Marked by the K'Thonim
Since a time unknown, the peoples of Atlantica have struggled against the K'Thonim. While most people in Europa beleive that the K'Thonim have long since been wiped from the face of the world, the The Antikathonum know otherwise and have worked to suppress the knowledge of the continued existence of the remaining K'Thonim in the world. They believe, and perhaps rightfully so, that if rediscovered, the K'Thonim would attempt to attract worshippers. This has happened many times when someone has come in extended contact with a K'Thonim artifact, somehow over time it allows the K'Thonim to "mark" these individuals and begin a slow psychic assault on them. This condition is usually remedied by removing the artifact that is connecting the K'Thonim to the person from their presence. The K'Thonim use the artifact as a conduit to the person and if the conduit is removed the person finds the marked influence has left them. This seems to be an easy cure, and it is, so long as those being influenced by the artifact are aware that they are marked! Often this isn't the case, since the influence starts simple and grows over time in indistinct stages that are not detectable from the outside.
The Initial StagesFirst begins the nightmares, then eventually the stray thoughts that come from those nightmares. As time rolls on, the stray thoughts seem to take on a sort of attitude that makes the sufferer believe that they are of a higher station or deserving of more than their social status or means. This stage can take months or years, depending on the person. Regardless of the "strength" of the person's mind, the effect is like an ongoing siege of their personality in subtle ways. Finally, their behavior begins to shift such that old friends wonder what has come over their new friend
The Latter StagesIf the person remains in connection or proximity to the conduit, eventually they become angry and sometimes even violent in what they see as the protection of their personhood, rights, property, and fear of loss that they might be able to name but begin to look more and more like they are simply throwing a tantrum. Here is where the affected person is offered a choice and power by the K'Thonim. Again the initial contact comes in dreams, repeatedly offering and getting the person to accept power, security, revenge and a solution or outlet for their anger. Eventually, the person accepts K'Thonim power. After this, they themselves become the conduit, and the K'Thonim has the option of asserting more and more control over the person's life. This end of the condition is rare in Europa, thanks to the efforts of the Antikathonum. Here there is a dramatic shift in behavior as the marked attempts to gather power to themselves both physically and socially, ultimately attempting to found a cult or set of followers. This is the scariest stage of the affliction, with the only solution being the death of the person, as the K'Thonim's hold over them can neither be detected nor dissolved. The Antikathonum are completely aware of this affliction, while the rest of Europa simply think the person is "mentally ill" or makes other excuses for them. Not every artifact that is from a K'Thonim ruin can do this. In fact, it requires that the artifact contain or utilize a gemstone, usually yellow or red, that is composed of restructured T'Shole. The T'shole is the actual conduit, once it is destroyed, either in fire or crushed, the conduit artifact no longer works for the K'Thonim. For hundreds of years, the Antikathonum have hunted these cult founders. They usually just try to destroy the artifact, but once the person themselves become the conduit, they are forced to kill what has become a monster in their midst.
The cultures of Europa are unable to tell when this affliction is working on some. It is unknown how other natives to Atlantica deal with it.
"He was my friend and for a long time he just got meaner and meaner. I stopped being around him. I just couldn't stand the path that he was on. I couldn't understand it either. I guess he got into something nasty because they say an assassin was spotted leaving his home. It burned down that night with him in it.
Yeah he was an ass but I still mourned him." ~Anonymous comment to an Antikathonum agent after operations had been completed
For a short story on this see Leofgyd and the Ring