Blue Shock looks like a shiny blue cough syrup and kicks like amyl nitrate’s bigger, stronger brother. Generally taken in doses of no more than a teaspoonful at a time, the immediate result of ingestion is agonising pain.
Fortunately, the pain wears off after a few seconds, leaving every nerve in the body more sensitive than usual. As such, it can be used to heighten sexual pleasure (and it is popular in Al Amarja’s S&M scene for both its effects).
Of course, having your sense of touch heightened also makes pain more intense, so it’s not all good. Not to mention the statistically improbable correlation between Blue Shock use and spontaneous combustion.
A drug that makes it possible to work even harder would only ever be popular in one place: the Action Center, where people have been known to have their need for sleep surgically removed. Technically, Dilligenz is illegal, but since a cabal of its users informally seized power in the Action Centre, that’s more or less a moot point.
The real problem with Dilligenz is that it’s made from the brains of other human beings. The process is as painless as anything involving a syringe can be, but tends to leave the ‘donor’ rather docile. As bad a crime against humanity that is, Dilligenz II is worse: a stronger version of the drug, it tends to leave its ‘donors’ in persistent vegetative states. Which is why none of them are volunteers.
Actually, all of the above is a story put about for political reasons connected to maneuverings inside the Action Centre. In truth, Dilligenz is manufactured from a plant extract, and what limited effects it has are placebos.
It’s somewhat unclear whether Ent-Draughts are some form of enchanted juice or some form of enchanted water. Certainly it is loved by Ents, as Treebeard keeps a supply laid in. But what is most attention-grabbing about this liquid the effect that it has on hobbits.
Even a single draught will cause feelings of extreme well-being and act as a restorative to good health and boundless energy.
In the cases of Merry and Pippin, it even caused them to grow a considerable amount, making them two of the tallest hobbits ever. Presumably, it would have analogous effects on humans, although thiis has never been tested – and the only species to drink Ent-Draughts are the Ents themselves. The effect it has on them is unclear, although it is implied to be a mild intoxicant.
The true nature and origin of Eucharist is a closely guarded secret in the Empire of Golgoth. In fact, only he (and a few lieutenants whose curiosity exceeded their loyalty) know how the drug is made.
Eucharist is a highly addictive stimulant (possibly even at mutagenic levels) and euphoric, described by its users as better than sex (although not, apparently, better than sex and Eucharist combined), although its effects wear off in time. Golgoth gives it only to his most trusted inner circle as a means of both empowering them and ensuring their loyalty – and even then, only once a month. It is generally in the form of standard sized capsules, red and white in colour. It is unclear if anyone has ever survived withdrawal from it, but it is widely agreed that going cold turky from it is a terrible physical and emotional ordeal.
The true secret of Eucharist is perhaps the only thing about it that is more horrific than withdrawing from it would be: it is in fact the unprocessed blood of an alien superhero named Endymion, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men… and who was defeated, imprisoned and used as a source of Eucharist by Golgoth.
Fastlife is an all-natural, legal stimulant created by Quint Herbal Supplements, with extensive R&D support from elements of Earnshaw Pharmaceutical. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it turned out that Fastlife caused heart attacks among some users, which led to a court case directed against Quint, the founder of the company bearing his name.
Earnshaw’s money tried to keep this killing drug on the shelves, but the involvement of the Leverage Consulting and Associates team managed to defeat them.
A brutally strong drug, Fever was created in Mexico and imported to Gotham City by the crime-lord known as the Ventriloquist. It had a brief vogue on the streets of that city, but a combination of heightened security at the US-Mexico border and the intervention of the Batman soon brought that to and end.
Effects of Fever include a burning sensation, as if the user is on fire, although this is reported as being an enjoyable feeling. In addition, it removes inhibitions and shortens tempers, while also leading to somewhat megalomaniacal behaviour. In this, it resembles a stronger form of PCP, along with the maniacal self-confidence common to cocaine use.
Focusyn is an experimental drug that has effects like a stronger version of Ritalin, sometimes prescribed to particularly severe cases of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
It has a number of effects, including improved curiosity and mental focus, both of which make the user a better student. It also, peculiarly, makes them more polite, which may be a side effect of the increased empathy.
However, Focusyn has a perceived negative effect as well: it is often seen as making the user somewhat paranoid, and prone to imagining baroque conspiracies. One such case was Bartholemew Simpson of Springvale, who believed he had detected spy satellites operated by Major League Baseball after taking a much higher than recommended dose of Focusyn. Simpson was quickly weaned off the drug due to his paranoia, regardless of the fact that he was in fact not paranoid – he succeeded in shooting down one of the actual satellites, suggesting that his paranoia was actually a view of reality that was more accurate than most people’s.
Friends are a series of slightly varying stimulants, created by the biochemist Gail in post-pandemic Melbourne, Australia. They’re a slow release amphetamine, peaking several hours after they are taken.
Different versions of the recipe appear to differ in their level of intoxicating power, although all types of Friends seem to have at least some effect in this direction. The drug is mildly addictive and absolutely illegal under the near-theocracy that is post-pandemic Australia’s Nation First government, but is for some reason produced in capsule form and sold in blister packs like aspirin.
One of the most potent varieties of coffee yet invented, Jahavan coffee is genetically engineered to race through your bloodstream in search of alcohol molecules, and beat the crap out of any it finds. A single cup will sober you up from any quantity of booze short of alcohol poisoning (and possibly even then).
This tends to cause a level of sobriety closely resembling knurd, leading to foolish and unhelpful thoughts regarding the things in one’s life that usually don’t bother you, like not liking your job, and having no girlfriend, and the galloping menace of tooth decay, and how much everything costs these days, and that stain on the carpet you never noticed before, and…
A bog-standard amphetamine with a cool name, Jumpstart is one of the most popular stimulants in the City. It’s even legal for some professions, such as journalists.
Jumpstart is often accused of being an halluncinogen, but in fact, the waking dreams and delusions associated with prolonged use are the normal effect of days or weeks of sleep deprivation, and only incidentally associated with the drug itself.
Aside from cocaine, Love is the drug that the Seventies ran on.
At least, that’s how the legend runs. (And hey, the legend gave us Rumours, so clearly there’s something to it.) In practice, it was a lot more like Lust, or perhaps Sex Addiction.
Unlike the majority of other drugs I’ve listed here, Love has the advantage of being street legal – although like most drugs, you should still exercise some caution in when, where and with whom you choose to indulge 😉
Made from a plant that grows only in the outer plane known as the Abyss, Luhix is extremely painful to take – it is most often added directly to the blood stream via a self-inflicted wound, which is then bound up to prevent the drug from leaking out, and its immediate effect is agonizing.
However, for those users able to persevere through this pain, Luhix grants enhancements to physical and mental abilities for an hour or two, as well as an immunity to almost all kinds of pain. The one exception to this is the pain caused by Luhix itself – taking a second dose while the first is in effect, or indeed, for up to a day later, is even more painful, sometimes even to a fatal degree.
Perhaps the ultimate aphrrodisiac, MDA-Cubed is a spectacularly potent date-rape drug that heightens the sexual impulse to the level of insanity. Users have been known to couple with anyone and anything, their usual sexual preferences notwithstanding. This is not limited to people, but also includes animals, plants and the occasional mechinical device or piece of furniture.
Immensely dangerous to social mores, MDA-Cubed is also in that class of drugs that is never as good afte the first time – not that this stops chronic users from chasing that high again and again.
The exact translation of Miruvor or Miruvóre, is not known, but “death-defeater” is a probable etymological meaning. It’s certainly an accurate description.
Appearing in The Fellowship of the Rings, miruvor is a warm and fragrant clear cordial made by and consumed by the Elves. They do not reveal how miruvor was made, but it is thought to come from the honey of the undying flowers in the gardens of Yavanna in Valinor. It’s possible that this drink holds the secret of Elven immortality, although if so, it has no such effect on humans, hobbits or dwarves.
The cordial gives the drinker renewed strength and vitality, and is used by the Elves at their festivals. Some party animals, those Elves, huh?
Derived from the bodily fluids of one of the fastest of all mammals, Moongoose Blood is a superhuman level stimulant, capable of accelerating the bodies of users into speeds just short of light speed, visible to the naked eye only as lightning-like flashes.
Also known as ‘Goose Juice, the drug is highly illegal and the police force of Neopolis finds it a perennial problem.
An entire sub-culture has grown up around the use of Mongoose Blood, which can be best characterised as ‘extreme rave culture’. Goose music is so fast that to those not currently on the drug hear it only as a painfully high-pitched whine.
Derived from the copper-based nine-fish of Centralia IV, Nitrolabe has several peculiarities compated to most drugs. The nine-fish secrete Nitrolabe as a poison that they use their spines to inject their attackers with. However, the poison only works on creatures who blood is copper-based. On creatures with iron-based blood, its effects are quite different.
Nitrolabe acts as a neural enhancer, increasing the speed and intensity of neural connections in the user to the extent that they are reduced to a twitching, orgasmic trance for the hour or so that a standard dose lasts. However, repeated usage causes neural connections to misfire or fail, causing pain, neural degredation and dystrophy, so that the user will over time come to require the drug in order to be able to function normally.
NoLag is an over-the-counter medicine for preventing jetlag. Unfortunately, it is not available until around 2034 CE. It is very effective, but a little hit or miss in its effects.
NoLag consists of two timed effects. The first is a sedative, to allow sleep, following by a stimulant to wake up the user. It is released on a time delay many hours after the sedative. NoLag is undeniably effective, but has been known to cause hallucinatory effects in the particularly sleep-deprived.
Proclaimed by the Surgeon-General of the United States to be the most addictive and dangerous narcotic in human history, Nuke is apparently a mixture of several other drugs, notably benzedrine and scopalimine.
Available in a wide variety of flavours, each one a different colour, there is a Nuke for every mood – white noise, black thunder, red ramrod and blue velvet are listed, although red ramrod is far and away the most popular. All are distributed in ampoules about an inch and half long, which are injected directly into the user’s skin.
Made in Detroit by the psychotic drug lord and cult leader Cain, Nuke is no longer produced after Robocop killed Cain and destroyed his manufacturing facilities.
NZT-48 is a cognitive enhancer that activates “the other 90%” of the human brain. It increases recall, perception, problem solving ability, concentration and speed of cognition. As side effects of these, it massively improves self-confidence, focus and motivation. Oh, and it kicks in within 30 seconds of ingesting a pill.
It does have a number of notable side effects, however. For a start, hyping up one’s motivation sounds good, but NZT-48 pushes it to a point where inactivity is impossible. Decreasing one’s inhibitions sounds good, except that it includes moral inhibitions. When under the effects of the drug, one feels invincible, and entirely free from consequences.
One is, alas, neither of these things.
It is also massively physically and psychologically addicting. Withdrawal from NZT-48 is accompanied by visual distortions, blackouts, nausea and profuse sweating.
And finally, NZT-48 is illegal, and people will kill to get their hands on it.
Made in the depths of Hell from the sufferings of the damned, Pain is a gray powder. It is treated much like snuff by the demons who take it, and usually stored in snuff boxes.
The effects it has on the demonic physiology are as many and as varied as those physiologies, although the two universal constants are that it enhances the pleasure of sex, and that, although it is possible to resist the drug’s effects, it is painful to do so.
When used by the damned themselves, it appears to intensify sensation to a painful degree.
The Pax, or to give it its full name, G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate, was a sedative used in a social engineering project that failed disastrously. The Union of Allied Planets released it into the atmosphere of a newly settled world named Miranda in the year 2506.
In very short order, the Pax pacified the vast majority of the population there into complete inactivity. They simply stopped, wherever they were and whatever they were doing, and waited, inactive, until they died (presumably from starvation and dehydration, in most cases).
They were the lucky ones.
One tenth of one percent of the population found that the drug instead boosted their aggression to a level described as ‘beyond madness’. They became brutal, sadistic and cannibalistic, given to acts of rape, torture and self-mutilation, and were known as Reavers. The truth of their origin was revealed to the galaxy at large by Malcolm Reynolds and his crew in 2518.
A bright yellow powder ingested directly, Rapture is taken as a party drug, but has the unusual effect of increasing the cognitive power of its users, especially with regard to mathematical calculations. Even a single dose seems to have this effect.
It also creates limited psychic powers, including the ability to psychically attack others, and also creates a limited mindlink between users – a mindlink that can be used to increase the power of the psychic attacks. The mindlink allows access to memories and also the ability for the most heavy users to control the less heavy, effectively over-writing their minds and using them to increase the power of their own mental powers.
It is also powerfully addictive – a single hit is enough to get a user hooked. It was created by a sentient AI, with the intention of controlling humans. Fortunately, it had but one source, a young chemist in Texas who committed suicide while under the effects of the drug. It appears that the effects are temporary, and wear off when the drug is no longer consumed.
Redflower Leaves are the crushed leaves of a small big plant. It is prized for its ability to improve hand-to-eye coordination, to such an extent that witness reports tell of users not just seeming to move faster than usual but actually moving at superhuman, albeit low, speeds.
The effects of Redflower Leaves are not long lasting, and rarely last more than 10 minutes or so. It is near impossible to overdose on Redflower Leaves, as the effect of overuse is nausea, causing the drug to be expelled from the user’s body and quickly reducing its effects.
A stimulant that slows perception of time, Slo-Mo is the drug of choice for those in Al Amarja who wish to either heighten their orgasms or improve their combat reflexes.
A single dose does not last long – thirty minutes at the outside – although for its two most common uses, that is generally more than enough. Slo-Mo was created by Dr Nussbaum on Al Amarja, but is now produced by organised crime networks and largely used by low level enforcers of those same networks.
Prolonged use tends to result in brain damage, and even first time users may suffer such effects. The heightened firing of the neurons induced by Slo-Mo can also result in users becoming catatonic.
Spike is a cheap stimulant that comes in the form of pills taken orally.
Originally developed by the Pentagon as a drug for military personnel, the side-effects of the drug included sociopathic impulses that even the US military deemed excessive. Spike‘s other effects include a rush of physical strength and invulnerability to pain during its two hour window of effect.
After tests of Spike were discontinued by the Pentagon, it was adopted by the CIA as one of the “New Ghetto Drugs for ’98” collection.
Splat is a deranging drug disguised as “a brown drink with bubbles”, and sold as a soft drink in the late 1990’s. Its resemblance – especially as concerns its look and taste – to a certain other “brown drink with bubbles” is presumably far from coincidental.
Created by the evil multi-millionaire Rolston Brocade, it was a modern version of a drink from Renaissance Florence, Splatso. Fortunately, Leonardo da Vinci devised an antidote to it, which was recreated by the Glam Metal Detectives. This was then marketed as Splodge, and later substituted for Splat on the production line, driving it off the market.
Even a small dose – not even a full can of soft drink – causes numerous side effects, the most visible of which are crossed eyes and a loss of physical coordination. Psychological effects include delusions of grandeur verging on megalomania, with the accompanying increased loudness, bossiness and arrogance.
Synergine is a legal drug throughout the Galactic Nexus, where it is used as a combination of stimulant and painkiller.
It is particularly useful for shaking off the after-effects of stun rays (it will not revive them, however), and also as a treatment for those recently revived from cryosleep. It operates largely by assisting the body’s natural healing processes, accelerating and increasing their effects.
Synergine is particularly effective against headache symptoms, shock and most forms of nausea; it is, however, completely ineffective against the nausea caused by spacesickness.
Tranquilax is a stimulant, a sedative and a laxative. Produced by the Tranquilax company of Orbiston Parva, England, it is colloquially known as “the three in one.” It is sold in tablet form, and advertised as the drug to take “when life’s not worth living.”
However, after attracting criticism from the Reverend John Smallwood, vicar of Orbiston Parva, the stock value of Tranquilax plummeted. But once Smallwood was removed, and his criticism silenced, Tranquilax was renamed Triple Crown Unction, and with a new slogan(“Builds you up; Cleans you out”) it returned to its normal sales position.
Vodare is a drug favoured by sadists and berserkers, especially those that worship the dread god Rallaster, known variously as the Razor God, the Insane God and the God of Madmen. It is made from the crushed petals of a flower that grows only on the graves of those who dedicated their lives to the worship of Rallaster, and carries a small portion of the god’s power and nature in it.
An extremely bitter brown powder, Vodare is almost always mixed with something to sweeten it when swallowed, such as honeyed water or sweet wine. It causes it users to grow bold, arrogant and somewhat careless of danger – a state which is ideal for committing the kinds of casual murder and offhand slaughter that Rallaster likes to see as votive offerings.
Fortunately, its use is almost unknown outside of Rallaster’s small, secretive cult, and even more fortunately, the cult exists more in name than in fact, as most of those who worship Rallaster fear the discovery of their faith, and are frequently loners to boot.
ZAP (an acronym for Zootoxic Acid Psychogalvanide) was a particularly nasty drug that was briefly the scourge of Madripoor until WOlverine, sorry, ‘Patch”, got involved.
It was nasty less because of its effects – though a potent intoxicant and stimulant is rarely considered a good thing by the authorities – and more because of its origin. You see, the active ingredient of ZAP was harvested from the brain fluid of Madripoorian spider monkeys, an endangered species unique to that island. The Madripoorian Army was compelling a native tribe to hunt and capture the monkeys. In a sense, the problem is now solved, as the monkeys were swiftly hunted to extinction, meaning that no more of the drug could be made. But from the point of view of the monkeys, and the natives who loved them as “The Little People of the Forest”, it was a pyrrhic victory at best.
ZAP was also sometimes refined into an even stronger drug named Thunderbolt. A strong euphoric, a dose of Thunderbolt gave the user enhanced strength and endurance, but at a price: even a single dose was inevitably fatal.
Which goes to show that even for drug dealers, the Madripoorian criminal syndicates had an extremely poor business model..
A legal amphetamine aimed at the teen market, ZeeZee’s were produced by the Worldwide Corporation. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the drug failed to meet FDA standards. Indeed, it caused internal bleeding and cardiac arrests, all too frequently leading to the deaths of innocent teenagers.
The response of Worldwide was not only to attempt a cover this up, but when the deaths started, they sued the parents for slander and defamation, even though those parents had not spoken to the media or lawyers at that point.
Fortunately, the legal representation in the class action suit was provided by Franklin Nelson and Matthew Murdock, who thoroughly trounced the Worldwide Corporation in court thanks to top flight legal skills and the testimony of whistleblowers. ZeeZee’s are no longer on the market, and never will be again.
A particularly hideous variant of crack cocaine, Zombie Crack kills the body of the user, allowing them to be ridden by whoever has the magic to do so.
Zombie Crack was the result of a deal cut by certain executives at Unitol, a Chicago-based pharmaceutical company and the scorpion-loa Baron Zaraguin. It contained enchanted crystals that served as psychic foci for the mind-riding of the bodies.
However, once Baron Zaraguin was alerted to the fact that the white men who ran Unitol were using the drug to demean and degrade the young negroes of Chicago (who by descent should be Zaraguin’s people), he withdrew his magic from the crystals, and the drug reverted to normal crack cocaine.