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Changeling Syndrome

Physical defects in Aelyria.



This article is an exploration of the possibilities connected with Arcanae and the alteration of the physical body of an individual. It is split into three parts, one which siphons through some of the history concerning this theory, one which concerns the theory itself and the last which tells of which effects this might have on the material manifestation of individuals. The basics of the theory itself are that arcana might be used to change a persons vis in such a way that the manifestation of his physical self is altered. This will be further expanded upon in the part which explains the theory itself and is merely mentioned here for the sake of ease of reading. It is these changes, when introduced at an early stage in life that we propose to call the Changeling Syndrome.

[top]Arcane Dissipation

The most prominent, and best suited to this theory are of course the katta and the dorin, these two races both evidently stem from animals, cats and wolves (or related canine species) to be more precise. It is common knowledge in the academic circle that these races were created due to a wave of Arcanae wafting over the Medonian continent, although historians have as yet been unable to discern either the source or the exact time for this. The current theory is that this wave was caused by a large amount of arcana being handled elsewhere. In concurrence with the current theories of arcana this wave was in other words nothing but an effect the scholars refer to as Arcane Dissipation.

A quick explanation of Arcane Dissipation is that it is the natural release of Ara back into its normal state after a spell has taken effect. In other words a great deal of arcana being used means that there is a lot of Ara to filter back into the surrounding world. Now, considering how the elven form has remained constant throughout the centuries it can be assumed that the normal amount of Ara present in the world has no detrimental effect on the Vis of a person. Of course, everyone know that Vis is merely personalized Ara. Now if such a wave of Ara being dissipated, as in the origins of the katta and dorin, could create from the stocks of katta and dorin, two races that moved from going on four legs to two legs, what may not lesser such Arcane Dissipations do to the Vis when it is at its most fragile?

[top]Races Created Through Arcane Means

There are also other races that have been created through arcane means. Among perhaps the most famous, or infamous, for creating new races are the Cyraxians and their vile leader Jorel. It is recorded in the Encyclopaedia Allerius that he personally ministered over the creation of the minotaur and the rodenti, while a Cyraxian handled the dracons. Of course all these are not, like the Katta and the Dorin, accidental, the rodenti and the minotaur were constructed through a conscious use of Arcana, as were the dracons.

Those specimens mentioned so far however are merely the sentient races, history is ripe with creatures that have been created or altered to new forms by mages. However the dorin and the katta are perhaps the only sentient species that have been created through what may be described as sheer cosmic fluke.

[top]Birth Defects and Anomalies

During the course of history persons have been born with defects and anomalies that have led to the parents blaming such varied sources as gnomes, Faeries, dracons and mer for replacing the parents' babies with their own while the parents were not watching. Such stories naturally have little or no base in truth. However they were a way of explaining the defects and anomalies such babies were born with.

However, recent research has led us here at the Academie Medicinal to believe that there is another cause entirely for these anomalies. Keep in mind that in order to ascertain anomalies, one must first define what is normal. Any member of a specific race generally has some idea to what is and what isnít normal, however we will not go into the details here as this is detailed in common medical journals. Let us simply state that there is a definite set of properties one ought to have in order to be defined as a member of a certain race. Say a human would have five fingers on each hand, skin and so on whereas a saurid would be radically different. Let it be noted though that there are also exceptions to this rule.

[top]The Body and Arcana

In order to further explain this we need to look at the connection between the body and the Vis. All things have Vis, this is an established truth, and we know for a fact that Vis is made up of Ara. Arcana establishes that all things with a physical presence exude and contain Ara. Vis being complex, more durable weaves of Ara it can be said that for example aging kicks in when the Vis construct starts to unravel. However aging only indirectly relates to this article. Vis constructs are at the base of any physical matter, and we have seen what Ara can do to Vis constructs, through the works of various spells. Ara also holds the potential to change Vis forms. This can be demonstrated in a variety of spells, the most notable of which is the druidism spell known as Animal Form. This creates what may be called a temporary Vis alteration.

[top]Non-Temporary Vis Alterations

It is also, as seen in the case of katta and dorin, possible to create non-temporary Vis alterations. These are the ones which this article will be dealing with in most detail. Ara flows through everything, it is everywhere on the Material Plane that we inhabit. Normal flows of Ara are something which we are so accustomed to that it is likely that we would die without it. However whenever a spell is used the mage draws on Ara from his surroundings, creating a temporary spike in the flow of Ara in this mageís surroundings. This Ara stays in place and does no real harm while the spell is in effect though; it is once it starts dissipating back into the environment that the interesting effects start to take place. With the greater Ara concentration in the area it displaces some of the Ara in an already stable Vis configuration, this is rare and usually only the effect of very large disruptions in the Ara concentration, of more concern is the way this erroneous Ara may attach itself to growing Vis constructs, such as those of foetuses. Such attachments may cause the Vis construct to change in form and purpose. This is what produces anomalies in creatures; this is what produces what we at the Academie Medicinale have called the Changeling Syndrome. It is these creatures that Kristanna Postopolis refers to as Meta-Individuals.

The Changeling Syndrome works by altering the foetusí while they are still growing. From extensive testing we believe the first few months of the pregnancy, while the foetus has still not finished growing are those when Ara flow alterations may most alter the child. There is however as of yet no way of discerning which form these alterations may take.

[top]Categories of Changeling Syndromes

For ease of use though the changes we have come across during the experiments have been split into three super categories, Alpha, Beta and Omega. These three super categories are further divided into smaller categories wherein the individual anomalies may be placed.

[top]Alpha Anomalies

Alpha Anomalies is the first super category and covers ailments that are fairly common. Alpha Anomalies is split into three sub categories, Simple, Advanced and Extreme.
  • Simple Anomalies are just that, such things as Clubfoot, webbed toes, albinism nothing that is seriously life harming.
  • Advanced Anomalies are of a more serious nature than Simple; here the anomalies are of such a nature that the person deviates from what might be considered a normal person of his race. Under this category comes such people as Siamese twins and anomalies such as extreme giantism, or extra limbs or mer syndrome (though mer syndrome also comes under the Beta Super category) and similar anomalies.
  • Extreme Anomalies are anomalies so extreme that they form an actual hazard to the person who exhibits them; people with these anomalies rarely live to old age. Examples of anomalies might be severely advanced cases of elephantiasis.

[top]Beta Anomalies

Beta Anomalies is the second super category, it is further divided, into two categories, Functional and Non-Functional. Beta anomalies are the grafting of the traits of other races or species onto a person. For example a human displaying a tail or having serpentís eyes or a dracon having fur instead of scales. The two categories signify whether or not such anomalies actually work or not. Let us take the example of the human with the serpentís eyes, if he or she was able to see using these eyes, which would place the anomaly in the Functional category, whereas if they did not see the anomaly would be placed in the Non-Functional Category.

N.B. Post in the Helpdesk to request permission to start with a Beta Anomaly of either type, as it is treated like a Special Permission Race. Please include as much information about the character, and the implications of the Anomaly you request, as possible

[top]Omega Anomalies

Omega Anomalies has two sub categories, Benign and Non-Benign. This is a much more subtle category than the others. It has no visible signs as such, though because an Omega anomaly constitutes a radical change from an archetypal body construction it is almost always accompanied by deformities from the two other super categories. In fact it seems in most cases that the strength of the Omega anomaly, regardless of category, is directly proportional with the severity of the other anomalies. Omega Anomalies generally have more to do with the mind than any other of the anomalies. In this category we can find such things as telekinesis, clairvoyance, pyrokinesis and telepathy. It is hard to place these firmly into any of the two sub categories, because mastery of these skills is a matter of mental discipline and what might be classified at one point as Non-Benign might be classified as Benign at another. Keep in mind that Benign is defined as what is Benign for the patient, not necessarily for others.

N.B. Post in the Helpdesk to request permission to start with an Omega Anomaly of either type. Please include as much information about the character, and the implications of the Anomaly you request, as possible

[top]Additional Sub-Categories

It should be noted that the categories may be further broken down as is needed. For instance a human with mild patches of fur may be put in a different sub-category again to a saurid with katta ears. A person with telepathic abilities may be placed in a different sub-category from a clairvoyant and that again may be further broken down according to how powerful, or the exact nature of the anomaly, depending on the wishes of the doctor at hand.

[top]In Short

This article may serve as enlightenment to those who meet or have met anyone suffering from what we call Changeling Syndrome. It is not something which can be healed, it is not something to blame upon the orcs, dracons, lamia or gnomes, it is, for those unfortunate individuals who have to live with it, a way of life. We hope that this might lead, at the least, to more awareness around the use of arcana around pregnant females.


Credit goes to Darian

Created by Nimh, October 6, 2014 at 04:46 PM
Last edited by Nimh, August 12, 2015 at 09:22 AM
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