Time Sickness Condition in Chronologium | World Anvil
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Time Sickness

Time-infused retrograde amnesia, Wibbly Wobbly Headache-y, 'The Loops', Re-rewind. There are many colloquial names for the condition, depending on the severity of it. When something goes wrong in time traveling, there is a possibility that the traveler returns physically in one piece, but with a 'hiccup'; their own magical balance thoroughly shaken. Nowadays it is much rarer due to the technological achievements in Time traveling, but it still is a possible side-effect.


When something goes wrong when time traveling happens; be it a magical hiccup or a technological one. There are many factors which affect the situation. Usually there are at least couple of factors present and sometimes not. Magical, physical, and mental instability at the time of time traveling are known risk factors.


Usually person affected by time sickness is at first confused and disoriented. They might not remember where and when they are. In severe cases they are completely blank canvases, lacking every bit of information starting from one's own name. Amnesia is the most common symptom, but sleep-related disorders and problems like insomnia, hypersomnia and parasomnias are not unusual. In mild cases the symptoms are surprisingly alike to jet lag: tiredness, problems sleeping, problems with cognitive tasks, irritability, headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and so on. In severe cases the amnesia kicks in. Usually it is short-term memory loss and the memories return on their own during few first days after the incident, but sometimes it takes longer. Yet, it is possible that not all memories can be recovered. In worst cases patient's whole persona changes so much that they are basically someone else. Other mental health problems like depression and paranoia are sadly very common.
Symptoms also vary from one individual to other. Some have more mental symptoms, when on the other hand some others suffer from physical problems. In general physical reactions is the acute reaction to the sickness and often slowly replaced by the mental symptoms, which take much longer to go away.


The reason why time sickness is still feared is the fact that there is no proper cure for it. One might be able to remember things by re-learning about them, but it is not a fool proof method. Magic can be used to alleviate the symptoms, but only a little. It would need very high-level magic (for example a wish spell) so that the memories could be recovered, but it's not really cost-effective. Lesser restoration usually helps in mild cases if casted as soon as possible after the incident on the patient. Alchemical concoctions used to be the main treatment before the huge advancement of time traveling technology in the 80's. When the occurrence of time sickness became less frequent, many important ways to treat it were lost. So, sadly, The modern medicine is not as effective in treating time sickness as brews and potions made according to old formulas written on parchment somewhere around the 15th century were.


Like with many medical conditions, the prognosis is much better if the treatment can be started immediately after the time traveling incident. People with mild cases usually recover in few days to a week, but in severe cases some damage is permanent. In severe cases it is usual that some symptoms might not completely vanish either; fatigue can easily turn chronic and this is one of the usual reasons why time travelers are often forced to change careers from active field duty to office jobs. Mental problems are the hardest to battle and usually the last symptoms left.


After having been affected by the condition for the first time, it is highly probable that you'll get it again.

Affected Groups

Time sickness is an occupational decease of time travelers. Sometimes, although it is not as common, one might get time sick when a spell -usually a teleportation spell- goes wrong.


Time sickness is not contagious in the normal sense. Although, time sickness is a magical imbalance and thus it may affect magically sensitive people around the one being sick.

Cultural Reception

Every time traveler knows someone who knows someone who've had 'the worst case of time sickness ever'. In history, the careers of time travelers weren't long, as they either died while traveling or were forced to retire when the cumulative effects of several cases of time sickness kicked in and made time traveling impossible. Time Sickness is one of the reasons why time travelers have a bit of a reputation of being eccentric, sometimes even a bit crazy. Most people who know about the time sickness pity -and sometimes avoid- the ones who have contracted the disease. Among time travelers themselves it is almost a kind of merit to have gotten their first case of time sickness; now the newcomers are truly part of the team.
Chronic, Acquired


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