The Reversing Condition in Known World of the Spellster Universe | World Anvil
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The Reversing

An attempt to artificially create Elven Oracles in the centuries following the settling of Heimat left the resulting subjects prone to developing one of two major conditions outside of the desired trait of premonition, the less dangerous one came to be known as the Reversing.   The name comes from the belief that these poor experimental beings are turning into what elves once were in millennia past, when they belonged to the deep seas.   After the second such failure at the turning of the first millennium, which resulted in losing the only sane Oracle subject, Syreen, several factions were of the mind that they were being punished for attempting to subvert the will of the All-Knowing Ones (effectively, considering themselves to know better than their gods). This led to a fanatic mob storming the facility and eradicating all beyond documentation of symptoms.   Since 1000 AES, there have been no officially recorded sightings of a reversed being.


According to ancient documents, none of the scientists involved were ever entirely sure why the reversing or the hunger happened in their subjects. But they were able to determine what exacerbated the symptoms when it came to the former.   Unlike with those suffering the hunger, these subjects appear completely normal for the first few years of their lives. Problems arose between their fourth and eighth years, a typical timeframe for spellsters to gain the ability to consciously manipulate their magic. Because these subjects were created with an eye for them to become future leaders and soothsayers, their caretakers encouraged caution in their magical training. This led to many careful notes of mutations transpiring whenever the subjects accessed their power, no matter how small or briefly that act was.


For most, the reversing began with a thin film of webbing building between the fingers and toes. This was followed by their pointed ears splitting to create a fan of skin and cartilage, an act that was the least painful of everything the subjects went through. Strangely enough, they would often complain of being thirsty, but never actually wanting to drink.   At the normal age for children to lose their milk teeth, many would find them replaced with ones far sharper and more needle-like. Their appetites would increasingly turn towards meat (more so than most elves, at least) and seafood. Their nails would grow thicker and tougher, capable of prising open shellfish.   Those who reached their teen years would find their skin, which was often already a translucent white, gaining an iridescent sheen. This preceded small patches of scaling that would occur along the limbs and face, eventually spreading to cover the whole body. Many subjects itched themselves raw and beyond, leaving behind open wounds that would form new skin, but not scales. Salves did nothing and any attempt to magically alleviate the pain through healing only worsened the effects.   Around this time, many would be transported to nearby ponds as the subjects fought to breathe outside of water after a short period. Most of the subjects lost their lives, if not their minds, during this phase as either the pain was too great or their lungs failed to adapt at the same rate as the gills that formed along their torso. The few mindless beings that came out the other side of this transformation went on to form a crude, semi-flexible tail as well as weakness in their legs.


All documentation suggests the scientists found no treatment or any way to halt the reversing. Even nullifying the subjects or having them abstain from using magic appeared to only slow the symptoms. Most were euthanised to spare them further agony.


Because of the belief that the subjects are reverting to what elves were, the most popular theory for what the final stage would have been is the formation of a larger tail and fin. This theory remains unproven even now as only one subject ever made it close to fully transforming and whether Syreen survived it is unknown as all documentation of him ends after he threw himself off a cliff into the ocean (the reasoning behind his actions also remains unknown as he displayed no mental aberrations in the days before).
Chronic, Congenital
Extremely Rare
Affected Species


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