"The thing about 'monstrous' is that the whole idea is subjective. 'Good' and 'evil' are the same way." "Yeah, but murdering someone is a bad thing." "You think? What about murdering someone who is murdering other people. A serial killer." "That's different though." "Still murder."
Transmission & Vectors
This condition is transmitted in a few different ways and will present different observed symptoms depending on how it was claimed.
- If the vector was contaminated food - black crackles (they look like lightning) will be seen on a person's teeth.
- If the vector was through blood sharing - the being's blood takes on a slightly greyish color, and when bleeding the first several drops will be an almost opaque black.
- If the vector was sexually transmitted - the being's body is covered in black "tattoos" which look like script, and which cannot be removed.
The cause of Lykke Noir is unknown as the disease was considered shameful and something to keep hidden, even from partners and family members. Because of this, Patient Zero cannot be identified, even though there are thoughts that this has been within the community for generations. It doesn't help that there are three different ways to transmit this - blood, food, and sex. Each happens under a slightly different circumstance, and thankfully all three of them are caused in ways which don't give the vectors high rates of transference.
Physical symptoms are what give the "noir" part of the disease its name. Blood takes on a blackish tinge and first comes out dark, teeth are engraved with dark designs, and black "tattoos" develop on the skin. What also happens is that the person is made "attractive" to bad luck. This might mean that they have an extremely unlucky day once a month, or it might mean that they'll never experience a day that's 100% good for them. Because the symptoms go beyond the physically ordinary (i.e. there seems to be magic involved), there are people studying the disease (and in a few cases trying to deliberately contract it) so they can see if the "script" can be translated and show a country or language of origin. Something new to note is that the darker or more spread out the script is, the worse a person's luck will be. However, if they are successful in giving it to another person, their color will start to blend in with skin, teeth, or blood. This information has sent researchers into another field of thought, that everyone already has this disease, however it only shows when enough has been cultivated in one body.
At the moment the only treatment is to ask someone with luck magic for a blessing or an amulet. (This has made people suspicious that the luck magic users are the ones behind this disease purely for the profits, however, most users express annoyance at being bothered for blessings/amulets/tokens, etc.). There is hope that if a person *knows* how to transmit the bad luck, and gives it to a person willing to take it on, that will be a good enough treatment to lessen serious cases. At this point in time there is known *known* way to transmit and researchers are sure they're missing something needed in the three situations.
So far the likely course of this condition will depend on how dark and various the marks are. It's possible for a person to have such bad luck that severe injury (and even death!) is possible, but only two cases are known in recorded medical. In each case, the person was past the age of sixty and had been living with their "condition" for at least twenty years. In most cases, many sufferers will "simply" see an increase in hospital visits, and when the condition is noted in their charts, doctors and nurses will treat the patient in pairs to avoid single person "accidents" such as giving the wrong medication. In most cases, a person will live life until their later years and will have plenty more stories to tell.
What might be of more danger to the being with this condition is their reaction and the reactions of others. Some "good luck blessings" are dangerous to perform and there are enough people out there who think Lykke Noir can be transmitted by air and water, which means when they identify a sufferer there is a higher chance of harassment and violence. It's been noted that those who have a higher degree of bad luck will also have a higher odds when it comes to being sick again, contracting harsher diseases, etc.
This condition affects, as far as researchers can tell, all beings no matter how human/non-human their DNA is, sex, habits, age, blood type, etc. It happens to affect sexually active adults more than non-sexually active ones, and there are certain groups that have a lower rate due to cultural influences, but as of now there is no one who could be utterly unaffected.
With three vectors, prevention of Lykke Noir sounds harder than it really is.
- Contaminated food - this is normally caught quickly since any food showing signs of this has a scent similar to moldy cheese and will also show signs of "decoration" with the script.
- Blood sharing - this is easy enough to weed out of controlled blood sharing (i.e. donations in a hospital), however a transfer of lykke noir might happen in uncontrolled settings, such as a child's blood pact or an accident.
- Sexual transmittance - this is the vector most likely to take, however, using a condom usually lessons the chance of spreading.
The starting point and event of this condition is unknown. It's thought that several family members left their original community (or were run out due to their attraction to bad luck) and immigrated to the city. From there, and though food cooked by them, blood donated by them, and sex had with them, the condition spread (there are enough beings in the city's mix that a slight difference in blood color, or having interesting tattoos, is not a deal breaker). Normally, an "outbreak" may occur in a single neighborhood or shared place (vectors dependent on the age of people with the condition; children are most likely to transmit via blood; adults are more likely to transmit via sex).
The first recorded case was, technically, a note was made by a morgue attendant stating that the body she was examining was covered in black marks; she wrote this down as a tattoo even though the deceased's family swore that their son wouldn't have gotten tattoos. After that, she heard from an ER nurse friend of hers that a family had gotten in a car wreck, and after the father had transferred blood to his daughter, fainter marks had appeared on her. From there beings were asked to come forward with the marks - many of them said they thought it was something undisclosed from their family's history and didn't didn't realize it wasn't genetic. At the moment, it has never been an epidemic, however the city is worried about outbreaks and has made knowledge and information of this condition mandatory in teaching environments and in community centers.
Previously, throughout the years, this condition (by those who knew it was a condition) was seen as something shameful and parents told their children that when they got it (since they saw this as inevitable), that they were to hide it.