|Frequency:||Very rare||Very rare|
|Intelligence:||Non- (0)||Non- (0)|
|No. of Attacks:||0||0|
|Special Defenses:||See below||See below|
|Size:||T (microscopic)||T (microscopic)|
The magical combustion virus causes the cells of its victim’s body to continually increase their levels of activity, growing wildly out of control. If left unchecked, the victim will spontaneously burst into flame and quickly die an agonizing death.
The first symptoms of the combustion virus’s infection are a high fever and sore skin. These symptoms appear within six hours of infection. Within 24 hours, the victim’s skin becomes extremely tender; at this point the victim receives a -2 penalty to all attacks and saving throws. Over the next week, bloody lesions begin to break open on the victim’s skin. The pain and fever grow worse, and by the end of the week the victim suffers a -4 penalty on all actions that call for dice rolls.
If the virus is not stopped. the victim dies a grisly death, spontaneously combusting in 1d6+10 days. Anyone within 10 feet of the victim must make a successful saving throw vs. breath weapon to resist the heat of this incineration. A failed roll indicates that the bystander suffers 3d6 points of damage. A successful roll reduces this injury by half.
The psionic science energy containment is useful against this virus. The psionicist must successfully use this science on the subject, once every eight hours for three days, in order to flush the agonizing energies from the victim’s system. With the conclusion of the final treatment. the patient is cured.
When a victim of the combustion virus dies, all that remains is a gray mass of ashes. This pile of ash contains thousands of dormant virus particles, which can scatter easily in the winds and cause mass infection if they are not somehow contained. Evil priests and wizards have been known to preserve this dust, sprinkling it on their undead minions. Even a lowly skeleton so treated becomes a hideously dangerous foe.
The crystal virus spreads more slowly than other viruses, but its results are just as terrible. Victims of this bug slowly crystallize, dying in agony as their lungs become incapable of drawing oxygen from the air and their blood hardens in their veins.
The crystal virus works its way into its victim, forming increasingly complex crystalline threads that gradually bind the body’s tissues together. The initial symptoms of the disease are aching joints, fever, and areas of numb or tingling skin. Within three days, patches of the victim’s skin begin to crystalize. Exactly eight days following infection, the victim’s eyes begin to solidify. Although disorienting at first, this actually alters the victim’s eyesight, giving him the same abilities as eyes of minute seeing. At this time the victim’s movement rate is halved and his Dexterity score is reduced by 4, due to the stiffness of his changing body. If the crystallization process is not halted, the victim dies exactly 18 days after the initial infection. Within hours of death, the victim’s body crumbles into fine, blood-red sand.
Because of the relatively slow progress of the infection, a cure disease spell works normally within the two days following infection, instead of the usual one.
The crystalline remains of a dead victim are thick with the dormant virus. Curiously, they can be handled safely as long as care is taken to keep them dry. Even the smallest drop of water, however, dissolves the crystals and creates a highly contagious fluid. Because they are water soluble, the sandy remains of a crystal virus victim have been used by assassins on more than one occasion.
◆ 1928 ◆