Should a quick escape be needed, an easy distraction required, or a debilitating shock fancied, Firebite is a popular choice. Also known to some as "Pique de feu", this powder is a highly regarded tool across Aloria, and it owes its success to the genius of its creator and the many uses it provides. When ignited, Firebite explodes in a dazzling explosion that, unlike other concoctions, causes no physical damages to the surface it is used on. Instead, it's shining sparks and loud flash bangs create the perfect sensory bombardment to distract those close enough to it.
Charles Poutillon was an esteemed alchemist from Ithania who struggled for many years trying to mirror the marvel of the School of Elemental Magic without having to use any magic himself. Experimenting for many months brought Poutillon to a near-successful outcome. By regarding the combustive properties of Fireweed and mixing it with the shining minerals of Galena and Salpeter, the alchemist created his very own "Pique de feu" in 266 AC. While initially intended as a tool for performers and entertainers, the glimmering powder grew swiftly in popularity as a weapon of sorts among those who pursued shadier careers. Fortunately, the creation of Firebite is a tough challenge for any alchemist, and the expensive prices and high regulations of the ingredients have kept this explosive largely out of the hands of common rabble.
In present day Aloria, this explosive powder is often reserved for only the richest of gangs or the most dangerous of crimes. Circus performers and entertainment organizations are only permitted to carry pinches of the substance for use in shows, and misuse of Firebite carries steep fines in the city of Regalia.
To begin, Fireweed must be left to dry and processed into a fine powder, preferably in a cool or darkened room to prevent accidents. The petals are most recommended for their highly combustive properties, however the seeds also hold a fair amount of potency for this recipe. Meanwhile, gunpowder and salpeter are to be mixed together in a bowl and large particles separated from the mixture, preferably through a sieve or by scattering over a thin sheet of paper. Once the Fireweed has been sufficiently dried and powdered, it must be stirred gently into the gunpowder and salpeter mixture and left it to stand in the open air for between 12 and 24 hours, until all heat caused from the stirring has dissipated. It is imperative that this process be done slowly, as excessive friction between the ingredients can very easily lead to explosions. Following this, the alchemist must shave a small amount sulfur over the mixing bowl and add a few pinches of Galena dust over the top.
The final process is to steam liquid Vocadine in an evaporator to extract the powdered alcohol from it. Home-brewers or those without complex equipment will often use a simple cooking pot and release the steam at short intervals until only dry product and steam remains. The resulting powder is then sieved over the other ingredients and folded gently into the mixture. At this point the Firebite is highly flammable, and must be dispensed into it's final containers or pouches with extreme caution.
Because of its extreme reaction to any sort of heat, Firebite powder must be used with caution. Exposure to fire or high temperatures will cause the powder to rapidly ignite. It is advised to fill a thin glass bottle with the powder and seal the top with a fuse, then light the fuse and throw it. Another means of using Firebite is to carry a match and throw a handful of powder at the flame.
When ignited, Firebite explodes instantly in a blinding flash of light while the powder catches ablaze with a bright, citrus-yellow flame. The initial flash is enough to stun and daze any who find themselves close to the flame. Those caught within 3 meters of the explosion will experience temporary blindness as their vision becomes clouded by a white light, and complete deafness which lasts for 30 seconds before devolving into a headache. Those within an additional 10 meters of the explosion will experience a painful ringing in the ears for this period and be forced to close their eyes or otherwise turn away from the flash to prevent eye damage. Individuals who choose to wield Firebite will often plug their ears with wax to avoid the lingering headaches which often accompany Firebite exposure.
The flame left behind by Firebite burns a bright yellow and remains for 30 seconds before dying out, continuing to create annoying pops and bangs while it burns the remaining ingredients. It must be noted that this fire does not spread onto other objects nor does it burn things to cinders as a normal fire would, instead remaining and burning where it landed. The lasting flame can be easily stamped out to stop it's effects.
Correctly prepared Firebite appears as a grainy, custard-yellow powder which glitters iridescently in the sunlight. Anybody with a keen sense of smell can easily recognize it by its pungent eggy odor, attributed to the large amounts of sulfur within the concoction. The explosion caused by Firebite is often described to look like the glint of metal if viewed from far enough away. The fire itself produces little to no smoke, and smells only faintly like sulfur and gunpowder.
- Dark-tinted goggles can be used to mitigate the effects of Firebite to a degree, though viewing the explosion from 3 meters will still force the individual to look away to prevent eye damage.
- Firebite is popular amongst performers and circus entertainers when used in small amounts. A tiny pinch can be rubbed between the fingers to produce a harmless flash and a bang, which is then thrown to the floor to imitate larger explosions or allow the performer to run off-stage. These amounts are legal only when utilized on stage, and are banned from street performers.
- Poachers and hunters in Daenshore have been found using light quantities of Firebite to dazzle and alarm their prey. A few braver souls have been successful in setting traps of the powder to stun creatures as large as Great Jungle Cats.