Refrain is a naturally phosphorescent hallucinogenic psychoactive drug originally created by Pinehearst Company International as part of their experiment in developing a method for conferring Evolved abilities on non-Evolved subjects. Refrain, and the documentation surrounding its creation, was stolen from Pinehearst by Adam Monroe and subsequently sold to the Flying Dragons. They were working on putting it out on the street until they were defeated by the Ghost Shadows, who have since taken over distribution. The Linderman Group handled production in secret until their collapse in 2010, and now production has largely moved off-shore to China with some smaller production centers in the United States. As of spring 2010, smaller, unaffiliated organizations have began producing synthetic, knock-off Refrain and distributing it across the United States and South America. "Flash", "Rewind", and "Cobalt" are the monikers of these knock-offs, which are typically cut with other intravenously-taken hallucinogens and have half of the normal impact of Refrain for the same price.

In 2018, Refrain can be purchased on the street for an average of $60 per syringe.


Upon intravenous injection, the active compound in Refrain enters the brain and interacts with the adynomine receptor, part of the Suresh Linkage Complex uniquely expressed by Evolved individuals. It causes a conformational change in the receptor that activates molecular pathways involved in memory and specifically hippocampal function, altering the flow of declarative memory. This results in the user experiencing vivid flashbacks. For a user of average mental state and physiological condition, Refrain releases endorphins into the body, stimulating a feel good sense and recreating particularly powerful positive memories. These hallucinations can last anywhere from fifteen minutes to a full hour depending on the subject's metabolism.

Outside stimuli such as pain and pleasure are extremely reduced during a Refrain flashback, and motor control is unresponsive, save for occasional reactionary effects from the memory being experienced, such as reaching out for a loved one. Driving, walking, or doing anything requiring attention and motor skills while under the effects of Refrain can be extremely hazardous to one's health.

Refrain also has the potential to trigger negative flashbacks, depending on the state of the user's brain chemistry and balance. This is entirely at the discretion of the player using Refrain and is purely for roleplaying purposes.

The FDA classifies Refrain as a Schedule IIN Controlled Substance and is currently carrying out trials to see if there is a medical use for the drug. A single dose of Refrain can cause mild physical cravings for up to a week following the injection. Subsequent usage has an extremely high addiction rate, on par with narcotics like heroin, and the withdrawal symptoms are extremely painful and debilitating. The psychological effects of Refrain, in vividly living out past experiences, can cause powerful psychological addiction as well.

Knock-off Refrain is typically sold by smaller drug traffickers from South America who 'cut' the drug with water or saline solution (or sometimes other psychoactive drugs), thinning out the chemical and effectively giving themselves "more" doses to sell. Vials of Refrain that have been cut have a drastically diminished "glow," as the natural phosphorescent chemicals in the solution have been thinned. Some very rare unscrupulous dealers have tried to combat this by adding the active component from glow sticks to their knock-off Refrain, which always results in death following injection. Adulterated Refrain also has a much lower chance of giving a vivid hallucination at all, and sometimes has no effect, or merely induces mild euphoria. In some instances, Refrain is laced with other hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD, though this is exceptionally rare and has the potential to cause unexpected complications.

The only effect of Refrain on non-Evolved users is an extremely mild sense of euphoria. Please note that Refrain works perfectly on un-manifested Evolved. If a character is possessed of an ability, even if it has not yet manifested, Refrain will function fully on them.


Currently in the keeping of:
Publicly available illegal drug

Faction Access
Raytech SESA NYPD d'Sarthe Wolfhound Yamagato Asar Dinu Deveaux

Roleplaying Tips

It is recommended when taking Refrain 'on-screen' to write out portions of the hallucination during your poses. This allows readers to get an interesting glimpse into your character, as well as gives the potential to play out interesting scenes that may never otherwise see the light of day from your character's background.

It is also recommend to utilize a specific color coding in the scene (for logs) to hilight the flashback:

##006699|//This is the text of your flashback, it is perhaps happy or endearing!//##

And that particular line would look like:

This is the text of your flashback, it is perhaps happy or endearing!

How Does Refrain Interact With Certain Abilities?

  • Telepaths listening in on the thoughts of someone experiencing a Refrain hallucination are also able to "eavesdrop" on the hallucination, so this is doubly helpful for them.
  • An Evolved with an illusion power may unconsciously project their hallucination onto their surroundings, within the limits of their ability.
  • Telepaths could also unintentionally project their hallucination onto others nearby, within the limits of their ability.
  • Evolved with memory-related abilities like Panmnesia are extremely susceptible to Refrain and oftentimes have vivid memory hallucinations that are almost indistinguishable from reality and can last two to three times as long.
  • Evolved with superior Regeneration (like Adam) cannot benefit from Refrain.
  • Evolved with limited regeneration have much shorter effects or no effect at all, at the player's discretion.
  • Evolved with dream-manipulating abilities can sense people actively using Refrain when using their power. They shine like "beacons," and dream-manipulators can directly influence the visions experienced by users.

If you don't see your ability listed here but have questions, feel free to ask staff!


Drug screenings offered for jobs or government obligations screen for Refrain.

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