Frostlung (3.5e Disease)

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Name: Frostlung (Ex)
Infection DC: 16 Inhalation
Incubation: 1-3 Rounds
Damage: 2d6 Dex, 2d6 Con

In the northern reaches of Loupe, the glacial region that divides Sol and Indus, few fauna and fungi are capable of surviving the wretched environment of ice and snow. As the old adage goes, however, "Life always finds a way."

All along the glacial plains, among any patch of dirt or rocky bedding that could support even the smallest of life, Fir's Tears can be seen growing. A white, speckled fern, the flora is breathtakingly beautiful to behold, and yet absolutely deadly to almost every living creature, so long as it has lungs. As if it were not satisfied with the cruel, icy tundra, the fern actually behaves much like Brown Mold, devouring all heat within 10 feet and causing the already below zero temperatures to become even more frigid for any ill-fated passerby.

This is not what makes them so especially deadly, however, and is only a foot-note in the list of victims this type of flora has claimed. The spores of the fern are the true threat; Breeding in all seasons, the fern's seedlings are microscopic, and therefore incredibly difficult to detect without the use of magical or highly sensitive engineering, chemical or otherwise. The spores also mimic their adult form, drawing heat out of their surroundings, though only on touch, and develop a rigid, razor-sharp icy coating.

Fortunately, the spores have a very particular level of fragility; They can only survive in environments that provide mostly cold, but occasional warm environments. This makes only the glacial plains, and the winter seasons of some nearby mountains fertile for Fir's Tears, as they otherwise become inert and shrivel. Unfortunately, for an organism roaming the freezing tundra or living downwind of the fern in a glacial community, the lungs are a viable candidate. While not ideal, the cold air flooding the lungs with each breath provides enough of a supportive environment to allow the spores to take root in the lung tissue... before they begin the process of icing over into incredibly sharp sickles, ripping and tearing the organ as it expands and contracts against the embedded object, all the while robbing the body of warmth. This is known as the disease, Frostlung.

Typically, Frostlung is fatal within a very short time, even if medical attention is applied. Symptoms become noticeable after 1-3 rounds of inhaling spores, causes the victim to begin experiencing acute chest pain, and cough up blood. Even the strongest of men and kin can be rendered inept after contracting the disease, as every breath deals additional damage to the vital organ, it begins to sap the host of strength and its ability to fight back. Every minute, the host loses an additional hit point of lethal damage. This may seem negligible at first, but the damage begins to add up amid the hours it takes to reach proper assistance. Healing spells may help mitigate the disease for a time, but they do not cure the disease, itself. Spells such as remove disease are effective, but the spores will resist being destroyed, and the caster must succeed a Spellcraft (Overpowering the spores with magical energies), or Heal (Focusing on restoring the body and bolstering immuno-efficiency) check with a DC of 15.

In the case that the victim manages to survive over 24 hours, he begins to suffer the worst of the disease; He begins to suffer 2d6 points of damage to both dexterity and constitution scores, and hit points lost to Frostlung are no longer curable until the disease is removed, as the body has become strained over fighting the disease, and scar tissue is developing in the organ. Victims who last over one day without treatment are the worst off, as they slowly become more and more unable, amid all the pain, until they finally perish.

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