This disease is new to the Empire, so those contracting it have little idea what to expect. It starts with an itching at the back of the throat that slowly develops into an intermittent cough. Along with the coughing comes bouts of shivering that grow steadily more severe as the disease progresses. In the final days, the afflicted develops pale gray blotches across their neck and chest, dying or recovering soon thereafter. Those that survive find the marks slowly turn white but never entirely go away. The few that know of the disease also refer to it as the Pale Shivers.
Nelrich the Suppurater’s disease was meant to cause a long period of relatively light illness followed by a swift death. Actually, the Grey Ague is not entirely a disease, nor does it cause the majority of the listed effects. The Ague is, in fact, a magical affliction that causes a body to generate a subtle organic poison. The Grey Seer Asorak Steeleye carefully influenced how the Grey Ague worked, so he could readily manipulate those with the disease. By giving those afflicted the correct “enhancers” early in the course of contracting the disease, the effects are instantly doubled.
The “cure” the Grey Seer and his allies have in their possession instantly eliminates all traces of the poison the Ague generates—which seemingly cures the afflicted, but it does nothing to halt the disease. Anyone drinking the Skaven’s cure that is afflicted by the Grey Ague has all of their characteristics return to normal levels within an hour. But the cured person still has the Grey Ague, and every time they stop taking the Skaven’s cure—they start at the beginning of their ten day stretch, meaning that they need a continual supply of the Skaven’s cure in order to not fall sick again.
A skilled apothecary that has deduced the nature of the Grey Ague can help to permanently cure it, but they need to treat both the disease and the effects of the poison. A Priestess of Shallya can instantly cure the Grey Ague only by successfully casting both Cure Poison and Cure Disease—a fact that they will be completely unaware of.
"When I was still a young boy, I took a job on an expedition to excavate a small Barrow in Wissenland. It had long ago collapsed in on itself, leaving little more than a muddy pit in the ground. Local folklore said the place was haunted or cursed, yet we could find no credible evidence of any Undead activity. So when one of the camp guards stabbed the cook in a fit of rage, we assumed he had been drunk. We tied him up and sent him to Pfeildorf to stand trial. When one of the farmhands we had hired to help with the digging disappeared during the night, we started to get worried.
When the Professor in charge of the dig was found with his wrists slit open the next morning, we decided to leave."
—Heinrich Johannes, procurer of ancient artefacts
Residues are sometimes created when another form of Spirit or Wraith begins to fade away, the will that maintained their Undead state incapable of sustaining them any longer. Others are formed when a particularly malicious or miserable person dies who lacks any particular reason to remain in the land of the living. They appear to be vaguely humanoid clouds of dark smoke, though they are usually invisible to mortal eyes. They are little more than a bundle of negative emotions, possessing an almost instinctual desire to spread hatred and rage to others.
Borchband the Voice is the Minor God of Rhetoric, venerated in the Reikland by agitators, politicians, and lawyers.
Politicians and other lawmakers in Reikland and Altdorf keep amulets of Borchband submerged in goblets of wine in the hopes of distracting the God from sending out agitators to thwart their plans. Common offerings to Bögenauer include written speeches, acorns, and quills. He has two temples and several shrines dedicated to him in Altdorf.
Though the warhorses bred in the Empire are fine mounts in battle, they pale before the magnificence of the Bretonnian Charger. Over 20 hands high, nobles are especially careful in the breeding of these steeds. Hence, these mounts are in high demand, and only the wealthiest nobles in the Empire can afford the bribes necessary to procure one.
During the exploratory expeditions in 1492, a few sailors brought this interesting species back to the Empire. Most of the plants couldn’t adapt to the colder climate, but a few survived in the gardens of those who could afford to maintain such exotic plants. After a few years, there were rumours of strange, nightly visitors in the areas around the gardens, not to mention the sharp decline in the bird population. And then people started disappearing. What exactly led the locals to attributing the cause of the disturbances to the flowers isn’t certain, but the specimens were all burned and their owners burned at the stake.
Though banned, some gardeners maintain these unusual plants for their nectar. It’s said that consuming a small measure of the fluid evokes powerful dreams and instils a deep sense of calm and tingling pleasure. No one uses the nectar for long as people who sample the fluid tend to disappear.
Friedrich von Tarnus was the first Magister Patriarch of the Bright Order. Excelling beyond all of Teclis' many proteges save Volans, Freidrich was there when the Colleges of Magic were formed. Before ascending to his position, the hot-headed wizard served as commander of the Carroburg Greatswords, but was cast out in shame when his magical talent came to light.
Since then, he began crafting magical items of great power, including the Silver Seal of the Emperor. Indeed, it was he who crafted the Staff of the Patriarchs for Volans, which would become the symbol of office for all Supreme Patriarchs thereafter.
In older editions, Friedrich von Tarnus was spelled Fredrick von Tarnus. Or Frederick. In 8th Edition, it's spelled Fredrik. It's also unclear whether his leaving the Carroburg Greatswords was self-imposed after his powers manifested (unable to cope with the shame), or if the regiment cast him out.
The Skurry-stabbers are one of Clan Treecherik's most murderous Clawpacks and they have slain more (many more) of their own clanmates than the enemy (in fact, it has been several years since they've killed anything not from Clan Treecherik). Their current Clawleader is Gristl Twitchslice, an imposing figure who has remained in command of the Skurry-stabbers for an impressive three days. If he can make it to four he will have broken the service record set by Sneer Throtskar over twenty years ago.
The Aschaffenbergs were granted the Patent of Nobility relatively recently, having been elevated to noble status by Magnus the Pious himself in the aftermath of the Great War Against Chaos. Graf Tobias Aschaffenberg is one of the most powerful members of the house, which is native to Ubersreik. His seat is a large, if somewhat ramshackle, peak-top castle south of the town, overlooking the confluence of waterways that converge to form the River Teufel. Tobias holds the title Marquis of Grey Lady Pass because the defence of that mountain corridor is the most sacred duty of his clan, entrusted to him centuries ago by Magnus himself. It is a duty the Graf takes very seriously indeed, and one he will do anything to fulfil.
The Graf's determination extends to every aspect of his line, of which he is so proud to be a scion. He is utterly ruthless in dealings with other noble households, especially those he regards as scheming against his own, and he has fought numerous duels against those he has fallen out with. As a native of Ubersreik, Graf Tobias regards it as only proper that should the town's status change, he should be the man to assume the mantle of liege.
"Fear, stupid man-thing. We make better. Improve-improve. Pain-pain. But, better-better! "
—Tichit, Master Moulder.
Master Moulders are the senior-ranking members of Clan Moulder, a rank just above the more common Packmasters.
The things created by these sadistic vermins within Clan Moulder's laboratories frighten even the powerful Grey Seers. Nothing is sacred to these vile Skaven. They blend the parts of hundreds of creatures to create something bigger, better, and stronger, a horror that will safeguard Moulder’s place at the top of the Under-Empire's cruel militaristic hierarchy.
Through the techniques of fleshmoulding, these Master Moulders create a menagerie of deadly creatures. Ever evolving, this process involves a combination of surgery and exposure to warp energy to create something new and terrifying. Trained in flesh-shaping techniques passed down generation after generation, they are responsible for Giant Rats, Rat Ogres, and any number of other abominations.
These burly commanders often personally lead their beasts to battle to better inspect the performance of both pack and Packmaster. Master Moulders instill great control and discipline in a pack, largely on account of their ability to cause even more severe pain. Many Master Moulders bear unique (if not downright horrific) tools of their trade, such as the things-catcher - a wicked looking prod with a mechanical grabber.
The Wasting Sickness infests corpses, especially those left long undisturbed. Scholars and surgeons theorize this disease is the result of the stale air found in crypts combined with the unwholesomeness of a decaying body not properly prepared for burial. Cases of the disease can be found recorded in the history of Kislev and Sylvania. One of the most deadly instances swept Erengrad ages ago, killing thousands. It was only stopped through the intercession of the Grand Theogonist, Lothar the Healer, who feared it would spread to the Empire. No one is certain what he did to halt the spread, but stories tell of the divine intercession of Sigmar himself with the more far-fetched ones describing a purging fire from heaven that was given to Lothar by Sigmar himself to cure the sickness.
This disease eats away at the flesh, increasing the subject’s metabolism to a point where it is almost impossible for them to intake enough food to stay alive. Victims become furtive and stressed to the point of insanity, eventually wasting away to nothing, even after gorging themselves for weeks. Many are mistaken for ghouls and are killed in the late stages of the disease by superstitious common folk or misinformed Witch Hunters.
Warhammer Fantasy is a high fantasy fictional universe created by Games Workshop and used in many of its games, including the table top wargame Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) pen-and-paper role-playing game, and the MMORPG Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
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