Spoiler Alert: The following section contains spoilers about Briar's Book.
The blue pox epidemic was first recognised by authorities on the fifth day of Sap Moon, 1036 KF. The blue pox was not derived from any known epidemic which caused great difficulties in deciding on treatment and finding a cure. The infected patients first originated in the Mire, although after a short time cases were being found outside of the slums.
Flick the street rat was the first known person to carry the pox and after being discovered was promply placed in quarantine with Dedicate Rosethorn, Briar and the guards who had been in contact with her while moving her to Urda's House. Later an arsenal warehouse and the Summersea Water Temple were cleared for use as hospitals, as well as a camp built outside of the city. Members of the Winding Circle who contracted disease were ordered by Moonstream to be brought to the temple city to be treated. Bit Island was used to burn bodies. Four days after the disease was discovered a detection oil was found by Dedicate Crane.
The characteristics and symptoms of the blue pox include:
- Blue spots and blotches over the body
- Painful welts
- High Fever resistant to willowbark tea
- Glassy eyes
- Cracked and bleeding lips
- Delirium and seizures in the later stage of the pox
Within five days over 500 people had been found with the blue pox, although that number is dubious as many are thought to have hidden themselves away so as not to go into quarantine. It is not known how many died, however it was a substantial amount. Deaths were due to the fever associated with the pox and generally happened after the blue marks had gone.
- Dedicate Henna
- Dedicate Rosethorn (died of pneumonia after having the cure administered, and revived)
The cause of the epidemic was discovered as being an experiment for a weightloss potion that had been disposed of inappropriately by the poor mage Eilisa Pearldrop. All five magically enhanced fluids had not been properly neutralised and had been dumped in the sewer which then spread to and infected the waters of the Mire. The spread of the pox was perhaps aided by the high amount of rainfall.
To create the cure for the epidemic it was theorised that thirty-six keys were needed. To obtain those keys samples of the body fluids of sick people and those in close contact with the sick were brought - in spelt boxes to keep the sickness from infecting the courriers - to Winding Circle, where they were specially threated to find the cure. It is not confirmed whether Crane's early supposition regarding the needed number of keys proved correct. Although a cure was found it was not enough to prevent hundreds of deaths including that of Rosethorn.