Burdened Mind Condition in Iosis | World Anvil

Burdened Mind

My father was a good and gentle father, an amazing leader, and a fearless pirate. But there were times when that god-like image I had of him would crack and the man would peak through. Screams of terror in the middle of the night from nightmare visions I'm not even sure he told our mother about. Fearful darting eyes and shaking hands if a large dog got too close. Bottles of expensive wine polished off on a weekly basis. Moments at night where my siblings and I would stumble upon him and mother sitting on the balcony at night where he would be shaking and she would be holding him. And of course there was his steadfast refusal to go outside without something covering his back.
Fiore Rossi from her book The Pirate King I
Burdened Minds is a mental condition caused by a terrifying event. The symptoms vary in intensity and type, and can sometimes be invisible to others.


There is no one way for a person to develop a Burdened Mind, but the most common way people develop it is by fighting in a battle. It can be a back alley brawl or a 'proper' fight on a battlefield fighting for glory and your lord or ruler. Still, any time a person is put in a life-threatening situation where they have to kill or be killed, their mind becomes weighted after. Others acquire a burdened mind by witnessing a violent or traumatic event like seeing someone attacked in an alley or a parent or family member dying suddenly.


Burdened minds manifest in a variety of ways. Some experience nightmares, others experience intense flashbacks, and in the most extreme cases, some will completely forget the event and things surrounding it. These symptoms can happen regularly or can happen randomly if the person is experiencing something that reminds them of the event(s) that caused their minds to become burdened.

Sufferers can also experience difficulty managing their emotions, causing them to swing wildly from intense anger to deep sadness to almost manic joy. The person may also experience an increase in anxiety, causing them to become overly stressed by or obsessed over minor inconveniences or possible adverse outcomes.


Treatment for Burdened Minds varies based on which area of the world a person finds themselves in.   In Kimiri, Rushil, and Nefis those who have Burdened Minds are encouraged to speak about their experiences and the symptoms with family members, friends, or the local priest or priestess. Additionally, poultices and herbal remedies can be made to help the person sleep better or lessen the anxiety they feel.   On the other hand in places like Uxil and Aryia it is considered shameful for a person to admit to suffering from this condition so many are forced to deal with it on their own. This has caused many people to self medicate by drinking heavily or using mind-altering substances.   Due to its diversity Sanctuary has mixed reactions to this condition. Some will want to treat it like they do in Kimiri, Rushil, and Nefis, while others will want to bury it and keep it hidden like in Uxil and Aryia.

Cultural Reception

Depending on the country, the reaction to a person who has a Burdened Mind can vary greatly. In places like Kimiri, who offer extensive treatment, the people are viewed with a bit of pity, but ultimately others are determined to help them heal from their trauma. In places like Aryia, however, Burdened Minds are outright ignored or, before the incident with Baron Gavriil Aukes, they would be given to the Rune Casters who would study the person in question.
Chronic, Acquired
Affected Species
Fiore Rossi
Character | Jul 22, 2019

Daughter of Lorenzo Rossi and respected historian.

Lorenzo Rossi
Character | Jul 9, 2019
Geographic Location | Jul 27, 2018
Organization | Jul 22, 2019
Organization | Jul 22, 2019
Organization | Mar 22, 2019
Organization | Jul 18, 2019
Settlement | Jul 20, 2019

Pirate haven founded on the ruins of the Braris Empire

Cover image: Aneurysm by ShawnCoss


Please Login in order to comment!
Jul 23, 2019 06:38

An interesting article, although I feel it could use some research/clarification. I really liked how you opened the article with a quote/chapter excerpt of someone who witnessed what it's like to suffer the condition   According to the text, burned mind occurs "any time a person is put in a life threatening situation where they have to kill or be killed their mind becomes weighted after." However, if this disease is like PTSD in real life, it won't affect any person whenever they are in a life-threatening situation (or see others go through it). Rather everyone will experience the fear and stress at the moment, but not everyone will develop a condition afterwards.   Stylistically, while the distinction between a proper fight and a fight in the back of the alley was interesting and should definitely stay there, in this other sentence the specificity of "an alley" as the placed where you see someone get attached doesn't really help the text in my opinion Rather, the importance in this sentence is that you can get burned mind from witnessing a traumatic event to someone else ("Others acquire a burdened mind by witnessing a violent or traumatic event like seeing someone attacked in an alley").   Finally, the formatting could use another quote or image along the later paragraphs to break up the text and keep the reader engaged. I was also not a fan of the very long sidebar of related articles, I think it'd be best to keep it at the same length of the main text.   Overall, I liked the inclusion of PTSD in pirate society. I was quite intrigued by that last sentence of burn minded people being handed off to rune casters for study. I wish you went into more detail, but I understand if it is there just to intrigue the readers.

Jul 23, 2019 07:27

Thank you for your feedback! I will definitely add some more stuff to and refine the article after summer camp is over. Part of the reason I didn't go into detail with rune casters is that I'm still working on the history for them as well, so I am hesitant to add concrete examples until I have figured out at least an outline for them.

Jul 23, 2019 10:55

An interesting article and it is always neat to see things like this acknowledged in more fantasy-y articles :)  

It can be a back alley brawl or a 'proper' fight on a battlefield fighting for glory and for your lord or ruler, but regardless any time a person is put in a life threatening situation where they have to kill or be killed their mind becomes weighted after.
  This is a chunky sentence at 49 words. I would consider splitting it up into 2-3.   Also, "becomes weighted after" reads a bit funny to me and I had to reread it a couple of times. Maybe spice it up with some descriptions of the intense pressure, stress and all that jazz of combat? :)   You also mention "alley" in two sentences in a row. Maybe switch it up in the second, to make it read less repeat-like. :)  
before the incident with Baron Gavriil Aukes, they would be given to the Rune Casters who would study the person in question.
  Now this seem like an excellent thing to expand on. What exactly went on there and have similar shenanigans also been happening?   Formatting-wise, I would consider breaking up the chunks of text you have into paragraphs. The first quote is especially meaty and could do with a trim and a paragraphiziation :)   I would also consider adding another break between the different text and headers, to give each segment some space. Adding some more images or quotes would probably help make those parts more readable, too!   Finally, the side panel seems crowded by blocklinks that don't immediately seem relevant. This largely depends on your style, but you could consider replacing some of them with quotes, context details (like myths about the condition, or particular details on a "cure) and such.

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jul 23, 2019 15:53 by Tiirikka

I love this take on PTSD-like condition, it's beautifully and thoughtfully written, and seems interesting thing to dwell in in a story!   Adding to previous comments (trying to figure something that wasn't said before or what to add in) I would personally break symptoms in 2 paragraphs, from "Sufferers can also experience..."-spot, and put quote describing symptoms by either someone who has the condition or observes it from outside. Also the very last sentence in "Cultural Reception" kinda begs a quote under it, describing someone taken to these Rune Casters. Since both these are heavy, possible other quote spot would be after "In Kimiri, Rushil, and Nefis"-paragraph, so one could show example of heart-warming nurturing of those with the condition, making there a little glimpse of light to the end. :3   Overall, thoughtful article. Good work!

Can I have a cookie? | Come and snoop around Melyria