Weeping Death Condition in Age of Defiance | World Anvil
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Weeping Death

Thangor's Revenge...   Oral traditions amongst the ancient Freelanders spoke of a terrible illness that tainted the lakes and great river all the way to the great salt marshes. Believed to be punishment levied against the people by the slain Celestial Brother Thangor for forsaking his philosophies, the ancient folk quickly abandoned their burgeoning settlements, fleeing the verdant plains and seeking refuge in the great icy cliffs. Abating only after centuries of piercing, bitter cold, the illness had seemingly been vanquished for good. Because the sickness had never been encountered in the following centuries, it had never been properly studied and became relegated to a cautionary tale against excess and dishonoring the ancestors. And thus it remained, a myth...until recently...

Transmission & Vectors

The actual strain of mold itself naturally exists below ground where it is cultivated by an innocuous species of ant as a food source, however when the soil reaches a high saturation level, spores are pushed to the surface. If the ground remains saturated for a significant period of time without change, the mold begins growing into large spongy yellowish growths mounted atop stalks at the shores of standing water. When jostled even slightly, clouds of spores are jettisoned into the air, spreading far and wide until coming in contact with an ideal habitat.   Such intense soil saturation hadn't occurred in recent memory, thus this behavior had never been properly observed and recorded by neither Freelanders nor Deres in his travels. Because proper drainage hadn't been allowed to progress following the heavy rains following Dais and Danae's pairing, coupled with the weaponization of invasive fibrous algae, the mold was forced to the surface in search of moist but open air.
“Whoa, check this out…” Kento scooted to the side and reached out for a spongy-looking globule mounted on a wispy stalk poking out of the water.   “Don’t touch that!” Rowen shouted in alarm. Kento’s fingertips had barely graced the surface when a fine yellowish mist erupted into the air. Kento stumbled backwards and blocked his nose and mouth with his forearm and watched the mist cloud ascend before dispersing.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 21


Naturally the body can fight off a spore or two on its own. The mold does still exist in the wild, however an overwhelming level of saturation in a relatively small space increases the likelihood of developing symptoms. When enough spores make it into the sinus cavity, the battle begins as the mold finds the nasal and sinus too cozy to surrender and starts working its way deeper. Unless alleviated with prophylactics, sickness progresses until it reaches its distinctive "weeping" stage...


Down with the Sickness (Scene from Foes From Another World Ch. 21) by Mardrena
Made with Inkscape and BlackInk
Eye strain and headaches are viewed as the earliest known symptoms but because it is easy to dismiss as fatigue, symptoms go overlooked at first, progressing into the advanced stage.   The glistening black discharges from which the infection received its name are actually a result of the body desperately trying to flush invasive spores out through the tear ducts, and eventually-with the aid of Richtho tea-might be able to recover naturally, but while mold saturation in surrounding air remains high, more spores will simply be inhaled.   Patients enclosed within recovery pods in the Traedeskaton might've recovered or been prevented from progressing further, but patient load quickly exceeded capacity and newly recovered patients risked reinfection.


Richtho tea cannot simply cure infection but it can strengthen the immune system, blocking new spores from taking root and buying time for the tear ducts to flush out remnants of mold crust. Intense cold at or below freezing will also prevent reinfection. Even though Sehkmet donated healing venom from his Snake Fang Swords, it is not revealed if it was used to successfully treat Weeping Death or applied for use with different ailments.   Magical protections can stop symptoms from manifesting but infection itself cannot be negated with a simple spell, as demonstrated by Sage and Kayura. The Armor Bearers are mostly able to avoid severe symptoms and Shannon escapes infection likely due to the Ronin Cross. When Sage relinquishes his recovery pod for an ailing civilian he is able to keep progression in check via meditation.
“Wait, then how come Sage got sick? I was exposed first hand,” Rowen argued.   “Sage expended a lot of energy healing others. He kept giving and giving and kept nothing in reserve"
— Foes From Another World Ch. 21
Healing Venom (Scene from Foes From Another World Ch. 21) by Mardrena
Made with Inkscape and BlackInk
“Wow, I didn’t know you could do that,” Tanya remarked as she stood by and watched Sage place his hand against the canopy of one of the capsules.   “I used to not be able to. The original Armor of Halo had strict limitations on how I could apply such power, and only under certain circumstances,” Sage explained as the woman inside the capsule began responding. The blackened encrustations running along her cheeks flaked away, and no new discharges took their place. “I can’t cure them, but I can buy them time.”   “How…how many people have you treated like that so far?” Tanya asked, concerned when she noticed how Sage leaned to the side and rubbed his eyes.   “Hnn…I’ve lost count.”   “Okay, that does it. You need to get some rest pal or else you’ll burn yourself out,” Tanya grabbed him by the shoulder and tried to haul him to his feet.   “You underestimate my ability, Shannon. I’m perfectly comfortable in high-stress situations.”   “…You just called me Shannon,” Tanya said stiffly and frowned. Sage blinked several times.   “…That I did…allright. I’m not as proud as your brother that I’ll refuse sound advice.”  Sage advice. Now scram. Port yourself back to the House of St’lur-Whoa! Sage!” Tanya exclaimed when Sage tottered slightly as he stood.   “I’m allright. Just…just exhausted…” No sooner did he say that and take a step towards the door than did he stumble once more. This time, Tanya caught him by the shoulder.   “Sage! You’re not allright-You’re NOT allright!” Tanya cried when he slumped towards the floor. She moved to his right side to pull him towards a nearby bench but recoiled when she caught a glimpse through his thick hair of glistening black trails oozing from the corner of his eye. “Oh no…I need a medic here NOW!”
— Foes From Another World Ch. 21


“Death occurs when the mold enters the brain,” Coval said grimly and pointed at an image of a deceased victim’s cranial cavity. Several of the Ronin grimaced in revulsion.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 21
The aggressive nature of the mold makes managing patient care tricky since keeping the body hydrated makes it harder to dislodge but letting the sinuses dry out drives the mold in deeper. Once a high enough concentration of spores reach the cerebral cortex, fatality is almost certain. A patient has little more than half a Thangien day to be properly treated before infection passes the point of no return.


Patients fully recovered from infection reported no secondary effects aside from weariness at their ordeal, and a steaming mug of Richtho tea often cures all ills, however foul the taste.

Affected Groups

The mold does not seem to discrimate between homo sapien and homo bellator. Neither T'plaureth nor Ph'li exhibited symptoms but it is unknown whether this is due to their nature as Natives or they simply had not reached sufficient saturation. All ages were affected with children and young adults prone to entering second stage fastest.

Hosts & Carriers

The deep soil ants do not appear to suffer ill effects, in fact making crude farms in their nests and growing the mold for sustennce. It could be argued that they spread the mold underground but at the same time they also keep it in check. Animals can fall prey to sickness but cannot transmit infection itself. It is worth noting that due to Richtho bushes' high nutrient demand in more open regions, they effectively muscle out the mold from the soil. Even though the Freelanders associated the sickness with the Southern Salt, it did not originate from there.


Thanged is naturally a temperate world but its soil is very loose and porous with few large bodies of water aside from the Winding White and Southern Salt. Keeping water from standing more than a few hours and growing stagnant is the best way to head off widespread blooms. The mold prefers dark moist soil or proximity to fresh water, so it will not bloom at the Salt or the Northern Ring. Whether it thrives in the Eastern Jungle is unknown much like anything about the jungle itself. It was initially thought that the illness afflicting Vthia's daughter was Weeping Death but the description of symptoms did not match.


Due to the mold's airborne nature, it can spread quickly, but symptoms only manifest from significant exposure. King Torke and the Grand House of Taurit were forced to be sequestered in the Riders Citadel and no infections were reported among the family there. The earliest and most advanced cases came from residents living closest to the walls where standing water accumulated the most. No fatalities were reported among the Lonesteads but the weather-wise Lonesteaders likely sensed something amiss and gave the pools a wide berth. The high walls of Bainshaebo proper likely accelerated saturation as opposed to the windier open Plains of Kundain.


Thangor's Revenge and the Dread Winter

  Weeping Death as it came to be known was first encountered following unusually heavy rains coinciding with the Solar Swap, abating only with the onset of the Dread Winter, but the primitive Men of the plains had no scientific discipline by which to properly scrutinize it. At this point Men had not yet made contact with the Four Queens and thus had no access to the miraculous Richtho leaf which became so iconic on the planet.  

Events of Foes From Another World

  Bountiful rain is considered a blesssing from Ritho the Morning Mother, so in Ch. 20 "Pairing of Bloods", no one thought anything out of the ordinary when the skies poured out their jubiliation in honor of Dais of Illusion and Chi Chi Lina, Danae's nuptuials. However, unnoticed by the city-dwellers, water began pooling around the outward facing side of the wall, seemingly held in place by a strange greenish-yellow growth.  
In Ch. 21 "Plague of Thanged", the first signs of something amiss come when Rowen of the Strata finds a man dead outside of the House of St'lur, the cheeks coated with black residue. Word goes out via the banner network of the spreading contagion and a shelter in place order is implemented but later lifted once it is revealed to be airborne. The Ronin Warriors find their skills tested against a foe that cannot be fought with magic or slain with swords as several of their friends and even one of their own start displaying symptoms.   Chi Chi Lina, Australa is the first among the House of St'lur to display secondary symptoms with Danae showing first stage. Ki Ki Crol, Rona, Ru Ru Tiki, Ko'li, and Yulie Yamano fall ill soon after. Sage of Halo attempts to use the healing properties of his Armor to help advanced cases but inadvertently weakens his own body, causing second stage to manifest quickly. The Traedeskaton quickly reaches capacity and Mazzan and Raaezen are converted to field hospitals.   Racing against the clock and a steadily climbing death toll, the Ronin assist efforts best they can either ferrying infected for treatment via teleport or helping the medics. Anubis of Cruelty successfully identifies the Weeping Death as the same illness that ravaged the Freelanders in ages past and Shannon explains that it is not a virus but a mold and even though Richtho tea can treat it, the vector sending the mold airborne needs to be neutralized to truly defeat it.   While half the team departs to Thananagreia to pool their powers for a freezing effect, the others are dispatched to the border between the city wall and the Lonesteads where they locate miniature lakes of fetid water. While successful in draining the pools, the Ronin discover metallic canisters emanating sheets of strange tough growth, recovering them for study. Inside the city itself the secondary team is successful in scouring the mold from the air.
"Cye…can I tell you something?” Cye nodded and hummed. “This has me worried…and that in turn worries me, because I usually don’t get worried. I don’t like facing an enemy I can’t sink my fangs into. You can’t fight sickness with swords,” Sehkmet commented and raked his fingers through his hair. Cye frowned sympathetically and remained quiet for several moments, contemplating. He looked back up and folded his arms.   “You’re assuming battles are always fought with swords, but they’re not. Real battles aren’t fought with swords or skill, but with spirit. I mean, think about it; your venom comes from your swords, right? If they can make a viable drug from it, then in a sense, you’re lending your weapons to these patients so they can put up their own fight.” Sehkmet bit his lip then nodded.   “Yeah…I guess you’re right…never looked at it that way…Thanks.”   “No problem,” Cye said with a smile.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 21
  When Shannon examines the canisters she discovers Highscript writing, confirming Chi Chi Lina, Azuro's suspicion that the growth is fibrous algae originating from Planet Thunthen and that this was a deliberate, coordinated attack by the Thunthen. As a result and in light of so many fatalities including nearly all of the Sixteenth House of At'our and the Silver-Haired Maiden, the Council of Houses convenes and at Azuro's urging, war is officially declared and the newest Thangien-Thunthen War unfolds.

Cultural Reception

Weeping Death is commonly referred to as Thangor's Revenge after the younger, weaker, but more intelligent of the ancestral duo called the Celestial Brothers. According to Freelander tradition, Thuruk the elder brother wearied of Thangor's timid ways and slew him in a fit of rage, interring his spirit in the smaller of the Twin Suns while he claimed dominion over the larger, central star.   When the Solar Swap occured 8000 years ago, relentless rains fully saturated the soil, causing an eruption of blooms up and down the shores of the great river where early settlements were concentrated. Because the aboriginal Freelanders followed the teachings of Thangor, they escaped heavy exposure and fled north. Myth states that Thangor attempted to usurp the sun itself by wrestling with his brother before being defeated and driven back to his rightful place.   Because the bloom that occured after the pairing ceremony was not natural but rather facilitated through interference from the Thunthen under the rule of Mal Daggur, it was considered a biological attack and a direct act of war.
The man didn’t respond and remained sitting on the bench, head tilted forward slightly. “Poor guy must’ve partied so hard he didn’t even make it home,” Rowen muttered and vaulted over the rail, landing on the lawn below. “Listen, I can take you to wherever you live. Just tell me where and I’ll get you there in a snap,” Rowen walked towards the bench and grabbed one of the man’s wrists and draped his arm over his shoulders. “Looks like the entire city partied itself silly. Guessing you’ve never been to an event this big.” Rowen started to haul the man out of his seat.   The man’s head rolled about on his shoulder listlessly until he faced Rowen. Rowen glanced at him, expecting to look into drowsy eyes, but gasped and promptly released the man, letting the body slouch back onto the bench. The eyes looked completely clouded over, and a sticky black substance trailed out of the nostrils and corners of the eyes.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 21
Extremely Rare
Affected Species
The Traedeskaton
Building / Landmark | Dec 30, 2023

Second only to Thananagreia itself, this colossal mega-hospital provides state-of-the-art medical care to the populace, spearheading much technological advancement alongside Peirolyth.

Yulie lay on his back in one of the sealed clear-domed capsules. He could still feel the black sickness oozing from his eyes and nose, but being in the capsule eased his headache some. He’d caught a glimpse of Australa and Danae in their own capsules when he’d been brought in, so he knew he at least had familiar company. Dais maintained constant vigil near Danae. Mom…and Pop…aren’t gonna be happy…that I lied… Yulie stared up at his reflection in the canopy.   His gaze shifted to the side when he saw someone sit down beside him. At first, his fever-blinded gaze perceived her as his mother, but a few blinks clarified her appearance. Wispy light brown hair framed a gentle face, and a light blue hood draped over her head and shoulders. For some reason, no matter how many times he blinked, he kept seeing her eyes all funny with black irises and hazel pupils. He wanted to ask her name, but all of a sudden he felt weary and settled into a deep-yet peaceful-sleep. He caught a glimpse of a smile before his vision faded.
— Foes From Another World. Ch. 21

Cover image: Weeping Death Header by Mardrena


Author's Notes

For the artwork featuring Sage in his 2.0 sub-armor, I had no reference as to the exact color scheme because as far as I know there are NO official YST colorized artwork depicting the guys in their Message sub-armor. I've only ever seen one black-and-white line-art concept sketch of Ryo from one of the official YST books. Because the arms and legs are shown as being black and the 2.0 Armors feature minimal color as opposed to the "vanilla" Armors, I figured the only color would be located on the forearms and chest which are mostly covered while in full Armor. If anyone knows the correct color scheme feel free to contact me, but for the time being I will just have to guess...

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Jan 19, 2024 20:28 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

Very complete and thorough article - well done! There is clearly some content that is beyond what you should have in this article, but links to other places or mouseovers can easily help these! Good work!

Follow my worlds: Arrhynsia and Compendium and check out my author website at tlcassis.com to see my latest work!
Jan 19, 2024 20:38 by Mardrena Lockehart

Most of this pertains to a chapter in season 2.5 of my ficverse, which is currently not hosted on WA yet. I plan in importing seasons eventually but its a slow process it took a year to get season one fully proofed and formatted and a worthy cover completed. Until all seasons are live on WA I'll use challenges to work on new full-color artwork that FFN doesn't have the ability to host for chapters. Also OAS Core Cast characters do not have AOD specific articles yet, but by the time I get around to them I hope to have lots of character-specific artwork for them to go along with their pages.

Crazy Anime Cat Lady and Gamer Nun, Proud Texan Enjoying Renaissance Faires.
Jan 29, 2024 00:29 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

Ah! That explains it. It sounds like you have big plans and lots of work ahead. Hope you are able to accomplish all that!

Follow my worlds: Arrhynsia and Compendium and check out my author website at tlcassis.com to see my latest work!