Mataglap Ferality

When the Sazashi mind is pushed too far

Written by Ademal

Astenu's head whipped around, face the very visage of wrath. Blood rained from the matted fur of his jowls—ichor robbed fresh from the veins of the poor vagrant still twitching in his grasp.   By the lamplight of the hall I saw a sharp blue light reflected in his yawning pupils, and knew my friend was gone.
— An eyewitness
  Mataglap is a condition unique to the Sazashi. It occurs when they are driven beyond the limits of their sanity, and is the result of their Sazakraht mind overriding all reason to send them into a feral state.   Mataglap is divided into two types: Episodic and Everlasting. Episodic Mataglap is a one-off occurence that will abate with light treatment or of its own accord, everlasting Mataglap represents a permanant and irreperable break in the faculties of the affected.   Unfortunately, each time a Sazashi experiences episodic Mataglap, they have an increasing risk of it happening again in the future. After so many times they may enter everlasting Mataglap.



In both episodic and everlasting Mataglap, the Sazashi becomes entirely animalistic. While there still remains a good amount of reasoning skills and potentially even some communication skills, it's the core atavistic drives such as hunting, breeding, and safety which drives their actions. Their eyes also dilate noticeably, becoming large, black circles with very little iris, this makes them rather light-sensitive.  
Episodic In this state the Sazashi will be extremely prone to violence, will try to hole up somewhere secluded, and will be easily started by stimuli. Their heart rate will spike and they will begin to hyperventilate as they reach a state of higher adrenaline rush. If the Sazashi does not have long-term treatment to overcome the trauma which triggered the original Mataglap episode they are in danger of later recurrences which may lead to everlasting Mataglap.
Everlasting While the symptoms aren't as constant and severe as with episodic Mataglap, there is always the lurking threat of an episode at even the most harmless stimuli. Any minor surprise can send the Mataglap off the handle and into a violent fight-or-flight response. Sazashi with everlasting Mataglap demonstrate signs of advanced dementia, including an inability to speak coherently and being unable to recognize anyone as familiar.


For episodic Mataglap, sedation and a cocktail of various mood-altering drugs or spells are required to quell the ferality of the Sazakraht mind long enough for higher intelligence to take back control of the Sazashi's faculties.   For everlasting Mataglap the neural pathways of the Sazashi are so inclined towards Mataglap that there is no return without Neural Reconfiguration—this is such an expensive and often inaccurate treatment that only high profile cases usually even turn to it.  
Really the best treatment is to just euthanize them. You save them and yourself a lot of pain that way.   I know that sounds horrible but I lost my brother to Mataglap after he came back from the war and Stokanai and it was just awful. He ate our pets, pissed on everything, terrorized the neighborhood, and brought shame to our family. The last straw was when he attacked an officer and got himself shot. Now I have a dead brother and all I can remember of him is those horrible final years.
— A surviving kin

Social Ramifications

Scars of War An alarming percentage of the Sazashi returning from warzones report having Mataglap. There is a suspected silent majority who don't report Mataglap. Veterans often struggle with the lifelong possibility of a relapse.
A Lesser Peoples The presence of Mataglap within Sazashi, and the threat of it occurring within any one Sazashi, has lead other Sophont (and even some Sazashi) to see Sazashi as a lesser Sophont.
Shunned from Society Few places are willing to home a Mataglap, and so they often end up in undercities, catacombs, sewers, transit tunnels, and so forth. A handful of worlds have Asylum Communes in which Mataglap live humble lives in primitive dwellings.
Berserkers Some Sazashi cultures embrace and esteem Mataglap to the point of having Mataglap Berserkers who are seemingly capable of controlling their Mataglap. While this feeds the stigma, it has proven horribly effective in battles and remains in practice.

Article Navigation


Chronic, Acquired & Congenital
Affected Species
Possible Symptoms
  • Rage
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Tachycardia
  • Incontinence
  • Hyperarousal
  • Hypersalivation
  • Hypervigilance
  • Difficulty speaking


Mataglap is an Indonesian word which references the sudden dilation in the eyes of someone who is going crazy.  

RPG Content

There is hidden RPG content on this article for Master Aspirants and above. If you would like to read it, please consider joining the ranks and supporting the continued development of Ethnis!

Cover image: Hologram Wheel by Ademal
This article has no secrets.


Please Login in order to comment!
30 Nov, 2018 21:26

Absolutely love the snippet of trivia in the sidebar! Everlasting Mataglap sounds horrifying to experience, do they ever get periods of rest with all that adrenaline, or is medication the only way?

Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
1 Dec, 2018 01:36

Within the episodes, no. If you're having an episode you either have to ride it out until it subsides or you just go until you hyperventilate and pass out. For the everlasting they don't experience such constant levels of hypervigilance so they get breathers! They're just prone to quickly flying right off the handle again later.   Thank you for reading!

Admin of the World Anvil Codex & Discord | Director of Ethnis | My Ko-Fi | My Twitter
1 Dec, 2018 01:36

i hate it when my friend snaps and accidentally eats my leg   but DAMN this sounds real scary!! i wonder if certain areas might even get ‘infected’ by peeps affected by Mataglap, and i feel sorry for the poor souls who’ve gotta creep in there with a heavy-duty, drug filled syringe in hand and the brightest lantern they could find in the other. even one being encountered in the dark sounds awful.   i wonder how one would deal with an everlasting Mataglap or multiple, especially if it became an epidemic, other than attempting the Neural Reconfiguration? would they just kill them? good read tho, damb

1 Dec, 2018 01:42

Thank you for reminding me! Unfortunately it does happen that sometimes a Sazashi will go Mataglap and, in self-preservation, will seek out secluded (but survivable) places to live.   This poses a real hazard because this means they'll sometimes go into undercities, catacombs, sewers, transit tunnels, and so forth, and will live there. Not all of them necessarily go hunting people but they're a danger all the same if you stumble into them!   It's somewhat rare that they band together, thankfully, but by the same token they do often end up in the same areas. Last thing you want is to be exploring the undercity and find an abandoned service tunnel full of eyeshine when you flash a light in it. ; ~;   Most everlasting end up killed. The expense and danger of attempting anything else rarely validates any other approach. The best case scenario for any of them, aside from Reconfiguration, is that some worlds have Asylum Reserves in which Mataglap Sazashi are housed and live in very primitive, almost caveman ways.   With the proliferation of using sanity-reducing spells and psychological warfare, many veterans unfortunately meet their fate as a Mataglap.

Admin of the World Anvil Codex & Discord | Director of Ethnis | My Ko-Fi | My Twitter
1 Dec, 2018 01:57

ooooooo, oh damb!! that’s super interesting!! especially the Asylum Reserves, i can’t think of many reasons to house Mataglap Sazashi other than if you get invaded you can turn them loose on the invaders   also yeeowch, psychological warfare is even more harmful then!

1 Dec, 2018 10:54

Whoaaa that is a truly terrifying condition. It's good I'm not a Sazashi, I guess. I was wondering the etymology behind the name, because it sounds kind of funny, like the name of a "monster" from a children story. In any case, the fact that you added it in the sidebar made my linguist heart happy :P (also, this is a fun coincidence: "mata" is the imperative form of matar, Spanish for "to kill"!).   The Symptoms section has a formatting error the "episodic" key::value is missing the last two hyphens.   Speaking of this section, I liked the difference between episodic and everlasting mataglap, especially the detail of the everlasting word itself (instead of chronic, for example).   "Really the best treatment is to just euthanize them" wow. It makes sense, having read the article and the rest of the quote, but still...   Awesome job. this makes me think I should read more of Ethnis hahaha.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
5 Dec, 2018 03:29

Thank you, and thank you for catching the error!

Admin of the World Anvil Codex & Discord | Director of Ethnis | My Ko-Fi | My Twitter
Powered by World Anvil