Taken Cores Material in Paradigm | World Anvil
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Taken Cores

Of course its big money. People will sell everything to get one of these. It turns you into a superhuman. Lets you contend with mages. Who would say no to that?
— Laisa, Blackmarket Dealer
Report by Inquisitor Vastis on the matter of Taken Cores. Submitted to the Arcane Council on the 24th of the Ninth Month, Year 717 of the Edean Age:  

The Product

  "A byproduct of what has been termed the "Rapture of Theia", so-called "Taken Cores" are the, for the lack of a better word, main organ of the beings known as "Taken" and "Taken Fiends". What follows is a short list of their properties:"  
  • Size: Roughly 6 to 10 centimeters in diameter
  • Weight: Weightless
  • Colour: Ranges from silver to bleached gold in some cases
  • Type: Extradimensional. No reaction with any substance from our plain.
  • Halflife: In raw state ca. 24 months. Used about 10 years.
  "Taken Cores have to be harvested from beings taken in the fall of Theia. This requires force as even the most basic Taken tend to exceed standard human strength and speed. Once the being is subdued, the core needs to be extracted by first separating it from the rest of the "body" via spacial separation spell before being lifted from its former position via anti-grav incantation. Any other use of force will result in the temporary destruction of the core and dispersel of its essence."


  "Taken Cores find use in two ways. First, as a drug. By crushing the cores into a gas in grav chambers, one is able to create a potent hallucinogen. It is especially popular among certain circles for its ability to invoke otherworldly hallucinations concerning travelling through other worlds, a phenomenon that Master Vanis has linked to the Taken's extradimensional origin. He believes that the essence may transport people's senses to this other plain."   "While the drug may eventually result in full on addiction with lethal consequences, it is by far the more harmless option. If a Taken Core is not crushed but instead is implanted into their bodies, it will gift that person with powers drawn from its strange plain of origin. Speed, strength, the ability to shoot what appears to be some kind of energy and a heightened sense of danger are the powers generally encountered."   "Parts of their body will start to vanish with time, leaving only that shimmering outline marking the Taken. If the core is not removed, the user will fall slowly but surely under the influence of that foreign power which brought the cores into our world. After a period of two years, the person will turn Taken. Thus the cores are highly dangerous for they bring more servants to a design which we know nothing about."  

Procurement and Trade

  "Trade in Cores, either crushed or whole, is extensive. Slicers, mages or humans equipped with arcane tools, will breach the barrier zone set up around Theia by the Hierarchy and attempt to hunt down Taken or Taken Fiends. The cores are harvested then and there and smuggled out of the cordon. Frontier Kingdoms like Aramis and Sevaria are heavily suspected of aiding in the trade and sell, with Aramis further being suspected of using the cores for military research. Via the Frontier Kingdoms, batches of the matter are then transported to the port of Ursine in the lower Anadine Reach. From here they are shipped into all corners of the Mortal Plain.
Do you have any idea what some nobles are willing to pay to get their fix? Or to feel like a mage even if its only for a day or two? There are millions in this trade.
— Garth Duren, Rouge Mage and Slicer
Highly Valuable
Related Locations
The Rapture of Theia
"Thankfully the scale of Core trade is nowhere near that of other drug smuggling operations. In part due to the limited number of Taken in existence, Theia had only a few hundred thousand people at the time of the Rapture, but also the barrier established by the Council."   "Unlike drugs such as Drin, cores are largely a drug of the nobility and the wealthy. As such the trade is highly profitable with even an average core rarely going for less than 120.000 Ris. It has made the trade a dangerous business even outside the ruin of Theia. The city of Ursine has seen small-scale wars erupt between organisations trying to claim a batch of the substance."
We could burn Ursine to the ground. Maybe that would help.
— Melia Astis, Councilor

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Cover image: by Michael Owen


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Aug 4, 2023 14:13

Love how you incorporated so many different perspectives on the material. This article alone made me think of so many questions about how this drug was discovered and made me imagine the wildest story ideas - it's absolutely wonderful. I started following your world (to find out more about the Taken and the people ordering the cores) and would love to see a story connected to one of their hunting sprees. Happy Writing!

Aug 20, 2023 00:53 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

Very interesting pretext - and ripe for storytelling!

Follow my worlds: Arrhynsia and Compendium and check out my author website at tlcassis.com to see my latest work!
Aug 20, 2023 00:55 by Kwyn Marie

This article made me sad, in that it seems prying cores from the Taken is another unwanted travesty they have to endure. Nice idea and well written, with the subject matter heavy and the feeling after reading it the same. Definitely horrific.