Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Verdant Infection

What I saw in that room appalled me and frightened me to my very core. This sickness is worse than any report could have explained. I saw rows of cots with people in pain...screaming and moaning. As I walked through the area, I saw people with their skin almost green getting wrapped up, as I watched others clawing at their own skin trying to remove the plague they carried. Others would wander the room screaming at the non-existent and arguing with figures no one else can see. In the back of the room lay the worst of them. They sat on their beds bleeding from their eyes, staring at nothing, no more crying or screaming left in them they had given up. I finally stopped in front of one that just laid on the bed motionless, barely breathing or living and realized I should have taken the reports more seriously. I urge all the Kyren to realize the danger of this sickness before the whole city gets the rash that I have.
From a letter written by Oldar Fulhaven, Kyren of Creation 3924

Transmission & Vectors

The initial contact is through the stone pipes used to pump the water through the city. The water would spread it throughout the city.


Pyle Stone is a special soft stone that can be easily shaped and is used to create water pipes. It wasn't until the third outbreak that the actual cause was discovered. There was a virus in the stone that infected the water.


Stage 1: Stomach ache and diarrhea. Lasts 2-3 Cycles.
Stage 2: Headache and minor rash on arms and legs.10-15 Cycles
Stage 3: Hallucinations and mental confusion. Large rashes start to eat away at the skin.4-5 Cycles.
Stage 4: Eyes will bleed and cause permanent blindness. Motor control becomes difficult. Will have irregular seizures and breathing problems.1-2 Cycles.
Stage 5: Permanent catatonic state leading to death.


There were many failed attempts at treatment during the first outbreak. The cause would not be understood until many years later. The most successful early treatments were some topical ointments on the rashes that seemed to stop them from spreading. If the condition moved to stage 3, most patients did not survive. Quarantine was used to prevent it from spreading with mixed results.
Current treatments include topical solutions made with blood mold to treat the rashes, which have an improved success rate. There is no cure at this time.


Since there is no cure, those with Verdant Infection learn to manage the symptoms. There is no way to treat stage 1 symptoms, so that just becomes a warning to look for rashes. Treating the rashes immediately usually subdue the rashes and makes the virus dormant again.
At stage 3, the prognosis becomes more dangerous. Immediate quarantine is used to prevent an outbreak and aggressive measures must be taken to treat the rashes. At stage 4, less than 5% survive and those that do are permanently blind. There have been only 2 reported cases of survival after reaching stage 5. Many scholars either doubt the legitimacy of the reports or believe the patients were not truly at stage 5.


Once a person has the virus, there is no known way to get rid of it. It can go dormant for several years and flare again. Treatment before it reaches stage 3, continues to give the best results. There is no known cause for a verdant flare to start.

Affected Groups

This has affected almost every race. The giants seem to be the least effected by it as they rarely progress past stage 1, although they will still be carriers. Dwarves also seem to rarely contract it, as they drink more ale than water.


Current pipes are treated with a special seal made from blood mold to prevent new outbreaks. This prevention has been very effective, but there have still been a few new cases. The old pipes have been replaced or coated with the sealant. Many believe the sealant on the old pipes is not enough to prevent it. There is current research into using a different material for the pipes.
For those with the virus, most just check themselves for rashes anytime they start to feel a little sick. Treating the rashes continues to be the best option.


Although one can initially contract it through the water, they will also become highly contagious at stage 3. Touching wounds or bloody rashes can spread the virus. At stage 4, the patient must be quarantined as it is believed the virus is in their breath. Many choose death over quarantine at this point though. Survival at stage 4, is extremely rare.
The airborne virus has caused the largest outbreaks, but also seems to be short lived. Only those close to the patient seem to be the most risk. The bodies of the dead are destroyed in acid.


  • First Outbreak: 3924/ Cavern of Creation / Death Toll 235,954
  • Second Outbreak: 5488/ Cavern of Spirit / Death Toll 201,931
  • Third Outbreak: 6921/ Cavern of Strength / Death Toll 129,209
  • Fourth Outbreak: 7412/ Cavern of Brilliance / Death Toll 104,410
  • Special Note: There have been over 2 dozen minor outbreaks as well, this lists only those that took more than 100,000 lives in a single year.
  • Total Death Toll:935,458

Cultural Reception

Those with Pyle are usually loners or have a small group of trusted friends. It is rare for them to get involved romantically as many are afraid sexual contact may spread it. There is no evidence of this, unless the sex occurred during a flare up. The dwarves and elves will revoke family names from them, while the Shadow Elves expect ritual suicide from anyone who contracts it. Halflings and gnomes are the most tolerant, attaching little stigma to the condition other than being more observant of possible flares.

Constant Failure

During the first outbreak, many people died from the lack of response. Many reports were purely ignored by the Kyren until it had infected tens of thousands. Almost 70% of the infected died. The outbreak was blamed on the failure of maintenance on the water filters.
After this was proven false with several smaller outbreaks, the Kyren would attempt to blame certain foods and even shut down a hydro farm believing the food contaminated.
The second outbreak created even more controversy as the Kyren blamed a demon cult and interrogated anyone not infected. This led to some riots and a massive protest in front of the Beacon of Soul. Sadly this protest spread the disease even more forcing a quarantine of the entire strata.
The third outbreak led to the first hint as to the true cause of the disease. Printis Thoy, a healer, experimented with several topical solutions to treat the rashes. She found that a solution made with Blood Mold(names for the color) seemed to be the most effective. This mold actually grows on the Pyle Stone that the water pipes are made from.
Chronic, Acquired

The Dream

I moved through the streets of the rich and wealthy, but all were dying. I walked through the pipes to the poor and hungry. I saw the people full of life and joy.
This is the dream of Holdis Drogo, a piper who says the Cynosure showed him the way. This led to the realization that many poor areas tended to have less cases and have never been the start of an outbreak. When he investigated the pipes in these areas, he found Blood Mold growing in many of the pipes. It seems to have protected the people in these areas. Many of the pipes in these areas were poorly made and less maintained.

Blood Mold

This mold grows on the Pyle Stone and appears to be a natural barrier to the infection. An ointment made from the mold is also the most effective at removing the symptoms and prevent stage 3 or 4.

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Please Login in order to comment!
10 Jul, 2018 03:34

This is so disgusting (which is good a thing when you're writing about a feared disease)! The whole spreading through the water pipes thing is giving me not so pleasant flashbacks to an old school project that I did about cholera; they eventually figured out it was coming from the water supply by plotting all of the known cases on a map and realizing that they were all near this one particularly unsanitary water pump. Also, the thing about dwarves not getting sick because they drink more ale than water made me laugh. :-)

10 Jul, 2018 15:34

Really glad you enjoyed it. Yeah, poisoned water is always a dangerous thing.

10 Jul, 2018 03:46

"starring at nothing" => you meant "staring" ^-^ Is there a reason your first quote does not have its source inside the quote box? you can do this by writing the source after the quote content but inside the quote marks, dividing text and source with a | (pipe) symbol.   Also, I love everything in that sidebar. It's brilliant. The initial in-world quote too. Riveting stuff! absolutely riveting.   "The cause would not be understood for many years later." try "until many years later.", it's smoother phrasing.   "Treatment before it reaches stage 3, continues to give the best results." The comma is superfluous here.   "Although one can initially get it through the water" When speaking of illnesses, always choose "contract" over "get", except for "getting sick", which is a common phrase.   "from anyone who contacts it" here you did try to write contract, I believe, but forgot the "r"   "Halflings and gnomes are the most tolerant, usually with very little change short of being more observant of possible flares. " instead of "usually with very little change short of being more" consider "attaching little stigma to the condition other than being more"   This article is amazing, Scaley, you really tell a story here, and there is really nothing more one could expect of a good article. If you got any articles you can put below the sidebar as article blocks, that might improve the visual layout a little, but I wouldn't add more content, this is very complete from my point of view. Good job!

10 Jul, 2018 15:26

Thank you for the suggestions. I fixed the grammar problems. Wrote most of it on my phone, so there were a few more than normal. :)

10 Jul, 2018 15:28

My pleasure.

10 Jul, 2018 03:58

Nicely thorough exploration of the infection's history and cultural response. I like the quotes that helped set the mood before going into the more expositional stuff.   Not really sure what else to suggest you add, honestly. Maybe something about current research towards finding a cure?

10 Jul, 2018 15:27

Hmm, I'll have to consider what current research might mean. Primarily they are focusing on avoiding another massive outbreak.

10 Jul, 2018 04:44

"reports our believe" our I assume is meant to be "or" Other than that, this is clearly written and the historical significance is clear as well as the social effects the illness has. Not too technical, or boring, either. Well done.

10 Jul, 2018 15:28

Glad you enjoyed it. I altered it several times before this came to mind.

10 Jul, 2018 16:40

The work shows. :)