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ЛАРП » English section » THE FOG 2016 »Тема: [RP] Notes on the Plague

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Morgana

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[RP] Notes on the Plague
« -: 23 Август, 2016, 00:07:22 am »
[Off] Hey guys :) What is written here is in-game knowledge about the plague from the perspective of Morgana de Edrin, your favourite master alchemist and charming owner of the Emporium :P As some of you may know, on the past campaign Morgana was conducting research on the plague and after the end of the campaign she continues doing so and these are her nores on what is currently known about this plague. Soon, hopefully in about a week, there will be another thread which will have the off-game explanations, rules and mechanics of said plague so that everyone can see what the original idea was and have the opportunity to provide us with feedback, ideas, etc. so that we can fix this in that when and if needed. Thanks for reading :)

                                                                                                                         [RP]

           It has been a few days since my departure from Kostenets. While it is true I am allowing myself a little rest and enjoying the hospitality of an old herbalist in Krichim, whom I have known for a few years now,  I have still dedicated much time and resources examining what has been dubbed the “Black Plague” which blighted so many in the town of Kostenets on this summer's campaign. The more I learn about it the more amazed I am I was not cursed with contracting this disease as well, given the amount of time I spent in close proximity to the plagued. Although I am certainly grateful to the Goddess that I was spared this time I cannot help but wonder why that may be. It seemed that primarily, if not exclusively, it was people native to the Dragon Lands that were getting sick so I am wondering if, perhaps, there is something that predisposes them and makes them more susceptible to the plague? Although... now that I think about it there were, few as they may be, people foreign to these lands who contracted the disease as well, and given the nature of the plague I could say, with almost complete confidence, that there is really no one that has any sort of immunity.

         There was no shortage of plague victims who volunteered to give me blood and tissue samples (in one case even an entire eye, fresh out of the eye socket) so I have had enough material to run tests on. In addition, I tried spending as much time with the plagued (within what I was hoping to be a safe amount of time) and examine them. Granted, not as thoroughly as I would have liked, but it was far from the appropriate place and time for such things so I am grateful I was able to do even that much. My hope is that I will get the chance to do more in the next few weeks before I have to depart. I shall try to record everything I know ad further discover about this plague and that in time, with the advice and assistance of herbalists, witch doctors, fellow alchemists and other people of science and magic, we will understand it better, well enough to devise a way to cure it.

         Thus far, the plague appears able to affect people of any race and origin. Surprising to some (not me, of course), it also affects undead beings as well as ones from other planes of existence. The explanation for that is actually simple - as long as an individual has flesh the fungal parasite is able to affect then he or she is, without a doubt, a potential victim of the Black Plague. Furthermore, based on my observation, the parasite can affect any area of the body, not limiting itself to the flesh but also affecting the nervous system and brain. After repeated examinations of more than 20 victims, who had contracted the plague (within the same day as coming to me to get checked, thus giving me observation of how the disease acts upon initially being contracted), I have narrowed down the, what it seems, initial stages of the plague. Firstly, upon getting infected the body of the victim reacts violently to the parasite - the effects varying from slight nausea and tiredness to violent headaches, vomiting blood and loss of consciousness. As far as I can understand, this reaction is, to put it simple, the initial shock of the body after being actively attacked by the fungal parasite. These effects do not last for long. Shortly after presenting those first symptoms one can observe the further development of the plague in the form of tissue decay. Although varying in how it affects the victim based on the place and size of the afflicted area, there appear to be 3 stages of infection so far and I have recorded them as such:

         - a small area of diseased tissue, up to about 12 cm in diameter on limb, head or torso. At this stage it appears to primarily cause discomfort but not much else. If left unattended the parasite spreads further, damaging more tissue and starts causing almost unbearable pain;
       
       - about half of limb, head or torso. Again, primarily causing discomfort and (bearable) pain, emitting a strong and unpleasant smell (due to the tissue decay). If left untended, the limb becomes unusable due to the increasing pain; if torso is the area of affliction, any strain (such as running or fighting while carrying extra weight, such as heavy armour) becomes practically impossible; persons whose head is infected present visible signs of mental issues;

       - tissue decay has covered whole limb, torso or head and partially spread to other areas (e.g. whole limb and part of torso). In these cases, if left untended to, any strain is unthinkable (wearing heavy armour or carrying much weight is impossible), the movements and reactions are slower and, in cases of infection on the head, the mental state of the diseased is rather poor.

   
        I shall continue my study and experiments in the days to come. Although I have other business to attend to I believe my new apprentice can handle some of the jobs, I believe understanding this plague is much more important than any other tasks I may have. I shall attempt to contact one of the plagued at Kostenets, I need to examine someone better and follow the development of the disease from up close for a while. Hopefully someone will volunteer...


Notes on the “Black Plague” from
“A Journal of Magic, Alchemy and Research”
By the lady Morgana de Edrin

Morgana

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Re: [RP] Notes on the Plague
« Отговор #1 -: 23 Август, 2016, 00:08:08 am »
           Initially I believed the plague was contracted only through touch of infected tissue. This belief was based upon examination of samples collected from a dead plague victim found on the borders of the lands that used to be ruled by clan Morduin, which have been left unattended and now chaos, filth and disease rule there instead. Indeed, it was passing through there after concluding my business with clan East Wind that I first encountered this plague. Not risking to venture any further in those abandoned by the Goddess lands, however, I was unaware of how far the disease has spread and of its nature. All I could conclude from what I had seen was that it caused tissue decay but then again the dead person whom I examined had been killed by blade, as well as several others, so my conclusion was bandit attack and had no reason to cause any worry in myself about the cause and nature of the rotting flesh on this man's body. Perhaps if I had paid more mind to it I would have been prepared for the events that came to pass soon after.

           Not long after my arrival at Kostenets the first signs of trouble were present. One by one, people started exhibiting the symptoms I described in my previous entry and came to me seeking help. Although I was not sure at first, it soon became apparent what those people were sick from and I remembered that dead man I saw a couple of weeks earlier. Surely, I thought, someone present at this campaign must have travelled to those lands and touched someone who was diseased, after all, this is how I believed the plague must be contracted. However, not too long after the first diseased more and more started to come to me for help. What was more curious than the unexpected and fast spread of the disease was their certainty they have not been touched or themselves touched anyone prior to the first symptoms of illness. This lead me to think that this plague was more dangerous than I had initially thought and, quite possibly, was airborne. This rather worrying conclusion was bad news for the locals indeed, but then again it was one more piece of knowledge about the disease that would surely help further along the way.
 
            After leaving Krichim I decided to go back to where I first saw the signs of the plague. Although there are many places it could have originated, I believed that taking a second look could not hurt and might help confirm or disprove this hypothesis. After all, I did not see any signs of this plague anywhere else I passed through on my way to Kostenets and very little after I left. It took a while and the journey was not easy but I finally arrived on site. I had much work to do and there was no time to waste. And so, I spent several days in travel around the borders and talking with people I met there. I could not risk venturing further and properly looking around the lands for fear of my own health and safety but based on the accounts of the locals and by the number of sick people I has seen I can tell with almost complete certainty that this plague originated here. How and why is yet a matter of further search and study of the disease and the fungal parasite that causes it.

          It may sound cruel, but I am glad I have found enough sick people to conduct my research on. Thanks to this, troubling as it is,  I have determined that the “Black Plague” can, indeed, be contracted either through direct contact with diseased tissue or by being close for enough time to someone carrying the disease. Although it is not much, it would seem that carrying a mask, gloves and other such protective measures appear to be at least somewhat effective. I, and several of my assistants, are among the fortunate that were not plagued while working with the sick. Sadly, the protective measures we took do not provide 100% guarantee that one is safe from contracting the plague, as proven by the fact a few others of my assistants contracted the disease. We will not let this stop us, however, and our work continues. We must do our best to find out more on the matter.


Notes on the “Black Plague” from
“A Journal of Magic, Alchemy and Research”
By the lady Morgana de Edrin

Morgana

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Re: [RP] Notes on the Plague
« Отговор #2 -: 23 Август, 2016, 14:48:08 pm »
             It has been a couple of weeks now since I started researching this plague in more depth. What I've learnt is much less than I had hoped for for this amount of time, if I have to be completely honest, but I suppose I should be glad I even have that much. The diseases I have examined in the passed have been much simpler in nature, in most cases, and did not take too much to figure out how to counter and heal them. To add to that, I have never had to deal with fungal parasites before so my knowledge is limited to the few things I have read and heard on the subject. I am a woman of learning, however, so I shall take this otherwise unfortunate circumstance as an opportunity to expand my knowledge and abilities.

             As I said, our work has not stopped. A few days ago more help arrived thanks to the much welcome assistance of Magister Nuada. I wrote to him shortly after arriving at the border lands requesting any help he can offer for this plague is a danger to all. I was not sure yet what, if at all, help he would provide me with and how to use it but ever since losing my own magical abilities I knew that magic could be useful in the studies. I am uncertain if it was out of sense of duty, care for the fate of others or something else that made him agree, but a couple of days ago some academy mages arrived and offered their assistance. After giving them time to settle and rest after their long journey our work resumed, this time with them by our side. Although volunteers become, little by little, harder to come by several people have accepted to participate in the studies of the plague. Through our work in the past few days I have determined that the fungal parasite is rather resistant – no amount of freezing, turning to stone, healing, etc. did much harm to it. Granted, the magical healing restores the flesh and mends some of the damage caused by the plague, albeit it simply cannot do anything about the fungal parasite itself and its spores, like we discovered some time later. As it would seem, the effects of healing do not last for too long (no more than about 24 hours) until the damage starts reappearing and more healing is needed. Despite that, at first this seemed like a relatively good thing – we had a method which could potentially keep the disease at check giving me and others more time to work on a way to cure it. Unfortunately, the healing effect was far from even a temporary solution. It mended the damage caused by the parasite, yes, but it did next to nothing to stop the plague from developing further. To put it simply, the healing spells are nothing more than means to sustain a plague victim and ease his or her pain and discomfort whilst doing nothing to the parasite, which continues to grow and slowly spread, only more invisibly to the naked eye.
 
          There is yet a glimmer of hope for some, though. The fungal parasite, as I suspected, proved to be rather weak against the effects of strong fire. The problem with that method is that it is only effective if the body of the victim is completely destroyed by fire and then renewed and the victim reconstructed anew. We reached this conclusion after attempting to only burn the infected area. Upon doing some tests on… a couple of volunteering plague victims who only had as little as an infected spot on one of their limbs, after burning off the infected area the tissue decay reappeared after some time somewhere else on the victims’ bodies. Our second attempt involved complete incineration of the affected limb, but sadly the result was very much the same. This, unfortunately, means that amputation of infected limbs is not a solution either. The fire mage who we are working with mentioned that something like this is to be expected, but we had to try. On his suggestion, we made a third attempt to cleanse the plague with fire, only this time incinerating the victim entirely and, as I wrote above, this was the only truly effective way to make sure the parasite and all its spores are destroyed thus curing one from the plague. There are, of course, a couple of major issues with this. Firstly, incinerating oneself is rather painful and, naturally, leads to one's death. Experiencing death is, to put it lightly, very unpleasant and although initially unnoticeable, it leaves permanent scars on one's soul and mind after being brought back to life through resurrection spells. Secondly, even if one’s body is cleansed of the plague there is no guarantee it won’t be contracted again. There is no truly preventive method, either through spell, potion or other more conventional means, but one must be found at all costs.

Notes on the “Black Plague” from
“A Journal of Magic, Alchemy and Research”
By the lady Morgana de Edrin

Morgana

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Re: [RP] Notes on the Plague
« Отговор #3 -: 28 Август, 2016, 22:33:55 pm »
         During this last campaign, when the plague made itself known in the town of Kostenets, I believe people were rather fortunate I was present. Not that I don’t trust the abilities of the local witch doctors but in all honesty their skill is far lesser than a renowned master alchemist such as myself. To add to that, my travels around the world have gifted me with a great knowledge on herbs, ingredients and ancient practices which, in this case, was crucial. The purple bag fruit, for example, is practically unknown in the Dragon Lands, which comes to no surprise given the extreme rarity of this plant. I must admit that even I was surprised at the unimaginable luck that it grew at Kostenets. Although I wished to use its fruits on as many people as I could the amounts found and gathered by the volunteers was scarce… and also they were gathered for their own people, naturally. When one is faced with the decision whether to share a rare healing concoction with all afflicted or take care of their own it is only natural to choose the latter.

       Creating this potion was not easy. It would have taken me much longer was it not for the visions I gave myself using a modification of my foresight stimulant. The formula for creating it was extremely complex, the circle required much concentration and, I reluctantly admit, I believe it would have been more potent and easier to create had I had other alchemists to assist in the process. I admit I had my doubts about the elixir being successful, but thank the Goddess, it served its purpose. Those people were truly blessed. Their new gods must be looking out for them, although it seems they give with one hand and take with the other. That is if one were to blame natural disasters and diseases on some sort of divine punishment or intervention.

        In any case, I should be leaving soon. I need to find a good substitute for the purple bag fruit to use in the sustaining potion because the rarity of it would make it increasingly difficult to produce more elixirs for the sick, the numbers of which will most certainly grow. Furthermore, I need to start working on a cure; I have collected enough samples to take with me so I can continue my studies when I leave for I fear what may become of the Dragon Lands should a solution not be discovered on time. Luckily, one of the plagued has agreed to travel with me meaning infinite supply of samples and first hand observation of the plague's development, which is excellent news. For the research, that is. I will not let some thrice damned disease ruin what I have started in these lands and in the Goddess’s name, I will find a way to get rid of it!

Notes on the “Black Plague” from
“A Journal of Magic, Alchemy and Research”
By the lady Morgana de Edrin