Golden fever is caused by the gradual alchemical transmutation of the metals in a person's blood into gold, and eventually, all their tissues.
Transmission & Vectors
Unknown to everyone, this disease is caused by the bite of the golden-horned adder.
Those that survive the bite and venom of the golden-horned adder tend to assume that all side-effects are gone by the time the first symptoms of golden malaise start to appear. This typically takes between one to three months. However, they are wrong: the venom has long-lasting effects.
After one to three months of the bite, the person may start feeling sluggish. This period is followed by a period of euphoria and high energy, which typically lasts a month. After this, the affected person progressively starts losing energy and their limbs start hardening. Typically, after six months of the first symptoms, the person is bed-ridden, incapable of moving and having respiratory issues.
You know mom has been sick.... Folks say the gods have chosen to send us a gift, through her, but that means she has to leave us. We only have a few more months, so let's make the most of it. But afterwards... afterwards we will never be left needing no more.
The golden malaise has the capacity of causing chaos wherever it is found. People suspected to have this disease have been kidnapped (often wrongly), worshipped, and killed, amongst others. All of this because once the person dies, their whole body becomes a solid block of gold within a day. Depending on the community where the affected lives, people will seek to make their condition public or keep it hidden.
Geographic SpreadGolden malaise is typically restricted to the continent of Friac'seoue (which is, of course, where the golden-horned adder lives). However, a few cases have been known to occur elsewhere. These cases are either of people that were bitten back in Friac'seoue, or from imported snakes that have been sold to people as exotic pets.
In the continent of Tiel, there is a famous statue of a person that suffered from golden malaise. Tereli Zandiel was a rather rotund woman, part of a rich family that had no real need for that sort of money. When she died of golden malaise, the family donated the "statue" to the city, under one condition. For so long as the city continues to prosper, the statue will be displayed as a symbol of the city's success. But should the city ever be in dire need, the statue could be used as a last resource.
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