A few people have asked me what I used to make my rheoscopic fluid, so I’ll put my current list of ingredients at the bottom of this post. It’s a little different for each potion, simply because the different colours in the liquids changes how effective the swirls are.
Antivan Fire Grenade
I first attempted the Antivan Fire grenade with gold calligraphy ink, but it didn’t have anywhere close to the effect I wanted. So I ordered some gold mica instead, which makes a much better “flame” effect. The video below was taken just after I had finished stirring in the mica and I was impressed by how long the water stayed in motion.
The reason there’s a thin layer of foam on top in the second video is because I added a drop of dish soap to keep nasties from growing in it once the liquid is sealed in the bottles. I think in future I’ll stick with a little surgical spirit instead! I’m not fond of the foamy look and because the whole effect hinges on the movement of the liquid, bubbles form on the surface really easily.
I couldn’t get hold of purple ink for the Confusion grenade, so I ended up mixing blue and garishly violet food colouring until it was a shade I could live with.
While I was at it, I mixed up a third version of the Tears of the Dead poison, using a darker green and some extra white mica. Again, the foam really doesn’t work for me (who knew that a single drop of cheap dish soap in 500ml of water would be so bubbly?!) I love the Antivan Fire in particular. I was considering using an LED for this one, too, but the gold really does catch the light really well and makes it look like it’s lit from within.
Generally, I’m really pleased with how well they have worked! I’ve got four little bottles on my desk and they’re absolutely hypnotic. Now that I’ve worked out how much of everything to use, I can swap out the dish soap in the next batch and, hopefully, all I will need to do with these four is to dress up their bottles to finish them off. Originally, I wasn’t going to seal the corks in so that I could reuse the bottles, but having splattered Antivan Fire over my keyboard when enthusiastically shaking the bottle, I can see them making a horrible mess of clothes and props if jostled (fortunately sticky flames causing 46 damage every second for thirty seconds isn’t a feature!).
The base for all my potions is ink/food colouring in tap water. A little colouring goes a really long way, so I started off with two drops in 500ml and adjusted it depending on how deep I wanted the colour. I did find that the darker the colour, the more careful I had to be with everything else. Adding too much mica to darker water just turns it into sparkly dark water and too little meant that it didn’t show up at all.
Into the water, I added a teaspoon (approx 5ml) of silver calligraphy ink and the very tip of a teaspoon of cosmetic-grade mica. The calligraphy ink alone worked, but I got a much better result using it in tandem with the mica.
The Antivan Fire was a little bit different. Because it’s described as a “sticky fire,” I wanted it to be a little more viscous than the others. So after colouring the 500ml of water, I mixed in just shy of three teaspoons of vegetable glycerine and shook the bottle thoroughly until they mixed. Instead of using silver calligraphy ink, I used the same amount of white mica as the others, then added twice as much in dark gold mica.
The final step for all the potions was a few drops of dish soap, but surgical spirit is probably a better bet and should also stop anything unpleasant developing in the water.
As you can see above, the pots of mica I have are really tiny but I’ve barely used a third of it so far.
So that’s four out of fifteen potions, tonics and grenades from Inquisition thus far. My plan is to make the full set plus one or two of my favourites from DA:O and DA II, like the Concentrated Crow Poison and Avernus’s Experimental Draught. I just need to figure out how on earth to do the effects!