The most delightful secret of the Neath: the honey of lamplighter bees fed exclusively on the Exile's Rose.Prisoner's Honey is the preferred drug of the Neath.
It's made from a flower called Exile's Rose pollinated by the lamplighter bee. Eating the honey physically transports the user into that mystical alternate world called Parabola.
The drug is popular among bohemians, who meet in "honey dens" to find artistic inspiration in the dreamlike realm, or to experience heightened sensual pleasures. Habitual users can become addicted, as well as susceptible to returning from a trip too early. These "honey-mazed" people are physically present in reality, but their minds and senses are still in Parabola until the drug fully wears off. The honey-mazed are not uncommon on the streets of London, stumbling around unaware of their surroundings and reciting nonsense.
Prisoner's honey was likely inspired by a real-life hallucinogenic drug called Grayanotoxin, a neurotoxin produced by the Rhododendron species of flower. Honey derived from these plants is called "mad honey".
| "Are you sure you want to know this?"
Beyond this point lie major spoilers for Fallen London, Sunless Sea, or Sunless Skies. This may include endgame or Fate-locked content. Proceed at your own risk.
The devils created Prisoner's honey on behalf of the Fingerkings, so people would be able to visit Parabola. As part of this deal, the Fingerkings owe the Devils one fifth of everything they gain.
Blood is not red in the way that this honey is red.
This succulent drop will allow you to enter the memories and dreams of helpless innocents. Perhaps you have your reasons.
Gaoler's honey is colloquially called red honey, because, well, look at the illustration. This is a more sinister breed, whose consumption allows one to experience another's memories - which is incredibly painful for the unfortunate victim. It's made from a flower that is a cross between the exile's rose and a flower from Hell, pollinated by bees that have crawled through a victim's brain. It seems the hybrid has existed since the days of the Fourth City. The name likely refers to the practice of capturing prisoners in order to harvest their minds for this valuable drug.
It is said that a contaminated batch made the Empress's children into monsters. (See The Shuttered Palace and the Empress's Court for more info.)
The Chambers of the HeartEdit
Those seeking their murderous rivals may prepare and take a drop of this honey, and be transported to the Chambers of the Heart. This is a mysterious dream location where the honey consumer picks and chooses from intense, pleasurable snippets of memory, but also senses the distant victims screaming and pleading from the pain this causes. Other users of red honey are present in the Chambers, though everyone's face is obscured.
A Garden of CagesEdit
Some of the red honey that is not gathered in Hell is produced on the Isle of Cats by the Pirate King, Leopold, who himself is a red honey addict. The people whose memories are used to create the honey are kept locked in cages, and are almost comatose due to the amount of pain they are experiencing. There is also a Cage-Garden in the grounds of the Shuttered Palace.
Several important figures are implied to be addicted to honey, such as the Captivating Princess.
To the SkiesEdit
"We are democratising art," she says, loftily. "Thanks to our cage-garden, a writer need not speculate about the sorrow of a lover as their beloved dies; they can taste our honey and know it themselves. We are no longer subject to the tyranny of experience."
With Hell being off-limits, the production of red honey shifted to Titania, where the Midnight Rose runs an operation. Most of the red honey is sourced from caged artists: they can leave anytime, but they also believe that to create art, one must seek misery.
Cardinal's Honey Edit
"This poet tells you of a different honey, jet black in hue: the Cardinal's Honey. Those who take it do not die. They cease to be. They never were."
There is another insidious variant of honey, known as Cardinal's Honey, that allows for one to enter and experience the dreams of the dead. This honey has an antidote, but it is a very powerful assassination tool in the Neath.