Caroline's Catalog of Curious Conditions: The Cobalt Cordyceps or the Azure Pox
As I crossed through the swamps in the region around North Bog I came upon the most curious of ailments. What at first appears as an exotic pox is in fact something more sinister. I grow more and more convinced that this is more similar to the fungi that terrorize the insects of my home. Which, given the...damp nature of this region would not surprise me in the slightest. The first symptom of this malady is one that is shared with many other, less severe ailments, which is probably why it goes unnoticed in this early stage where treatment is easiest. The afflicted begin to lose their sense of taste and smell. This happens over the couse of about 2 weeks, though I have not been able to deduce why.
It is worth noting that this was before my work that showed the relationship between ones sense of smell and taste, so there is a chance that only one of these was effected. Although the fact that the loss of both senses was total and permanent does make me think that both were directly caused by this fungal parasiteWhile one is undergoing this loss of their senses the second symptom starts to appear, although given the nature of the area it is easy to see why it goes unnoticed. After all, with the ammount of biting and stinging insects, not to mention the apparent lack of clean water for bathing, itchiness is hardly something that the locals would report to a cleric. or perhaps even notice. It was a work of labor to be able to link this symptom to the disease at all. It was only after the 3rd month of study that I was able to conclusively link the two. That was after I was able to convince my local assistants that my blessings protected them from this infection and they could bathe the patients. (something that also made people more likely to seek out help, as the stench of my makeshift hospital was a deterent to many) The tipping point for a patients recovery is the onset of the 3rd symptom, the azure pox. It is not actually a pox, but a collection of the parasite moving along slowly underneath the skin. These often start around the armpits and the groin region and slowly creep along the patients major veins. As these moving spots progress and converge at the ends of the fingers and toes, the 4th and most insidious condition makes it presence known. The patient will start to involuntarily lash out, attempting to scratch those who are nearby. These scratches, should they go untreated, serve as a means of spreading the disease to new victims. This convergence of the blue spots unfortunately serves to concentrate the fungus, leading it to rapidly start to consume the flesh of the host, leading to observable necrosis. Amputation was tried, but while the blue spots are concentrated regions of the infection, amputating affected limbs only serves to prolong the patients suffering. All patients that have progressed to the 4th stage have expired. The most longest took a little over a month, the most rapid expiration was 8 days. Of the natural diseases that I have studied, this is perhaps the most grusome, watching the flesh slough from the bones of its still-living victims knowing that there is nothing I can do to save these unfortunate patients.
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
Terrible disease! Makes me think of the Mummy film with the scarab horribly running under the skin XD
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
Aaaaa, moving parasite spots made my skin itch! D: What a terrible condition. Great article.