One of the most tragic and painful aspects of the process of industrialization has been the creation of a permanent underclass through the refinement of orichalum and other toxic substances. The "Goblinization" effect (a.k.a. Weisman-Charrette Syndrome) is a debilitative disease that attacks the physical and mental health of the infected.The transformation of miners and refinery workers through the mutative effects of orichalum, has caused great tragedy, and serves as a reminder of the medical dangers associated with certain materials. According to historical records outbreaks of WCS have taken place in 1225, 1348, 1621, and 1863.
As you may know, a virus is a protein shell that attaches itself to a cellular membrane and injects its genetic material into the cell. In effect, the virus takes over the cell and uses it as a factory for viral proteins. WCS is different from most viruses in that it doesn't destroy its host organism; rather, it transforms it. After infection, there is a period of high fever, chills and other flu-like symptoms. The victim is likely to experience extreme thirst as well. These symptoms last approximately 48 hours. Unlike people infected with Magistrate virus or Necrotic virus (a.k.a. Stoker-Romero virus), WCS victims do not ever slip into a coma.
A person infected with WCS comes out of the fever in a highly dangerous state. The victim will display fierce aggression and bloodlust. Their communication degrades into grunts, growls and hisses. They will make great efforts to flee the company of humans and complete their transformation in a more secluded area, such as a forest, a sewer or an abandoned structure.
The physiological transformation to goblinization begins approximately one week after infection, as the virus essentially takes over the body's process of cellular differentiation. The viral DNA selectively turns on and off certain parts of the human genome based on the final design of the organism. Bone growth occurs at the skull and along the spinal column. The torso becomes elongated and the bones and musculature of the pelvic and shoulder girdle expand. There are numerous other significant physical changes: hair begins to fall out in clumps, fingernails become claws, the jaws and teeth become canine and the eyes develop a yellow hue and the pupils become narrow.
The disease serves to cause massive over-production of pheromones and adrenaline, leading to hyper-aggressiveness, anti-social behavior, and a general inability to control their emotions. Victims often retain biological recognition of family members, friends, and neighbors. While infected have been recorded as remembering higher intelligence based skills, frustration and an inability to control their emotions often can lead to the impression that the person has reverted to a "primal state". Solitary WCS infected are very rare. "Goblin packs" are typically much larger than wolf packs. Within days of the onset of an outbreak, packs made up of dozens of goblins will have formed. It makes them more conspicuous, as well as making it more difficult for all to get to feed.
Medical researchers believe that the pack fulfills some primal need for community and connection. While hunting, goblins are all business. But in moments of repose, they show evidence of affection. They will cluster together and rest against each other. They show particular warmth to child goblins. Within the pack, goblins will assemble themselves into approximations of family units, with children, parents and grandparents huddling together.