The Wasting Condition in Pondera | World Anvil

The Wasting

Also called "Waking death," the wasting is a terrible disease that causes extreme pain, weight loss, starvation, and dehydration. It can easily kill its victims within 1 month of infection. Starting in The Steel Empire in its poorer populations, its believed the disease spread from foreign diplomats into the general public of other countries, or even through the rodents of the region. The empire itself uses this disease as germ warfare, and uses it in the majority of their wartime tactics.


For the first week of being a carrier of the wasting, the infected will notice nothing while the bacteria starts to migrate throughout their body. This first week being the most dangerous of being infected because of the risk to infecting others unintentionally. After this first week is when symptoms start to show. The infected starts to rapidly loose weight around his stomach, no matter how much they eat.This is the bacteria eating up as much energy as possible from its host. After two days of losing weight incredibly fast, the skin starts to darken and tighten up, making it look and feel like leather. This process is incredibly painful, with most of the pain centered around the extremities.

This painful experience lasts for about four days, with hair folicles growing at extended rates as well, however the hair that comes out is thin and wispy. Should treatment not continue at this point, the skin starts to become very tough, and closing the mouth becomes very difficult, as the skin becomes very tough. The skin can start to crack and break open at the joins, causing bleeding and pus to spurt forth from them. Though these are thick and slow moving.

Finally, after three weeks of being ill, should the infected still be alive, they deal with intense migranes as the skin on their head is stretched too thin, causing pressure on the head. The amount of pain over the body, and highly coagulated bloodflow is said to cause dementia like symptoms, and a low tolerance for stress, and are more prone to get into physical altercations, even in their weakened state. If an infected survives till this point, usually after a month of showing symptoms, they are likely to fight off the disease, and survive, with scars wherever their skin split open, and a darker complexion. They are also immune to the wasting from that point forward, no longer able to contract the disease.


Treatment is fairly simple, yet expensive. For non-magical means, there are ointments made from numerous plants, mostly aloe-vera found cultivated in Samalat and assorted herbs found in Great Forests of Vitium as well as strong roots within the Mioiarann Mountains. Because of the wide dispersement of ingredients, creating the treatment is expensive, and time consuming process, that takes longer than most have time left to live from the infection.

Magically speaking, the disease is able to be defeated early by divine magic, but only in its early stages before the skin starts to harden. The disease is also nearly impossible to detect via magical means as well, so any magic being cast upon an infected is a gamble on if they have the disease or not.


As the disease is spread primarily through contact, the only preventative measures are wearing heavy clothing, and washing frequently, which makes it prevalent in poorer communities. However, animals and other species can be afflicted by the wasting as well, and fleas from those animals can easilly transfer the disease through wide swaths of a population even overnight.


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Oct 9, 2019 01:26 by Amy Winters-Voss

*shudders* that is one scary disease.

Author of the Liminal Chronicles urban fantasy series | Author Website
Oct 10, 2019 15:26

Thank you! Its meant to be terrifying, and from a place where some people would believe you would be better off dead anyway. Yet I haven't written that country yet.