Overview

These foul preparations originate with the Druj orcs. The recipes were originally captured from the Druj during the liberation of Reikos, when the herbal text of the Buruk Tepel of the Stone Toad clan fell into Imperial hands. Originally hidden behind a complex cipher, the book was eventually decoded by Imperial scholars and the recipes within revealed.

In Autumn 382YE, the recipes that comprise the Last Resort were distributed to Imperial apothecaries by order of the Imperial Senate. along with several other new potion recipes. Known as The Buruk's Blade among the Druj, the poisons are apparently used by master apothecaries in the Mallum to dispatch their opponents.

For obvious reasons, Imperial apothecaries have not undertaken much experimentation with these preparations. Much of what is known about them and their symptoms comes directly from the captured Stone Toad herbal.

As poisons, Watery Grave, Python's Hug, and Hooded Misery are illegal within the Empire; possession of either is generally viewed by the Imperial Magistrates as intent to commit murder. See the section on poisons for more details of how these horrible substances, and their antidote, are used.

Watery Grave

Known to the Druj as Ashwater, this is a lethal ingested poison. According the to herbal, the victim will initially begin to feel nauseous. They may vomit, and they may become dizzy. After around fifteen minutes, they begin to feel thirsty, a feeling which worsens no matter how much they drink. This is accompanied by stabbing stomach pains, and they will almost certainly vomit at this stage and may soil themselves. Bowel movements are voluminous – to put it mildly – and very watery. Their organs are already beginning to die.

Their breathing is also effected, becoming laboured and difficult. Their blood is viscous and foul smelling – which can have minor positive effects but they are more than counteracted by the agonising pain in the gut and the thirst. It becomes almost impossible for them to concentrate, leaving them weakened and barely able to defend themselves.

After half an hour, enough of their organs have died that they cannot sustain life. They suffer a fatal seizure, and die.

  • Form: Liquid.
  • Description: This clear, odourless, tasteless liquid appears indistinguishable from water.
  • Roleplaying Effects: You feel nauseous and unwell. Over the next fifteen minutes you feel dehydrated and suffer stabbing stomach pains and vomiting. Your bowel movements are voluminous and watery. Your breathing becomes laboured.
  • Mechanical Effects: You are immediately effected by WEAKNESS that cannot be removed until the poison is cured. After ten minutes your blood is viscous and foul smelling and your bleed time is increased by three minutes. At the end of thirty minutes your organs collapse leading to a fatal collapse.
  • Incorrect Antidote: If the incorrect antidote is applied, the target suffers a fatal, agonising seizure and dies.
  • Recipe: Four drams of bladeroot, and two drams each of true vervain, cerulean mazzarine, and marrowort.

Python's Hug

Known to the Druj as Gutwreck, this is another fatal poison. According to the herbal, shortly after imbibing the poison, the victim begins to feel warm and unwell, as if slightly feverish. After five minutes or so, the thin membranes in their nose will rupture, causing a voluminous nosebleed – this is often enough by itself to induce panic. Their head will begin to ache, and the ache will grow as the poison does its work. They will feel a pain in their guts as if they are being twisted.

After another ten minutes the poison is well about its work. They are unable to move, enervated and feverish. They cannot stand, much less fight or wield their magic. Their insides feel as if they are being turned slowly around a stick, constricting and twisting, and tightening.

After a further fifteen minutes, it is too late. The entrails rupture bloodily, ripping themselves apart and leaving the victim writhing in agony followed by merciful death.

  • Form: Liquid.
  • Description: This clear, odourless, tasteless liquid appears indistinguishable from water.
  • Roleplaying Effects: You feel warm and unwell. After five minutes, you suffer a nosebleed, headache, and abdominal pain. After fifteen minutes you are enervated and feverish and barely able to move, feeling as if your guts are twisting inside you.
  • Mechanical Effects: After fifteen minutes you are unable to move unaided, attack, defend, or use any skill or magical item unless it explicitly says that it can be used while dying. You may be fed a potion by another character. After thirty minutes, your organs rupture bloodily leading to a painful death.
  • Incorrect Antidote: If the incorrect antidote is applied, the targets stomach and intestines rupture fatally, killing them.
  • Recipe: Four drams of Imperial roseweald, and two drams each of marrowort, bladeroot, and true vervain.

Restless Slumber

Known to the Druj as Deathsleep, this salve is the antidote to both Watery Grave and Python's Hug. The herbal mentions that it can be mistaken for another poison "with amusing and fatal repercussions". Assuming it is applied correctly, it causes the victim to experience a powerful chill, creeping enervation, and then unconsciousness that lasts at least five minutes. During that time the patient cannot be wakened at all, in a stupor that is sometimes mistaken for death.

After a few minutes though, they recover – assuming that the antidote was not applied to the wrong poison. If it was, they will never recover from their stupor and death is assured.

Regardless, after the antidote does its work, the target is left both envenomed and weakened, although these conditions can be removed in the usual fashion

  • Form: Salve.
  • Description: This thin, tan salve is unpleasantly greasy to the touch. It smells of spoiled offal.
  • Roleplaying Effects: You experience a powerful chill and over the next few minutes lose consciousness. Over the next five minutes the symptoms of either watery grave or python's hug poisons quickly recede.
  • Mechanical Effects: Removes the effect of either or both Watery Grave and Python's Hug. You are left subject to both venom and weakness, regardless. If you were not poisoned, you are weakened and venomed by this unpleasant preparation.
  • Recipe: Five drams each of Imperial roseweald, bladeroot, and true vervain.

Hooded Misery

Known to the Druj as Brackblood, this vile tasting liquid leaves the drinker nauseous – and suffering the disease the orcs call the Brackblood Pestilence and the Empire knows as the Reikos Flux. This preparation, and the sickness it causes, are apparently a development and refinement of the poison the Empire calls Watery Grave. Unlike the poison, however, the pestilence takes several days to kill the victim – but it is contagious and harms only humans.

Hooded Misery mimics some of the symptoms of drinking befouled water, and progresses in four stages. A victim passes through the stages one at a time until they are cured or they die. It takes around a day for a victim to pass through each stage, killing them in a little less than a week.

The first day after the pestilence takes hold, the victim feels cold and clammy, and the skin on their hands and feet becomes wrinkled. Their mouth is dry, and their bowel movements are voluminous, watery, and clear. On the second day, these symptoms are joined by vomiting and stomach cramps. If they are cut, their blood is thick and viscous. They are lethargic, and find it difficult to apply themselves. This symptom can be addressed with herbs such as bladeroot, or the purify spell, but returns after an hour or so. By the third day, the symptoms are impossible to ignore. Their soft skin takes on a grey-blue tinge and breathing becomes more difficult. Their blood flows slowly – even a serious wound will take some time to bleed out – but the blood smells foul, like rotting fish. Their health deteriorates greatly – any wound may be extremely serious. Finally, on the last day, the body is overwhelmed. Some few of strong will can fight off the sickness and recover, but if they do not, then nothing can save them. In the words of the Druj: "The abyss grows within their bellies and devours them from within."

According to the herbal, there is a hidden danger in attempting to treat the sickness: herbal arts may speed the course of the disease and as with the poison from which it has been refined, the wrong antidote represents "a deadly mistake". The only reliable antidote to the sickness caused by this preparation is the use of a Bloodharrow Philtre. Any other herbal preparation, apparently, will simply cause the sickness to become stronger, progressing it to its next stage.

The herbal also warns that any human who has drunk the potion, and thus been infected with the Reikos Flux, will spread the disease to "any with whom they share water" although it does not go into much detail about precisely what that may mean.

  • Form: Liquid.
  • Description: This red liquid is thick and viscous, with crushed herbal particles clearly visible within it. It smells almost overpoweringly of fish.
  • Roleplaying Effects: This vile tasting liquid causes you to feel nauseous and unwell for several minutes.
  • Mechanical Effects: If you have drunk this vile tasting liquid, you should show this lammy to a referee as soon as possible.
  • Recipe: Four drams of bladeroot, and a dram each of true vervain, cerulean mazzarine, and marrowort.