Altered

First, I was Taken by Them. I came back Changed. Morphed into something undeniably Other.
— An old folk tale from House Felis
  To be Altered is to have been taken by someone — or something — unnatural or supernatural (referred to as the Other) and changed into something that is not quite what they used to be. In some cases, there is a literal abduction of a person by the supernatural. In others, one simply wakes up one day morphed into something other. Becoming Altered can either be a process or instantaneous, and no two Altered experience their change in the same way.

Transmission & Vectors

Being Altered is not contagious. It is the result of being directly transformed by supernatural contact. This requires the direct intervention of a supernatural being. Some examples have included deities, fairies, elementals, dragons, demons, angels, and the strange creatures of The Void.

Symptoms

The primary symptom of being Altered is a feeling of otherness. A victim can feel out of place in the world. They might manifest physical traits that they did not have before, or they might have a distinct shift in personality. Most symptoms of this condition are highly personal, and cannot be generalized.   Examples include Desdemona Rose's wings (despite her Humanity), DM Stretch's sudden acquisition of magic, and AttorraRu's ability to take a dragon-bunny form.

Treatment

There is no treatment proven to be effective at preventing or mitigating the side effects and symptoms of being Altered, although antipsychotic and antidepressant medications may help some, if the condition has psychological effects or is demoralizing.

Affected Groups

Literomancers are the only known beings who are susceptible to being Altered. Some theorize that it is necessary to already be channeling magical energies in order to be changed by the effects of supernatural contact, but there is no proof of this.

Prevention

Although there is no way to truly prevent this condition, avoiding the gaze of the Other is a way to protect oneself. Many forms of warding away the Other exist, but none have proven to be effective against everything. The Other will find a way, should they deem it a suitable use for their time.   A common ward against the Other is a line of salt placed at the threshold of a building. The true effectiveness of this ward is unknown, but it has been reported to deter many Others.   Traditional wards against particular supernatural creatures may prevent being Altered by that particular type of supernatural being.

Cultural Reception

Most literomancers seem to take the Altered in stride, but their strangeness can upset and unnerve other people who do not have daily contact with the odd magic of literomancy. Sometimes they are shunned or even hunted by the general population, especially if their Alterations are visible in their human forms.
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
 
This article is part of a series related to streaming the Game of Tomes. For more information, see Streaming Game of Tomes.
Type
Supernatural
Origin
Mutated
Cycle
Chronic, Acquired
Rarity
Extremely Rare
Affected Species

Desdemona Rose by HeroForge

A man shrouded in shadow and firelight leaning close to the camera with runes painted on his face

DM Stretch before the Battle of the Warren by DMStretch



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