Poisons: C

2k2 Flesh Wounds / 6 hours / 12 days

The hard-shelled beans of the castor plant, smuggled into mainland Théah from the Crescent Empire, contain a virulent hemotoxin that is fatal if consumed even in very small doses (as few as two beans). Common symptoms include nausea, and drowsiness, along with convulsions and severe cramping as the blood thins, leading to massive internal hemorrhaging and (in many cases) death.

8k4 Flesh Wounds / 3 days / 12 days

Chalconthite (pictured above) is found in the mountainous regions of the Crescent Empire, where its rich blue color makes it stand out from other minerals and stones. When ground into a fine powder and mixed with water, the result is a cobalt blue solution which is an effective ingested poison.

The poison has a slightly sweet, metallic taste and must be concealed in seasoned foods (especially deserts) to avoid detection. Within a few minutes of ingestion, the victim will begin to feel signs of gastric distress, gradually worsening to a burning sensation in the gut and violent (and eventually bloody) nausea. A solution made from milkweed is an effective antidote; however, chalconthite poisoning mimics the effects of an everyday (if severe) stomach illness, making identifying the poison difficult.

1 Dramatic Wound / 5 minutes / 2 days

Although small deposits of cinnabar can be found in many locations, the largest cinnabar mines can be found in the mountainous regions of Castille, while Cathay produces the deepest red crystals. It is often used as a pigment in artwork and for dyeing fabrics, while more attractive Cathayan cinnabar is often worked into jewelry.

Handling a piece of cinnabar carries very little risk, but inhaling the dust can be lethal. (Cinnabar mines are very dangerous places to work, and in Castille at least, hardened criminals who were not sent to La Bucca often lived out the rest of their days in the mines.) If a cinnabar crystal is ground into powder and introduced into a fire, the resulting vapors corrode the victim’s respiratory system and place him in great peril.

Once inhaled, cinnabar smoke (or cinnabar dust from a mine) causes a burning sensation in the sinus cavities and throat, a violent cough, and severe chest pains, all of which can be treated with a variety of remedies, masking the symptoms. However, these treatments do not address the poison itself. So long as a victim remains awake and vigilant, the poison has no effect and will run its course without harm. However, when a victim falls asleep, his breathing grows shallow and eventually stills, causing him to suffocate unless he is woken up or wakes under his own power (characters may spend a Drama Die to wake from such a state, breathless and trembling). There is no known antidote to cinnabar poisoning (short of staying awake), although a Lærdom extract prepared by a Blood Scientist will heal a single Dramatic Wound inflicted by the poison.

5k5 Flesh Wounds / 15 minutes / 5 hours

Known to many by its familiar bitter almond odor, cyanide offers a little something for everyone. As a solid, it is inert until swallowed and mixed with acid in the victim’s stomach. As a gas, it can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. As a liquid, it can be administered any way you please. Its effects are immediate and entirely brutal, causing dizziness, loss of breath, nausea, and headaches as it takes effect, and generally leading to a painful death within a matter of hours. Interestingly, the only known Théan antidotes to cyanide poisoning are toxic themselves, something a clever poisoner could surely use to his advantage.

Cyanide occurs naturally in the pits and seeds of many common fruits, including apples, apricots, peaches, plums, and some types of cherries. It is fairly easy to extract, and can be increased in potency in a variety of creative ways. Anyone who survives the initial, overpowering onslaught of the poison is likely to survive (assuming any antidotes they ingest don’t kill them instead).

Notes: Every sixty minutes, damage is reduced by one Kept die (to 4k4 after one hour, 3k3 after two hours, and so on), until the poison has run its course. Vergift poisoners who use the Passages on cyanide find it particularly easy to work with; it only requires one Raise to increase the initial damage by one Kept die (+1k1).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s