Transitory Ungrounding

Once believed to be a permanent condition, Transitory Ungrounding refers to an inability to cast Magic due to an individual's depletion of their Imperium reservoir and therefore disconnection from the Magical Fields. Recovery involves a heavy regime of meditation while an experience Healer painstakingly weaves portions of the fields into the patient using Psychic Magic.

Causes

Transitory Ungrounding is most oftenly the result of an individual over-extending themselves magically and using up their entire reservoir of Imperium. The body requires a small supply of Imperium to use to remain aligned with the Magical Fields in order to metabolize more Imperium, so if the reservoir is fully depleted such as through over-casting any Imperium-related metabolim will cease.   The production of physical energy is prioritized over the development of Imperium, and so an individual may essentially starve themselves to the point of losing any magical capabilities. Unless the starving individual is also actively casting magic this process is slow due to the small Imperium draw to remain aligned to the magical fields, but it is a valid concern especially among the poor and destitute. In particularly severe cases an individual may also contract the Imperial Flu prior to becoming ungrounded, although the effects of the Flu usually dissipate once the individual becomes completely disconnected from the fields of magic.

Symptoms

Those who have become Ungrounded cannot utilize magic in any capacity, regardless of their skills before. Their usual methods of increasing Imperium will no longer work, and without medical attention they will be unable to cast any spells of their own.   Unlike those born with Unattunable Disorder the Ungrounded can still be subjected to the direct effects of magic, and can even use Rune Magic prepared by others as long as the spells do not require any additional magical inputs at the time of use.   For those accustomed to using magic the condition feels extremely debilitating. For the Naturally Attuned it will also feel as if something major is missing from their lives, as they will no longer feel the faint hum of power from the Magical Fields. Those who do not use magic will experience milder effects, as the condition will manifest more as a mild dissociation or discomfort. They still feel the absence of their connection to the magic of Fillimet, but since they were not accustomed to acknowledging its presence the feeling is more one of disorientation than disability.

Treatment

For much of history it had been assumed that the condition was permanent, and that once an individual lost their ability to use Magic it could never be regained. Only fairly recently has a true treatment been discovered, when a Healer hypothesized that the disconnection from the magical fields experienced by the Ungrounded may benefit from a similar treatment as used for the misalignment from those fields experienced by patients with the Imperial Flu.   After much trial and error the patient was successfully rehabilitated, albeit with a smaller Imperium reserve than before. Further magical exercise therapy, based heavily on the exercises given to Naturally Unattuned students, was able to improve this reservoir and the patient was declared to have made a full recovery. The condition was medically renamed to "Transitory Ungrounding" to officially denote the temporary status of the condition in an effort to remove the stigma from those living with the illness.   Today experienced healers treat those suffering from Transitory Ungrounding with a combination of physical, mental, and magical therapies. Patients regularly perform meditation techniques similar to those practiced to recover from the Imperial Flu. In contrast to the Flu a healer will tap into the magical fields at the same time as the patient is meditating, and carefully weave portions of the field into the patient with Psychic Magic, using the mental imprints of the patient's meditation as a guide.   If the Ungrounding occurred recently treatments can be completed successfully in as little as a week. The longer the patient has been Ungrounded the more care must be taken when regrounding them to prevent mental or magical shock, with some long-term chronic cases requiring years of careful reconstruction.   The cure for Transitory Ungrounding holds a special interest among the Followers of the Hidden Flame as they believe reconnecting the Ungrounded to their magical potential to be an especially powerful exercise in practicing their faith, especially since most people suffering from Transitory Ungrounding are among the less fortunate of society. As a result a large percentage of the most renowned healers performing regrounding magical therapies are also Embers of the Flames.

Affected Groups

Both Naturally Attuned and Naturally Unattuned individuals are susceptible to Ungrounding. The condition is most common among self-taught mages, due to their lack of training on recognizing the limitations of their own Imperium reserves. The condition is also fairly common among poor populations if food is difficult to obtain regularly, since the body will cease production of Imperium in favor of metabolizing towards more physical energy requirements if sustenance is scarce.   Individuals suffering from Unattunable Disorder are incapable of experiencing Transitory Ungrounding as they cannot attune or ground themselves to the magical fields in any capacity, a direct result their genetic inability to generate or metabolize Imperium.

Prevention

Transitory Ungrounding can be completely avoided. Those who do not actively cast magic merely need to consume a balanced diet which meets the individual's nutrient requirements.   Those who also utilize magic must understand their own magical limitations and stop casting when their Imperium reserves are low. One of the first lessons most professionally trained mages learn is the ability to monitor their own magical reserves, followed by simple meditation techniques to help boost their Imperium production in cases where they have used too much of their Imperium but still possess a meager reserve.   A magic caster can also borrow Imperium from others, even those not trained in the use of magic, if casting beyond their personal means is required. In these cases the donor would perform a simple ritual while the mage performs their intended spell, to lend their magical reserves to the caster's spells. All Imperium donors must be willing participants in the exchange if the caster wishes to avoid Vitriol Magic and its corrupting effects.

Type
Magical
Origin
Magical
Cycle
Short-term
Rarity
Uncommon
Imperium
Material | Aug 4, 2020

Imperium is the metaphysical arcane power available to every living creature, as described in the Second Law of Magic. Some species or individuals are more easily able to tap into this resource, while others require a Focus.

Imperial Flu
Condition | Jul 20, 2020

The Imperial Flu is not the flu at all, but rather a magical misalignment that can occur within a magic user. The disease is not contagious, and symptoms disappear as soon as the patient is realigned and appropriately grounded.

Unattunable Disorder
Condition | Jan 6, 2020

Those with Unattunable Disorder are unable to attune with the magical fields, even with the use of a Focus, and are completely immune to the effects of Imperium or any direct application of magic.



Comments

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23 Jul, 2020 20:09

As well as finding this extremely interesting, I can see how this condition could be part of the drama in a novel and how it would be a great rpg game mechanic/limitation on a magic user's power. This is quite a long article (which I actually like :)) but it didn't feel like it because of how well written it is. So many cool details.

9 Aug, 2020 03:46

Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities
Grandmaster Serukis
Emily Vair-Turnbull
24 Jul, 2020 11:34

I really love how much thought you've put into the magic system in your world. It really shows with each article you release. <3   I'm so happy they managed to find a cure for this, and I love how they renamed the disorder to try to erase some of the stigma surrounding it. I myself have a disorder that used to be known as 'conversion disorder', and know the effects of stigma well.

Emy x
9 Aug, 2020 03:46

Thank you! I want to keep it officially a "soft magic" system regarding what it can accomplish, but with an almost "hard magic" feel regarding its structure and why it actually works (or doesn't). The hope is that I will have lots of flexibility but still keep magic as a believable tool.   And thank you so much for picking up on the stigma tidbit. I love using emotions and the interactions of people, I think it's the most important thing to making stories and worlds feel believable, and I love that you have been enjoying reading those bits as much as I enjoy scattering them about. <3

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities
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