Kalypto poison lecture (log)

The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search

Posted by DANGEROUSLYELVEN on 2010/4/7

Kalypto recites:

     "Many poisons have medicinal use in small amounts, and are toxic in larger. This can lead to things like 'accidental' overdoses and death. There is a quote used by empaths and poison students alike: "A poison in a small dose is a medicine, and a medicine in a large dose is a poison."

Kalypto recites:

     "Several plants also have cosmetic uses in small quantities, giving women the perfect excuse to carry them on their person."

Kalypto recites:

     "Much of the knowledge regarding poisons comes from the practice of experimenting with them on condemned prisoners. The various scholars, empaths and poison practitioners would document the dosages, size and weight of the victim, and the various symptoms. They also used this method to try and discover antidotes and treatments."

Kalypto recites:

     "One school of thought believes that one can build an immunity to poisons by ingesting a small amount on a regular basis. Surprisingly, this does work with a few of the more common toxins, while others simply build up in the body until they eventually reach fatal levels."

Kalypto recites:

     "Another 'quack' remedy suggests finding an animal that regularly eats small amounts of poisonous plants, with no harmful effects, and to ingest the animal's blood. This almost always has a very negative effect, and other studies have shown that the meat or even milk of an animal that can eat a toxic plant without harmful side effects will kill a person or animal that then eats it."

Kalypto recites:

     "There are, however, a very few poisons that can be used to kill animals (not by ingestion, but by introduction to the blood with arrows, darts and blowguns) where the flesh of the animal can still be eaten safely."

Kalypto recites:

     "A variety of charlatans over the years have sold everything from talismans against poisons to cures for them. But very few of the poisons I'll discuss today have any actual cure if the doses are large enough. There are some treatments that if done immediately, depending on the poison used, may be effective enough to prevent death."

Kalypto recites:

     "Some of these preventions ranged from various gemstones that are said to change color in the presence of poison, toadstones: the calcified stones found in toad's stomachs, to the belief that using a drinking cup carved from unicorn horn will neutralize the poison. If you can locate a real unicorn horn.. go ahead and test it out for yourself..."

Kalypto recites:

     "One interesting practice is to actually combine poisons to create a more potent drug. Say you wanted to poison a glass of wine.. you might use a few drops of belladonna and a small amount of cyanide, and maybe include a third ingredient. Each poison will weaken the victim to the attack of the other two poisons, and while someone may recognize the symptoms and use a treatment, such as activated charcoal, which might fight against one of the poisons, but not all."

Kalypto recites:

     "Any practitioner of these arts should set aside a small, lockable room to keep all of their supplies and experiments. Many of these plants are fatal to pets, especially smaller ones such as cats or lap dogs. And of course, you'd hardly want young children getting into things."

Kalypto recites:

     "Another piece of wisdom, when handling such a deadly substance, don't trust anyone other than yourself. There is a story about a rather famous poisoner that is told to all new scholars of the art. Apparently he poisoned some wine that he wished served to his guests, and had another carafe of 'safe' wine for himself. A kitchen attendant got the wines mixed up, and the host was fatally poisoned."

Kalypto recites:

     "One practice more common than might be supposed is the number of hedge witches or village wise women who can brew up tinctures to sell to local women for various 'female problems' which mostly turn out to be their husbands."

Kalypto recites:

     "The Methods of Poisoning - while ingestion is the most commonly known method of poisoning someone, the actual implementation of poisons can be as varied and creative as the imagination of the person involved."

Kalypto recites:

     "Many poisons are able to be absorbed through the skin, leading to such imaginative uses as smearing an ointment on silvers, impregnating documents or scrolls with them, rubbed inside gloves or even on a leather saddle."

Kalypto recites:

     "Some fumes are toxic, and have been added to lamp oils or incense, even candles. There's a rather interesting case where a combination of poisons were heated in a crucible underneath a suspended feathered fan that absorbed the vapors."

Kalypto says, "I suppose one could gift it to a lady one rather... didn't like, and then strive not to be near her when it was warm."

Kalypto says, "Something like the fan, while interesting, is not exactly targetted. The fumes could be wafted towards others as easily as towards the intended."

Kalypto recites:

     "One of my favorite stories is rather simple, and yet brilliant in execution. A woman decided to be rid of her daughter-in-law, using a knife coated with poison on only one side of the blade. She cut a portion of meat in half, serving her daughter-in-law one side, and taking the other for herself."

Kalypto recites:

     "While some people who resort to poison are looking for a very 'quick fix', others may take a more long-term approach. There is one story of how, during the remodeling of a large manor house the glue used to back the silk wallpapers contained a form of arsenic that over time slowly turned into a gas. The gas would build up within the room, and within those who dwelt in the room, over the course of years. No doctor could diagnose this type of poisoning properly.. and when the victim eventually succumbed, it would be written off as a weak, sickly constitution."

Kalypto recites:

     "Now I will give you a short list of some of the more commonly found poisons, with a few details about their uses, symptoms and antidotes. This is NOT a complete list by any means, and do not think to use it alone, without much more research. The field of poisons is very intricate and detailed, deadly to others and oneself with the slightest slip. One should dedicate decades of study before even contemplating actually working with any of these plants."

Kalypto recites:

     "Aconite - also known as Monkshood or Wolfsbane. This plant belongs to the buttercup family. It has rather attractive, fragile blue bell-like flowers that grow several to a stalk. The entire plant is poisonous, especially the leaves and roots. The toxins can be ingested or absorbed through the skin, with signs occurring almost immediately. Death can follow within 10 minutes or 10 hours, depending on dosage and method of administration. There is no specific antidote, but a series of medications specific to each symptom, as well as gastric lavage applied in a timely manner may prevent death."

Kalypto recites:

     "Belladonna - also known as Nightshade, this is often used as an ornamental plant. The flowers are a pale purple with shiny, dark purple-black berries. All parts of the plant are poisonous, especially the roots, leaves and berries. Reaction time can take several hours to several days. There is no specific antidote, but vomiting and immediate treatment of all symptoms may help. At one point in history, women used diluted eye drops made from belladonna to dilate their eyes, simulating arousal and making themselves more attractive to men."

Kalypto says, "On a side note, potatoes are related to Nightshade, and can carry minute amounts of toxins within them. Cooking tends to negate the poison, but I would avoid very green, raw potatoes and other tubers if I were you."

Kalypto recites:

     "Foxglove - also known as digitalis or fairy bells, this plant has been used medicinally for heart conditions. Vivid purple, tube-shaped bells cling to tall stalks. The leaves are the most toxic, and do not weaken with cooking. Reaction time may take 20 to 30 minutes, with symptoms varying from blurred vision and headache to chest pains."

Kalypto says, "Foxglove is most commonly used in a distilled, liquid form, and has a very sweet and syrupy taste."

Kalypto recites:

     "Larkspur - related to delphinium and aconite, this entire plant is toxic, and symptoms range from a slowed heartbeat to cyanosis, this means turning blue... and trouble breathing, as well as itching. The toxicity of the plant decreases with age."

Kalypto recites:

     "Lily of the Valley - This plant has tiny white, bell-like flowers that cluster along tall stalks with wide, blade-like green leaves. The bulb of this plant is often mistaken for wild onion, and has been mistakenly used in soups and salads to a very tragic effect. Lily of the valley is so poisonous, that the water from a vase of the flowers is deadly."

Kalypto recites:

     "I feel I should mention, before opening the floor for questions, that while some treatments may prevent deaths in the case of poisonings, internal, irreversible damage may have already been done. This is different for each toxin, but can range from nerve damage to a weakened heart or lungs, and the victim will be weakened for the rest of their lives." 

Kalypto recites:

     "Now, I'll take questions before we adjourn to the Hall for food and drink"

Jaysehn asks, "What is the best way to use mezereon to achieve the quickest results?"

Kalypto recites:

     "Mezereon is one of those plants that is so toxic that contact with the skin produces a rather vicious rash...."

Kalypto recites:

     "For the quickest results, I assume you mean death?"

Jaysehn says, "Oh yes."

Kalypto says, "I would recommend a liquid form.. either from distillation or even a simple boiling and pressing, then boiling again to have a super saturated form."

Selemor deeply asks, "Do you know of a plant that has the characteristic of making the victim more....suseptible to suggestion?"

Speaking to Selemor, Kalypto says, "I have run across mentions of a few in my studies, but it has not been the main focus of my learning. Offhand, I could only recommend a combination... maybe some yohimbe with something sweet."

Speaking deeply to Kalypto, Selemor asks, "I have heard several tales of Mandrake root's origin and usage, but could you shed some light on perhaps, what it truly is?"

Kalypto says, "On its origin? I'm afraid not, I know many of the folktales regarding it, but couldn't honestly speak with truth about its origins... usage however, is a slightly different matter."

Speaking to Aevryl, Kalypto says, "I am willing to return for another lecture on poisons such as arsenic, as this lecture is strictly on plants."

Speaking in Elven to Kalypto, Aevryl says, "I will look forward to it, for my answers likely lie therein."

Kalypto says, "Arsenic is a heavy metal, and deserves quite a bit of time all on its own."

Jaysehn asks, "I was just curious if you knew much about Luukosian deathwort. Specifically, why it functions as it does?"

Kalypto looks over at Jaysehn and shakes her head.

Kalypto says, "I will not speak of that at this time."

Kalypto says, "This lecture is purely for... informative purposes and entertainment.. that one doesn't count."

Speaking deeply to Kalypto, Selemor asks, "Are there any medicinal or poisonous uses for monkeyflower?"

Speaking to Selemor, Kalypto says, "Anything in large quantities can be toxic..."

Kalypto says, "But I have not studied monkeyflower."

Kalypto says, "Allergies are a completely new game when it comes to poisons... they give you so many more options."

Telsas quietly says, "Are there any recipes for alchemy you can recommend."

Kalypto says, "I'm afraid that would have to wait for a secondary lecture as well."

Kalypto says, "This lecture was on relatively simple poisons.."

Kalypto says, "The kind of thing someone could make with a single plant and very little equipment."

Kalypto says, "I do have tokens for those of you who attended today."

Kalypto says, "I will pass them out, and there will be a short reception in the Octagonal Hall for any who wish to stay and chat."