Mage's Burnout Condition in Creus | World Anvil
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Mage's Burnout

Mellitus scowled behind his desk. "How long?"   "Three to four days, likely. The girl was a fool to even attempt the spell, but I suppose she was trying her best to please." Rigana placed the clipboard on the table and pointed. "About even chance she'll suffer no permanent damage."   "Always with the overeager and underprepared." The wizard pushed the clipboard aside. "We warn each and every new student about this. Why is it that every year there's one where the lesson doesn't take? What can we do to keep the next idiot from blowing themselves out?"   The other mage folded her arms. "It's a personality based thing, Mellitus. Some people are just natural risk takers."

Transmission & Vectors

Mage's burnout is noncommunicable.


All wizards tap into their internal stores of magical stamina to cast spells of all types. Typically, a mage cannot continue casting successfully when out of stamina, but in some cases, a mage can force themselves to keep casting, rather than wait the hour or two necessary to begin casting again safely. Wizards with this capability can continue to cast but risk permanently injuring themselves in the process.


Burnout has two stages, acute and chronic. Acute burnout renders the victim comatose, in a sense - the burned out wizard can continue to eat and sleep and perform normal bodily functions, but cannot speak or interact with people, let alone cast magic. This stage can last anywhere from a few days to a few years. Should the wizard recover, depending on the severity of the burnout, they can either return to normality or are permanently altered in some way. Recovered burnouts will typically find that their stamina is significantly worse or that certain high intensity spells are now beyond them. Less typical are personality changes or memory loss.   Some burned out wizards fail to recover from the acute stage, instead simply wasting away into death.


Treatment is supportive in nature, as no known cure for burnout exists.


Prognosis depends on the severity of the magical stamina consumption that triggered the burnout to begin with. Minor cases of burnout are nearly always fully recoverable, and severe burnouts are typically lethal.

Affected Groups

All wizards of significant magical talent are vulnerable to burnout.


All mages are warned about the risks of burnout when entering the Academy. The precaution is simple - when you feel as though you can no longer cast or maintain a spell, simply stop channeling or focusing magic, and wait a few hours until you're ready to cast again.


The discovery of magic led the first known wizards to rapidly experiment and research this new capability. The first cases of magical burnout followed not long afterward, with ambitious magi pushing their luck with their own magical power. Subsequent cases of burnout are rare, but every year a student or two accidentally burns out, and occasionally a practicing Association wizard will make the choice to risk burnout to accomplish some goal or another.
Chronic, Acquired

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