Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ill Tidings

A strong breeze was blowing from the sea when the battered ship drifted in to the harbour, but no-one noticed the stench it carried over the usual portside smells of boiling pitch and rotting fish. An hour passed and still no-one had descended - not even to tie off - so the harbour master clambered aboard to investigate. He found the entire crew long dead and rotting, black-headed pustules covering their corpses. Not even rats survived. The sight and smell were enough to cause him to vomit uncontrollably. The ship was soon put back to sea and burned.

It started with a single cough not a day later. Within a week the harbourmaster had died, but not before he had visited most of the brothels and drinking holes along the docks...

The first sympton was a dry, hacking, cough which soon became more and more severe - the phlegm turning to blood. Vile spots appeared and leaked their oily contents across the body. Then came the sickness - bile and stomach lining bubbling up without warning until it violently erupted from the victim's mouth. Those that did not die from the disease itself died from malnutrition or dehydration. Either way, it was a grisly death - their last few days spent in agony, wasting away amid their own filth and excrement.

No man or woman, young or old, rich or poor was spared as the disease coursed through the city. Hospitals and churches quickly became mortuaries as the doctors' and priests' curative powers had little effect. Mass graves were dug and funery pyres lit - the ashes falling back to the city like blackened snow. People fled the cities in ever greater numbers as the soldiers manning the quarantine blockades also succumbed and could no longer stem the flood of refugees.

Plague had come to Fissa.

3 comments:

Mendez said...

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse!
:(

Thes-hiss said...

Yeuch, that's dizgustin!

I'm going to pack some industrial strength Holy Water and get high into the hills away from all civilised life - immediately!!

Insanodag said...

"priests' curative powers had little effect."

Arrrghh!

At least fireballs will come in handy..

I think I will move into my magical cottage for a little while.