Coughs and Sneezes Spread Abyssal Diseases
Coughs and Sneezes Spread Abyssal Diseases

Coughs and Sneezes Spread Abyssal Diseases

“Good health is the slowest possible way to die.”

— Tanar’ri saying

I greet thee, fellow explorers!

My name is Dravyn, Outer Planar sage, and my current mission is to catalogue all I can about the diseases of the Outer Planes that pose a risk to planewalkers. I start my reports with explanations I got from a dretch named Garak. He was the servant of a marilith whom I garnished very well; despite his lowly status, he seemed to be an expert on Abyssal diseases. I let him talk for himself:

“Spire! Garak. That am I. My mistress told me to tell you about diseases. Not nice. My mistress. Diseases. My mistress’ diseases.

‘Dretch’ said she, ‘tell my guest about abyssal diseases.’ Am not Dretch. Am Garak. But know do I mistress means me.

Diseases. Tell you. Many there are. Many beings in the Abyss, many diseases. Simple logic, eh? Garak is good with logic. That is why mistress lets him care about diseases. Understand diseases. I.

The Frightening Flu

Appears most often in cold layers of the Abyss. Or when being becomes cold, like when being killed by a white dragon. But when killed, most beings do not become ill. Already dead they are then. When being gets frightening flu, it feels cold all time — but might not even notice it first if it’s on a cold layer anyway. But frightening flu also makes you cough and sneeze, and when sneezing blood spills out. Frightens many beings. Is not so bad. Often ends after a torture or two.

[Dravyn’s note: Garak was apparently tortured regularly by his mistress at the end of every 24-hour-period.]

Being becomes very hot for some hours, and if strong enough, then healthy again. If not, dead. To heal frightening flu is easy. Just make person warm. If warm enough for one torture to the next, being is healed always without dying.

[AD&D 2e rules: During these “hot hours”, the sick person has to succeed in a saving throw vs. death magic or die; if the throw succeeds, the cutter makes a full recovery]



Only hurt mortals. First, only yellow or red spot on the skin, but spots get larger after a few tortures. After a few more tortures, become fire and burn. Water helps then. Before, injecting water into skin helps. How get Balorflames? Balorflames gate in through beings’ wounds, but only rarely.

[AD&D 2e rules: A diseased person gets 1d8 fire spots per day, and after a time of 2d3 days, all of them erupt into flames. Each flame burns for about one hour, and inflicts 1d4 points of damage per round. For every day a person has got open wounds in the Abyss, there is a 1% chance, not cumulative, to catch Balorflames]

Lolth’s Rot

Is less nice. But gets only to those beings that do not serve a layer’s lord. Pocks appear on being’s body, and every many pocks look like a spider. Just as my arms and legs and belly and head and ears and feet and hands look like Garak. Are Garak. Maybe pocks are spiders?

Pocks become more and more very fast, and whole body is covered after just a few tortures. Then, being twitches and winces for an hour, then becomes funny slimy mass. Does not taste good, though. And mistress does not like if slime is eaten.

Healing is even easier than frightening flu. Just cut out skin and flesh below skin where pocks are. Burn that if you do not want someone else go get that disease. Do not eat either.

Mistress said many rulers have banished Lolth’s rot. Demongorgeous has, mistress said. Grass not. Garak does not know how grass should banish Lolth’s rot. Banish spiders, banish Lolth’s rot. Spider bite gives that rot.

[AD&D 2e rules: Lolth’s rot is a very dangerous disease; if the sick skin is not cut out, or magic is used for healing, the diseased person definitely dies]


Is bad for Lorkh. Mistress told me to call Lorkh bar-lgura. Mistress has strange ideas. But better mistress uses ideas for names than for torture. Greaseness is visible in hair, black foul-smelling grease. Does not do anything else, but bar-lgura scratched himself all day long. Garak has mixed water with pulp of eyewing and washed bar-lgura with that, and Greaseness was away then. Garak knows many ways to bring Greaseness. Roll being in goutgrass, and it will be greasy. Let being eat Abyssal bats, and if not have stomach like Garak or Bal-lgura or mistress, being maybe gets greaseness. Mistress said beings called liquid fleas also often give Greaseness.

[AD&D 2e rules: 10% chance to catch greaseness for all mortals who eat an undercooked abyssal bat]. 



Appear in being’s eyes, looks similar to what Garak sometimes sees when mistress hits Garak too hard on his head. Just do not go away. Lightspots become more and more during a few tortures, and finally being only sees lightspots. Garak thinks lightspots are a kind of reversed blindness. Being sees too much instead of nothing at all.

Cures aren’t easy. Garak searched long. Garak then found out lightspots want always more light. So Garak gave light – first only a bit, just a candle in front of being’s eyes. Garak could see lightspots gather in eye. So Garak took artifact from mistress and used it to make much sunlight in front of being’s eyes. Garak seen lightspots leave eyes and go into sunlight, just before being crumbled to dust. Garak not know being was vampire, and mistress was very angry with Garak.

Lightspots get to being while dreaming. But only when will-o-the-wisp is near and gets killed. Mistress said will-o-the-wisp’s spirit tries to save itself this way. Maybe Xanxost hunted it?


Is very bad. Mistress says she loves Abyssfever for enemies. Garak does not know love. But Garak does know enemies. Enemies often hunt Garak. Garak very good remembers beast called Xanxost. Garak had to hide so long, he was tortured five times at once when he came back. Abyssfever makes beings feel hot and then cold, and hot and then cold again, and so on. Guest of mistress once explained Garak that hurted his heart and made him feel weak.

Have made hot blood from a human and put snake from a vipertree in it for half before next torture, and forced mistress’ guest to drink it. He was healed before I was tortured again, but mistress said he hated me for healing him. Garak not understand, but then, Garak not really cared. Garak not knows how Abyssfever comes, but mistress said it only comes from true tanar’ri. Garak has never seen true tanar’ri. Is that being lord of disease?

[AD&D 2e rules: For every day a person suffers from Abyssfever, he loses one point of constitution – permanently!].



Garak once seen being called alu-fiend that had oozeskin. Looked funny. But mistress said is not funny, and Garak shall remove oozeskin. Garak still thinks was funny, made alu-fiend look like mind flayer. At least, for some time. Oozeskin eats up being’s skin.

Garak also sometimes eats being’s skin. But Garak used Vargouille to eat ooze. Vargouille did not like it, but Garak forced Vargouille to do it. Vargouille then got oozeskin everywhere, not only on skin, and died from it. But alu-fiend was healed. Garak thinks that eating by every being could heal oozeskin, not only by vargouille. Maybe works even without eating, but being has to make sure not to touch oozeskin if it wants not to get it itself.

Garak knows oozeskin usually lives in abyssal rivers and seas. If you go into those rivers, you might get oozeskin. Or you might get eaten by Dekaran. Mistress told me to call him hezrou for you.

[AD&D 2e rules: For every day a person is inflicted with oozeskin, the person’s skin gets 3d4% thinner; when oozeskin is healed, the skin regenerates within 2d4 days].

Bad Appetite 

Once caught Garak himself. Was nasty. Just did not want to eat anymore. Was confused and angry, but did not know what to do against it. Mistress just forced me to eat someone after many tortures, and Garak felt better then. Very silly disease. How get? Easy, eat foul Abyssal soil. Or better, don’t.

Twitching Muscles 

Are bad if being fights. Beings cannot fight with twitching muscles. Beings have hard time to even walk with twitching muscles. As soon as starts, being’s muscles on whole body twitch like wild, and cannot do anything else. Make being twitch even more to heal it, best with electricity. Hurts being, but heals it. Garak has only once seen how twitching muscles are made. An abyssal mosquito has stung balor-guest of mistress. Was funny balor.

[AD&D 2e rules: The effect is similar to paralysis].



Is funny but not when it happens to Garak. First you get extra eye, which helps you see better. Keep it, seems useful. But then each torture you get more and more eyes. Until you have no face left, only eyes. This is not good, you go mad with all the visions. Pop eyes like spots but they just come back so temporary. Need magic blinding or darkness spell, then eyes go away.

Lip Worms 

Often hide in Abyssal apples and such. When eaten, they move into being’s mouth and enter his lips. Beings can see these worms inside the lips, moving and eating all the while. Diseased being does not like to see that. But Garak knows what to do against lip worms. Worms are small beings. Garak has Abyssal Nightmare Mushrooms, which give funny dreams to big beings. Put it on diseased being’s lips, and being gets small dreams, while worms get so strong dreams that they die from laughing. Simple logic, eh?


Garak not knows where Deathtaste comes from, but makes you think anything you eat is foul and rotten. Garak first not knew why Deathtaste is called disease, but after some tortures, it became boring. Deathtaste is a boringness-disease. Garak has found easy cure: Put poison in being’s mouth to kill Deathtaste.

Instant Emotions 

Come from Abyss itself. Are very, very rare. Mistress says are also very expensive if sold. Garak does not sell, Garak kills. Or heals. Feels. That’s what instant emotion does. It feels. You get instant emotion, and then you feel that emotion. Could be anything: Hate, bloodlust, fear, envy, sloth, greed… mistress tells me to say it could also be love, lust, happiness and such. Garak knows what is lust. Healing? Just fulfill emotion. Garak always tries to fulfill his emotions. That’s Garak’s way.


Is a fungus, not a disease. Mistress tells me to say it works like a disease. It lets your teeth rot, but it takes many, many tortures. Garak could not count so many. As being that had greenteeth was enemy of mistress, she told me not to heal him. So no cure I know.

Head Eggs

Head Eggs

This is where you head gets lumps. Lumps grow and grow and look like eggs. But then they hatch and Abyssal pigeons come out. Mistress say they are just like Sigil pigeons but have wings like bats and four hooked feet and long nose and drink blood. Sounds bad, Garak does like like pigeons, the feathers get stuck in teeth. Cure this before hatching or they eat you when you sleep.

[AD&D 2e rules: Untreated head eggs hatch after 1d6 days, releasing 1d10 Abyssal pigeons. Use the stats of a stirge].

Salt Tears 

Appear only in layers with much salt, like near the River of Salt in Azzagrat. Being cries all the time, like Garak does when tortured. But tears are full of salt and burn on skin. But easy healing: Just go away from salt, and it stops.


Is funny for enemies. Black spots appear on being, and then crack open to spill being’s blood.

[AD&D 2e rules: On the first day, the diseased person gets 3d12 bloodspill spots; during the next day, these crack open, and indeed blood spills out of these wounds all the time. Each wound inflicts one point of damage every round until the person dies or gets healed somehow. The wounds that are open can be healed like any normal wound, but if no “cure disease” spell or something similar to heal the person is used on the victim, the bloodspill spots appear again the next day]

Stomach Bugs 

Are in meat and abyssal fruits. First very small, and they never get bigger when eaten by Garak – Garak’s stomach is too strong for stomach bugs. But Garak knows mortals have problems with them. Stomach bugs grow and then begin to eat being from inside. Cure? Anything that kills a being that lives in your stomach.

[AD&D 2e rules: : The exact effects of stomach bugs depend on the number of bugs inside a person’s stomach. Only one of these beasts could be only as bad as a constant stomach pain, while six dozen of them could easily kill a person in less than a day]

Silver Eyes 

Are nasty as beings most often like them first. What happens? Being gets eyes like silver, glowing strangely. Even Garak thought that looked good. Garak looks good, too. But most beings do not agree with Garak. They have agreed when talking about silver eyes. Not anymore when real effect came: Silver eyes start burning being’s brain after a couple of tortures.

Garak has found healing, of course. Garak always does when mistress lets him. Put mirror in front of silver eyes and let them burn themselves dead. Put mirror away fast when only very thin silver is on the eyes, or eyes themselves get hurt. Thin silver vanishes in a few minutes, is too thin to survive.

[AD&D 2e rules: After seven to ten days, the silver eyes glow even stronger, and the victim feels a severe pain on his very brain. This kill the victim in a few hours, really burning the brain like a hot flame, This method works only when the silver eyes have already started burning the diseased person’s brain.]

Mind Demons 

Are a telepathy disease. Being does not need telepathy, being only needs to hear telepathy from a diseased being. Hear telepathy, get disease. All the time hear voices in your head. Garak thinks telepathic thoughts have become self-conscious and make up home in diseased being’s mind. Then, talk to it all the while. Not too bad for Lorkh when he had it. But mistress told Garak to find cure, in case a mortal visitor gets mind demons. ‘Dretch’ she said, ‘find a cure by tonight, or I will kill you when I torture you again’. Garak does not like torture. Garak found cure. Garak is not Dretch.

Cure. Let being count voices in head, then call these voices telepathically. Say them you got be tter body for them. And have better bodies. Dead ones. Show mind demons where bodies are, lead them there telepathically. When they take over bodies, being is cured. Bodies then are undead skeletons and zombies, but not controlled. They are driven by one thought each, and behave like that. Most of the mind demon zombies Garak saw have not lived for long.



It appears when being drinks wrong liquids. Babau brain water makes slaughtertongue when drunk by mortals, mistress told me. Slaughtertongue turns your tongue into a self-conscious monster, trying to slaughter you. Is hard for tongue, of course, but is annoying for being. Cutting out tongue helps, as well as a tea I have tried once. Use hezrou eyes for that tea, and hot water.

Blood Sweating

Is exactly that. Garak once had it. Garak was dark green for several tortures, and sweating all the while. Not nice. Bathing does not cure, bathing hurts. Garak thinks only complete exchange of diseased blood helps. Or mistress with her magic. Good mistress. Garak was thankful for healing. Garak nearly liked torture of mistress afterwards. Nearly.

Now, Garak has to go. Have to cook nalfeshnee that wanted to kill mistress. Will mortal be guest?”

[AD&D 2e rules: Blood sweating is a rare blood disease that seems to occur without any apparent reason if a traveller remains very long in the Abyss. There is a non-cumulative chance of 1% per full year that a being is inflicted with blood sweating. The disease itself stops all regeneration, and takes one hit point per day from the victim, until death. The being is allowed a saving throw vs. death magic every five days to overcome the disease, though.]

Source: Heiner de Wendt and Jon Winter-Holt

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