In 2083, the Appalachian Enclave conducted research on mutations, running experiments on bats. When the bats were accidentally exposed to biochemical agents and radiation, they mutated, creating scorchbeasts and the Scorched Plague. In 2086, Thomas Eckhart unleashed the scorchbeasts into Appalachia.
Initial scorchbeast sightings were often dismissed as rumors or hallucinations. The Responders at Morgantown Airport first received word of the Scorched threat from the Brotherhood of Steel, and attempted to develop countermeasures, such as training the Fire Breathers, a group specifically trained to face the creatures. The Free States operating within the Mire suffered the loss of Harpers Ferry to the scorchbeasts in 2086, and in response, developed technology such as the Scorched Detection System and the scorchbeast lures to track their movements.
The Fire Breathers discovered that ultracite deposits become volatile when coming into contact with depleted ultracite. Using this information, they and the Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel created specialized weapons such as receiver modifications and laser guns to more effectively combat those infected. In addition, the research efforts of Dr. Claire Hudson made progress on the early stages of vaccination development but were forced to abandon their work. Unable to combat the spread of the plague, some groups fled the region. Ultimately the efforts of the Responders, Brotherhood of Steel, Free States, and Raiders were unsuccessful and their factions destroyed.
In 2102, Vault 76 opened and the inhabitants reentered Appalachia. Following the trail of their overseer, the Vault Dwellers discovered what became of the region's factions, and finished what the groups had started. They began to manufacture vaccination for the plague after Settlers, Raiders, and other groups began to return to the region. Later in the year, word of this inoculation would spread beyond Appalachia via caravans. Upon arrival in Appalachia, the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force received the inoculation as well. The Vault Dwellers' efforts culminated in utilizing the region's nuclear missile silos to launch a strike against Fissure site Prime and subsequently destroying the scorchbeast queen.
The disease is spread by direct contact or droplets. The Vault 76 overseer describes the creatures flying overhead to be capable of infecting those below from the sky. It causes both humans and creatures to transform into Scorched.
The effects start with a series of significant physical changes in its victims. At first, the victim's skin will darken, and smell of ash. Eventually, intense burning lesions begin to form. After some time, the victim's skin will split open, exposing the presence of green ultracite crystals that break up from beneath their skin. The plague results in subjects being controlled by a hive mind.
Scorched humans are able to use melee weapons and firearms. They wear tattered civilian wear, military uniforms and faction outfits such as the varied dress of the Responders or armor of the raiders. Their vocalizations refer to themselves in the plural, with typical phrases being "we are one" or "never alone."
In 2103, following the elimination of the Scorchbeast Queen and subsequent vaccination of the settlers and raiders who have returned to Appalachia, the Scorched influence on the region is in decline. Fixtures comprised of the dismembered corpses of Scorched are not uncommonly found mounted onto the walls of outposts and strongholds claimed by regional factions such as the Blood Eagles or the Cult of the Mothman.
- Appear as Scorched variants
- Cave crickets
- Fog crawlers
- Hermit crabs
- Honey beasts
- Mega sloths
- Mirelurk hunters
- Mirelurk kings
- Mirelurk queens
- Mirelurk spawn
- Mole miners
- Mole rats
- Mutant hounds
- Super mutant behemoths
- Super mutants
- Yao guais
- Do not appear as Scorched variants
- An Arktos Pharma experiment also produced symptoms similar to that of the plague.
- The player character cannot contract the infection, even before being inoculated to it. Instead, if one is exposed to the disease, they may contract the Blight, which lowers all SPECIAL stats by 1.
- Scorched Grafton Monster variants appeared in Nuclear Winter mode.
|The following is based on Fallout 76 cut content.|
- The Scorched Plague was originally intended to be a disease contracted from Scorchbeasts. This exists in the game files as both Scorched Plague and Scorched Fever. Completing the An Ounce of Prevention quest would have rendered the party immune to contracting the disease again. Player characters with the disease would have taken +5% damage from Scorched enemies.
|End of information based on Fallout 76 cut content|
Behind the scenes
|The following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and may be inaccurate.|
The Scorched Plague is similar to the real world fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which destroys an animal's soft tissue, causing death during hiberation. The fungus has destroyed a large portion of the tricolored bat (Pipistrellus subflavus) population, from which scorchbeasts are possibly descended, as noted by Ella Ames.
|End of information based on unverified behind the scenes information|
The Scorched Plague appears only in Fallout 76.