The Corruption was first majorly noted during the War of the Scourge. It is mostly pegged as a dark force, simultaneously chaotic and systematic. Its origins remain unknown, though has been most attributed to the misuse of magics and even divine retribution. The phenomenon has since subsided but occasionally rears its head between generations, if not centuries.
Destructive to all forms of life, the Corruption can spread between creatures, and even into the environment. Scholars have theorized that it prioritizes the living due to being the anti-thesis of life itself. This characteristic likens the Corruption to an epidemic if left alone. Occurrences of such a spread have been noted in both the second and third eras, though contained within specific regions and nothing to the scale that one could have expected during the War of the Scourge. It is said that creatures afflicted by Corruption may utterly lose their connection to the material plane, from the physical to the spiritual.
Creatures inflicted by the Corruption, though still retain a sense of their previous selves, are called the Corrupted. However, once they have passed the threshold, often considered the point of death, they become a part of the Scourge.
Addressing it remains a matter of both the arcane and the divine, though the semantics are known only by very few expert mages. The Order of Avalon serves as the continent's main answer to containing and combating the Corruption.
Living creatures inflicted by the Corruption usually take on a form that more resembles the dead, though they often retain features from their previous, non-afflicted state. The most common signs of Corruption include a dark colored, if not black, substance that oozes from a creature's orifices, including physical wounds. The Corrupted as well as the Scourge often exhibit feral and destructive behavior.
Terrain affected by the Corruption exhibits a similarly dark colored taint, either on surfaces or even as a heavy mist or fog. Corrupted land has been observed to be inhabitable to plants and regular, living creatures.
Corruption is a phenomena most associated with the continent of Varia south of the Kor Mountain Ranges and west of the Feylands. Though it makes itself known very rarely, the Corruption can theoretically surge from anywhere on the continent.