October 7th, 2012

Causes and Degrees of Muteness

Setting: Your typical medieval fantasy-type... thing. It's a pretty rural world, and all healing is done by herbs (...those magical, all-purpose herbs!) and spells.

One of my (many) characters is physically unable to speak. I'm trying to figure out how to make him that way, and what I can do once he's mute.

1. What body parts can I take via ~magic~ to render him mute? (My immediate thought is tongue, but that's so cliche!)

2. Would a spell which removes, say, vocal chords take away all noise he is able to make? That is, speech, humming, grunts, the wet choking noise when he's drowning in his own blood?

If it's at all possible, I'd like to retain that last one, but if not, no worries.

Search terms: larynx removal, vocal chord removal, muteness, muteness causes, physical muteness, partial muteness
Got a lot of stuff on cancer, which I can't use.

Effects of Arsenic Poisoning and its Treatment

I'm currently writing this short story set in a sort of British Victorian era AU. It's AU in the fact that while the majority of it is the same as RL Victorian era, technology is far more advanced; I guess you could say its sort of steampunk-ish. One of the main events which really turns things on  their head is the poisoning of one of the main characters by one of his family members through the use of arsenic. However, he survives this and it sets in motion the remainder of the story.
So, what I need to know is what is the largest quantity of arsenic my MC could ingest and still survive and how would this be treated. He's in his late teens, maybe 19/20, is in reasonably good health and comes from a wealthy background. He is at his adopted family's home when the poisoning first sets in; they are fairly wealthy themselves and have access to a doctor so he would be able to receive medical treatment.
I've googled arsenicosis, arsenicosis treatment, treatment of arsenic poisoning, surviving arsenic poisoning with minimal treatment, arsenic poisoning in the victorian era and treatment of arsenic poisoning in the victorian era.
The majority of them brought up how arsenicosis is treated is the modern age 21st century; anything related to arsenic poisoning in the Victorian era was just listing after listing about its use as a murder weapon during that period.
Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated!