Vaedrin's Blight

I regarded the shambling mess that was once my Elven guide, unnaturally elongated, twisted limbs lurching closer. I never saw when or where The Blight got him but with Blight Wolves joining him, I am not too proud to admit that I ran as fast as my Dwarven legs could.
— Hajar Stoutsong, famous Dwarf adventurer.

Transmission & Vectors

It is not entirely understood how exactly The Blight passes into its victims. It appears, based on the evidence, that someone has to internalise something else that carries The Blight. The most common methods recorded are being bitten or cut by Blight affected fauna or flora or inhaling spores from Blighted plants and fungi.

Symptoms

Infections directly into the victim's bloodstream lead to the easiest symptom to spot as the veins themselves turn noticeably black within minutes. Less obvious infections can be harboured for hours before any symptoms emerge. Typically these include exhaustion, fever and coughing. If the point of no return is crossed then the victim is left only with the desire to pass The Blight onto other living entities.

Treatment

The only known way to cure Vaedrin's Blight is through restorative divine magic. In the case of an obvious transmission by bite, for example, then holy water applied regularly and liberally to the affected area can delay the onset of The Blight.

Prognosis

There is no cure to complete Blight transformation. The only solution then is complete eradication. There is no fixed timeline to how quickly The Blight can take over its victims due to the inability to be sure how much Blight the diseased has received when they were infected. Naturally, the worse the initial infection, the less time the poor soul has to seek treatment before they are lost to Vaedrin's Blight entirely.

Hosts & Carriers

Seemingly any living form is susceptible to Vaedrin's Blight. Blight Wolves are particularly dangerous due to their predatory prowess before they were turned. Their infected cousins are even faster and more vicious. The Blight manifests itself different in every species, for instance whilst the Wolves are typically faster, Blight Bears are not but instead are stronger and more resilient. The one common aspect shared is that even if the species previously showed no disposition to aggression or predatory insincts, the Blight made sure to change that. In the early days, many an unlucky adventurer were turned by smaller unsuspecting creatures such as squirrels and rabbits. If venturing in the Blight, one much pay attention to the flora just as much as the fauna. There are recorded plants species that will attack animals but with the Blight infection, any flora has the potential to kill you.

Prevention

Any enchanted item that wards against necrotic damage seems to slow the transformation. Similarly, all divine magic and weapons enchanted to be effective against the undead seem to be more potent against Blight affected creatures.

Epidemiology

Ever since the barriers were put up to contain the remaining infected areas, no recorded cases have been documented outside of those areas. Adventurers have lost their lives in attempts to find the source of the Blight, but those occurred within the barriers. However, if Vaedrin's Blight were to resurface in society and was transmitted in such as way that it went undetected long enough, it has the potential to cause a serious outbreak if not caught early enough.

History

The Lich King Vaedrin was the first great evil that The Council of Nine unleashed on Aldenia during The Cataclysm Wars. Vaedrin brought with him his army of undead. If you were caught by his army, then you could be turned into one of them. However, if you fell victim to Vaedrin himself, then a much worse fate would befall you, mutated and twisted into a mere shell of your former self and exponentially more dangerous. These 'Horrors' as they became known were capable of passing on The Blight.   Vaedrin, not content with this, began infecting large swathes of land, starting with the region around his base of operations, and presuming The Council's too. The Blight persists in this area even now and a brave force of soldiers protect the living from the dangers of the Blightlands daily. There is one more patch of Blight that stubbornly refuses to relinquish its hold on nature in the Elven Woods. The Twisted Forest was successfully pushed back to the boundaries it now holds many years ago, but no matter how much effort is expelled in eradicating it for good, no more progress has been made. It is almost as if there is something at the blackened hearts of The Blightlands and The Twisted Forest pushing back but the Forest is far too dangerous for a party to investigate deep enough to find answers. For now, civilisation has to settle for a magical barrier that any infected species cannot cross.

Type
Magical
Origin
Magical
Cycle
Chronic, Acquired
Rarity
Rare

Comments

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7 Jul, 2018 00:59

Very solid rework of the classic zombie style infection! Loved it and the opening quote really shed light on the seriousness, while still being humorous, the best thing about zombies.

8 Jul, 2018 16:26

I actually only now realise this is a spin on the zombie virus. I never really considered that when writing it. Thank you for the feedback. I must say my favourite thing about my world to come out of this summer challenge is Hajar Stoutsong's adventuring notes...

7 Jul, 2018 01:04

Well that opening quote really sets the tone well! Definitely a good take on the Zombie trope. Only thing I'd say is it needs a good strong cover image.

8 Jul, 2018 16:26

Thank you :). Like I said above, I didn't even realise I was doing a Zombie spin until now! And your wish is my command...

7 Jul, 2018 04:21

You've added to the list of fictional creatures that I'm terrified of. Congratulations. Nice work, though!

8 Jul, 2018 16:27

You're welcome? Haha, thank you :)

10 Jul, 2018 10:27

Ooof. No cure, no treatment, no escape. Nasty! Are there outbreak of the thing, or plagues-rashes?

10 Jul, 2018 10:33

It's currently contained in the two areas where the Blight persists, so no outbreaks any more, thankfully.   And it can be cured, but only if you're quick!