Epochxin is the venom blood of the ebon-swirled primal demon, a primitive relative of the massive shadowy oculoth. While this specific kind of demon is thought to exist in other valences, it was also known by Faendryl scholars to reside in the Southron Wastes. Epochxin is a portmanteau of "epoch toxin". The term "epochxin" refers to one of two things. It may refer to the blood of the ebon-swirled primal demon, or it may refer to its use as a venom, where the victim is subject to very rapid aging and ultimately crumbles. It is somewhat ambiguous to what extent the blood has to be activated to have this effect. It is thought to be essentially temporal in function, such as by Lord Brieson Cassle of the Hall of Mages, causing the victim's body to be accelerated in time relative to its surroundings. It is very closely related to the Everblood, which keeps the body restored to its condition from a fixed moment.
Ebon-swirled primal blood is the base ingredient of what can be considered a whole family of related poisons or blood curses. Among these include the Everblood, epochxin venom, the blackblood curse, the anti-Everblood salve or potion, Raznel's paragons and her own immortality, the temporary restorative poisons used on Rysus and Praxopius, and the Blue Suffer poison used on the krolvin and especially their warlord Kragnack. Through the blackblood curse variant it is responsible for the formation of the Bleaklands, and therefore implicitly bleakstone, and through bleakstone for the Blight.
- 1 History
- 2 Timeline
- 3 Variants
- 4 Illnesses
- 5 See Also
Epochxin is the natural venom blood of the ebon-swirled primal demon. It is unknown why this relative of the oculoth family of demons has a time warping venom. Oculoths in general have the ability to cause victims to be possessed, and their venom has mind wracking effects. The blood of the demon, which is essentially a shadow entity, is itself venom. Epochxin derivatives have been at the core of the dark magic that has made major impacts on historical events since 5110 Modern Era, but are also related to other crimes or catastrophes in the Turamzzyrian Empire dating back roughly six hundred and fifty years. This is principally through the human witch Raznel, or other figures as a result of her. Raznel acquired her knowledge of epochxin both directly and indirectly from Faendryl sources, as a result of being taught by Xorus and the time paradox of learning from Lord Brieson Cassle's studies.
There is potential relevance for epochxin to one extent or another in most things related to Raznel. As Naimorai Kestrel she was cursed by the Talon of Toullaire, and then in the past she may have caused the Talon of Toullaire to absorb her affliction in a causality loop or temporal paradox, but Naimorai would have had no epochxin derivatives in her blood at these times. Therefore her leprosy or ability to inflict disease curses was a separate power. It is difficult to know if Raznel's use of epochxin variants was relevant to the magic of other Arcane Eyes members in prior storylines, with the exception of Grishom Stone making use of Everblood having taken it from Drangell. The Shadows are an overlapping concept, but not all blood magic, and not all blood magic involving the shadows is related to epochxin. Epochxin family poisons might be naturally related to the shadows because of the nature of oculoths, which exist in the Shadow Realm of Althedeus as well as the Bleaklands. The blackblood curse variant implicitly had some derivative of epochxin in it, because it was destroyed with the anti-Everblood salve. That curse apparently stored the shadows in demon blood like batteries.
- Ebon-Swirled Primal Demon
Larsya's blood in a particular place in the Southron Wastes acted as a "beacon" to the primal demons. These swarmed and adventurers collected vials of ebon-swirled blood, in Jastatos 5116 Modern Era, which became special alchemy ingredients.
Within the darkness of night, which hangs like a wall of shadows above the ashen white sands, amorphous forms begin to appear, resembling enormous floating spheres of obsidian. Clicking echoes from the floating spheres of darkness. Specks of white sand float up from the base of the crystalline coffin. Dotting the surface of the enormous black spheres, hundreds of multi-hued alien eyes appear, misshapen, malformed, some red, some white, yellow, grey. Ichor drips from the huge fangs of the primal demons, and ebon mist swirls about their nebulous forms. Like falling black stars, the primals descend. An enormous ebon-swirled primal floats in, its toothy maw glistening with black ichor. An enormous ebon-swirled primal hovers in, its central eye rolling back and forth.
The Ever-blood is a term that was apparently coined by Grishom Stone in his "Beyond the Arkati" essay of 5112 Modern Era for the blood of Drangell. Drangell had been a giantman assassin of the Ivory Thorns who, along with the human Thrayzar, was sent to assassinate the witch Raznel. Raznel was a former member of the Hall of Mages who had turned to blood magic, and was involved in the death of Empress Mynal'lyanna's elder siblings. When they approached her cabin, Raznel was shot through the throat, but this did not matter as she was virtually immortal. Raznel broke a yellowed bone talisman which released a toxic yellow gas, which infiltrated the bodies of Drangell and Thrayzar. Thrayzar was transformed into an orc, and Drangell was transformed into a troll. Drangell thereby acquired what appeared to be a powerful form of troll blood which restored him against violent attacks. However, even when Drangell's troll form was broken by the Tehir Spiritcaller Akhash in 5111 Modern Era, his extreme healing powers remained. It was later discovered that the Everblood is truly demonic in origin. It is not known for certain if trolls acquired their healing powers from the venom of primal demons.
Everblood is easily transmitted from one host to another, largely transforming the blood of those who take it into their system. Grishom Stone also developed his "flesh golems" from the Everblood, and made himself similarly indestructible with it. It was the basis of his conceit that life could be created by us mere mortals and that we have the potential within ourselves to be "beyond the Arkati" in power. While Grishom Stone was manipulated at the time by the primordial demon Althedeus, this is more or less still his quest, now making use of a powerful artifact known as the Star of Khar'ta.
Everblood and epochxin were not understood to be related at first. Lady Larsya Caulfield of Bourth was injured with an epochxin poisoned arrow by the assassin Vinswith, who was apparently made using the blood of Wolfloner and Archales, who had known anti-imperial sentiments. While it was assumed this was a genuine assassination attempt, it would later turn out this was not the case, but rather that Larsya was a pawn in a grand strategy being orchestrated by Raznel. Larsya was frozen in time in a bane coffin in the shadow of Melgorehn's Reach until the means were found to halt her rapid aging. (It was later learned that Raznel had invented the bane coffins when she was a member of the Hall of Mages.) This set off a sequence of events where the Prelate Chaston Griffin engaged in a crusade using the Blameless zealots. They acquired Everblood for themselves from Drangell, who had been turned into a troll by Raznel many years earlier. This made the crusaders essentially immortal. Lord Brieson would eventually conjecture that, while outwardly seemingly unrelated, these problems were fundamentally tied. Similarly, the blackblood illness affecting half-elves was realized to not be a true disease.
Brieson had recalled reading about a rapid aging poison in Nydds, so he searched tomes there and brought them back. On one night he hypothesized that epochxin and everblood were time poisons. There is no confirmed relationship to Lorae'tyr, but it is plausible if oculoths existed there.
Brieson says, "So, from the tomes of Nydds....and some overeducated people there..." Brieson says, "With their tea and coffee and little concern for our troubles in the north..." Brieson says, "Epochxin was said to possibly be from another valence entirely." Brieson says, "Whether it was harvested elsewhere, displaced here, or replanted, or duplicated..." Brieson shrugs. Aydan slowly asks, "Isn't there that one valence, uh.. the one they aren't supposed to go to. That time messed up one?" Brieson nods at Aydan. Speaking to Aydan, Dergoatean asks, "Lorae'tyr, I believe?" Brieson says, "I cannot recall..." Brieson points at Dergoatean. Speaking to Brieson, Raelee asks, "... is it a temporal effect or merely the appearance of one?" Dergoatean says, "We discussed the similarities when Larsya first was afflicted." Speaking to Aydan, Dergoatean says, "Time poison, we could call it." Brieson says, "I believe it's a true temporal effect." Brieson says, "I also think, it's the core of Everblood." Brieson says, "In Larsya's case..." Brieson says, "It's the most basic of forms." Brieson says, "Applied, it ages, the subject dies, the end." Aydan asks, "But with everblood, it returns to an original state?" Brieson says, "As a component or baseline for Everblood..." Brieson says, "Precisely." Brieson says, "Are they healing..." Brieson says, "Or is it more of a temporal reshifting of sorts." Speaking to Brieson, Dergoatean asks, "Reverting their bodies to a past state?" Brieson says, "Essentially." Brieson says, "Instead of healing or mending flesh like empaths..." Brieson asks, "It's warping time?" Speaking to Raelee, Dergoatean says, "Just imagine the precision." Brieson says, "Specualtion." Brieson shrugs. Brieson asks, "Is it?" Speaking to Raelee, Dergoatean says, "The specificity." Brieson peers quizzically at Dergoatean. Brieson says, "Drangell is not the parchment child for rational thinking." Brieson says, "The Blameless are certaintly not a roving band of scholars." Brieson shrugs. Roblar deeply asks, "How dey keep memories if mind begins anew when regenerate?" Brieson says, "It's just a theory." Speaking to Raelee, Dergoatean says, "I just mean that their memories are not robbed by the healing process." Brieson says, "It's not necessarily meaning that the individual is, time displaced." Speaking quietly to Aydan, Mohrgan says, "If it is a substance in the blood, rather than the blood itself...perhaps drinking Drangell's blood is just...passing around that component." Earthdiver asks, "Backups in someone else?" Brieson says, "Which may account for their memories still existing." Aydan says, "Well, the name itself is rather telling then, if that's the case. Everblood." Speaking to Raelee, Dergoatean says, "The blood must revert the flesh without reverting the mind." Brieson says, "It is just another form of, healing in a sense." Tolan asks, "So...if I am following correctly...you are saying that this Everblood doesn't so much heal the damage to the body so much as it.....makes the flesh move back in time to a point before it was damaged? Is that right?" Speaking to Dergoatean, Raelee says, "... the battlefield is full of test subjects." Brieson nods at Tolan. Brieson says, "Essentially, yes." Brieson asks, "But really, what is the difference?" Tolan exclaims, "The difference is everything!"
And then on another night Brieson clarified that epochxin is itself blood and that Larsya's blood was infected with it:
Brieson says, "Pylasar has told me, that while he does not know of any cure or counter to Everblood, he seemed to recall some details of a time in the Southron Wastes." Brieson says, "I've also done some additional research from some of the tomes I carried back from Nydds..." Goldstr asks, "Wolfloner's vision?" Brieson says, "One, strangely authored by two Faendryl brothers..." Brieson looks over at Goldstr and shakes his head. Brieson says, "It's theorized..." Brieson says, "Or more, stated, and I sort of assume is a theory until we are for certain..." Brieson says, "Epochxin is blood." Brieson says, "Yes, a poison, veno." Brieson says, "Venom." Brieson says, "Which, in essence, it is." Brieson says, "But they claim it is blood." Brieson says, "Which is why, Larsya's blood is important. It is, essentially, Epochxin....in theory...I believe..." Brieson says, "But, we cannot use her blood." Brieson says, "Or, do not want too, at this time." Brieson says, "So the alternative I've discussed and researched..." Brieson says, "There exists in the Southron Wastes, a..." Brieson says, "Gathering spot." Brieson says, "Beacon, if you will." Brieson says, "Where a specific creature could be summoned, had we the right lure." Brieson says, "The only text I've found on them, refers to them as Primals." Brieson says, "They are, based on all descriptions, oculoths." Brieson says, "We can only surmise based on their given name." Brieson says, "Pylasar did not suggest this...." Brieson says, "But given the information he told me, the blood of these demons may well be Epochxin." Brieson says, "A critical ingredient we'll need to counter Everblood." Brieson asks, "The trick to luring them out?" Brieson says, "More Epochxin. Their scent. Their blood." Brieson says, "Larsya." Brieson says, "Here is what I propose." Speaking carefully to Brieson, Cruxophim objects, "I... fail to see how most would view that as better, unless.... we find a way to simulate her blood." Madmountan says, "So we risk her life by taking some blood, or risk her life baiting her to demons." Speaking to Brieson, Legaci says, "The Faendryl did not nor could control the beings you suggest to trick. How many times have any here tricked an unknown demon." Brieson says, "Instead of the original idea of draining her blood or using just enough hoping not to harm her..." Brieson says, "We can have a doorway opened to the Southron Wastes. There, we'll be prepared for anything...." Brieson says, "We'll move Larsya's coffin into the Wastes, for just a very, very short time." Brieson says, "I will use my magic to help duplicate the powers of the Reach temporarily, so that, in theory, she should not age or be harmed..." Brieson says, "You will be responsible for harvesting the blood of the Primals." Speaking neutrally to Brieson, Cruxophim ventures, "How will the beasts detect the blood through the seal of the coffin?" Brieson says, "Once we gather enough, we retreat, and restore Larsya to the shadow of the Reach." Brieson says, "I am not certain they will. But, I would imagine creatures of this power magnitutde could." Brieson says, "It's risky, yes." Leafiara seriously asks, "Just to be clear, we intend to have our own physical presence there, yes? Standing around her coffin guarding it as we harvest blood?" Speaking unhappily to Brieson, Cruxophim speculates, "Duplicating her blood may also require a sample, it seems most of our other options are contingent upon breaking the seal even briefly, so..." Brieson says, "The first option, draining Larsya's blood, well, one, we are not certain we'll even have enough. Two, we're not certain it won't kill her, or we can even harmlessly drain it in enough time." Brieson nods at Leafiara.
Lord Brieson discovered a book in Nydds which addressed epochxin, which he noted was strangely written by two Faendryl brothers, after having recalled once reading about a rapid aging poison while in Nydds. Brieson surmised that Everblood and Epochxin must be deeply related, essentially anti-parallel in effect, and that the solution for one would likely provide the solution for the other. Brieson also realized that Larsya, whose blood was now largely made of epochxin, would act as a beacon for ebon-swirled primal demons. Which would essentially smell themselves in her. Along with this Faendryl book and Pylasar recalling something of the Southron Wastes, and items left behind in the Hendoran outpost that had belonged to Raznel, Brieson temporarily kidnapped Larsya and used her as bait, so that samples of this venom blood could be taken. Within a pack that Raznel had left at the Hendoran outpost were alchemical formulas. These included how to make purified Everblood essence from primal blood, and how to make a tar-like black salve from the Everblood essence and other poisons. This was apparently planted by Raznel to move along the time table of her own plans.
This turned out to be an anti-Everblood poison, as well as the cure for the blackblood curse, as well as the agent for halting the progression of epochxin venom. It was discovered years later that this treatment to halt the rapid aging of Larsya in 5116 Modern Era effectively turned her into one of the paragons. In hindsight this must have all been orchestrated by Raznel, for whom it had all happened before, as she knew these events from her youth before being lost in the past in a temporal accident in 5117 Modern Era. In her youth Raznel was Lady Naimorai Kestrel, the daughter of Grand Magister Dennet Kestrel of the Hall of Mages. Dennet's family was adversely afflicted by exposure to the Talon of Toullaire, a "siphon stone" artifact from the Ur-Daemon War, which had chaotically augmented latent powers in his children and made his wife Reannah ill similar to those in the Wizardwaste. Dennet sought the aid of the sorcerous in the Wehnimer's Landing region, so that Naimorai would learn to control her necromantic powers in order to not accidentally harm others. Through these tutors and her biological father Quinshon, Naimorai learned a great deal of dark magic, as well as the history of Raznel. When Naimorai was lost in the past, and her health deteriorated, she used her knowledge to engineer her own creation into Raznel. While the exact division of who taught Naimorai what is unclear, it is known that she learned her epochxin methods from Xorus, and Naimorai suffered with living in the outpost alongside Larsya who was obnoxiously trapped in a time cycle of discovering her aged condition. Xorus cured Larsya of her condition and restored her age in 5118 Modern Era, with the assistance of "The Alchemist" Praxopius Fortney, and elemental calculations by Magister Raelee Svala.
Most of the work on curing Larsya was done before Praxopius became involved. Praxopius only made minor adjustments to the formula, mostly the addition of bleaksoil, and provided a low steel cylinder for executing the temporal magic steps involved. He spent most of his time weaponizing Larsya's blood into other poisons. Praxopius discovered that her blood was a temporal anchor for something else during an experiment on top of Melgorehn's Reach in Phoenatos 5118, speaking of it having some other purpose than a rapid aging poison, then one month later a half-krolvin was witnessed rapidly aging and collapsing into dust. Earlier that night Praxopius had told Xorus "work was by far the most complete, and likely accurate, in all of what Breshon had collected." Two weeks later sick or dead krolvin were found in a secret lab on Praxopius' ship. One week later Rysus collapsed under injuries and the poison. One week after that Kragnack was poisoned with what was later called the Blue Suffer. The contagion had spread on Glaoveln following the invasion in 5119 Modern Era, where Praxopius had given out poison daggers before people disembarked the ship, and according to Falzcrow had run its course.
In Charlatos 5122, the Black Wyvern of Glaoveln, Tyrrax, sailed into Darkstone Bay seeking the formula for the Blue Suffer. They were convinced that "Fortney" had the formula delivered to Wehnimer's Landing. They used a mentalist halfling named Kharusa, abducting random citizens, and then floating scrying eyes during an invasion. They quickly figured out they were seeking "the Xorus", who Tyrrax was absolutely certain would finish Fortney's work. Xorus denied receiving the formula, claiming it was over a year late, and doubted it would have been given to him. That it was more likely he was set up as a decoy, or it would only be given as a contingency to some other set of plans. The halfling mentalist unexpectedly discovered it was impossible to get inside the mind of Xorus. Tyrrax claims it is a sign of guilt. But the krolvin would not take, kill, or speak to Xorus. Tyrrax appeared on the Black Sands to parlay late on Olaesta 1st, 5122 Modern Era. Praxopius supposedly used a lens that involves moonlight to read hidden writing, which indicated he was sending the formula to the Landing. But there were unclear words and reference to the Shrike and Courier. Xorus said he was never called the Shrike.
It would turn out that Amos owned former warehouses of Praxopius in multiple places, and the moon letter scroll was in an enruned brass tube in a warehouse in Brisker's Cove. Various journal notes of Praxopius's were found, including cryptic hints on how to read the scroll. The scroll was recovered by Amos' courier Ivorel, and Amos claimed ownership of it. Snout had been intended to deliver it to Xorus, but had died as a result of the green mist from Kragnack's revenge, so it never happened. The scroll that was thought to be the poison formula was to be auctioned to the highest bidder. Xorus offered to be the alchemist developer for the high bidder to drive up its value, and this became a condition of the auction. Mayor Thadston Andrews pressured the Darkstone Bay Consortium to force Amos to not sell it for the sake of long term profits. Amos agreed to destroy it upon authentication.
It was decided that the cryptic instructions were implying that an alchemist lens had to be used on the moon beam of altar on top of Melgorehn's Reach, probably only at a certain time of year at the edge of Ivastaen and Lumnea, and it was discerned that a blood red sigil on the scroll would require Larsya's blood to unlock it. Larsya gave a sample of her blood to Amos. Tyrrax was brought up to the top of the Reach, but his own moon light stone exploded in his hands. Other failed attempts immolated the crowd and temporarily spread Raznel's leprosy curse. When Larsya's blood was put on the sigil, and a lens made from bleak soil (suggested by Lylia) was used by Magister Raelee Svala, the glyphs appeared on the scroll, which mirrored the moon light into beams on the cavern walls. This revealed a voice message from Praxopius for Xorus, saying there is no hidden formula, but he was arranging for the krolvin to believe it exists so they would tear themselves apart and bring the wrath of the Empire on them from lashing out recklessly. Xorus was supposed to receive it long before this ruse was to be set into motion. Praxopius confirmed that the contagion was made by combining their work, Larsya's blood, and his own research into bleak soil. The bleak soil had much unknown potential, but Praxopius would not be able to live long enough, and he asked Xorus to develop the weapon while the krolvin destroy themselves over something that does not exist. Tyrrax heard this, but was arrested by Thadston.
The Blight is a phenomenon that afflicts the Darkstone Bay region, and its symptoms are temporarily suppressed. In 5119 Modern Era a bleakstone merchant named Cayde, who had given Larsya bleakstones shortly before the Valley of Gold summit, brought a bleakstone statue (in the likeness of Mayor Lylia Rashere) to Wehnimer's Landing and placed it outside of Moot Hall. He claimed it was authorized by Councilwoman Alendrial DeArchon, but this was a lie, and it was later discovered that the real Cayde had been dead for months and this was really Raznel wearing an illusion. Later, when the bleakstone statue was removed, it was apparent it had grown attachments into the ground. Around the same time the bleakstone statue arrived, the water of Darkstone Bay turned bloody red, and the fish all died and rotted. There were invasions of oily black serpents and so on. The dockworkers and fishermen would brawl, because the fishermen could not pay. Farmers would raise prices and get threatened by the Rooks, under their new leader Mother, for price gouging the poor. One destitute man randomly tried to shoot Mayor Lylia with a crossbow over the impact on living standards.
There were patches of blighted grass with dead wildlife next to them, or even found with festering wounds. There were crop failures and famine, undead uprising from cemeteries, and even trolls arising from mist. People began falling ill with extreme weakness, scale like blebs, itching at scabs, red spots, even breaking bones, and inflicted with damage from dark or yellow nodules which oozed or bled. It was noted at the time that the symptoms were very similar to the black blood blight disease curse of 5116 Modern Era, but apparently without the black blood or lingering shadowy veins. The ground would also crack open with toxic gas that caused oculoth-like possession, similar to the Bleaklands. Unlike the black blood and blue suffer curses, the Blight affects whole geographical regions. Unlike the Bleaklands it is not a total annihilation and transformation through magical explosion. While it appears able to affect absolutely everyone, it is not at all clear that it actually does so. It might be possible to control who it affects, similar to Raznel's suspected ability to control the spread of the black blood curse, and probably the Bleaklands (which Praxopius described as an "improved wasteland.")
The Hall of Mages set up a quarantine field near the trail to Vornavis to halt the spread south, in case it was contagious, and study it under the direction of Grand Magister Octaven. It was widely assumed and later confirmed that the bleakstone statue caused the Blight, though whether it is a continued threat or was only a one-shot medium for a spell is unclear. The Blight also appeared to display self-awareness, calling itself "the Bleak" and "the End". Eventually adventurers in the Landing devised a theory and method for suppressing the Blight, though not ending it, by starving it of mana and poisoning it with anti-magic. This involved creating mana fires at the bone pillars which had been created by Grishom Stone using abducted citizens in 5111 Modern Era and later controversially turned into defensive tools under Mayor Cruxophim. Later, in 5121 Modern Era, Octaven stole the bleakstone statue from the Hendoran outpost through a portal. It is suspected that she is interested in learning how to create, control, and end the Blight with it or bleakstone more generally. It is known that Octaven had briefly taken Xorus and Mayor Lylia in 5119 Modern Era to question them for insight regarding Raznel.
The following is an approximate sequence of events involving epochxin or related poisons or consequences of those poisons. This is a work in progress. The Witchful Thinking events in particular had a lot of out-of-sequence flashback scenes.
|4473||Naimorai Kestrel is trapped in Toullaire following a temporal accident under Melgorehn's Reach. She meets Peter (Pylasar), calls herself Rachel, and becomes involved with the newly founded Arcanum while knowing it would eventually cause the Wizardwaste.|
|4480||Naimorai Kestrel is involved in the period of imperial assassinations, knowing from her own past who died and when it happened.|
|> 4480||Naimorai Kestrel and Peter expose themselves to the Crescent, later known as the Talon of Toullaire. Naimorai likely corrupts the Crescent with her own cursed condition, creating a time loop causing her own curse. Peter gains an ability to move back and forth along the timeline on the scale of centuries. They are expelled from Toullaire by the Arcanum for drawing unwanted attention to the Arcanum.|
|4565||Toullaire is destroyed in a magical explosion that forms the Wizardwaste. The extent to which Naimorai's influence on the Arcanum and/or the Talon in causing this is unclear.|
|4579||Brumas Brightforge of Doggoroth Keep is taken and turned into one of Naimorai's paragons. His cocooned body would be found there in 5119 after Talador became the Bleaklands, and was the last paragon to be destroyed.|
|4613||Deshal a Tehir fighter from near Bir Mahallah in the Sea of Fire is turned into a paragon. This happens near a seemingly prophetic statue, surrounded by bone pillars, of a man holding what seem to be the Star of Khar'ta and the Talon of Toullaire.|
|4754||Harland the Bastard is abducted and becomes one of Naimorai's paragons.|
|4842||Eastern Sentinel Jerram Happersett went missing and was presumed dead, but was abducted and made into a paragon around the Southron Wastes.|
|~5080s?||Naimorai Kestrel and Peter move themselves back to her own time period. They join the Hall of Mages in the Swale. Naimorai continues to call herself Rachel.|
|~5080s?||Naimorai invents the bane coffins while still a member of the Hall of Mages.|
|~5080s?||Naimorai continues to deteriorate under the magical corruption from her youth and suffers miscarriages.|
|~5080s?||Naimorai makes the first paragon with Peter. This was apparently some unnamed woman (possibly a Hall of Mages member), who was never discovered, which is either a plot hole or who ultimately did not survive it. (The only other known woman paragon was Mynalari, which would be inconsistent with the dialogue in several ways.)|
|~5090s?||Oronthal Jalcon is turned into a paragon and his wife is thrown off a cliff by Naimorai. (Second to last paragon made with Peter, but given time travel, could have taken place in the later 90s.)|
|5092||Naimorai is involved in the assassination of Mynal'lyanna's elder siblings. She makes the elder sister Mynalari into a paragon to help sustain herself. They abduct figures from major historical events across several centuries and make paragons of them in temporal pocket dimensions. (Mynalari was the last paragon made with Peter.)|
|5090s?||Peter hits his limit on helping Naimorai in her fall into darkness and reports her to the Hall of Mages for blood magic. She rebrands herself as Raznel, meaning "of shadows".|
|5090s?||Raznel murders Peter's new family. Peter ends up renaming himself Pylasar, after a hero figure of his daughter's.|
|5090s?||Naimorai Kestrel is born to Dennet Kestrel and his wife Reannah, but her actual biological father is another Magister named Quinshon.|
|5100s?||Pylasar and Raznel have some confrontation in the Wizardwaste, where Raznel is with an expedition seeking the Talon of Toullaire.|
|5100s?||Pylasar's memory is scrambled by Quinshon.|
|5100s?||Raznel curses Thrayzar from a human into an orc and Drangell from a giantman into a troll. In the process Everblood is created in Drangell. They are cursed simultaneously with the same yellow mist, so the difference in their atavistic transformations may be due to their different starting races.|
|5111||Outlaws assisting the red robe summoners (Grishom Stone and company) release Drangell from a magical prison.|
|5111||Grishom Stone adapts the Everblood from Drangell to make "flesh golem" clones and gives himself immortality.|
|5112||The Star of Khar'ta arrives near Wehnimer's Landing. The krolvin warlord Krentuk is eventually killed and replaced by his brother Kragnack, and the Star of Khar'ta seemingly explodes.|
|5114||War of Shadows: Grishom Stone is discovered alive and tortured in Winter's Manor, kept alive in spite of brutal injuries by his Everblood.|
|5114||War of Shadows: Mayor Walkar Wellington is cursed as an abomination through his demonic armor, and feeds his thirst for blood with the fruit of blood consuming trees from extraplanar seeds provided by a Marluvian priest.|
|5115||Grishom Stone escapes from his imprisonment in the Brass Tower. He ends up finding the Star of Khar'ta in the Sea of Fire, and later transforms into the Bloodstar, orienting its power to blood and shadows.|
|5115||The shadowy blood maw at the core of the root network of the blood consuming trees is moved from Lich's Landing through the Shadow Realm by Harrower Ersix Severus Faendryl and put into the Deadfall Forest in the Upper Trollfang. Wyrdeep druids erect an energy barrier sealing the forest.|
|5116||Rodnay is created as a result of Grishom Stone dealing with the Ithzir of Kol'Tarsken, using his floating cocoon transformation method along with Ithzir blood. Stone uses the Star of Khar'ta to exploit mana storming on Melgorehn's Reach to bleed through the barriers between Elanthia and Kol'Tarsken. Plinite pylons are invented to shoot down flying Ithzir pyramids, one of which crashes into Darkstone Bay.|
|5116||Larsya Caulfield of Bourth is struck with an epochxin arrow from the assassin Vinswith.|
|5116||Half-elves and half-krolvin become ill with the black blood blight. Blameless crusaders slaughter them and secretly collect their blood before burning the bodies.|
|5116||Blameless crusaders gain the Everblood for themselves through Drangell.|
|5116||Raznel leaves behind alchemical formulas in the Hendoran outpost for making tar-like black salve, which turns out is the anti-Everblood agent, and the base for curing the black blood illness and for halting the epochxin rapid aging progression.|
|5116||Brieson Cassle of the Hall of Mages collects information on the epochxin, including a book in Nydds that was strangely written by two Faendryl brothers.|
|5116||The formulas are found and the tar-like black salve is made and put to use. Drangell and Chaston Griffin are killed with it. Larsya's rapid aging is halted and she is freed from the bane coffin.|
|5116||The cursed black blood, having been infused into Talador's blood marble, is used by Chaston Griffin to detonate an obelisk that transforms most of Talador into the Bleaklands.|
|5117||Grand Magister Dennet Kestrel and his family move to Wehnimer's Landing. He is seeking a way to cure his wife of sickness caused by the Talon of Toullaire, which also chaotically augmented latent powers in his children.|
|5117||Dennet Kestrel wears a bone mask impersonating Rekarth and secretly abducts Lana, experimenting with plinite levels in her blood, in research designed to help eventually save his wife Reannah. However, something goes wrong, and Lana is released or escapes. Her flesh bubbles and eyes explode, bursting with greenish black blood, and collapses into ash. Malluch Burdos later becomes the Rone vigilante out of vengeance over her death.|
|5117||Naimorai having a history accidentally injuring or killing others with her power, Dennet has Quinshon and local sorcerers or dark magic practitioners help Naimorai learn how to control her powers. Through them Naimorai learns witchcraft, blood magic, the shadows, demon summoning, and various dark arts.|
|5117||Rysus is crippled by Naimorai's dark magic during a Rook raid on the Hendoran outpost.|
|5117||Naimorai is lost in the past as a result of a temporal accident under Melgorehn's Reach, following a temporal loop where she uses her foreknowledge to become Raznel.|
|5118||Breshon Caulfield seeks a cure for his sister Larsya. He invites an alchemist from Estoria, Praxopius Fortney, to assist. Praxopius later turns out to be "The Alchemist" who created the (now second) Rone vigilante who had been attacking town.|
|5118||The second Rone vigilante (not yet known to be Thrayzar) first appears a month after Praxopius arrives in the Landing. Thrayzar was abducted by the White Sparrows significantly earlier. Studying his blood was likely a separate avenue of epochxin-variant research for Praxopius.|
|5118||Praxopius determines Larsya's blood is a "paragon" and temporal anchor, not just a rapid aging poison. One month later a half-krolvin is seen outside rapidly aging and collapsing to dust.|
|5118||Through manipulation of Leafiara, Praxopius has Rysus poisoned with a health potion, as Rysus had been crippled by Naimorai's dark magic in a raid on the Hendoran outpost in 5117.|
|5118||Praxopius adds components to Xorus' formula for curing Larsya, especially soil from the Bleaklands which he determines is essentially blood. Sick or dead krolvin and half-krol are found on Praxopius' ship, said to be related to Kragnack.|
|5118||Rysus having become increasingly unhinged is turned over to the town by the Rooks and is killed. He collapses into ash and black ichor.|
|5118||Praxopius plans the invasion of Glaoveln, where Kragnack will be killed by a "contagion", which will affect those of Kragnack's bloodline. Praxopius says he does not believe it can be expanded to eradicate all krolvin in his own lifetime, but claims he will have it sent to Xorus in two years. Praxopius gives himself an enhanced version of the Rysus poison so he regains the use of his legs and goes out in a blaze of glory in the Glaoveln invasion. Plinite pylons are used by the imperial ships.|
|5118||Kragnack is stabbed by contagion coated daggers and collapses into ash, while releasing bone pills on Glaoveln and along the Turamzzyrian coast that unleash a poisonous green gas.|
|5118||Grishom Stone forces his way into the Wyrdeep, kidnaps Briarstorm, and uses his blood to force his way into the Deadfall. His plans with the blood transformed Star of Khar'ta apparently involve the tree and maw, which Harrower Ersix had said was evolving a few years earlier.|
|5118||Thrayzar is returned by Snout, the assistant of Praxopius, along with a cure potion. Thrayzar coughs out green liquid. However, Thrayzar remains temporally unstable, flickering in and out of existence. This is apparently an aspect of his own blood curse.|
|5119||Abygail Wellington and Stiletto are fused together and made into a joint paragon by Raznel out of pure cruelty. Raznel also increases Thrayzar's orc curse to maximum, out of spite, so that his mind is drowning under orcness.|
|5119||Cayde the bleakstone merchant brings a bleakstone statue resembling Mayor Lylia Rashere, falsely claiming it was authorized. Cayde was actually dead, and this was Raznel in disguise. The bleakstone statue delivered and set off the Blight, which produced famine and rotting diseases and the ground ripping open with toxic gasses. Darkstone Bay becomes bloody.|
|5119||With the assistance of the Chronomage Chrysamber Epoch, and various assists with his memory, Pylasar directs adventurers to the release of all the various paragons. Raznel is permanently killed in the brief window where her paragons were destroyed but before her Bleakworld transition could be fulfilled. Thadston is possessed by a Bleakwalker.|
|5120||Cordarius Hodges of the Hall of Mages and locals suppress the Blight by starving it with mana fires and trying to poison it with anti-magic. The fires keep burning as the Blight is only suppressed and not reversed.|
|5120||Grishom Stone offers to cure Thrayzar when Thrayzar is found, having been given Glethad by Mayor Lylia after Glethad returned from the Ithzir world of Kol Tar'sken. The choice would be between becoming human again, or staying an orc with his mind restored. People resist.|
|5120||The first Rone vigilante, Malluch Burdos, becomes a devotee of Grishom Stone and calls himself the Blood Son. He collects acolytes for the blood harvest, where they are brought into the Deadfall.|
|5120||Amos helps adventurers find and recover Thrayzar, still suffering orc madness, who is being kept for fighting in a slave ring in Jantalar.|
|5121||There is a struggle for control of the bleakstone statue. The bleakwalker, once a Honey Mine worker named Gabriela, is transferred into the bleakstone statue. Which was then stolen by Octaven, who is thought to be interested in knowing how to create and control the Blight.|
|5121||The Rooks attack a shipment of invar weapons to the Darkstone Bay Consortium from Zul Logoth and discover the wagons also have tar-like black salve in them.|
|5122||Having resisted Grishom Stone's offer since recovering Thrayzar, adventurers enter Thrayzar's mind on their own. Xorus tries to get Thrayzar to remember the black door in his mind that is the lock on his curse, which has the talisman from the cabin when he was first cursed. Thrayzar chooses to stay an orc, has his mind restored. Grishom Stone apparently takes some of Thrayzar's blood and is seen entering Thrayzar's mind.|
|5122||The Black Wyvern of Glaoveln, Czag Pritz Tyrrax, comes to Wehnimer's Landing seeking the formula's destruction. Xorus says it is over a year late and it never arrived. It would turn out that Praxopius actually intended on sending Xorus a scroll with a voice message that contained no poison formula, only the direction of research, and that he was arranging to manipulate the krolvin into endlessly seeking a non-existent formula so they would lash out recklessly and infight until Xorus could one day actually make invent the genocide contagion on is own and eradicate them. This was only confused for being the formula scroll, because it was also written in moon letters, and Praxopius had claimed he would send the formula to Xorus. Tyrrax heard this but was arrested by Thadston before he could leave for Glaoveln.|
There are many processed derivatives of the epochxin venom. Generally speaking, these variants transform the blood of the afflicted into more of the toxin, though not necessarily a total replacement. They have thus far always been cured (or otherwise treated) with other variants of the poison, which has meant that creating the knowledge to cure one form of it requires knowledge of the other forms, and thus makes opportunities to learn how to make new weapons out of it. Moreover, while one form might be cured by a second form, that cure may be lethal in those of other forms. It is very easy to kill with epochxin variants, and much harder to reverse their effects without killing. They can also be modified into contagious forms, so that the poison spreads like a disease, the scope of which can be controlled. The blackblood disease afflicted half-elves and half-krol, the blue suffer afflicts krol and half-krol.
One particular subtlety is that the illness effects of the disease varieties do not necessarily come from the demon blood. The epochxin is the medium. It is possible that these symptoms are derived from Raznel's cursed affliction from her exposure to the Talon of Toullaire in her youth, as the very same symptoms appear throughout the whole story arc in different situations associated with her. In other words, Raznel was cursed with necromantic powers first, and mixed in demon blood later. The illness symptoms may be deriving from mixing in her own blood rather than the demon blood.
"Epochxin" as a rapid aging poison ("epoch toxin") refers to the blood of the ebon-swirled primal demon being used as a venom. Samples of this blood can be taken off the defeated shadowy "bodies" of the primals. Ebon-swirled primal demons are primitive cousins of the massive shadowy oculoth, which itself exists in multiple valences, and the primals are said to exist in other valences but are also found in the Southron Wastes. Their history or origins in the Southron Wastes are not known. Epochxin and primals are known to Faendryl scholars. Lord Brieson Cassle previously had read of the poison in Nydds and brought tomes back. He discovered much of what he knew of epochxin from a book "strangely" written by two Faendryl brothers. In light of future events with Raznel manipulating things with her foreknowledge, it is likely not an accident that Brieson found this Faendryl work in Nydds.
Epochxin essentially is the blood of the ebon-swirled primal demon. When it enters the blood stream of the victim, it causes the body around it to be rapidly accelerated, causing a very rapid aging effect. It does not fully replace the blood of the living host, though that might be from the host dying first. The Everblood does the opposite, keeping the body from deviating from its state at a fixed moment of time, though not the mind and not to the extent of being immobilized. Epochxin as a synonym for ebon-swirled primal blood is the base component of the whole family of related blood curses or poisons.
- Larsya Poisoned
The epochxin venom is very fast but does not act with immediate effect. It is most likely, in context with everything else that is known, making more of itself in the victim. So a tiny amount begins slow and accelerates, following what would implicitly be an exponential growth. Larsya was only nicked in her neck by the arrow, but the very little bit of epochxin that got into her body was sufficient. When it was apparent that she was rapidly aging, Lord Brieson Cassle moved Larsya to Melgorehn's Reach for support and reinforcement and had Larsya put in a bane coffin. Melgorehn's Reach even after Larsya was treated with the anti-Everblood salve was helping keep her condition halted. Larsya was unable to hear others because of the poison, which was making it sound like everyone was talking too fast. When she was cured two years later, Praxopius said she would not be able to hear us yet, that first night.
With no warning and little fanfare, a black arrow flies out of the shadows between two warehouses. It pierces the night, flying straight and true with great skill. People scream warnings on the boat, and the Bourthian soldiers spring into action. Larsya is pushed aside by Mynon, but the arrow still scratches the flesh of her neck. The girl screams, falling to the ground. The arrow lands nearby, and begins to fizzle and melt, bubbling as if being eaten away by a strange acid. Larsya falls over. Larsya gasps. You see Lady Larsya Caulfield. She appears to be a Human from Bourth. She is short and appears to be extremely young. She has long-lashed violet eyes and tanned skin. She has very long, ringleted dark tawny hair. She has a narrow face, a freckled nose and a single hawk feather braided into the right side of her hair. She is in good shape. Larsya brings a finger to her neck, where a thin scratch remains from the arrow, small beads of blood dripping from the mark. The Bourthian soldiers tighten their formation around Larsya, "We need to go back to the Outpost, NOW."
Larsya was brought back to the Hendoran Outpost. It was not immediately apparent that she had a rapid aging poison, but very quickly (she was moved to the Outpost fast), as the poison spread in her body she began falling out of sync with time:
[Outpost, Outer Courtyard] Guards flank the outpost's second portcullis, the entryway into the interior of the Hendoran's compound. Both soldiers clutch halberds and gaze directly forward from under polished helms. The inner wall, built of stone, looms up over the entryway with arrow slits running the length of the visible wall. You also see a tall Bourthian soldier, a tall Bourthian soldier, a tall Bourthian soldier, a tall Bourthian soldier, a pudgy frosting-covered dormouse, the Maags disk, the Regwen disk, the Roelaren disk, the Jesyme disk, the Chamorr disk, the Irar disk and a stone bench. Also here: Sir Aydan, Scribe Mynon, Lord Rubi, Drektor, Bekke, Sir Geijon, Martieln, Jeril, Alasatia, Jesyme, Dame Evia, Lady Larsya, Cruxophim, Siierra, Galenblackbard, Sareyna, High Lady Regwen, Zarston, Sir Bristenn, Stormyrain, Sir Balantine, High Lady Roelaren, Mohrgan, Lord Chamorr, Goldstr, Lady Lylia, Shinann, Great Lord Tercolla, Great Lord Irar, Katiesa, Maags, Rtune, Sir Cryheart, Historian Rovvigen, Grand Lord Mikalmas, Magister Raelee Obvious paths: southwest, northwest Larsya accepts Aydan's pure spring water. Speaking to Larsya, Aydan says, "Here, pour some of that over the wound." Larsya weakly says, "...thank you...." Larsya suddenly stumbles for no apparent reason. Larsya coughs. Larsya tries to bring the apple to her mouth, but her hand begins to twitch, and it falls to the ground. Larsya drops a ripe dark red apple. Larsya coughs. Goldstr says, "Needs make sure was no poison." (edit: general talking and noise) Larsya says, "Slow...slow down..." Larsya gently rests her hand on Balantine's shoulder. Larsya wobbles, looking a bit faint. Larsya runs her hand over the stone bench. Larsya says, "Stop...you're moving fast..." Larsya says, "Slow down...don't...I can't hear you, slow down..." Lylia touches Larsya. Larsya says, "You're talking...too fast..why, slow down..." Lylia slowly says, "We are right here." Larsya stumbles, wandering over to the bench. Larsya walks over to the bench and settles down. Lylia says, "We are with you." Rubi says, "I'm thinking that arrow was laced with some kind of hallucinagen." Some of the soldiers run off, shouting for Thadston. Larsya's veins stand out briefly. Larsya drops a canteen of pure spring water. Larsya blinks. Larsya blinks. Rubi says, "I doubt she can hear any of us right now." Larsya says, "Don't talk so fast I can't underst..." Larsya walks over to the bench and settles down. (note: She had been made to stand again because of a spell cast at her) A few white streaks suddenly form in Larsya's hair. Lylia gestures at Larsya. Larsya's skin takes on a more pinkish tint. (Shinann tries to clean the wound in her neck.) Drektor flatly comments, "Shes a goner." Shinann waves a wrinkled silk kerchief around. Goldstr exclaims, "Arrow WAS poisoned!" Larsya coughs. Larsya slumps over, falling onto the ground. Larsya coughs. Larsya wobbles, her knees going weak, and she falls. Larsya falls over. An opaque film begins to seep across Larsya's eyes, and her neck begins to form a few wrinkles. (Cruxophim continues to work diligently on Larsya's wound, amidst the company of other physicians, to seemingly little effect.) Larsya raspily says, "Slow...slow down...." Sareyna says, "Raznel's magic it appears." Lord Brieson just came marching in. Cruxophim softly speculates, "Withering hex?" Brieson says, "We need her to the base of Melgorehn's Reach." Brieson says, "NOW." Larsya coughs. Larsya wobbles, looking a bit faint. Lylia says, "Better than here." Brieson joins Cryheart's group. Brieson says, "GO." (edit: travel) [Melgorehn's Reach, Lake Eonak] You are on the bank of a beautiful mountain lake that is fed by a waterfall gushing from the mountain side. There is a path which seems to actually lead up the side of the mountain. You also see a cedar chip path and a barely visible trail leading into a grove of ancient trees. Also here: Cruxophim, Sir Aydan, Scribe Mynon, Lord Rubi, Drektor, Bekke, Sir Geijon, Martieln, Jeril, Alasatia, Jesyme, Dame Evia, Lady Larsya, Galenblackbard, Sareyna, High Lady Regwen, Zarston, Sir Bristenn, Stormyrain, High Lady Roelaren, Mohrgan, Lord Chamorr, Goldstr, Lady Lylia, Great Lord Tercolla, Great Lord Irar, Katiesa, Maags, Rtune, Shinann, Siierra, Lord Brieson, Sir Cryheart Obvious paths: southwest Larsya falls over. Brieson says, "Time is absolutely the key here." Speaking to Brieson, Raelee asks, "What do you know?" (Bristenn saunters a few rushed steps forward, before planting Larsya as .. er, gently as possible, to the wet earth.) Bristenn pants, trying to catch his breath. Sareyna says, "Raznel's magic it appears hap you know about that." Speaking to Sareyna, Hapenlok says, "That wasn't it. unless she's learned new tricks." Stormyrain says, "To assume it's Raznel, at this point, is premature." Brieson says, "She's aging." Brieson says, "She hasn't long, we need to...stall it, pause it..." Brieson slowly empties his lungs. Brieson says, "We need a coffin." (frowning, etc.) A dark shadow slinks through the grass along the edge of the forest. Speaking to Brieson, Raelee says, "They are back inside... we can have Thadston's men carry it out." Brieson nods to Raelee. Speaking to Raelee, Stormyrain asks, "One of THOSE coffins?" Mynon says, "NOW." Larsya blinks, the flesh on her fingers growing thin. Speaking to Stormyrain, Raelee asks, "Would you rather she shrivel and die?" Speaking to Bekke, Raelee says, "Now would be the time to give your word that it has not been tampered with." Bekke says, "Oh, seriously. I haven't tampered with it." Bekke gazes up into the heavens. Bekke says, "Brieson was with me the entire time." Raelee glances at Brieson. Some Hendoran soldiers arrive, carrying a large crystalline coffin. Bekke says, "However, this will do nothing but pause this moment in time." Cryheart approaches the crystalline coffin and shivers. Cryheart says, "The coffin is utterly cold." Larsya falls over. J>l cof The coffin is nearly translucent, crafted purely out of a smooth, crystalline substance. Upon closer inspection, faint whorls of golden runes can be seen, almost infused into the material. More strands of Larsya's hair turn white. Brieson says, "Okay...." Brieson spits out a muttered curse. Brieson approaches the crystalline coffin and shivers. Brieson stands before the coffin, uttering a few phrases, running his hands across the surface. Larsya gasps. Larsya raspily says, "Dawn..." Larsya raspily says, "...daddy...." Brieson waves his hands, and the coffin seals up, forming a crystalline layer over Larsya inside. Brieson says, "Now..." Brieson says, "That alone won't do it." Brieson says, "Anyone of magical...leaning..." Brieson says, "Infuse what you can into the area." Brieson closes his hands, spreading his arms out, palms open. Ethereal ribbons of energy, pale and silver, begin to swirl about the peaks of Melgorehn's Reach. Brieson chants an esoteric incantation as small sparks surround his hands. Brieson says, "Those magically inclined, focus on the coffin please, I'll need you if this is to work and not kill us." A hint of whispering wind is all that indicates the passing of a golden brown wolf. A dark shadow slinks through the grass along the edge of the forest. Brieson chants an esoteric incantation as small sparks surround his hands. Brieson chants an esoteric incantation as small sparks surround his hands. Ethereal streamers of energy coil down from the rocky peaks of Melgorehn's Reach, bathing the valley and meadow in an eerie, shimmering light. Brieson breaks out in a sweat. The golden wards along the coffin flash once more, then grow faint. The ethereal bands of energy seep fully into the coffin. Inside, behind the opaque surface, the young Larsya stares out, eyes wide, her dark hair streaked with white. A black eyepatch dangles from her fingertip, frozen in time. Brieson remains still for a moment, watching the coffin, his eyes focused on Larsya, waiting for any change... A dark shadow slinks through the grass along the edge of the forest. Brieson nods, having waited along enough, and seemingly satisifed. Brieson says, "...it worked for now." Brieson moves to a sitting position. Brieson slowly empties his lungs. Brieson asks, "Now...what...the hell happened?"
Another subtle point is that the epochxin arrow was very fragile, it "melted" or disintegrated immediately after it was used. A similar quality was possessed by the daggers later used to poison Kragnack. This is also an example of Brieson stating his prior familiarity with the poison from tomes in Nydds. He would later emphasize a particular book by two Faendryl brothers, but he brought multiple tomes back from Nydds. The instances of Brieson speaking of Nydds are not enough to imply Pylasar nudged him toward the books, but Pylasar had relevant recollections pointing to the Southron Wastes.
Aydan quietly says, "An arrow from the docks. Crack shot. Mynon managed to get her mostly out of the way, but it grazed her neck." The mirror images surrounding Regwen undulate and grow stronger. Regwen renews her songs. Speaking angrily to Brieson, Jesyme says, "She was shot at, with a black arrow." Lylia says, "She was stung by an arrow that flew past her. Mynon pushed her out of the way of the full force of it, but..." Siierra carefully surveys her surroundings. Lylia nods at Aydan. Rtune nods at Aydan. Stormyrain folds her arms over her chest. Brieson asks, "Was anyone else hit?" A large cloud slides across the moon, darkening the sky and momentarily blocking Melgorehn's peak from view. Brieson asks, "Where is the arrow?" Goldstr says, "Arrow from da shadows grazed her neck." Rubi looks over at Brieson and shakes his head. Kyulen gazes up into the sky. Cryheart says, "I think not." Aydan says, "It dissolved." Stormyrain says, "The arrow immediately ..well melted really." Geijon nods. Jesyme says, "It disintegrated." Rubi says, "It melted." Kyulen gazes up into the heavens. Irar says, "Disappeared." Speaking to Brieson, Hapenlok says, "It dissolved." Cruxophim nods absently. Hapenlok growls ferociously! Stormyrain says, "As if it was coated in acid." Chamorr heartily says, "Arrow poofed." Mynon says, "I...was not hit." Cryheart says, "Thankfully Mynon pushed her aside." Mohrgan nods. Cryheart nods at Brieson. Evia's acorn amulet flickers various shades of yellow. Lylia says, "Bourthian soldiers chased after the direction of the shot. No others were hit, it seems." Brieson swears long, loud and well. Shinann nods at Cryheart. Sareyna says, "An arroew poisened apparantly grazed her mynon pushed her away saving her immediate life." Speaking to Brieson, Bekke says, "She was only grazed. Therefore she may have a chance." Bristenn remarks, "And we've no word from the baron's men whether or not the archer was found." Brieson says, "Sorry...I don't swear usually." Brieson swears long, loud and well. Brieson says, "If it had struck true, she'd be gone in seconds." Brieson says, "If I'm to believe the tomes true." Speaking to Brieson, you ask, "And which tomes would those be?" Rtune asks, "Yew has hears of an arrow like that?" Lylia says, "This is something you have seen before, then?" Aydan asks, "This is something you've read about, then?" Brieson says, "I'll need to be to Nydds immediately. If I recall that's where it was read." Brieson says, "An arrow? No." Brieson says, "But a poison, yes." Brieson says, "But I cannot for the life of me, remember even what tome I read it from. Perhaps I will, when I regain some...measure of composure." Brieson says, "I do not know if I am strong enough to go tonight." (edit) Brieson says, "She's safe for now." Brieson says, "You all, and..." Brieson points at the mountain Brieson says, "She needs to remain close. The Outpost will do." Brieson says, "I...I'm going to have some soldiers take the coffin inside. I'm going to send for Thadston. We'll send word to the Baron." Brieson sighs. Stormyrain whispers to the group, "..I'd like to mention that the Lady did state earlier that the Prelate told her that Koar had plans for her. Mayhaps those plans included being a sacrificial lamb so he can openly wage war on the 'darkness' here. This does not feel like a simple Rook attack." Brieson says, "I will send for Thadston." Brieson says, "Let me get this coffin inside." Brieson asks, "Who would do this?"
- Consequence of Poison
Note that, strictly speaking, the extremely aged condition is Larsya in a paragon state, rather than under the active epochxin venom. This is the effect the epochxin had brought her to by the time it was halted.
Young You see Lady Larsya Caulfield. She appears to be a Human from Bourth. She is short and appears to be extremely young. She has long-lashed violet eyes and tanned skin. She has very long, ringleted dark tawny hair. She has a narrow face, a freckled nose and a single hawk feather braided into the right side of her hair. She is in good shape. She is wearing a midnight black eyepatch, a chipped glass vial, a delicate lagoon opal ring, a small rose, a lion skin quiver, a crystal amulet, a gold-veined pure white Koar symbol, a silk-lined white leather cloak, a mother-of-pearl clasp bathed in blue green lagoon opals, a thin gold-stringed white leather satchel, some supple dark leather hunts, a black and white iron signet ring, a small feed pouch, a narrow dark back sling, some slim dark leggings, a pair of brown suede knee-boots, and a curved elven-crafted wyrwood longbow. Extremely Aged You see Lady Larsya Caulfield. She appears to be a Human from Bourth. She is short. She appears to be withered with age. She has very tired violet eyes and wrinkled skin. She has long and thin, frazzled bone white hair. She has a creased face, a splotch-marked nose and bent shoulders. Her back is gnarled, her form stooped over. Her scalp is spotted and discolored, haphazardly covered with clumps of frazzled white hair. She is in good shape. She is wearing a midnight black eyepatch, a chipped glass vial, a delicate lagoon opal ring, a small rose, a lion skin quiver, a crystal amulet, a silk-lined white leather cloak, a mother-of-pearl clasp bathed in blue green lagoon opals, a thin gold-stringed white leather satchel, some supple dark leather hunts, a black and white iron signet ring, a small feed pouch, a narrow dark back sling, some slim dark leggings, a pair of brown suede knee-boots, and a curved elven-crafted wyrwood longbow.
- Praxopius' Reinvention
While working from samples of Larsya's blood and possibly anti-Everblood, it is known that Praxopius inflicted epochxin on a half-krolvin during his experiments in 5118 Modern Era, as the half-krolvin was seen rapidly aging and then crumbled. There is not much to suggest the Raznel curse in it, other than hair falling out. The frazzled white hair, gasping, coughing, veins standing out, thinning flesh, and eyes glazing over with a thin opaque film, were all epochxin poisoning symptoms previously seen after Larsya was nicked with an arrow that was black as night and melted as if by a strange acid.
Someone shouts nearby, "He...he looked horrible!...he...he ran out of the gate!" [The group proceeds with a search outside town.] A gnarled figure rushes off nearby, stumbling, nearly tripping, bouncing off a tree as it shambles into the darkness of the woods. [The search continues through the Lower Dragonsclaw and eventually...] [Lower Dragonsclaw, Forest] You realize that you have been climbing steadily, if gradually, as the vegetation changes to the rugged pines and firs that thrive in the higher elevations. The subtle herbal scent of the lower forest has been replaced by the pungent aroma of pine. A gnarled figure shambles by, thin arms clawing at his face and neck. The figure appears to be a half-krolvin, but very, very aged. His scalp is discolored and patchy, with frazzled threads of bone white hair that seem to be shedding with each movement. The half-krolvin gasps, coughing and wheezing ,veins spreading along his thin, sallow arms and legs. The half-krolvin turns and looks at you, eyes wide in pain, yet glazed with a thin opaque film. Then just like that, the body begins to crumble apart like sand or dust, any remnants tossed about by the storm's wind.
The Ever-Blood, as I have called it. Using Drangell's cursed blood opened new opportunities for me with magic. Eventually I was able to summon forth an entire army of flesh golems, each one bearing my face. The perfect tribute to a creator. I have only begun my initial research, but it appears some of the ever-blood golems have taken on even minute details, like my tone of voice and mannerisms. I hope by further exploration I can determine whether they even possess memories or fragments of my power. I can only fathom the opportunities if either is the case. ... With a host of demons and golems at my control, immortality coursing through my veins, and the knowledge of the ancients flowing from my mind, I cannot help but pause and appreciate that I have accomplished as a human what none of my kind ever has. Even the elves with their longevity and their favor among the Arkati could not rival the heights of glory that await me. I have reached a critical yet inevitable apex of my journey. ... I stand on the cusp of greatness now. My enemies rally, thinking they have found an ally to help them against me. In truth? They are nothing but pawns in our battle. A war between beliefs. A war they refuse to accept I have won. I will have my creation returned, its power unmatched by any mortal being. I will have my weapon, but most of all, I will have my accomplishment. Who can challenge me on the power beyond the Arkati, when I wield the same life-creating force they do? Will I ascend to a place among them? No, instead I will set in motion the twilight of the Arkati. With my knowledge and with my help, the races that now act as servants will rise up and out of their mortal coils, unlocking their innate power that has been secreted away for too long. The power they worship will become the power they control. I will be seen as their salvation as I lead them into the new Age of Ascension. I am Grishom Stone, and I am beyond the Arkati. As are you. - "Beyond the Arkati" by Grishom Stone, written apparently in late 5111 or very early 5112 Modern Era
Everblood originates in the troll curse of Drangell. Implicitly, Raznel must have used primal blood in her devising of the curse, so the relationship to trolls is misleading. Everblood may be spread directly from being shared between hosts. In other words, it is auto-catalytic, it transforms the host. The host then has the Everblood in their own veins, and their flesh restores to its prior form, following injuries. Those with Everblood are effectively immortal, unless poisoned with the anti-Everblood. Memories to some extent are stored in the Everblood. Thus, the host is able to be reconstituted, even when obliterated. Grishom Stone made his "flesh golem" clones of himself using the Everblood, and discovered they even mimic his tones and mannerisms. The alchemical roots of Everblood in demon blood was discovered on a "hastily-scrawled paper scrap" in a pack of Raznel's in 5116 Modern Era.
Purified Everblood essence is made simply by distilling ebon-swirled primal blood in an alembic. This is an actual mechanically existing alchemy process, provided you possess a vial of ebon-swirled primal blood. As such, Everblood and epochxin are essentially the same substance, differing mostly in their effect on the body. This may even just be a matter of whether the flesh of the body is synched the blood instead of out of synch with it. There is not a known way to make actual Everblood out of the purified Everblood essence component. Everblood generally causes healing of all wounds.
He rose gradually from his small bed, nausea building slowly in his gut. He clenched his jaw, fighting back the natural instinct. For a moment, time stood still, then the sickness quieted once more. His bare feet felt the cold of the brass floor beneath him as he paced in the darkness. He felt his skin shift, as a jagged mass of scars on his right arm stretched, flattened, and then faded. He moved to the window, not seeing it, but sensing it. Feeling it, knowing it. - Cross into Shadows, Prologue 4 (Imaerasta 4, 5114 Modern Era) (Note: This is Grishom Stone only slowly healing in the Brass Tower, having previously been drained of almost all of his blood by Nysorm. His eyes were missing, but blue specks would form in them, and he could magically make a Seer vision orb from them that others could witness events through. It illustrates how the Everblood erases wounds and scars as if they had never existed.)
There are apparently nuances in the strength of this effect. Drangell had displayed the extreme ability to suddenly heal all wounds, and rise right back up, upon being killed. In contrast there is the case of Grishom Stone, who was imprisoned under Winter's Manor during the War of Shadows, attached to a network of bloody tendrils. This is reminiscent of the way Raznel had strung up Mynalari Anodheles in the process of bleeding her and transforming her into a paragon (in a later storyline but the historical past). Stone was being relentlessly tortured by Nysorm, another member of the Arcane Eyes with whom there was bad history, who was killed in the process of freeing Stone and whose body was then taken by the shadows. Stone's whole body was stabbed and mutilated and his eyes were missing. While Stone was then imprisoned in the Brass Tower, he slowly healed from his injuries rather than suddenly. This could potentially be explained by the tendrils having kept the amount of Everblood in him low to maximize his suffering. This seems necessary because Stone was scarred. Though Nysorm claimed it was not just torture, he had tried and failed to kill Stone a thousand times.
[The Chamber of Eyes] The ceiling of the chamber ascends into the darkness above, where huge oily red veins coil down like large, sticky red ribbons. The far wall is not stone, but instead living, shifting flesh that is covered by hundreds of giant silver eyes. In the massive iris of each eye, images flutter rapidly, changing from faces to landscapes. Beneath the eyes, a vast network of blood-soaked tendrils are attached to a male human, his eyes empty sockets, and hundreds of scars marring his form. You also see a moldy cinnamon cupcake, a small white pearl, a smooth bone wand, a star sapphire, a yellow sapphire, a pink sapphire, an uncut diamond, a pink sapphire, a badly damaged monir trunk, a stale orange tart, a small white pearl, a velvet snood, a crystal amulet, a medium black pearl, an uncut emerald, a crystal core, a large white pearl, a fresh cherry doughnut, a solid moonstone cube, a star sapphire, some wolifrew lichen, a blue spinel, a pale thanot wand, a green garnet, the Rozy disk, a scattering of deathstone granules, an uncut emerald, a medium white pearl, a shimmering scroll, a plain iron coffer, a star ruby, a golden topaz, the Lylia disk, an engraved brass trunk and the translucent Grhim disk. Also here: Scribe Ardwen, Khastle, Rozy, Alasatia, Lady Lylia, Rowmi, Grhim Obvious exits: west Protected by a crystallized surface, the giant silver eyes intermittently blink while being spread out in the hundreds across the shifting wall of living flesh. Glistening, oily blood soaks the entire length of each tendril, which bulges out of the flesh wall like writhing crimson vines. Each tendril is latched onto some spot of the man's flesh, both binding him, and siphoning from him. Ardwen bashes at the blood-soaked tendril with his lochaber axe! The blood-soaked tendril suddenly releases a high-pitched shriek and withers up, detaching itself from the human prisoner and recoiling back into the wall of flesh. Nysorm's spirit cries out and his body is suddenly engulged in black flames! The smell of burning flesh fills the area. The crystallize barrier about the giant silver eye suddenly shatters completely, and the eyeball inside explodes outward with a sickening and foul-smelling splatter! The bloody red tendrils begin to spasm, dark liquid gushing out of them as they slowly coil up. The scarred man within the network of coils begins to groan, faintly struggling against the tendrils. Slowly, one blood red tendril rises into the darkness above. Like bloody ribbons, the tendrils slowly detach from their prisoner, one by one, leaving gruesome wounds and scars in their place. Finally, the last tenril peels from the flesh of the prisoner, coiling up into the darkness. With a faint sigh, Grishom Stone is left freed. Grishom slowly empties his lungs. Grishom weakly says, "....thank you."
Then when Stone had been cut free of the tendrils, where he coughed but was not visibly healing, he looked like this:
You see Grishom Stone the Red Summoner. He appears to be a Human. He is taller than average and appears to be in the prime of life. He has dark empty sockets for eyes and pale skin. He has short, sleek raven-hued hair matted with dried blood. He has a scar-covered face, a thin nose and a series of gruesome scars and bruises covering his body. He is in good shape. He is holding a gleaming rune-scribed maul in his right hand. He is wearing some bloodstained torn black pants.
But then he was struck down with a cast of immolation, and the everblood soon caused him to self-resurrect:
Soullslayur gestures at Grishom. CS: +553 - TD: +367 + CvA: +25 + d100: +27 == +238 Warding failed! Small flames of yellow and orange hues begin to lick at Grishom. Before long, the flames grow more violent, reaching hungrily up his body. He falls to the ground and the flames engulf him. Black smoke rises in tendrils from the large blaze around Grishom as he burns. * Grishom was just incinerated! * Grishom drops dead at your feet! Dergoatean says, "That's... a temporary victory for somebody." Blood pools over Grishom's body like crimson water, life soon restoring to him.
Of particular interest in this situation is that the crystal eyes were being fueled with Stone's blood and powers, which turned them into a "giant, macabre scrying device" for Elithain Cross. This implicitly means it was partly powered on the Everblood, though that is not the source of Stone's mentalism. Lord Winter was a false persona of Elithain Cross's, and his manor's walls were filled with red veins. Without Stone strung up in it, Cross lost his powerful scrying device. Stone's wounds slowly began to heal, but his mind was reeling from years of "prolonged enslavement and abuse." When Grishom Stone had been defeated two years earlier, Elithain Cross had acquired a power scepter that would turn Stone into stone, and then adventurers smashed the stone statue into pieces. The eyes were taken. Since Stone had give himself the everblood, having infused it into himself from Drangell, it turned out it was not possible to kill him. His body (except for his eyes) presumably put itself back together again, and Nysorm and Cross kept him drained of his Everblood under Winter's Manor. There is some reference to Drangell in his troll form as having been able to make himself bigger and more powerful as well.
While Lord Brieson Cassle had surmised in fall 5116 Modern Era that the solution for epochxin and Everblood would be joined at the hip, there was never any need to try to invent such a solution. Raznel left the formula for the anti-Everblood in a pack with other belongings in the Hendoran outpost. This included indications, such as the iguanoids and a pale arachnid, that the Southron Wastes were important. When the formula was actually made with the alchemical ingredients, loresinging revealed that the tar-like black salve would render those with Everblood mortal. There is a degree of ambiguity in this as Disean is said to have been cured of Everblood with the salve, but others such as Drangell were not merely made mortal, but completely melted into black ichor under its effect. This could maybe have something to do with how complete the Everblood transformation is in the host.
However, rather than being a cure for Everblood per se, the tar-like black salve cannibalized the Everblood. Apparently making more of itself at expense of the Everblood. Thus, those with Everblood are killed if exposed to the salve, which causes them to melt and collapse into black ichor. This happens on some time delay but is fairly rapid. Both Drangell and Chaston Griffin melted and crumbled from it. While Grishom Stone himself has Everblood, this would not work on him. His blood magic transformation of the Star of Khar'ta gives him the ability to rip out foreign agents from blood. This was illustrated when he removed the anti-magic poison from Cruxophim, afflicted from the first Rone vigilante (Malluch Burdos) and devised by Praxopius, and Stone simultaneously corrupted Evician with Cruxophim's lichborn cursed condition as a balance factor in the process as they were both Aelotoi.
- Chaston Griffin Death
The messaging from when Chaston Griffin died makes a strong implication that his body was turning into the tar-like black salve, which suggest that the salve creates more of itself by cannibalizing the Everblood. Drangell also melted into a black puddle.
Chaston's abdomen melts, crumbling apart, his legs melting to black tar. Chaston reaches out with an blood-soaked hand, touching the base of the blood marble obelisk. He prays, and coughs, ichor dripping out from his mouth. His golden eyes go black as night. The rest of his body soon melts into a pile of gooey black tar. The runes along the obelisk flash with a bright crimson light! (Cruxophim splashes the obelisk with the tar-like black salve, for good measure.) Suddenly, the obelisk bursts open like an obsidian egg, and a bright blood red pillar of light bursts up from the obelisk and temporarily blinds you! The blast fires up into the darkness!
- Drangell Death
The following clip leaves in some hits to illustrate Drangell being hit in this state, as well as him having unhealed injuries. The tar was rotting away his flesh and leaking off him, apparently converting his body into more tar. It is not entirely clear what Rodnay did with the disappearing. Like other related deaths, Drangell is seen coughing up black ichor, and his throat is filling with it as he is dying. However, a number of symptoms of his decay, such as his teeth rapidly breaking and his hair reportedly falling out, are consistent instead with the Raznel leprosy affliction. The ichor coming out of stab wounds is consistent with Rysus. His eyes also bursts, like Lana did, and like other deaths he is trying to laugh. His death throes unrepentance about Cosima is reminicent of Raznel's death. His whole body turns into the tar ("a tar-like lump") and then in the end it "dissipates" away entirely.
Black tar-like liquid seeps along Drangell's flesh. Drangell stands up. With no room to spare, Drangell blocks the attack with his polished white greatshield! You remove a twohanded sword edged with a tar-like black substance from in your threaded war harness. Suddenly, all of Drangell's wounds heal! Tar black liquid drips from Drangell. Drangell can be seen stumbling towards the mines outside of Talador. His skin has various spots of black tar-like patches, where the flesh seems to be slowly rotting in circles around it. As Drangell moves through the tunnel, the cobwebs slow his movement. Drangell just went east. Evia [Local]: "Drangell's hair was falling out in clumps." BOOM! A huge explosion rocks the mines. [Talador Mines, Tunnel End] Huge scorchmarks have blackened the walls of the shadowy tunnel, and only a few glowing worms cling to their surface. The dim light from the worms causes some heavy cobwebs to glisten. You also see a long thorny vine, a small piece of blood marble, the Fulmen disk, the Hapenlok disk, the Dergoatean disk, the Irar disk, a twisted blackened bone pillar and an ashen cracked bone pillar. Also here: a stunned Drangell, Meril, Alasatia, Mayor Puptilian, Fulmen, Relic Hunter Harkel, Jiarine, Fyonn, Ephya, Blade Aurach who is lying down, Kayse, Rowmi, Hapenlok, Magister Raelee, Scribe Mynon, Sir Aydan, Dergoatean, Lady Jodia, Great Lord Irar Obvious exits: north Rubi, Mohrgan, Vohndolarr, Evia, Katiesa, Sekoridin, Aeavenne, Madmountan, Panndoris, Kembal, Goldstr, Sareyna, Lehon, Leafiara, Regwen, Avalera, Nolofinwe, Ulkov, Archales and Cryheart followed. Mynon swings a jagged glaes bastard axe at Drangell! Some heavy enruned white armor partially deflects the onslaught of the slashing attack. AS: +665 vs DS: +425 with AvD: +23 + d100 roll: +59 = +322 ... and hits for 8 points of damage! Deft slash across chest draws blood! Drangell takes a deep breath. Bits of flesh fly off of Drangell. They do not heal. Alasatia chants a short phrase, embers leaping from her fingertips, as she clenches her hand into a smoke-shrouded fist. Alasatia gestures at Drangell. CS: +556 - TD: +490 + CvA: -21 + d100: +89 - -5 == +139 Warding failed! Small flames of yellow and orange hues begin to lick at Drangell. Before long, the flames grow more violent, reaching hungrily up his body. He falls to the floor and the flames engulf him. Black smoke rises in tendrils from the large blaze around Drangell as he burns. * Drangell drops dead at your feet! * Drangell was just incinerated! * Drangell just gave up the ghost! Out of the corner of your eye, a young blue-skinned boy appears, his eyes pupil-less and pale green. He raises one hand, and Drangell's body disappears. You see Drangell the Wrathbringer of the God-King. He appears to be a Giantman. He is average height and appears to be in the prime of life. He has brooding dark amber eyes and tanned skin. He has a bald head. He has a fleshy face and a large nose. He has various spots of tar-black liquid stuck to his flesh, and the skin seems to be slowly rotting around each patch. He appears to be DEAD! He has snapped bones and serious bleeding from the neck, a completely severed right arm, a completely severed left arm, a completely severed right leg, a completely severed left leg, a completely severed right hand, a completely severed left hand, deep gashes and serious bleeding from his chest, deep gashes and serious bleeding from his abdominal area, deep gashes and serious bleeding from his back, a blinded right eye, a blinded left eye, a case of uncontrollable convulsions, and severe head trauma and bleeding from the ears. He is bleeding profusely from the right arm, profusely from the head, profusely from the left leg, profusely from the abdomen, profusely from the neck, profusely from the left arm, profusely from the right leg, slightly from the back, slightly from the left hand, slightly from the right hand, and profusely from the chest. He is holding a huge glowing white axe in his right hand and a heavy polished white greatshield emblazoned with a golden crown in his left hand. He is wearing some engraved blood marble prayerbeads, some heavy enruned white armor, a pair of faded grey trousers, a thick steel-buckled belt, a gold-tooled white leather pack, a pair of spike-toed boots, and a heavy black orc hide greatcloak. Drangell cranes his neck, trying to rise. (Geijon leans down and whispers, "Drangell.") The ghostly voice of Drangell says, "Cosima..." The ghostly voice of Drangell says, "I'd do it again a hundred...." Drangell coughs, spewing more black ichor. The ghostly voice of Drangell says, "I'm sure I'll see that...lil' whore...again..." Drangell coughs, and more black muck shoots up from his corpse after Mynon stabs him. Speaking to Drangell, you say, "I told you I'd see you die, bastard." Drangell opens his mouth to speak, to spit, to swear, to shout. But his throat is filled with vile black liquid and his teeth rot before your eyes. The skin of his lips melt away, and his throat begins to rot quickly, more ichor spilling out. An eyeball pops with a squishy sound, then the other. His gnarled face scowls, and tries to laugh, before his flesh is nothing more then a tar-like lump before it dissipates away entirely.
The alchemical formula for the anti-Everblood was found on a double sided "blood-stained vellum page":
Empath Formula: tar-like black salve
- Add water
- Add ground black toadstool
- Add mashed white baneberry
- Add purified Everblood essence
- Chant Wither
Sorcerer Formula: tar-like black salve
- Add water
- Add ground black toadstool
- Add mashed white baneberry
- Add purified Everblood essence
- Chant Disintegrate
- Applied To Weapons
J>pour my salve on my sword You carefully smear the salve on your sword, making sure to evenly coat its edge with the substance. >analyze salve You analyze your tar-like black salve and sense that there is no recorded information on that item. It may or may not be able to be worked on by a merchant alterer. You get no sense of whether or not the salve may be further lightened.
While the tar-like black salve is a lethal anti-Everblood toxin, it was also the cure for the blackblood curse that afflicted half-elves and half-krolvin. Brieson tested it first on Shinann. Then he applied it some days later to other afflicted half-elves, and it cured them with various side effects. (For example, Gavrien's hair fell out and turned into ichor maggots, while Kippe's arm blackened and swelled and had to be blown off and then the fingers killed. These particular symptoms of sudden body part swelling and rapid hair loss, and the spontaneous manifestation into maggots and such, imply that those parts were Raznel's own blood being pushed out of the blackblood curse victims as the demon blood base was destroyed by the tar-like black salve.) Brieson also boiled the salve into a bubbling potion, along with unspecified minor modifications, which he applied to Larsya in her bane coffin. The interaction with her epochxin caused Larsya to stop rapidly aging, and severely slowed or even stopped her aging entirely. However, Larsya was then frozen in time, in her highly aged condition. Moreover, her mind was frozen in that moment as well, only able to proceed for a matter of seconds. Larsya would impersonate a pirate, as she was performing in a pirate play at the moment she was hit with epochxin, and then discover her body was aged and become upset and cry out for her daddy. This time loop condition continued until she was cured and restored two years later.
The "Black Blood blight" was a disease that afflicted half-elves and half-krolvin in 5116 Modern Era, which turned their blood black and even caused flames to darken when they were burned. The illness affected some adventurers, causing deleterious symptoms, as well as black veins. These were notably similar to the black veins people had after being exposed to Althedeus in the Shadow Realm, which apparently bled off and returned there when a portal to it was opened during the moving of the shadowy blood maw of the blood consuming trees in 5115 Modern Era. Harrower Ersix Severus Faendryl had noted at the time that these people seemed to have been cursed and it was lifting. The similarity suggested the concentration of "the shadows" as energy in the black blood. This would make sense given what happened later with the detonation of the blood marble obelisk.
The Blameless would execute the half-elves and half-krolvin in whole villages, claiming it was the God-King revealing their inherent corruption. However, the Blameless were draining their victims of their blood, and then burning their bodies. They were using the cursed blood to essentially fuel up blood marble for another purpose. Brieson had discerned that this was not behaving as an actual disease, that its spread seemed localized, really acting more like a controlled curse. When Chaston Griffin was dying under the effect of the anti-Everblood, he detonated an obelisk made of blood marble, where the blood marble in Talador had been essentially charged up with the cursed blood. This caused a magical explosion that transformed most of the Barony of Talador into the Bleaklands, which is gradually bleeding into the Shadow Realm once ruled by Althedeus.
The anti-Everblood salve was used to treat adventurers afflicted the black blood curse, and the recipe for making it was public and spread around widely. This very strongly implies that the black blood disease was really another form of the epochxin poison, as the anti-Everblood itself and Everblood are derivatives made from epochxin, and the application of this same formula with minor modifications halted the epochxin progression in Larsya. This suggests they were designed to be solved by the same agent and have mutual common roots. Later, Praxopius would use Larsya's cursed blood to remake the epochxin venom on a half-krol test subject, as well as new variants of the poison. This included a contagious form, later called the Blue Suffer, that would only spread among krolvin and half-krol. While this is not merely the Black Blood blight, it is proof of concept that it was derived from the same roots, and that epochxin can be designed into other bloodline targeting varieties. Since the black blood variant effectively created the Bleaklands, it also created bleakstone, and so in a downstream way is the cause of the Blight which had toxic gas that caused effects resembling oculoth possession.
In Charlatos 5117 Modern Era, Grand Magister Dennet Kestrel wore a bone mask to impersonate Rekarth, and kidnapped Lana of the Wehnimer's Landing music shop family. He was conducting experiments trying to research ways to treat or cure the sickness of his wife Reannah, who along with their children had been adversely afflicted by exposure to the Talon of Toullaire. Dennet was researching the potential of plinite to help sustain her, and half a year later would eventually use plinite infused pylons under Melgorehn's Reach to temporarily keep her stable until her consciousness could be transferred by Quinshon into a host body. This would be a half-sylvan and ultimately they chose Shinann. The ritual was interrupted and failed, after having previously failed for Cyph Kestrel with a deceased host, and fragments of Reannah's mind still exist in Shinann.
However, this early experiment with plinite levels in the blood went horribly wrong, and clearly was not just plinite. Lana was released or escaped while terminally ill with what is obviously some variety of epochxin poisoning. She gruesomely exploded and disintegrated in an eruption of black blood after exiting an invisible portal near Melgorehn's Reach, having been in the underground chamber where Dennet and Reannah later died, and where Raznel herself would ultimately die two years later. The idea was likely to try to reverse Reannah's condition through an Everblood pathway.
The young girl looks up, her brown eyes blackening, the flesh of her face bubbling. Her eyeballs explode outwardly with a loud and sticky POP! She screams, but soon even her voice is stiffled, as a torrent of greenish-black blood rushes up from her throat, bathing her neck and chest in its bile liquid. She digs at the ground, for it is all she knows left to do, as if by instinct, preparing her own grave. She digs and cries and screams, and in a matter of moments, her body crumbles apart, no different than the plinite dust.
When Raznel was young, and known as Naimorai Kestrel, she was corrupted by the Talon of Toullaire. This was a "siphon stone" which has the chaos of the Wizardwaste absorbed within it. It made her develop an unstable necromantic power, such that she could accidentally injure or kill others by touching them. (For example, Rysus the leader of the Rooks became crippled with a curse, having gone toward her in an invasion of the Hendoran outpost.) While she learned to control this power so that it was not involuntary, eventually her body began failing as a result of this corruption. She may have had her sanity deteriorating under it as well, but she was increasingly haunted by miscarriages. In order to preserve herself forever, she used what she had learned of epochxin, and created a kind of horcrux that came to be known as "paragons". In a flashback vision she attributed her knowledge of how this works to "the Ageless One", which was an obscure epithet for Xorus, which went unrecognized though Pylasar strongly implied it by looking at Xorus in that moment. Cordarius Hodges of the Hall of Mages would later refer to Xorus as the "Father of Naimorai's magic" during Pylasar's trial.
The original form that paragons took was a body strung up in a quasi-alive state with the demon blood in them. These would be connected to her own blood. Raznel was known for using mediating creatures in her witchcraft, such as scarabs or maggots, which she learned from her blood father Quinshon. So long as the paragons existed, she would be able to restore herself physically, similar to the Everblood but more difficult to destroy. These were hidden in pocket dimensions of time throughout history, where the paragon was unaware of their own condition, surrounded by a reality shaped by their own mind. Therefore destroying the paragons required not just finding them in space, but finding "when" they were located. She used prominent historical figures who were known to have died or gone missing in given years, probably to avoid disrupting the timeline leading to her own existence.
Mynalari hangs suspended from a cavern ceiling, sharp hooks wedged into her back, and countless thin black ribbons like shadowy veins dangle from pores along her bare flesh, arms, legs, torso, neck, breasts. The veins seem to throb, almost pulsing, like the lump of a mouse squirming through the belly of a serpent as it meets its final demise. Below, standing half in light, half in shadow, Peter and Rachel observe the woman as blood slowly flows out of her body. Pylasar begins to turn his head to look away from the water. Chrysamber melodically says, "Reflect Peter. Reflect." Pylasar slowly empties his lungs. Within the water, Rachel moves closer to Mynalari's body as the blood continues to be siphoned from her broken frame. She reaches into a jar and removes black worms, each one glistening with incarnadine rings around their bulbous forms. She places one worm at Mynalari's throat, and it makes a sucking sound as it leeches into her skin. She places a second at her abdomen, a third at her waist. Dozens more are placed and eerie, unnatural cries echo from the hanging woman as her body writhes in endless agony. Peter stands, still in light and shadow, squirming, his cheeks sunken, his eyes so, so tired. Rachel looks back, unphased, "Be a dear Peter, grab the next jar please." Pylasar stumbles forward as if dropping something. Rachel almost hisses, "Did you do that on purpose Peter?" Pylasar asks, "I...I'm sorry. I'll grab....I'll grab more. Must we? With her? Haven't we done enough?" Rachel hisses, "Wait here. Continue to bleed her. You can do that, can't you? I'll fetch more." Within the waters, Peter steps forward as Rachel disappears from view. Peter comes near the woman, who hangs upside down still, her eyes bloodshot and bulging, her face red, yet pale. Her body squirms almost endlessly now and she flinches as he tries to touch her face. Pylasar says, "I will make it quick. You will be the last. I promise. This does not help you. But you will be the last." From within the waters, Peter pulls out a jar of black red-ringed worms and uncorks the top. He looks around, notices he is still alone, and opens the jar. (Note: These veins are the same way Grishom Stone was being blood leeched in Winter's Manor in 5114 Modern Era, a few years prior to Naimorai Kestrel's presence and learning dark magic. This suggests the method came from Raznel, but also suggests it was in turn taught to Naimorai who became Raznel. The flesh wall is implicitly in the cavern. Mynalari as paragon notably herself had black veins.)
This was an extended process of torture. Jerram Happersett claimed he had escaped at one point, before they were finished, but Peter found him and brought him back. The black veins and flesh wall remain in the finished state with the cocoon:
[Bleakands, Deep Cavern] The walls of the cavern are covered in patches of misshapen flesh, each connected to the next by a series of ichor-covered black veins. Tiny globules of blood drip slowly from the high ceiling. You also see a translucent pale silver cocoon, a row of huge ashen pods and a row of huge ashen pods. Also here: Lord Pylasar, Lazaryth, Nodyre, Mistress Berkana, Blades, Stormyrain, Maags, Darcena, Ysharra, Magister Raelee, Lord Thadston, Lady Regwen, Karthas, Rykul, Felarion, Xanlin, Lady Shaelethe, Relic Hunter Madmountan, Malifren, Melikor, Event Planner Leafiara, Ryjex, Dame Evia, Shinann, Pietra, Falvicar, Teiana, Lord Chamorr, Tsarok, Lkyl, Daniels, Daiyon, Xorus, Mayor Lylia, Lady Erienne, Cruxophim, Alasatia, Land Pirate Maylan, Lord Darconas, Sir Cryheart Obvious paths: west J>look cocoon A frail, shriveled dwarven body is encased inside of the translucent pale silver cocoon. J>look pod Dozens of pods run in a row along the cavern wall. Blood red veins stretch along their translucent, silk like casing. Flecks of ash swirl about within.
There had been visions about destroying the paragons, later more or less confirmed to have been sent by Grishom Stone, and Praxopius made a comment once calling Larsya's blood a kind of "paragon". Larsya was also revealed to be connected to Raznel in the process of being cured, who carved the date into the flesh of Larsya's arm while possessing her. It was later discovered that Larsya was herself a paragon, when it was understood what paragons were to Raznel. Pylasar had regained significant memory of the paragons and where to find them through a ritual performed by Xorus on Melgorehn's Reach. (Quinshon also made a deal with Pylasar to help find some of the paragons in his memory.) There was also a flashback scene where Naimorai was seen becoming consciously aware of losing that paragon, which would have been years before Larsya was inflicted with epochxin, illustrating how Naimorai (Raznel) was connected to the paragons through time both in the past and future. While Larsya was cured before the process was complete, the original paragons all had to be destroyed. This involved the paragons, who appeared as projected manifestations, becoming aware of their true condition and more or less losing the will to keep existing. Larsya was perpetually discovering her own condition in a time loop, and was never put into her own time pocket dimension. This was a new method of paragon creation, and it was thought that Raznel was ultimately planning on making paragons of everyone she had ever taken blood from, making herself virtually indestructible. Raznel had planned to make this switch as the Bleakworld was forming, which was timed for when the last of her old paragons were destroyed, but she was found and killed at just the right moment.
The rough idea of the Bleakworld was a temporally warped hellscape where a vast array of paragons would sustain Raznel, who was herself in a cocoon like that of the original paragons, and she would be able to project herself like the paragons were able to within their temporal pocket dimensions. Implicitly, since Larsya was one of the paragons, that means the paragon variant of the poison is created by mixing the epochxin venom with a form of the anti-Everblood toxin in the host. These were both pieces of knowledge available to Raznel in her youth as Naimorai, when she was living in the Hendoran outpost with the cursed Larsya, after Brieson had stabilized Larsya's aging with the anti-Everblood and Larsya was no longer confined to the bane coffin. Naimorai most likely had access to Brieson's notes on the subject as her father was a Grand Magister. It is likely not as simple as "epochxin venom plus anti-Everblood", however, because the substance likely had something in it to tether Larsya to Raznel as a temporal anchor. Praxopius included Bleakland soil in her cure because of its similarity to the Wizardwaste and surmising the poison tied back to a place similar to the Bleaklands. If taken on face value, Praxopius was acting as though he was unaware of how the Bleaklands were created, which was through the black blood contagion. But there were already ill krolvin in his ship and the Glaoveln invasion was only two weeks later. He was likely feigning ignorance on the subject.
- Known Paragons
There were only a handful of paragons known to exist. Pylasar claimed at one point that the further apart in time they were, the more useful they were for supporting Raznel. There was supposedly a limit on how closely she could usefully space them in years. However, the temporal bubble realities of Jerram Happersett and Brumas Brightforge were entangled with each other, causing adventurers to unstably shift between them. While Happersett was destroyed that night, Brumas' projection escaped out the portal. This meant that Brumas' body was exposed in our own time deep inside the Bleaklands, though it was not the Bleaklands yet when he was created. This allowed Brumas to run rampant as projection until his body was eventually found. Paragons (with exception of Larsya) are suspended in cocoons, though the cocoon was only sometimes encountered.
|Paragon||Order Made||Order Destroyed||Destruction|
|Deshal||???||3||Witchful Thinking - 5119-09-07 - Blood Reign|
|Jerram Happersett||???||4||Witchful Thinking - 5119-09-21 - Worlds Collide|
|Brumas Brightforge||???||9||Witchful Thinking - 5119-11-30 - Concluding a Deathwitch (log)|
|Harland the Bastard||???||6||Witchful Thinking - 5119-11-15 - Day of Reckoning|
|Oronthal Jalcon||6||5||Witchful Thinking - 5119-09-27 - O'er the Ramparts He Watched|
|Mynalari Anodheles||7||2||Witchful Thinking - 5119-08-21 - Instantiation of Imagination|
|Larsya Caulfield||8||1||The Rone Resurgence - 5118-10-05 and 5118-10-07 - Two Tales of Larsya|
|Abygail Wellington / Stiletto||9||8||Witchful Thinking - 5119-11-23 - Meaning of a Hero (Note: Abygail went missing months earlier than Stiletto)|
|Raznel||10 (or 1)||10||Witchful Thinking - 5119-11-30 - Concluding a Deathwitch|
The cocoons were sometimes seen as containing black ichor, and there was black ichor when Abygail and Stiletto were corporeally killed. The paragon projections in general had their flesh flake away, or hair fall out, and their apparent-bodies crumbled into ash. This is very similar to the deaths of Rysus, Praxopius, and Kragnack. In contrast, Drangell and Chaston melted, into liquid. Epochxin deaths also involve crumbling into dust. What is ambiguous with the death of the paragons is that their true bodies were sometimes not encountered. It was sufficient for the paragon to become aware of its actual condition and remember what happened to it. Larsya would periodically discover her aged condition, but she was not yet a fully transformed paragon. Raznel was making herself into a kind of supreme paragon, but she (maybe) had no adverse conditions or limitations when exiting her cocoon.
This suggests that the completed paragon transformation is an inherently unstable state that requires the mind of the paragon to be twisted up in delusion and lacking self-awareness. The temporal pocket realities become shaped by the paragon, who exist as a twisted and demented version of themselves. This time pocket collapses without the contained mind of the paragon. In the case of Brumas this meant his body became physically present in the present time. Judging by the creation of the unnamed woman, who flickered out of existence, it might be that a fully transformed paragon is utterly frozen in time. Their body becomes fixed in a moment of time, and then the rest of the world keeps moving past them. This requires time magic to go into the past to find that frozen moment. Without this mind buffer holding the penultimate stasis, it might be that the epochxin in their blood crumbles them.
Xorus (and to some extent Brieson earlier) theorized that epochxin works as it does from being temporally frozen. The processed variants of epochxin then have their different effects as a consequence of how the poison is interacting with the body. Xorus has theorized that since the epochxin in essence does not experience time, everything that happens is effectively simultaneous for it. Which means that when there is more epochxin made, it is in a causal link with all the other epochxin that has ever existed, and this would be the basis for it being used as a horcrux or phylactery across all of history.
Grishom Stone had offered to cure Larsya of her condition, but her brother Breshon Caulfield did not want to cooperate with Stone. It was later determined that the real reason Stone wanted Larsya's blood was because she was part Wyrdeep elven by bloodline, and he wanted to force his way into the Deadfall forest of blood consuming trees, which are blocked off by a barrier erected by the Wyrdeep druids. Breshon was asking adventurers what they knew of his sister's condition and if she could be cured on their own. Xorus was quickly realized to have a mastery of this subject, even though he had not been present during the period of Brieson's studies, and mostly devised a cure for reversing Larsya's condition. This was before it was known what a "paragon" was, or what their function was in sustaining Raznel, and before their special role in the Bleaklands was known or understood.
Breshon invited a prominent alchemist from Estoria named Praxopius Fortney to assist in the cure development. This was a source of consternation and suspicion, as someone known as "The Alchemist" was known to have behind turning Malluch Burdos into the first Rone vigilante, and Praxopius later admitted it. Most of the work of developing the cure was done before Praxopius arrived, which he admitted he only slightly modified. This was mostly the addition of "bleaksoil", soil from the Bleaklands, which he said was itself essentially a kind of blood. (Since bleaksoil is ultimately derived from the black blood variant, it can itself be considered a variant of epochxin.) Whether this made a difference is unknown since it could be tested once, and it had to be calibrated just right, or else Larsya could melt and crumble from an adverse reaction between the poison variants.
Xorus was working on constructing a general theory on the mechanisms of the various blood curses (See: Interventions and Restoratives of Epochxin Affliction (essay)), including those of Grishom Stone, who had been working with the Everblood variant. (Stone has transformed victims in cocoons as well, for example, and it was his methods along with Ithzir blood that created Rodnay. Rodnay has exhibited self-healing properties.) He speculated that trolls acquired their self-healing powers from extraplanar transmogrification from demon venom. His cure method was premised on a formula that would convert the modified epochxin in Larsya's blood, later understood to be a paragon state, into the Everblood through the use of heat. It was a combination of essence of fire, as well as essence of regeneration from troll flesh, and the anti-Everblood. Magister Raelee Svala did elemental calculations to carefully tune it. The troll aspects would in theory help preserve Larsya's flesh, and the essence of fire would push out the sludge, with the anti-Everblood cannibalizing the Everblood being formed from the epochxin under heat. Praxopius decided bleaksoil needed to be added to it due to the nature of the Bleaklands. Praxopius also provided a low steel cylinder, which executed a sequence of Wizard time spells, which sequenced the process of temporally reverting Larsya's body to the time it was inflicted with epochxin. It was a counter-poison with the effect of pushing out the ichor maggots.
- Preparation Step
Praxopius wheels closer to Larsya, and removes a slender glass vial of reddish-brown liquid from his pack. Larsya plucks a handful of grass, and sniffs at it. Praxopius says, "Most of your work, not mine." Praxopius nods at Xorus. Xorus nods. Praxopius removes a vial of grey dirt with a label on it, "Bleak." He uncorks the vial and slowly and carefully pours the dirt into the vial of reddish-black liquid. Praxopius corks his vial of reddish-brown liquid and begins to tilt the vial from side to side, carefully mixing it. Praxopius swirls the vial carefully, the grey flecks of dirt eventually melting away within the reddish-brown liquid. Larsya exclaims, "Argghhh!" Praxopius offers Xorus a slender glass vial of reddish-brown liquid. Xorus accepts Praxopius's glass vial. Praxopius says, "She needs to drink most of it." Praxopius nods at Xorus. (edit for relevance) Larsya leans forward, the snow gently landing on her splotched and discolored scalp. (edit for relevance) Larsya scoots near Xorus, smiling, her teeth yellowed and aged. (Xorus reaches the vial forward carefully to near Larsya's lips.) Larsya sips at the vial in Xorus hand, then drinks even more. She finishes most of it, leaving only a tiny amount of liquid left in the vial. Xorus nods at Larsya. Larsya smacks her lips. Larsya smacks her lips. Larsya's face turns slightly pale. Larsya says, "Ewwwwwww." Larsya exclaims, "It tastes like armpits!" Larsya giggles. (edit for relevance) Larsya seems to slow a bit, looking about. Praxopius nods. Praxopius says, "There." Praxopius nods at Cryheart. Praxopius says, "Please, help her to her feet at once." Praxopius says, "Take us to the Dragonsclaw, outside of the hollow tree." Praxopius asks, "Do you know it?" (edit for relevance) Speaking to Praxopius, Raelee asks, "Why here?" Praxopius says, "An old favorite place of mine growing up here." Praxopius nods at Raelee. Praxopius says, "Nothing magical, beyond the fact it is away from the Reach." Larsya says, "I'm tired..." Larsya sits down. Larsya leans up against Zosopage's leg. Larsya looks up, and a lock of hair falls from her scalp. Larsya says, "My stomach hurts." Praxopius says, "Good. The Reach is no longer pulling her." Praxopius nods. Praxopius says, "We can begin." Praxopius says, "Keep her awake." Speaking to Praxopius, Ysharra says, "Can I give her anything? I have some valerian." Praxopius says, "No." Praxopius says, "Only water." Larsya exclaims, "ARGHHH!" Praxopius takes a small kit out of his pack, unlatches it, and removes a twisted low steel cylinder covered in blood red runes. Praxopius touches the cylinder, opening a small compartment, and then places a handful of crimson salt crystals inside. He touches a rune on the cylinder, and it closes shut, keeping the seamlessly smooth surface of the entire cylinder. Praxopius wheels towards Ysharra. Praxopius offers Ysharra a twisted low steel cylinder. Ysharra nods slowly at Praxopius. Ysharra accepts Praxopius's low steel cylinder. Praxopius says, "Please. Dig a bit, and put this partially in the ground." Praxopius says, "It needs to remain sturdy." (edit for relevance) Praxopius says, "Now, what is to follow is important." Praxopius says, "First, we will need those who can call upon the spell Phase." Praxopius asks, "Who can?" Praxopius asks, "Maltreis, Lylia, Melikor?" Praxopius nods. Praxopius says, "That should suffice." Praxopius says, "Do not cast out of order, until I call for you please Praxopius says, "Maltreis. Please cast Phase at the cylinder." Praxopius nods at Lylia. Maltreis's lips move in a low, hissed whisper that you can't quite make out. Larsya yawns. Maltreis gestures at a twisted low steel cylinder. Maltreis casts at the low steel cylinder and one of the runes begins to flare with strong glow. The runes along the cylinder shift slightly, taking on a new shape. (edit for relevance) Azimar begins drawing a faint, twisting symbol as he utters an arcane invocation in hushed tones... Azimar gestures at a twisted low steel cylinder. Azimar casts at the low steel cylinder and one of the runes begins to flare with strong glow. Raelee quietly asks, "... why this order? A measure to be assured the casting is performed at proper intervals?" Some runes along the cylinder slowly fade away. Praxopius says, "Excellent." Speaking to Larsya, Lylia says, "Spring water. I believe you said you were thirsty." Lylia smiles. Lylia offers Larsya a crude clay mug stamped with a thumbprint. Praxopius says, "We can add any ingredients we want to our stew to cook, but there is power and flavor in the order." Praxopius asks, "Who commands knowledge of Temporal Reversion here?" Praxopius says, "The cylinder is storing what is needed, in a specific order." Praxopius says, "In order then, as I call you." (edit for relevance) Larsya tiredly says, "Argg...." A flake of skin falls from Larsya's hand. Some more runes along the cylinder begin to fade. Praxopius says, "We are close." Praxopius says, "Then comes the hard part." Praxopius asks, "Who commands Time Stop?" Balley softly asks, "Hard part?" Praxopius says, "Watching." (edit for relevance) Larsya reaches behind her own ear, but then pulls back a few locks of hair, which she lets fall to the ground. Larsya frowns. (Raelee makes a few more quick, vague gestures following her casting.) Larsya says, "I...don't feel well.." Evia says, "Pirates always have coins behind the ears, dont'cha know." Praxopius says, "Hapenlok." Hapenlok nods at Praxopius. Hapenlok recites a series of mystical phrases while raising his hands... Hapenlok gestures at a twisted low steel cylinder. Hapenlok casts at the low steel cylinder and one of the runes begins to flare with strong glow. (Hapenlok points his runestaff at the cylinder as he completes the spell.) The final batch of runes shift and fade along the cylinder, leaving it covered in only faint, colorless runes. Larsya tries to leap up but then suddenly stops, her eyes going wide. Praxopius folds his hands on his lap.
- Transformation Step
Then the actual transformation process, with the anti-paragon restorative potion in Larsya, is guided with the sorcery and time magic, and the witch is forced out of Larsya:
The air begins to shimmer around the cylinder in the ground, and specks of dirt shift along its base. A thin ribbon of ethereal light suddenly springs forth from the cylinder and latches onto Larsya's hand. Larsya screams! Larsya exclaims, "What is what is it what is it what is it!!" Larsya shakes her hand, trying to get rid of the light. Larsya says, "It hurts it hurts it hurtsithurtsithurts..." A second bend of light leaps forth and connects to Larsya's chest. A third touches her arm, a fourth to her leg. Soon there is nearly a dozen bands of etheral light burrowing into her flesh. Larsya screams! Speaking to Larsya, Lylia asks, "Can I tell you about a time I held fire so hot, it burned my hands away?" Larsya begins to twitch. (Zosopage steadies Larsya.) Larsya grabs at Zosopage's leg, clawing at him. Larsya twitches violently, frothing at the mouth, her body twisting in an almost inhumane way, legs bending but not breaking. Larsya darkly says, "It hurtsithurtsithurts ithurts..." Larsya bares her teeth, hissing, clawing at Zosopage. She spits, she thrashes, she curses. Maltreis muses, "This could have been done with her unconscious." Praxopius says, "No." Praxopius says, "We need her awake." Larsya twists her head violently, back and forth, as if trying to bite her own face, gnashing and gnawing. She claws at Zosopage. The ethereal bands continue to flow from the cylinder to Larsya, her skin writhing and shifting as the cylinder hums and the air around it shimmers. Larsya snarls menacingly! Larsya spits and hisses, clawing at the air. Twisting and hissing, Larsya's violet eyes flash with a viridian hue momentarily. Her nose bends, turning crooked, her skin for a moment darkening slightly. Her face appears more gaunt than before, and she cackles...oh how she cackles. Evia exclaims, "Bloody hell!" Speaking sternly to Larsya, Meureii says, "Speak your name now." Larsya begins to twitch. Larsya begins to twitch. Ysharra asks, "Is this the band snapping...?" Maltreis muses, "She is beginning to resemble Raznel." Larsya says, "It hurtsithurtsithurtsithurts...." Lylia hisses, "Pain is temporary. Breathe." Hapenlok quietly says, "....no..." Larsya screams! Larsya says, "It hurtsithurtsithurts...." Larsya twitches again, her face returning to the old visage of Larsya. A streak of tawny brown hair forms along Larsya's white hair. Larsya twitches again, her eyes returning to a viridian hue, her skin browning. She cackles, clawing at Zosopage and grabbing the gold vaalin chain from his body. She wraps the chain tightly around her own neck and begins to pull. Lylia pulls Larsya to her feet. Nazarr tries to pull Larsya towards him. Meureii says, "Grab her arms.." Larsya coughs. Larsya coughs. Lylia hisses, "Not after this much effort." Speaking to Larsya, Meureii repeats, "What is your name now.." (Lylia makes a grab for the girl's hands, bending her wrists back cruelly.) Raelee quietly says, "Curious..." Larsya bends against Lylia's grip, and drops the chain near Zosopage. Lylia picks up a delicate gold vaalin chain. Larsya gnaws at the air, snapping with her teeth. A small sore begins to form on Larsya's arm. From out of the sore, a black oily maggot wiggles out of the wound in Larsya's arm, and it shrieks when exposed to the light of the cylinder's bands and burns up. Larsya winces. Xorus says, "Good." Blood drips from Larsya's wound. Praxopius says, "She needs healed." Shinann attends to Larsya's injuries with a detached air. Shinann coolly ignores her growing left arm damage as Larsya's left arm wound cleanly heals. Larsya begins to twitch. Larsya's skin takes on a slight flush as Cruxophim focuses on her. Larsya hisses. (Balley touches Larsya and starts to heal the blood.) Larsya hisses. Larsya hisses. Larsya gnaws at the air, trying to break free from Lylia's grip. Larsya seems to visibly calm. Larsya slowly empties her lungs. Lylia soothingly says, "Breathe." Larsya quietly says, "Ouch...my...arms...." Larsya winces in pain from Lylia's grip. Larsya says, "I..I am okay..." (Lylia loosens her grip and folds her handkerchief into quarters before fastidiously stashing it away.) Lylia put an embroidered sapphire silk handkerchief in her wrap. Larsya nods. Larsya takes a drink from her clay mug. Lylia softly says, "There. Just a little scratch, a little redness. Have a sip of water." Larsya suddenly smiles wickedly, and gives a wink. She swings the clay mug at Lylia's head, stunning her! She cackles and leaps forward, grabbing the short sword on the ground and turns it around, stabbing the blade into her own stomach! Larsya drops dead at your feet! (edit for relevance) Praxopius says, "No...it is not all lost." Praxopius says, "She cannot stop it now." Larsya blinks. The ribbons of light continue to burn into Larsya's skin from the cylinder. Larsya slumps to the ground, leaning up against Zosopage. Larsya sits down. Another sore opens on Larsya's hand, and a maggot peels from her flesh, burning as it hits the light. More sores peel open on Larsya's back, as maggots drop away, burning up. Larsya quietly asks, "Peter...what is happening?" Another wound and maggots appear on Larsya's leg and she winces. Larsya quietly says, "Another one then Peter...another one." Larsya begins to claw at her own skin. Her nails dig, and dig, peeling flesh as she winces. She is fast, unearthly fast, as she carves some words into her flesh, creating a wound. The bloodied words read, "Feastday, 6 Jastatos, 5118." Larsya leans against Zosopage, her shoulders slumping. Her hands going still. Suddenly, dozens of sores burst open on Larsya's body as dozens more of maggots squirm out, hissing as they burn in the light of the cylinders. Larsya nearly slumps, bleeding. Larsya slumps more, the mug dropping from her grip. Larsya drops a crude clay mug stamped with a thumbprint. (edit for relevance) Xorus distantly says, "These blood curses often spontaneously transform into maggots and worms." Suddenly Larsya's eyes go wide, and she stiffens. The cylinder hums, and the bands of light vanish, one by one. Smoke rises from the cylinder and it suddenly cracks, breaking apart like glass not metal. The pieces of the cylinder melt away, as crimson crystalline flakes swirl about like red embers before vanishing. Larsya falls over. Pukk quietly asks, "Is that a good sign?" Praxopius says, "Yes." Larsya's hair begins to darken, streaks of tawny-hued hair bleeding out across the white locks, slowly replacing them. The splotches along Larsya's nose begin to shrink and shift. Moments later, they are nothing more than a smattering of freckles. The hair grows back along Larsya's scalp, and stretches long. One by one, each wrinkle and aged deformity vanishes, as if time itself is reversing, as Larsya shifts fully back into her extremely young form. She remains unmoving though, her violet eyes staring upward. Her breathing shallow. Praxopius says, "It is done." Praxopius says, "It will take a bit, to see if her mind was restored as well." Praxopius says, "Let us return to the Outpost." Praxopius says, "She likely cannot hear us, yet." Praxopius says, "By this time next eve, we may know for certain."
Note that near the end, it is not Raznel speaking through Larsya, it is Naimorai speaking in the past. Naimorai was connected to Larsya, even though Larsya had not even been born yet, and felt the paragon be destroyed:
A shrill voice echoes from the lake, "What is what is it what is it what is it!" A shrill voice echoes from within the bloody waters, "It hurts it hurts it hurtsithurtsithurts..." Goldstr asks, "Who be da voice?" Xorus says, "Larsya." Goldstr says, "Ahhhh." Chamorr heartily says, "How do you know these things." Leafiara says, "Curing her... that night." Cryheart asks, "Oh no, ye hurting Larsya?" Aleid says, "I remember her." Speaking to Chamorr, Maags explains, "He is a professor." Xorus says, "I was curing her." Leafiara says, "Thought it sounded familiar--I remember being so bad at trying to calm her down while Evia did great." Cryheart says, "Ahhh." Zosopage says, "I remember that." Within the bloody waters, Zosopage appears and Larsya can be seen baring her teeth, hissing and clawing at him. She spits, thrashes, and she curses. The images shift within the bloody waters. Leafiara explains, "This was the way of undoing the aging. ...and apparently the paragon process too, though we didn't know that yet." A woman screams in pain! Pylasar hoarsely asks, "What...what is it?" From within the lake, Rachel says, "Another one then Peter...another one." Pylasar hoarsely asks, "When...when does it happen?" Rachel appears within the bloody waters, sprawled out on the floor next to a bed. Rachel begins to claw at her own skin. Her nails dig, and dig, peeling flesh as she winces. She is fast, unearthly fast, as she carves some words into her flesh, creating a wound. The bloodied words read, "Feastday, 6 Jastatos, 5118." Leafiara uneasily says, "...mm. I remember that." Madmountan asks, "What day was that again?" Xorus says, "That is interesting." Aleid distantly asks, "Not terribly long before Eve of the Reunion, last year?" Zosopage says, "One year and one month ago." Pylasar leans forward in the waters. Xorus says, "Granted, we did hear Naimorai, that night." Within the bloody water, Pylasar appears, much younger, as Peter, and he leans forward. He grabs Rachel's wrist, touching his hand to the bloody clawed words on Rachel's arm. Pylasar hoarsely says, "There it is..." Pylasar says, "Now..."
This cure was only possible because of knowledge of how the other Raznel poisons worked. It was likely possible to cure Larsya significantly earlier, even if the bleaksoil was necessary, as the bleaksoil was not collected until a week prior to the ritual. Praxopius was likely delaying, as he was spending his time weaponizing Larsya's blood, into at least three known forms. One was remaking the epochxin venom variant, possibly a form that only affects krolvin blood. One was a variant that would restore bodies to a prior healthful condition, even if crippled by a curse, but which was also a poison that would eventually make the host crumble into black ash. And one was a contagion designed to afflict blood relatives of Kragnack, so that Kragnack would either immediately or eventually be killed by it. Kragnack collapsed into ash as well. The krolvin would come to call this variant the "Blue Suffer".
Uncurse Restorative Poison
Praxopius weaponized his study of Larsya's blood by creating a health restorative potion that was actually a time delayed poison. The formula for this variant is unknown. It is probably an unstable variation of the Larsya cure method invented by Xorus. There would be a temporal reversion to the blood's "memory" of its healthy state through the use of Everblood, but there would be a small anti-Everblood component in it that would eventually cannibalize it. In this way the blood of the host would turn into oily black ichor and they would melt and collapse into ash. This was what happened when it was used on Rysus, who was half-elven and not half-krolvin. Leafiara was tricked into giving it to the Rooks for Rysus to heal him, as Rysus had been crippled with a curse from Naimorai Kestrel during the Rook invasion of the Hendoran outpost in 5117 Modern Era.
Rysus was gradually losing his mind as a result of the poison, behaving erratically, and the Rooks eventually turned him over to the town to be killed. Praxopius openly admitted to poisoning Rysus. Praxopius used an enhanced version of it on himself, so he would instantly recover the use of his legs, but would only survive a short period of time so he could go out in a blaze of glory fighting the krolvin. Praxopius' body also crumbled. He was human. Praxopius was also exhibiting some delirious mental states as a result of this form of the poison.
- Rysus Death
The crumbling and oily black blood are clearly indicative of the epochxin-family poisons, while other aspects like the scratching and teeth breaking resemble Raznel curse symptoms.
Rysus begins to twitch. Rysus scratches at his cheeks, then his arms. Rysus bites at his lower lip. (edit for relevance) Rysus rushes at Balley, a dagger appearing in his hand. He stumbles, falling to one knee, his dagger sliding across the ground as blood drips form his nose. Rysus scratches at his arm, and some of his skin begins to peel away. (Claudaro moves in among the figures, and plunges his dagger in Rysus' side, before making room for others.) Rysus stumbles to the side, and oily black blood and flakes of ash spill forth from Rysus' side. (edit for relevance) (Hapenlok plunges the dagger into Rysus' right eye.) Rysus howls in pain, as Hapenlok's dagger pierces his eye. Oily black blood coils out, with flakes of ash. (edit for relevance) Rysus weakly says, "Cowards..." Rysus weakly says, "You....will see your freedom die..." (edit for relevance) (Darcena leans forward and pushes the dagger into Rysu's chest an indeterminate amount.) Rysus reaches out, blood covering his hand. Suddenly, his hand crumbles into dust and he screams! Rysus lurches, then falls back against the ground, his chest spilling forth oily black blood and flakes of ash as Darcena's dagger is driven in beyond sight. Rysus turns his head, his one good eye staring at the crowd as blood covers his teeth and drizzles out to the snow and street below. Rysus weakly says, "Cowards.." Rysus spits, more blood then saliva spilling forth. (Ganimead picks up the dagger, and walks over to Rysus, and slides the edge of the dagger across Rysus' neck.) Rysus laughs, blood filling his throat and his voice sounding like a rattle as Ganimead slices across his neck. A hooded figure leans down, and stabs a dagger into Rysus' hand. Another hooded figure drives a dagger into Rysus' side, another figure drives one home into his abdomen. Rysus twitches on the ground, flakes of flesh and ash falling from him, as oily black blood pools out around him like a cape of darkness. Rysus opens his mouth to say something, but some of his teeth crumble to dust and blood spills out over his tongue and chin. (Chamorr swings his broadsword and separates Rysus' head from his body.) (Claudaro stands before Rysus's head, and kneels down, shoddily working his dagger over Rysus's head, skinning his scalp off, he leaves the back end hanging there, Rysus's skull exposed.) Rysus goes limp, his head rolling away from his corpse as Chamorr's broadsword slices it off clean. After Claudaro quickly scalps him, Rysus' entire head crumbles into flakes of ash, mixed amongst the snow. The last hand of Rysus twitches in death, as more and more pieces of his corpse begin to crumble, as if collapsing inward, departing into dust and ash. Speaking to Xorus, Dergoatean says, "Do you figure Rysus showed the same symptoms as Lana? The Dennet victim." Xorus says, "It is similar." Speaking to Xorus, Dergoatean says, "Pity we couldn't produce some plinite to see if it has the same temporary arresting effect on his decay." As the last remnants of Rysus crumble into ash, a pool of his blood remains, where his body and head once were. Chamorr's strike left a trail of blood arcing out from where the corpse had once been, resembling a spherical pattern of a crude crown of blood. It is not long before the murky black blood begins to dissolve as well, soon leaving no sign of Rysus left at all.
- Praxopius Death
The crumbling to ash is a clear indicator of the epochxin-family, but the bleeding from eyes and mouth maybe be more indicative of Raznel.
Upon the deck of the Titan, Praxopius wheels into view. He takes a thin syringe, placing the needle into his side, then rises up slowly from his chair. He grabs the chair, tossing it into the raging waters below the ship, and unsheathes his warcat longsword. His face smeared with white war paint, his grins wide, very wide, and tears streak down his face as he rushes towards the Shore of Glaoveln. Praxopius runs along the sands of Glaoveln, screaming at the top of his lungs. His face is smeared in white paint and krolvin blood. Entrails dangle from his arm, krolvin guts. His blade is black from the blood of his enemies. He weeps and cackles all at the same time. As Kragnack descends, landing on the shore, Praxopius rushes in to strike him. With ease, Kragnack blocks Prax with his broadsword, then knocks him aside with his tentacle arm, sending the man flying off. (edited: later, after Kragnack died) Praxopius opens his mouth, some blood seeping out. Praxopius weakly says, "Is he..." Praxopius weakly asks, "Is he?" Praxopius laughs! Praxopius laughs! Praxopius weakly says, "It worked..." Praxopius applauds. Praxopius cackles insanely, wild-eyed and drooling. Praxopius weakly says, "It worked...he's gone..." Praxopius spits blood. Praxopius spits blood. (edited for relevance) Praxopius slumps more. Praxopius falls over. Praxopius falls to the sands, blood seeping from his eyes and ears. Praxopius spits blood, smiling for a moment. Praxopius weakly says, "Go...the..." Speaking to Praxopius, Hapenlok whispers aloud, "Thank you." Praxopius grins. Praxopius nods, touching a locket in his hand, then falls flat to the sands. Speck by speck, Praxopius' body begins to crumble apart, as green mist seeps across the sands. (Note: The green mist was unrelated, it was caused by bone pillars.)
The "Lalk Morgil" (Krolgeh: "Blue Suffer") is the contagion that Praxopius developed to assassinate Kragnack. Praxopius claimed it would affect those in Kragnack's bloodline, where it would eventually take out Kragnack even if he was not directly hit with it. Kragnack, however, was hit with it repeatedly, and collapsed into ash. Praxopius claimed that it was necessary to use this poison to kill Kragnack. Otherwise Kragnack would not stay dead, restoring himself with his necromantic powers, and magic he had acquired from Elithain Cross. But Praxopius was nominally open to its genocidal potential against the krolvin. About two weeks prior to the invasion of Glaoveln, the militia of Wehnimer's Landing searched Praxopius' ship The Titan, and discovered shackled krolvin and half-krolvin being experimented upon. The krolvin was more or less unconscious, with scratches and small wounds, likely self-inflicted injuries. The half-krolvin was dead with no visible injuries, other than bruising. In the Glaoveln offensive the contagion was delivered using coated daggers, which were highly fragile, but which were stowed by many adventurers. The table with all the other daggers on it was on The Titan, which was sailed back to Idolone. The Idolone warehouse of Praxopius was raided by the krolvin later, and Amos acquired the warehouses and plinite pylon warships. The amount of surviving poison scattered across the continent is unknown, and given the nature of the other variants, the poison probably largely replaces the blood of those afflicted with it. Which would mean the poison can be harvested from the sick, but Falzcrow has said that the disease had run its course on Glaoveln. (Except for himself, a son of Kragnack.) It sounded like it was turning them to ash when it did exist, but it no longer exists.
Praxopius publicly claimed that he did not believe the contagion could be developed into a form that would eradicate the whole krolvin bloodline within his own lifespan. He said he would send the formula for making it to Xorus on a two year delay, in late 5120 or 5121 Modern Era, so that it could eventually be used to eradicate the krolvin entirely. As had been noted, this was essentially the opposite of Praxopius' way of operating, making secret deals and acting through subterfuge. Breshon had noted that it would only be a brief amount of time before another warlord took Kragnack's place and came looking for vengeance. The formula never arrived. When it was a year late, a new warlord named Tyrrax, called the Black Wyvern of Glaoveln or Czag Pritz, came searching for the formula based on this promised delivery. But their halfling mentalist Kharusa was unable to get into Xorus' mind.
Xorus in turn had argued that Praxopius was probably only painting a target on him as a decoy, so as to distract the krolvin from whatever Praxopius was actually planning, suggesting plinite weapons development by elements in the Hall of Mages. That Praxopius would not have trusted him with it, noting that the first Rone vigilante was planning on killing him, and that Praxopius would not have publicly put all of his eggs in one basket that way. That if he was serious, he would have pretended to destroy his notes in public, and turn them over immediately in secret. Or alternatively, that Octaven somehow intercepted it, if Praxopius sent it magically. That Octaven was probably Praxopius' source of plinite and that she has had an interest in controlling the Blight since 5119 Modern Era. Whatever the case would be, the Blue Suffer had probably spread among relations of Kragnack to some distance, but in its present form does not extend to all krolvin. Tyrrax claimed he wanted the formula destroyed. The "Blue Suffer" is clearly based on the epochxin family of poisons, given the way Kragnack died from it, and the krolvin do not possess or understand the base of knowledge upon which Praxopius was able to develop it within only a few months. Specific details of the Blue Suffer are sketchy, but it seems like an analog of the black blood curse (which was race specific and afflicted half-krolvin), except where the end result is more like that of the poison used on Rysus or those killed with anti-Everblood.
[Melgorehn's Reach, Moon Chamber - 18185, ] You are in a vast, domed enclosure cut from the native rock of the mountain. The floor is perfectly smooth but the vaulted ceiling is chiseled in an array of gothic designs. In the center of the room sits a single onyx altar. You also see the Pookia disk, the Sevanya disk, a wafer of candied seeds, the Julenne disk, the Citan disk, a brilliant purple kitten wearing a purple collar clasped with a pair of crossed silver swords, the Epikarik disk, the rectangular Perigourd disk fashioned of oiled tanik, the gold-dusted Adelynn disk crowned with sylvarraend rubies, a shaggy silver and white puppy with mismatched blue and brown eyes, the Irval disk, the web-draped Missoni disk, the pallid grey Melikor disk emblazoned with a vibrant scarlet pentacle, the Mohrgan disk, the Dergoatean disk, the Falvicar disk, the Dwi disk and a round shaft cut into the floor of the chamber. Also here: Lady Sevanya, Pookia, Lord Wunhunlo, Chronicler Opalina, Great Lady Julenne, Citan, Gutstorm, Epikarik, Lady Adelynn, Valarae, Lord Amos, Perigourd, Czag Pritz Tyrrax, Imperatrix Lylia, Lord Juramis, Goldstr, Town Councilor Leafiara, Town Councilor Chamorr, Dergoatean, Town Councilor Chandrellia, Falvicar, Vaemyr, Kiyna, Dwi, Drektor, Irval, Melikor, Sir Geijon, Kynleigh, Bernadette, Mohrgan, Lord Tayler, Stormyrain, Conquerer of Reim Missoni, Blades, Storyteller Kayse, Magister Raelee, Pietra, Town Councilor Pukk, Sir Cryheart Obvious exits: out Amos put a crisp black papyrus scroll on an onyx altar. J>look scroll The scroll is crisp without any wrinkles or sign of wear or damage. It is otherwise blank, save for a small blood red sigil inked into the top right corner. .. multiple failed attempts... (Xorus carefully pours only some of the vial on the blood red sigil on the scroll.) The disease that wracked XXXXX finally appears to have run its course. As the blood lands upon the red sigil on the scroll, it beguns to almost boil, with tiny little bubbles appearing along its sanguine surface. The crimson sigil begins to thin and stretch, as if somehow alive, as it crawls along the black papyrus of the scroll, forming several dozen different glyphs, all faint. J>look scroll The scroll is crisp without any wrinkles or sign of wear or damage. It has several faint red glyphs along it. Tyrrax squints. J>read scroll There is nothing there to read. (Raelee holds the lens in the path of the moonbeam again.) Pookia exclaims, "Who woulda thought the blood sigil needed blood!" Xorus distractedly says, "I did." The moonlight seems down from the ceiling and baths the onyx altar and the black scroll upon its surface. One by one, each red glyph begins to brighten into a glowing shade of the moonlight itself. (Raelee adjusts the angle of the lens slightly as the glyphs appear.) One by one, the glyphs continue to glow, casting their mirrored reflection upon the earthen walls of the moon chamber. Dozens of silvered moonlight angles from the ceiling, along the scroll, and out across the walls, bathing the entire chamber in a haze of silver. Suddenly a beam of moon light peeks through several tiny holes in the intricate ceiling and converges in a star pattern upon the altar. The light carries with it a strange shearing sound. The onyx of the altar begins to glow faintly blue. Echoing from the silver light imbued throughout the chamber, a voice says, ""Congratulations Dreadlord, you must be relieved to know I did keep my word, and if Snout remained as loyal as ever, you received your black scroll. You must be quite thrilled to indulge upon what secrets might exist." Xorus nods. Xorus says, "Yes, Praxopius." (glances, scowling, etc.) Amos glances at Xorus. Tyrrax asks, "What is this madness?" "I would hope the complexity of grafting a contagion to target an entire race's blood would not be lost on you. It is clearly an aim that is unachievable in a normal human's lifetime. I do not have Everblood coursing through my veins, and my days are numbered from my crippling curse. " Sevanya says, "The most perfidious man in the realm has found a way to monologue to us even after his death." Speaking to Tyrrax, Vaemyr says, "Seems to be a message." Speaking heavily to Sevanya, Leafiara says, "So true." Xorus says, "It was impractical for him to work on it himself." From the silver haze, a voice continues, ""I was able to successfully use your research and my own, bleak soil, and of course the dawn keeper's blood, to create a variant of what could one day snuff out the krolvin existence. Kragnack will die, and his bloodline upon the island will suffer the same." Speaking to Xorus, Pietra says, "NO." Xorus says, "As I expected." From the silver haze, a voice continues, ""More time is needed to bring about eradication of the krolvin, I am sure you have already deduced as much from our conversations. I will tell you though, in my preliminary research, the soil of the Bleaklands may be the key. I think we have only begun to scratch the surface of it." Xorus says, "Yes, that much was obvious, Praxopius." From the silver haze, a voice says, ""To that end, there is no great formula to end of the krolvin. Not by my hands, not penned by my quill. But my duplicity is not intended for you, but for the krolvin themselves. I have several warehouses, in imperial ports and another with the dwarves. I have arranged for them to find one, long after you receive this message." From the silver haze, a voice continues, ""The krolvin will learn of the blood contagion. I will ensure they are certain it exists. I want them to be bloated with fear. I want them to turn upon one another with more ferocity than they have ever known. I want them to bleed resources to scour the land and sea, in an endless hunt to preserve their bloodline." From the silver haze, a voice continues, ""I want them to be driven insane. I want them crippled by the unseen threat that could expunge the world of them. They will lash out, they will grow reckless, they will awaken the ire of the Empire. They will bleed themselves until such a time that you can usher in their true end. Never cease until all that remains of them is what they left me with. Ashes." The black scroll suddenly crumbles apart into a thin layer of ash and is scattered about, melting away. Xorus says, "... again, as I expected." Tyrrax asks, "There...is nothing?" Amos asks, "NOTHING!?" Amos says, "This was all nothing." Leafiara drolly says, "Yes, what a shock, Praxopius lied again." (Note: Quite a few PC spoken lines are cut out of this clip.)
It turned out that the scroll that was supposed to be sent to Xorus did not actually contain a contagion formula at all. It was a message tipping him off that the krolvin were going to be tricked into thinking the formula exists, and so Xorus would be able to continue their work along the established lines of research, while the krolvin bleed and wreck themselves drawing the wrath of the Empire seeking a genocide weapon that does not exist yet. The complexity of making it target their entire race meant it would take a very long time to develop, but that he believed they had only scratched the surface of the potential of adapting bleak soil to this end. This made sense of the fact that nothing about how Praxopius handled it made sense if this was actually the formula. It was a ruse to send the krolvin on a wild goose chase, damaging themselves with fighting, while Xorus hopefully worked on it in secret.
The paragons were all temporal anchors for Raznel, and there were clear indications she mixed herself into them. She would insert a mediating vermin into them, such as a black ichor worm, but her trademark "babies" were scarabs. Her blood itself would spontaneously manifest into such things, and was likely the aspect causing that phenomenon in the cures of the black blood curse and Larsya's paragon condition. Raznel in a sense might be considered the supreme paragon. Her burrowing into others wantonly with scarabs was generally about their blood and her plans for the Bleakworld. (What Pylasar described as her "birthing" it.) When Raznel was finally destroyed, without the paragons to support her physical form, her body collapsed and fell apart similar to other epochxin related deaths. The chief difference was the formation of those mediating creatures from her body.
Raznel tries to rise, but her feet crumble into a swarm of black maggots, which try to skitter away but burn and curl in death. Raznel tries to rise again, a leg crumbling into a pile of scorched bugs. The ghostly voice of Raznel says, "Peter..." Raznel tries to open her mouth to speak, but a shower of tiny black maggots pour out, curling and burning before they hit the ground. The many tooth-covered behemoth in the sky begins to slowly shrink, ichor dropping from the dozens of fiery holes in its massive body. Raznel tries to rise again, lifting one hand, only for her fingers to drop off like fat maggots, crumbling and burning away. The huge behemoth in the sky continues to float, but begins to descend, ichor dropping from its wounds and its great bellow echoes across the skies. Raznel turns to her side, facing Pylasar. One of her eyes pops, oozing ichor from its socket. Her mouth opens again, her thin lips drifting away. But she cackles, staring at Pylasar and she whispers in a hoarse voice, "...I enjoyed killing your wife and daughter most of all...." Then, bit by bit, Raznel, the witch breaks apart into a host of slimy black maggots, each one trying to skitter away as if frightened, only to smoke and burn and curl up in death, melting away into pallid ichor. (Note: The behemoths of the Bleaklands were apparently directly tied to her.)
It is most likely the case that a number of her blood curses have some of her own blood in them. In principle this might be expected to provide a channel for her to control them remotely. It is plausible that the ones with the illness symptoms derive that property from her own blood, as a result of her being corrupted by the Talon of Toullaire which now carries properties of the Wizardwaste (or possibly vice versa). The mediating creatures do not come from the demon blood aspect. She learned that method of implanting them in victims and using "the shadows" from Quinshon.
The following is an example of the original paragon creation process, illustrating how she would bind herself to them through vermin with the demon blood implicitly in them:
Rachel moves around the table, opening a thin crystal cylinder. She picks out a long oily-black maggot that seems to have a tiny barbed tail. Rachel gently lays the maggot onto the woman's chest that still faintly rises and falls. Rachel leans forward, chanting as the barbed-tail maggot burrows halfway into the woman's chest. Rachel touches the bug, and its tail snaps out and sticks into Rachel's wrist. She sighs, almost with a rise of passion. The woman screams suddenly, her eyes going black like shadows, her veins turning the same dark shade. The maggot releases Rachel and burrows fully into the other woman's chest. Rachel leans back, looking weakened, but still utters an archaic phrase, her voice more demonic than human. The woman begins to flicker in and out of existence before fading completely. (Note: Pylasar and Raznel did not know the name of this woman. This paragon was never found. Pylasar realized by the end that Raznel would be ending the old paragons herself, if we had not been doing it for her, for the last phase of her plan. So this paragon was likely destroyed off camera.)
Raznel was seemingly not fragile in the same way as the other paragons. When her cocoon was destroyed, she was able to fight everyone. (Unless she would have eventually collapsed and died just from time outside the cocoon.) One subtlety is that Raznel was not only tethered to paragons in the past. It was seen in a flashback memory that Naimorai was linked to Larsya, many years before Larsya was made into a paragon. This suggests that if another paragon were made later, by someone else, and were able to be linked to Raznel in the past using her blood, it might have the functional effect of restoring the phylactery of a lich. (Barnom Slim had his phylactery destroyed, for example, and ended up in the Shadow Realm. But Goblyn restored his phylactery in Lich's Landing, and Barnom was later able to return to this world.) Due to the nature of the Bleaklands, it might also still be possible to interact with Raznel in the past, or other such weirdnesses. Thrayzar notably has some residual element of Raznel's consciousness in his head, and most likely has some of her blood in his own cursed blood. She was able to manipulate the nature of his curse remotely.
Thrayzar is an anomalous case. He was transformed into an orc at the same time, with the same yellow mist, as Drangell being transformed into a troll. Since the Everblood resulted in Drangell from this blood curse, Thrayzar must have something related to it in himself. Raznel was also able to remotely tinker with Thrayzar. For example, in 5119 Modern Era, she increased its severity. Thrayzar went from retaining a "human mind", within an orc body, to having his mind drowning under "orcness". Later, with mind probing to reach him under the delirium and finding the black door in his mind that locks his curse, Thrayzar found it was possible to become human again. But only at the expense of killing his old lover, and so choosing to remain in that halfway state of having his mind in an orc body. There was a residual amount of the dead Raznel in his mind cackling about the price of breaking the curse.
When trying to track down Raznel in the south, Thrayzar was kidnapped around Allace by White Sparrows, where he was brought to the Alchemist. Praxopius Fortney would then experiment on controlling Thrayzar through alchemical means. Thrayzar then became the second "Rone" vigilante. This Rone first appeared one month after Praxopius arrived in town to study the cursed blood of Larsya. What Praxopius did, however, was make Thrayzar temporally unfixed. This caused a variety of temporal abilities that might be rooted in Thrayzar himself because of his blood curse.
Teleportation A white armored figure appears suddenly on a rooftop and races towards some dark hooded figures, a whirlwind of rippling light trailing out behind him. The Rooks fire a shower of arrows, and Rone seems to shift in and out of place, blinking in and out of existence as the arrows miss their target. Rone descends upon a group of Rooks, and in another blur of movements, tears apart the hooded figures and then leaps out of sight. Reversing Status Conditions (1) Leafiara gestures at Rone. CS: +450 - TD: +309 + CvA: +20 + d100: +43 - -5 == +209 Warding failed! Rone suddenly stops all movement. The air ripples around Rone, and he seems to move backwards, as if reversing, and is no longer bound. (2) Lylia gestures at Rone. Cloudy wisps swirl about Rone. CS: +450 - TD: +284 + CvA: +20 + d100: +22 - -5 == +213 Warding failed! The wisps solidify into thick strands of webbing that tighten about his body! The air shimmers around Rone, and he is lifted back up. The air shimmers around Rone, and the webbing is reversed from his body, swirling back towards Lylia before it vanishes altogether. Temporal Rifts (1) Leafiara gaze up into the heavens. Rone points a polished steel gauntlet at Leafiara and she vanishes with a ripple in the air! [Temporal Rift] Time and space seem to swirl around you. You catch brief glimpses of events both past and future. Beyond these strange and confusing visions extends a vast, ever-changing field of stars, pinpoints of light against unfathomable utter blackness. It is very cold here. (2) Rone points his gauntlets to the ground! A low rumble echoes through the room making your hair stand on end. A single point of light flickers to life in the center of the room moments before erupting into a massive swirling vortex! Claudaro is sucked into the vortex! [Etc., others being sucked in.] Time and space blur before your eyes, stretching and warping until... [Temporal Rift] Time and space seem to swirl around you. You catch brief glimpses of events both past and future. Beyond these strange and confusing visions extends a vast, ever-changing field of stars, pinpoints of light against unfathomable utter blackness. It is very cold here.
Most saliently, Thrayzar as Rone had the ability to spontaneously heal his wounds, and even self-resurrect himself when struck down:
Self-Healing Lylia gestures at Rone. Rone is enraged by Lylia's attack! CS: +540 - TD: +319 + CvA: +20 + d100: +18 - -5 == +264 Warding failed! His right arm explodes! Rone is stunned! Suddenly the air around Rone begins to ripple and the white armored figure's wounds seem to rapidly reverse themselves and Rone is lifted back onto his feet. The figure becomes a blur and vanishes the next second. Self-Resurrection A sleek black arrow comes flying out of the shadows and strikes Rone! ... 40 points of damage! Strike punctures throat and ruins vocal cords! * Rone drops dead at your feet! * Rone just bit the dust! Suddenly the air around Rone begins to ripple and the white armored figure's wounds seem to rapidly reverse themselves and Rone is lifted back onto his feet. The figure becomes a blur and vanishes the next second.
This is significant because the Everblood is believed to work through the mechanism of temporal reversion. This suggests that Praxopius' tampering, which was a combination of a green fluid put into Thrayzar along with special magical gauntlets, was making Thrayzar's blood behave in the way seen by other epochxin-family variants. Likewise the flickering in and out of existence for temporal reasons is a paragon variant property. The Alchemist's formula was a form of mind control on the Rone vigilantes, but he claimed the behavior was born more from person given it. Malluch Burdos was seeking vengeance on darkness, for example, whereas Thrayzar was after Stephos DeArchon and Rooks and krolvin. He resisted harming those who should not be enemies, while inflicting diseases on known associates of Raznel. It is ambiguous if this disease was coated on a weapon or if it was coming from Thrayzar himself. Thrayzar most likely has some of Raznel's blood in him, which might allow the premise of inflicting diseases on others. This is reasonable given there were aspects of Drangell's death that resembled the Raznel illness curse and maybe her ability to remotely tinker with him.
While not much is known of the Alchemist's methods in this way, or the anti-magic poison he devised for use on Cruxophim earlier that year, he provided an antidote potion to it for after he was done with Thrayzar. However, something more permanent had changed in Thrayzar's blood, as he remained temporally unstable to some extent. Raznel and Grishom Stone have both said at times that they are unable to track Thrayzar because of his condition. Grishom Stone later offered to restore Thrayzar's mind and give him the option of becoming human again. Adventurers refused this route, even though it was already paid for, with the release of Glethad after he returned from the Ithzir world of Kol Tar'sken. Stone then left bloody twelve-pointed stars, an Ithzir symbol, around the site this mind probe would happen. He apparently took a sample of Thrayzar's blood and was seen entering Thrayzar's mind.
- Alchemist Potion
The following are excerpts of when Thrayzar was treated with the antidote (in 5118 Modern Era) that Praxopius had devised for reversing what he had done to Thrayzar:
Xorus taps a small vial of blue liquid, and its contents shift slightly as silvery motes float within it. (edit for relevance) The militiaman leans over, pouring the blue liquid into Thrayzar's mouth. The red orc seems to drink most of it, only a small rivulet of blue liquid dripping down from the corner of his mouth. Thrayzar's eyes go wide! Thrayzar arcs up, almost off of the table, his mouth thrown open in silent agony. Some of the militiamen rush in, trying to hold down the Marshal. Thrayzar begins to twitch. Thrayzar thrashes around on the floor. Thrayzar begins to twitch. Thrayzar coughs. Thrayzar digs his fingers into the sides of the table, his chest rising and falling rapidly, his breathing labored. His eyes tear up and twitch. Froth begins to form at his lips. Thrayzar gasps. Thrayzar coughs, and green bile and blood spew from his mouth, staining his chest and the table. Thrayzar thrashes violently, held down by the militiamen. His eyes twitch and twitch some more, but the frothing stops. Thrayzar rises up once more, his chest pushed to the sky, his back arched, his hands clamping the edges of the table. He gnaws at the air briefly, snap snap snap, biting at nothing. Suddenly, with no further fanfare, Thrayzar goes limp, falling flat onto the table, his eyes closing and his head turning to the side. Thrayzar opens his eyes, silently looking around. Thrayzar smacks his lips, as if having tasted something awful.
The following are examples of the temporal instability and time reversals Thrayzar was experiencing immediately after having taken that potion:
Thrayzar reaches for Stormyrain's water, but his hand begins to twitch. Thrayzar twitches for a moment, turning his head left to right, then right to left. For the oh so briefest of moments, Thrayzar seems to flicker in and out of existence. Speaking to Thrayzar, Stormyrain asks, "Think you can take a drink of water?" Thrayzar begins to twitch. Thrayzar nods at Stormyrain. Thrayzar weakly says, "...yes..." Stormyrain offers Thrayzar a glass of lemon water. Thrayzar accepts Stormyrain's lemon water. Thrayzar takes a drink from his lemon water. Thrayzar goes to take another drink, and part of his hand and arm seem to flicker in and out of existence for a moment, as the cup phases from his grip and clatters on the ground. Thrayzar looks down at his hand, which is normal once more. Thrayzar slowly sits up, looking around. There is a flicker, and Thrayzar is lying down again on the table. He slowly sits up, looking around. Speaking quietly to Thrayzar, Lylia asks, "How are you feeling?" Thrayzar weakly says, "I ache." Thrayzar slowly climbs down off the table and stands. Multiple images of him appear briefly, following his actions as he stands, then they vanish. Thrayzar weakly says, "I am tired." Thrayzar looks down at his hands. Thrayzar weakly says, "...I am glad to see them gone." Thrayzar wrings his gauntlet-free hands. (Shinann helps Thrayzar over to a cot.) Thrayzar takes a seat on the modest cot. Thrayzar says, "Thank you for your help all." His voice then echoes. "all all all."
Thrayzar was remotely afflicted by Raznel after this, in 5119 Modern Era, having his orc curse fully maximized so that his "human mind" was drowning under orc instinct. He was lost for a couple of years, and recovered in 5121 Modern Era in Jantalar. In early 5122 Modern Era adventurers open a way into his mind, trying to avoid Grishom Stone's offer of aid. Stone apparently takes a sample of Thrayzar's blood using bloody twelve-pointed (Ithzir) stars, and was seen entering the portal into Thrayzar's mind. Thrayzar chose to remain an orc with his mind restored. It is unclear if he is still untrackable.
There are some other variants or related phenomena. Grishom Stone in particular has worked with the Everblood, and has his own history of blood magic projects.
- Flesh Golems: Grishom Stone made "golem" clones of himself using the Everblood. He has shipped them all over the place, and some such as Granthem appear to be whole personalities. Unconscious flesh golems are typically covered in a black slimy ichor residue.
- Cocoon Children: Grishom Stone has sometimes transformed victims, especially children, into other forms such as winged monstrosities or Ithzir hybrids to open portals. Rodnay originated this way in 5116 Modern Era and self-heals like Everblood.
- Bleaksoil: The soil of the Bleaklands was described by Praxopius as essentially being blood in its own right. It was created through the black blood variant in blood marble.
- Behemoths: There are huge floating toothy abominations in the Bleaklands, resembling Quinshon's mouth in some ways, that may be willful manifestations of the Bleaklands in some fashion. (Unless they died off with Raznel.)
- Blood trees: The blood consuming trees have some unclear relationship to it. They grow in the Bleaklands, but are also being used by Stone in the Deadfall. The blood maw core of the root network is drawn to the Shadow Realm. They store bodies in sacs.
- Stones: Bleakstone could be considered a variant in its own right, and blood marble (at least when infused with the black blood variant) might be considered its own form as well.
- The Blight: The Blight is not a substance. But it is either a phenomenon created from it, or else an epiphenomenon of the Bleaklands, which was created from it.
- Bane coffin: The bane coffin itself probably does not use epochxin variants, as the Hall of Mages makes them. They are capable of pausing epochxin, if seriously reinforced with outside help. However, Raznel (as "Rachel") invented them when she was a member of the Hall, knowing they would be used later for Larsya and Drangell and her brother Cyph Kestrel and so on. They are a key element in the whole history.
- Black coral amulets: It is possible in light of later developments that the black coral amulets, specifically the demonic liquid used in their creation, may have been made in Arcanum era Toullaire by Naimorai Kestrel and thereby could be related to epochxin.
While the epochxin varieties can adversely react and cause a victim to melt into black blood and ultimately disintegrate, it is not clear that they impose any disease symptoms in themselves. The close similarity in their symptoms overlaps with Raznel curse phenomena that are not obviously related to the epochxin poisons. In particular, when she was young as Naimorai Kestrel, she could inflict blisters and flesh injuries as a result of touching others, especially if reacting suddenly. The Raznel curse symptoms date back until at least 5111 Modern Era and were also used during the War of Shadows.
The following are the kind of symptoms that would occur from Raznel directly. These particular log clips come from early 5114 Modern Era, after someone broke into her cabin in Talador, which was almost three years before the storyline that introduced epochxin.
Your skin begins to burn, as if your flesh is on fire! Scale-like, shiny blebs begin to appear on your skin, growing with frightening rapidity. Roundtime: 4 sec. Scale-like, shiny blebs begin to appear on your skin, growing with frightening rapidity. Roundtime: 5 sec. Red spots appear on your skin suddenly. The edges are slightly raised and seem to be spreading rapidly. Roundtime: 5 sec. Dark, yellowish nodules erupt from your skin in very inconvenient places, sending threads of pain throughout your entire body. Some of the nodules ooze or bleed, others have made it difficult to move in certain places. ... 15 points of damage! Minor muscle tearing on your left leg. You are stunned for 1 round! Roundtime: 6 sec. The blebs on your skin swell and expand, some bursting and horribly disfiguring your skin, other simply intensifying the pain. ... 20 points of damage! Major bones in your left leg crack loudly! You are stunned for 3 rounds! Roundtime: 8 sec. All of your hair begins to turn white, some of it falling to the the ground in clumps. Your nails become weak and brittle, and your teeth seem ready to fall out as your gums bleed steadily. You are forced to your knees by the crippling effects of leprosy! ... 10 points of damage! You hear the tendons in your foot snap. That hurt! The blebs on your skin swell and expand, some bursting and horribly disfiguring your skin, other simply intensifying the pain. ... 15 points of damage! Large lesions sprout on your shield arm. Roundtime: 12 sec. Though you still feel the effects of the disease that ravaged your body, you begin to feel a bit better Pain shoots up and down your chest. Roundtime: 3 sec. Runny blood-soaked sores begin to grow on your chest and abdomen. Sharp jabbing pains stick you in the ribs and back. Roundtime: 3 sec. Your stomach bulges outward and horrific pains stab you up and down the chest. Roundtime: 3 sec. A horrible urge to scratch passes over you and a intense burning feeling doubles you over in pain. Roundtime: 3 sec. You go into a sudden coughing fit causing dark blood-colored spittle to spray everywhere. Blood begins to run from your eyes and ears. Roundtime: 7 sec.
Another symptom which is recorded back in 5111 Modern Era, and appears in multiple victims in the direct conflict with Raznel in 5119 Modern Era, is an early symptom of reddish blebs:
A series of reddish blebs begin to appear randomly over your skin. Though not very painful in and of themselves, they may signal something much more dangerous on the way. Roundtime: 5 sec.
The "Black Blood blight" symptoms were essentially the same as the Raznel leprosy. However, the black blood curse turned the blood of its victims black, which ordinary Raznel exposure did not. There were also black veins that appeared, reminiscent of those who went to the Shadow Realm and fought Althedeus in person, which suggests those were related to "the shadows" as concentrated energy. This makes sense given how it was used. It is also possible that the shadows are naturally related to epochxin, as primals are a variety of oculoth, and oculoths are shadow demons that exist in the Shadow Realm. It might be that these are the symptoms that came from the demon blood, which was acting as a capacitor, and the other illness symptoms came instead from Raznel's blood. Which could naturally explain how she would be able to control its spread.
Black veins are a symptom of shadows corruption. Disciples of the Shadows physically transform over time in various ways, and one of the hallmark features is the development of black veins on various parts of their body. (Raznel would have been shadows corrupted, but that is probably not the root of her Talon of Toullaire condition. Quinshon and Naimorai were not going to move the Talon through the shadows "at this time", planning to travel on foot, because Quinshon thought moving it through the shadows would bring about "adverse effects".)
This is what it looked like when the shadows left those who had black veins from Althedeus and returned to the Shadow Realm (Ersix's portal was shifted to that destination and stuck to it):
You see Dame Evia Aramathia the Knight-Errant. She appears to be a Giantman of the T'Kirem Clan. She is very tall. She appears to be mature. She has copper-lashed sparkling hazel green eyes and smooth tanned skin. She has long, softly wavy deep auburn hair shimmering with sun-streaked fiery highlights. She has an angular face, a straight nose and a web of shadowy black veins coiling along her neck and high cheekbones. She has glossy white-tipped lacquer brushed onto her squared fingernails. She has a rampant silver gryphon tattoo, and a shooting star tattoo on her ear. Wisps of shadowy energy peel from XXXXX's skin, coiling up into the rift like black smoke.
The following are some examples of half-elves who were afflicted with the black blood curse in 5116 Modern Era:
You see Kippe. He appears to be a Half-Elf. He appears to have come of age. He has mismatched grey-green eyes and tanned skin. He has short, wavy dark brown hair. He has a web of deep black veins bulging along his face and coiling down around his neck. Thick black veins stretch across his fingers and hands. You see Slivaer. He appears to be a Half-Elf. He is taller than average and appears to be very young. He has silver-flecked crystal blue eyes and tanned skin. He has very short, straight brown hair streaked with silver. He has a clean-shaven face and frown lines. He has thin black veins along his neck and ears. You see High Lady Leafiara the Scion of Shaundara. She appears to be a Half-Sylvan. She is tall and appears to be very young. She has sparkling green eyes and fair skin. She has short, tousled red hair swept back into a low ponytail secured with a twined mithril wire. She has slightly pointed ears and thin black veins along her neck and cheeks. She has ebon-marbled kelyn green lacquer brushed onto her smooth oval fingernails. You see Bekke Mournmoon the Defender of Wehnimer's Landing. She appears to be a Half-Elf. She is tall and appears to be youthful. She has large amber-swirled pale eyes and light amber-tinted skin. She has hip-length, bright amber-hued hair barely held in place by a lattice-woven headband of delicate platinum filaments, leaving a fall of tumbled waves to spill down the small of her back. She has a delicately arched brows that accentuate her finely-boned features and some thin black veins along her neck. She has gilt-sheened fiery crimson lacquer brushed onto her flawlessly manicured fingernails.
The Blight, or "the Bleak" as it calls itself, is something that affects the very land and everything in it. There is almost certainly epochxin-family related roots in it, because it was unleashed through a bleakstone medium, and bleakstone was formed as a consequence of the blackblood curse in blood marble exploding. There were also tears in the ground with toxic gas which inflicted oculoth-like possession. However, the illness symptoms experienced in general were those of the Raznel curse, which suggests that aspect comes from her blood. The Blight does not require a blood medium. It is apparently either radiant, or else transmits through vapors, especially mist and toxic gas. Trolls were remarkably appearing from out of the fog itself at one point during the Blight. Raznel cursed Drangell in the first place through a yellow mist. The Bleaklands version of the possession looks like:
A blast of foul-smelling mist erupts from a small fissure in the ground and strikes XXXXX's face and seeps into him!
Compare that to the jagged fissures that arose in town during the Blight:
One by one, cobblestones along Town Square Northeast are torn asunder as a jagged fissure opens up along the ground, clawing into existance as it stretches from one side of the road to the other like a vicious wound. Mist seems to swirl about within it, rising and falling and drifting about. A blast of foul-smelling mist erupts from a fissure in the ground and strikes XXXXX's face and seeps into her! The ground cracks, the cobbled road of Town Square Southwest ripping open like giving birth to a festering wound and a cloud of foul mist. Townspeople run screaming, unsure of which direction to flee in the chaos. Militamen are sent scrambling as a section of North Ring Road literally rips open, splitting into a jagged, uneven wound of the earth as foul mist rises from it just outside the town barracks. Some townspeople can be seen stumbling about in the open streets, clawing at their faces, leaving bloody, deep wounds along their skin. They scream and writhe and cry out in pain and for help. Then one by one, their faces erupt outward, flesh spraying like broken glass as swarms of glistening white-grey maggots spill out from the wound, dropping to the ground just as the townsperson's corpse lands with a thud.
The following are more passive examples of people becoming symptomatic with the flesh illnesses just from standing around during the Blight. They are the same leprous symptoms as the Raznel curse:
Zosopage's skin begins to crack and peel, bleeding from the fresh wounds, pus oozing out disgustingly. Scale-like, shiny blebs begin to appear on Eledryn's skin, growing with frightening rapidity. Zosopage's skin suddenly becomes bright red. Scratching at it fiercely, he breaks the skin and causes it to bleed. Red spots appear on Eledryn's skin suddenly. The edges are slightly raised and seem to be spreading rapidly. Boils suddenly break out all over Zosopage, who takes a deep breath and appears to be suffering a great deal of pain. Spasms wrack Zosopage's body as a cluster of boils erupt over his neck and face, causing him to choke and fight for air. Wolfloner's body is wracked painfully by his disease! ... 3 points of damage! Wolfloner's ribs warp and crack violently. Dark, yellowish nodules erupt from Eledryn's skin. Some of the nodules ooze or bleed, others seem to make it difficult for him to move in certain places. ... 10 points of damage! Eledryn's stomach muscles jerk uncontrollably. Buboes suddenly erupt over Beldannon's body. Definitely painful. Thick boils sprout up along Zosopage's body, erupting a thick, clear liquid that runs along his skin disgustingly. Zosopage gasps for breath just as a boil erupts from the tip of his nose, the liquid running into his open mouth. Wolfloner looks very confused and falls over. All of Eledryn's hair begins to turn white, some of it falling to the ground in clumps. He looks extremely weak. ... 10 points of damage! Eledryn's vertebrae vibrate causing extreme pain. Some townspeople wander by, itching at scabs along their necks and arms. Wolfloner's body is wracked painfully by his disease! ... 15 points of damage! Minor muscle tearing on Wolfloner's left leg. Scabs cover Zosopage's skin, thick and dark with his blood. Boils break constantly, leaking a clear liquid that runs oil-like over him. Beldannon's neck swells up. That can't feel good. The blebs on Eledryn's skin swell and expand, some bursting and horribly disfiguring his skin. ... 15 points of damage! Strips of flesh flayed from Eledryn's back. Eledryn is forced to his knees by the crippling effects of leprosy! ... 20 points of damage! Major bones in Eledryn's left arm crack loudly! Dry skin flakes off of Kipara leaving the new, healthy skin that was underneath. The flushed red look leaves Lyrna's face. The lesions on XXXXX's skin disappear. The disease that wracked Wolfloner finally appears to have run its course.
The active form of the Blue Suffer disease has not been observed directly. Two weeks before the Glaoveln invasion, Praxopius was discovered to have been experimenting on krolvin and half-krolvin prisoners, which were thought to likely be blood relations of Kragnack. This may not reflect the final form of the poison. But the injuries on the krolvin are consistent with the Raznel disease curse symptoms. In particular, Kragnack had a very clear epochxin-family style death, while the dead half-krol clearly did not. This state of the experiment might not include the full set of components in the poison. There are a few deep uncertainties with the Blue Suffer because what is known comes from Praxopius. He claimed it would target Kragnack's blood relations. However, he provided a table of poisoned daggers on his ship when adventurers were about to travel to the shores of Glaoveln, and then had that table taken away. The table was brought back out when Kragnack was to be lured to his ship, where Kragnack was stabbed directly. Therefore it is not absolutely certain that it was the same poison daggers. It could be that Kragnack was hit with the modified Rysus poison rather than the Blue Suffer contagion.
[The Titan, Cell] A large T-shaped rack stands at the center of this cell, its limbs and base outfitted with pairs of manacles and shackles. You also see a chained krolvin, a chained krolvin, a half-krolvin corpse, a wheeled wooden cart and a heavy steel door. You hit the floor with a loud *THUD*. Roundtime: 10 sec. >look krol The krolvin is chained to the wall, various scatches and small wounds covering its body. Blood stains its loin cloth. Its head sways from time to time, and occasionally emits a low groan. >look corp The corpse appears to be that of a half-krolvin. It is huddled in a corner, knees drawn to its chest, perhaps a testament to its agony before its demise. No physical wounds can be seen on the corpse safe for bruising along the wrists and ankles.
Kragnack was killed directly with the (possibly different second set of) coated daggers. The eye color change is epochxin-family related. However, he notably has a laughter fit at the end (but not the eye and mouth bleeding), resembling the poison deaths of Drangell, Rysus, and Praxopius:
Kragnack stumbles forward. The pools of onyx for Kragnack's eyes begin to turn blood red. Kragnack looks down at his missing tendril arm, and falls to his knees. Kragnack kneels down. Kragnack tries to speak, but his chest suddenly caves in, collapsing inward. Kragnack begins to topple over, but then laughs. He laughs, and laughs, and laughs... Kragnack raises his last remaining hand, closes his fist, and his eyes. With his last breath, he utters something archaic, then his entire body crumbles into a pile of ash.
When Praxopius arrived in Koaratos 5118 he would not have known much of anything at all about the epochxin group of poisons. He acquired this knowledge from the written work of Xorus earlier that year, as well as any other records collected by Lord Breshon Caulfield at the Hendoran outpost, which would have included the notes of Lord Brieson Cassle on the subject. Praxopius tested Larsya's blood on the moon altar of Melgorehn's Reach one month later in Phoenatos 5118, and determined it was a temporal tether to some anchor and a perfect "paragon" of what it could be. One month after that in Imaerasta 5118, krolvin and half-krol test victims were found on his boat. As such it took Praxopius less than two months to invent and mostly finish testing the Blue Suffer having started with knowing nothing on the subject and making use of the pre-existing work related to treating Larsya Caulfield.
It is assumed that there was no bait-and-switch on the poison daggers, in which case Kragnack illustrates the terminal condition of the Blue Suffer, but he exhibited none of the Raznel leprosy kinds of symptoms. This leads to two potentially very different situations. In one case the Blue Suffer might be derived from making the Rysus poison contagious, in the other case it might have been made from some other pathway, which might entail a substantially different logic for devising antidotes. For example, one pathway might be up the way of Everblood, while the other could based on black blood blight. Xorus believed that the key to weaponizing the poison into a contagion was Praxopius researching bleak soil. This would turn out to be correct, but no specific details were learned for the Kragnack formula. Praxopius expected Xorus to eventually make their poison research into a whole race contagion.
- Wehnimer's Landing Storylines (Note: Almost all of them are related to these poisons to one extent or another.)
- "Beyond the Arkati" - Grishom Stone (2012)
- "A Study on the Occult Origins and Intrinsic Properties of Everblood and its Derivatives (Part I)" - Cruxophim (2016)
- Interventions and Restoratives of Epochxin Affliction - Xorus (2018)