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The Dying Man
The Dying Man, as drawn by Lizard Bite

Fear of...

Dying, Decay, Oneself


The River


The Cabaret of Death

First Appearance

Already Heard

The Dying Man is the first portrayal of the Fear of Dying, also representing the fear of decay, withering away, and oneself. It unbalances its victims through possession, jumping from one body to the next at the time of death. Once The Dying Man infects a person, their bodies will start to decay like a corpse. Symptoms of the infection include necrosis and a variety of deformities including cancerous growths, the growth of extra organs and scales developing on the skin. The speed of decay varies from victim to victim, ranging a few hours to a few years. When the host has become too decayed, The Dying Man will seek out a new body to jump into through physical contact.

In most interpretations, The Dying Man is not a single entity; rather it is split up into several incorporeal beings, often known as pieces or shards. These entities differ greatly from one another in tactics, objectives and personality, often resulting in major disputes with the other Fears and their fellow pieces. Prior to the event that "shattered" The Dying Man into multiple shards, it was supposedly the most powerful Fear in existence.

The Dying Man's domain is The River.

Relation to The Red Cap

The Red Cap is sometimes written as related to The Dying Man. Some stories, such as City of Sinopia, suggest that The Red Cap is what the original fragment of the Dying Man became after splitting itself into multiple pieces.

The Rapture Cycle portrays the two Fears as siblings.