Flash is a soft white powder, much like ground talcum, ground from Wakings Mushrooms and Chortleaf and inhaled through the nose. Unlike dreamer dust, this powder does not cut or damage the nose, and instead coats it in a fine layer of the dust as it is absorbed into the lungs. When inhaled, it quickly causes the user to feel energetic and giddy, and it does not take much prodding to send them into fits of idiotic laughter. However, this is a relatively short effect, lasting only perhaps a half-hour on average. While not technically addictive, not many people can stand simply one hit - most find themselves returning to the table hours after swearing it off. This, combined with the fact that no true side effects or drawbacks have yet been discovered (although there are some strange reports of suspicious deaths), has made flash a popular recreational drug for commoners and nobility alike. Go to Comment
While not actually a true narcotic, Firesight is a vibrant red liquid becoming quite popular among urban youth. Brewed from the leaves of the Hellsleaf vine, picked at its peak of color, and mixed with various alcohols and gels, it is dropped directly onto the surface of the eye, at which point it begins stinging, burning, and watering profusely for several seconds. After the user has “blinked out” these effects, the user’s vision will begin to gain a red tinge, which becomes more intense as time goes on. After several minutes, everything one sees will be in vibrant hues of reds, oranges, and golds, with dazzling bursts of color where bright light is found. When the effect wears off, the user’s eyes will be left bloodshot and pink, as the somewhat acidic nature of the liquid quickly breaks the delicate blood vessels of the eyes. Frequent use causes a severe loss in vision, and using the substance for long periods of time is a quick path to blindness. Go to Comment
Stealer is a highly dangerous stimulant concocted from the deadly Red Julioupe mushrooms. A fine reddish powder, it is stirred into hot water and swallowed in a single gulp, as it has an extremely acrid, bitter flavor that burns the throat and causes one to gag. After around a half a minute, the effects come in full force, as the user is overtaken by an insatiable rush of energy and strength, coupled by an overwhelming sense of superiority and confidence. At this point, the user can be overtaken by a bloodlust, a frenzy in which the user feels the need to kill and destroy every moving thing within his vision. All combat training flies out the door during this stage, as the affected person simply throws himself at others, kicking and lashing out, biting and clawing, and using every available object around him to beat his victims to death. If the user should be alone, or has the good luck to be unaffected by the blood frenzy, he will still need to find a way to vent the incredible amounts of excess energy the drug has created. At this point most users will simply start to run at a full out sprint, much faster than they ever could, until they collapse from exhaustion. It is physically impossible to remain still as long as the drug remains in the system. If one makes an attempt to stop moving, they will be taken by violent tremors and shaking until they begin to move again. The effect lasts for about an hour, after which the user will simply black out, if he hasn’t already. This sleep can last for up to ten or fourteen hours, as the body attempts to regain its energy, as the drug has drawn upon all of the reserves of the body, and taken it much farther then it was meant to be taken. After awakening, users will be stricken by incredible muscle cramps and soreness, accompanied by massive fatigue and headache. These effects can last over a day, and in the later stages are followed by tremors in the hands and legs, which can last for weeks before going away. This drink is sometimes used by suicidal warriors before battle, but is more often used by thrill-seekers looking for the incomparable rush the drug offers. Use of this drug more than three or four times can result in ruptured blood vessels, torn muscles, and, more often, instant heart failure. Go to Comment
Karosin, much more commonly referred to as “Burner” in addicts’ circles, is found in packets, made of the finely-ground dark leaves of the Cridstalk Fern, a rare plant found in the southern forests. It is tamped into pipes and burned, at which point it creates a fine white smoke with a terrible acrid smell. This smoke burns both the eyes and throat, and is extremely uncomfortable to inhale. Yet inhaled it is, as once the smoke enters the lungs, the user receives a vibrant, jolting burst of energy, which also instills a great sense of social confidence. A few hours later, as the effects wear off, the user will sink into a deep sullen state of mind, sometimes even into depression. This state lasts much longer than the initial rush, and also leaves users looking pale and haggard the next day. While it is not addicting, it is popular in many smoking circles, and addicts can be spotted by their constant rending, dry, coughs. Go to Comment
Crackwood is a minor narcotic, made from tough strips of the bark of the Gorumb tree. Smoked, but usually chewed, it causes a pleasant tingling and numbing sensation in the tongue, mouth, and jaw that lasts for around an hour. While it has a neutral herbal taste to it, use over time blackens and browns users’ teeth and gums, and too-frequent use can result in lack of feeling and coordination in the mouth. It is often chewed by soldiers on the march, or smoked at guildhall meets. Go to Comment
Sutramin, named after Marin Sutra, the temptress of legend and folk talkes, is sold in small golden tins, and appears as a whitish gum-like cream that is scooped out in spoonfuls, spread under the tongue, and allowed to dissolve. Soon after consumption, the user is rent with waves of unimaginable pleasure, indescribable to non-users. This effect lasts for several hours, during which one feels no other desire then to lie on the floor and bask in the ecstasy. However, for many hours after the effect wears off, the user feels as if his mind has been dipped in molasses - even reaching for simple thoughts feels as though one is trying to push through a wall of gum resin. During this stage, one will also find it very hard to form coherent words - most users simply lie on the floor until clarity returns. Also, even after the first use, the user’s lips will begin to darken, as well as seeing an ugly black ring around develop around the mouth. Repeated use also causes deep bruising around the cheeks and neck. While Sutramin has an almost prohibitively high price, commoners have been known to sell all they owned for a second taste, then moving on to crime, as funds run low. In addition, several southern nobles have run their cities’ and cantrevs’ finances into the ground in their lust for the substance, losing their crowns and minds in the process. As such, the drug is one of the few substances whose production and sale is banned in the South, although the fact that many of the city watch themselves are in its grasp makes it extremely hard to prosecute. Go to Comment
Fellstar Leaf is a lightly colored tabac, sold in cans and packets, and smoked in pipes just as one would do with any other legal leaf. When smoked, it gives off a soft white smoke with a curious herbal smell, and slowly sends the user into a pleasant, relaxing, somewhat euphoric state, eventually making one feel as if one is floating, weightless. While there are no immediate drawbacks to the weed, frequent use makes quick thinking a little harder than usual, and addicts are subject to frequent (and embarrassing) Freudian slips, often at the worst possible times. Fellstar leaf is also sold in incense sticks, and in variations that give off colored smoke, as well as more intense feelings - at appropriate costs. Go to Comment
Zulis is an exotic and unique drug from the Western forests, appearing as dried leaves sold in bunches and sticks. The leaves are dark green, and covered in thousands of fine hairs, and one must be careful always to hold them by the stems. A user will place the leaf face-down on his tongue, at which point the toxins contained within the hairs will slowly seep into the flesh. Within a half-hour, all thoughts and emotion will slowly drain from the user’s mind, as he enters into a deep meditative state of emptiness and peace. Even the user’s breathing and heart rate slows in the final stages, and they are all that remain as signs of life, as the user appears to be frozen in time. Eventually, after several hours, the effect slowly wears off, and the user regains lucidity. However, they will most likely forget the entire experience, as well as anything done in the hours before. While Zulis has disappointed and confused many narcotic experimenters looking for the next mind-blowing high, it has found use among mystics and wanderers seeking absolute peace. Still, Zulis is a relatively uncommon drug, and many a peddler has scared away potential customers with the street phrase, “You want some Death?”
Note - for those wondering about the practicality of such toxins in the Zulis plant, in the wild, the leaves eaten whole and fresh cause a much more intense and paralyzing effect, quickly freezing herbivores in their place for hours. This usually results in one of the numerous larger predators of the woods discovering and feasting upon the animal, leaving a fresh carcass and source of nutrients for the plant - as well as one less mouth to chomp leaves. Go to Comment
Burst berries are curious concoctions, created largely by a mistake in an alchemy lab - what was meant to be a pyrotechnic toy turned out to be edible, and with startling effects. Small, shiny, multicolored crystalline balls, burst berries give off white-purple sparks as they are chewed, after which the imbiber will sink into a deep sleep. During this time, the user often experiences a long stream of euphoric, lucid dreams, within which many have claimed to have startling insights into themselves - or at the very least, an exiting 8 hours. Upon waking, the user will be dehydrated, and will have a very dry mouth, but no permanent side effects have yet been found. However, as Burst Berries are a relatively new drug on the market, their delicate formula is yet being tinkered with, and several “bad batches” of berries have found their way onto the streets, often causing horrendous nightmares, or even comas. Go to Comment
Very interesting little conglomeration of technology, pop culture, fantasy, and theology. I LOVE the idea - it climbs right past my walls of inhibitions (you know, the ones with the "anything not medeival, keep out" signs), but some more flesh and bones would be nice. Go to Comment
VERY well-written; I love your prose, and obviously the idea rocks as well. I agree with making sure about stressing the dangers, but I'd say this has more use as a plot hook or story-enhancing setting than an actual thing the PCs would be affected by. And I don't know why, but something about goats has also been a little dark-feeling. Unique and exellent! Go to Comment
And AMAZING. Enough material to keep me READING for a long while, never mind USING. I'm really just blown away with the sheer volume, as well as stunningly consistent richness, diversity, and creativity to be found in this story and setting. Really just an amazing work, nothing more I can say. It's an inspiration! Go to Comment
VERY cool idea. For some reason it even feels a little Asimov-ish to me, but I don't know why. I always love those high-tech ancients, and ditto to what the others said about creating a wonderfully unique and exotic creature. Brings a welcome splash of creativity into any dull world! Go to Comment
Wonderful, wonderful stuff. I've always loved mystical astrology, and this is beyond anything I'd ever expected to see. Now we can actually have real orbits in our Orrerys! Also gives astrologists something to say besides "they're not aligned" when you ask them how the stars are. Not to mention an engaging and easy-to-follow (yet not overly simple) magic system. Amazing!
Now is it just me, or have Citadel Subs been getting a lot...better...recently? Go to Comment
A wonderful bit of macabre wax-museum villany. It's got a great horror atmosphere (reminds me of Madame Tussauds crossed with the X-Files), as well as being very detailed and fleshed out. Great work! Go to Comment
The Drinkers were purged by clerics of the light after the Dark Gods' fall (I didn't state this, and I will make an edit tomorrow 'cause it's around 1 AM here), which also accounts for why they're not as feared - no more strength in numbers.
The ink is their blood, in a way, it's what keeps them alive. They feed on it, and it is absorbed into their bodies at which point they feed once more. They were created this way so that they were forced to continually drink up books to survive...heck, they might not even want to do it, but they have to! Go to Comment
Hmmm, a very cool thought that never even crossed my mind. Now, an Ink Drinker wouldn't just saunter up to a cleric of the light and start sucking on his arm, but to a dark mage or a deacon of Durnthar? Sure! At the very least, a dark mage with a wraith curled around his fist would look cool as heck. Perhaps they could use them as conduits through which they could commune with Durnthar himself? That would take some working around, but it's a great concept. Go to Comment
You know, that's a really, really cool idea! Just think of it - a warrior clerk, a barbarian librarian, a paladin of the Church of Dewey Decimal. All joking aside though, it'd be a really quirky concept, and would make for some great NPCs. Anyone want to develop that? If not, I'm sure I could put aside some time. Go to Comment
A floating, bloody head, long separated from its body, is a particular legend among a very particular group of people, executioners, specifically those that chop heads from a block for a living. It was that infamous highway robber, Oazduke the Vengeful, who when finally captured and put to the axe, screamed his foul hex, seconds before his head flew off.
"You will know it is me when I'm through
A curse on your ilk and on you!
May my severed head haunt you eternal
Frightening you headsmen infernal!"
Years later, not one but two(!) weary, puffy-eyed, spooked, headsmen, haunted day and night by Oazduke's insufferable severed head, approach the party cleric in order to hire him to exorcise the ghost head once and for all.