"'Perhaps we'll get lucky and they'll get Legionary's Bane in the camp before they can breach us.'" "'You don't want that. It will take us right along with them- and at least the Kalriv take prisoners.'"Legionary's Bane is an acute but devastating disease which is known for appearing in wartime across Annyrion. It has struck populated areas as an epidemic several times throughout history.
-soldiers during the Siege of Matara
Transmission & Vectors
Legionary's Bane is a bacterial infection and is usually spread through the bite of infected lice.
Legionary's Bane usually manifests within the first couple of days of exposure as a severe, almost unbearable itch throughout the body, which eventually forms distinctive 'bands' of rashes around the torso and extremities. From there, it quickly progresses to muscle pains and a feeling of weakness, with alternating fever and chills by the fourth or fifth day. By the end of the first week, the victim is unable to get up and move about for very long, and both vomiting and diarrhea strike the victim, along with severe stomach pain. In particularly severe cases, blood can taint the bodily fluids of the victim. At the beginning of the second week of the disease, symptoms will either remain constant for the next several days, or will get considerably worse, with delirium, dehydration and shock setting in. It is at this point that the threat of coma and death are the highest. If the victim is able to survive the next four days, they are considered to be through the worst, and in either scenario the symptoms begin to subside.
There is no known cure for Legionary's Bane. Once infected, all a person can do is immediately cease physical activity and rest for the duration of the disease, ensuring they remain hydrated and supplied with salts. It is believed a diet high in fruits, if kept down, can aid recovery, but it is by no means a certainty. In a rare show of multi-partisan co-operation, faculty from the Academy of Arikanda in the Heartlands have studied the disease in conjunction with the , priests and the Druids of the Vessa, and experimental steps involving metaphysical divine healing and particular herbs and compounds seem to bolster a person's chance at survival, but these are again by no means guaranteed to help and seem to be at least part based on luck.
The second week is usually the telltale sign of whether a person will make a full recovery or not survive. Generally the manifestation of delirium and shock are considered severe threats to life and limb. If a person does not suffer this, they're likely to make a full recovery over the period of the next fortnight. If a person suffers the severest symptoms and survives, they will recover, but the odds of complications become higher. The disease severely weakens a person, and they generally need at least two months to fully recover their strength after being affected by the disease. During this recovery period, they can be particularly susceptible to the symptoms of other diseases. In a small number of cases, usually those that have been improperly treated or not treated at all, an infected person may develop impaired movement in their legs, ranging from a simple limp to paralysis.
The disease does not seem particularly selective in who it targets. It is known for affecting soldiers in wartime and it is usually here where the disease begins during poor hygiene conditions in protracted battles, but if carried back to a population centre it will attack indiscriminately.
Hosts & Carriers
Legionary's Bane is carried by lice. The disease is usually terminal to a louse, but not before managing to spread it to human hosts in many cases.
The safest way to avoid Legionary's Bane is to practice the best sanitation possible, avoid hot-spots, and ensure quick and clean disposal of dead bodies, usually through burning. Avoiding the lice carrying the disease is essential, and Kalriv soldiers are particularly vigilant in ensuring war camps are kept clear of infection vectors.
Legionary's Bane appears to have been present on Annyrion since at least the Neolithic and the formation of large settlements and armies. There is no patient zero on record, probably due to writing having not been developed at that time. There have been a number of debilitating epidemics throughout the centuries. The worst epidemic recorded took place during the Siege of Matara, an event during the Kalriv Empire's conquests in the northern Sapphire Coast during the final centuries of the Dawn of Man. This nearly devastated Var Kalriv and Matara. The most recent outbreak struck in 311 TE in the aftermath of a military engagement between the Kingdom of Mayoka, resulting in twin outbreaks in each respective city, devastating them with thousands of deaths.and the
The indiscriminate nature of the disease means that in most societies, victims are seen as people to avoid but to maintain a measure of pity and compassion for - everybody from an Archon to a slave has faced down the Bane. Among the warrior culture of the Kalriv, it is particularly feared due to its potential to leave a soldier permanently injured. To the martially-dedicated class, the potential to be permanently crippled or disabled is seen as a fate worse than death, and sadly if this does happen, they are usually discarded by their society and left to fend for themselves.