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Thaumic Flux Exposure

When your genes are getting toasted by latent magic, better cover up or risk squid babies.

"When the air is cold but I feel all warm, I'll put on my cloak to protect me from harm."
— Rhyme taught to youngsters in Thatchhome
  All magic has its source in either gold or life. This is part of the reason why living things are so deeply affected by gold's emanations. The Immortals, or Magic Folk, seem to draw strength from thaumic radiation. Mundane or biological life, on the other hand, get jacked up and often physically twisted by long or intense exposures. This is why we have screwbros and abberations - over time, the few members of a population which remain fertile in the presence of intense thaumic flux will propagate whatever goofy genes they've picked up along the way. As it stands, though, those individuals are really, really rare. Bundle up in your leaded cloaks, people.

Transmission & Vectors

Thaumic exposure only occurs in proximity to large deposits or stockpiles of gold or greengold, or where high-power continued spell effects are numerous. Sunlight, fire, and a few other sources also create locally high levels of flux. Thaumoscale readings less than .25 Gv are considered safe for permanent habitation, but some folk are obliged by circumstances to spend time in "hotter" (i.e. higher-flux) environments. Travelers sometimes are forced to pass through old High Magic Zones. Workers with magic and spells are exposed to spell backwash and gold storage vaults. People are forced to work in direct sunlight more than is safe. One way or another, many folk wind up taking in too many thaums too fast, and so start to show the symptoms of exposure at some point in their lives.


Thaumic flux, also known as thrombic agitation, penetrate most materials like light passing through murky water. Flux through living, mundane creatures causes numerous microscopic-level errors in their tissues, often causing rampant mutation and chronic disorders as noted below. Biological processes keep the perturbation from propagating, so there is a level of perpetual thaumic exposure - about .25 Glevons - which people can handle without huge risk of harm. Periods of higher flux begin to build up the level of microscopic bodily dementation, and so a person must track their lifetime history of exposure carefully to avoid reaching a dangerous level.


Mundane Folk

Mortals note a sort of prickly hotness when entering an irradiated zone hotter than .5 Gv, and those who can recognize it know to get out or seek shelter as fast as possible. Extended exposure over perhaps a week results in a sort of rash across the skin, accompanied by respiratory and digestive system dysfunction. Anything longer may result in severe anatomical rebellion, with bits being lost or bits where they shouldn't be.   Degrees of Effect:
  • 1 thaum of exposure in a week causes a painful but local magic burn, visibly red but not peeling.
  • 3 thaums to the same area causes a more painful effect and will cause the skin to peel.
  • 6 thaums in a week causes blisters. Risk of thaumic neoplasm begins at this lifetime exposure level.
  • 10 thaums typically causes severe blistering locally and generalized painful reddening. Further, symptoms of anatomical rebellion may begin to occur at this level of lifetime exposure. Immediate retreat from all thaumic sources is obligatory under military law, and treatment is advised.
  • After 15 thaums, the creature becomes perpetually nauseous.
  • After 20 thaums, the creature has Criminy Cough (1d4-1 Con damage per day, with chronic, bloody cough).
  • After 25 thaums, the creature must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC= 1/2 period of exposure) every 2 hours or enter a coma. The character must continue to make this save after falling unconscious or else it dies.
  Magic Burns
These are much like sunburns, but they reach a bit deeper and have more colors; anything from purple to green have been observed. Burns can get serious enough to permit infection or permanent scarring. Beware if carrying an enchanted item on your person; localized burns from such sources are often the only outward symptom of actually pretty high thaumic exposure which may lead to more serious conditions.   Thaumic Neoplasm
Thaumic neoplasms are growths of random flesh which may occur anywhere in the body. These are normally harmless in the short term unless they mechanically impinge upon vital organs. This can cause a either general withering or sudden decline of health.   Anatomical Rebellion
Also known as The Widdling Shlitz, mundane folk exposed to greater flux begin to have various and strange alterations occur in the operation of their vital processes. More severe thaumic neoplasm always accompanies rebellion. Some often-observed forms of the syndrome are listed at the bottom of the page.


A person's history of thaumic exposure is essentially permanent; your thaum counter is permanent, and the invisible perversion of your tissues only naturally increases or stays steady. Only a couple of treatments can undo latent thaumic damage, and only with the the help of an antimagic veil or thaumic sink to achieve perfectly athaumic conditions.   Once in an athaumic recovery theater, applications of flesh-healing magic, Restoration, or basic natural processes can work to undo the latent harm already done to the body on a microscopic level. It takes 1 week per thaum of exposure to heal the damage naturally. Magic healing repairs 1 thaum for each quarter of your HP cured. Restoration or Regeneration remove 1 thaum per caster level. Certain non-magic herbs and therapies are claimed to accelerate the healing, but no subjects have submitted themselves for experimentation.   Magic Burns
A magic burn can only be healed in near-athaumic surroundings: the affected area is usually shrouded or bandaged with thick lead foil. It will then heal naturally, if slowly.   Thaumic Neoplasm
The only known means of treatment is surgery.   Anatomical Rebellion
These are permanent, and can only be cured, if at all, by especially-formulated magic healing on a case-by-case basis.


Exposure at low levels are typically not serious, but any concentrated dose of 5 thaums or more can have permanent effects on health. Higher doses, or Screwbro ancestors in one's genetic tree, both conspire to shorten the subject's lifetime. The impact of all symptoms of exposure are more intense later in life, so the prognosis grows more severe the older the subject at time of exposure.


Other than magic burns, the more malignant effects of flux exposure are delayed by a few days or weeks before obvious onset.   When you hit each exposure threshold in the Degrees of Affect table above, your symptoms worsen. Roll a d6 and take 1 ability damage to the corresponding ability (1: Strength, 2: Dex, etc.). In addition, roll a d6 each time you pass a threshold higher than 10 thaums, and take the effect from the following list. The effect is permanent and cumulative.  
  1. Your vision degrades. You take -2 on Spot checks and -1 on ranged attacks.
  2. Your sense of balance is damaged. You take -4 on Acrobatics, Climb, and Fly checks, as well as a -5 penalty to movement speed.
  3. You become subject to seizures. You must succeed on a Fort save (DC 8) every time you are forced to make a saving throw or become Stunned and prone for one round. Each compounding of this disorder increases the DC by 2.
  4. You become permanently Fatigued. If you are already permanently Fatigued, you instead are Exhausted. Further compounding causes 1 Con damage.
  5. You contract a thaumic neoplasm which drains 1d3 Con per week.
  6. You gain a Permanent Mutation. Roll on the appropriate table, linked at the bottom of the page.
  Any of these, other than neoplasm and permanent mutation, can be removed by an application of Remove Curse or an equivalent effect, but each compounding of the condition must be lifted sequentially, possibly requiring several castings.

Affected Groups

Mundane folk - Humans and Screwbros - are injured by thaumic flux. Screwbros display twice the resistence to new exposure to flux, but also have a background error rate in their genetics which equates to a pretty high exposure at birth. All Screwbros start with at least one Permanent Mutation and a tendency toward high rates of thaumic neoplasm even without abnormal exposure. Most survive to adulthood, but in the selection shadow many older individuals suffer early deaths from their inherited infortitude.


The Hegemon's Review advises all travellers to keep a local and up-to-date copy of the thaumic map on hand when on the road, and don leaded cloaks when approaching the boundaries of an HMZ, even if it is expected to be extinct. If possible, caravans are encouraged to keep a thaumoscale on-hand to take frequent readings. Leaded goggles and face-masks are advised for passage through fields in excess of 1 Gv. Regular travelers should never enter an area noted for more than 2 Gv under any circumstances without great need and trained guides.
Chronic, Acquired & Congenital
Affected Species

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