Source: Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide, pg(s). 15
Shiver is a potent, hallucinogenic drug made from the processed venom of the dream spider. It is generally ingested after which the user falls into a deep slumber filled with vivid dreams. While asleep the user generally shakes and shivers, which is where the drug earned its moniker.
Manufacture and use
The venom of the dream spider has highly hallucinogenic properties, to which anyone who has ever been bitten can easily attest. It is not addictive, however, until it is boiled in a mixture of alcohol, water, and the spider's webbing. The process is quite time-consuming and difficult, requiring a competent alchemist. Once distilled in this way it becomes highly addictive, and a user must take shiver on a weekly basis or suffer severely adverse consequences to his mental well-being. Alchemists continue to tinker with the recipe. Some, such as Robella Monchello who has been working over 15 years to make a more potent version of the drug, are making progress. Her initial version turned out to be toxic, and ended up killing a Sczarni leader, but she is now selling her newest version of the recipe for up to twenty times the normal price.
Shiver addiction is generally thought to be a problem of the lower classes. A single dose of shiver, generally sold in small glass vials, costs around 10 gold pieces, although demand and the level of prohibition can drive the price up to five times that amount. In Korvosa, for instance, where the use of shiver and other drugs is technically illegal but widespread, the price for a dose generally fluctuates around 25 gp. This means that people of few means generally turn to vice in order to procure the needed funds. Desperate individuals have even been known to track down dream spiders in their lairs to let themselves be intentionally bitten, a dangerous proposition at best.
Circa 4715 AR, shiver addiction in Korvosa became a city-wide crisis, particularly in the Bridgefront district and with reports of dozens of addicts' corpses being discovered in Old Korvosa. The plague of addiction reached such a point that the Korvosan Guard referred to corpses of overdosed addicts as "hogslop", for drug dens' common practice of feeding the bodies to pigs.
Dream spiders are native to the Mwangi Expanse and were specifically imported into Avistan for the sole purpose of harvesting their venom. Since that time, many have escaped captivity, and now nest in the forgotten corners of many urban centers.
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- James Jacobs and Mike McArtor. (2008). Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide, p. 15. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-087-2
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