Scratch is an affliction of haired animals and people. It is especially bothersome to the furred sophont beings like Centaurs , Minotaur and Bahku or Bugbear . The infection is spread by casual contact or even use of infected items. The small bugs which cause the condition live on the skin and in the fur and inject eggs into the skin. The egg injection sites are inflamed and tender and as the eggs hatch the larvae dig in the skin leaving tracks of a burning sensation and intense itching.

 Animals will scratch themselves to death, scraping off fur and excoriating themselves with deep ulcerated wounds. The larvae tracks ruin hides. The itching and scratching can cause death as animals wound themselves rubbing or thrashing about or stop eating because of the intense burning and itch.  
Humans and humanoids can be infected where it only affects haired areas. Titans seem immune or may be carriers. The afflicted may develop scars from the wounds they cause to try to soothe the itching and burning sensations.
The Scratch bug life cycle is 1-4 days incubation of eggs. 1-8 days of larval growth and burrowing in skin. Adults emerge and reproduce, laying new egg clusters of 1-4 eggs on 1-6 locations per female per day. The adults will crawl into clothes and bedding or pass from individual by contact. They feed on skin flakes, dandruff, sweat and skin oils.
Diha Crevo of Tellessu is a centauress, 87 years old in a triad with another female (Lami Akep) and a male (Rem Igna). Diha has dedicated her apothecary skills to finding better cures.  The Crevo potion has been the most successful and the details were published in The Letters of the Star House, a scholarly publication on Thought, study and service.
Access & Availability
Herbalists and apothecaries can make the formula in a day. Most Centaur apothecary shops will have the potion available.
For centuries various treatments have been given. Shaving bare is traditionally helpful, along with burning possessions. Various soothing herbs and potions have been used. The condition is neither a curse nor possession, and not an injury until the scratching produces wounds. As such, most magical remedies have failed. An oil soak bath has been moderately successful in the past, as has a low levels of fire or ice magic which tended to also cause more injury to the afflicted.

The newest treatment is a potion, a mild poison, which does cause illness in the user but kills the Scratch bugs and the larvae in the skin. When drunk, The potion effect lasts for a day and kills any new exposure. The poisoning causes nausea and reduced concentration and coordination for  8 hrs.  It should not be used in the severely ill.  Healing and green Arcane Crystal can be used to boost up the weakend.  When used once a week for 2 or 3 weeks it produces a full cure without the need to burn possessions. The potion can also be used as a spray via bellows to treat beds and clothes. The topical application only kills the adult Scratch bugs and ingestion is needed to kill the burrowing larvae.  The potion is the creation of a Centaur apothecary, Diha Crevo of the southern Taurien city of Tellessu.

Cover image: by mutterwolf


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4 Jul, 2021 14:57

it reads a bit weird if the focus is supposed to be on the cure. Admittedly, as that is how the template formats the information i am not sure how to fix that. Only other question that I had, is it a a potion that one drinks, or is it more of a poultice that is applied to the skin? to me personally the second one makes more sense and can still act as a mild poison to the user   Still, cool disease. and I like the fact that magic does not treat the disease itself. Keep up the good work.

Feel free to stop by my Adventure April article and use any encounters in your own games as needed.  
A Favor for the Fae Queen
Plot | May 6, 2023
4 Jul, 2021 20:18

Good points. I'll throw in those edits.