Re: Heroquests for the Unholy Trio

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_OOuxjcYTHD7NhVHHJnsbwtDXco4GnOgMQMubrQ12XRzyLcDhTQRlyqmtnznU9C3L02p>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2008 00:54:25 +1300

At 03:02 a.m. 22/12/2008, you wrote:

>Does anyone think that the Gbaji/Nysalor cultists who spread
>diseases that they
>could then cure (end of the First Age, prior to the rise of Arkat),
>had made any
>kind of connection with Mallia? Or had they got their diseases by
>some other route?

I think the Plague was so awful that even the proprietary rites to Malia didn't help.

I view the Plague not as a daughter of Malia but rather a transmissible spiritual calamity
that was created during the Sunstop.

THE DISEASE The first phase of the disease are the headaches. These strike without warning and grow in severity, often causing bleeding noses and memory loss. Death can occur during this phase if the headache is strong enough with exploded heads being a particularly memorable symptom. But this phase stops once something finally breaks on the inside...

What actually broke was a psychic barrier between the sufferer and the Underworld.
Now malign influences periodically well up through the wound to attack the sufferer.
The victim has two options - he could deflect the attack onto his body causing physical infirmities or he could allow it to eat away at his soul.

The problem was that when the Plague attacked the soul, it could infect people the sufferer had a strong emotional attachment to. Some people learned how to exploit this so that they remained free from the Plague symptoms while everybody they loved and hated grew sick and died.

THE NYSALORAN CURE Nysalor taught people not to fear what they did not know and his missionaries treated the plague victims by the same principle. They encouraged the sufferers not to be afraid of the soul corrosion proving them they could still find bliss in Nysalor despite having no souls. Some victims achieved a state of emptiness while others found they could fashion new souls from the infernal energies. The latter looked hideous to magical vision but the missionaries taught that Nysalor loved all regardless of appearance.

THE GBAJITE CORRUPTION Having encourage people not to fear the loss of their souls, the missionaries only made the disease more infectious. They weren't too concerned by the increase in plague victims as Nysalor stilled loved them. But others fearing the growth in their influence defamed them as spreaders of the plague and used this to muster a crusade.

After several defeats, the Nysalorans became afraid and relied on their emptiness (Vampirism) or their new monstrous souls (Krjalkism) to survive. Their methods were flaunted as proof of their wickedness by Arkat and only fanned the crusade even further.

ARKAT'S CURE But unsaid in all the histories of the period is any mention of any cure for the plague. There was the painful Boristi shriving but with a permanent taint of chaos, it would be years before the mark was finally expunged.

Arkat adopted a simpler method. Using the unbreakable sword, he cut the psychic bonds of the victims between themselves and society so they would no longer be able to infect others. Others using the principle of separation developed rites to make the victims outcast from society until such time that the plague had finally consumed their souls and they could rejoin society. Most of the freed survivors fled to Arolanit, seeking immortality now that their hopes of eternal solace was lost.

THE PLAGUE IN MODERN TIMES The Plague is still around! From time to time, a Tanisoran will fall victim to the plague. The disease is much milder in the effect in that the phase of headaches can persist for years and be indistinguishable from other maladies.

Once the second phase is reached, a few sufferers (mostly peasants) are readily identified and immediately isolated by the authorities. Sufferers in the higher castes are recognized by a secret society of plague victims and taught special magics on how to conceal their status and to socially isolate themselves to prevent the plague from becoming infectious. Depending on their final status, they either become vampires or secret krjalki.

--Peter Metcalfe            

Powered by hypermail