That yawning, infinite expanse above us made my head spin and my legs quake. The light was everywhere and stabbed my eyes like needles. Why did we ever agree to come to this place? We were never meant to life on the Surface!To those who have spent their lives deep underground, surrounded by stone by all side and shrouded in gloom, stepping out onto the Surface can be a traumatic experience. There is no ceiling here, no walls that make their world small. The sun and moon are blinding to eyes accustomed to darkness, while the ambient level of Blight is higher than anything in the caves.
Sun-sickness is caused when people from the deep caves emerge on the surface for the first time. Almost every element is foreign, from the wind to the vast expanse of land or the light of the sun. The sky yawns over their head and stars stretch on into infinite. To the unprepared, the Surface is too vast and too terrible to comprehend. Even those who have been to the Surface before can be struck by Sun-Sickness after long periods back underneath the ground, though they tend to be less severe the more they've been on the Surface.
I couldn't understand how something could be this big. No matter what direction I turned there was blue above our heads as far as the eye could see. Never have I felt so small, so.. Insignificant.The symptoms of sun-sickness range from physical to psychosomatic, with the latter varying more from person to person. The most dangerous and immediate symptom is temporary blindness as even the light of the moon is greater than what many see under the ground. At the same time, light makes the skin swell and turn an angry red. Nausea and vomiting follow quickly with dehydration being a serious concern on the barren surface.
Particularly mean-spirited Blight-Trackers who are guiding first time visitors to the surface sometimes start a bet about the volume and trajectory of their wards expulsions.It is to the seeming infinity of the Surface that people react differently. Some react with wonder and awe, but no ill effect but others are not so lucky. Vertigo, loss of balance and or even paranoia can strike those who find themselves beneath the sky. Crippling terror can rob even the most stalwart of their voice.
The best treatment to Sun-Sickness is to stay hydrated and gradually acclimate to the environment. Experienced Blight-Trackers are particularly good at this and can take their patrons through the process until they can function. This process can take days and in some cases weeks, depending in part on where on the Surface they have emerged. Some, though, are less gentle. They believe the fastest and best way to conquer the Sun-Sickness is immediate and total immersion. Sun-Sickness isn't usually fatal, but these sort of treatments risk the patient dying from dehydration.
The phenomena of sun-sickness is well known and most of the mechanics behind it is fairly well understood. Even so, many who go to the Surface for the first time find themselves struck by the intensity of the symptoms. There are any number of home remedies and cures, with varying degrees of helpfulness, and endless charms that do absolutely nothing. On occasion, inexperienced doctors will confuse Blight-poisoning with Sun-Sickness as they share some symptoms. This is twice unfortunate, should the poor soul be suffering from both.
Sick of the Sun
How do you best deal with Sun-Sickness? My advice: Don't go to the Surface.
The Surface Most who live in Araea do so far underground, for the Surface is a blasted wasteland. Haunted by terrible beasts and great Blight-infested dust-storms, it is a place hostile to human life. Sun-sickness is only one of many hazards awaiting those who seek to explore the Surface. Read more about the Surface