Fading Suns Codex
Poisons and Toxins
Among Severus’ most popular – and equally contraband – exports is the Severan opiate poppy, which produces selchakah: an extremely addictive narcotic which is usually illegal outside of Decados holdings.
Selchakah takes its users to the seat of joy, and offers a form of painless bliss – extreme but fleeting at first, then dwindling to an hours-long period of dreamy tranquility. Lower grade selchakah offers at least a period of painlessness and the illusion of happiness. Higher grades of the drug provide moments of such beatific bliss and clarity they have been compared with epiphanies of the Pancreator. Selchakah has sometimes been called Sathra-root, for it can alleviate addiction to the sathra experience. But selchakah is addictive; at first users can go weeks, even months, between doses, but eventually the doses become closer and closer, and few addicts can go more than two days without a dose (LotR 39).
The Drug is a serious point of contention among the Known Worlds; most noble houses have declared it illegal, the League officially refuses to carry it, and the Church inveighs against selchakah for its neo-sathraist tendencies. Decados smugglers, of course, run a lucrative business of carrying the contraband drug to spaceports across the Empire, even to Byzantium Secundus itself (LotR 39).
The extremes to which a selchakah addict will go to replenish his stock range from the mundane to legendary, including murder and high treason. The fact that selchakah addicts have been found among the nobles of all the houses has frightening implications – how many state secrets have been exchanged for a week’s worth of the drug? (LotR 39)
One dose of the drug costs three firebirds (more where the seller risks imminent danger selling it).
Severan buorka-flower – brilliantly colored and beautiful petals with a painfully toxic oil (LotR 39)