Sacred 2:Book 4 - Poison

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From the Books of Magic
Book 4

Poison Magic

"How are you feeling?"
"Good, very good! My tongue is tingling a little, but otherw..."
"Very well, dispose of him and bring the next one."
--- From Varmac's research protocols while testing a new substance on a delinquent.

The lore of creating poisons and researching their effectiveness is one of the oldest aspects of magic. These disciplines comprise more than merely mixing substances. Each traveling charlatan is able to concoct some type of poison from plants, crystals or other ingredients. The true art of Poison Magic lies within refining the effectiveness of poisons, transforming them into different shapes and finding alternative methods to apply them by means of magic. The study of antidotes is also part of this branch of magic as almost every existing poison is curable by an antidote.

The roots of Poison Magic are lost in history. Fragments of old scrolls from the era of the Dragon Wars prove, that magicians were already getting involved with this discipline. One of the fundamental and classic works of poison magic is the "Arcana Alchemica" written by Archmage Trinysil in 78. In this compendium, all known poisons were sorted into groups for the very first time and all effects of magic in connection with poisons were described. All these classifications are valid to the present day. Of course, Poison Magic has evolved since then. Still, "The Trinysil" - as it is lovingly called by all students - is the standard treatise for Poison Magic at all academies of the empire..

The list of possibilities involving Poison Magic is endless. It ranges from creating simple poisons to constructing complex traps that could emit a deadly, poisonous cloud when they are being touched or otherwise triggered.

Despite being taught at all official academies of the empire, Poison Magic still maintains a sinister reputations; something does not taste right about it... pun intended. Far too often, Poison Magic is connected with assassinations, political intrigues leading to attempts on the regents' lives, or perfidious murders of competitors and rivals. Poisons are the first choice when you want to dispose of someone inconspicuously; this fact does nothing to improve the reputation of Poison Magic. Of course, this is all merely a figment of our imagination. Poison Magic - so far as it is taught at our academies - is a respectable science, albeit one that took a long time to be officially recognized as a branch of magic. Long and heated debates and negotiations were required before it was finally accepted. One of its most ferocious opponents was the eccentric Archmage Gotan who was so adamant in his rejection of Poison Magic that it was almost obsessive.

"Here they are at their desks, mixing powders, griding herbs, murmuring their ridiculous formulas and then they call it magic! MAGIC, I say! The entire quarter is contaminated by the stench of their creations. Birds are falling from the sky when they are unfortunate enough to fly over our roofs! There are not enough criminals in the empire to serve in their test series! And now these dabblers have the nerve to demand that their quackery should be called sublime magic? These fairground magician, unable to weave a single, decent spell? If these wannabe-magicians are going to be admitted to the academy, I will resign this instant."
--- Gotan about poison magic

"May this hedonist babble as much as he pleases. His opinions are weighed down by the dust and cobwebs of centuries gone past and his outlook on the world is as boring and naive as Fire Magic. Still, I must admit that i am profoundly impressed! Gotan is able to spread more venom in one speech than I am able to produce in one week. I recommend parsley as an antidote. Just stick it in your ears."
--- Varmac's reply to Gotan