Sunday, June 1, 2014

Soporific Aether

The notorious 'Last Photo' recovered from the body of W.J. Abercrombin, investigative trespasser and Yellow Journalist in service to the Wermspittle Free Press. Abercrombin's experimentally aether-sensitized camera was retrieved and the film developed by Independent Sources that have verified that it is in fact an authentic image of the so-called 'Soporific Aether.' 

The Observatory established by the venerable Doktor Gretzmalk has been closed for over two hundred years. It was sealed by the Security Council once it was discovered that the place was filled with Soporific Aether supposedly left-over from the infamous 'Lost Weekend' event in 1132P.R. when the majority of the world's population in the Western Hemisphere were rendered unconscious for a period of hours or days, depending upon the geographical distribution of the so-called 'Poison Belt,' which in itself has yet to be conclusively proven to actually exist.

Soporific Aether is a colorless, odorless, heavier-than-air gas that acts as a massively effective sleep agent even in small doses. Exposure to even a small whiff of the stuff results in a profound slumber that can persist for hours.

It is sometimes encountered in old coal mines, underground tunnels, caverns and is rumored to be a recurring nuisance within the Lidenbrock Reservoir, however neither the Unterkorps nor the Sewer Militia have confirmed anything at this time.

Since the negotiation of a treaty between the Academy, the Sewer Militia and other interested parties, a number of small-scale, highly regulated and frequently inspected taps have been made to allow access to the massive cache of Soporific Aether contained within the Observatory.

Intensive analysis of the stuff has led several noteworthy experts and authorities on such matters to publicly hypothesize that Soporific Aether may be the base form of the Deep Purple Smog, Purple Clouds and a host of related miasmas. There is a great deal of interest and research in this area on the part of quite a few 'interested parties'...

Inspiration: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's second Professor Challenger story The Poison Belt, which is available at Project Gutenberg, with a direct connection to M. P. Shiel's The Purple Cloud, with a wink and a nod to Buck Rogers.


  1. Vapors, miasmas, and aethers are a cornerstone of weird fantasy.

    1. Absolutely. Strange mists, peculiar fogs, bizarre gasses--radioactive and otherwise--have been a major part of the pulps, weird tales, and fantasy in general--as well as Science Fiction such as Buck Rogers. I like having Smog Shelters in Wermspittle to defend against gaseous incursions from below by Deep Purple Smog...not to mention the host of fetid fumes and foul miasmas swirling along the alleys and low streets of this place. They make for some interesting encounters...


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