The Flower Plague
Occurs during chapters 26 35 36 43 44 45 47 48 50
- Snadhya'rune Vel'Sharen
- Zala'ess Vel'Sharen
- Nishi'kanta Vel'Sharen
- Chrys'tel Vel'Sharen
- Shinae Vel'Sharen
- Quain'tana Val'Sarghress
- Erelice Sarghress
- Ash'waren Val'Sullisin'rune
- Asira'malika Val'Jaal'darya
- Femi Val'Jaal'darya
- Wafay Val'Jaal'darya
- Waes'soloth Val'Beldrobbaen
In the year 1098 of the Moonless Age, Femi Val'Jaal'darya set out on an expedition to recover legendary flowers that were said to have felled an entire nation. Little did the citizens of Chel'el'Sussoloth know, she and her benefactor Snadhya'rune Vel'Sharen held nefarious plans for this highly virulent mana plant.
Characteristics of an Infection
The list of effects and time frames of progressed infection are as follows:
It starts as a seed, and it may come in parasitic flower form, that can attach to your head and drains your aura dry after prolonged exposure to the flower. The flower appears to produce the initial spores this way. An individual can also become infected through exposure to the flower's pollen, and it spreads via these spores, remaining contagious even after the person has died. You can prevent yourself from being infected by using mana shields (or sealing off with glass or another solid material) when near the source.
Stage 1 of incubation is feeling physically ill, and presumably animals can detect it (like ferals). Constant itching on the face is also a sign, because the flower typically grows on the crown of the head or side of the face.
Stage 2 is hallucination and visible lesions on the skin--it takes about 5 days to get to Stage 2. After 10 days since contact with the spores, the lesions grow much worse as do hallucinations. At this point in time, presumably the flower has sprouted and is producing spores.
Stage 3 occurs when the infected experiences nothing but hallucination as as they slowly die. They may even become an desiccated husk when the flower finishes its victims off, leaving the victims' bodies ready for the formation of more spores.
The Fall of Amaranth
The young Blossom, former childhood friend of both Empress Diva'ratrika and Ash'waren Val'Sullisin'rune, had fled underground with the rest of her people, following the Great War. There, her people founded a city, with Blossom as its queen following her mother's death. Blossom had her potential suitors find a surface flower to please the Queen, and one male made it his quest to find one. Though his journey was treacherous, the male found a dryad who gave him a seed for Blossom to raise. Overjoyed, she cultivated this seed and made the male her lover and champion.
Blossom soon discovered that the red flowers had a curious effect: they would take root and grow on the victim's head, turning them into a mindless, docile carrier of poisonous spores. However, she and her people mistook this for a calming effect, and assumed the enduring peace in the nation was created through unity in the flower.
Eventually, the poisonous flower claims many lives--including Blossom herself. Aside from the champion who never took a flower, the only way other nations recieve news of her city's fall is from the mouths of the scant few survivors.
The Jaal'darya Expedition
In the year 1098 of the Moonless Age, The Blue Banner relic hunter forces were contracted by a band of Jaal'darya women to search the ancient surface ruins of Amaranth's people. They were promised any loot found in the ruins as incentive, and the relic hunters were eager to explore. This group came across a corpse covered in mold--though they examined the vicinity of this corpse, the search found no loot to be had. The relic hunters soon began to feel ill and hallucinate, all while the mana shielded-Jaal'darya observed the progression of the sickness at a distance. Several days had passed, and the Blue Banners were too growing mold on their bodies.
In the year 1114 of the Moonless Age, Chel was engulfed in a war for control of the city.
As Femi conducted her lethal experiments to refine the flower spores into a liquid solution, her daughter Wafay grew suspicious of the activities. She felt it was her responsibility to stop the Nidra'chaal influence her mother had brought into the clan, and young Wafay made the journey to seek Val'Sarghress help.
Shortly after Wafay petitioned Suu'be, a Sarghress team of infiltrators was sent to the Jaal'darya fortress. These agents discovered Femi's lab and stole her plans for the virulent flower spores, which deeply angered the Jaal'darya leadership.
Femi truly had been working in tandem with Snadhya'rune's Nidra'chaal agents to mass-produce this virus, all in the name of control over the leaders of Chel and beyond.
Her minions hand out many vials, among those are Shinae, Ash'mita Val'Sullisin'rune, and a young Beldrobbaen Val, all intent on poisoning their respective leaders. An agent of Ash'waren is also given a red flower as a gift to her clan. The goal is to make these leaders and their clans bow to Snadhya, who would be seen as a savior of the drow race.
The next day after Snadhya's declaration, the Sarghress infiltration team strikes; Chrys'tel and Shinae investigate after hearing the alarm cry, and discover Femi lying in her own blood. The team is captured, but not before a single cure vial is passed along to Sara'hilana Balvhakara, and eventually to Chrys'tel. This team is executed in Felde after an unsuccessful interrogation. Worried about the breach, Snadhya'rune orders her Jaal agents to produce more cures as soon as possible, though the Jaals claim the process is difficult.
The Epidemic Begins
First among the leaders to be targeted is Zala'ess Vel'Sharen: after negotiations with the Sarghress, Shinae poisons Zala'ess' drink and days later, the Fifth Daughter finds herself scratching her face and falling into wild hallucinations. The Vel'Sharen attempt to censor any info about her condition from spreading, but a meeting of the clans breaks down due to her illness.
Quain'tana soon becomes infected by a disease with similar effect to the spore virus suffered by the Blue Banner group, during her duel with Sarv'swati Vel'Sharen. She soon falls to its malicious effects, with the flesh around her face rotting off and her mentality degrading into a maddened insanity. The poison originated from a poisoned blade given to Sarv'swati by Nir'naya, the former captain of the Imperial Guard with dubious allegiances.
Verthandi, a Nidra'chaal double-agent, reports to the Beldrobbaen clan of Snadhya'rune's declaration to the great families to surrender or face the consequences, just as reports of madness begin to spread among the Beldrobbaen Houses. A young val had intent to bring down her clan with the vials she recieved; Waes'soloth takes it upon herself to excise the problem as the clan falls into a panic, and though thr Illhar'ess becomes infected, her initiative to call for Jaal'darya aid allows her and many fellow clan members to be saved in time. Those who carried the infection longer are forced out.
Unraveling the Plot
The Val'Jaal'darya themselves had begun to take action, sending emissaries to the infected clans of Sharen and Beldrobbaen. They intend to reconcile with the infected clans for what their Nidraa'chal runaways did and avoid further dragging the clan into conflict. However, because of the infiltration team, Asira'malika is greatly displeased and distrustful of the Sarghress; no effort is made to aid the wolves.
Meanwhile, Chrys'tel's ally An'jin Jie'yen had discovered Snadhya'rune's true location, and along with her aunt Nishi'kanta and Sara'hilana, the group set out to the Nal'sarkoth compound to recover every last one of Snadhya's cure vials. While Nishi battles with Snadhya'rune, Chrys'tel attempts to find the cures; she runs into Zhor and Mel'arnach. Mel tries to remove the young woman from Snadhya's room but Zhor warns her that the cures are being held elsewhere, including the cure Chrys had recently gave Dia'heira Jaal'darya. Meanwhile, Snadhya battled and lost to her sister in the Nal'sarkoth compound, resulting in the eldest daughter becoming physically disabled.
With the cure back in Nidraa'chal hands, Wi'am is ordered to administer it to Zala'ess so that the now paralyzed Snadhya'rune can broker a deal to rule from the shadows, in exchange for keeping the Sarghress anti-vals at bay.
This article reflects events up to chapter 50.