Mindrot

Memories of loved ones, turned to flesh.

Common Knowledge

Without death, illnesses of any kind have become the nightmare of any community. What before the end times was just a simple cold that could only take the life of children now has the potential to create an entire horde of Unfallen overnight. But worst of all has been the introduction of a new disease, Mindrot.

Mindrot is similar to a well-known disease, Mindfade, that is known to affect the elderly by slowly robbing them of their memories. But instead of only affecting the elderly, Mindrot is able to steal memories from any age. Worse yet, it has been documented to replace these memories with something.... else.

Symptoms

Stage 1

Within the first week.
Visible Symptoms: Restlessness, anxiety.
The patient has begun to grow restless, almost like a caged beast. Sadly, we have only a vague time when it was infected but we believe this is the early stages of the disease. I will be monitoring it very closely.
— Scholar Atainis, written by her servant.

Stage 2

After the third week.
Visible Symptoms: Depression, minor memory loss.
It has lost the ability to say the "Love", of all things. Depression has set in deeply as the patient begins to realize its fate. I am personally thankful for this, much easier to contain it while it has lost the will to fight. I am not sure if it is lethargic or has just given up.
— Scholar Atainis, written by her servant.

Stage 3

After around a month.
Visible Symptoms: Memory loss, anger, a seeming crave for flesh.
The patient has become quite violent over the past couple of days. Communication with it has become futile as most words are forgotten, or just ignored. The only thing that seems to sate it is meat products. We tried keeping it on a vegetarian diet for a week. Sadly, this led to the death of my servant.
— Scholar Atainis

Stage 4

After four months.
Visible Symptoms: Complete memory loss, barbaric behavior, gibbering.
The thing has gone mad. It does not wish to eat. It does not wish to sleep. It just stares into the darkness and attacks anything that moves. But worst of all is the endless, guttural noises it makes. I did not know a human could make such noises. I shudder to think what this could mean.
— Scholar Atainis

Stage 5

Anywhere from five to six months, maybe longer.
Visible Symptoms: Unknown.
Report 17,
We had returned to Atainis' "lab", as she had deemed it, to find it empty. No, empty is not the correct word. The place was torn to pieces. The various cages she where she kept the sick were left open, some of them even broken from the inside out. Gore painted the floor, the walls, and even the ceiling in some places. We can find no signs of life or Unfallen. Further instructions required.
— Gravehunter Jelt, a message to Ravenpeak

Causes

Medical science is not an exact one within Haven, especially when most healers are focused on keeping the living from unliving. But the few brave medical scholars that have attempted to study the disease are known to become ill with the very disease they studied, losing their memories in the process.

Type
Neurological
Cycle
Chronic, Acquired
Rarity
Uncommon

Link to the Unfallen

The hunger for flesh, violent behavior, and seemingly mindless activities. These are similar traits found in Unfallen when they are separated from their horde. Perhaps Mindrot is a strange state of being both living and unliving.

Comments

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11 Dec, 2018 15:51

I'm curious how this effect the societies of Haven. How well known is Mindrot? Do people know what to look for? Does that knowledge lead to paranoia, superstition and tragic misidentifications of people who might just need another cup of coffee?   While the cause is unknown by technical or medical basis, what about from a superstitious front? Are there any assumed causes, any charms or folklore-y beliefs about how you keep it at bay? :)   Hope that helps!

11 Dec, 2018 21:25

The communities of Haven have an obvious issue with communication that is the cause for at least 80% of the problems. Only certain people know of Mindrot, and normally those people are unable to share their findings too deeply. I think I might add an blurb about how the Gravehunter's Guild is trying to keep it secretive to avoid panic.   There are no cures known, nor any real superstitions about it. People have overall given up on hoping for the best, and that includes knick knacks that might help them survive.

11 Dec, 2018 16:35

This is brutal and awful, so of course I love it. Here's my feedback   1) Your informative voice kind of alternates between narrative, informal, and formal a bit. This shows in your "Something.... else" bit, because elipses are an extremely informal thing to use in your body text. Everything in that is very strong up to that point, and has a good narrative voice, but I think that the tone that evokes misses the mark of hwat you're aiming for.   2) I love the qay the quotes bring some human element to the change by describing the stages with quotes. I feel like you limited yourself a bit in trying to make them all the same size, though, and I'd like to read more in each stage to see how awful it is for the people who have to live with the Mindrotten. Also, why does her assistant write the first two but not the 3rd and 3th? Is there something relevant there I missed?   3) The end ties it together into a nice narrative. I think you could use that to build this page into something for RPG content—set this up as the beginning of a quest, maybe add an opener that suggests were in a bar talking to Jelt and that he's telling us all this so that the final quote ties it up even better?   Take all that with a grain of salt. THis is a great entry!

11 Dec, 2018 21:22

1.) I was trying to give a certain feel for the "...else", but I agree it does not currently fit. I need to expand that section a bit more.   2.) I was thinking about adding a "non-quote" part to each stage, under the quote. But I wasn't sure if it would take up too much reading space. As for the missing assistant, read the end of Stage 3. ;)   3.) I was thinking about potentially writing it as a "hook/plot" on a different page to not bore the more artistic folk. But maybe I could do some formatting wizardry and hide it behind something. I also can't wait to start messing with my players on it.

11 Dec, 2018 21:30

Oh ain't I a fool, there it was.

11 Dec, 2018 18:41

First off, I like how this was divided into Stages. The quotes give you a taste for the world and the effects the condition has on the people within, as well as conveying a story of their own. The line “without death, illnesses have become a nightmare” really sets the tone. It was neat to see the mention the loss of the servant, then have the rest wrote by the person themselves.   Do you plan to do an article on Alantis herself? She seems like an interesting person. Or at least, from what little can be gleaned from the quotes here. The last quote, use of “lab” seems to indicate that her research was either unofficial or viewed poorly. Will her lab be a location you explore in a future article?

11 Dec, 2018 21:26

Glad the loss of the servant didn't come across as gimicky, haha!   I will likely write up something for her, I wanted her to be a well-respected doctor of very questionable means. She treats her patients as objects, not people. The lab I am hoping to actually turn into a "dungeon" for my players to explore at a later date!

11 Dec, 2018 22:14

I may have a weakness for "cheesy" so even if it was, I'd not have noticed. That sounds like fun for your players. Keep up the good work!

11 Dec, 2018 19:50

Well, that turned out totally different than I thought. Losing memories like that would be shattering. I can't even imagine. And I take it there's no cure? It seems like a slow and terrible way to go. Yikes.

11 Dec, 2018 20:02

This is truly horrifying. Why do all the people here make horror worlds? '^^
Anyway, I like it a lot. I especially liked that you wrote about the stages of the illness in lab reports, to show how the people deal - or try to deal - with the illness.
A tiny tipp: I'd like a komma in the first sentence. I had to read it five times before understanding what it meant.
So my question to inspire your thoughts: Who (and when) was the first mind-rotten? Are they still around? And if so, what do they do?

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