Rapturous Touch

"Come, brother! Let us shed that vile skin of yours, so that you may bathe among the gods themselves!"
- King Bertrand de Eden, the Mad King
A horrific consequence of the shatterings of aeons before and during the Twilight Wars, Rapturous Touch (also called Heaven's Kiss) damns all it infects to insanity. Though it is classified as a disease, it is, in essence, an unending force of nature. It is believed that the first person to be affected by Rapturous Touch was, ironically, King Bertrand de Eden, who displayed extreme grandiose delusions and mania.
Rapturous Touch infects the body by displacing its natural balance of energies (good, positive, evil, and negative). Its method of influencing those it infects is similar to enchantment magic, in that it targets the human psyche. Unlike enchantment magic, which is more subtle, Rapturous Touch violently tears at the mind in such a way that the infected "remembers" events that never occurred. The infected obsessively clings to these fabricated memories, treating all contradictions (and evidence of such contradictions) as false. The magic of Rapturous Touch often surges through the very bodies of beings who are not accustomed to high levels of magic. In such cases, the infected will often mutilate themselves, believing that their "divine self" (the magic trapped underneath their flesh, which they feel like pins and needles) is sealed away in their bodies. Upon the death of the infected, the body rapidly disintegrates and mixes the infected essence with the air, infiltrating nearby bodies and beginning the infection again.   Innately magical beings, such as kobolds, do not appear vulnerable to Rapturous Touch. Likewise, elves have also shown high levels of resistance. Humans are unusually vulnerable to the disease and, when unaided, succumb to its effects the quickest. To this day, there is no cure for Rapturous Touch. Research into a cure is slow due to how deadly the virus is as a magical ailment.

Cover image: by Midjourney


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