Scale rot is an unfortunately common condition amongst dragon blessed, especially aquatic dragon blessed. It's caused by a fungus, and results in a painful and horrifying condition. Those infected are often exiled due to their appearance and smell. They cannot be sacrificed to the dragons.
Transmission & Vectors
The fungus that causes scale rot is mostly spread through contaminated water. It is able to thrive in both salt and freshwater, though it is most common in the wettest environments. The fungus takes hold when a dragon blessed or dragon bathes in or passes through contaminated water.
The fungus starts growing on and in the dragon blessed's scales. This causes painful, unsightly discolourations, dead and decaying scales still on the dragon blessed, and opens them up for further infection. The infection is extremely painful, and leads to fever and fatigue. Their scales also curl and weaken. Sometimes scales die without falling off, and rot while still on the dragon blessed. The smell and appearance of the infection often results in the dragon blessed being sent away, where they will often die either from the infection, other diseases the fungus opens them up to, or just trying to survive in the dragon lands while sick.
The condition will often start as a slight discolouration of scales in the infected area. The area will expand and become more painful over the next several days. At this time, scales will start showing signs of damage. Eventually, the fungus will grow out from under the scales. The damage to the dragon blessed's scales opens them up to other infections. Many times these will kill them before the initial fungus will. If a dragon blessed manages to survive everything else, the fungus will kill them after 3 to 5 miserable painful years of suffering.
The only way to avoid an infection is to stay out of the water. Since this is not feasible for most dragon blessed, there is effectively no way to prevent scale rot.
The appearance and smell of one with scale rot is so horrid that other dragon blessed will exile them from the group. This is one of the few diseases considered so horrible that bodies of the deceased will not be offered to the dragon.