The poisons known as The Assassin's Gate are as straightforward as they are lethal. The Black Gate attacks the stomach, kidney, liver and most importantly the brain, causing terrifying hallucinations and then killing the target. The Crimson Gate by contrast attacks the lungs, the heart and the blood vessels causing uncontrollable bleeding.

Both substances are illegal within the Empire; possession of either is generally viewed by the Imperial Magistrates as intent to commit murder. The antidote for both the Black Gate and the Crimson is an infusion called the Silver Key. It purges the symptoms of either or both poisons if they are present, meaning it is pointless to try and poison someone with both preparations.

See the section on poisons for more details of how these horrible substances, and their antidote, are used.

The Black Gate

This lethal poison goes to work almost immediately, infesting the stomach and spreading quickly through the body of the victim. It attacks all the major organs, especially the brain, and eventually causes an agonising - and fatal- seizure.

  • Form: Liquid.
  • Description: This clear, odourless, tasteless liquid appears indistinguishable from water.
  • Roleplaying Effects: You feel dizzy and enervated. Over the next fifteen minutes you become increasingly confused, suffering random aches and pains and a growing awareness of your own death. You may occasionally hallucinate that people around you are friends, loved ones or dead relatives.
  • Mechanical Effects: You are immediately effected by weakness which cannot be removed until the poison is cured. After ten minutes you can no longer move under your own power and cannot attack, defend yourself or use any abilities or items. At the end of thirty minutes you suffer an agonising seizure and die.
  • Incorrect Antidote: If the incorrect antidote is applied, the target goes into a fatal, agonizing seizure and dies.
  • Recipe: Four drams of Bladeroot and three drams each of True Vervain and Marrowort.

The Crimson Gate

This lethal poison goes to work almost immediately, infesting the lungs and spreading quickly through the bloodstream of the victim. The target begins to bleed, and cannot stop. Eventually death comes as the lungs fill with blood and the victim drowns, or expires from rupturing bloodvessels.

  • Form: Liquid.
  • Description: This fine, odourless, tasteless liquid appears indistinguishable from water.
  • Roleplaying Effects: You feel very warm and thirsty, quickly developing a raging fever. Over the next fifteen minutes you begin to suffer agonising pain in your joints and muscles, and begin to cough up blood, You have difficulty breathing, and a growing awareness of your own death. You begin to bleed from the eyes and nose.
  • Mechanical Effects: You are immediately effected by venom which cannot be removed until the poison is cured. After ten minutes you can no longer move under your own power and cannot attack, defend yourself or use any abilities or items. At the end of thirty minutes you die, either drowning on your own blood or from massive internal haemorrhaging.
  • Incorrect Antidote: If the incorrect antidote is applied, the target's lungs or blood-vessels rupture, resulting in swift agonizing death.
  • Recipe: Four drams of Imperial Roseweald and three drams each of True Vervain and Cerulean Mazzarine.

The Silver Key

The silver key is a resinous material that 'opens' the Black Gate or the Crimson Gate. It causes the body to purge the poison, inducing either vomiting or a wracking coughing fit. It is usually presented to the victim mixed with hot water; often their heads must be held firmly in place over the bowl as they struggle with illusory ghosts or wracking fits of coughing. After a few moments, the immediate symptoms recede and the victim begins to cough and vomit uncontrollably until all the poisonous material has been removed from their bodies. Those cured with the silver key are still weak, and are likely to need further medical attention.

If the target is not poisoned, the Silver Key causes coughing and vomiting that quickly incapacitate the person who has unwisely attempted to inhale the pale vapours. Unfortunately it exacerbates the effect of other poisons, allowing them to quickly overwhelm the bodies defences and resulting in quick death.

Note: As with the poisons to which this preparation is an antidote, the Silver Key becomes inert fifteen minutes after being brewed.

  • Form: Infusion.
  • Description: This grey solution is a thick, resinous liquid. It has an acrid, burning scent that brings on coughing and chills the lungs.The overpowering, acidic flavour makes drinking it unappealing.
  • Roleplaying Effects: You begin to cough uncontrollably, and after a few moments will vomit until your stomach is empty. You may lose consciousness. Over the next five minutes the symptoms of either The Black Gate or The Crimson Gate quickly recede.
  • Mechanical Effects: Removes the effect of either or both of The Black Gate or The Crimson Gate. The weakness and venom effects need to be removed separately. If you are not poisoned, you are reduced to 0 hits by this unpleasant preparation.
  • Recipe: Four drams each of Imperial Roseweald, Bladeroot and Marrowort, two drams of True Vervain and one dram of Cerulean Mazzarine.