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This small brown leather-bound book has seen better days.  The leather is faded and is adorned with odd stains.  Its pages are yellowing and torn in some places, while something corrosive seems to have destroyed the top corner of one section.

   I, Ishko Mendae, Noble Dragon, have started  
   this diary as a record of my experimentations 
   with poisons.  I hope that one day my work   
   will be of use to other ninja.


   Poisonous plants that may have pote         

     Angel's trumpet - grows as shrub/         
       may have use as hallucinogen?           
     deadly nightshade - small plant wi        
       purple flowers and berries, may         
       weakness?                               
     lotus flowers - found growing in/n        
       water, renowned to cause languor a      
       forgetfulness                           
     lilies - some varieties reputed to be     
       dangerous                               
     borage, certain moulds/fungi?             
     hemlock - tall with yellow stem and white 
       flowers, found wild in plains around    
       foreign  city of Ankh-Morpork


   Venomous/poisonous animals:                 

     spiders and snakes have venom             
     blowfish is dangerous to touch            
       be deadly to eat, but if prep           
       properly, is safe.  This must mea       
       the toxic part of it can be extracte    
       I must learn how to do this!            
     some toads and frogs from the strange     
       lands beyond the Wall are said to be    
       quite toxic


   Possible solvents:                          
     water                                     
     alcohol - would rice wine work?           
     oil                                       
     acid - different types might wor          
       different plants                        
     alkalis - soda ash?


   Monday 27th June Prime, 1990                 

   I have decided to investigate the            
   of the angel's trumpet flower.               
   long been known to be dangerous,             
   bizarre visions and sensations.  I           
   they have much potential as a halluc         
   agent.                                       

   Wednesday 29th June Prime, 1990              

   I've had little success with the groun       
   trumpet flower dissolved in acid, but wat    
   shows some promise.                          

   Thursday 30th June Prime, 1990               

   Water was the key; a strange milky grey      
   liquid resulted from this marriage, but the  
   effects were quite disappointing.  Attempts  
   to concentrate this mixture proved pointless. 
   I wonder if some other substance is needed   
   to fully realise the potential of this       
   plant.                                       

   Octeday 4th Grune Prime, 1990                

   I confess; I am vexed!  I have yet to find   
   the key to unlocking the angel's trumpet - I 
   may yet revisit it.


   Wednesday 12th Ember Prime, 1990             

   I spent some months as an apprentice of famed 
   chef Yun Chan.  Under him, I learnt how to   
   safely extract the poison sac of the deadly  
   blowfish, and how to properly season pork.   

   Saturday 15th Ember Prime, 1990              

   It seems that drying and grinding the sac    
   was not the best idea I have ever had.       

   Wednesday 28th Ember Prime, 1990             

   I recently acquired some rare scorpion sacs  
   from the dangerous ghost-infested lands      
   outside the Wall.  I was advised to press the 
   sacs, and this process produced a small      
   quantity of pale red liquid.                 
   I was told that this would strengthen any    
   poison I added it to, but it had little effect
   on the angel's trumpet solution and did not  
   help with the extraction of the blowfish     
   poison.  I have decided to seek vengeance on 
   the dishonourable trader who sold me the     
   sacs!


   Saturday 1st Ick Prime, 1990                

   The cursed merchant esc   d me!  But not all 
   is lost, as I realised      the same method 
   of extracting the essen      the scorpion   
   should work for the sac     he blowfish,    
   also.                                       
   I will work on a better mechanism for       
   press  g tomorrow.                          

   Monda    h Ick Prime, 1990                  

   The pr  s worked! I was able to extract 4   
   ounces  f pale brown liquid from o   sac!!  
   I tested a small amo  t of this li  id on a 
   a rat.  Its body ex    ed quite alarmingly, 
   and it appeared to     n some discomfort    
   but it did not die.    will experiment with 
   ways of strengthening this poison.          

   Sunday 26th Ick Prime, 1990                 

   Success!!!  I have made a highly effective  
   fo        lowfish poison!  The key was to   
               down the pale brown   quid by   
              it!  This produced    ily brown  
               proved quite effic  nt at       
   ex        the target's body to several times 
   its natural size.  This    sed the rat to   
   explode quite messily a    ver this diary,  
   as a matter of fact!


   Thursday 1st February Secundus, 1990        

   I recently went to a cousin's wedding and   
   many firecrackers were set off in           
   celebration.  This made me ponder the use of 
   the explosive nitrate mixture in some sort  
   of device - perhaps to spread other poisons 
   in gaseous form?                            

   Friday 18th February Secundus, 1990         

   My brother the scholar!  I owe much to this 
   man.  He begged me to see his new collection 
   of books and scrolls.  Amongst them I found 
   a fable about a far off land where the fruit 
   of the lotus could make strangers forget    
   their native land.                          
   I intend to investigate this at some time.  
   Could a plant cause forgetfulness as it is  
   described?  And what use is that to a ninja?


   Octeday 18th June Secundus, 1990            

   Serendipity is the mother of all great      
   discoveries!  I was working on the mixture  
   from the firecrackers when a serving girl   
   brought my afternoon tea into my lab!       
   Such a stupid girl!  What right-minded man  
   would eat where he prepares all manner of   
   poisons?  I have lectured all my staff on   
   this!  I yelled at her, determined to drum  
   in this important lesson, but she startled, 
   spilling the tray she carried all over my   
   workbench.                                  
   I was furious!  Hours of work ruined.  The  
   girl could see the anger in my eyes and     
   wisely fled.  It was then that I noticed    
   that the firecracker mixture was smoking    
   furiously.  I could barely see a thing.     
   I stumbled out of the lab and managed to    
   learn from the girl, when she had finally   
   calmed down, that the tray contained my     
   usual cup of orange pekoe tea.  But it also 
   held some new season plums and a bowl of    
   sugar as they were still quite tart.  Sugar! 
   Such a sweet answer.


   Wednesday 7th Grune Secundus, 1990          

   I have spoken to a ninja friend of mine who 
   excels at pottery.  I'm afraid that I've    
   not managed more than an ugly pot.  She     
   believes that she can create a hollow ball  
   thin enough to break easily but strong


   Saturday 18th Grune Secundus, 1990          

   I swear, as soon as a man sits himself down 
   to work, all manner of chaos erupts!        
   I had just started examining some toad skins 
   that I was able to purchase, when my old    
   gardener comes to me, begging for several   
   hundred rhinu to replace my wife's peonies. 
   Peonies!  I remained calm, pointing out that 
   the plants were only new, and why should    
   they need to be replaced?  They were all    
   struggling, as though weakened, he said.    

   Now, I know the man is getting on in years, 
   but he happens to be an excellent gardener  
   so they could not be dying due to lack of   
   care.  I asked him what caused this, and he 
   told me that it's the geraniums.            
   Somehow, some leaves had got in the water   
   barrel used to collect rain and tainted it. 
   I gave the poor man the money, just to shut 
   him up, but it got me thinking.             
   The geraniums could not be harmful to people 
   as the gardener himself drinks from that    
   barrel.                                     
   But plants...                               
   What use is that to a ninja?  It is unlikely 
   we would be hired to poison a crop!


   Friday 10th August Secundus, 1990           

   Both blue and white lotus, when ground are  
   soluble in water.  These produce a deep blue 
   and a pale creamy liquid, respectively.     
   It is diffi   ty to test the effects of     
   'teas' as t     are surprisingly few people 
   willing to v   nteer.  Perhaps a student    
   ninja, who has misbehaved?                  

   Wednesday 24th August Se  ndus, 1990        

   It is surprising what yo  g men will do if  
   you dare them!  But at l  st I have found   
   that the lotus teas need something else     
   before they will become effective poisons.


   Wednesday 9th Spune Secundus, 1990          

   I have decided that I must explore further  
   afield.  If I am ever to become a master    
   poison maker, I must examine other plants   
   grown in foreign lands.  I know it is the   
   position of the Empire, that nothing exists 
   beyond the wall apart from vampire ghost    
   infested lands, but I am not convinced.     
   There have been tales for years about brave, 
   or foolish, men and women daring to escape  
   the Imperial Guard to explore the wider     
   world.  Some have come back, some have not. 
   But those that did are said to have told of 
   strange lands not, as we are warned, full   
   of evil ghosts, but people and cities.      
   The very trader that I purchased the useless 
   scorpion sacs from, claimed to have got them 
   from a far off desert land.                 
   I will make inquiries, discreet ones, about 
   a voyage on the morrow.


   Tuesday 16th Spune Secundus, 1990           

   Well, it is all settled.  I leave for what  
   lies beyond the Wall in a week.  The price  
   Captain Sing is charging me is exorbitant,  
   but he came highly recommended.             
   My wife is well used to me spending some    
   time away from home on missions, but I fear 
   I will be gone for a very long time, this   
   trip.  No doubt she will take up a lover,   
   as she always does, while I am absent.


   Octeday 30th Spune Secundus, 1990           

   Well here I am, nearly a week into my ocean 
   voyage.  I must admit    some trepidation   
   as we journey further    m everything I have 
   ever known, and closer  o unfamiliar lands. 
   All m   er of storms have rocked our vessel, 
   terri    winds, hail, raindrops the size of 
   rocks,  nd deafening thunder. To pass the   
   time the sailors have been tellin     tales 
   of the wonderous creatures that      there. 
   Short men    h long beards and a    dness   
   for gold,    all things.  Rocky monsters    
   that turn    stone when the sun shines upon 
   them, and men and women that turn into dogs! 
   I wonder how much, if any, of this is true. 

   Thursday 3rd Sektober Secundus, 1990        

   It is fortunate that I brought a selection  
   of poison materials with me on this voyage, 
   I fear that a man could quickly go mad with 
   nought to do but look at the unceasing      
   blueness of the sea.                        

   Friday 12th Sektober Secundus, 1990         

         endless blue ocean                    
         light glistening atop waves           
         cold wind, salty spray


   Octeday 23rd Sektober Secundus, 1990        

   I had a much needed distraction yesterday!  
   The captain had warned that as we neared    
   foreign trade routes, we may come across    
   pirates who wanted to steal our cargo, it   
   seems that he was correct.  A ship pulled   
   alongside us in the dead of night, grabbed  
   the hull with vicious hooks on rope, and    
   we were besieged and out-numbered!          
   I raced from my quarters to find a full     
   battle between our men and the pirates.     
   I quickly joined the fray, dispatching one  
   foreign devil with my katana and another    
   with my wakizashi.  One pirate, a monster   
   of a man who stood three heads above me,    
   came at me with a spiked club.  He managed  
   to disarm me and I was forced to defend     
   myself with the martial arts.  He was much  
   stronger than I, but I was quicker.  I soon 
   had him at a disadvantage and kicked him    
   overboard.  At this point I saw Captain Sing 
   in peril, so I quickly loaded my blowpipe   
   and fired a bloat-covered dart into his     
   assailant's neck.  I feel that this was the 
   turning point in the battle.  Once the      
   pirates saw his body expand and then explode 
   from the internal pressure, they seemed to  
   lose the will to fight!                     
   They quickly fled to their ship, leaving    
   their dead and dying behind.  We did not    
   escape unscathed, I'm afraid.  Two sailors  
   were killed and another badly injured.  I   
   was also devastated to discover that my     
   poisons kit had been ruined.  Fortunately,  
   this diary was safely stowed in my pocket.


   Octeday 1st Ember Secundus, 1990            

   Land at last!  I have arrived in a place    
   called Ankh-Morpork.  It is good to be on   
   solid land once more.  The smell of this    
   place!  If I could bottle the air itself and 
   condense it into a stronger form, I feel it 
   would make a very effective poison!         
   I realise now that the sailors were not     
   making it up; there are indeed small men    
   with beards and rocky monsters (although    
   I have not seen them turn to stone).  I have 
   yet to see a man turn into a dog!           

   Wednesday 4th Ember Secundus, 1990          

   My first f   days here have been fruitful.  
   It seems      this city has an organisation 
   similar t      ninja, called the Guild of   
   Assassins       s able to bribe a servant   
   there to          some books on poisons.    
   It seems         captain was correct; these 
   Morporki         em to value useless gold   
   quite a b          able to purchase almost  
   anything             for a few small coins! 
   The langu            is proving to be a much 
   bigger prob         so far I am getting by  
   with much s        uage and I am picking up 
   a few words       and there.


   Thursday 13th Ember Secundus, 1990          

   I have spent some time researching the      
   hemlock plant, which grows wild in the area 
   around Ankh-Morpork.  It is a tall herb,    
   with a pale yellow stem, small white flowers 
   and a strange odour.  The variety that grows 
   along rivers looks somewhat like another    
   culinary herb they have here, they call     
   parsley.                                    
   The books    cquired suggest that when mixed 
   with sn         , a potent poison is created 
   that cau         eral feeling of illness and 
   making            ormally good constitution 
   more vul         o illness and other sorts  
   of poi                                      
   There d           to be many deadly snakes  
   in or aro           y, so perhaps another   
   area of t             has such reptiles.    
   I have care          ected some seeds and   
   roots of t        , as I hope to grow it.


   Tuesday 4th December Secundus, 1990         

   Today I had a meeting with one of the city's 
   alchemists.  These are a strange group of   
   people.  It seems they spend much of their  
   time trying to turn lead into gold!  Why    
   would anyone want to turn lead, which at    
   least has some uses in metalwork, into gold 
   that is so soft it has little use??         
   Ignoring this basic insanity, I followed him 
   to his guild house (which seemed to be in   
   the middl  of construction) where he showed 
   me all m      of substances.  Some I knew   
   such a        and alkalis, and the nitrate  
   and su       ixture used in firecrackers.   
   Other s       s and powders were a complete 
   myster          ncluding something called   
   'batsu           d a very unpleasant smell, 
   and som             hat he was quite excited 
   about: ye             tion.  This acidic    
   solutio              properties, including  
   having so         f energy and effect on    
   magical obj       en used in certain        
   preparation


   Tuesday 13th Ick Secundus, 1990             

   I have spent the last few weeks in the city 
   of Djelibeybi and its surrounding desert    
   regions.  It is a most inhospitable place,  
   with little rain and tiring, dry hot days.  
   The nights in the desert are cold, too,     
   bitterly cold.  But I found some varieties  
   of deadly snakes and scorpions, and I have  
   collected poison sacs from them to study    
   in greater detail once I am home.  It seems 
   I was a bit hasty when I dismissed the      
   scorpion sacs I purchased as useless.       

   Friday 16th Ick Secundus, 1990              

   There seems to be little else of use here   
   in terms of poison making, although when I  
   made discreet inquiries on the topic, I was 
   given a pipe to smoke.  Since I had seen    
   those around me puff away without apparent  
   harm, I took a few breaths.  An odd feeling 
   came over me, and everything seemed         
   remarkably humorous.  It didn't seem to do  
   me any harm, but I was left awfully hungry. 
   I don't believe this hasheesh, as they      
   called it, would be much use to me.


   Friday 24th Ick Secundus, 1990              

   I have returned to Ankh-Morpork and now have 
   a good collection of toad skins and scorpion,
   snake and spider sacs.  The spiders!  I will 
   have nightmares about those for years to    
   come!  I journeyed into a place the locals  
   called Gloomy Forest.  An apt name!         
   It was infested with spiders as wide as a   
   woman is tall.  They came at me, attacking  
   en masse.  They were quick, and one bit me  
   before I knew what was happening.  I thought 
   I was dead, the venom coursing through me   
   making me violently sick.  But I tried to   
   remember my training and concentrate on the 
   fight at hand.  I managed to kill the three 
   that attacked me, and from their corpses I  
   cut out the source of their poison.         
   Fortunately, I recovered and have no        
   long-term ill effects.                      
   I have also collected a variety of plants   
   that show promise.  I've gathered both dried 
   specimens and live samples and seeds.  I    
   hope to introduce the most promising ones to 
   my home soils...  Ah, home!  How I miss it. 
   It would be nice to walk down a street      
   without fear of being mugged (that fear is  
   much reduced when you are a ninja, I admit). 
   And I long to see an actual reflection in a 
   a river rather than a corpse lying atop it.


   Friday 1st Offle Prime, 1991                

   I have just witnessed an interesting        
   tradition in this part of the Disc.  It was 
   called Hogswatch and it is celebrated on the 
   first day of Offle Prime.  It seems to      
   involve much feasting and the exchange of   
   gifts.  My alchemist friend, Dave Mudgins,  
   invited me to his family's Hogswatch dinner. 
   We had an acceptable meal of roasted pork   
   with a selection of root vegetables and     
   greens, but it did not compare to Agatean   
   cuisine.                                    
   After the feast came the exchange of gifts. 
   I was pleased to find that Dave gave me a   
   collection of jars filled with some of the  
   powders and solutions I found to be of      
   interest.  I was uncertain what would be a  
   suitable gift for this celebration, so I    
   gave him, and everyone there, a bag full of 
   gold.  They seem most pleased with this.    
   However, they soon started arguing amongst  
   themselves, but Dave assured me that this   
   happened every year, so I assume it is some 
   part of this strange Hogswatch tradition.


   Wednesday 7th Offle Prime, 1991             

   Home!  I am going home after months spent in 
   this strange foreign land.  I do not regret 
   this time, though.  I have learnt much to   
   further my craft, and I have gathered plants 
   and materials unavailable at home.  With    
   these, I hope to improve and strengthen some 
   of the poisons I have made a start on.      
   At last I feel I have all the components    
   needed to realise the potential of the lotus 
   flower.  I will start brewing this poison   
   as soon as I get home, and may even test it 
   on my wife's beau.                          
   This diary has served me well, but seems to 
   have suffered as a result of my experiments. 
   I must write out my research and findings   
   properly, one day.
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