Dushtjal Complex (Duh-sh-t-jah-al Complex)
The Dushtjal Complex is a mutagenic pathogen with extranatural characteristics. It is a bacterial complex disease that internally produces CRISPRs and viral RNA to reengineer host DNA, causing cases of bodily transformation, mental instability, and supernatural phenomenon in the infected.
Transmission & Vectors
Blood to blood contact between host and infectees. At its base level the Dushtjal Complex is a CRSIPR producing bacteria that injects viral material into an infectees cells, causing genetic alteration of variable intensity.
When a fresh host's blood makes contact with infectious bodily fluids from a carrier. Generally through bites due to blood in gums or scratches due to gore or pus caught under the nails of the carrier.
- Death and reanimation
- Rapid body alterations and mutations
- Overactive adrenal gland
- Intense hallucinations
- Complications in pre-existing mental conditions
- Increased density of muscle mass
- Unnatural phenomena
- Dietary changes
Condition is incurable as once a host is fully infected and "reborn" their DNA has been altered in addition to any metaphysical changes to their body's natural state. However, Dushtjal Infectees can be treated to return to a state of normalcy and non-hostility. Probable need to subdue and contain the patient for a regiment of anti-mutagenics and antipsychotics. These emergency measures are difficult to obtain and utilize, as cases where they are necessary usually involve rabid infectees that are an active danger and can pass the point of no return if treatment is not received prior to full infection. Non-infected can be inoculated from catastrophic outcomes by being vaccinated with a stable or inactivated Complex Strain. While still infected with the Dushtjal Complex, the mutagenic and psychological side effects are mitigated to a minimal risk. Physical death is averted in the Stage 1 Infection to Stage 2 Reanimation phases of the infection, the host instead entering into a comatose state for a period of time generally ranging from 8 hours to several days.
- Stage 0: Source Contact/Patient Zero Events
- Stage 1: Infection
- Stage 2: Reanimation
- Stage 3: Metamorphosis
- Stage 4: Stabilization
Hosts & Carriers
Carriers: Anyone who has the virus without severe psychological or physical changes to the host. They are inoculated from reinfection and non-infectious, although they pass generational markers to their children, the latent Dushtjal causing an inheritable variant of the Dushtjal Complex. Changed Ones: Infectees that undergo drastic physical changes ranging from muscular density increases to chimeric bodily transformations. Psychosis and predatory behavior are more common in cases of extreme physical metamorphosis, the bodily changes having a psychological as well as supernatural source, many mutations being metaphoric reflections of the hosts' soul. Metahumans: Various types of superhuman variants resulting from Dushtjal infection that don't physically diverge from their original form but exhibit drastically changed abilities, such as human infectees that exhibit exponentially increased physical strength or develop extranatural abilities.
The only absolute way to avoid the Dushtjal Complex is total isolation. Many millions of humans fled the planet in part to avoid the Dushtjal Complex, the Nations of the Old World calculating that inevitably all life on earth would one day be infected in addition to other apocalyptic events during the Great Cataclysm. Great interplanetary colony ships were sent to distant stars so that mankind had a hope of survival. These off-world colonists vastly outnumber the remaining human population on Earth, particularly when factoring in total non-exposure. However, the complete infection of human beings on Earth prophesized by fleeing scientists has not yet occurred in the Lostland Contemporary Timeline. Remnant nation-states of the Old World exist, largely in a fortified megalopolis in the southwest coast of the Eddan Continent, as well as similar urban fortress enclaves throughout the planet. These are massive quarantine zones, strictly regulating travel into the outside world and enacting containment procedures. These pockets of Old World humanity persisted by isolating or destroying infectious Dushtjal variants to prevent mass outbreaks, however, the Remnant Megalopolis allows monitored movement of non-infectious carriers. Other pure human enclaves have varying attitudes that lean towards hostility to any carriers as complete isolation is the only known guaranteed method of prevention.
True outbreaks are catastrophic events where the Dushtjal Infection spreads through a population like wildfire, the psychotic and predatory behavior exhibited by the majority of infectees causing damage to infrastructure in addition to infections spikes. Patient Zeroes or Vector Hosts go rabid in a new population zone and begin exhibiting cannibalistic and other aggressive tendencies. As attacks increase more intended prey will survive the initial attack, only to succumb to Dushtjal Complex due to their injuries and become a new Host Vector. As more Host Vectors survive the rate of infection exponentially increases. Eventually the Feral Infected will come into conflict with the local population, cases where the Feral Infected overpower armed responders are considered true outbreaks, while cases where responders can contain, quarantine or eliminate infected are not. By nature a Dushtjal Outbreak is an anarchic affair where government and law enforcement has broken down. A second form of Outbreak occurs in Generational Dushtjal. Carriers and Metahumans can experience spontaneous mutations and manifestations.
Created in the Nueva Apulia Valley of the Caribbean Shore of South America. A group of Conquistadors conscripted the local to create the mythical Fountain of Youth through ritual sacrifice. Captain Alvarado had researched occult practices before enlisting an army of mercenaries to create the mythical Fountain of Youth if the one of legend couldn't be found. Captain Alvarado and his men broke off from the conquest of the Inca to quest for immortality. The Dushtjal Complex is the fulfillment of their wish, the viral offspring of greed, treachery and bloodshed. When the Witch-Priestess of Tezcatlipoca told Captain Alvarado that the lives of his most loyal men were necessary to complete the ritual he willingly gave the hearts of his closest companions in pursuit of his own immortality. The Fountain was born in the blood of betrayal and so its waters ran black as a starless night. These Waters of Unlife that flowed forth from a Cursed Fountain of Youth were the Dushtjal Complex.
While in the days prior to the Great Cataclysm the population saw the Dushtjal Complex as an apocalyptic event, true Dushtjal Outbreaks are rare in the Eddas Contemporary Timeline. Instead, the metahuman and mutant descendants of the first generations of Dushtjal Infectees are a commonplace demographic, with a majority of humans and wildlife having at least trace amounts of the Complex. Although a plurality of Dushtjal-free humans still exist, they are largely concentrated in densely-populated fortified-urban enclaves across the Eddas. Humans of these Enclaves still have at least a strong caution against the infected, although generational Dushtjal has a low probability of catastrophic infection, there are also monstrous breeds of chimera mutants and ravenous beasts spread throughout the world. The vast majority of completely Dushtjal-free humans are located in a vast metropolitan area in the Southwest of Eddas, a majority by millions taking up less than 10% of the continent's land mass. In these places an aura of dread surrounds the Dushtjal Complex, a threat of ruin and death. They limit contact with even benign carriers and view the world outside their walls with fear and distrust. Outside these bastions of the Old World there is still concern about the monstrous offspring of the Dushtjal, but the human population outside the urban centers is by majority Latent Carriers and Metahumans, preventing them from being infected under most circumstances. Predatory mutants and bioforms represent a danger in the form of physical attacks rather than a pandemic risk. As such Feral Infected regarded in the same light as any other potential threat. Generational Dushtjal Complications are a rare but highly feared potential in childbirth for those who have even trace amount of Dushtjal markers in their genetics. Metahuman and Latent Carrier parents live with a persistent fear that their children will become one of the Changed Ones or even go feral. These cases most commonly occur during either prenatal development or puberty. As such, pregnancy is particularly more anxiety inducing as there is a greater inherent risk to mother and child. Expectant mothers have a lot of local superstitions surrounding what will make their pregnancy go right or wrong. While culturally this leads to there tending to be a lot of accommodation for expecting mothers, as high levels of stress, malnutrition and trauma have a causational relationship to Catastrophic Dushtjal Complications. Similarly, this leads to intensified societal anxiety against pre-teens. Civilizations with a Dushtjal Carrier majority tend to have cultural practices that emerged out of isolating those going through puberty from general society until they're sure that they won't mutate or go feral. Manifestation of extranatural abilities is more common than catastrophic complications, so these practices are usually in the form of tests, trials, and rites of passage where each person is tested body and soul. This fear shifts to tribulation when the age of highest risk passes and the child remains human in body and mind.
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