Her skin was dry as the desert sands outside— and her skin wrinkled like that of a discarded yntxol? fruit. We tried to save her from death by placing her in a cool bath— but her thirsting body became bloated as it engorged itself on the life-giving drink. She died within minutes.Zetcoux olxlikliz, translated literally to "dry sickness," is a condition that strikes, seemingly at random— and causes its victims to quickly lose any moisture within their bodies. This extreme dryness, combined with a strange force, causes victims to act like sponges when presented with new liquids.
This has only aided the common perception that illnesses are the result of bad air— reflected in the Qetlec word for illness, "olxlikliz" which literally means "bad air." Thankfully, as the creatures responsible are somewhat easy to spot and avoid once they become visible— zetcoux olxlikliz is a rare affliction.
An Unseen Predator
SymptomsVictims are quickly drained of moisture, resulting first in dry skin— by the end of the day their skin is cracked and shriveled. By the end of the second day, the victim's eyes will have dried out and shriveled to the point of uselessness. The inside of the body will shortly follow, starting with the mouth and tongue which will dry out much like their outer skin. By the end of the third day, their organs will have withered into dry husks— leading to death. If a victim makes contact with liquid— be it water, alcohol, juice, or anything else— the kol'kolgar will use their body to collect it, which causes the victim's body to rapidly expand. This whiplash will often kill the victim within minutes.
TreatmentUnless someone with the insight to spot the kol'kolgar happens by the victim— they are left in the hands of those who do not know the nature of their affliction to care for them. In a few cases, victims have been kept alive for years with a steady, slow, stream of water— just enough to keep their organs from drying out. They are often still too weak to move, even eating is a great difficulty in this condition. Their cracked, dry skin also makes them much more prone to infection and other illnesses— which is what typically kills these long-lasting victims.
They informed me that the poor soul had been bedridden for nearly five years in this way— to think, all they needed to do was kill the creature wrapped around their body. I killed their parasite in the night— when their family could not see. I received a letter months later of the victim's miraculous recovery.