I was reading the dictionary today (don't judge me) and came upon the word Sardonic.
Sardonic means "Characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering."
A good word! And one that about half of English speakers know.
It originated between 1630 and 1640. It's from a Middle English word sardonian influenced by the French word sardonique, which in turn comes from the Latin sardonius, which they borrowed from the Greek sardonios.
But what is Sardonios? Well, it appears to be a plant which when eaten produced convulsive laughter ending in death!
THIS IS TOTALLY SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE IN D&D! THE DEADLY SARDONIAN! Can you imagine spiking someone's salad with the Sardonian, which should probably look like some leafy green ground plant? That would be devious! And during a rip-snorting party and feast, who would think of poison if someone laughed and laughed and keeled over dead? They just overdid it is all! Right?
So here's the Sardonian plant written up for your old school game:
The DEADLY SARDONIAN
The Sardonian plant resembles rhubarb, with dark leaves and a slight hair. Its stalks are maroon to red, warning fauna of the danger it poses to those who ingest it. Sardonian is slightly bitter but edible, and blends nicely with edible leafy greens. However, when eaten, the Sardonian plant (leaf, stalk or root) produces convulsive laughter ending in death!
Onset for convulsive laughter is one Round. This lasts 2-5 Rounds, during which the victim may make no action other than a half move. Upon the conclusion of this period, he makes a Save versus Poison. A successful save results in 1d6 damage and 1 day of discomfort (all rolls at -2). A failed save results in death.
Assassins, apothecary, alchemists and wizards will cultivate this plant in small amounts as ingredients for their carious concoctions. Beware eating from their gardens, for death "stalks" every plant!