Hag's Thorn Item in Excilior | World Anvil

Hag's Thorn

Sometimes the thorn is the least of your worries

ag's Thorn is a poison made from the concentrated tannins of the envyranott. Depending upon the skill of the cognoscenti, and the intended effect, the poison can cause debilitation, possibly leading to death, over an extended period of time - or it can render an excruciating death over a period of 1-3 days. It must be ingested to have the desired effect.

he poison works by causing the muscles to seize up. This typically begins in the abdominal region, but can spread all the way to the outer extremities. Initial indications from mild exposure begin with stomach cramps, lower back pain, and spasms or twitching. Heavy exposure can lead directly to debilitating abdominal pain and severe tightness in the chest.
Agonizing Death
In cases where the victim has received distillations of the most extreme potency, its claimed that their arms and legs will be wrenched, involuntarily, into such severe disfigurement that their bones will snap. Those caught in such death throes are known to emit a constant wheezing, as their chests are convulsing so tightly that they can barely make a sound - even though they are suffering horrific pain.

ag's Thorn has often been used not to kill, but to disable. With that in mind, potential treatments vary wildly depending upon the severity of the dose and when it is first detected. In some cases, people have been poisoned slowly - over a period of years - and for some of those victims, they never even sought treatment because the extended symptoms were misdiagnosed as some type of natural malady.
No Cure
For those unfortunate enough to receive a highly-concentrated and potent dose, there is no treatment. Once the muscles begin seizing up - usually 3-4 hours after exposure - the only question is how long it will take to die. The resulting agony is understood to be so severe that many cultures sanction killing the victim rather than letting them writhe in agony for several days. Most victims will beg for death - until their chest convulsions leave them powerless to speak.
Natural Dissipation
For those exposed to a lower dose of Hag's Thorn, the primary "treatment" is simply to identify the source of the poisoning and to cease ingesting it. Mild muscle and joint relief can be achieved with a lengthy daily ritual of methodical stretching. Some claim that consuming acidic juices - like citrus - will hasten the abatement of symptoms, but this has not been confirmed. Someone suffering from long-term exposure to Hag's Thorn will start to experience some relief within a week after their last dose. Full abatement is typically correlated with the length of the original exposure. In other words, if someone has been slowly poisoned over the course of a year, some deformity and pain may still linger for up-to-a-year after they stop ingesting the poison.

Manufacturing process

nvyranotts are harvested from the envyrabush. The bush yields its bounty in spring (Achiel) and fall (Gagavr). In theory, any number of nuts can be used, but since the poison is a concentration of the nut's caustic tannins, most preparations assume an initial batch of at least 100.
They can be plucked at any time, but the tannins in the nut bleach out and mellow over a period of weeks. So harvesting younger nuts, still encased in their fleshy peel, will result in a stronger poison. This allows cognoscenti to craft a tailored dose, depending upon their particular needs. Poorly-concentrated concoctions, brewed from a small batch of envyranotts that have weathered on the vine for weeks (and thus, have lost much of their initial tannin), can be used to poison someone slowly. This can result in a debilitating affliction that can take months, or even years, before finally leading to the victim's death. Highly-concentrated batches distilled from young nuts can yield batches that will lead to death in less than 48 hours.
The nuts are peeled - assuming their fleshy coating is still in place - and cleaned. They are then boiled in a large vat for a full day. The resulting broth will be tawny, with an acidic aroma. The nuts are then removed from the remaining water and the broth is left to boil slowly, typically over a period of days. Care should be taken not to boil the concoction too quickly. Excessive heat tends to break down the tannins and render the batch relatively impotent. Meticulous cognoscenti have been known to simmer the liquid for weeks over steady-but-low heat. This can yield a poison of fantastic potency.   The resulting liquid typically has a viscosity somewhat less than syrup. It ranges in color from dark brown to nearly-black and it has a pungent musk reminiscent of mold and damp soil. These properties mean that it is relatively difficult to mask the poison, so as not to alert the victim before they've consumed it.
Item type
Drug / Narcotic / Medicine
Subtype / Model
Raw materials & Components
Hag's Thorn is made solely from envyranotts.


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