The Pluck Condition in Umqwam | World Anvil

The Pluck

I stared in horror at my reflection in the mirror— a pale, featherless monster stared back.
— A pluck victim
  The pluck is a once common disease found throughout Umqwam— no matter the nest. Its name comes from the fact that one of its most notable symptoms is feather loss, making it appear as if one has been plucked.

A Former Menace

  The pluck can be contracted by anyone above the age of five, and is spread into the air when victims vomit. Prevention is simple, consume a vial of the cure once every five years and one will never need to worry about contracting the disease. If the cure is unavailable, one must avoid contact with those afflicted, and make sure the spaces they inhabit are well ventilated if they must enter them.  


One day, all's right wit th' world. Th' nex'? Yer nothin' but skin n' bone.
— An old physician
  The pluck insidiously hides itself for the first three days after infection, after which, the symptoms suddenly hit afflicted individuals with full force. Beyond feather loss, the pluck brings with it fatigue, headaches, vertigo, and a loss of appetite.   Those afflicted with the pluck have a difficult time eating, and keeping their food— further complicating the already deadly situation. The pluck can last for hours, days, or months— though it is rare for victims to survive more than three weeks beneath the disease's onslaught.

Cultural view

Until the cure was developed around a decade ago, the pluck was a serious concern. Those who fell ill with it had a 50/50 chance of death.   Even those who lost their feathers to entirely unrelated issues would be consumed by the fear of expiration. The Sotikaaput believe it to be punishment for their people's past sins, and due to their self-imposed isolation— they are unaware that a cure has been developed. It is unsure that they would accept said cure would they be made aware of it, either, as it requires some machinery to create.


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Jul 28, 2020 11:30 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I have such a vivid image of what this disease does. Those poor sufferers! I'm glad there's a preventative cure though.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 28, 2020 16:35 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Thanks! Glad it makes sense.

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