Fercúl is a contagious disease that has existed for a long time. Its distribution is limited to the eastern and southeastern parts of eastern Erana. It has a rapid course of disease and is very deadly which led to the Madini calling it tuf ya quanta (emptier of houses). This has probably prevented its spread throughout larger parts of Erana or even other continents. It is not known where it stems from, but in most cases it seems to be spreading north from the Moiyeli Swamplands washing over the area settled by the Madini and to the south sweeping over the Kingdom of Larasha. Both these states are states of men. States of Len like Inôdo Êmay seem to stay untouched by the disease. It is not known, if or how Joun and Luak are affected.
When somebody has contact with an infected person, they will show symptoms after two to three days and die another two to three days later. The symptoms are coughing and a rash that covers mainly the body, upper arms and thighs which starts to get ulcerous about a day after it first shows up. At this time the infected get a fever, too. The pus has a noticably metallic smell to it. Most of those infected die, either of the fever or of dehydration which is again caused by the loss of water that comes from sweating and heavy ulcerating.
Fercúl and its role in history
The first outbreak of Fercúl was recorded in the year 4187 of the Era of the Earth, making it a very young phenomenon. In this year Fercúl ravaged central and western Madini and even entered the eastern edges of the Confederation of Tarrabaenia. It stopped there though as the lóssóbra and the treatment provided there prevented Fercúl from spreading further west. When it broke out for the first time about half of the population of the Madini settled areas died. It took two more waves, in 4191 and 4197 to find a treatment, since what worked in the Confederation of Tarrabaenia did not work for the Madini. If treated though, the mortality can be reduced to one or two in a hundred. The name tuf ya quanta stuck nonetheless, because the rapid decline of the infected leading to deaths in areas where healers are rare. The kingdom of Larasha was spared the first two waves of Fercúl but was finally hit 4197. Here, too, the disease killed a big part of the population but since the people of Larash are less mobile than the Madini only the northern part of the kingdom was affected.
Those who do not succumb to the disease recover within two to three weeks and are best taken care of by providing them with nutrient rich yet easily digestible food like broth or slurries made from vegetables, oatmeal, bone marrow, fish and the like. Treating Fercúl is possible and has a good success rate. In the Confederation of Tarrabaenia people who start showing symptoms wear a black veil and a long black trouser skirt, symbols of reclusion, as to not get adressed on the streets and be provided with enough free space to move around. The priests of Triccé are protected by their god and do not have to fear this disease. The patient enters a treatment cell and tells the priest about the symptoms and undresses to show the rash. Each treatment cell has a bath tub that is filled with warm water. The priest conducts a ritual during which an inscripted thin wood sheet is burned and has the sick person rub the ashes over their body. This process is painful, especially if part of the rash has become ulcerous already. Then some ritualistic washings take place. The course of the disease will not progress from then on for a week. During this week the sick person stays at home and live on a special diet prescribed by the priest. The body stays in its sickened state for five days and heals during the sixth and seventh night. Only then can and must the veil and trouser skirt be burnt.