell is slower and costs more gp than pickling.
  • Pickling

See also

External links