Blood Fever was a fatal disease affecting those of elven heritage which originated in the Second Age and became widely known in late Third Age. Pureblood elves often perished in a matter of days after infection, with half-elves and those with minor amounts of elven blood lasting longer. The disease had not been witnessed in humans or dwarves, though there were written reports of humans being infected. It was unknown exactly when or where the Blood Fever originated, though there were records of it occurring hundreds of years ago, and it appeared to be arcane in origin. The method of transmission remained unknown until studies by Nesa Mikoto, Nymgrock Sigiln and Unithien Greyrain revealed that it was affecting elves on a deeper level than just blood, going all the way back to the origin of the elves themselves as a race although they couldn't find out the fever's exact origins which were far more complex and nefarious than any of them could've thought. The Catastrophe that ended the Third Age also ended the Blood Fever, leading to no more infections among elves in the Fourth Age.
- "It would be well if you were to consult one of our clerics if you feel uneasy. It seems there's been a bit of a sickness going around. Nobody knows the cause quite yet. A group of people from Grandbell are working themselves to the bone trying to deal with it. There are new cases every day."
- "Boy, do you know what an Andain is? Have you the faintest idea? We do not get sick."
- "Perhaps I know your father better than you think, Kagetsu Aurelac. And there are some things which not even the children of gods are proof against. As I said, you would do well to contact us if anything...awry should occur."
- —Distreyd Thanadar I and Kagetsu I
In late Second Age by the time of the Arawn Losstarot War, a mysterious sickness began spreading in Grandbell. Unbeknownst to most, it was a plague of arcane origin that the Clergy of Mardük was deliberately spreading under orders of High Cleric Distreyd Thanadar I who, along with his fellow acolytes, had infiltrated the Clergy of Cardia in Isaac where they had done first tests on the plague with help of a shadowy figure. The spread of the plague kept the Cardian clerics from Grandbell busy, allowing the Clergy of Mardük to operate without worrying about their interference while Distreyd would keep the Isaac branch of the Cardian clergy busy with other schemes as well.
A fellowship of the Grand Alliance began investigating the sickness and discovered that it was caused by a strange magical artifact in the shape of a small pyramid. Although details of what exactly transpired are lost in time, the heroes of the Alliance were ultimately successful in stopping the spread of the plague although they lost the artifact later when their memories were affected by a spell cast by the same shadowy figure who had helped engineer the plague prototype to begin with.
This plague would be the prototype of what became known as the Blood Fever. While Distreyd Thanadar believed the artifact to be lost, it was actually taken elsewhere for safekeeping until the time would be right to unleash its advanced form on the world again as its test run had been moderately successful.
Dark Power Rising
- See: Keepers
The origins of the Blood Fever were lost by the Third Age although its effects became well-known to a select few elven sages who preserved the knowledge for future generations. All that was known about the fever was that it had existed for centuries according to the writings of the Keepers and Korellon Korath and that the first known outbreak in the Third Age had occurred in Folsworth Woods in Remon. Some of the texts suggested this plague which was fatal to elves might've been arcane in origin and that it might be tied to the Syndicate, an ancient Aisonian elven order which had experimented with magic. There was not enough conclusive evidence to prove if the Syndicate had simply studied the already existing fever or if they created it, however.
The fever re-emerged in Folsworth Woods every few centuries, wiping out a considerable portion of the elven population. However, the elven sages always managed to contain it by burning the infected and potential carriers, leaving the survivors to start the elven civilization of Remon anew.
A mysterious Dark Sage was seen during one of the earlier outbreaks and had reportedly succeeded in creating a child born with the Blood Fever in his veins. This infected half-elf and the dark sage later disappeared and returned to the Syndicate which was hiding in Khrima Island in Aison according to the texts of the Keepers. The Syndicate disappeared some time later, though, and neither the dark sage nor his disciple were seen again.
Connection to Totenkopfs
The latest and thus most widely known outbreak of the Blood Fever occurred in Folsworth Woods after the Cataclysm, but this time it was more aggressive than ever, wiping out elves more rapidly than in earlier times. It wasn't until 1017 AE when Belial de Ardyn, Dieter von Waldheim, Izael Korath, Nesa Mikoto and Rhylian Loras discovered that a death cult calling itself the Totenkopfs had in fact been deliberately tampering with the fever and had helped with its recent outbreak.
It later turned out that although the known instances of Blood Fever had occurred in Remon, other isolated infections had taken place throughout the Land of the Living in other kingdoms such as Libaterra. Texts of the Keepers recovered by Nymgrock Sigiln further proved that the outbreaks of the Blood Fever may have been deliberately engineered by some unknown dark cultists reaching all the way back to texts detailing the appearances of the mysterious Dark Sage.
The Totenkopfs collaborated with the lich Drishnek in order to create a deadlier variant of the fever which would affect not only elves but every other race, and they sped up their plans after they had managed to get their hands on Mordecai de Ardyn who carried one such mutated variant of the fever. They also experimented with the mutated strains of the fever by infecting them in different creatures such as the Omari Fish in Ravensworth in order to figure out the best mutation of the virus.
The Totenkopfs succeeded in creating a deadly variant from the blood of Mordecai in the summer of 1017 AE. This new variant, which infected all races, spread during the Third Battle of Remonton, wiping out a considerable number of people. However, the variant had been tampered with by Drishnek whose undead influence caused it to have a twisted side effect: anyone dying of this new plague would rise as living dead who hungered for the flesh of the living. This new variant of the fever became known as the Plague of Undeath as it spread throughout Remon, killing and raising the dead as living dead who continued their rampage through the Remonian countryside.
By the autumn of 1017 AE, the Totenkopfs had succeeded in using a strain of the Blood Fever, combined with blood magic and demonic magic, to affect the Beacon of Alent and its mana which made the Beacon's magic react erratically. Waldheim conducted experiments on several test subjects, including Rhylian who had turned out to be a symptomless carrier of the fever, to isolate the different strains of the virus from several races. He stored those blood samples into the Tainted Orb which would be used to hopefully find a cure to the seemingly incurable disease. The Tainted Orb was lost later on, however, and ended in the care of the Totenkopfs who used it alongside the lives of infants affected by the Beacon to create a nightmarish weapon known as the Gospel of Death which was used to raise a Dragolich.
By the winter of 1017 AE, the Battle of Alent took place. This battle eventually led to a chain reaction in the Beacon of Alent which caused the Catastrophe that ended the Third Age and ushered in the Fourth Age. For reasons that left scholars baffled, the Blood Fever hasn't appeared on any other elf afterwards, effectively ending its threat overnight. Some speculate that its end may have come about because it may have been arcane in origin and that the Catastrophe that caused the Anomaly may have caused a big enough shift in magic to neutralize the fever entirely.
Signs and Symptoms
The incubation period of Blood Fever is anywhere from one day to two weeks in most cases. Signs begin with a simple fever and chills, and progress until the body's tissues literally liquify and bleed from every orifice. In those of lesser elven blood, pale skin, fatigue and a gaunt appearance are common; some of these victims have been known to live for years with the disease.
There have also been reports of symptomless, infectious carriers of the disease, though none could be identified until 1017 AE when Dieter von Waldheim informed Rhylian Loras that she was in fact one of these symptomless carriers after he had compared Rhylian's blood with the blood samples of several infected people.
Mentions of Blood Fever
"An air of silence and sickness hung over the elven city of Sanae, reducing the once majestic capital to a veritable ghost town. The plague, known by many as the Blood Fever, had struck swiftly and surely, and nearly half the city's population had been killed or crippled in the years following the Great War. Those that remained lived in fear and uncertainty, as the disease never seemed to disappear completely; it would lie dormant for a year, or perhaps two if they were lucky, only to strike again with unforgiving vengeance. The sickness wasn't fully understood, nor was the method of transmission; all they knew were the symptoms. It began with a simple fever and chills, and progressed until the body's tissues literally liquified and bled from every orifice. It was a gruesome and excruciating way to die, to say the least."
―Recent observation of Sanae, prior to Rhylian Loras's introduction
"After the emergence of Blood Fever, the Elves of Folsworth had become divided. The aristocracy avoided most others out of fear. The commoners stayed inside, and many quit their jobs for fear that a new outbreak would occur. It had destroyed so many lives and, so many tried to invest in cures. Manipulative, self-seeking elves attempted to sell miracle cures, often making the prices for their "cures" exhuberant, and some elves lost their homes, and later their lives to Blood Fever. Those persons who survived encounters and extorted people of money grew in fortunes; others, lucky enough not to get Blood Fever, had often quit jobs, or had no jobs left to go to. Folsworth was in a state of disarray. Nymgrock knew that having money, especially in excess, was a necessity in these times when prices were rising so some individuals could make at least some income."
―Recent observation of Folsworth Woods, prior to Nymgrock Sigiln's introduction
"Two more elves died of Blood Fever today. I fear for its return to the Folsworth Woods. Thylys Kingdom is in grave peril if a cure is not found soon. I've yet to find anything on the Blood Fever, no occurrence of it anywhere through history. I fear for elves. The idea that this disease could escape our forest and over-run the elves of Tel'Elee would mean a near to total extinction for us."
―From the notes of Nymgrock Sigiln
"The Blood Fever is one of the reasons why I was in Folsworth Woods when we met. The disease took my elven wife from me, and her dying wish was that I'd take care of our daughter and then go to Etruria and try to do what I could to ease her family's pains. I couldn't do anything to help my wife's relatives, though, and they died as easily as an autumn leaf falls off a tree. My daughter, after struggling for nearly twenty years, finally died in her bed. I assume the Blood Fever didn't affect her immediately because she was only a half-elf, and apparently the human part kept her alive until the Blood Fever finally claimed her."
―Dieter von Waldheim about his family
"It comes up from their froth-corrupted lungs, and the bloody-bile spills out from their stomachs, and the diseases oozes from the ears, the nose, and the eyes, and all the openings of their poor bodies. It kills in days and no elf is safe. The blood spills forth onto the ground, and the critters of the forest are spreading it unwillingly. The deer who step in it, track it from Etruria to Sanae and what do they know as they impede upon the progress of Elves!"
―From the notes of Surralis Caprico
"The Disease has slowly dissipated. We have learned how to deal with the disease whenever if pops up in local villages. We burn the entire area. There are no quarantined individuals, nor are there innocents. We have since destroyed three entire villages, and guard patrols now travel with a mage in order to burn alive anyone in the forest that might be suffering from it. We will not allow the rise of blood fever again."
―From the notes of Falzwin Caprico
"The man's condition is now exactly that of the plague and we have taken extra precautions. We are not sure if this is an isolated human version of the plague, or if it has the ability to infect both races. We healers who have been working with him have sealed ourselves in rooms together, with messengers coming by to speak to us through walls. We are scared, but we are not insane. We know the threat our presence now poses to the elves. However, we have received terrible news. The village in question houses both humans and elves. They live peacefully together, and even hold half-eves, but the entire village the man was from was sick, and half of them had already died. It seemed the human version of the disease killed much slower, possibly because of human anatomy. We learned that a dark unknown mage had visited days before the first incident. He visited a woman, near the end of her pregnancy with a half-elf, and when the mage left, she was the first to become sick. The half-elf child was saved, but it was shortly after that a human developed the illness. I cannot say this to my peers, but I believe this might be the same mage who led the humans in battle against us. If this is so, I truly believe he might be the cause of this illness, and that his intentions are to spread it across the globe. I feel that something occurred in the womb of that woman to transition the disease from elves to humans."
―From the notes of Falzwin Caprico
"If the elves fall, the rest of Remon will not be far behind. Also, the texts we've discovered suggest that the disease isn't limited to elves! Countless half-elves have been infected. There are reports--very few, but reliable reports--of humans being infected! We cannot continue to sit idly while this disease consumes us from within! There may be hope, however. There are several notes about laboratories and skilled mages in Libaterra...Alent, to be exact. If anyone knows of a cure, it would be them."
―Rhylian Loras speaking to the people of Remonton
- Mordecai de Ardyn
- Nesa Mikoto
- Rhylian Loras (symptomless carrier)
- Sarvin Keln
- Unithien Greyrain (cured via the Pendant of Order)
- Varalia Earthhaven
- Falzwin Caprico
- Hylia Neowyn
- Killian Greenbough
- Korellon Korath
- Maiyr Korath
- Mira Loras
- Nalaen Silverpond
- Rhys Elendil
- Surralis Caprico