Trembling Smoke is a hallucination inducing candle that causes intense fear for most races. Used as a form to envision the Void, this candle is mainly made by Kathar; this is reinforced by it containing Dulofall, the corrupting fungus of the Shadow Isles. Long exposure to this candle can have powerful negative effects; it should be used with caution.
Trembling Smoke was created by a middle aged Kathar on the Shadow Isles named Xalph Sylneiros. His goal was to create a way for people to experience the Void; where its worshipers would be granted good visions while others would be filled with terror. By 265 AC he had finished the mixture, settling on a candle form. Many jumped in to making the candles once they saw the finished product, giving him a solid task force.
With his now perfected candle his goal became to put out as many of them as possible, spreading the power of the Void. Sending off candles whenever available, they were sold or simply given away, the effects not being made clear. These candles eventually found their way into other alchemists’ hands, being turned in by worried consumers. The alchemists reverse engineered them to figure out the formula, figuring out the cause of the visions. Word was quickly spread about the candles and their effects, and people were warned not to light them. Xalph ceased production at this, proud of the work he had done. The candle’s recipe had already spread considerably by then.
The first step of preparing the candle is to dry out the Dulofall Blood and Shademarsh mushrooms. They must be stored in an arid environment for four days to reach the correct shriveled texture. These dried mushrooms must be then ground with a mortar and pestle into a powder with the dried blood flakes. This is a dangerous act as it releases many Dulofall spores into the air, causing negative effects to those who are not protected. After the mushrooms are ground the Vocadine must be added, mixing until a chunky paste-like texture is achieved. As the mushrooms set, the tough elasmo tallow should be melted down in a copper lined pot to a liquid state, mixing constantly. One should start to stir in the processed mushrooms slowly, separating it into the tallow evenly. While still hot, pour it into a candle mold with a wick, it should be a light gray color. It should be allowed to fully cool before use.
The effects of Trembling Smoke are achieved through burning of the candle and inhaling the fumes it creates. Because of this, people must be quite close to experience the effects, at three feet the effects are dampened, and at four feet away they are found to be not effective at all. The candle must be burned in a place with low to no wind, as to not disperse the fumes. It takes around two minutes for the effects to start and take place, growing in severity the longer one is exposed.
Trembling Smoke is found to cause affected people to hallucinate. These hallucinations include visions and auditory noises. They also experience a wave of fear washing over them, often causing visions had to be horrific. The longer one is exposed to the candle the more intense the effects become. If exposure continues for over twenty minutes a mental break down in the subject can be expected, this causes depression, deep anxiety and difficulty breathing. Those affected will also find themselves to be slightly nauseous, light headed and dizzy. After direct exposure it takes around half an hour for the effects to die down and clear from your system. Due to Kathar and Drowdar immunity to the effects of Essipualë however, they do not experience the fear or nausea, merely the hallucinations.
The candle has a light gray color, similar to that of ashes. It has no distinct smell until burning, where it gains a pungent, vulgar smell of rot or mold. This smell is often quite strong, filling a room with the vile odor quickly.
- Two hours of exposure to the candle is enough to deal long term damage. These unlucky people will often suffer from a case of paranoia and chronic nightmares.
- A small criminal group known as the Brass Boars used these candles as a way to interrogate hostages through mental torture. Since it deals no physical harm they could use it without worry of damaging the captive.
- If a person is unconscious and the fumes are being used, dreams will become nightmares, and within ten minutes they will be jarred awake.