Post Cleanse Drowning

I won't forget the look in her eyes. She knew the end was soon. I would have pawned my soul to save her. But she was too far gone when I found her. At least she didn't die alone.
— prostitute in the Flowers and Swords Ward
  Every Cleanse cycle there are always at least an unfortunate few Sumichou residents caught in the flood without protection. If they aren't swept away to be devoured by the ever hungry Shachihoko, they will probably suffer secondary drowning symptoms with a myriad of low ki energy effects that make it unlikely for them to survive.

 

Prognosis

If mild, the victim will end up with a nasty bacterial lung and sinus infection and the polluted flood water will block their ki well for weeks.   In serious cases, the victim's ki well closes permanently. Then all life energy is blocked from flowing in and the victim dies from ki starvation.

 

Treatment

First, the water must be removed from the victim's lungs within an hour or so after the cleanse. This is best done via magic. And because of the cost in ki, it's best performed outside of Sumichou. (Good luck. Getting out after a cleanse is difficult. Everyone rushes the gates.)   After that, the victim must be kept warm. Heated blankets, a kotatsu heating table, warm baths, and tea can all help.   A healer must examine the ki well carefully to remove all blockage from the impurities of the flood waters. Again, this requires a great ki expenditure.   It's highly unlikely a victim will have access to the amount of ki needed to recover, unless they're wealthy.

 

Prevention

Stay out of the Cleanse's flood waters. For the poor and those low on magic, this can be challenging. Most will go to buildings that are sealed off or huddle with those that can spare ki to raise a spell shield. Since it requires extra energy to protect another being, the one seeking refuge often has to serve their protector as a slave for a good week.

 

A Concerning Trend

The number of cleanses keeps increasing. Before, it had been an emergency measure to remove a pollutant from the underground town. But the new leadership of the Akumakai uses it to get rid of the waste from crystalized ki contamination.

Darker Content

Mature and possible trigger topics are mentioned. I do my best to keep things to at most PG-13, but this article may push those boundaries.

Symptoms

Physical

  • Rough coughing and wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Exhaustion
  • Extremely pale
  • The victim may be covered in an oily residue from the Cleanse.

  •  

    Magical

  • Unable to bring ki into their well, even if natural or Crystalized Ki are applied to the victim.
  • Fading magical pulse or complete closure of the ki well.

  •  
    Affected Groups
    Most often the poorest of the Yokai in Sumichou.
    Type
    Physiological


    Cover image: by Tim Marshall

    Comments

    Author's Notes

    Secondary drowning reference from Web MD.


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    Grandmaster zpires
    jyliet +& maddy zpires
    16 Jan, 2022 22:59

    a horrible condition, and a great insight into the overall world. ki starvation as a concept is really interesting, and how that relates to this disease is cool.

    love, jyliet & maddy
    17 Jan, 2022 02:25

    Thank you so much! <3

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