|Appearance||A transparent, burgundy liquid with a pink mist|
|Application||Inhalation of the vapors|
|Proficiency||Requires 10 points in Alchemy Sciences|
|Created By||Allar alchemists of the Iron Fist|
|Potency||Held over the nose and mouth for 10 seconds|
|Injectable||Yes, increases longevity|
Cherished by practiced healers and nefarious criminals alike, Somnium is an alchemical concoction that is renowned throughout Aloria as an alternative to more dangerous anesthetics. When the vapors of this fragrant liquid are inhaled, the user experiences a temporary rush of energy, before gradually losing consciousness and slipping into a dreamless slumber. The potion was considered to be one of the first successes of the Iron Fist, but has since fallen into critique after gangs acquired the recipe for use in illicit activities, like kidnappings and thievery. Today, Somnium is still widely used in the societies of Regalia and Daen, where it has been honed for both good and evil in the hands of talented alchemists.
Prior to the discovery of Somnium, traditional healers and surgeons had long since relied on the dangerous properties of Nightshade to induce anesthesia in patients. It wasn’t until the formation of the Iron Fist that Amelie D’fer saw this potential gap in the alchemy market, and tasked her first students with the creation of a safe, fast-acting sedative that could be used on test subjects for future experiments. The concoction was devised over the course of six months, wherein the sister’s talented Allar alchemists worked tirelessly with the precarious ingredients of Ogrebait and Mercury to eventually discover the perfect mixture of ingredients.
While some elderly Allar insist that Somnium was a creation of the Court of Alchemists, long before the Iron Fist was conceived, the completed product was first announced to the public in 281 AC by the Ithanian L'Accord de D’fer Alchimist. It was heralded as one of the first experimental successes of the guild, and swiftly spread throughout the surrounding Daen, taking very little time to become a staple of medical arsenals. When news of the safe sedative reached Regalia, the Emperor’s Scholar’s Court was intrigued by the potion. In exchange for the formula, the Regalian Government paid the Iron Fist a hefty sum of gold, along with the development of three more Alchemist’s Academies in the surrounding archipelago; an act which lead to a significant increase in Iron Fist graduates among Regalians. Unfortunately, trade of the recipe to such a vast network of alchemists came with an inevitable risk. It wasn’t long before the shadier side of the law saw Somnium as an ideal aid for a clean kidnapping, and in 296 AC, the recipe for this lucrative potion was discovered and released through underground networks. It is thought that the increase of criminal activity around this period was largely exacerbated through use of the drug.
Today, Somnium continues to find its uses within the medical field, but is regarded with much more caution than before. The release of Amelie D’fer’s recipe has seen a decline in the Iron Fist’s trade of the good, yet in spite of this many bottles in Regalia can still be seen stamped with the organization’s seal. It is typically regarded that any vial of Somnium that has not been approved by the Iron Fist’s academies is the ultimate result of underground experimentation, and is subsequently chastised by practiced healers who make use of the product.
To begin, a base of potent Qorijjian Auzar is used for the merit of its mind-clouding effects. Two parts of Gardu Extract are to be mixed to the Auzar on a low heat, and stirred gradually until the oil is thoroughly distributed within the alcohol. The same should then be done with the strained juice of a Nightshade berry, taking utmost care not to add too much of this dangerous ingredient to the mixture. The pot must be taken off the flame and allowed to cool substantially before a few drops of liquid Mercury are added and stirred briskly, allowing it to distribute within the alcoholic solution. Once this has been done, the liquid can be measured out into its final containers, which are no more than 3/4ths filled and secured with a rubber seal.
The final step must be done swiftly so as not to inhale the fumes, and is most often accomplished with a secondary alchemist nearby to avoid accidents. A vine of Sleeping Beauty sized to the container is slit to release its vapor, before being dropped into the liquid and quickly secured with a stopper. If performed correctly, the vial will begin to fog up with a pinkish gas, upon which it should be left to interact with the mixture over the course of at least three days, after which it is ready for use.
Before being used, the bottle of Somnium needs to be gently shaken to release the fumes from the trapped Sleeping Beauty inside. The concoction can then be applied in two ways: inhaled directly from the bottle, or the liquid poured onto a rag and held over the nose and mouth. In either case, the physician (or applicator) should take heed not to inhale the vapors themselves.
Immediately upon inhalation of Somnium, the user experiences a distinct heat spread throughout their body accompanied by a rush of adrenaline that lasts five seconds. This allows any unwilling consumer the ability to fight back against the effects, and provides even an exhausted individual the brief strength needed to try and push back their attacker. Over the course of the next ten seconds, the individual's energy will then begin to wane as the sedative effects of the vapors take hold. They will begin to lose feeling in their extremities, followed by a marked loss of muscle control, and finally upon the dawn of the tenth second, a loss of consciousness.
The slumber lasts for approximately fifteen minutes and is described as being deep and dreamless. It can only be interrupted by the inhalation of Melodin, which will quickly rouse a victim from unconsciousness and negate the groggy effects which often accompany Somnium awakening. For this reason, healers often keep a bottle of both on hand.
Somnium is kept in specifically manufactured vials not dissimilar to those used for Obscura, which possess a secure cork and rubber seal. The concoction itself is a translucent burgundy liquid, which is often obscured by the light pink mist which fogs up the glass of the bottle. The vapor is immediately detectable upon inhalation, and boasts the pungent aniseed aroma of Qorijjian Auzar.
- Due to its questionable uses and unfortunate history, Somnium is illegal to own in Regalia to all but licensed physicians and alchemists.
- Excessive inhalation of Somnium has been known to cause lung problems, and ultimately organ failure in those unfortunate enough to come into frequent contact with it. For this reason many alchemists wear masks when dealing with the substance.
- Some particularly adventurous thrill seekers have taken to inhaling the vapors for its adrenaline rush and pleasant sedative effects. Unfortunately, addiction to the alchemy has dangerous consequences in the long run.