Living Death

A disease which changes the infected's appearance so that they look like a zombie. The Assistants to the Elevation have long claimed to have created the disease and they have frequently been responsible for it's spread.

Transmission & Vectors

This disease spreads through the consumption of contaminated water. Water can become contaminated through passing over undead or the bodies of those infected with the disease.

Symptoms

Withing a few days of being infected victims develop very dry skin and will feel itchy over all. Several days later they begin to suffer from hair loss, with clumps of hair falling out unevenly.   After a week the victims vision becomes blurry and their eyes start to discolour. At this point their skin, scales, or fur will start to change colour, taking on the appearance of a corpse.

Cultural Reception

Despite being treatable with clerical magic the victims of this disease are rarely diagnosed much less treated. Those infected can expect to be banished at best; in most cases they will be killed by their neighbours or local guards as soon as the skin discolouration begins. The first victim in a community is usually blamed for bringing the disease to a settlement and it is not uncommon for them to be vlllanised as a necromancer or a servant to one.   The disease helped give rise to the mistaken belief that being touched or bitten by a zombie could turn you into a zombie yourself. What usually happens is that the first victim fights back against those who want to kill them, kicking and biting their attackers. Those attackers then drink from the same water source and catch the disease themselves.   Following the Necromancer War the response to the disease became even more rabid and entire villages were killed and the settlements burned to the ground in order to wipe out any potential undead. While now considered to be an excessive response this did reduce the number of corpses which could infect waters sources.
Treatment
Although the colouring changes and hair loss are permanent, the progression of the disease can be halted through the use of clerical magic. Especially powerful restorative spells can reverse the damage to eyesight and correct the cosmetic changes but these are generally not available to the average person.   During the second age a herbal remedy was discovered which could also be used to halt the disease's progression. Unfortunately it was never widely used due to the prejudice against those who caught the disease and the recipe was lost during the years of darkness.
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Cover image: The party's camp by Tanai Cuinsear

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