The poisons known as The Winter Moon are sinister and somewhat supernatural poisons that combine the effects of a terrible curse with a cruel lethality. The Virus Lunarae attacks the spirit, casing a slow, numbing chill but the vile effectiveness of this venom does not end with death - the corpse of the victim soon reanimates as a flesh-hungry husk and attacks friends and family gathered around the sickbed. The Hunger of the Wolf drives the target increasingly mad, culminating in a bloody rampage that ends only when the poor victim is dead. Both poisons work by causing a fundamental inbalance in the body and mind - and some say spirit - of the victim.

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 theVirue Lunarae and the Hunger of the Wolf is an infusion called the Feast for Crows. 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.

Virus Lunarae

This cruel ingested poison numbs and kills the victim, slowly leeching their vital essences and will to live. Worse, when the subject finally succumbs their flesh rises again as a monstrous undead horror, hungry for the meat and blood of the living. There is some evidence that the target is granted unnatural life by the power of the poison itself, although there is also a belief that the virus lunarae traps a spirit of Winter similar to that unleashed by Quickening Cold Meat ritual, and binds it to the corpse of the victim.

  • Form: Liquid.
  • Description: This clear, odourless, tasteless liquid appears indistinguishable from water.
  • Roleplaying Effects: You feel a growing chill spreading through your body. Over the next fifteen minutes you become increasingly cold and numb; shivering despite all efforts to keep you warm. You lose all sensation in your extremities, and eventually are incapable of feeling any physical sensation or holding anything in your numb fingers. You also become increasingly incoherent, and will tend to babble incomprehensibly as the symptoms worsen.
  • 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 slip into a coma from which you will never recover. A few minutes after that, you reanimate as a flesh-hungry zombie bent on killing and devouring the living.
  • Incorrect Antidote: If the incorrect antidote is applied, you slip into a coma and die. A few minutes later you will animate as a flesh-hungry zombie.
  • Recipe: Three drams each of Marrowort and Cerulean Mazzarine and two drams each of True Vervain and Bladeroot.

Hunger of the Wolf

The hunger of the wolf makes the victim increasingly unstable. When the target eventually succumbs to the poison, they enter a final psychotic frenzy from which there is no recovering, ultimately lasting until the target is fatally injured or a fatal brain haemorage kills them. The poison also prevents the blood from clotting naturally - any serious injury is sufficient to kill the target.

  • Form: Liquid.
  • Description: This clear, odourless, tasteless liquid appears indistinguishable from water.
  • Roleplaying Effects: You feel a growing heat spreading through your body. Over the next fifteen minutes you become extremely short tempered, often incoherent with rage, and lash out at anyone who annoys you. Your growing rage makes it harder and harder for you to concentrate; you begin to hear voices urging you to kill everyone around you.
  • Mechanical Effects: You are immediately affected by venom which cannot be removed until the poison is cured. After ten minutes you can no longer communicate coherently with others, and become extremely violent. After thirty minutes you may choose to either enter a psychotic killing frenzy or suffer a fatal brain haemorage. You will never recover from this state.
  • Incorrect Antidote: If the incorrect antidote is applied, you undergo a pychotic break, raving incoherently and lashing out at everyone nearby for at most a minute or so before suffering a fatal brain hemorrhage and dropping dead.
  • Recipe: Four drams each of Imperial Roseweald and True Vervain and two drams of Bladeroot.

Feast for Crows

The feast for crows is spread onto the skin, especially the skin of the hands and face. It quickly rebalances the body and spirit of the poisoning victim. 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 Feast for Crows becomes inert fifteen minutes after being brewed.

  • Form: Salve.
  • Description: This lumpy red balm has a texture similar to that of rotting meat soaked in blood. It is quickly absorbed into the skin, leaving red marks behind.
  • Roleplaying Effects: You are overwhelmed by alternating burning fever and freezing numbness that completely incapacitates you. You may lose consciousness, and suffer painful convulsions. Over the next five minutes the symptoms of either Virus Lunarae or Hunger of the Wolf quickly recede.
  • Mechanical Effects: Removes the effect of either or both of Virus Lunarae or Hunger of the Wolf. 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 Marrowort and Cerulean Mazzarine, three drams each of Bladeroot and Imperial Roseweald and one dram of True Vervain.