Virus, Undead

Book of Sorrows

Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Non- (0)
No. Appearing:N/A
Armor Class:N/A
Hit Dice:Special
No. of Attacks:0
Special Attacks:Rot
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:T (microscopic)
XP Value:650

The magical undead virus is a microscopically small organism, invisible to the eye. Even eyes of minute seeing or detect invisibility will not reveal the virus’ presence, though a detect magic will. Detect undead also works, but only when the virus is active (see below).

This dreadful virus slowly transforms the flesh of its host into a putrid slime, rotting their organs from their bodies, and gradually turning them into the Rotting Men.

Sages speculate the virus is a variant of the shadow virus, a magical virus created by the mage Phagius. Another theory is that the virus was created by a Kartakan undertaker, who meddled into forbidden lore to resurrect his wife, killing his home village in the process.

TransmissionAn undead virus spends most of the time being dormant, waiting for a victim. When it comes into contact with bare flesh, however, it becomes active, invading the tissues of the body.

The character whose body is invaded needs to roll a saving throw vs. spell with a -2 penalty. Failure indicates the character contracts the virus, at which point it turns active and starts killing off the character’s tissues. During this time, normal physical contact with the body of an infected individual will not transmit the virus, as an active virus cannot survive in the open air.

Success means the character should make an immediate saving throw vs. death magic. Failure indicates the character has become a carrier, carrying the now-dormant virus in his body. Anyone he comes into contact with can now be infected by a mere touch.

DiagnosisInitially, no effects can be noted. Within six hours, the first symptoms appear, as the victim catches a light fever, and starts feeling hot and itchy. As time progresses, the fever grows worse.

Within 24 hours, the victim’s fever has him bedridden. His temperature rises to over 40 degrees Celsius, and his skin starts to peel. This keeps on for two days, after which the body temperature drops.

While this may seem the end of the disease at first, this is far from the truth. The victim’s body temperature lowers steadily. Dark, numb splotches start to mark his skin, and his concentration starts to ebb. From this day on, every other day the character’s Dexterity drops by one point. The victim’s Dexterity does not drop below 3, allowing him to still move about, though it is not certain why the victim is not totally incapacitated. It seems this is a kind of survival trait of the virus.

On the fifth day, the victim’s flesh starts to visibly rot, falling from his body and emitting a putrid odor. Charisma immediately decreases with one point each day, down to a minimum of three points.

Once Charisma has lowered to this point, most victims turn insane, as now their minds start to rot away, and they start losing their memories and thoughts. In game terms, the rotting men now start to lose one point of Intelligence each day, as the mental decay slowly takes their sanity. They do retain a certain cunning (Wisdom), though.

These victims have turned into Rotting Men. The initial reaction of most people is one of fear, and militia or townsfolk will often attempt to destroy the infected individual, which will unfortunately release the virus on the remaining populace. Those who still have a fraction of their mind may flee, wandering the countryside.

When the character’s Intelligence has dwindled to nothingness, the last stage sets in.

The disease proceeds steadily from here. The victim rots away, obviously in agony, but unable to die normally. The virus can takes weeks and, in some cases, months to consume the body, which can do nothing but shuffle about in agony. Anyone that is cured of the disease at this stage is a wreck – his mind gone, barely able to move, and horrible to behold. Even if the disease is cured, the victim is likely to die within a few (1d4) days.

At the end of the final stage of infection, when the victim’s mind is totally gone, the victim collapses in a heap of putrid slime, with only the bones proving that this was once a living being. The slime itself is heavy with dormant viruses, and a single touch can start the whole process again.

TreatmentViruses can be killed by using magical healing. A heal<(i> spell will destroy the disease, as will resurrection and raise dead. Cure disease will kill any dormant virus, but an infected individual can not be cured effectively unless the spell is cast within 24 hours of infection. Every 12 hours after that, the chance of curing drops with 10%. So, after 36 hours, the chance of healing is 90%. After six days, the virus has invaded the body tissues so thoroughly that cure disease is no longer effective.

Last Modified: April 06, 2014, 15:00:48 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition

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