Poisoning is an art form as old as war, and the effective use of poison is as much a mastered skill as the sword, buckler, or arbalest. Use of poison is controversial to some, but the makers of this guide take a stance opposed to poison used in secret (through food and drink), and obviously in favor of poison used in combat.
Poison in combat is typically delivered either through wounds, which is most typical, or through breath, which is typically more complex. Poison delivered through wounds is a bit simple, and the actual poisons used are usually the same tried and true poisons used in food and drink. Thus the rhyme: deadly when consumed means deadly in a wound!
There are many types of poisons that are affective when delivered to a wound. The most popular is Pessmud, a tar-like sap harvested from Kadanian tarvine. Rarer poisons delivered through wounds, like Frostgel from Liven of Spidersting from Kar'hi, carry more exotic properties, but also fetch a much higher price.
Pessmud is simple, effective, and cheap, and for that reason, the examples in this book will primarily revolve around the proper use and application of Pessmud. Applying Pessmud to the blade can be as simple as coating it with the stuff: Pessmud is sticky and thick enough that it can be effective for quite a few swings following a single proper application.
Weapons can even be carved from Kadanian tarvine, the tropical liana from which Pessmud is harvested. Tarvine weapons are permanently poisonous by nature, but the user must mind he properly wraps the hilt, lest a nick or scrape in his hand causes his weapon to turn against him. Arrows and bolts can remain poisoned for days. By wrapping the base of the weapons' sharpened tips in Pessmud-soaked rags, an archer may always keep his quiver full of highly poisonous arrows and bolts.
Poison delivered through breath is quite complex, requiring skilled alchemy or arcane elementalism. Powdered Kadanian tarvine can be combined with the dried flesh of a Cytoplasm to rapidly expel foul vapors, but doing so is extremely dangerous to the alchemist producing the compoud.
Perhaps the most malicious aspect of Brownvapor bottling is the byproduct: shattering a Brownvapor flask not only produces a cloud of tarvine-tinged gas, but the rapid vortex of expanding and contracting gasses is able to revitalize the dried Cytoplasm flesh, producing a living, horrible Poison Cytoplasm. Brownvapor has also been seen clouding from Bloated Monstrosities, monstrous nectrotic forest thralls that are known to consume both tarvine and Cytoplasms.
- The Poisoner's Field Guide, para. 1-10