Retiring Disease

It's such a damned shame, he was one of the best front spears we've ever had! I saw him skewer a Verstite berzerker straight through the sternum with that, now he can barely hold the damned thing! This disease will retire us all...
— Gallio Coruncanius Tatian (Decanus, XVth Legion
  Retiring disease is a respiratory disease that seems to affect Legionaries stationed in the Western Provinces where there is an abundance of sand and dust. Those who don't take adequate protection of their faces or spend too much time in the dust develop Retiring disease. The exposure to the hot dry air and the dust can lead to Legionaries developing severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which can reduce lung function dramatically and even lead to death in those worst affected.   The reduced lung function means that the Legionaries find things increasingly exhausting until even the weight of carrying their armour is too much. The cure is quite simple actually if caught early enough, returning from the Western Provinces to the more temperate climates of the East where a period of relaxation and rehydration at places like Cornerstone can lead to an almost perfect recovery. However the professional stoicism of the Legionaries works against them in this regard, it is generally poor form for a Legionary to show any sign of weakness and their very nature works against them, by the time a Legionary develops visible symptoms or cannot perform their duties properly it is already too late and the lungs are permanently damaged.   Imperial Clinicus troops are on a constant watch for anyone who shows signs of extreme fatigue, there is no reliable test for retiring disease other than intuition and the Legionary admitting to it. It is called retiring disease due to the fact that those worst affected by it are forced to retire from Legionary life with many being aided by the Collegia of Veterans to find employment back in civilian life. The ultimate tragedy is that many recover enough that they could still serve adequately in the Legions, this has led to some mercenary auxilia detachments being formed by "The Wheezing", a cruel but effective joke on their behalf.


Inhalation of large amounts of dust coupled with the dry arid environment of the Western Provinces where water is a premium, the dust is unable to be cleared in adequate quantities. This causes a build up in the lungs leading to infections, reduced lung capacity and ultimately fatigue.


  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Hacking Cough
  • Raspy Voice
  • Suffocation (worst cases)


  • Extended Rest
  • Movement to a more temperate, humid climate
  • Wearing a mask of linen over the face

Cultural Reception

Retiring disease is still not greatly understood in wider Imperial society, those sent from the West with the worst cases are often seen as week and feeble by the Legions in the East. It is only through extensive writing on the subject that the Imperial Medicus have managed to convince the Empire that it is one of the dangers of living in the Western Provinces.   Legionaries in the West are under constant watch to make sure they do not develop Retiring Disease. It is every Legionaries fear that they will be retired by it and be sent home in disgrace

Chronic, Acquired

Retiring Disease

An acquired condition when adventuring in the Western Provinces, if players do not take adequate precautions to cover the face and stay hydrated they can acquire this.
Incubation period: 7 days.
Damage: 1d4 Constitution points.
Further incubation period 28 days.
Further damage: 2d4 Constitution points.
The only cures for Retiring Disease are:

  • Extended Rest
  • Covering of the face with linen


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9 Jul, 2018 17:18

I really like this take on the prompt - it's not that the disease is particularly untreatable or deadly, but by the time most people notice it, it's too late and it takes away a skill set that i'm assuming the legionaries take great pride in. The quote at the beginning was a great choice!

9 Jul, 2018 17:21

Thank you yes! That was what I was going for, I work in a healthcare environment and have some contact with COPD patients, that's what seems to get them the most, taking away their enjoyment of life.

9 Jul, 2018 17:21

I love the quote at the beginning of the article! It gives a nice view of how people perceive it and the people affected by it. I wonder, if they work in an environment like that, is a face mask not part of their uniform? Or are they the stubborn type of folk who think they don't need it until it's too late?

9 Jul, 2018 17:30

I'm actually going to go with that they are too stubborn which is why the clinicus and medicus have such a hard time trying to promote good health to the legionaries. Drawing parallels with 'stop smoking' and respiratory nurses who face an uphill battle to fight bad habits!

9 Jul, 2018 17:34

Ah, I figured as much! Stubborn people, you're going to get sick if you keep acting invincible : p Very good reasoning though, I was like 90% sure that was the case.

9 Jul, 2018 17:21

Ouch, the Western Provinces must not be a fun place to live in, at least if you don't know how to protect yourself... Did the natives from those Provinces build an immunity? Or do they simply know how to protect themselves better? (are there "natives" should me my first question I guess haha xD) Really cool article!

9 Jul, 2018 17:29

The natives have been "absorbed into the empire".

9 Jul, 2018 17:21

Cool! Feels very realistic, both in terms of development and how people react to it

9 Jul, 2018 17:30

Thank you for that Chaos Magic thats what I was going for.

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