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In my world, wood elves use magic charms and illusions to ensnare their prey. They have a very opportunistic diet as they eat anything that walks into their forest. After consumption they sleep for days and weeks to aid the digestion process and conserve energy. I'm trying to create a scientific gas that can be found in the elves mouth that doesn't affect them but destroys the nerves and reduces the pain for the victim when their limbs are bitten off. Would this chemical be secreted through fangs like venom or found in saliva? I would prefer for the ability to be a naturally biological function but if magic needs to be involved that's fine.

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Powerful opiate analogs.

The rapid knockdown power of synthetic opiate analogs has been in the news. Fentanyl is an opiate analog which is 100 times more potent than morphine, and which is rapidly absorbed through any body surface - it is available as a skin patch, lozenge and nasal spray. In the Moscow theater hostage crisis, fentanyl or a related compound pumped in as a gas knocked out everyone inside, incapacitating the terrorists so fast they had no time to detonate their suicide vests.

Carfentanil is 100 times more potent than fentanyl. Touching or inhaling a small amount of these drugs can cause the body to "shut down", which has become a hazard for police and paramedics.

Opiates as a class cause pain relief, anaesthesia, sedation and euphoria. Higher doses cause sleep, respiratory depression and even death. A rapid onset opioid which can be absorbed through skin would be perfect venom for these vampiric elves. Spitting, licking, a bite or a kiss would suffice. Or a wet Bronx cheer?

The elves themselves would be immune to its effect for the same reason that opioids are not constituents of any real animal's venom. Elf opiate receptors are not the same as humans. A substance which acts through a receptor is a poor candidate for a venom because it is easy to evolve around. Receptors are evolutionarily very flexible. Even among humans now it is common to see a great variety of sensitivity levels to opiates. Acquired insensitivity is common among people who use a lot, and some people are born that way. If there were a selective advantage to a mutant opiate receptor (e.g.: snake spits at you and instead of falling asleep nearby you continue to run) you will have a fitness advantage and your mutation will spread through your species.

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Hydrofluoric acid

This is a magical answer, as I can't think of any natural way for a human-like creature to use HF.

Hydrofluoric acid is a nasty chemical in many ways. It's a precursor to all sorts of fluorine-containing chemicals, but it's difficult to store (it'll eat through glass), and it's extremely dangerous to humans. If it comes in contact with eyes, skin, or lungs, it causes horrible burns.

But worst of all, these burns are painless and initially not even visible. Because HF penetrates right through the skin and starts bonding with calcium ions. These ions are crucial for nerve function, and without them the nerves aren't able to send pain signals. Hence many people who are exposed don't seek treatment until it's too late. (Treatment usually involves replenishing the calcium ions and giving the HF something else to bond to, something that's not important for nerve functions.)

So if your elves somehow have HF in their saliva, without it affecting their own bodies (hence the magic), it could be used to prevent pain before they tear someone apart. The damage is permanent and often fatal if it spreads far enough, but I'm guessing the elves don't care about that.

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Alkaloid toxins, like the ones used by the Golden poison frog or several bats. They can be obtained from some plants, consumed by the animal as part of its diet or just to produce that poison.

Aconitine, same source than Alkaloid toxins. The elves could be immune but all the other animals would suffer it.

Tetrodotoxin, the one in the pufferfish and other aquatic animals. Your elves could have an aquatic past, for example.

Botulism, a bit too slow acting, but it can be obtained just from bits of meat rotting in the mouth.

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Okay vampire elves yes? A, don't have venom in their mouths it's just ackward for the elves to capture prey. Have the venom exit points be in retractable claws for straching enemies without leaving them open to beheading and if their venom sacks are in their torso they could hold a lot more venom then if the sacks were in their mouths.

http://www.springhole.net/writing/plotholes-in-vampire-fiction.htm <- read this before deciding on toxin.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj48E3QhE_8 <- currently watching this to answer your question. So far no gas but good ol Cyanide is found in almonds and appleseeds so there's your source.

Tetrodotoxin is a neurotoxin that is capable of fooling tests to determine if someone is alive allowing for the elves to transport prey back to their camp and prepare them for the feasts.

Some other links:http://io9.gizmodo.com/5784971/how-to-create-a-scientifically-plausible-alien-life-form

http://www.springhole.net/writing/fantasy-and-science-fiction-creature-development-questions.htm

http://www.springhole.net/writing/create-better-fantasy-and-science-fiction-species.htm

Atropa belladona aka deadly nightshade is the poison in the apple in disney's snow white. Or atleast matpat thinks so. All of them are perfectly good poisons for your elves to use

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