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Mephistophelian

Spirits Of Mental Instability

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Spirits of Mental Instability


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Introduction


"They are quick; in the blink of an eye, you might lose track of them. Small, too. So small that one might mistake them for an earring. That, of course, is ridiculous. There are no earrings in our realm. And they are invisible. Not to us, you see. Not to us. But to the mortals? Verily so. Completely invisible, and intangible at that. Why? For they exist only in our realm, child. Only in ours..."


Rare as it is in our realm, the concept of mental illnesses or instabilities is not merely an idea, but a reality. In fact, it would be considered a great deception, to the wiser individuals of our plane, to assume that one's chances of developing a mental illness are infinitesimally low. They are, in all actuality, comparably high, with the worst mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, having a chance of occurring to any one poor individual amongst a hundred.


It is from this curious observation that a question is asked, as questions always are, by the aforementioned 'wiser individuals'; "How and why does one gain a mental disability?"

For the greater part of our existence, the answer has eluded us...Until this day.


One might have stumbled across the ancient writings of a shaman, name long lost in the fine sands of time. In fact, their very eyes may have fallen upon this book many a time during their wanderings in the Temple Library. Small, seemingly insignificant, and stuffed between two, far grander books with elaborately wrought leather backs, not even the one who delivered the book there is known. Upon opening the book, if one can call this assembly of rotten papers such a thing, the scrawled, educated handwriting of an Orcish shaman would be seen. Written in the true blah, no less...And yet, someone seems to have etched down their own translation in the corner, in a far neater writing. Common.


It is from this book and its translations, fellow descendant, that the explanation to one age old question is given. It is from these words that we glimpse briefly at the realm of the spirits, only to look away, afraid of being drawn in too much...


I urge you; read.


"Many a time have I travelled in the spirit realms. The Elemental Realm of the first ones, the Immortal Realm of the seconds, and the Ancestral Realm of my people.

Many a time have I dealt with proud spirits, angry flames or seething tides...But never have I encountered these beings. My second student, a young Uruk with too much wisdom for his years, had managed to take his first step in the Elemental Plane. Known to me was his tendency not to sleep, yet I had not thought anything of it until his spirit form was revealed.

Partially wrapped around the man's neck lay a spirit, it's form being that of an elephant's head, with a fierce tiger's body. The trunk sapped at my student's head, and its claws sank deep into his skin.


It was no mean task to remove the creature, and it grieves me to say that I was rash in my decision to do so. Great pain was given to my student, and a large amount of my energy was sapped whilst dealing with the creature. No doubt, the hand-sized spirit had been on this man since he was but a kub.

Upon successfully removing the spirit from the uruk, it flitted out of my hands with a speed I have only ever seen in arrows. Gone, but not without leaving an unsettling feeling in my person.


It has been many years since I last glimpsed such a creature, but it was made known to me, after ward, that my student no longer suffered from his restless nights any more. The other spirits that I have questioned were too fearful of entailing where exactly these beings come from, but that only hinted at what I already feared..."


-The translations would stop there, along with the rest of the book. Pages seem to have gone missing, or had crumbled away many years ago-



Lore


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Spirits of Mental Instability and Illnesses. These creatures are the servants of many immortal spirits (such as Ikuras) by nature, carrying out their branches of influence with a deadly efficiency. The origin of some mental illnesses, these beings are represented in the spirit realm as small creatures, never growing larger than the size of a human hand, but definitely found in smaller shapes. Although they are good at what they do, they are usually incapable of attaching themselves to a strong, healthy descendant. Thusly, new born children, depressed individuals, descendants in a coma or even those suffering from grave head injuries are a common target for these mischievous spirits.


Once attached, their true purpose begins; they supply mental instabilities to their host. Some might cause anorexia nervosa. Others might riddle the descendant with paranoia, or they could instil their own insecurities about disorder, giving their target OCD. There is one trait in common; each and every one of these spirits cause some form of mental illness, no matter the method of doing so.

 

An additional effect of these spirits would be the physical irritation of the host. Whilst they are not physically visible, the act of connecting to the spirit of the host causes slight, subtle changes in them. For some, it might be the drooping of ears (in an elf) due to the spirit being attached there. For others, a scar might form in the area, or an itching that does not subside might come and go in the general vicinity of the lesser spirit's attachment spot.

 

Over time, the lesser spirit grows. The reason for its growth is not entirely known, only that it does so when attached to a host. After growing to about the size of a hand, it multiplies, causing one mental illness to become two (and so on and so forth). Now, by nature, these spirits do not enjoy being crowded on one host, so they would attempt to part from the host and link to other, free spirits near them. Of course, the attempts are not always successful, but the people around the host would feel a sense of unease. Should they be in a weaker state, they would also be vulnerable to the spirits, potentially becoming a host of the spirits themselves.


All hope is not lost, however! If a person is suffering from such disorders, they might wish to visit a shaman. Such people are capable of entering the spirit realm and locating the spirit. They would then be able to try and pull it off. It has been noted time and time again that the longer these spirits have been affecting a descendant, the harder and more painful it is to remove the spirit. Other methods of removing the spirits exist, too! The moment they connect to the host, their 'minds' are invariably connected as well. This causes them to be find-able in the voidal plane, via the mind of the host. A mental mage would be able to target the spirit, and block the connection it holds to the host by a similar process to erasing memories. Although it does not immediately get rid of the spirit (meaning the physical traits still remain for a while), it does halt the mental illnesses caused by it. Eventually, the spirit would leave, not being able to carry out its purpose. The physical traits would vanish as soon as the spirit does. A final means of combating these nasty spirits would be through alchemy. Although it does not remove the spirits, it aids in weakening them enough to facilitate their removal. How? If an alchemist applies healing potions to the areas that are physically affected by these spirits, it would slowly begin to heal (though never completely), thus considerably weakening their hold on the host. After that, a mental mage or shaman would have far less difficulty when removing the spirit.



Outline of the Lore:


-Spirits that attach to people and cause mental illnesses. They are not the cause of ALL mental illnesses, and some mental illnesses might be caused due to natural reasons.


-They are lesser immortal spirits of varying origins, serving their greater immortal spirits.

 

-They cause minor physical effects to hint at their presence on the host.

 

-When on the host, they gradually grow before multiplying, causing more physical and mental effects, and perhaps targeting those near to the host in an attempt to attach to them, too.


-They can be removed, but the process is painful to the host, and difficult to the mental mage or shaman. They become more difficult and painful to remove if the person has had the mental illness for a longer amount of time.

 

-They can be weakened via alchemy, making the process of removing them far easier.


-They come in many forms, and all give their own different types of mental illness.


-They can rarely be seen in the spirit realm, but are easily seen on those suffering from mental disorders. They are also completely invisible in the mortal realm.


-They are usually too weak to attach to a descendant when they are healthy (as the spirit rejects them), so they do so when they are weaker (e.g. in a coma, or when they are in the womb / a baby, etc).



Red Lines of the Lore:

 

-These spirits are not present if another, supernatural cause is the reason for the mental issues (For example, Shades).

 

-The debilitating effects of the presence of these lesser spirits can never be too pronounced/obvious, but it must always be present.

 

-These creatures are not the origin of ALL mental illnesses. Instead, they are the source of a few.

These spirits do NOT, I repeat, do NOT, cause EVERY SINGLE mental illness. Some people seem to think that my intention is for that to be so, but it is not. So, for the sake of having less/no more people complaining that I am making a natural thing 'magical', I am not. I am just giving a 'side branch' to it that gives the same effects as natural mental illness, but from a different source. If you wish to RP that the source is natural, due to a chemical imbalance, so be it! If you wish to RP that it is due to one of these spirits, great! Either way, you are not forced to choose one or the other.


-The shaman/mental mage cannot forcefully remove the spirit without the OOC consent of the player.


-This lore does not change ANYTHING about mental illnesses, other than giving them a nice reason behind, and perhaps a way to cure them. It does not change how they work, nor how they are gained, or anything of the sort.


-They cannot be caught by a shaman and stuffed into/onto someone, because they will ALWAYS be too fast.


-The only people who would know about this are the shamans/mental mages who come in contact with these spirits and those that these shamans/mental mages decide to teach about said spirits. It is not common knowledge or even secret knowledge; in fact, it is something few would know about.

 

-These spirits cannot be forced upon someone. If they do not want to have it, they are not forced to.

 

-It is not easy to remove one of these spirits, and would take a large amount of energy from the shaman/mental mage. If we are comparing magics, it is the same difficultly as removing/rewriting a memory is to a mental mage, and that is when it is the easiest to do (i.e. When the spirit is rather new, or when they are weakened).



OOC and Acknowledgements:


First off, I would like to thank Charcoal for giving me the inspiration to do this. I would never have been able to think of the rest of this stuff without your initial push, so thank you! Additionally, I would like to thank Wardog and Hellfiaz for their contributions on having multiple immortal spirits being the bosses of these lil imps. Many thanks to you two :D. Finally, I would like to thank ILikeFoodDude for his ideas on making the spirits more versatile. If you wanna check his ideas out, they are on page three!


Secondly, I would love to read comments and constructive criticism from you all! Personally (bias as heck here), I believe this lore could add a lot of flavour to LotC! It helps explain mental illnesses in a fantasy-esque way, and it gives some interesting RP to those who play shaman characters.


But what do you think?

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  1. I don't think you should meddle with spirit lore.
  2. It seems like an easy way for Mary and Gary Sues to contract mental illnesses without actually having a real reason as to how they got them.

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  • I don't think you should meddle with spirit lore.
  • It seems like an easy way for Mary and Gary Sues to contract mental illnesses without actually having a real reason as to how they got them.
The shaman chat seems to like the idea, and they are the only ones really using the lore, but your opinion is your own. This is not drastically changing spirit lore, either; there already are lesser spirits of insanity...this just gives them a use!

As for the second point...I don't understand what you mean. This doesn't change how mental illnesses are gained or how they work, at all. I will make sure to put that in the red lines/outlines of the lore, though, so thank you for bringing that up :)

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+1

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Edited to cover a far broader range, by making them not ONLY the subordinates of Ikuras but the subordinates of other immortal spirits. Thanks to wardog and Hellfiaz for this!

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+1

 

A good read, it's always a pleasure to read good, fresh, new lore. I don't really see any problems with this.

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I like the idea a lot, though I would like it if there were another way of fighting these spirits other than a shaman directly ripping it off. Perhaps there could be a way to weaken the spirit before the shaman goes to remove it, making the shaman's job easier. Maybe having more than one shaman combining their powers to remove the spirit could be a posibility.

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  1. I don't think you should meddle with spirit lore.
  2. It seems like an easy way for Mary and Gary Sues to contract mental illnesses without actually having a real reason as to how they got them.

 

 

Adding spirits isn't messing with Shaman lore. As Hugo said, it appears this is liked by Shaman chat, and as I've personally spoken to a few Shamans, some feel they are lacking in events/event ideas. This can help spark mini-events or ideas for events, for shamans. As for your second point, I don't see how a Mary/Gary Sue contracting a mental illness makes sense, let alone how this would be an issue. A Mary/Gary Sue is a perfect character, or an entirely cliche character. If this is to give them a mental illness, that is taking away the cliche/perfection factors.

 

As for you Hugo, this is a pretty cool idea.

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Adding spirits isn't messing with Shaman lore. As Hugo said, it appears this is liked by Shaman chat, and as I've personally spoken to a few Shamans, some feel they are lacking in events/event ideas. This can help spark mini-events or ideas for events, for shamans. As for your second point, I don't see how a Mary/Gary Sue contracting a mental illness makes sense, let alone how this would be an issue. A Mary/Gary Sue is a perfect character, or an entirely cliche character. If this is to give them a mental illness, that is taking away the cliche/perfection factors.

 

As for you Hugo, this is a pretty cool idea.

 

To be fair, I have no clue how Shamans are lacking in event ideas. There are plenty of possible ideas that could be used, so the argument that this could be used to revitalise events is, quite frankly, rather silly. Secondly, it does become annoying when a person is screaming in OOC that their character 'contracted a mental illness from a spirit'. Why do we need to mess with a realistic affliction like mental illness? Can't we just leave one thing alone to be 'normal' on this server without the need to have an entire damn plot about it. You don't see anyone writing about phantoms giving people Gonaerra.

 

Personally, I think the lore looks well thought out, but come on. It's not needed, let's just leave something normal and not magicified for once.

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Why do we need to mess with a realistic affliction like mental illness? Can't we just leave one thing alone to be 'normal' on this server without the need to have an entire damn plot about it. You don't see anyone writing about phantoms giving people Gonaerra.

 

Personally, I think the lore looks well thought out, but come on. It's not needed, let's just leave something normal and not magicified for once.

 

For once, I agree with Atoa. I doubt this'll be used often anyway.

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For once, I agree with Atoa. I doubt this'll be used often anyway.

 

Oh my god, he agreed with me, stay calm...

 

Pineapples.

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The nice thing about this lore is that it doesn't even need to be used or known by people with mental illnesses. It won't affect anyone badly at all, and it adds a nice window for RP for those who DO want to be affected by it. Have a mental illness and don't want to bother with this lore? It won't even affect you in the slightest!

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The nice thing about this lore is that it doesn't even need to be used or known by people with mental illnesses. It won't affect anyone badly at all, and it adds a nice window for RP for those who DO want to be affected by it. Have a mental illness and don't want to bother with this lore? It won't even affect you in the slightest!

 

I don't believe that's the point. It's adding a twinge of 'speciality' to mental illness. Why? It's not needed, at all. It's pointless lore, that while looks very nice and indepth, is generally poisoning something that was quite nice to see. I don't want to see some 7'1ft dark elf backflipping off windows while screaming 'a ghost gave me insomnia!'. It just sounds... bad. Let mental illnesses be only natural, not magical.

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I don't believe that's the point. It's adding a twinge of 'speciality' to mental illness. Why? It's not needed, at all. It's pointless lore, that while looks very nice and indepth, is generally poisoning something that was quite nice to see. I don't want to see some 7'1ft dark elf backflipping off windows while screaming 'a ghost gave me insomnia!'. It just sounds... bad. Let mental illnesses be only natural, not magical.

Your opinion is appreciated, and your idea more so! What idea? The idea you gave me. I need to mention that this is not something people know of automatically. In fact, most shamans wouldn't know about it unless they were taught by another or bumped into a person with one. Thank you for the reminder :)

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