Mindscape Madness is caused by a spore found in the Jungles of Mijhail; it sneaks into the body in any way it can and makes its way to the brain stem where it attaches itself. The spores are shaken off by a small mushroom that lives under the wet foliage of the jungle floor and is very hard to spot. They are about the size of a cherry tomato and are dark purple with orange nodes on them. They have purple roots that cling to the surface of the dirt and appear in patches of a dozen or more. Locals call the mushroom, Purple Heart Mushroom as the shape of the mushrooms are somewhat heart-shaped. Once the spore attaches itself to its victim it waits, often for weeks or months. Slowly feeding off of the host, and will grow in size and multiple. Eventually growing into a collection of fungal mushrooms large enough to begin pressing upon the host's brain hard enough that it will begin to cause severe symptoms and psyshosis. Unfortunately, this often causes a complete psychotic breakdown. With the person becoming either completely comatose or flying into fits of rage or mania. Sadly, there are very few things that can protect or alleviate symptoms of this condition. And only one cure is known, and it is very difficult to attain. Only a few dozen people catch Mindscape Madness annually, so it is considered majorly unlucky if you end up a victim as the results are often deadly.
Someone can catch Mindscape Madness and be completely normal for weeks or months, but suddenly and quickly symptoms will begin to appear and escalate driving the victim mad and then killing them within a matter of days. First is a drifting psychosis with the sufferer seeing things that aren't there and feeling anxiety, depression, and extreme and sudden bouts of anger. These initial psychoses are mild in nature (as mild as psychosis can be) with things appearing in their peripheral vision or odd noises crackling in their ears. This quickly spirals into a complete mental breakdown, and more severe hallucinations begin. The victim will see strange and aggressive beasts chasing them down, bizarre zombie-like figures standing in rows in front of them, all will bright pops of colour streak across their vision. During these episodes, the victim will often lash out and become extremely aggressive and violent. Those that treat these poor souls are often injured during this phase of the sickness. Just as suddenly as this stage began it finishes, with the victim suddenly completely shutting down. Becoming a quiet, drooling, shell of their former selves before slowly drifting off into oblivion as their brain short circuits and dies. In the final stages of the disease, the victim will completely retreat into their own minds, experiencing a psychedelic trip that only they are aware of.
The only treatments for Mindscape Madness are strong herbal tinctures made of wormwood and a local mix of jungle herbs and mushrooms. Frequent magical calming spells can alleviate the symptoms as well. However, neither of these remedies can cure a bout of Mindscape Madness, if an unlucky person has picked the disease they are almost assuredly doomed. However, one known cure is known but it is not easily accessible and only gives the victim a small percentage beat the disease and survive. The cure, is a small tincture made of high percentage grain alcohol and the poison gland of the Yrsena Panopida a predator that lives on the edges of the Ruined Plateau of Thysduin. These creatures using a paralytic poison to stun prey they have just captured, allowing them to eat the creature before they can fight back. It has been discovered that mixing this poison, with the aforementioned alcohol calms the mind and nervous system of the victim just enough for their immune system to rally and fight back. There have only been a few people that have received this treatment, and even those that survive do no recover fully and often have permanent after effects. These after-effects can be minor like slowed speech, difficulty forming words, and general haziness. To the more severe, including lingering hallucinations, severely delayed mental capacity, or even a permanent comatose state.
Treatment and Potential Cure
Mindscape Madness is a disease that causes the mind of the sufferer to spin into a chaotic mess of colours and noise. Caused by a spore unluckily inhaled during travel in the Jungles of Mijhail, the suffering will carry the spore which attaches itself to the brain stem for weeks or months without symptom. When the spore has grown large enough it begins to assail the victim, breaking their mind down and turning them into a crazed madman, then into a drooling fool, before eventually driving them into the grave.