Oracles Obsessive Disorder
The future is maddening. It is no wonder why the Lords of Light forbade us to look for it.Life was rough before any of this started. It has been a century and humanity suffered death from radiation exposure, mutant defects, the savagery of society and the recent explosion of the Wizard enslavement. There are invasive species, bloodthirsty monsters, and humanoids that have no qualms to rip your infant out of your belly to trade for some crazed Wizard who wants to research neonates. It is a bonus that humanity hasn't cut its own throat each day, but one curious condition has put us all in a quandary.
A person begins receiving vivid dreams. They are compelling and hard to forget. The theme is personal, and it often portrays something that is going to happen to them in the future. At first, the visions appear to be protective and beneficial for the afflicted. They avoid near-death experiences or hazardous situations that could encounter in their daily lives. The next phase progresses to friends and associates. The afflicted now becomes an alarm for any possible danger for a host of people. If the person has no contact with others, they start to see more distant future events they will experience to the point where there is no meaning to the person. Paranoia sets in. Even simple tasks could trigger a vision of some catastrophic possibility. The afflicted becomes withdrawn, isolated, terrified to instill fear and hatred from others. They are called cursed or possessed. They have no control of where or when a vision will manifest. If left untreated the oracle goes into full-blown paranoia. Visions are daily, sometimes hourly of people or figures he or she have never met before. Some try to maintain a log or journal, but advanced stages of this condition usually result in gibberish. Violence is common, and if society has not exiled them or treated them by now, they will be removed for the sanity and safety of others.
Mercury has a mitigative effect on the condition. Aluminum has a dampening effect, so the visions are less frequent and give the afflicted a chance to sleep. Experienced healers in the disease will break old thermometers and feed the mercury to the patient. Other medicine men will promote eating large fish like sharks or tuna. Fishers and ocean hunters can extract mercury from the glands of a Firewhale. Oral treatment with mercury provides about 48 hours of no visions. The problem is mercury is a toxin to humans. A few doses might be okay, but the accumulative effect builds up in a patients system, and soon signs of mercury poisoning are prevalent. Signs of poisoning to watch for include:
- memory problems
- shyness tremors
Once an oracle is diagnosed, the condition progresses over the course of years. The longest surviving oracle is 75. He lives most of his days in an aluminum covered hut and has few visitors.
The patient left untreated becomes a victim of delusion. Unable to differentiate vision versus reality, they are prone to insomnia, mood swings, and violence. Death occurs from starvation and/or dehydration.
Researchers feel a mutant prion has been released into the environment that sensitizes certain people to Wizard brainwave activity, the brainwaves are received by neural receptors and processed as images by the brain. Remove the Wizards and the condition will likely go away.
Fortunately, only a few humans are affected by this condition, but it is a tragic way to die. It is estimated 1 in 1000 humans will come down with the condition. Wizards who are aware of slaves affected by the Oracle Obsession will conduct research on them to determine if the clairvoyance can be reliable for military/ intelligence-gathering efforts.
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