A translucent red robed figure appears before you, gesturing towards a small gravestone at its feet with strange writing
“It began innocent enough. A gravestone here, a dead body there. Strange mushrooms and words describing a disease referred to only as the “Rot”. It went nearly unnoticed at first, several adventurers exuding a noxious oder for several weeks but with little other ill effects. Let this entry in Isaac’s Inncyclopedia stand as a warning for all who listen however, the Rot is not to be ignored. Contained herein is the collective knowledge of the Rot as gathered from the sacrifices of adventurers from White Moon Cove.”
the figure dissolves into a pile of black looking liquid, which itself forms into images of a titanic battle slowly playing out
“The Rot is a black ichor that infects every piece of living material that it touches. The infection bypasses nearly all known resistances to disease and is immune to almost all forms of healing that seeks to cleanse a living creature. Only a holy Paladin’s natural gift from their respective deity seems to provide some semblance of protection.
The disease it spreads has several stages of development, each stage increasing in severity. The development either takes several days of incubation or from increased exposure to the disease.
The first stage is a noxious smell that cannot be removed, causing the infected to be repulsive to other living creatures.
The second stage manifests in black ichor dripping from the nose and mouth, in addition to induced hallucinations. Insanity seems to grip the infected, causing them to believe strange twists in reality that appear to change daily.
The third stage causes a blackening of the extremities. It strengths the infected’s resistance to damage caused by poison, while simultaneously making them more likely to be affected by such poisons and diseases.
The fourth stage causes large black cysts to form on the infected’s back. The cysts can be forcibly popped, resulting in healing being done to the infected by causing significant wear and tear on their life force, exhausting them for some time.
The fifth stage causes a graying of the skin and weakens the infected’s ability to sustain necrotic energies.
The sixth stage, and perhaps the final stage as far as we were able to ascertain, causes two large black tendrils to sprout from the infected’s back.
Further development of the Rot’s disease is unknown. However, in addition to all of the proceeding stages, infected creatures feel the random urges to travel to various locations and construct what we came to call Markers, which appear as spiraling towers of black and red hardened ichor material.
The purpose of these Markers appears to be to concentrate the Rot in an area, helping it spread more quickly. The Markers cause intense buzzing in one’s head and are protected by a bubble of shifting ichor. The bubble has some anti-magical affects at its border only, though it does not seem to strip magical protections. It does appear to prevent creatures of magical origin from slipping through. Three sufficiently powerful blasts from dispelling magic appears to cause the bubble to pop and dissolve away, though doing so is not necessary to destroy the Marker.
the image of the black and red tower morphs, into a scene
of Paladins encased in metal armor doing battle with blackened
creatures, each hit of the paladins flashing bright white
“The origins of the Rot are unknown. The first recorded encounter dates back several thousand years, to a time where these lands were ruled over by Aasimars.”
the image focuses in on one of the metal clad holy warriors
While we do not know the exact source or cause of the Rot, we do know that it is seemingly controlled by an ancient creature known only as Malady.
“Malady’s goals, motivations, origins, or really much of anything about her is unknown. Why she wants to spread the Rot is unknown. All we really known are that her powers resemble that of a high level magic user.
Previously, she was defeated by the Aasimar Paladins smiting with weapons infused by holy energies. The Aasimar were able to restrain her and cut off one of her pinkie fingers, seemingly for resurrection purposes to keep her contained. She was entombed in an underground well, itself across several layers. Her coffin was found on the 4th level, which was already leaking elements of the Rot before a foolish adventurer released her.”
Guarding Malady’s tomb were her former slayers, the ancient Aasimar Paladins. Entombed themselves as guardians, almost all were slain after her release, save one. Most of our knowledge of Malady and the Rot comes from this creature. It now appears to have either disappeared or died, possibly killed by Malady.
In our own time, we defeated Malady by sheer grit and sacrifice. Crushing her under the weight of dead adventurers, we killed her form. Her body promptly turned to blackened ichor, so we had no chance to try and utilized the methods described by the old Well guardian.”
the image returns to that of the red robed figure
“I hope this entry of Isaac’s Inncyclopedia has been helpful, especially should the Rot ever return.”