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Lore:Thrassian Plague

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"It was ever present, ever penetrating. It seeped into every person, every creature, every drop of water, seeking to be quenched. The afflicted drank themselves to corpulence with each passing day, until their bones cracked under their bulging flesh."Kinlord Nemfarion

The Thrassian Plague (called slug famine by some ancient texts[1]) was an artificially-created pandemic of mass proportions that occurred in 1E 2200.[2][3][4] It is estimated that half of the population of the Iliac Bay,[5][6] and even Tamriel as a whole,[3][4] perished because of it. It was created by the Sload and received its name from their homeland, the coral kingdom of Thras.[7][8] The Sload spread the plague through the use of infected sea beasts that were sent onto the coastlines. The Sload would then use the chaos of the Thrassian plague to sack several cities along the coasts while also enslaving those who lived there.[9]


While the reasons for its creation and the methods used to discover the culprits are uncertain, it has been established that the slugfolk of Thras released this calamity on Tamriel.[7] Appearing in 1E 2200 (some sources state it was as late as 1E 2260),[10] it washed upon the shores of western Tamriel closest to Thras, starting at islands in the Abecean, Hew's Bane, Southpoint, Malabal Tor, Daggerfall, Cape Shira, and the Gold Coast.[11] It soon spread further across the mainland (going as far as Elsweyr), destroying cultures and decimating populations as it went.[12] In Summerset the disease wrought devastation on the city of Corgrad, which was flooded by its ruler Nemfarion in an effort to prevent the Plague from spreading, drowning most of its inhabitants.[13] The Corgrad Wastes were reputed to bear a taint of corruption well into the Second Era.[14] The Archmage Syrabane, using his powerful ring, is said to have saved many people from perishing from the disease,[15] possibly even finding a cure.[16]

While it's unknown when the disease fully subsided, cases of the Thrassian Plague were still being reported near Wayrest over four hundred years after its initial outbreak.[17] Bearers of the Plague still remained in the Corgrad Wastes over a millennium later in 2E 582, using blood sorcery to suppress the symptoms of the disease.[13]


The Thrassian Plague had major political and cultural repercussions on Tamriel, the most notable one being the assembling of the All Flags Navy, tasked with the invasion of Thras. Forces were sent from almost every nation of western Tamriel, ancient enemies putting aside their differences to exact revenge on the Sload.[18] Assisted by Syrabane[15] and led by Bendu Olo, its Baron-Admiral and the king of Anvil, the All Flags Navy "sailed to Thras, slaughtered all the Sload they could find, and, with great unknown magicks, sunk their coral kingdoms into the sea."[4] It would take many years before Thras was restored to its former glory, and its population never attempted any similar attack on Tamriel.

Other consequences of this temporary alliance were evident decades later. The western parts of Cyrodiil began to overshadow the more advanced and religiously ardent east, which eventually led to the War of Righteousness that ended the thousand-year rule of the Alessian Order,[3] which in turn shifted the focus of power in the Iliac Bay from Daggerfall to Wayrest.[19]

Another dire consequence of the Thrassian Plague was the destruction of the equilibrium of the Khajiiti people due to heavy loss of life. The disease forced the survivors into roles they did not choose, polarizing their culture and forever changing their region from sixteen peaceful and co-existing states that resisted all foreign invasions into two very culturally opposed and politically divided states, Pellitine and Anequina.[8]

Spread and SymptomsEdit

In 1E 2200 the Thrassian Plague began to spread through Tamriel, released into the continent through the use of infected sea beasts sent onto the coastlines,[9] the disease spread at practically supernatural speed leaving hundreds of thousands of misshapen corpses in its wake and afflicting the populace with symptoms such as boils, brittle bones, seeping mucous from the eyes and ears, and an unquenchable thirst that drove folk to madness.[20] According to the account of an Altmer Kinlord who experienced the events, at its height the Plague was ever penetrating, seeping into every person, every creature and every drop of water, driving the afflicted to drink uncontrollably until their very bones cracked under the weight and bearing an intent of its own to spread misery.[13] Soon over half of the population of the continent was dead.[3]

The Plague proved resistant to attempts at a cure, a number of unsung heroes laid down their lives in search of one in vain, managing only to confirm the suspicion that the disease was unnatural and had originated from the Sload of Thras.[20]

The influence of the disease was so pervasive that certain locations such as the Corgrad Wastes were reputed to bear a taint of corruption even well into the Second Era.[14]