These are the diseases that were created by the Dread Host. All of them can be readily cured through magic, but there is little that can be done outside of that.
A deadly, green, crystalline agent of indeterminate origin. It erodes the vessel walls of the circulatory system, causing death by either triggering the body’s coagulation response (resulting in the entire system clotting in a few seconds), or by cerebral hematomas (accompanied by dementia) if clotting is prevented. It evolves at a rapid rate, is spread by airborne transmission, and is extremely contagious. It cannot take very acidic host environments, however.
This disease targets humanoids, although gnomes are strangely immune. While in the grips of this disease, victims frequently succumb to fits of mad laughter, giving the disease its common name and its morbid nickname: “the shrieks.”
Symptoms manifest a few hours after infection and include fever and disorientation. Victims begin to feel fatigue, with the effects building up until they collapse or are cured.
Stressful events, such as fighting, being hurt, mild fear, nightmares, and the like can result in intense harm and a sudden fit of shrieking laughter that persists until they can control themselves.
The laughter is how the disease spreads, and those around a laughing victim can be infected rather easily. The greatest worry is that while in many the disease will ultimately pass, for some it leads into a descent into madness.
A disease that decreases the efficiency of the body’s immune system, causing exhaustion and black sores appearing on the skin. Mostly affects children due to their weaker constitutions. It is a symptom of planar matter infesting the body. The body tries to eliminate it and overcompensates. Antiviral will end it.
The varied forms of lycanthropy are cruel and malicious, for the lifespan of a lycanthrope from the moment of birth – roughly 30 days after infection – is not more than five years, as the disease ravages the body through the forced transformations. The effect of the curse is to force a transformation into an animal; however, it operate in stages: the first stage, leading up to a full moon, and the third stage, immediately after a full moon, results in a hybrid humanoid form. The second stage is an animal. Thus, for three days around the full moon the Lycanthrope becomes bestial, bereft of human thoughts, compassion, and speech. The rest of the time they are normal, but tortured by dreams of what they did during the changed periods that they do not remember clearly, and subject to the hauntings of the ghosts of those they killed.
The curse form of lycanthropy is transmitted by bites which nearly kill the victim. Each month, this disease robs one of their mind, with the poor victims sometimes less aware than the beast whose twisted form they take by the end. No known cure is effective.
It is far better to be cursed, as the curse also eats at the mind until one becomes a raving beast, bereft of all memory and sense of who they once were. This can take anywhere from three to thirty days, as they lose all knowledge, even of who and what they are, sinking rapidly into oblivion until they are merely husks that exist only instinctively, unable to speak or think.
The magical form may not cause the mindlessness the curse does, but it isn’t all that much better. Once under the magical form, the victim is subject to fits and bouts of madness between each full moon. The transformation still happens, with each time increasing the chance they will become trapped in the animal form, until eventually they are driven only by unnatural hungers. It should be noted that while it is popularly believed otherwise, all Therian are immune to lycanthropy.
A parasitoid macro virus. The parasite’s larval form resembles a slug and attempts to enter the body through the mouth or anus.
Stage two develops in the gastrointestinal tract over a week, becoming a legless creature resembling a deformed potato with a mouth consisting of a slit on the underside of the head that goes down the length of the worm. The victim show this as a distended, writhing stomach, but numbing toxins prevent awareness of the imminent death as it eats, leading to a constant state of defecation as the internal organs are destroyed except for the liver, kidneys, and lungs, with the heart being replaced by the creature.
They escape by eating their host’s body between the stomach and anus– and emerge as fully grown, six legged versions of the stage two shape, but about the size of a small dog.
The lips separate to reveal hundreds of teeth that can bite through steel. They grow into creature the size of small ponies that seek to spawn in streams and water supplies. Antibiotic works against it.
A very rare disease that nonetheless sends shivers down the spines of adventurers everywhere. Time thief’s way of being contracted, symptoms, and more are unknown, beyond the simple mechanism of its action: it ages people. While it can be cured through magical means (and only through such), it proceeds to begin aging the person 1 year for each week. As a result, until several weeks have gone past, those who are most commonly in the presence of the victim do not immediately see it, and by the time they do, it is often months after it has begun. This aging deprives the victim of their Spans on that mortal plane, and so in a very short time people can go from the bloom of new youth to the decrepitude of ancient age, and then death. Antiviral will cure it.
A deadly, flu-based virus. Causes a lethally high fever and is highly contagious.
It is deadly because as the body fights off the disease, it mutates into different strains of influenza, making immunity next to impossible. It is said that the Posse of Eld are descended from survivors of this sickness going all the way back to the Ancient Lands. Antiviral will cure it.
It is a highly virulent killer bacterium. Its method of infection is overly complex, and it will mix in with other microorganisms and multiply. It can be transmitted via air, blood, mouth, or skin contact.
It causes an inability to shed water, and so over the course of the disease, the victim begins to swell up, even as they become tremendously thirsty, craving water ever more. The earliest symptom of it is a lack of a need to urinate. It can grow even more dangerous by combining Athlete’s foot, Lactobacillus, or other extremely common pathogens. Antifungal will end it.
This hybrid of virus, mycorrhizae, and bacteria is found in nearly all freshwater sources, but is harmed by the sun, rendering it inert if exposed. It is responsible for the creation of Yuma (see entry).
It takes about 10 days to grow within the body enough to trigger the changes which take another ten days, with an eruptive end that causes the tailbone to grow thicker and longer, the shoulder blade to enlarge and appear to create vestigial wings, nails to harden and grow longer, curving over and around the tip of fingers, and loss of all teeth as new ones form beneath them and grow out.
This process causes intense hunger in the person, culminating in the eruptive stage where their bones thicken and grow, muscle is grown rapidly, and they become the huge monsters in a rush in a single day. The pain and hunger drive their wits out of their head, and all they want is to eat entrails, which they can smell as if they were fine delicacies. Antifungal will kill it.