Muse's Whisper Condition in Ethnis | World Anvil

Muse's Whisper

Muse's Whisper is a metavirus which infects Sophont with both an overwhelming sense of creativity and motivation and a deep, gnawing sense that they will never be able to accomplish all that they've dreamed of in their heightened state. The paradox of will versus reality is utterly crushing, and drives the affected into a deep despair.

Unfortunately, this despair also feeds on their creativity, and they'll often find themselves doing extreme or dangerous things to express their sadness, including: self harm, violent outcries for attention, eccentric displays of artistry, alcoholism, drug dependency, and so forth.

This disorder is often romanticized by artists and scientists alike, who both often fall into the trap of thinking they can control the condition well enough to put its motivation to work.



Common symptoms of the Muse's Whisper include: an marked increase in energy, creativity, personal drive, and libido, difficulty sleeping, echolalia, synesthesiac hallucinations, increased heart rate, and irritability. The presence and intensity of these symptoms changes through the three phases of the condition.

1) Onset (One Day)

The affected is energized by a high of motivation and creative energy unlike any they've ever experienced before. They enter a state of mania and get lost in their their current fixation, often to the exclusion of hygiene or health.

2) Plateau (One Week)

Aside from an increasing amount of hiccups in their life, such as forgetting important dates or the decreasing condition of their abode and self-care, the affected seems to be in an intimidating, exhilarating groove of creativity.

3) Despair (One Month)

The affected begins to realize that they've lost control of their life, and is at the same time wracked with grief that they'll never meet their increasingly high standards. They become embittered, and turn their energy towards self-destruction.



This condition is transmitted from affected to affected by way of Echoes.

How it starts is uncertain, but the leading theory is that an Echo conjoins with a Focus of artistic desire.


Dispelling all of the meta and soul of the infected, or leaving them in a meta-void quarantine for several days, will clear it up with no other effects.

The longer the Whispering is left unchecked the more damage it may do.

  • Mania
  • Echolalia
  • Synesthesiac Hallucinations
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Irritability

It's a song you can't get out of your head, a story you have to write down. It's knowing that you could slave for your entire life and never capture it.

— A poet recounting Muse's Whisper


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