Shadowflame Corruption (5e Disease)

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Shadowflame Corruption[edit]

There's a bear watching me... I-I don't want to look at it... It has those mad eyes, the sort that never blink, you know, with lots of white and just very, very minute dark holes, like voids... It's got the smile, a person's smile, only too wide and... oh, those red, bloody gums and those teeth! ... Oh gods, it's not natural, it just ain't! Get it away... GET IT AWAY FROM ME, OH GODS!!!
—Unknown, magic recording found in a cave
Delusion of corruption, by Yanied

Contracting Shadowflame Corruption[edit]

The disease can be obtained by coming into physical contact with a gem that originates from Shadowfell. Any gemstone in general that has remained at least 1 day in Shadowfell can also be a vector of this disease. The vector gem appears to have a slightly clouded or dark-speckled look in comparison to a normal gem of its kind. This disease is not revealed by spells like detect magic. When detect poison and disease is cast on a vector gem, the caster gets a vague notion of shadow energy lurking in the gem, rather than an outright confirmation that it is a diseased object.

A certain type of gem known as the shadowflame gem is a common vector of this ailment.


Stage 1: Upon contraction, the infected begin to develop ocular issues and their eyes will become constantly clouded as a literal mental shadow covers their eyes from inside their own head. No matter what lighting it is, they will only see in dim light at the brightest. All the usual penalties with seeing in dim light apply.

Stage 2: The next day after infection, at dawn, the infected begins to feel constantly unsafe and their perception begins to deteriorate. They take a -10 penalty to their passive Perception and further have disadvantage on any Perception or Investigation check they make while infected. This comes on top of the effects from stage 1. Their deteriorating sensory skills manifest in the shape of delusional shadows and whispers that only they can see and hear.

Stage 3: Within the next 1d4 days after stage 2, the shadows and whispers coalesce into an entity that remains permanently to haunt the infected inside their own mind. After entering stage 3, the infected are now only ever aware or feel urgently about this shadow consuming their sanity. Every turn in combat, they must use their bonus action to constantly check around to see if they are being haunted. Whenever they take a short or long rest, they must make a DC20 Wisdom save. On failure, they do not gain any benefit from the rest, instead having a fitful and unsatisfying bout of sleeping and waking constantly. This compounds with the effects from stage 1 and stage 2.


This disease can be cured by ingesting the ground up dust from a shadowflame gem. The wish spell cures this disease as normal. Spells like lesser restoration or greater restoration must be cast with at least a 5th-level slot to cure this disease.

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