Thaumatechnology and drugs
Many are the names by which drug use goes in Kuramen; recreational alchemy, thaumaturgic journeys, moral decay, and a good party are just a few of them. Some drugs are beneficial or at least relatively benign in the public eye; alcohol and tobacco can be found in any city, at every social level. Others are in a kind of moral and legal grey area, serving some purpose but with a questionable origin, or an unfortunate side effect of some other process. Some are entirely the purview of the criminal underground in the larger cities, with dubious effects and worrying origins. And then there are the rare few that even the criminals hesitate to deal in, so dangerous and vile are their origins and uses.
Regardless, if one knows where to look, anything can be had for the right price, from snake-oil elixirs peddled by traveling merchants to forbidden pills and powders traded in secrecy for staggering sums. Here, then, are a few samplings of some of the drugs that can be found on the streets and dark alleys of Kuramen's cities.
This potent drug is, amusingly enough, the byproduct of a thaumatechnologic process; many factory owners produce the base, unrefined form of the drug, flushing it away nightly as unwanted thaumic pollution, unaware that the clear, vicious sludge washing down the drain is worth more than the rest of their operations combined. It is this alone that keeps the supply of the drug limited, as producers closely guard their secret.
Godsweat is, at the most basic form, thaumic energy distilled into a fluid form. By itself, it has little application, although a Mage may tap it for a boost of power, and a Whisp can happily feed on even a small dose for an extended period. Properly refined, however, it becomes a clear, slightly viscous fluid that has several potent effects, not the least of which is the intense euphoria that accompanies use.
The benefits of Godsweat are enhanced strength and speed, sharpened senses, and wildly creative surges that make the drug popular with athletes, artisans, and thugs alike. Mages also find that the refined form amplifies their spellcasting talent, insulating them from the risk of overloading themselves for a short time.
The detrimental effects are wild and powerful mood swings and the hazard of sensory overload while under the drug's effects; depression and a feeling of sensory deprivation upon coming off the high, as well as a vulnerability to thaumic effects for a short time; and repeated use risks psychological trauma and disease similar to that which can result from long-term exposure to thaumic pollution.
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