Black Sand is a rare and powerful substance that has very beneficial effects, is highly addictive, and through overuse produces irreversible madness. How it is prepared and consumed determines its effects, though there is some variation based on the individual.
All black sand use leads to a temporary darkening of the entire eyeball. With repeated use the effect becomes permanent, the eyes turning completely black. The skin around the area where the Black Sand is consumed is also darkened.
Invoker: The Invokers grind the Black Sand to a very fine powder and inhale it directly into their noses. Absorption and addiction are much faster with this method. The Invokers’ original purpose and culture have been lost, and now this method is most often practiced only by those whose addiction has progressed to a dangerous level. These days any Black-Sand-addict of sufficient criminal record is labeled an Invoker. They are feared and hunted for their occasional practice of cutting open the heads of other Black-Sand users and removing the pineal gland, where the active agent collects and can be extracted.
Artificer: The Masters of the Artifice Academy of the city-state of Hoscroth bake Black Sand into lozenges, which they allow to dissolve under their tongues. The effects are a state of extreme focus, concentration, and precision lasting a few hours. The Artificers call this mental state “Gescus”, which benefits mental acuity just as much as physical accuracy. Black teeth and lips are common.
Dreamers: The Dreamers’ eyedrops produce a state of expanded awareness, and eventually result in blindness. Their visions are said to be prophetic, though their ability to interpret these visions varies greatly.
Entertainers: The Entertainers smoke burning Black sand in pipes or hookas. Their presence as a whole is amplified, including physical grace, charisma, and empathy. The onlookers’ experience is enhanced as well by mild exposure. The whole of the skin is darkened from the experience, though not as quickly as other methods: attendees who patronize these events are rarely noticeably changed, and only the oldest Entertainers are known to have completely black skin.
The Path of Heaven and Earth: The monks of the Path of Heaven and Earth practice the art of arranging objects in the proper order, as well as animal and plant selective breeding. Drinking their Black Sand elixer allows them to feel the flow of energies, heightening their intuition, prudence, and ability to act in the proper way at the correct time.
Their breeding efforts have produced the Aurochs, larger and stronger than any ox, and the Croi-Berry, as nutritious as an entire meal, with a delicious sweet taste. Rarely are new structures or cities built without consulting a Path monk.
Intentionalists: tea – updates coming soon.
Ancestralists: incense – updates coming soon.