Shape of Sorrow Condition in Monazetha | World Anvil
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Shape of Sorrow

When a Monazethan experiences large amounts of sorrow and mental pain, they will build or draw or create a pattern that is referred to as the Shape of Sorrow. This will only occur if and when the person experiences a certain amount that most humans, Terran or Monazethan, can barely if at all, handle. The Shape of Sorrow appears in painting or drawing as a geometric shape difficult to follow. It is circular with twisting lines and some have reported this pattern moving on its own, though we are not sure if that is a trick of the light or reality. The pattern on a surface (more on this to follow) is sometimes seen as a flower and sometimes as a star, depending on who is looking at it. The pattern also depicts how the sorrow came to be in a very subtle way- a pictographic language that can be understood, but not exactly read because the language has been lost. Scholars believe this language is possible the language of the Rathos, but the Ancients they talked to refused to translate, saying it was forbidden to utter. It is interesting to note that songs also can carry this pattern. It uses no language and the origin of the sorrow is much more difficult to understand, however, those who heard it in song form have reported that they do follow a circular pattern. Scholars have been unable to understand the meaning of this, but have reached the agreement that the song can and will bring some sort of despair upon the hearers.   Writing also will carry this pattern, to a much lesser degree, as will sculpture, to a greater degree. The architecture will come out in the drawings before the building is actually built and the most notable Shape of Sorrow buildings would be Ironmore Palace in Azarkai. The plans were drawn up by the King of Azarkai on the Night of Sorrow and Dark Stars when Mokena escaped and his plans were carried out in building the new palace. There are few examples of the Shape taking form in writing and none in performing, for some reason.   Subjects of the Shape have been known to pass the pattern on in whatever medium they could find at the time. For drawing and painting, the pattern was rarely permanent. The most prominent examples of the Shape come from those who sculpted the pattern, some on their own skin, others on whatever was near: tables, rocks, and wood the most used. The subjects of each pattern were almost always nearly dead when the pattern was given. The Shape of Sorrow comes after the danger has passed, leaving the subjects nearly dead. Enough where the Shape is copied, but not enough that the subject can survive. The ones that were not hurt and still found the Shape seemed to be the rulers and royals of countries. An example would be the King of Azarkai after the Night of Sorrow and Dark Stars.

Transmission & Vectors

This condition is transmitted by great sorrow. It is not infectious and very few people have qualms about approaching the subject to either help them or comfort them after the Shape has been completed.


This disease is caused by sorrow. Very little else needs to be said on this, however, it preserves the subject until after the Shape is completed. After the subject, if close to death, will die, or they will continue the grieving process.


The symptoms of this would a certain jerkiness on the part of the subject. Some surviving subjects have reported that they entered a scene within their mind where everything was as it should be and they were merely doing something they enjoyed doing. Some have attributed this to some demonic or divine control trying to tell the world something, such as the future, but most scholars agree, it is merely a way to cope with grief and is helpful in understanding the situation.


The treatment is nonexistent because it will disappear on its own. The people who have attempted to stop a subject from completing the pattern have been gravely injured and the pattern completed anyway. When a subject is found, it is greatly advised the witnesses allow the subject to complete their pattern before attempting to help.


The Shape has only one stage, in which the subject works in a half-alive state to finish the pattern. Afterward, the subjects report great weakness and will sleep for a little while. Unless, of course, the subject was near death, in that case, the protection of the Shape is lost after completion and the subject dies.


Unless death is the outcome, there are no conditions that result from this "disease." It comes and after has no effects besides weakness for a little while.


Further, there is no way to prevent this disease besides not getting a subject into a situation where this might arise. Early into the research of this condition, the argument arose as to whether or not they should try to induce this condition, however, the High Counciless quickly rebuffed this idea and ordered it never to be discussed again.


There were many reports of this condition occurring after the night Mokena escaped the Dragonfly Palace and in an effort to preserve the memories of that night, Mothena and the High Counciless refused access to scholars to record and disturb the Shape that appeared there. Otherwise, there have been few recordings of more than one case of this condition in one place.


The first father, Ahavah, was the first to draw the Shape. He did this on the beach surrounding Yapha after Mokena killed her and took the Viodstone. After, the condition was reported in many places, specifically in the fall of the Rathos and Mokena's escape from the Dragonfly Palace.

Cultural Reception

For subjects who experience this, the people around seem to revere them, as if they were touched by something holy and therefore were holy themselves. Most scholars, while understanding the reason, have discouraged this mindset because it meant nothing more than the subject had experienced the greatest depth of sorrow and pain.
Extremely Rare

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May 13, 2024 10:58 by Marc Zipper

What an interesting disease and love how the are different views from society on it.

Let's have fun creating the impossible, building new worlds, and all types of possibilities. Valcin