Cold Fire

The sickness is Drake specific, though it has occurred in other creatures of fire. In fact, any creature with a flame sac or flame organ may fall victim to this widespread illness. What defines a cold fire is the decrease of flame in a flame sac due to an external factor.

Causes

Filling

If the flame sac becomes filled with an external substance, this can cause a cold fire. This can be if the sac becomes water-logged, if the drake breaths in miasma or bad air, or otherwise introduce a foreign substance to the organ. Depending on the substance, it may be more or less difficult to expel it. Water, for example, is difficult to expel and will take a lot of fire intake to steam. Flame-poor air would be easy, and a quick inhalation could revitalize the drake.

Disease

A drake may intake bacteria or a virus the body doesn’t know how to fight, and that bacteria or virus can turn down the temperature, so to speak. A body that won’t burn away the tiny organisms is more hospitable, after all. While greater sicknesses that have a cold fire as a symptom exist, there are a few microorganisms that just want to make their home in the flame sac, these actually causing the sickness of a cold fire. In these cases, the drake’s body will eventually fight off the intruders and restore balance.

Symptoms

The two obvious symptoms of someone with a cold fire are lethargy, coughing, and the inability to breathe flame. Without their internal heat source, a drake cannot function as normal, slowing down with the cold. They will instinctively try to constantly breathe flame, ending in fits of coughing instead, just to try and expel whatever is clogging them. It will be a miserable time where all their energy will be dedicated to the constant attempt at expulsion and their internals trying to fight off an invader, either an actual disease or just the foreign entity of water in their flame sac.

Spread

Because of the constant coughing, if there is indeed a disease within the drake, it will use that as a means of spread. All it takes is a hack from one to another and they’re both sick. And because the sick retreat to their dens, an enclosed space with family, the risk of spread is higher. Steps to mitigate are taken, but the still air of a cave combined with the closed space means that sicknesses tend to make a wave through the family.

If the root is that their flame sac is filled with a foreign substance, there is no worry for spread.

Dealing With It

Most afflicted stay home, but not with the rest of their nest. Since the cause can be bacteria or a contagious enchantment, it’s best not to risk spreading within one’s very important family. So, they are sequestered into a chamber where only one may enter, typically a caretaker but can be anyone who wants to visit or otherwise check up on the sick. If more than one from the same nest becomes sick, they will rest together.

A flame sac that can not perform one of its most important actions, being the primary heat provider for a drake, means that the drake must find warmth like many other cold-boded creatures. And, since they tend to stay inside, it means a bonfire, layers of blankets, or another sick must be kept close. This won’t stop the chills as their internal temperature drops.

The only thing anyone can really do for the afflicted is to provide fire-laden air for them. The home-style of this is to set up a fire close by, or to create an extra spicy soup, typically both with the soup cooked over that exact fire. Modern medicine provides inhalers that puff flame directly into their lungs to be filtered into the flame sac. The great commercialization of this extends beyond its original purpose, now becoming somewhat of a handicap for drake with smaller flame sacs. It’s also become a socially accepted party drug. Many still use it for the intended purpose as it makes the cold fire last only a day or two, rather than a week. Special anti-bacterial fire inhalers are also provided if the afflicted have an infection.
A story written by Pouaseuille about a particularly bad case of cold fire: A Common Cold

Reception

Fire colds have become one of those diseases that are so common that other species are aware of both symptoms and cures. While a Vinsel might not have to deal with it, they will know how to help if a case were to crop up. This uniqueness to the drake provides a boon, quarantine is exceptionally easy. Those creatures who are not of fire do not have to worry about spread, so a small profession of caretakers can be hired to tend to the sick.

One notable exception to the non-cross-species is a drake Gheforis. Since they inhabit the body of a drake, they may become sick in the same way. In fact, they are more susceptible to the sickness as the drake’s slowly decaying body can not as easily fight off infection. Fortunately for them, they are not hit as hard, as they are not ones of flame, many do not use the flame sac for fear of burning their mycelium in the throat and mouth. But, it does decay the body faster, so their immune system tries to bring back flame to the flame sac the best they can. It also means an infected gheforis will be sick longer, as it is more difficult for them to intake fire.

Comments

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Dec 5, 2021 06:21

This is a very interesting condition for the firebreathing creatures. Well thought out.

Dec 11, 2021 18:00

Thank you. Mentioning it's for fire-breathing creatures, I guess it wouldn't be as bad for creatures that aren't cold-blooded or regulate their temperature with their fire.

Kriltch, arcanities not included.
Jan 4, 2022 04:18

I thought that this was a very interesting article as well. I really liked how the disease affected a specific creature type with specific anatomy.

Jan 4, 2022 14:06

Thanks! Yeah, it's like how fish can get gill disease but animals won't. Different anatomy will lead to different diseases that aren't really cross-species.

Kriltch, arcanities not included.
Jan 18, 2022 01:58 by Marc Zipper

This is an awesome idea. I love that it is a sickness for creatures to make something new and exciting. It very well details love the fact it cold for fire breading creatures that effect the flame sack

Let's have fun creating the impossible, building new worlds, and all types of possibilities. Valcin
Jan 18, 2022 13:11

Thank you so much!

Kriltch, arcanities not included.