Heavensfall

Naught is more horrifying than the sight of angelic beings writhing in pain at the feet of foul devilspawn. Yet 'tis precisely that which stymies our war, and if such a thing harms the mortal world... what plight does Heaven face?
  To combat all that is good, the Medimian Empire developed a poison from true evil. Heavensfall is a foul and acidic poison that burns its way through angelic flesh and seeps through the nervous system and bloodstream to wreak havoc on the outsider beings.   It first arrived on the battlefield in 5624 and quickly claimed the lives of hundreds, as both mundane soldier and summoned devil alike coated their weapons in the vile substance. The Aletheian Empire was forced to withdraw all celestial forces from the battlefield due to the risk. A cure has only recently been discovered in 5626, and has yet to be produced in quantities great enough to allow for an aasimar return to the battlefield.

Causes

As Heavensfall is most commonly found in the form of an oil or secretion, the Medimian Empire has found it to be most useful when applied directly to weaponry. This way, they may directly attack their foes with the poison and speed its delivery through tearing holes in their skin - though even the slightest contact with Heavensfall is dangerous due to its rapid spread.

Symptoms

I don't know that I can stand to see another one fall.
— cleric of Sarenrae
  Rapid-onset high fever and respiratory distress are the earliest symptoms of Heavensfall poisoning alongside a burning sensation beneath the victim's skin. Their muscles begin to tense and cramp and within hours, they begin to develop severe motor dysfunction and speech difficulty. When they begin to vomit blood and attempt to clutch at their chest (a sign of cardiac dysfunction), all watching may know that death approaches swiftly. Some aasimar are lucky enough to sink into a coma before the end; angels are not so lucky, and die with a scream on their tormented lips.   The poison does have visual symptoms in addition to those affecting the patient's body. Black veins stand out against stark pale skin, and their eyes burn an infernal red as the poison progresses. Blood may run from their eyes in a mockery of tears. In the worst cases, devil features may present on the victim - such as horns, or a tail.

Treatment

The only known cure to Heavensfall is a recently-discovered magical extract containing the blood of devils mixed with a number of other substances and infused with both arcane and divine power. It must be consumed to be effective: if the victim is too far gone to be able to consume a potion, devices like syringe spears are used to inject it into their system. Recovery is still a long and arduous process, and often leaves the victim comatose as the antidote battles the poison within their body.   Taking up the form of a different species - such as by using a druid's wild shape or a wizard's polymorph - has also proven effective for halting the poison's spread, though it remains in the being's system until treated.   Half-breeds of aasimar and tiefling still experience many of the symptoms of Heavensfall, but are susceptible to magical healing and can recover. Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia was the first of such beings to prove this as truth. Half-breeds between aasimar and other outsiders are likely to also be able to survive the deadly poison, though potentially with less chance of success.

Prognosis

Unless treated quickly, an aasimar affected by Heavensfall will be dead within days. Angels fall more swiftly, lasting only a day at best. Resurrection may restore a mortal, but Heavensfall seems to prevent a true outsider from properly reforming in its home plane for an extended period of time: it is unknown how severe the consequences would be for a divine soul subjected to Heavensfall on its home plane.

Affected Groups

Only aasimar and other creatures with significant ties to the upper Outer Planes of Heaven, Nirvana, and Elysium generally experience the agonising symptoms and death granted by Heavensfall, though it may affect creatures heavily aspected towards positive energy as well.

Prevention

The best offence is a good defence. Doubly so against this mess.
  Preventing Heavensfall from afflicting a given celestial-blooded being is as simple as removing the possibility of them being hit. For the Aletheian Empire, this has largely taken the form of all angelic forces being withdrawn from battle. Those who refuse to leave - or those who the Empire have little authority over - are at least heavily defended, wearing layers of armour and utilising bubbles of force energy to prevent physical contact. Distance and protective gear are perhaps the two sole factors involved in defence against this poison.

History

During the War of Empires between the Aletheian Empire and the Medimian Empire, access to mortal advancements in science and magic granted Medimia a deadly advantage. Aletheia's nobility is well-seeded with aasimar and their spawn, and both angels and archons gladly fight with the light-blessed empire despite the suspicious background of its latest Emperor.   Medimia, meanwhile, prefers the strict law and order practised in Hell. Numerous devils fight with the Medimian army, and it is said that their Emperor has made his own deal with a most powerful entity in the hierarchy of Hell - perhaps even Asmodeus himself. Supposedly, it is this alliance that granted Medimia's alchemists their infernal powers of creation: powers that let loose Heavensfall into the world.   Heavensfall is credited with slaying numerous Aletheian nobility and forces, most notably playing a great role in the death of Emperor Asterion of Aletheia and the injury of Emperor Aneirin of Aletheia. The latter's survival is what turned the war around for the Aletheian forces, for it granted them a necessary clue: the blood of devils held the answer.   The cure was developed in the Empire's southern regions, far from the fronts, in late 5626 with assistance from former and current members of the Mages Guild. It is currently being distributed through Aletheian forces under the assumption that Medimia has yet to act against their cunning solution, and the poison's opposite is actively being researched for use against Medimian devils.
 
Transmission
Poison
Type
Magical
Origin
Magical
Cycle
Chronic, Acquired
Rarity
Extremely Rare
Affected Species


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