The dreaded shadow orchid was undoubtedly created as a biological weapon during the Great War. The shadow curse is the name given to the condition that afflicts any creature that smells its fragrant flower.
The shadow curse progresses in two clearly defined stages. Stage one lasts anywhere from one to eight days, depending upon the intensity of the initial "dose" of spores (i.e. a person that deeply inhaled the scent of the flower will complete stage 1 in a matter of hours where as someone breathing in the spores from the surrounding cloud would remain in stage one for up to a full week).
Once the spores of a shadow orchid have been inhaled, they lodge themselves in the soft, moist lining of the lungs. From their, a virus spreads rapidly through the body infecting millions of cells in the first few hours. As the infection spreads, the host creature will begin to exhibit a variety of symptoms as the body wages a losing battle against the virus : fevers, chills, vomiting, rashes, headaches, stomach cramps and dizziness.
Stage two begins when the above mentioned symptoms vanish. Shortly thereafter, the body will begin to change. Over the next seven to twelve days, the victim will begin to metamorphosis as the virus rewrites all genetic code. The skin darkens and thickens into a tough, fibrous armor. Muscle tissue swells and becomes more dense. The eyes develop a heat sensitive coating over the optic nerve. The ears become large and more pointed. The finger nails become much thicker and elongate into talons.
As these physical changes are occuring, the host creature is also changing mentally. He or she becomes increasingly violent and aggressive. Irrational paranoia and hallucinations feed a mind with fear that no longer sleeps.
The result of all these changes is a creature that has historically become known as a shadow wraith. It is humanoid and resembles the original victim with the following exceptions. The skin has become a biological form of armor while the hands are clawed weapons. Both vision and hearing are greatly augmented. The creature can also see into the infrared spectrum. Strength and speed are both enhanced as adrenaline is continually pumped into the blood stream.
This terrible flower and disease were intentionally made through dark magic. They were intended to be a devastating weapon that would turn a population upon itself. It was devised by the Traxx Legion against the Irenni and Thullian Empire. However, the flower managed to flourish during that era. Fortunately, few specimens remain. These specimens feed on dark essence from the sun and likely have very long life spans. Many cultures are aware of and avoid these flowers, but occasionally a foreigner unfamiliar with this flower or a careless native will become infected.
This website was last updated January 6, 2018. Copyright 1990-2018 David M. Roomes.