Potions: More than Matter
The other unique gift of Faeries is potion-making, which is not done by any other race, though Anuran tea-brewing resembles it somewhat and the human science of chemistry, specifically therapeutics, has been called “mankind’s potion-making.” This is not entirely accurate, as while chemistry unveils the natural properties of all things, the Faeries use their own unique majik to change the properties of ingredients. Therefore, the science of chemistry cannot reproduce or discover the mechanisms of a Faerie potion. The Faerie enchanter puts something of himself or herself, their own majik, into the potion to alter the chemical properties of the mixture.
Potion-making is perhaps the most powerful and princely enterprise which the race possesses. The recipes are, like those of the many distilleries and wineries among men, carefully guarded secrets.
Potions also work on all living creatures. A healing potion will do for a Cavendian man as well as for a Gremlin or a pack animal.
Drafts of instant death, truth serums, and other such volatile liquids can be produced by some Cavendian Faeries, but humans have wisely adopted a policy of not depending on foreign majik for their welfare, and so the government does not employ such in the administration of criminal justice.
The Faerie courts operate by their own principles. Of course, private citizens may purchase less volatile and less powerful Faerie potions for their own use. While some of them can be habit-forming, they are generally regarded as less dangerous to a man than opium, cocaine, or distilled spirits.
One of these, and that most preferred by Ambassador Chadwick Yates, is Fuffel, a potent stimulant.
A Selection of Potions
Fuffel – Fuffel is a powdery blue liquid which gives off an icy white gas when uncorked. It induces fits of giggling, hiccups, hyperactive energy, some belching, and hypersensitive touch. It’s advantages are increased reflexes and senses, which can be useful at times.
Wince – An internal medicine which upon ingestion diminishes the perception of even traumatic pain. The potion can also be poured over an open wound to cleanse the tissue of contaminants and rejoin the broken skin.
Vim – A potion which banishes all fatigue, emotional and physical. Taken as a shot, it immediately alleviates soreness in muscles, tendons, and joints. Respiration is improved, so that one may run at top speed continually or engage in other strenuous physical effort feeling drained of endurance. The notable side-effect is that a half-hour after the dose, the drinker collapses faint for a period of blank sleep. In spite of ingenious efforts to create a compound without this drawback, none have succeeded.
Float – This translucent, magenta-colored drink is distinguished by its effervescing strands of bubbles within. It is ordinarily served in a tantalus or in crooked volumetric flasks. It stimulates the humors of the mind, leading to irresistible lightness of heart, merriness of countenance, and fits of mirth, often causing tears and painfully long-lasting laughter. A sensation of weightlessness is another reported effect of this strange vice. It is considered stronger than Fuffel and dangerous to consume without a responsible chaperone. Especially effective for curing depression, hysteria, languor, or nervous prostration.
Gad – This opaque draft is easy to mistake for particularly bright white milk. It is, in fact, a potion that forces the imbiber to answer with complete candor any question put forth, without regard to repercussions.
Hush – A black syrup, taste unknown. Rapidly causes total paralysis of the body and organs, effecting death immediately. There is no antidote.
Wickus – The uncanny property of this poison is that it can be be ignited by voice, after which it flares up as violently as kerosene into majikal fires. The flames attach themselves like tar to that which they touch. This gives the poison a terrible destructiveness far worse even that the chemical burns of corrosive acids or vesicants like the sulphur mustards. The nearest human equivalent to this kind of fire is that of white phosphorus, though the medieval tactic of pouring boiling or flaming oil over the walls may serve as another comparison from human history.
Junct – This potion is bottled with two corks. The first is to be removed when using, while the second cork is permanently stuffed down the neck of the bottle. Punctured by a few holes, it allows the potions to be slowly and sparingly dripped out. Activated by a word, it binds whatever is touching it, forming an attachment more powerful than glue, nails, screws, or even welds. It can also be undone by a word, though it becomes inert after that.