Faust appears as somewhat thick, red colored tablets, measuring about 1cm in length. They are ostensibly made of a compacted powder.
History & Usage
Faust are an unknown formulation of chemicals magically enchanted and then compacted into a pill form. These pills can be extremely ancient, dating back to before the First Halcyon, with many others dated to sometime within the First Halcyon. What they are, how they were made, and what process was used to make them has been completely lost to time. If they are an Elvish invention, then it is likely that the severing of the Elvish reincarnation cycle and Reverie likely destroyed any memory or lineage of those who may have originally made these. There have been incidents of adventurers discovering ancient ruins of industrial alchemy facilities. These facilities are usually either in immense states of disrepair, or otherwise completely ruined, with nothing left to identify them. However, of the facilities that are in at least somewhat appropriate states, they tend to feature a mixture of Elvish, Dwarvish, and Gnomish machinery, structures, and writing, with additional forms of Ancient Orcish in various places. Some of these facilities have been found with operating machinery and trays of chemicals. All of this machinery is arcane in design, and when activated - either purposefully or accidentally - results in the machines producing fresh batches of Faust. The machines will tend to run automatically until they either break down or run out of material to generate the tablets.
Faust is a remarkable creation in the sense of acting as a wonder drug. Medically, the tablet is nearly perfect in its creation, acting as a panacea of sorts. It improves any number of symptoms that an individual might suffer from. Firstly, injuries are restored over the period of a few days through the magic imbued in the tablets. Not only will wounds heal in a short amount of time, with a large amount of an individuals wellness restored to them (depending on the severity of the injury), but other medical ailments will begin to heal as well. Symptoms as simple as minor hearing loss to poor vision return to the user, but also symptoms as complex as dementia, asthma, and blindness - things that may seem incurable - are healed for the user, given time and proper dosage. Even more astounding, but Faust has the ability to heal old scars, and even restore small limbs that may have been lost (regrowing a missing finger, a missing ear, or an amputated toe). It is theorized that with proper dosage, entire limbs like legs, feet, hands, and arms could hypothetically regrow on users of Faust. Faust also is known for boosting ones body in all manner of ways. A fully healthy person will find that their perception of the world will rise, they become more strong, dexterous, and healthy, and their mental faculties are shown to improve, along with many other tangible benefits. As such, there are those that will take Faust for these performance enhancements.
Cultural Significance and Usage
Because of the dangerous affects of Faust withdrawal, Faust is highly illegal for distribution. Particularly in the Elven Empires, those found distributing or with stock of Faust are often executed without trial. This is done as a forceful deterrent to stop the spread of the substance, with a zero tolerance policy for allowing people to die from the substance. The largest concern for governmental entities is a corruption of food stocks. If Faust is consumed by a fish for instance, anyone partaking in that fish will begin to suffer withdrawals, creating a viscous cycle that many seek to avoid. However, all governments decriminalize the use of Faust. This is because most users of Faust are those that are desperate: those who find themselves in life-threatening circumstances, or those with terminal or with horrific illnesses that have no other cure. Faust is seen as a method to allow them to cling to life, although this necessitates their newfound addiction to the substance, and thus the risk of a different and new form of death on their horizon. There are some thrill seekers who attempt to consume Faust for pleasure, experimentation, or performance enhancement. While many either don't realize or downplay the risk of withdrawal symptoms, many others understand the risk being taken, and do it anyway as an effort to have new experiences. Still others are aware of the risks of Faust and consume it for the performance enhancing effects it provides. This reasoning for consumption is most prominent with highly experienced wizards, who believe that they can source new doses of the drug for future consumption, or who have teams that can aid them should symptoms of withdrawal get out of hand.
Manufacturing & Products
Beyond ancient forms of industrial machines that have been found with the materials to automate the crafting of new pills of Faust, there are extremely limited ways to generate new tablets of Faust. Despite the best efforts of alchemists, Artificers, and mages, attempting to discern the materials used to craft Faust have been foiled. Even when the materials can be found, the complexity of the enchantment imbued into them to give them their properties remains a mystery. Wish has been known to generate new Faust tablets. Additionally, True Polymorph has been seen to be a method to generate new tablets. Other methods have been attempted, but none to any level of success. Those who attempt to make forgeries of Faust tablets may be able to generate the tablets. However, upon consumption, these tablets are not found to have any of the positive effects typically associated with the drug. Furthermore, even through these forgeries, people have been known to contract Faust withdrawal. This makes finding the real products essential when consumption is the goal.
Despite Faust's fantastic benefits, it comes with a distinct curse: there is no cure to withdrawal from this drug. Upon the first dosage of Faust injested by an individual, the chemical begins to release into the individual's body and start its process of healing. But as it does so, a timer for the individual's life begins. After around 5 days - depending on the individual's physiology - the individual will begin to feel the withdrawal effects. This is noted by an acute, incredibly intense pain that flows through the entire person's body, which increases as time goes on. The individual will also slowly begin to lose consciousness, lose short-term memory faculties, or find themselves unable to think properly. Still more begin to experience fits of rage, and feeling the need to cathartically unleash anger and violence upon anyone near them in berserk tantrums. Finally, after about 10 days, the individual will die. There is only one solution to Faust withdrawal: the person needs to take another dose of Faust. This will restore their faculties, continue all healing done by the medicine, and vastly improve the user's standard of living. However, the same timer on the user's life is reset, and the process starts over again. This means that once someone consumes Faust, they will need to permanently maintain their intake of Faust or risk death in a matter of days. All revival spells, including Reincarnate, Raise Dead, and True Resurrection do not remove the Faust from the individual. In the few times that Wish has been used, this has also not been found as a solution for removing the affects of Faust. Additionally, a creature becoming undead has been shown not to relieve the affects. Individuals who have been treated with Faust, then became zombies in their undeath, still seemed to be affected by the random bouts of violence and death after a few days. Ghosts who had consumed Faust in a past life are wracked with pain throughout their undeath, and intelligent undead such as Vampires or Revenant who consumed Faust either before or after their undeath still require doses of Faust, or risk death (although the process of death seems to take a little longer for these advanced undead individuals, buying them more time). If an individual dies from Faust, and is brought back to life, the window of second dosage becomes increasingly shorter; this continues until the necessity for Faust doses can be as frequent as every 3 hours. If a high level mage with clones or simulacrums take a dose of Faust, their duplicates also receive the detrimental effects of Faust (and none of the benefits), and will require separate dosing of more Faust or else risking their own life. As a final addition, corpses contaminated by Faust still contain the chemical within them. The chemical will slowly work its way through the corpse, until it begins to consume the epidermis of the individual, before then consuming the muscles, organs, and the remainder of the body, leaving nothing but bones. The flesh of those who consumed Faust is tainted; if for some reason a humanoid intakes this tainted flesh, they will contract Faust withdrawals, and the process begins again. Additionally, animals and monsters who ingest tainted flesh will also be dosed. Most beasts and monsters are immune to the effects of Faust, although there are various exceptions depending on physiology. However, if an individual consumes the tainted meat of a beast or monster that consumed Faust, the process begins for those who consumed it. Faust tends to work its way through an animals body over a period of three months. All of this naturally makes Faust impossibly addictive. Any individual who takes a dosage of Faust, for any reason, is locked into a cycle of continually dosing on the chemical at the risk of their life, for the remainder of their life. Further, given the rarity of Faust, this means sourcing new Faust becomes of dramatic importance to addicts experiencing withdrawal. The only prevention to this cycle of struggle seems to be Imprisonment: Slumber, which ceases the progression of the withdrawal symptoms.
Small medical tablets.
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