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Revenant: The Great War

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Keith Thompson Ghoul

A typical refugee circa 1912, exhibiting early stages of Indian Rabies.

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The Great War is the collective term for the world-wide outbreak of Revenants that occured in the early 20th Century, caused by the virus Indian Rabies. The outbreak and the resulting global warfare was the deadliest period in human history, with a total estimated casualties of 450,000,000 by 1930.

History

Early stages

1912

The earliest evidence of Indian Rabies infections occured during the spring of 1912 in the western area of Sichuan Province in China. According to a medical report by Doctor Pai K'uangsu, the first infectee (Patient Zero) "...was a boy of about twelve years of age... his skin was a deathly greenish grey that belonged more to a corpse than a living boy... his ankle large gash about the size of a human mouth, which was certainly the cause of the boy's infection. As I entered the hovel where he was restrained, he unleased a hellish moan and attempted to attack me as I approached, although he could not as the villagers had restrained him..." Although the boy was soon transferred to Chengdu, his corpse was later discovered missing. Pai was also imprisoned for unknown charges in November 1912.

Communication with several other villages in Sichuan and Tibet ceased after the next six months, while rumours of "hopping corpses" spread throughout China. Yuan Shikai denied the rumours, and had anyone caught trying to spread the "disinformation campaign" imprisoned. Later personal accounts and evidence revealed that many infectees of the disease were smuggled into distant regions or even out of China altogether by criminal organisations. In addition, many refugees also served to spread the infections, although those who fled to larger cities were arrested and executed.

1913

The first case of infection outside of China or Tibet occured in Kashmir in a remote village called Balnad. A local hunter had spotted a "small group of vagabonds" outside the hills of the village. Upon hearing the moan uttered by them, the hunter fired several shots of his rifle, which did nothing. Panicking, the man fled back to Balnad, urging the villagers to flee. However, the villagers, apart from his family, did not take his warning, and most of the village was gone by the morning. Other reports indicate that most of northern Kashmir had fallen to the Revenants. The outbreaks occurring in this region lent the Revenant virus the name 'Indian Rabies'.

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