Transmission & Vectors
Pallid's Syndrome is spread when an infected individual brutally attacks and injures a non-infected Latent, who becomes infected with the mutagenic pathogen, as well as those who ingest a ghoul's blood. Additionally, the corpses of Latents not buried within hallowed graveyards can also develop the disease, under the right conditions.
Ghouls have seemingly always existed, though Pallid's Syndrome seems to have originated sometime around the rise of the Second Majical Mysterum, approximately in 790 FM. Believed to have originated as a mutation in a Latent's power crystal, Pallid's Syndrome rapidly spread after it first came to exist, causing the first of many ghoul hordes.
Those infected by Pallid's Syndrome and have not succumbed to the illness will, within an hour or two of initial infection, begin to crave meat of any kind. Soon, they will begin to sweat incredible amounts and develop a fever, with their eye-sight dimming and sense of smell and sight becoming overly active. Around six hours after initial infect the infected will become delirious and disoriented, with some even becoming hostile, though by this stage they have become quite weak.
Particularly hardy or lucky individuals can actually survive Pallid's Syndrome through the care of others or even just sheer willpower, though it is better to not rely on either of these. Majic focused on removing diseases can cure Pallid's Syndrome, as well as an ointment made from lavender oil and crushed Grimm's Heart, a purple-orange flower often found growing in or around a hallowed graveyard. This ointment, known as Ghoul Bane, must be applied either under the tongue of the infect OR directly onto their exposed power crystal, which is a risky endeavour.
For most infected with Pallid's Syndrome, the only prognosis is brain-death within twenty-four hours, followed by rapid changes in their body's physiology and subsequent reanimation into a ghoul. If the individual is known to be strong of fortitude, they may come out the other-side alive without the need for Majic or ointments, though this is rare and not without it's risks. Those who survive without aid find themselves craving meat all the time and find their vision has been damaged to the point only Majic or mechanical aid can restore it.
The easiest way to prevent suffering from Pallid's Syndrome is to simply not be wounded by a ghoul or, failing that, carrying a locket around with a Grim's Heart flower's nectar within it. Additionally, it is imperative for corpses left after a battle to be either buried or burned, as ghouls will be attracted to the death and spread the illness amongst the corpses.
Initially it was only those who were wounded or killed by ghouls who suffered from Pallid's Syndrome but, when the Necromancer-Lord Jal'sah poisoned the water supply of the lost nation of Quvesa, those who drank from the water would suffer an advanced form of Pallid's Syndrome, with death occurring within six hours.
Due to it's origin millennia ago, ghouls and Pallid's Syndrome have existed for a very long time and, as such, there have been many outbreaks and pandemics of the illness. In 860 SM the Necromancer-Lord Jal'sah created the most devastating ghoul horde even seen to date, when they poisoned the entire nation of Quvesa, creating a horde of millions overnight. Thankfully the divine powers of the gods alongside the volatile Majic's of the Cabals were enough to end this epidemic, but the damage was done and an entire nation of people was lost. Since then it has become common practice to deal with the dead with care and haste, lest they rise again as ghouls to feast on their former family.
In regions where curing Pallid's Syndrome is not an option, those infected with it tend to be given the 'Grimm's Mercy', where they are taken to a hallowed graveyard and painlessly killed by the local Grimm in order to ensure their soul makes it to the afterlife and to end their suffering. Some criticize this as being too harsh or brutal but, given the nature of Pallid's Syndrome, it is the best many can do for their loved ones.
- Chronic, Acquired
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