The Blight has marred the landscape of the known world since as far back as every existing culture's history extends. There have always been festerfonts dotting the landscape, blightbeasts prowling those territories, and danger. However, there exist remote implications nestled within ancient historical accounts, speaking of a time before. No surviving record was written at that hypothetical time, but there must have been a time. Now, however, the Blight is ever-present to all who do not care to cloister themselves in ignorance.
The Blight is dangerous. The Blight seems to hunger for the land itself, claiming and summarily defending the territory with a vengeance, and it grows more virulent with every passing year. Blight Seekers of the Blightbane Guild believe there has never been a more dangerous time regarding Blight, but they've always been making that claim. They may be right
Festerfonts are locations around the planet that are under the influence of the phenomena collectively referred to as 'The Blight'. The Blightbane Guild has attempted to study them, but little progress has been made. They remain a mysterious, growing collection of territories, each one defended by fearsome creatures known as blightbeasts. These creatures are creatures seemingly for the sole purpose of defending the occupied land, warding off invaders who would attempt to cleanse the festerfont's domain.
Festerfont locations are discovered by Blight Seekers, recorded, and spread to other Guilds, alongside with an estimated 'Blight Rating'. This is a loose system of composite measurement of the 'saturation', or energy contained within, and also a scale for the general danger of a festerfont disregarding the saturation. Saturation ratings are Placid, Rippling, and Violent, in order from least saturated to most saturated. Danger classes are Clarion, Umbra, and Nihil, in order from least dangerous to most treacherous. An example of such a composite class designation is 'Rippling Clarion'.
Blightbeasts are a class of phenomena distinct from natural life. These creatures exhibit different behavior from creatures that do not possess 'blightseeds', the peculiar anatomical regularity present in every blightbeast. Blightbeasts materialize in certain locations, designated as 'festerfonts' by the Blightbane Guild. Before the founding of the Guild, there were only rumors of creatures that dispersed after death, leaving behind only peculiar cores of colored flesh. Many cultures associated them with the work of the gods.
As the sapient races of known world spread out and sought to dominate the wilderness, establishing trade routes with distant territories, the threat of the blightbeast became a noticeable thorn in the side of the developing world. They weren't only dangerous, they were also an unrewarding foe, leaving behind nothing but the strange seeds after death. No meat, and no other materials worth trading.
Sometimes called 'Blight Resources', these strange materials can only be found within the bounds of festerfonts. Each unique festerfont will have a distinct composition of blightsources, with many variants entirely exclusive to specific biomes, festerfont configurations, and festerfonts saturations, and even the combinations of the three factors and more. Though harvesters and seekers are discovering new blightsources every year, only a few dozen are highly traded in markets. These are those with known and valued uses, while the others are still being studied for practical applications.
From the first time these resources began to pass hands in the markets of the undeveloped world, they were easily distinguishable from the bounty of the natural world. Blightsources have properties that are far beyond the norm, from magical distortions or amplification to toxins potent enough to spread death across an entire city in a week. The latter is an extreme example, but suffice it to say traders far and wide salivate at the thought of upturning markets with blightsources.