At the age of fourteen, honey-voiced Fredo faced a genetically based blood disease, his skin splotched with purplish discolorations. For months, he'd grown thinner and thinner, his muscles atrophying. His blood would not clot, and he could not keep even the thinnest of broths in his stomach. The Salusan doctors had never seen anything like it.
The men of Rossak offered a number of experimental drugs from their fungoid jungles to treat Fredo's undiagnosed malady. Livia insisted on trying everything. Unfortunately, the young man reacted poorly to the third Rossak drug, an allergic response that caused his throat to swell. Fredo went into convulsions and stopped breathing.
His sisters were at risk of contracting the fatal malady themselves and Octa lived each day dreading that her life would come to a slow, painful end.