The votes have been tallied and our latest Patreon poll has a winner. Asked to choose which Handbook-World denizen deserves a backstory, our Quest-Givers settled on Witch, pictured here on at the very last day of her apprenticeship. (Better luck next time, Mr. Stabby! I’m sure the David Copperwield story of your growth from dagger to short sword to full-on bastard sword will one day be told!)

At any rate, let us pause for a moment to appreciate the murderous gleam in a young girl’s eye. Told ‘no’ by her erstwhile mentor, the child prodigy has proven her pharmaceutical talents by way of youthful rebellion. No doubt the authorities on the local coven oversight board will be lenient. After all, it is in all likelihood a one-time indiscretion. And just look how cute she is! Besides, some of the world’s finest adventurers are mildly parricidal too. At the very least, one can hope that poor Brutus the hedgehog won’t be corrupted by his association with such a wicked girl.

As for the rest of us, I think the lesson is clear. No matter how innocent the situation, be cautious when it comes to comestibles. Love potions, poisons, and unpleasant practical jokes can all find their way into an innocent-seeming vial. While it can sometimes be fun to push the big red button or drink from the enchanted fountain to find out what happens, the consequences are often dire. While you don’t want to be rude to your host by applying detect poison to every little delicacy, there’s something to be said for a healthy dose of not-dying-from-exploding-intestines. And that of course leads us to a very-important corollary: be extra careful not to insult a known potion-maker (or her familiar)!

Question of the day! What is the most effective / deadly poison you’ve encountered in a game? Was it used by the party or against them? And when do poisons cross the line from “challenging encounter” to “unfair insta-kill?” Sound off with your own terrible toxins and baneful beverages down in the comments!


ADD SOME NSFW TO YOUR FANTASY! If you’ve ever been curious about that Handbook of Erotic Fantasy banner down at the bottom of the page, then you should check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Twice a month you’ll get to see what the Handbook cast get up to when the lights go out. Adults only, 18+ years of age, etc. etc.