Waterdeep — The bodies of two sailors recovered by the Watch from alleyways in Dock Ward were burned on a seaward pyre on Mount Waterdeep today after examination by Palace officials. The nameless sailors (southerners, by appearance) are thought to have come to the city aboard one of three vessels that brought cargoes of mritha-fruit and tlarm-melons from Lundeth, then took aboard armor and shields bound for Almraiven and departed Waterdeep seven days ago.
Watch speakers are of the opinion that when the sailors fell ill, their own crews drugged them and deliberately left them behind to die. The sailors perished of a little-known condition (thought to be very contagious but only through intimate contact) that’s been called “the snake sickness.” This mysterious affliction is thought to have originated in the Mhair Jungles.
It causes the surface of the skin to crack in small roundlets resembling scales. Some who are stricken recover completely, some regain full health but retain this ‘scaly’ appearance, but most perish. When nearing death, victims lose balance and fall to ground. Once there, they writhe with arms pressed to sides, akin to the slithering of a snake. The disease has no known cure.