Tchaotikloux Condition in Qet | World Anvil



They're after me! Those horrid, twisted shapes— the dark is brighter than the sun. The dark is brighter than the sun! By Auroul, someone get a light— please, get me a light!
— A victim of tchaotikloux
  Tchaotikloux, or literally dark madness is a mental illness which many exposed to complete darkness for extended periods of time succumb to. This is especially common for those who descend into caves such as Tchaoxlik.  

A Darkness Brighter Than the Sun

Preventing the onset of tchaotikloux is simple, carry a torch or other form of light such as a zykeutuezyl when venturing into the depths of a cave, a vast forest during the night, or an unlit windowless structure. If unable to do so, try not to stay long within complete darkness. Short-term tchaotikloux can begin to show after an hour— and one risks permanence if they remain for a total of five or more hours.  


The first sign of tchaotikloux is a fear of the dark— which, as something not entirely uncommon under normal circumstances— is an oft ignored portent. After around half an hour, audio hallucinations begin. Victims often speak of strange utterings in some unknown language. A few of the madmen and madwomen of the world have found great and terrible meaning in these words heard in the dark— but to the vast majority of folk, they are merely gibberish.  
Hyol'tch, y'tpnol ftagk sirnex. Nilintox, p'noil graat!
— A hasty attempt at transcribing these utterings
  After an hour has passed, visual hallucinations will begin. Victims claim that the walls, floors, and ceilings of the area around them suddenly becomes visible— as if some great light within had been lit. Yet following or reaching out to touch these walls proves them to be merely a reflection of somewhere else.
Victims speak also, however, of terrible forms shifting in this bright darkness. For those that are relieved before the five-hour mark, they speak merely of vague, terrifying silhouettes— which they will mercifully soon forget within a week's time.
  For the unfortunate souls that remain enveloped by darkness for longer than five hours— they have the misfortune of seeing and hearing clearly the beings in the darkness. More often than not, they refuse to share what they have seen, simply repeating they will get me.  
They will find me! No! It doesn't matter if we get out of here— it's too late. It's too late! So'gith [unintelligible] by the heavens above— So'gith ra[unintelligible]! They have seen me since I was born, and now that I have seen them there is no hope left. I will be theirs.
— A raving victim of permanent tchaotilloux
  These victims will greatly fear the dark for the remainders of their lives, screaming in horror if the many candles often accumulated by them go out— believing it to be some terrible portent of their pursuer's arrival. Some have been said to disappear in search of somewhere forever bathed in light— or perhaps— they were finally caught.  

Cultural view

Victims are seen as lunatics, unfortunate, cursed lunatics. They are left to the care of their families, or simply left to fend for themselves should they pose no harm to others— in which case they are typically jailed until they scream themselves to death in a dark cell.
  Great caution is taken when expecting to face immeasurable darkness, some have been known to kill themselves before succumbing to the illness completely should they not expect rescue. Children are kept from caves and forests at night— and the guards of rich or important figures make sure to keep extra light sources on hand.
Chronic, Acquired

Words in the dark

Lunatics and scholars alike have attempted to study the strange, babbling utterances of victims— believing that surely, there must be meaning behind them.
A thief. A common criminal— he had attempted to steal from my workshop but I was able to catch him unawares. I told him I'd let him go if he simply aided me in an experiment. A perfect test subject.
— A Lliaqeu scholar
  Some have claimed to find meaning in these words— and will either end their investigations immediately, or dedicate their lives to studying those whispers heard in the darkness.
He began to scream, speaking of a terrible shrill whispering. I asked that he attempt to transcribe them for me. He was unable. Another hour or two in the dark should make the man more cooperative.
— A Lliaqeu scholar

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