Aries: VX, a nerve agent developed for no reason other than to be a bio-weapon. It causes violent muscle contractions followed by paralysis, asphyxiation, and death.
Taurus: Deadly nightshade, a plant that can be used as a hallucinogen at low doses. An overdose causes abnormally fast heart rate, loss of balance, and convulsions. A lethal overdose involves a lack of control over heart rate, breathing, and sweating followed by death.
Gemini: Sarin, a highly volatile nerve agent that’s been used in several terrorist attacks. It can cause effects as a liquid or a gas and leads to tightness in the chest followed by nausea, muscle convulsions, suffocation, and death.
Cancer: Amatoxin, a toxin produced by several species of poisonous mushrooms. It causes burns where it comes into contact with the body and leads to liver damage and eventual liver and/or kidney failure.
Leo: Ricin, a protein derived from castor seeds. It leads to swelling and bleeding in the digestive tract, followed shortly by low blood pressure, shock, organ failure, and death. It has also been used in terrorist attacks.
Virgo: Mercury, element 80 on periodic table. Exposure causes burning and itching along with the sensation of insects crawling on one’s skin or skin peeling from the body. Long-term exposure leads to severe brain damage and death.
Libra: Tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin found in pufferfish and some other species of the same order. The toxin causes a lack of function in voluntary muscles, including the diaphragm, which leads to paralysis, asphyxiation, and death.
Scorpio: Cyanide, the chemical compound KCN. Results depend on exposure; low long-term exposure can cause eventual paralysis and increased chance of miscarriages, while high doses result in seizures, cardiac arrest, and death.
Sagittarius: Strychnine, an alkaloid derived from the Strychnos nux-vomica tree and used as a pesticide. In humans it causes dramatic and painful convulsions that can lead to muscles locking up and organs failing. Those exposed die of either asphyxiation or exhaustion from the convulsions.
Capricorn: Polonium, a radioactive metal and number 84 on the periodic table. It can cause death in extremely small doses, and long-term exposure leads to radiation poisoning, which can cause kidney or liver failure, cancer, and eventual death.
Aquarius: Arsenic, a toxic metal that is number 33 on the periodic table. Acute poisoning can lead to hair loss, muscle cramping, convulsions, and death. Long-term exposure, such as through groundwater, may lead to nightblindness, organ failure, cancer, and eventual death.
Pisces: Mustard gas, a chemical weapon used largely in World War I. It causes causes large chemical burns and blisters, including potential internal burns in the lungs. Even when these symptoms aren’t lethal, exposure may lead to severe health problems years later.
Nearly two years and thirty cribs later, and KCN is coming at you again with another cadre of demons from the ever-fertile Lesser Key of Solomon, as interpreted by our pal Louis Breton, and then again by series artist and blog namesake Kazuma Kaneko (also our pal). And while our first set was chosen to highlight some of the more borderline cases out there, here we’ll be taking a look at a few of the less embellished designs in the roster… and Purson.
OROBAS: Orobas is one of the closer calls here, and perhaps Kaneko simply thought it unnecessary to alter the functional simplicity of Breton’s original. He’s certainly more ecstatic in the latter portrayal, but otherwise we’re not looking at much divergence that couldn’t be chalked up to personal style: the guy is just sort of a horse-person, arms spread-eagle, and it works.
BARBATOS: Kaneko takes a few more liberties with Barbatos, but in service of accomplishing a more “demonic” look, replete with signifiers such as bat-like wings, curled horns, and a pointed devil’s tail. These have the effect of making the duke look a bit less like a gentleman beleaguered by a ghostly brass section, all while retaining his dapper style.
GEMORI: Gemori is likewise a near match, though she may not look it at first glance. Kaneko deviates little from Breton in terms of the meat and bones of the design, adjusting details of the dress (and perhaps the breed of camel employed) while maintaining distinctive cues such as the horns popping out from a headdress with trailing veil.
PURSON: Pruflas/Purson is perhaps not the most exciting fare the Goetia has to offer, but Kaneko’s additions of a garish palette and luxurious mane were apparently not the trappings of a compendium regular. A grasped serpent and bizarre helmet likewise enter the fray, but otherwise Breton’s template is left essentially untouched.