Full Item Description
Upon creation, both venoms appear as a thick, clear goo. It is very thick to facilitate adherence to weapons.
Color is added to distinguish them - Red to Staying, Black to Mouldering.
If detailed magical detection is used, both strong temporal and necromantic magics can be detected in both venoms.
As Hachnar Velstrad developed his subterranean business( A sub I am still working on, but basically an alchemist show specializing in nasty and illegal items. , he sought different wares to provide to the underworld.
Some of his creations (notably Hachnars Demon Blood)required components which were very difficult to obtain, as the creatures would dissipate on death, and were dreadfully difficult to capture. As a result, the Venom of Staying was developed.
The research took a great deal of time, and one of the ‘failures’ along the way resulting in the creation of the Venom of Mouldering, which was useful for a completely different purpose.
These venoms are not normal poisons/potions. They cannot directly cause death to those affected by them. Ingesting these venoms has no affect on the subject, though any bite attacks made by the imbiber will deliver the effects. Note that the consistency of the substance makes it very difficult to swallow and will adhere well to teeth.
The effects of venom are such that they should be considered a magical attack as opposed to a poison with regards to any defences/resistances of the victim. Thus demons, undead and even some constructs are subject to it’s affects.
GM’s concerned about game balance may rule that these substances will not act in concert with any other poison types - the magic contained within tends to suppress physiological processes and so toxins are less or completely ineffective.
Both venoms are meant to be applied to weapons prior to striking the intended victims. Once applied, the venom remains potent for 1 hour, or until a successful strike occurs. GM’s may wish to decrease the difficulty in resisting the toxin as the venom ages as another check against abuse.
Once a victim is affected by either venom, if they should die within 10 minutes, the venom will take effect.
Venom of Mouldering:
Once an affected subject dies within 10 minutes of being affected, their body will decay at a tremendous rate. This rate is high enough that they will collapse into dust and bones several seconds after death.
For purposes of healing spells the victim is considered to be dead for 10 years. If the victim is fated to become undead on death (through some other force, curse, etc), then they can only take on skeletal or non-corporeal form.
If desired, more powerful versions of this can exist allowing any number of effective years. In this case, naught but dust would remain of a victim.
Venom of Staying
This substance is used to preserve slain monsters at the moment of their deaths. It will forestall the physical and magical effects of death, allowing for preservation of creatures whose deaths result in their immediate destruction. Once ‘stayed’, normal decay will be held until 1 month passes, whereupon normal decay/death effects will happen.
Some creatures upon death will generate baneful effects (exploding, venting poisonous gasses, etc). These are held as well and use of this venom in combating such creatures would be ideal.
A secondary use of this venom is to allow it’s use by persons anticipating their own imminent demise. After deliberately subjecting themselves with this venom, if they are slain withing 10 minutes, they will be easier to bring back from the dead.
The primary use of the Venom of staying is to allow for acquisition of exotic magical creature remains, and so the main plot suggestion is obvious - the PC’s either buy or are given (only if they have proven reliable suppliers) some of this expensive venom to use to obtain some desired carcasses.
After a terrible battle, a powerful magical beast inflicted upon the world by an evil (Demon/God/Crazed Mage/High Priest) has been slain by the PC’s. Using the Venom of Staying, the PCs have suspended, for a time, a massive retributive effect (plague, huge explosion, etc) and they now have to move the huge corpse somewhere so that when the venom expires, the area is not devastated. The PCs will need to move quickly as the area affected is huge, and they are far from a safe disposal site. In this case, you make wish to make the duration of the Staying somewhat less then the 1 month it normally lasts for. How much less is up to the evil GM.
Tools of the Assassin
The primary use of the Venom of Mouldering is to impede the dead from being raised. If the world-system used does not make this a likely scenario, then this venom loses most of it’s value. It also does a good job of making identification of the dead difficult and if the option for a more powerful version is used, it may make hiding a body rather easy.
The PCs will likely run into this use after the fact - it can be used in a Mystery type scenario where nothing but some old powder, or a skeleton so old that it just can’t be someone who was alive the day before…