Aetherburn Syndrome Condition in Aequus | World Anvil
BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Aetherburn Syndrome

A mental condition that impedes the use of magic

Special thanks to Allurys for giving the idea and doing most of the writing for this article


"Yeah... I can't use magic. Ironic, isn't it?"
— Claire Branwen, Magus of the ADP

The Aetherburn Syndrome is a feared mental pathology. Although the syndrome harms its bearer's mental health in many ways, it is most known for its final sequela: leaving the person permanently unable to use magic.



Anxiety and depression are often the main causes of the syndrome, but the full spectrum of conditions that can cause it is unknown. In the short term, these conditions don't often cause the Aetherburn, but one should be worry if they are present for too long.


The first sign that one should worry about is when the spells they cast come with unexpected and unwanted results, such as an unnatural deviation in the trajectory or power of the spell, which shouldn't happen under normal circumstances.


Studies indicate that the Aetherburn Syndrome is purely a psychological condition, and is associated with anxiety, depression, and even psychosis, meaning that one can treat those symptoms to subdue the syndrome. But although treatable, it is incurable.


The syndrome is divided into two stages, separated by a phenomenon called The Burn.

The first stage, called The Distortion, is marked by the loss of the affected's dominance over their magic. The bearer's magic starts to become less efficient, losing power and control. This effect becomes worse over time until the person loses complete control over their magic, making it unviable for the person to perform the most trivial magical tricks, like lighting a candle with Fire magic which can be a dangerous task, since the user can accidentally burn themself or other objects. Up to this point, the illness is controllable with mental treatment and therapy, however, if the illness continues to evolve, The Burn might happen. This whole process happens in a period of two to five years after the first symptoms.

The Burn is the transition between the first and second stages of the syndrome. It's an extreme and uncontrollable magic manifestation in which a large quantity of magic is used. It's recommended to keep one's distance, the farthest possible, from someone who is "burning" since it could hurt people and destroy the ambiance all around.

After the Burn, the illness may return to the Distortion or proceed for the next stage: The Amputation. During the Amputation, the person becomes simply unable to use any kind of magic. It is believed that in this stage the syndrome is irreversible since no one has ever been healed from it, hence its name.

Cultural Reception

Due to the nature and causes of this illness, people suffering from it usually have difficulties to socialize, and they are also very stigmatized and discriminated. Many cultures, especially in Archana, see the value in the small uses of magic, resulting in a rather strong reaction against those who are unable to use it.

Affected Species
Mental Symptoms
Failing use of magic
Same as the causes
Physical Symptoms
Treating the causes
The use of magic gets unstable until it cannot be used anymore
Keeping a good mental health
Not contagious

Related Articles

The Workings of Aether & Magic
Physical / Metaphysical Law | Oct 28, 2019

The foundation of existence


Kingdom of Archana
Organization | Oct 12, 2019

The tiny colossus kingdom of magic


Claire Branwen
Character | Jul 11, 2018


Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Please Login in order to comment!