Monday, October 10, 2011
Some time after the fall of civilization, a species of fungus, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, evolved beyond creating zombie ants, and started attacking higher species with more complex brain patterns. As it evolved, so to did its use of those that it infected.
Driven by a need for propogation, the fungus infects its hosts, and eats away at the soft tissue, giving the victim a distended appearance, and giving rise to the name of the infection, the Bloat. Rather than driving them to high places, however, they drive them to populated areas, where their bodies expel the spores from the body's orifices. Most of the time this happens violently, with the pressure even ripping the bodies open in some cases, and infecting all who are near. Sometimes, though, there is a gradual release, and a host can walk around for days, infecting everyone he breaths on or touches. The Bloat lives mainly underground, and is a fierce enemy of the Ant Kingdom, who will sacrifice themselves to force the infected away from their colony, and use slaves to burn infected areas of the underground.
Every once in awhile, though, someone ventures into the wrong cave and brings the Bloat back to town. Surrounding villages will act swiftly and without mercy to contain an outbreak of the Bloat, and will burn whole swaths of land to prevent it from spreading.