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Sickness and disease in Dontoria was commonplace, a natural by-product of having such a high population density. By and large the hivesprawl had become inured to it; even when hundreds of thousands of lives were claimed by affluenza, dry lung or red smog fever. However, rumours of a strange supernatural plague were emanating from the districts around Litmus Dock, a disease that melded flesh with metal to form hideous blends of man, machine and daemonic anatomy.
With each day the reports became more prevalent until the entire area was on the verge of panic. Only the Rogue Trader Delarique du Languille, operating out of Litmus' highest spire on her quest to chart the Nachmund Gauntlet, recognised the disease for what it was - the Gellerpox. It was a sickness contracted on long warp journeys where the ship's Geller field had glitched long enough for baleful empyric energies to enter the vessel, and it mingled the paranormal maladies of the Plaguefather Nurgle with the flesh and metal hybridisation so common to the ranks of the Imperium - especially those of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
Du Languille theorised that the disease had been deliberately carried to the hivesprawl by the Death Guard, who then released it amongst the population before going to ground. It spread like wildfire. Already the citizenry were up in arms, burning the infected wherever they were uncovered - but in doing so, driving the rest into hiding. In the slums and shanty towns of the Pravdus and Grodholev Subsprawls, the creatures known as Twisted Lords rose to prominence, each the monarch of his own ever-growing band of mutants and nightmarish, hulking terrors. The streets thronged with giant vermin, twisted beyond biological limits into monstrosities, gutters were thick with sludge-grubs, and eyestinger swarms flitted through the skies in search of fresh prey. The blessings of Father Nurgle were well and truly upon Dontoria, and it would take a herculean effort to banish them.
Using her own ship and high status to travel from Litmus Dock to Saint's Haven, du Languille requested extensive quarantine measures of the Aquilarian Council - though privately, she feared her revelation was already too late.
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