In what can best be described as a Mutie’s poor attempt at haiku:

“Deadly is the goal.
Deadly with pain is better.
Slow death is sublime…”

The essence of the passage, for all its cryptic assembly is clear (as is the best haiku, never mind one cobbled together by a bloodthirsty devil). Muties consider the infliction of pain and misery something of an art form. The mindset carries into their tool design and brings these gleeful nightmares to fruition. Among them is a crude device known as “the Rake.”

“The Rake” is just that. It is part meat hook and part converted garden hoe (a poor example as Muties are clueless in matters of agriculture). The claw is mounted to the Mutie’s wrist or forearm, giving them enough leverage to tear or maim the victim. Any direct strike to flesh causes severe damage. This danger is elevated many times over by a coat of poison drizzled onto the multi-pronged device. A scratch causes intense fever. Anything more is usually fatal.

The People have yet to determine what animal or plant is used to create the toxin. Consequently they have yet to develop an antidote. Aine has saved many with her otherworldly abilities, but the spread of the poison is unnervingly fast. She must administer her skills within minutes of the strike or the victim will certainly perish. If Aine (or another similarly skilled healer) is not within the range of one’s voice, amputation offers the best odds for survival. If the infected area cannot be severed, suicide, mercy killing or suffering the torment of the toxin remain the only alternatives.