"Don't listen to him, he's got a few threads loose"
Mages are looked upon with a mixture of fear an awe, after all, what being in their right mind would choose to shorten their lives simply to perform a few minor miracles? The term 'becoming threadbare' is often used as an insult, being used to question someone's mental functions, but the true symptoms of a Threadbare mage are truly terrifying and deter many from pursuing the craft.
Transmission & Vectors
Overuse of magic
It is no secret that when one casts magic over a minor level, one must insert a portion of their own thread into the spell to bind and manipulate it to your will. Those who cast a few too many times run the risk of accelerating their progression to the state of threadbare, which grants State Magi a status commanding great respect.
The early symptoms are simple. A few forgotten spells attributed to forgetfulness, moments of muscular weakness or mild palsy explained away by age or a lack of breakfast. But as spells continue to be used, the insidious condition grows more and more serious. Progressively worsening muscular atrophy and mental function to the point of being unable to function effectively, incontinence, personality changes and, in extreme cases, simply death.
There is no treatment for becoming threadbare, despite the claims of quacks or hedge magi. There exists only palliative treatment to guide the affected to a more dignified death.
There is no known ability to recover from the condition despite the claims on the contrary from those who 'received beneficence of the deities'. Delirious, all of them.
The only way to prevent the process of becoming threadbare is to use magic in moderation.
There is a surge in magi becoming threadbare after great magical events, including wars or rituals requiring much magical input. Age is not much of a factor as it depends on magic use, but the general age peaks around 40 years old, with the youngest known threadbare case being recorded as 20 after State Mage Karkeri Malearn used his powers to engulf a significant portion of the battlefield in holy flame, almost single-handedly winning the battle for his nation.
Becoming threadbare is a common occurrence among the magically talented even before recorded history. In the folk legends of the Whufancas they speak of the great downfall of Chieftain Puwerades after he asked for the Great Mother's favour in ending his people's famine, how she took from him what she gave to his people. He became old and dessicated, eventually dying in the arms of his lover. The first recorded cases came from the battlefield reports of the early Qikmaneid Empire, of how their great prophets would crumble and become incomprehensible after performing miracles. Nowadays it is generally accepted that those who participate in magical warfare or use their magics in service to the church or state will eventually turn threadbare and, as such, they are treated with the utmost respect and reverence during their threadful life.
The general reception of the threadbare is one of reverence as, often, they are ones who have done great things in service to their nation, whether it was defending them during times of war, or calling rain during a bad harvest. They are celebrated by their community and often treated as local heroes.
- Chronic, Acquired & Congenital
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