Rockblood Condition in Tremanac | World Anvil

Rockblood

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.

Symptoms

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.

Treatment

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.

Cultural Reception

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.
Origin
Magical
Affected Species
Different Air
By sheer chance the reason for the shortness of breath was discovered not to be difficulty drawing in air, it was with the nature of the air itself. Derden Firehelm was afflicted with this condition but refused to stop working in the mines. His group discovered a pocket of poisonous gas and were leaving the area when a tremour caused a cave-in trapping Derden. Much to everyone's surprise when Derden was dug out he was not only still breathing, the wheezing he had experieinced for years had stopped.   Since that time those suffering from rockblood are actively sought after when exploring new tunnels due to their ability to survive this gas.
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Cover image: The party's camp by Tanai Cuinsear

Comments

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Aug 1, 2023 19:16 by Drake Ragon

Sneaky illness - the best kind of illness. Well not to have it but ... You know that I mean. Its the "fun kind". And its getting more fun - part of the treatment is poisonous gas? There is room for mutations and all sort of abominations :]   + points for the snippet on the sidebar.

„You are so blinded by the present that you cannot be enlightened by the future.”
Aug 2, 2023 16:57 by Tanai Cuinsear

My players would probably prefer if I didn’t have a habit of creating sneaky afflictions, but it’s too much to have something that becomes apparent some time after the fact.