This article is about the Hortons' famous Taint. You may be looking for the in-universe books.

The Taint of the Hortons is something that the Horton family has had for generations.


The Taint activates at a certain age. When it does, one of their eyes disappear; if they open it, there literally is no eye. When they become older, the Taint will eventually become fully matured, eventually granting them a new eye and abilities they never had before; their new eye is usually a different color.

The clones of a person who bears the Taint will also be Tainted, themselves, thus their Taints will also activate when the original's Taint activates. If the original's Taint already activated, the clones' will have their own Taint activated a second after they were created.

There are various variations of the Taint, so what holds true for one Horton might not hold true for another, yet it might hold true for a third Horton. It is also possible for a Horton to have the Taint in addition to another variation. Some variations have requirements, which usually depend on the parentage.

A poisoned Horton's new eye will have the same color as the other eye, as is the case with Valkyrie Horton. If the Taint is activated, but not fully matured, their beneficial abilities are negated (but not their detrimental abilities). If someone who has a Double Taint were to be poisoned, they would effectively be blind.

Those who are Tainted are easy to corrupt with darkness from equipment like the Dark Armor, though the reason for this is not yet elaborated on.


The ages listed in the table are the ages that the Taint activated, where known.

Name Characters (age) Notes
Bloodlust Taint (none yet) Those with a Bloodlust Taint must kill at least twice a day, or else they will go stark-raving mad for several years.
Celestial Taint (none yet) They are completely immune to the side-effects of auras, even if an aura would negate their own abilities. This variation usually occurs in the children of a Horton and a demigod(dess).
Cursed Taint (none yet) The use of their Taint abilities are detrimental to their health, and can potentially lead to their death. This type of Taint usually occurs due to their parentage in some way.
Double Taint Valerie Horton (10) Both of their eyes are lost.
Early Taint Valerie Horton (10) Their Taints activate at an earlier time than usual.
Element Taint (none yet) Before the Taint activates, they can each control two elements. When the Taint activates, they lose a random element, being stuck with the other element. They cannot use any other elements until their Taint fully matures, which is when they can use their initial two elements.

A fully matured Element Taint have only the weaknesses of the element they used while Tainted - so if someone was Tainted and controlled Ice in that time, and had Chrono, Fire and Water as their other elements, they would only have the weaknesses of the Ice element.

Eternal Taint (none yet) Once their Taint activates, it is permanent. Their missing eye remains missing as long as they live. As such, their Taint cannot fully mature. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing…
Felinoid Taint (none yet) They can still see with their missing eye. How this works is not yet known for certain. Those with this Taint have a Horton and a Felinoid as a parent.
Late Taint Shinica Horton (??) Their Taints activate at a later time than usual.
Revival Taint (none yet) As long as they cannot see with their missing eye, they will come back to life if they die unnaturally, non-stop. When the Taint fully matures, however, they will revive once, on death, at any time.
Shared Taint (none yet) A Taint that is only seen in twins. Their Taint activates at the exact same time. Any pain they feel is shared, but they also have very powerful telepathy with each other.
Silent Taint (none yet) They lose their voice in addition to their eye. They usually end up getting voice-related abilities when the Taint fully matures.
Taint Serenity Clones (1 second); Serenity Horton (13?); Valkyrie Horton (??) Considered to be the "normal" Taint.
Triple Taint (none yet) They lose their emotions in addition to both their eyes.
Untaint Ilina Horton They are immune to magical corruption, because they are not Tainted. They were never born with it in the first place. It is apparently rare.
Were-Taint (none yet) Werecreatures - like werewolves or wererats - who have the Taint are able to change their form at will. However, their weaknesses remain - thus, a Horton werewolf with a Were-Taint would be weak to silver (which burns their skin). They have a natural elemental affinity to Beast, as a result of being part-werecreature, and also a faint affinity to Moon (as werecreatures normally have uncontrolled form changes during a full moon).


  • Currently, it appears that someone who has both an Eternal Taint and a Revival Taint can only die from natural causes.
  • No male Hortons have been born in centuries, thus none exist at the time Lunar Shadow takes place.
  • Ataraxis is the only Tainted character to open their missing eye in Lunar Shadow.
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