Alchemical Concoctions


Deathstride is a toxin refined by boiling the black petals of the fern of the same name. It takes the form of a black, waxy paste. Goblin hunters discovered that it was a potent arrow poison: an animal struck with a deathstride-coated projectile would go into a fit within minutes, thrashing around and suffering exhaustion and heart failure, as if it had literally run itself to death. The panicked prey's trail was easy to follow, and the hunters could then simply wash the residue from the wound and claim the animal.



Dreamstride is a hallucinogenic narcotic that is both useful and baneful to elves. It was originally found in a form called deathstride, refined from a flowering fern that grows in the Chalnfens.

It is unknown how this deadly toxin was purified and ameliorated into the narcotic form. Some suspect that the goblin apothecaries sought a commodity they could trade with caravans at great profit, while others murmur that it was a plot by the assassin cults to control elves through addiction. Whatever its origin, dreamstride is now smuggled between elven tribes, usually sourced from goblin enclaves across Zenth where the fern is secretly cultivated. It is taken in the form of a pale blue powder for maximum intensity, or heated and inhaled through a hookah for a more mild rush. Users sink into a vivid hallucination of a very particular type: they dream they are running through a shifting landscape, towards their heart's desire if it is a 'good run', a good batch, or away from some nightmarish pursuer if the drug is impure. This hallucination is so rich and physically intense that it fulfils an elf's need for movement and suppresses their wanderlust, allowing them to live a sedentary lifestyle without succumbing to madness. Elves often begin taking dreamstride as a reaction to being trapped in one location by force or circumstance, and many prisoners and slaves take it out of necessity.

It is not without its own costs, however. It is progressively addictive, and long term users are recognisable by their emaciated builds, listlessness and bruise-like shadows under their eyes. Roamers, as dreamstride junkies are called, can be found in the slums of many cities with large elvish populations or thoroughfare and are treated with varying degrees of pity and contempt by their nomadic kin. Other races find no appeal in the drug, and it is actually repulsive rather than addictive. For them, the only effect of taking dreamstride is a restless night of vivid chase-nightmares that leaves them exhausted when they wake.


Made from venom of the six-eyed swamp spider, nhantang is a toxic oil traditionally impregnated into the blades of khukuris. The assassin cult that venerates the spider was the first to master the art of milking its venom and mixing it into a stable emulsion, but over the centuries they traded and shared the knowledge until it became a nigh-ubiquitous part of forging the blades and preparing them for battle. Soaking into pores of the metal, a khukuri can retain enough nhantang to be dangerous for dozens of strikes if well maintained, and can be easily reapplied. Suspension in oil and the preservatives used dilute and delay the effects of the poison, meaning that its symptoms tend to manifest only after some time has passed since the injury. The poison promotes festering in its wounds, and the cumulative effect of many wounds causes internal haemorraghing and organ failure.