Otr’s Mist, also called Kidnapper’s Delight, is an alchemical substance with a dark past that suits its dark purpose. The multi-form chemical is capable of manipulating an individual’s mind into blurring their past memories and, as a result, it has gained some use in the criminal underworld. Even some Regalian nobility have also used it as a method to humiliate others, as the drug was developed by a people a large part of the Regalian Empire hates and considers subhuman. If it actually effective on someone, the social legend is that they are weak. The substance can be administered in a variety of ways and is composed of a unique blend of ingredients, from fine alcohol to ground up fish bones.
Otr’s Mist is a vile concoction invented sometime before the Cataclysm. How and why are very unclear, but it first appeared in scholarly records in the wake of that disastrous event. During the Skagger Wars, the Skagger Horde would capture and torture scouts, men of religion, and in general, Unionists. Some prisoners, especially if they were worthless as a captive or unworthy of a proper duel, were sent back to their lines or turned out into the Drixagh wilderness. These people were often alleged by civilians to be afflicted with with a strange drug - they returned lethargic and unable to recall their capture or captors. When the Horde was defeated, these allegations were found to be a fact. The concoction was called Otr’s Mist and, on further research, was found to have originated with the Velheim people, possibly as a religious tool. Otr’s Mist was forgotten for almost a century but it was rediscovered when Skagger alchemy was brought back into the public sphere, most obviously through the School of Skaggers. Those that rediscovered it were not good people and Otr’s Mist soon became associated with crime and mob enforcement. By 300 AC, it finally migrated east to the Crown Isle, where it became a tool of criminals and nobility with dark ambitions. It also developed its own upper-class cultural connotations, as those aristocrats that were sabotaged by it were as likely to be ridiculed - and lose face - as being defeated by a “weak Skagger concoction” as they were to receive sympathy. While some wealthy criminals also use it, most find its components to be far too expensive to acquire, and thus it is almost conclusively a tool of the upper class.
Otr’s Mist is a complicated potion to make as it involves a highly complex process of evaporation, distillation, and refinement that is accessible only to the most skilled alchemists. To begin, one must use a mortar and pestle to grind all dry ingredients into an extremely fine powder. The Mercury and liquid ingredients must be combined, brought to a boil in a covered pot, and left to simmer for an hour. The top cannot be removed during this time or the heat will release and the concoction will be ruined - as a result, it is common for the pot to boil over and make a foul mess, which the alchemist must endure. After the hour has passed, the resulting liquid should be left to cool overnight without removing the lid. The pot lid can be removed the next day and the liquid - which is now a dull grey-blue color - should be brought to a very low bowl. At this point, the mixed dry ingredients must be portioned and slowly added in over the course of an hour. At this point, the potion is complete and in its natural form is slightly denser than water. To create pills from it, one needs only add Salpeter once the hour has passed. This will immediately cause the mixture to begin to clump together. After stirring for some time, the alchemist should stop the heat and scrape the solidified mass from the bottom of the pot. A ¼ cup of this mass, along with a portion of the remaining liquid, must then be boiled for an extra thirty minutes. This results in a highly condensed shape, from which enough pure material can be extracted for a single oval pill smaller than the size of an Ailor’s pinky finger. If the boiling is stopped at the halfway point, however, a teaspoon of the liquid can be extracted and used as an injectable. There is only ever enough liquid for between one to two teaspoons.
Otr’s Mist can be applied in multiple different ways. The most straightforward way of consumption is to drink ¼ of a cup of the liquid, which counts as one dose. Similarly, the single pill achieved by boiling also counts as a single dose. Finally, the halfway boiled liquid, distilled from ¼ cup to a single teaspoon, can be injected into the body. The injection leaves behind a discolored swelling in the area of application for up to a week after injection. The application of Otr’s Mist is dependent on the number of doses applied, which stack the effect on top of each other. As a general rule, a single dosage is enough for 24 hours of memory blocking, with each additional dose on top adding another day. There is no such thing as overdosing on Otr’s Mist, but, generally speaking, it has no additional effect past ten doses.
The substance works fairly slowly, making instant-effect from ingestion or injection impractical. For two hours (regardless of how it is applied) it does not affect the body or mind whatsoever. After the second hour, however, the memory of the subject is rapidly altered; a memory block begins working retroactively for 24 hours back in time per dose. This memory block is thorough enough that tampering with any other form of memory magic or substance is pointless and yields no result. This memory block does not exclude block events entirely, but rather fine details. Faces cannot be remembered, nor can genders, heights, races, or even the sounds of voices. Those affected by Otr’s Mist can still remember roughly what was said, as well as generally what actions were taken, but all people appear like blanks in their memory, with garbled voices and no distinguishable features. The retroactive effects of Otr’s Mist are permanent and, despite experimentation, there are no instances of successful recovery of the forgotten time period.
Otr’s Mist is very popular among those who are in the business of abduction and interrogation. Capturing a person, holding them imprisoned for a week, and then applying eight doses of Otr’s Mist (enough for eight days coverage) ensures that the captured person (when released) can remember all the events of their imprisonment and how much they divulged, but cannot remember who captured them or who was present during their imprisonment. This means that would-be captors need only worry about how they go about obscuring broader details to avoid identification (for example, by using a dud location to keep their prisoner instead of a family office, or removing anything in terms of furniture that would allow the captured person to identify them later). After the second hour (when the actual effects of Otr’s Mist come into play), there is a one hour period where the captured subject is still unable to remember any personal information; thus, captors have a window of opportunity of roughly one hour to release their prisoner back into freedom without having their identity revealed. The effects of Otr’s Mist are precise and to the letter, meaning it is effortless to measure the potion by a clock, even if the prisoner cannot confirm that the effects have taken hold.
Otr’s Mist has been described as soup-like in its liquid form. It has a light blue tint and usually smells fairly acidic. The pills share this blue coloration and acidic smell but they otherwise appear like any normal pill so long as the alchemist has made them well. The half-boiled, extracted liquid for injection is often far more watery and not as strong smelling as the raw liquid version.
- Otr’s Mist was in ancient times reported to make use of powerful refined Velheim alcohols that are now lost to the Skagger Horde. These were used in lieu of Dorinn Herbal, which replaced them in the modern set of ingredients. The only echoes of these ancient drinks can be found in some traditional drinks in Nordskag.
- For a number of years, the Sulfur mines and springs found in both Arlora and Torse helped supply the toxic water used in the potion’s creation. The collapse of both nations has meant Mist creators have turned elsewhere to get their supply.