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(TFT) toxicology


A Greek physicker named Doscorides (AD 40-90) is considered the father of toxicoloby, and while the overwhelming majority of the toxic substances to be described below are more modern than would have been availiable in the middile ages, both in the name given and in the details of the effects. Unless a character has Apothecary Talent they would not be able to name or discuss any toxin on this page. The reason modern definable toxins are used is that the information can be both accurate and informational; to an extent. Before anyone takes any of the information in this game too seriously please remember that it is only a game, and frought with flaws. The medical information it contains is designed to convey a flavor, and hopefully get someone interested enough in the real information to do some research of their own. In the mean time, consider what the American Red Cross: Multimedia Standard First Aid workbook (1987) has to say about treating people who may be poisoned, or dealing with poisoning in general.

FIRST: Dilute the poison by giving water or milk to drink. [don't give liquids to the unconscious.] THEN: Try quickly to identify the poison, but do not waste time. Call the poison center, hospital, or doctor. Give care to prevent shock.

Rating of Toxicity given to materials is as follows:
UNKNOWN: for substances that not enough is known about, or have only been heard of. NON TOXIC: for things that cause no damage under normal conditions (of course too much of anything can be bad, think of salt.) SLIGHT: When only slight effects are produced on sensitive areas like the mucous membranes or other organs.
SEVER: Is to describe those materials that threaten life or cause permanent physical impairment or disfigurement.

Types of exposures are the two following. These two are by no means absolute. The dosage and the rate of consumption are powerful factors. Besides, even well known toxins can have toxicity factors that vary as greatly as ten billion times that of the norm:
    ACUTE:  is a single exposure.
    CHRONIC is a case of repeated exposure.

The most important thing to remember about the following list is that each one of the Toxins is automatically considered unknown to characters unless the GM specifically gives out the information. Or if the character learns the Apothecary Talent. They can then pick one toxin off the list below that they are already familiar with. The toxicity is left blank, the GM will fill them in as characters discover them.

Arsenic (toxicity:                       )
The acute (one time exposure) symptoms are diarrhea and cramps. Chronic cases (long term exposure) cause anemia, occasionally paralysis, and chronic exposure to the skin may develop malignant skin tumors. BAL (British Anti-Lewisite) is a decent antidote.

Azalea (toxicity:                       )
This is a bit of foliage, a bush, and all parts are poisonous. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, depression, breathing difficulties, prostration, coma, and its probably fatal.

Centipede (toxicity:                       )
All centipedes have poison jaws to paralyze their prey. A painful bite may be inflicted by the larger ones like the 28cm East Indian Scolopendra Gigantea.

Chloride (toxicity:                       )
A poison gas (first released on april 22, 1915) that produces intense irritation of the mucous membranes in the nose, mouth, and respiratory tract, that makes for severe tissue damage, edema, and if inhaled for more than 1 to 2 minutes at concentrations of 10 parts per 10,000, death.

Curare (toxicity:                       )
An alkaloid that acts as a skeletal muscle relaxant. This is the famous Sough American indian arrow poison, that renders the victim unable to escape or put up much of a fight. The most potent curare alkaloids are obtained from Strychos Toxifera. Species of Chondrodendron, notably C. tomentosum, are the source of d-tubocurarine.

Cyanogen (toxicity:                       )
A colorless, highly toxic gas with a pungent odor. When burned in oxyben it makes one of the hottest flames recorded from a chemical reation. Cyanogen bromide (BrCN) and cyanogen chloride (CICN) were used as poison gases during WWI.

Dendrobatidae (toxicity:                       )
The famous poison arrow frog of South America. They also have a giant toad (B. marinus) that secretes a poison through its skin that is highly toxic to small animals. If the parotid glands that make this poison are remeved, it may be concentrated.

Egyptian cobra (toxicity:                       )
    The bite is relatively painless and quick in its lethal effect.

Hemlock (toxicity:                       )
C. maculatum is powerfully aromatic and kills, just ask Socrates. The symptoms are stomach pains, vomiting, and paralysis of the central nervous system.

Hydra blood (toxicity:                       )
They hdyra of Lerna, killed by Hercules, was used to poison arrow heads and legend has it that even a scratch would result in death.

Hydrogen Azide (toxicity:                       )
A dose of 100-200 mg is lethal. Fast acting, it can be ingested, inhaled, or enter the blood stream through skin contact (although skin contact is usually not fatal). Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and/or loss of consciousness. If someone drops for no apparent reason, poison is just as likely as not to be the cause. An antidote is an inhalation of amyl nitrite followed up by an injection of a solution of sodium nitrite and sodium thisulphate. Unfortunately the poison kills so rapidly that treatment is usually too late. In liquid form it is colorless and evaporates quickly. It smells faintly like burnt almonds, and may be acquired from the pit of wild cherry.

Jelly fish (toxicity:                       )
Most can't penetrate the skin of man, and those that can might cause a painful sting. At worst, multiple stings will cause edema or allergic reactions.

Larkspur (toxicity:                       )
The seeds of this plant, or all of a young plant have the following effects; nausea, twitching muscles, paralysis, and it's usually fatal.

Lizards (toxicity:                       )
The only known poisonous lizard family is the Helodermatides. Among its members are the H. horridum (the beaded lizard) and the Heloderma suspectum (the Gila monster, 90 cm long.) The bite of these creatures is rarely fatal, but extremely painful. The beaded lizard likes to chew on the wound for a bit and get an extra large dosage in if possible.

Mistletoe (toxicity:                       )
    All parts of this plant, esecially the berries, are fatal.

Mushroom (toxicity:                       )
Can result in sweating, cramps, diarrhea, confusion, and sometimes convulsions. Patients usually recover within 24 hours. Amanito phalloides causes liver damage leading to jaundice (remission may occur but the mortality rate is 60% or higher. Angle of death mushrooms are the most lethal of all mushrooms and almost always fatal. Even contact with the skin can provide a strong enough dose.

Nightshade (toxicity:                       )
    All parts of this plant, especially the unripe berries, are fatal.

Octopuses (toxicity:                       )
Carnivorous and equipped with poisonous salivary glands (producing tyramine), what a combination! They try to capture prey before biting it.

Sea snake (toxicity:                       )
The deadliest snake in the world is a sea snake, and that is because it gives a large dose of neurotoxin in it's bite. The deadliest kind of poison there is, a neurotoxin. Instead of attacking the tissues or blood it goes after the nervous system, which is both hard to treat and usually fatal.

Spider (toxicity:                       )
The brown recluse (about 10mm long) has an orange-yellow body with a dark violin shap on the back. It is hardley ever fatal to humans, but the venom kills the skin and the wound may take several months to fully heal. The black widow (Latrodectus mactans) uses the deadliest kind of poison there is, a neurotoxin. Instead of attacking the tissues or blood it goes after the nervous system, which is both hard to treat and usually fatal.

Stingray (toxicity:                       )
This spine of this sea creature is serrated and solid, thus it cuts and trears while injecting the poison. Native Indo-pacific peoples used it as a spear or knife. The poison is apparently a protien and it affects the heart and the nervous sytem of mammals in a way that may result in depressed respiration.

    David Michael Grouchy II

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