This is a post that describes a disease that is not of epidemic proportions that could be present anywhere and nowhere in Thar Shaddin, and, due to lack of actual health care/universal medication practices, this disease causes many problems beyond the disease itself. The intention is to provide a source of subject for new RP threads, new character weaknesses, and new political and religious issues.
This disease has many names, including "Contagion," "Blacker Death," "Mage Plague," and "Blasphemy". However, the official name of this bacterial disease is called
Essentially, this is under the assumption that any leak from the astral plane doesn't necessarily have to be magic that is power-granting to the storer or holder of it. Possibly, magic could be very corruptive and unhealthy, perhaps even parasitic, for a life form to have.
This is also under the assumption that, even though the above may be possible, if there were such a disease-like condition or illness that existed, it would be next to impossible to officially say it is in fact caused by magic, since the government of Marn outlaws magic (and therefore can't use magic to study it and identify it as magic), and the Battlemages source of magic training doesn't expand to a network of practices that "magic doctors" or "witch doctors," possess, and therefore magical enhancements haven't been able to be used for official health practices by Battlemages, or if such organization doesn't exist, then any doctor that used magic to study this disease wouldn't be able to openly state beyond the guise of a rumor that the Magic Flu is actually caused by magic, for it would influence that doctor's political views, which may limit the number of future patients willing to accept treatment from said magical doctors. However, a magic doctor may proclaim the validity or falseness of magic flu, and suffer the benefits and consequences henceforth.
Before the exact nature of the Magic Flu is described, the reactions of the public must be stated first.
The divisions among the Magic Flu's causes are caused there to be no actual agreement on the official name.
One group, called the "Ear Pointers," mostly of magical races, especially elves (hence the name ear pointers), and innately magic characters, call the illness "Hexitis," and state there is not enough proof for it to be caused by magic, and therefore no action other than healing methods should be used for action against it.
The other group, called the "Sheople" in secret and "Officials" in open, mostly composed of purytarians, believes that it is in fact caused by housing truly corrupt magic in the body or soul, and this group is further divided into two more groups.
The less radical group, calling themselves the "Curers," believe that this magic disease is only storing magic, and shouldn't count as using magic illegally.
The radical group, simply called "the radicals," believe that, due to the possibility of the Magic Flu being contagious and/or caused by using magic, and therefore can be used as evidence to try and execute breakers of the law.
To further complicate things, the radicals, which just happens to contain a majority of the Judges, tries to add more official symptoms and signs of the Magic Flu, and the Curers that are also city guard or Battlemages usually let the more ridiculously unbelievable side effects ignored, while the radicals may arrest an individual simply for coughing three times.
Legitimate symptoms of Hexitis/Magic Flu: Uncontrolled and random execution of spells, skin decay, eye color and/or hair color disappearing or turning a different color, fluctuating chest and joint pains, abnormally large amounts of earwax excretion while sleeping, veins glowing and fluctuating in brightness, inability to use Gnomish machinery, and (depending on the severity of the condition) resistance to magic and potion effects- almost as if the magic spells avoid the holder of the illness to not "catch" or "spread" it.
"Official" symptoms and signs: In addition to all the above, this list includes soar throats, getting gray hairs, stumbling around, unexplained physical injuries (or injuries that "patients" are unwilling to describe since they can't accuse the citizens that beat them to sentence them), odd cravings, loss of appetite, coughing fits in multiples of three, itching elbows and feet, warts, snot excretion, mumps, rashes, and a sense of numbness and/or fatigue.
This can cause all sorts of problems- interesting, good, and bad (for collaborative fiction). It is strongly advised that, when using being accused of or actually possessing Magic Flu that you list all specific side effects, and how much the character hides it, or if the character knows about it to begin with. Also, if this isn't being used as a weakness of your body, but your personality, being either a Curer or a radical, then be sure to list which side effects that character believes in.
non-universal knowledge: The world does not know which side effects are actually legitimate and which ones are not. Some radicals may only believe in a few legitimates and then some "official" ones that they've deemed true on their own, or even none at all. Not every resident of Thar Shaddin knows of the Magic Flu, and it is perfectly possible for someone to live his or her whole life without coming into contact or knowledge of the subject.
Cures: There is no known cure, but some various rumors do exist on how to cure it. This is not a complete list, since it is possible for a character to be able to come up with his or her own "cure," but these are definitely the most common.
1.) Raw rabbit and frog legs, consumed in the form of cold stew
2.) Getting the part that you believe to be "infected," aka whatever may be "itching" or in pain, and using some sort of numbing practice
3.) 1 gallon of alcohol per week of showing symptoms. Some believe that passing out before all gallons are consumed stops the cure from working forever.
4.) Stealing a piece of metal that has been worn by a magical creature
5.) Stabbing oneself in the hand with a Dwarven magical weapon
6.) Encasing oneself in a Gnomish quarantine suit will slowly cure it, or at least numb the effects. This cure shows the most promise, but these suits are extremely expensive.
7.) Turning oneself in to the Judges- they know the one and only cure to Magic Flu. (Those that actually follow this idea are never heard of again after seeing the judges).
For discussion and development of the world of Pal Tahrenor
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