Veell, also known as the "Elixir of Insanity", "Madman's Breath", or by its users simply as "Breath", is one of the more dubious (and in most places, illegal) products of the alchemistically inclined Daran Gnomes. A highly potent and addictive drug, this pale-blue liquid can cause extreme, yet temporary changes in the user's personality called "Veell Ecstacy". Never sold out in the open, and addictive after only a few uses, this potion is hard to come by, and even harder to pay for.
Description. Packaged typically in small, dark-green, glass vials containing about one mouthful, this milky-blue liquid is easily identified once encountered. It has a sharp taste, creating a tingling sensation on the tongue before the sweet aftertaste sets in.
Veell is used for one reason only, to achieve the state of mind known as Veell
Ecstasy, where one randomly changes personality, with new memories being formed
to strengthen the illusion of actually living a different life. Although the
effects are temporary, lasting no more than half an hour per dose, this can be
enough time to live several full counterfeit lives, or dozens of fragmentary
The negative effects however, are dire. Addiction is certain after only two or three doses, and incurable. When the next period of Veell Ecstasy does not occur fast enough, (and the so called "Plain Time" in-between doses grows shorter after each use) the addictee, or Veellist, will suffer increasing amounts of paranoia, depression, and an overwhelming drive to do whatever needed to acquire more Veell.
A secondary side effect is the gradual degeneration of a Veellist's original memories. As the drug is taken more and more as time passes, the memories of the temporary personalities will start to intermingle with the original ones, step by step leading to complete insanity within a few years after which most addicts are unable to function well enough to get more Veell, and eventually commit suicide.
After several weeks to months of usage, a final, very curious side effect occurs as the memory loss starts to become noticable. Slowly, the eyes of the Veellist start losing their colour, the iris gradually becoming a glassy grey hue. Upon first sight this is a rather frightening effect to behold, especially since by this time, insanity has most likely already set in to a great degree.
Origin. All Veell is made by Daran Gnomes, although usually secretly. The exact methods have never been revealed, and when asked about the ingredients the only answer seems to be "Herbs. Well, mostly herbs, anyway."
Originally produced on the outskirts of the city of Cavtan, the drug rapidly became popular amongst those that needed a way to forget their misery. As a result, production soared when the Daran saw an opportunity for trade, only to come to a sudden halt when the negative side efffects of usage or withdrawal were discovered, several months later. The original inventor of the brew, one Shèo Twoland, was assaulted, and consequently torn apart by Veel-hungry users after an accident forced him to repair his materials, and stop production for a week.
After these events it was outlawed in many places, although no royal laws have ever been implemented against its manufacture or distribution, by popular belief because "Everybody stupid enough to try it deserves what they have coming."
As is to be expected, Veell is actually widely available in many towns, especially those on the main trade routes or with large ports (although usually expensive to the extreme), provided one knows the right, or rather, the wrong kind of people. It is much rarer inland, and most people away from the big cities have never even heard of the draught, which makes them all the more vulnerable to accidental addiction once they come into contact with it.
Importance. Veell and Veellists are generally loathed and feared, and most decent folk will want nothing to do with the substance or its users. In its underground niche however, Veell can be used as currency, often worth more to a Veelist than any other reward offered. Those Daran's that are willing to take the risk of attack by victims of their creation or their enraged families, and actually produce it, are supposed to make incredible fortunes with it due to the high demand, and the fact so very few gnomes are willing to create the substance. (The receipt appears to be common knowledge amongst gnomes, even though none admit to the actual brewing of the stuff, and the Keepers of the Elemene Tabulata claim the book does not contain any information about Veell.)