A disease that can be caught by those working closely with elemental energies from the plane of earth.
Transmission & Vectors
This affliction cannot be transmitted between people. It only develops when someone spends a lot of time in or working near energies from the elemental plane of earth. It takes a great deal of exposure for the condition to develop, and some healers suspect that there must be a predisposition towards earthen energy.
The first thing a sufferer is likely to notice is that they are feeling a bit sluggish. This is frequnetly attributed to tiredness and the early signs missed. Over around 5 weeks the sufferer will find that they seem to be gaining weight, even if their girth does not increase. From around week 6 the changes start to become visible as hard lumps develop under the afflicted's skin. This is when most finally go to the healers but it is normally to late to reverse the changes at this point. The skin will gradually become more rocklike, though still pliant enough for the afflicted to move. As the changes run their course the afflicted will frequently find themselves short of breath and without some very specific weight training they usually find it difficult to move.
If the condition is caught within the first 2 weeks there are spells that can halt it's progression. If this window is missed then it becomes a matter of easing the symptoms. Some chambers known to hold poisonous gas are left alone so that the afflicted can visit them. This gives them an opportunity to breath a bit more easily, and the benefits can last for several weeks afterwards. Exercises have been developed to help build muscle in the right way so that the afflicted can lead at least a mostly regular life.
This condition was originally assumed to be a divine punishment, and the sufferers would be ostracized from dwarven society. Despite clerics frequently telling people that it wasn't a punishment their inability to explain the true cause left many thinking the clerics weren't being honest. When the true cause was discovered during the second age it was finally possible to look at the possibility of a cure, but sadly the changes enacted by this condition appear permanent.