Soul Shock is one of the constant concerns of the Cursed. They don’t have a lot to worry about in the way of physical ailments, but Soul Shock is, quite literally, potentially lethal to them. At its core, Soul Shock is a manifestation of exhaustion in the Cursed. Where it’s common knowledge that typical organic life needs periods of rest, and sleep, in order to maintain a healthy life, otherwise they start developing mental and health issues, it’s not so easily stated for the Cursed. The Cursed can, if they so chose, go exceedingly long periods without sleep or other forms of resting. It’s not actually necessary for their body to replenish itself. And because of their body, they don’t actually feel tired either. Not from a physical standpoint. There is a catch to this supposed benefit. If they are particularly stressed out. If they are working themselves too hard. If they are moving too fast. If they literally don’t stop. They are going to eventually face a problem. Granted, it won’t begin showing up until well after any organic life had actually fallen over unconscious, if not died from exhaustion, but it can still happen to a Cursed. What it is, as the best as anyone can tell, is the threads that hold the Cursed together. That tie them to this world. To their very body. Begins to get strained after so much effort. They burn so much energy, that their tethers can’t keep up and they start loosing connection with themselves. This manifests itself first mentally, as they start seeing things that are not there, and hearing things that don’t exist. They will become increasingly erratic as the world around them simply doesn’t make sense anymore. As they can’t process anything. To them, even if they’ve been through bouts before, they can’t understand why others don’t believe them. This rapidly feeds into a chain of paranoia where they don’t’ feel safe and don’t know why. They’ve been known to lash out and attack nonexistent beings, or, in other cases, skirt around them and stare with fright at a particular area where no one else can see anything up empty air. It can progress from there, if treatment isn’t provided, until they have a problem just moving, and all of their movements become jittery and out of sync. Expect to see a Cursed at this stage falling over and falling down repeatedly. Avistian Cursed are even more in harms way, as they can out right fall out of the sky and plummet to the ground during a desyncing bout. What’s worse, their hallucinations can cause them to continuously flee, and suffer from constantly increasing stress. All of which just adds to the situation and creates a snowballing effect. If at any time they are allowed, or forced, to rest. The effects can be rapidly reversed. The problem is simply getting them to sit still long enough for it to work. The fastest way for a friend to help their Cursed comrade, is finding a way to knock them out. Magical means are most effective, though a variety of stun effects or magical anesthetic will have no effect on them at all. Once they reach the state of unconsciousness, it is recommended to steer clear of them, and leave them isolated until they come out of their hibernation on their own. This could be anywhere from a few hours to a few days. They don’t biologically have a need to ‘oversleep’ so they will wake up when the time is right. After awaking the Cursed will be rather vulnerable. As they will not be sure what took place and will either A) have no memory of what had transpired, or B) remember the entire thing and feel utterly humiliated at causing such a spectacle. Remember that, despite what they may have said or did during a bout of Soul Shock, the Cursed was not truly in control of themselves, and, in all likelihood, didn’t have any malicious intent. So keep that in mind, and remember to treat them with kindness. For Cursed already have a tough existence, and they need every friend they can get. If you have a Cursed friend, help them prevent this horribly humiliating condition by encouraging them to sleep, often, even if they don’t feel like they need it. Or help them decompress with jokes, laughter, and fun. All of which can help put off, if not entirely eliminate, bouts of Soul Shock.
Transmission & Vectors
Hereditary, but dormant until triggered.
The root cause of Soul Shock is Cursed’s version of exhaustion. Given their constitution and body make up, they physically don’t ‘feel’ tired. And typically don’t really need sleep either. But, if they’re been exerting themselves for too long they will start to suffer the effects of Soul Shock, until eventually a bout is triggered. Mental exertions and stress are actually the biggest culprits of bouts of Sol Shock.
Extreme hallucinations. Mental disconnect from reality. Can seem similar to schizophrenia.
Rest. Sometimes forced upon the victim through magical means. Unconsciousness is the best and fastest way to recover and give their bodies time to realign properly.
With proper treatment, ie rest, the prognosis is pretty good. There typically aren’t any lasting effects outside of the embarrassment and loss of esteem such bouts and apparent insanity cause. Without treatment, whether from outside influences, or simple accidents, the prognosis is bad. If left untreated long enough the Cursed will become increasingly erratic and can easily harm themselves. If they are stressed strong enough, for a long enough period of time, it could result in disaster. Though it’s not common, and in fact only a few incidences are known to have existed, Soul Shock on a cursed can actually be fatal. Causing them to simply, and literally, fall over dead from exhaustion. All the while never feeling the first tinges of being tired.
Genetic predisposition for the cursed.
Hosts & Carriers
The cursed are carriers themselves. It's a side effect hazard of the curse. Not communicable.
Rest is the only known prevention and cure for Soul Shock. It doesn't necessarily have to be sleep, but lower strenuous activity helps tremendously. A good work / life balance with proper stress management can delay if not entirely prevent bouts of Soul Shock. However, the cursed aren't the best at sorting this out on their own as they have no biological cues to follow and know when it's 'time to chill'.
Genetic. Triggered. Non-communicable.
Given that the over all population of Cursed is lower, percentage wise, compared to the rest of the population, there are not many recorded incidents of Soul Shock. But, among the Cursed community, it is a well known hazard. The first instances of Soul Shock were known among the Cursed to have occurred in even the earliest of the Cursed. Even the first one's had to worry about it. So, as far as the Cursed community knows, Soul Shock has been apart of their very existence since the beginning.
Generally those that are unfortunate enough to bear witness to a Cursed going through a case of Soul Shock are typically Afraid. Regardless of their relationship previously, the cursed will come across as mentally unhinged and acting erratically. Most simply try to get away from them any let the cursed go about their business as they hope it works out of their system. But, generally, it doesn’t simply ‘run it’s course’ as they require rest to make it stop, but don’t feel the need for sleep. Thus creating a vicious cycle.