The Corruption is one of the Entities. It is linked to feelings of disgust and revulsion, as well as fear of corruption, disease, and filth. It manifests as mould, bugs, rot, decay, and infection.
Elements of The Corruption also show themes of love and companionship with unhealthy boundaries, where several of its victims find comfort in its manifestations, growing fond of company others find vile. The Corruption seems to specifically target people who are considered toxic by others as avatars.
|ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!|
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
- MAG 6: Squirm (The Flesh Hive)
- MAG 22: Colony (Jane Prentiss, The Flesh Hive)
- MAG 26: A Distortion (The Flesh Hive)
- MAG 32: Hive (Jane Prentiss, Wasp nest)
- MAG 36: Taken Ill (Ivy Meadows, John Amherst)
- MAG 39: Infestation (Jane Prentiss, The Flesh Hive)
- MAG 45: Blood Bag (Mosquitos)
- MAG 55: Pest Control (Wasp nest, Jane Prentiss, John Amherst, Jordan Kennedy)
- MAG 68: The Tale of a Field Hospital (John Amherst)
- MAG 84: Possessive (Old Maggie)
- MAG 93: Contaminant (Purple mould)
- MAG 102: Nesting Instinct (The Little Beetle)
- MAG 153: Love Bombing (Agape, Divine Chains Cult)
- MAG 157: Rotten Core (John Amherst)
- MAG 164: The Sick Village (Domain)
- MAG 184: Like Ants (Domain, Leto, Jordan Kennedy)
- MAG 38: Lost and Found (Worms)
- MAG 40: Human Remains (Jane Prentiss, The Flesh Hive)
- MAG 91: The Coming Storm (A Journal of the Plague Year)
- MAG 106: A Matter Of Perspective (Mentioned, Ivy Meadows)
- MAG 145: Infectious Doubts (Wasp nest)
- MAG 146: Threshold (Partially, unseen extracted statement)
- MAG 181: Ignorance ("Insect Thing")
- MAG 196: This Old House (Eowa)
- Agape: An emaciated dog that compelled obsessive, incredible love. Notably, 'agape' is also a Greek word meaning spiritual or metaphysical love as opposed to sexual, romantic, or platonic love.
- The Flesh Hive: Also known simply as The Hive, the Flesh Hive is a symbiotic entity between a swarm of silvery worms with blackheads and its human host. The worms can burrow through flesh to nest and infest humans, multiplying and growing until they can devour them from the inside out in one gory burst. Sometimes, if a victim is predisposed to The Corruption's influence, they can instead become a host, allowing them to continue 'living', though it is unclear how much control the host has over the worms, and to what extent they are considered Avatars.
- Jane Prentiss: The primary Flesh Hive shown. She was the first known host, as the Flesh Hive originated from a mass of The Corruption growing in her attic.
- Timothy Hodge: A man who slept with a Harriet Lee, a dormant Flesh Hive infestation, shortly before it consumed her. He was encountered two years later by Sasha James, by which point he seemed to be becoming a Flesh Hive himself.
- Harriet Lee: a woman who was attacked by Jane Prentiss and became a dormant Flesh Hive. She was then consumed by it and infected Timothy Hodge.
- John Amherst: An avatar of the Corruption who is able to return to life after seemingly dying of various diseases and infections. While he is associated with insects, particularly flies and ants, he is primarily aligned with disease and plague.
- The Little Beetle: A manifestation with 'many children'. It entrances those desperate for companionship, gradually infesting them as they love it.
- Benoît Maçon: "Married" The Little Beetle and gradually decayed, becoming infested with beetle "children."
- Old Maggie (Margaret "Maggie" Carnegie): A reclusive hoarder in the village of Cratfield, whose yard served as a dump for the townsfolk. The ground surrounding her home contained an unusual amount of earthworms. Maggie's death was listed as "natural causes", but insect legs reportedly grew from her body and continued to move even after her death.
- Gordon Goodman: A man who, as a boy, delivered groceries to Maggie and was subject to her strange rituals involving newspaper. He is the current owner of the Cratfield dump, now known as “Gordie’s Dump”, of which he was the sole inheritor. He also was the one to identify Maggie's corpse, which then vanished the following night.
- Leto: an avatar of the Corruption that was part of an ant colony, he now seems to have become a victim to The Colony domain
- Jordan Kennedy: a former pest exterminator who had encounters with both Jane Prentiss and John Amherst. In the post-Change world, he is turned into an avatar by Jonathan Sims to save him from The Colony domain.
- An unnamed avatar who sought love from and wept maggots.
- A Journal of the Plague Year: A variation of A Journal of the Plague Year that causes structures to rot apart.
- The Tale of a Field Hospital: A variation of The Tale of a Field Hospital that contains passages about John Amherst. Its pages are sharp and eager to inflict papercuts, which rapidly become infected.
- A plague-infected scalpel that cannot be disinfected.
- A 19th-century syringe with unusual effects on mosquitoes. Given the context of the related statement, wherein unusual events happen only after its sale, it may actually be a ward of some kind against the Corruption's influence.
- Klanxbüll: A town in Germany that falls victim to a pandemic caused by John Amherst. The people there are infected with a disease that causes flesh and muscle the sag off the body. Adelard Dekker burns the corpses of the townspeople and himself to stop it from spreading.
- The Sick Village: A domain of Corruption in the post-Change world, it is a town riddled with a disease that discolours the skin and buries itself into a person before melting their flesh. The town is wary of outsiders and has a complex, contradictory system of governance that results in an eternal cycle of mistrust and suspicion.
- The Colony: A domain of Corruption in the post-change world, consisting tunnels full of an uncountable number of ants. There is no queen and the ants themselves function as both the domain’s avatar and the domain itself, however, Jordan Kennedy seems to now be the domain's avatar after John saved him.
The Corruption has no known named rituals, though Robert Smirke presumably created one when he wrote rituals for each Entity.
Jonathan Sims theorised that Jane Prentiss was attempting to begin a ritual in 2016. The ritual involved the creation of a gate with the worms of the flesh hive in an area saturated with its influence, intended to rot a hole into The Corruption itself. Her attack on The Magnus Institute in MAG 39: Infestation may have been meant to fuel the ritual with the destruction of a rival Power's stronghold. This ritual was preemptively ended with the death of Jane Prentiss and the flesh hive.
Connections to other Entities
- The Distortion actively fights against The Corruption by helping Sasha fight the flesh hive.
- It is unclear if this is the will of The Spiral or the personal choice of Michael/The Distortion.
- John attempting to crush a spider on the wall of the Archives leads him to break through the wall, finding Jane Prentiss and her worms planning to attack the Archives.
- This may be The Web helping to protect the Archives from The Corruption.
- The Corruption and The Buried sometimes intersect with insects and worms living in the ground and shares the Colony Domain with it.
- Jane Prentiss lead an attack on the Archives and possibly attempted a ritual there.
- Some aspects of the Corruption were considered separate entities at various points in the early development of the podcast.
- In the season 4 Q&A Part 2, Alex and Jonny discuss that Agape could technically be considered an avatar depending on if they could make a "pledge" to The Corruption.
- The Corruption appears to draw inspiration from the Chaos God Nurgle from the Warhammer series of tabletop games, who is also a god of both filth and disease as well as love and companionship.