The Pox

Perhaps the most unpleasant experience, George, was catching the damned pox. It's not particularly the pain, discomfort and occasional bouts of insanity that I suffered that really made it all incredibly unpleasant, no. It was the fact that I had to go see Aunt Audrey, the local witch to make the whole thing go away. The horrors of the moonlight glinting off her boil-covered skin still haunts me.
– A conversation between two parish priests.
“It'll be worth it.”
“Worth it!? My John Thomas is a complete disaster area! Look!”
“I don't want to look.”
“Look! LOOK!”
”…Jesus Christ!”
– Attributed to C. Marlowe and valet.

The term is descriptive of a whole range of sexually transmitted diseases that exist, because medicine is not yet all that advanced, one can't really differentiate between one itch and another. There are many fun and exciting (painful and shameful) things associated with The Pox that makes society a livelier place to be in.

Catching the Pox

There are numerous ways of obtaining the disease, both by accident and intentionally and it can potentially affect any character in the game. You could take it as a negative quirk during character generation or have sex with somebody who already has The Pox (they will of course, probably not tell you, so as not to scare you away from the club). There is also the possibility of visiting your local friendly witch who can imbue you with the full awesomeness of The Pox for only short ritual likely to involve dancing naked in the moonlight and covering yourself with animal blood (though quite why anyone would want to do this, rather than find the nearest brothel and a night of passion or fun…1) ) There is the very slim chance that a passing demon, on its night away from being summoned by every sorcerer in the world will wave his magic wand, and out of sheer malice give you The Pox.

It will usually be relatively obvious when you have contracted The Pox and you will be informed, though of course the source may not be that obvious. Some doctors advise one to keep a diary of all sexual contacts (and witch rituals) you have, but they're wearing leeches on their ears, so you don't really have to listen.

Having The Pox

An entire range of possibilities is open to the individual in possession of the fabled Pox. There is a fifty-fifty chance that if you have sex with someone that they will get The Pox, which is an excellent opportunity to get back at all those enemies you've made, by suddenly appearing very sexually interested in them, all the rivalry will probably make them more suceptible.

Unfortunately, The Pox has the very annoying habit of actually hurting. You will certainly begin to experience increasing levels of discomfort as the disease progresses and could affect you and your reputation in all sorts of ways (falling on the floor and writhing in agony while holding your crotch in the middle of a sermon is a real set-back for a Bishop). This will usually express itself in a mildly reduced effectiveness of one quarter of your actions in a turn (picked at random) and the longer you leave the disease, the more likely this is to happen during something REALLY important.

We must also discuss the possibility of death or serious crippling (more likely), which is an avenue that will be explored if you choose conveniently to forget that you have a horrible disease raging through your body. Which is why it might be a good idea to have it all treated…

Curing the Pox

Once you've had all the joy that The Pox could possibly bring, you might consider exit strategies - the range of which, just like everything with The Pox, are large.

The most popular is the cure by mercury, because everybody knows that diseases are highly unlikely to survive in a body pumped full of mercury. Very little does. It has certainly been known to remove The Pox on many occasions, though there is no strict guidline to the dosage and on occasions there have been serious consequences or loss of instruments.

Slightly less popular, and possibly no more effective, is the leech-based method. One assumes that the leeches absorb The Pox into themselves or something - it's a mystery that most doctors don't really care to share. Again, it's been known to work occasionally, and has the advantage of a smaller chance of parts of your body becoming defunct.

For the connoisseur of naked dancing rituals, witches are able to offer a method that reportedly guarantees removal of all Pox-like affliction. It probably involves moonlight, dancing, blood, nakedness and rubbing, though not necessarily in that order.

As demons can give you The Pox, it is assumed that Angels can do the reverse, though it's likely that you would need to be extremely pious or prove to the Angel that you will never again sin and stop plotting to burn more members of your chosen opposing religion (alternative, burn more heretics).

Finally, those pure of heart can take the easiest and most painless (physically) options of praying to God, visiting Church and repenting your sins. For God gives and God takes and you've clearly done something very very wrong to anger him. There is the most evidence for this working because every priest in the country will tell you that it does.

1) okay, I understand that a night of naked dancing with animal blood CAN be passionate and fun
pox.txt · Last modified: 2007/09/23 11:13 by helen