Malady Condition in Vazdimet | World Anvil

Malady

A disease unique to mages and other magic casters, Malady is caused by a temporary misalignment with the magical fields which allow for the use and manipulation of Magic.   While potentially debilitating, particularly in the rare cases it leads to misattunement, it has a remarkably low mortality rate. The disease is not physically contagious, although it may spread through the use of Apotheturgy. Symptoms disappear as soon as the patient is realigned and appropriately grounded to the magical fields, often without additional outside help.

Causes

Malady results from an individual's misalignment with the universe and its magic. Severe cases are most often caused by utilizing magic in areas with unstable magical fields, or in areas where the fields of different magics are interacting in unexpected ways. When an individual taps into their own Imperium in these areas they can experience a backlash or magical surge which disrupts their own alignment with the fields and reality itself.   Milder forms of the condition occur in less dangerous situations, such as attempting to cast advanced spells far outside one's current skills, using enchanted items with incorrect or low quality Runework, miscasting high-Imperium spells, or using Apotheturgy with someone experiencing Malady.   The severity of symptoms depends upon the power of the spell being cast as well as the afflicted individual's magical strength and natural attunement. The stronger the spell the greater the risk of contracting Malady.

Symptoms

Those experiencing Malady often exhibit a gradual skin tone change which slowly cycles through the full color spectrum for the duration of their affliction. This is most notable on dracoling and humans, as it will not affect the fur of canids and katanoji, and is therefore only visible on exposed skin within their ears or mouths. Fae exoskeletons are also immune to these effects, making the insectoid sophonts much harder to diagnose.   Other symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, alternating fever and chills, muscle aches, and, in severe cases, the appearance of partially phasing in and out of the mortal plane. Severe cases may also result in strain while breathing or a strange magical humming sound eminating from the sick individual.   Those experiencing Malady are advised to abstain from using magic without professional guidance from a healer for the duration of their illness, as the resultant spells tend to be unpredictable in both outcome and strength. Tapping into their Imperium may also worsen their symptoms.

Treatment

Rehabilitation begins with meditation and relaxation, as the sick individual must center and realign within themselves before they can realign with their appropriate plane. Upon successful re-centering of the patient, any symptoms involving apparent phase shifting will cease.   The afflicted must next realign themselves with the magical fields. In severe cases a healer will first tap into the fields, then encourage the patient to follow suit, performing simple magical exercises together to promote realignment. Facilities equipped to treat more severe cases typically use a specially prepared room protected by tyrellium shielding to prevent injury from spell surges.   The nature of these exercises and duration of this phase of treatment depend upon the severity of the patient's symptoms. In milder cases the afflicted is provided with a selection of simple magical stretches to perform on their own.   Once the patient is successfully realigned, their healer will ensure they are appropriately grounded. This guarantees a successful cure and prevents the symptoms from returning. In most cases this merely involves handling items related to the appropriate magical fields. The most severe cases may require the patient and their healer to travel to a particularly well-grounded location for magical meditation.

Prognosis

Fortunately for the afflicted, Malady is a temporary disease with no long-term side effects. Occasionally the symptoms of Malady will return with greater intensity if contracted again, but this only occurs within a small subset of the most powerful magically attuned individuals.

Affected Groups

Any magic user, sapient or non-sapient, could become afflicted by Malady. Historical records recovered from the Golding Library show it was only through study of various animals' self-treatments that the majority of sophont species developed their own treatments.

Prevention

The only guaranteed way to prevent contracting Malady would be to never use magic. Among those who use magic there are various methods to reduce risk, most revolving around developing stronger attunements to the magical fields to better sense surges and other magical events.   Because these generally require tapping into magic to some degree, the practicioner may still acquire Malady. The use of smaller passive spells to test conditions prior to casting larger spells can limit the impact of the disease, resulting in a milder case than if they had used their initial spell first. Most instructors will school their students in the signs to look for, thereby preventing more severe cases, since the symptoms are apparent immediately.
Alternate Names
Imperial Flu (archaic)
Type
Magical
Origin
Magical
Cycle
Short-term
Rarity
Common

Malady and the Enlightenment

During the upheaval after the War for Enlightenment, magic practitioners experienced epidemic level frequencies of the Imperial Flu.   Experts poured through the knowledge wrested from the Golding Library to find a more efficient cure, with magic-reliant communities pouring generous amounts from their war coffers into the effort. It was around this time the term Malady was coined, in an effort to lessen the stigmatization of those suffering from the temporary but potentially debilitating condition.   With the Great Separation and subsequent shift into a new magical equilibrium, the quantity of new cases diminished rapidly, until settling on a frequency more reminiscent of those cases contracted today.
Malady
Condition | Jul 7, 2023

A disease unique to mages and other magic casters, Malady is caused by a temporary misalignment with the magical fields which allow for the use of Magic.


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