Poison Detection Jewelry Item in Scarterra | World Anvil

Poison Detection Jewelry

Poison detection jewelry is jewelry where the gemstone is enchanted to change color if harmful poisons are nearby. This type of magic item can be found throughout Scarterra but is especially popular in the land of Swynfaredia.

Mechanics & Inner Workings

Sometimes they are rings, sometimes, they are pendants, or necklaces or in rare instances earrings, but the basic principle is the same. The jewelry showcases a prominent gemstone and the gemstone is enchanted to change color if poisonous substances are nearby.   The enchantment is actually in the gemstone, not the jewelry, so a gem can be moved to a different setting by any competant jeweler without affecting the enchantment.   Usually, but not always, red is the color of danger and white or blue is the color of safety, but House Fremiss-Angharad, House Fremiss-Bryallan, and House Fremiss-Caedwin often comission jewelry that registers "red" as safe and other colors as dangerous because red matches their heraldic colors.  
by Eron12 with Hero Forge
-Bevan Swynfaredian Alchemist
"Poison detection jewelry only detects physical poisons proximity, it doesn't take malicious intent into account. My alchemical lab is filled with all kinds of poisonous substances if consumed, but you are not supposed to eat or drink alchemical dyes, or explosives, or a number of materials.
  Any time a customer takes a poison detection item into my workshop, the item will detect poison. There is a reason alchemists are paid well and respected but are rarely invited to classy banquets which is unfair though understandable. Still, I don't bring noxious substances with me to dinner."
"Technically, alcohol is a poison. So is undercooked meat. This is why divination magic is preferred.   A good casting can tell a diviner the barrel in the storage area has moderate poison (probably dye or some industrial item), the wine bottles are relatively low proof, but the flask of whiskey is very strong, and the guy in the blue robes has a small quantity of very deadly poison in his pocket.
  That is whom you need to watch. Poison detection jewelry will only tell you poison is nearby but not where it is or how strong it is.   Most poison detection jewelry is made to ignore mild poisons like alcohol, even very strong alcohol. As a present for creating a fine feast for a duchess, I was gifted a poison detection amulet. I actually asked for a very sensitive one so I can detect undercooked or tainted food, but this is a rare exception. It also only detects poison within a three yard radius. Most poison detection jewelry has a much larger radius.   I don't really need my poison detection amulet but I have it as a status symbol to lord over other chefs, so I guess working for dragon bloods has corrupted me."


by Eron12 on Hero Forge
Nobles have been poisoning enemies or being poisoned by their enemies since the dawn of civilization.   Noble classes have used Magical items as status symbols dating all the way back to the First Age, but the practice has become especially pronounced in the Kingdom of Swynfaredia.
  Swynfaredian dragon bloods like to showcase magical items, and they like to showcase jewelry, and they want to avoid being poisoned via Byzantine political schemes. So it is no wonder that poison detection jewelry is among the most commonly seen magical items.


"Ideally the best way to detect poisons magically is with your own spell from your own magic, or barring that a trusted retainer, but a poison detection gem is always on, so it provides a backup in case one forgets to cast a poison detection divination or their food or drink is changed at the last minute.   Poison detection jewelry only detects poison nearby. If a person wearing such jewelry is carrying poison with the intent of poisoning someone else, the poison they are carrying will trigger their own jewelry. In this way, openly displaying poison detection jewelry is not just a defense mechanism but is also declaration of honest intent.   Gwendolyn ap Numaness, Queen of Swynfaredia
  In game terms, to make poison detection jewelry a theurgist needs to have Purification● and Crafts ●●●●.   A mage needs to have the "Detect Poison" spell from the school of Divination and "Craft Permanent Item" Arcane Merit.   This costs about 50 gold pieces worth of Reagents. Normally a magic item of this power level that is "always on" of this power level would cost three times this but because the poison detection effect is broad and not very precise, the magic is relatively easy to do.   Normally, about a third of the base cost is from consumed reagents and rest of the cost is from the gem itself since gems tend to be well suited to being enchanted.   Some rich people wanting to flex will deliberately spend more on poison detection jewelry to craft especially beautiful or ostenatious poison detection jewelry. In this case this cost is paid to the jeweler and not to the spell caster enchanting the item.
Item type
Clothing / Accessory
Current Location
Related ethnicities
Fairly common among Swynfaredia's upper classes. Less common among the upper classes of other nations.

Cover image: by me with Midjourney


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Dec 30, 2023 11:48 by Clementine Dehning

I do quite like the consideration on how it really isn’t as useful as one might think!

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