An Old Affliction
The Scourge is so old and remorseless that we as a whole have long been dedicated to the idea that it has a supernatural—even biblical—origin. However, our generation struggles to explain it with science, and some dismiss it with conspiracy theories. We may never know what it really is, but we can try to study it. Some of our best and brightest believe we can find a cure.
Don’t be surprised if you see physical signs of the Scourge: green, gunky ear wax; the brown snot that won’t stop oozing out of your nose; the worms wiggling in your eyeballs, strange bright shapes forming and unforming in your view; the pus leaking from your wounds and coagulating around your bandages, forming an armored barrier. Sometimes you will even see what look like little black maggots in your stool (be sure to kill them if you can; a blast of flaming hair spray does the trick). We call those “Tox tentacles,” but there’s no official name as far as we know.
It may seem disgusting to you now (and yep, it’s pretty nasty), but you’ll get used it soon enough. There are far worse things you’ll have to deal with.
“You vulgar cockroach. You bag of filth.
You’re a canker—a sore that abides.
A putrescent mass, a vomit bag, a spineless worm.
You’re a curdled, staggering, mutant, alien monster,
Smeared with effluvia and offal.
You are dank and filthy—
The source of all that is wretched and unpleasant.
You spread misery and sorrow wherever you go.
You are a fiend and a coward—a maggot from under the rock.
You are a monster, an ogre, a malformity.
Did I mention your smell?
You are wretched, pathetic, starved for touch,
lost in a world that doesn’t believe in you.
You are a waste of flesh.
You are a disease.”
The Scourge Creates Us
The Scourge adds a new tier of needs, motivations, and quirks to your personality. The horror isn’t that you are suddenly doing something so outside of your personality and character, it is how completely natural it will feel as you become someone new, little by little, step by step. As humans, we are already made up of multitudes, but this is something else entirely (as you’ll discover soon enough).
The Scourge wants you to be happy. And for this, it wants you to obey when it needs what it needs. At other times, it is going to give you what you need, and what you need is power. Certain abilities we call Vectors will emerge. Vectors are not just innate powers: Vectors are gifts given to you by your disease, perhaps even taught by it. Some Toxic maintain the Scourge is their teacher in all things and love it accordingly. Some see it as a kind of death sentence, while others hate it with all their rotting hearts. Others still see the Scourge as the source of our half-life, a font of hope, and a path to enormous power and potential.
Get comfortable, kid… It’s a part of you from now on.