Poisons: B

3k3 Flesh Wounds / 6 hours / 3 days

The dark purple berries of the belladonna plant (known in some circles as deadly nightshade) are harvested to produce this ingested neurotoxin. It has rapidly become one of the most popular products of the Apothecary’s Guild, purchased openly by many Vendel women for its cosmetic applications. A single drop of the clear liquid in each eye lends them an unnatural sparkle, while a drop or two of the musky serum placed on the tongue causes the cheeks to redden with a vibrant blush.

However, if the entire contents of a bottle (about a dram) are dumped into a glass of wine, this poison can also be used to remove a troublesome spouse. The flavor will stand out in most ordinary beverages, but can be easily masked with mulled wine or spiced cider. As the poison works its way through a victim’s system, he experiences a high fever, chest pains, and blurred vision leading to mild hallucinations. It is not unknown for victims to become violent, so women taking advantage of this “remedy” generally make themselves scarce while the poison runs its course.

Notes: If used as a cosmetic enhancement, belladonna provides a free Raise on all Charm attempts for thirty minutes. The flesh of a rabbit who ingests nightshade leaves is as toxic as the plant itself (a fact cagey poisoners use to their advantage).

2 Dramatic Wounds / 8 hours / 24 hours

Poultry farmers call this fungus “chick rot” due to its effect on laying hens. Just a few pecks at its numerous “flowers” and a hen will stop laying for a period of two to three years, assuming they don’t perish after consumption.

The brown king, so named for its trumpet-like brown caps which closely resemble flowers and for its majestic height at maturity of two to three feet, grows near chicken coops and thrives on both rotting wooden fence posts and chicken manure. Assassins favor this mushroom for its sweet flavor, very similar to cane sugar, and for the slow death it causes (and its long onset time). It is easily masked in sweet baked goods and teas, but telltale dark spots in the poisoned item may give a hint as to its presence.

The first sign of poisoning is excessive yawning, followed by a deep slumber: one in which the victim barely breathes, What appears to be nothing more than the need for a nap is abruptly interrupted by shaking, confusion, and labored breathing, eventually giving way to violent convulsions and death, all within twenty-four hours of consumption of just two mushroom caps.

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