The disease appears to affect the mind first. The Dorozi specimen deteriorated within 5 days of first symptoms. The Sylvar specimen, despite being objectively stronger of will deteriorated within the same amount of time. More Sylvar specimen needed to look into this. Olthamite and Khord specimen do not deteriorate slower within the first two to four days of the illness, but muscle mass present on the species makes the physical part of the deterioration take up to an extra three days longer. By the time these specimen turn completely, their brain matter is practically chunky soup. Completely useless. Make note for apprentices to ignore these and focus on the smaller humanoids.
The condition only exists in The Lunar Scar, and as such is contracted only in that area of the world. Soul Rot can be be contracted in one of two ways. The most common way for one to suffer Soul Rot is through long term ( a period of longer than two weeks) exposure to the native energies of the land. This often proves a risk for any individuals with a history of mental illness, or people with arcane sensitivity.
The other way is more invasive. The Scar is simply chock full of beasts, sapient and otherwise.Of those beasts, plenty have the ability to cast magic. Being targeted by magic of the Scar directly rather than through gradual exposure, has a chance of inflicting Soul Rot upon the mind. Whether one can resist this, is a matter of an individual's mental prowess.
Soul Rot is technically classified as a somatoform illness. Ergo; whilst it is a mental affliction, it exhibits a number of physical symptoms, which have seemingly no origin at first. Generally, symptoms of Soul Rot can be divided into three categories: early, middle and late stage.
Early Stage Symptoms
- Disorganised speech
- Sudden decrease in appetite
- Trouble concentrating
- Short black outs and patches of memory loss
Middle Stage Symptoms
- Rapid weight loss
- Paranoid delusions
- Inability to comprehend language
- Inability to stomach solid food
- Loss of a sense of self (characterised by inability to recognise oneself in the mirror for example)
Late Stage Symptoms
- Vomiting of muscle and fatty matter
- Blackening of veins and innards
- Development and growth of claws
- Twisting an breaking of bones
Treating Soul Rot is what is often described as an easy job with an asterisk. If one were to describe the process in a purely reductionist matter, it may appear a simple solution. After all, to treat Soul Rot all one needs is a simple healing ritual; followed by a few days in bed, a round of therapy and some healthy food. Simple, isn't it? Perhaps too simple. The trick of the matter lies in the realities of the situation. Whilst the first part of the treatment can be performed by any individual with magical aptitude (or even someone without, in the most dire situations), the second part is ironically, the more complicated one.
Soul Rot as a condition exists solely within the bounds of The Lunar Scar. If the healing ritual is successful, the individual afflicted still needs to remove the illness from their system. This normally involves heavy bouts of vomiting and digestive problems. The afflicted is normally in no state to walk by themselves, never mind shoot a gun or ride a horse. This lasts for approximately three days, but may be longer if the immune system of the afflicted is weaker. If the individual survives, it is crucial to make sure they eat well and receive all nutrients necessary for the body to heal properly. This often proves difficult as soldiers and mercenaries traversing the Scar barely have time to stop for a healthy piss, let alone remember to have their five a day. Atop of all this, because of the havoc the illness causes in one's mind, an individual afflicted once, is more likely to suffer again at a later point.