Mindblight Condition in Creus | World Anvil
BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


The researcher held two jars of water to the light. Both jars seemed clear at first glance, but the light shining through the second jar was...distorted. Placing the first jar down, the researcher adjusted the lens on the lantern. An audible gasp emerged from the audience; there were things in the water. Nearly completely transparent, and smaller than the tip of a fingernail, but there they were, projected and magnified on the back wall through focused lanternlight, flitting about in the water.
"This sample was taken from the village of Rithwyn, not too far from the frontier. Blood from a victim was diluted ten times over and mixed with sugars, then partitions were isolated and left in warmth near a kiln. This is the result after two weeks."
"It is hypothesized that these are some sort of blood parasite, something similar to the footworms that plague the tropics. Although we cannot know for sure without an experimental test," the researcher paused, "said testing would be dubious in the extreme. The closest evidence we have is the fondness of the parasites for brain tissue. As follows. Masks on, please."
Muffled movement, as all present reached for the facemasks on the chairs in front of them. The researcher donned her own and carefully unscrewed the lid of the jar.
Her assistant handed over the tool, and she reached under the table. A chunk of brain. She dropped it into the water and quickly screwed the lid back on.
"Under stronger light, you will notice that the parasites are swarming around the brain tissue. In ten minutes, the outer layer of this cattle brain will be eaten away. In an hour, all fatty tissues will be extirpated, leaving only the cartilaginous fibers."
An audience member raised a hand. "If progress is so quick here, how do sufferers of Mindblight linger for so long? The longest case of Mindblight has been noted to last for eight months."
The researcher shook her head. "Only guesses at this point. The body may be attempting to fight off the parasite, limiting the quantity present at any one time, or the brain may be regenerating to mitigate the effects of the brain damage. Nobody knows."
The audience settled into a quiet, tense silence, watching the tissue in the jar.

Transmission & Vectors

Mindblight is currently hypothesized to be waterborne, transmitted by drinking affected water. It is unknown whether infected persons can infect others.


Mindblight is a parasitic disease, identified recently as such; a waterborne parasite that is present in certain freshwater rivers and lakes in the northwestern portion of West Saibh.


Infection with Mindblight presents few symptoms at first, and progresses into mild forgetfulness and senility. As the disease progresses, the victim begins to lose their memories in entirety as well as their capacity for learned thought and reason. Towards the end of the disease, the victim is in a near feral state, unable to communicate effectively, with severe loss of physical coordination and an animalistic behavior pattern centered on searching for food and water. Final death occurs when the victim becomes unable to breathe, asphyxia being the direct cause of death.


There is currently no treatment for Mindblight. Many who realize they have contracted the disease opt for euthanasia. The Principality of Etoile is conducting rapid research to attempt to develop a mitigating treatment or cure.


Once definitively identified as Mindblight, mortality is certain; there have been no survivors of a case of Mindblight.


The only way to prevent Mindblight is to not drink waters from sources known to have Mindblight cases nearby. If forced to drink water, boiling the water seems to prevent the disease. Mindblight has caused the Principality to order the evacuation of several communities, and forbid the consumption of water from certain rivers.


Mindblight is a disease of the late Second Season; after the annual snowmelts flow into the seas, many rivers become languid, and most cases of Mindblight are reported at the start of the Third Season. No human transmission of Mindblight has been recorded.


Mindblight as a disease was known in antiquity, with many simply chalking it up to some sort of early onset senility, as it tends to affect adults. The number of cases has increased in recent history, however, as more and more people move into the cities and draw their drinking water from rivers. The subsequent outbreaks have made treating the disease a top priority of the Principality.

Cultural Reception

The rapid progression of Mindblight is a terrifying prospect; many actively avoid Mindblight sufferers and others will not so subtly encourage victims to euthanasia. Families can be torn apart by Mindblight; there are many cases where the adults of a family are all infected (typically by drinking from the same source), leaving the children as orphans and wards of the Principality. Confirmed cases of Mindblight bring with them bans on the drinking of local river water and the import of clean water by wagon-ox or constructed aqueduct.
Chronic, Acquired

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Please Login in order to comment!