The Mindcrack

Written by Etoilebane

Imagine a series of blocks in a row. Thousands of blocks. We'll have these represent memories, thoughts, emotions and experiences. Remove a few, and it's still the same line of blocks. We forget things all the time; what we had for breakfast, or a celebrity's birthday for example.

Now remove half the blocks, scramble the order the blocks are in; or even introduce new blocks and things get... messy. This is why the Mindcrack is so devastating.
— Professor Tran
 

A Forced Mental Break

Mindcracks are an inflicted wound to ones mind, similar to how a knife can cause a puncture wound, Auric Meta can cause Mindcracks. No two Mindcracks are the same, as they are reliant on circumstances. Likewise, no two Mindcrack victims (pejoratively termed, Mindcracked) are the same after their ordeal, and should be treated with compassion for their condition.  

Caring for the Mindcracked

Counseling and therapy by a qualified medical professional can help alleviate symptoms, but the only true cure for a Mindcrack is to have a practitioner of sanity manipulation go back in and attempt to put the pieces of the victim's psyche back in the proper order.

These treatments have been met with mixed success, and their only goal is to restore some amount of normalcy to the individual's mental health.

The invention of Feathered Cognivores brought about a new way to fight against Mindcracks, their innate ability to eat destructive memories can be invaluable in certain Mindcrack cases.  

It's been months. Fucking Months...   Dad never came back from the war. We had to find him, drag him back. He didn't even know who I was- his own son. He didn't even know who he was. He just existed, walking around trying to figure out what he was doing.   The Auric Practitioner told Mom that Hedon mindcracked him. Every week we go back to him, trying to piece him together like a jigsaw with no painting.   I just want my dad back.
— Johnathan, son of a Mindcrack Victim

Identifying a Mindcrack

Mindcracks can be hard to track by those not versed in Auric Meta. The symptoms are often mixed with other mental illnesses.

These symptoms include amnesia, insomnia, irritability, forgetfulness, depression, erratic behavior, sudden changes in personality or behavior including mood swings, night terrors, psychosomatic pain and suicidal thoughts or tendencies.

Because no two Mindcrack victims are alike, subjects facing mental health issues should be carefully monitored for new or worsening symptoms in the period following a Mindcrack.

Type
Magical
Cycle
Chronic, Acquired
Rarity
Rare

Cause

Mindcracking is mostly commonly inflicted by a skilled Auric wielder. Vodalkyn often specialize in inflicting the condition upon others.

Exposure to corrupted Schaeus (Unity) has also been known to cause mindcrack-like symptoms.  

Prevention

Some technology and meta-imbued artifacts are designed to prevent magical mental manipulation/intrusion.

The only other means of prevention is vigilance against such an attack, and increasing one's mental fortitude.

Common Variants

Overwriting
Casters injecting memories (often traumatic) to a subject in an effort to disrupt or reprogram them,
Forced Amnesia
Removing sections of a subject's memories to simulate amnesia and/or incapacitate them.
Mental Fragmentation
Scramble sections of a subject's memories in an effort to incapacitate or reprogram them.

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