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The Plague of 701 is a fictional epidemic in Dragon Prince, a fantasy novel by Melanie Rawn, which is the first book of the Dragon Prince Trilogy.

The Plague is a deadly disease for humans and Dragons. It attacks the lungs first, taking the victims' breath away, then it attacks the mind, taking their sanity. After a period of approximately twelve days, the victims die. There is only one cure for the plague: dranath.

Plague: 701Edit

In 701 the plague came with the dragonflight. It swept across the Continent, killing four out of ten people in places like Stronghold, the seat of the Desert and close to the dragon caves. As people began to die by the hundreds the call went out for Rohan of the The Desert to kill the dragons in the hope of saving human lives. Before Rohan had to decide whether to kill the beasts he loved, the dragons began to die as well. They died by the hundreds. Chaos ruled the Continent, and many Keeps shut themselves to all travellers. Ianthe of Feruche, for example, threw anyone with signs of the plague over her walls and the nearby cliff. The island princedoms - Dorval, Kierst, and Isel - closed their ports to all comers. The people of those princedoms remained isolated and healthy; Kierst and Isel even set aside their differences in order to survive together. On the Continent only the Merida seemed isolated enough to remain uneffected by the plague. In truth the Merida were related to the Vellant'im, who brought the plague over from the Vellanti Islands. To the Vellanti the plague is merely a childhood illness; once gotten a person never contracts it again.

A cure was finally found in the form of the drug dranath. This drug was made from the herb of the same name, which grew only in the Veresch Mountains of Princemarch. High Prince Roelstra sold the drug to the other princedoms, though the price was very high and the shipments often late to Lords and Princes, who had been at odds with the High Prince.

Rohan nearly bankrupted his coffers in order to buy enough dranath for his people. He wanted to apply the drug to the bittersweet plants the dragons ate in order to protect them from the plague, but he knew he could not save dragons at the expense of other princedoms. As he sought a way to afford more dranath without bankrupting his vassals, Farid of Skybowl approached him and told him Skybowl's secret: the Keep minted dragon gold. Astounded that the minting operation had been going on without his knowledge, but vastly grateful that it was, Rohan spent an obscene amount of the dragon gold to buy more dranath from Roelstra. Rohan then distributed the drug to the other princedoms - for free. As the panic and spread of the plague dwindled and finally ended, Rohan used the rest of his dranath to lace the dragons' bittersweet plants.

Known VictimsEdit

  • Abidias, Lord of Tuath
  • Antalya of Waes, Lady of Tiglath
  • Bethoc, Lord of Catha Heights
  • Camigwen, Sunrunner, friend of Sioned and beloved of Ostvel
  • Daar, Lord of Gilad Seahold
  • Durriken, Prince of Cunaxa
  • Gevina, Roelstra's daughter by Vamana
  • Haldor, Prince of Syr
  • Jahni of Radzyn Keep
  • Jelena, Roelstra's daughter by Palila
  • Jervis, Lord of Waes
  • Lamia, Roelstra's daughter by Karayan
  • Lenala of Princemarch
  • Mardeem, Sunrunner, friend of Sioned
  • Milar of Catha Freehold, Princess of the Desert
  • Riaza of River Run
  • Seldeen, Prince of Gilad
  • Vissarion, Prince of Grib

AftermathEdit

Many Lords and Princes had died of plague as well as many heirs. Keeps were left without direct descendents, and the records of bloodlines had to be scoured. Young Lords and Princes ruled before they were ready; youthful arrogance and preconceptions often clouded their political judgement, as did hot tempers. The Continent was vastly different from what it had been a mere year ago.

Trade had come to a screeching hault as a result of all the closed borders. It was slow to resume, and even three years later had not fully recovered.

Prince Rohan's plan to put dranath on the bittersweet worked; the Dragons stopped dying, though their population fell from over three hundred to thirty-seven during the next dragonflight.

New RulersEdit

  • Lord Kolya of Kadar Water
  • Lord Patwin of Catha Heights
  • Lord Sabriam of Einar
  • Lord Yarin of Snowcoves

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