Elixirs of Power

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The Elixirs of Power, also known as the 'Magic Potion' or the 'Draught of the Strength of Ten', and other names, were weapons developed and used by Ransom's Crew.


Legends deriving from the Mage Wars argued that certain drinks, prepared by a Wizard, could increase the drinker's strength, stamina, intelligence, agility, or other virtues, for a short time. In later industrial ages, this was mocked as a misinterpretation of psychotropics and intoxicants, formerly used to inspire confidence in soldiers. Some people also attribute the Berserker class to such chemicals.


Uses of such potions were reported intermittently until the Fourth Age, wherein Marcus Ransom and his followers developed a verifiable sample. Under its influence, any Crewman might overcome twenty-odd enemies, itself unharmed; whereas the whole Crew, or its usual teams of 2 or 3, pulverized all before them. After the revolution, Ransom destroyed most of the remaining elixir; but some was kept at Gudersnipe School, and some retained (or re-created) by A.E. Clipson, to rescue Nicole Ransom and Jonas R. Work from the Dark Order. The former sample remained in storage until the Sixth Age, when it was destroyed by Hunter Jusenkyou.


Though traditionally consumed as a single draught, the Elixirs of Power could be separated into seven distinct potions: each useless alone, but forming the true Magic Potion when combined with all the others. Members of Ransom's Crew memorized parts of the recipe (each equivalent to a single useless potion), and concocted the whole before each mission; by this device, to keep the Genuine Article from any of their enemies who might take them prisoner.


Once consumed, the total elixir conferred on the drinker, over 10 times its own strength, stamina, intelligence, and agility; but the effect lasted only six standard hours, and terminated suddenly. Overdoses variously bestowed permanent (and hereditary) enhancement, or hardened the drinker's muscles to the consistency of igneous rock, for years on end. Such potion took equal effect on any mammal, or any definition of 'human' (though it was never tested on Kami or M'K'Harens), and did not diminish in proportion to its use: a drinker could leap straight up a steep shaft, or smash through stone walls, or pick trees with the ease of picking flowers, and not tire, and even one exposed only to the fumes of preparation, could survive compression beneath a menhir, with no worse to suffer than a concussion, some bruises, and possibly amnesia. Other than these, no side-effects or lasting influences are recorded.


The Mage Wars RPG includes a variety of attribute-enhancing potions; but the elixirs here, are not easy to come by. The PCs have first to gather the ingredients, of which some are common, some uncommon, some rare, and some exotic; and each rare and exotic, requires a short quest to be obtained. Each PC can only memorize, or carry a fraction of the total recipe, or supply, at a time; and therefore, must either be part of a team, or periodically consult an NPC (usually a Mage) who knows, and keeps, the rest, and is willing to make up a draught, in exchange for some other service. (This can serve to rack up hero-points, or get some other reward on the way.) Once acquired, made, and used, the elixirs' effect lasts only for three or four rounds, or until the completion of a single task, like lifting a rockfall in a dungeon, or beating down a horde of enemies. Leftover ingredients can be used in other potions, or given back to the NPC mage to be made into a fresh batch. Consulting the same NPC regularly for the elixirs of power, can be a good habit, before setting off on an adventure; but it can also attract enemy characters, who try to kill or kidnap your supplier; and supplies are always limited. PCs are not allowed to take an overdose in the hope of permanent super-human strength; and if any tries, it turns to stone, and has to be disenchanted by its companions, which requires another quest for the ingredients of an antidote. (The same fate befalls enemy NPCs, who steal and drink the elixirs.)