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Comments: 14
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Rating: 3.9286
Condition: Normal
ID: 3717


June 29, 2010, 12:14 am

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Rustcaller Toxin


Rustcaller Toxin is not a tool of assassination, but instead a weapon of random terror.

The subtle poison known as “Rustcaller Toxin” was first attributed to the Woebringers, a murderous band of religious zealots prominent during the religious wars of the previous century.  Distilled from the sap of several desert plants, it is actually easy to manufacture, but because the needed plants serve no other purpose, mere possession of these ingredients is considered sufficient justification for execution among the desert tribes that populate the plants' growing range.

Transparent and vaguely oily when first applied, Rustcaller Toxin is actually quite harmless until it has had time to react with a metallic surface.  In fact, Rustcaller requires several days to reach its true, lethal potential.  Reacting with iron alloys, nickel, or manganese, once wiped onto such metal, the poison gradually changes to a rusty red-brown often mistaken for rust or corrosion.

In this state, the toxin is a slow, but deadly contact poison.  The first sign that one has been poisoned is a blackish stain on the involved body part.  The stain soon begins to burn and itch: victims who swiftly amputate affected fingers or hands have often been saved at this stage.  Over the next few days, the poison destroys the victim’s kidneys:  They grow fatigued and confused, suffering agonizing abdominal pain, and urinating blood. Their tissues swell due to wastes retained in the system until they eventually suffer congestive heart failure.  If recognized early enough, a vigorous regimen of fruit juices and fluids can flush much of the toxin from the victim’s system, saving their life.  Victims may still be disabled for months afterward.

Rustcaller Toxin has seldom been a tool of political assassination, as it is more easily used to spread random terror.  Some have used Rustcaller to make otherwise innocuous items into deadly traps.  Even a humble door handle or buckle can become lethally toxic.

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Comments ( 14 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Pariah
March 3, 2007, 22:46
Possession might be reasonable cause for execution, but I can see it being coated on the treasure in a Chieftan's burial chamber, or what not. Does repeated contact make the poison work faster?
March 3, 2007, 22:56
Because of the burning, itching sensation, and visible discoloration of the active toxin, I didn't think that repeated contact was likely.

I envisioned the poison as something associated with random killings, as some sects use it to coat various items that will be sent to their enemies' towns. Since it takes days to become lethal, they will have plenty of time to evade those who will seek vengeance. A man with a rag covered with the stuff could wipe it onto armor, weapon hilts, buckles, tools, pots and pans, and other items, then wait for it to transform into deadly poison days later.
Voted Jarons20
March 3, 2007, 23:27
this has a really cool effect, nicely detailed and horrific
like the waiting time on it, how long can the poison last on a piece?
March 4, 2007, 0:41
That probably depends on how exposed it is. In places where it is protected from weather, probably weeks, months, or even years. Without that, it would degrade within a few days.
Voted manfred
March 4, 2007, 3:57
I am so disgusted with this, that I have given it the Poison freetext. :)

I could see that in places where this is at least somewhat common, the locals might be a little suspicious of anything metallic, especially things found or being given as a gift. Is there a way to 'clean' a metallic item? Would careful oiling remove, or at least dilute the poison? Also, there's bound to be some group of bandits, universally hated, that coats their weapons with this... so even if one survives their raid, it won't be for long.

Pretty good one, Wulf. Short and... logical.
March 4, 2007, 13:45
As it appears to be an oil-based material that alchemically reacts with iron, solvents that remove oil or grease should break it down and materials that remove rust should eliminate it. I'd be careful what I did afterward with the rags that were used.
Voted Cheka Man
March 4, 2007, 13:46
Only voted
Voted valadaar
March 4, 2007, 18:38
Nasty, I like it! Using it on arrowheads would be so nasty. I think I'd have to add some more restrictions to keep it from being too common.

Heh, I know a really good use for this, but I'm not going to directly plug my own sub. It does rhyme with Siren Bike Slalom!
March 4, 2007, 21:23
You'd have to be pretty bold to put this stuff on arrowheads; as it's a contact poison, all you'd have to do is accidentally brush one against your bare skin...

If it is in danger of becoming too common, the weeds it is derived from might turn out to be more uncommon than I had suggested. In a realistic game, I don't see this stuff becoming very commonplace: There are real-world substances that are comparably unpleasant, but they aren't often seen on the weapons or booby-traps of terrorists or criminals. Nasty poisons like this are just dangerous to keep around.

Loading up an Iron Spike Golem with this stuff would just be mean...
Kuseru Satsujin
March 11, 2008, 20:09
Overall an impressive poison, however there are some areas where clarification would be useful.
First off, I'd like to say that the poison strikes me less as a weapon of random terror, and more as a poison commonly applied to traps. There are two bits of information which I think would also be useful. While the duration of the major effects is covered, the amount of time for the onset of the poison would be useful. Additionally, while I found the damage that the poison does when the victim comes into contact with it wonderfully described, a short note on the possible effects if this poison was injected (i.e. if the person was attacked and cut with a weapon coated in this poison) or ingested (though why anyone would be licking several of the common objects made from the applicable metals is beyond me) would be useful as well.
June 29, 2010, 0:11
Update: I made a few minor updates to clarify the text.
August 21, 2010, 0:48
A truly devastating poison indeed...
Voted Murometz
September 26, 2012, 0:04

Nasty stuff! Begs to be used.

Voted Elbin
May 29, 2013, 15:29
Only voted

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