Zoanthropy Epidemic
Plot Details for Zoanthropy Epidemic
Summary: A new magical bug that turns people into animals for 24 hours is becoming an epidemic. And anyone affected retains certain characteristics of their animal until a cure is found.
Run by: Gamine

Getting Involved

THIS SUMMER, catch the latest craze sweeping the Wizarding World! (Actually it's just in the U.K. for now).

For 24 hours, your character will become an animal that most reflects their inner nature. And until the healers of St. Mungo's can find a cure, he or she will retain a few lingering characteristics of that animal.

Turn into a cockatoo and keep the fabulous crest. Become golden retriever and keep the fascination for squirrels. Transform into a gecko and keep the sticky hands.

But how do you get it? Any contact with another victim will do the trick! Get bitten, scratched, licked, or even just touched by someone who has caught the magical bug and you too can join the fun.

How it Works

Choose Your Own Animal

This magical bug makes each character turn into an animal that reflects their inner nature. This works just like choosing a corporeal patronus or an animagus transformation. Those tend to be identical, so if a character already has one of those determined, that is what he or she will turn into.

Choosing the animal is a chance to reflect long and hard on what lies at your character's core. A helpful exercise might be to work on a character diamond to boil down your character's four essential traits. But it's completely optional!

Follow the pixar rules of story-telling (#12) and try not to choose the first (or even second) idea that comes to mind. Come up with something that could be unexpected, dangerous, or embarrassing.

If picking an animal is turning out to be tricky, don't hesitate to send Gamine a page! She'd love to curl up and help brainstorm ideas for a character's animal transformation.

Once you have an animal, just send Gamine a +mail so that she can add them to the List of Carriers below.

The Transformation

It takes 24 to 48 hours for first symptoms to manifest. But the onset will be sudden.

A character can be enjoying a drink at the Three Broomsticks and suddenly llama ears sprout out of their head. And just as people are starting to stare, their butterbeer slips out of their hooves. Their neck shoots out, long and fuzzy, out of their shoulders. And POOF, they're a llama. They'll have no more than five to ten minutes of human thoughts before their animal instincts fully take hold.

Then expect a lot of ill-tempered spitting and stomping on toes as people try to corral the llama off to St. Mungo's. The transformation will last for 24 hours. Afterwards, anyone afflicted will retain certain characteristics of their animal, both behavioral and physical. Expect strong impulses to spit or an extensive neck. These will last until the St. Mungo's healers can find a cure.

Animagus Exception: The animagi have mastered transformation into their animal form. While the magical transformation still triggers the transformation, they have full control over their minds and may transform back to human at will. There are also no lingering side-effects.

Transmitting the bug

If you catch it, pass it on! To catch the disease, a character just needs to have direct contact with someone who already has it. Getting bitten or scratched is a 100% guarantee of catching it. Any other form of physical touch will also do the trick with varying degrees of success.

Each animal will react differently to its surroundings, but whatever their response, make sure it involves a lot of interaction with characters that belong to players who want to get involved.

After a character reverts back to their human form (with the lingering characteristics) there is still a slight chance that they can pass on the magical bug to those with which they have close contact.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you have OOC consent from the other player before transmitting the bug.

The Response

Contain the Animal

It'll be fun to turn into a manatee or a billy-goat, but the real heroes will be the wizards and witches that step up to deal with them.

Ordinary citizens need to contain any threat that a transformed witch or wizard might pose. Keep them from getting hurt or hurting others! But some animals might be more than most people can handle. That’s where the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures comes in. Many might get pulled from their regular duties to deal with this crisis.

If there aren't any characters stepping in to contain an animal, bring in your own NPCs!

Transformed witches or wizards will be taken to St. Mungo's. Large transformations will be shrunk down, and dangerous animals will be heavily sedated until they transform back.

Consequences and Cover-up

Those muggles will need a darn good reason why a rhinoceros was rampaging across the London Bridge. The muggles who SAW that man turn into a rampaging rhinoceros will need to have their memories altered. And the proprietor of a devastated china shop may try to press charges on the wizard sporting those impressive horns.

Wizarding Attitudes: Some wizards or witches might decide that this new magical bug is too close to lycanthropy for comfort. Be sure to review the prevailing attitudes on lycanthropy. Those visibly suffering from 'zoanthropy' could face similar discrimination until cured. However, others might see the magical bug to more closely resemble animagi transformations and won't see what the fuss is about.

A character that has caused irreparable damage on their rampage could expect a visit from the M.L.E. If your character caused trouble while still in control of their mind, they could face charges. But most charges will get dropped.

Finding a Cure (and Healing the Hurt)

The healers of St. Mungo’s will have their hands full patching up anyone who has been scratched or mauled. Any healer can handle that. But only the specialists in Magical Bugs and Diseases will be able to find a cure before summer’s end.

This epidemic is supposed to last a month or two. The healers need to work through a number of steps to reach it. First, they need to work out how the disease is transmitted. As more details comes to light, they will try to control its spread with the help of the Ministry. Before long, healers will begin to experiment with various treatments. Eventually, one of the experimental treatments will work. After that, they just need to administer the cure to all the afflicted witches and wizards.

If no healer character is available for a scene, use an NPC. In particular, Virgil "Virg" Goshawk VI is the Healer-In-Charge Magical Bugs and Diseases. He is also a Community NPC that anyone can use if they need a healer for this plot.

List of Carriers

Below is a list of characters and their animal transformations. Don't hesitate to contact any of these individuals for a scene!

Adrian Black Panther. Transformed on July 1. Log not posted.
Aiden Ball Python. Transformation scene on July 3.
Anson Peacock. Transformation scene on July 1.
Billy Unknown. Transformed on July 18.
Josie Squirrel. Transformation scene on July 19.
Lorcan Crow. Transformation scene on on July 2.
Morrow Bengal Tiger. Transformation scene on June 30.
Oberon Wolf. Transformation scene on July 2.
Samira Sand Cat. Transformed on July 4.
Xylina European Wild Cat. Transformation scene on July 1.

Related Logs

If your scene centers around the transformations or their results, be sure to tag your scene as: "plot:zoanthropy_epidemic" to be included below.

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