Tunnel Gut Condition in Ravare | World Anvil

Tunnel Gut

A Condition

Written by Tidus Demtrix

Roots of Roots will Root you out

Tunnel Gut, a pseudo-medical term from the Solm language and derived from the ancient tongues of the First Men, is a sickness in which the afflicted person has consumed the rhizomes of a Tunnel Tuber. Tunnel Gut is not an official medical condition, as the knowledge behind the medical field in Haven is severely lacking and old. As such, Tunnel Gut is shrouded in the mystery and confusion of details that is rumors and gossip. Those who have seen it first hand are lucky enough to carry the knowledge forward, but it is not readily available to the public.
In recent history, a “doctor” by the name of Dr. Ribinoxious has boasted a method of purging the body of potions and poisons with his patented purging agent. While Dr. Ribinoxious may be seeking to help folk with the “founding” of this naturally toxic plant, this simple act of distribution has seen the rise of more and more cases of Tunnel Gut throughout the Solemn and Verdant Expanses.


Immediate - 4 hours
Immediately after consumption of the rhizomes of a Tunnel Tuber, the chemicals that exist to promote growth and absorb minerals from the soaked earth begin to combine in some way and become toxic to the digestive system. These chemicals coat the mouth and streak through the esophagus of the afflicted as they swallow the mushed rhizomes, leaving behind areas of irritation. The afflicted person will not feel or notice the irritation until two hours later, of which they will feel the intense need to itch or scratch their mouth and esophagus.

  4 hours - 24 hours
As the mushed rhizomes land in the stomach, the toxins mix with the acids that are found within the stomach. These toxins take time to seep in and begin to show symptoms anywhere between four hours and twenty-four hours. Stomach irritation, pain, nausea, and vomiting are all symptoms that begin at this stage in the condition. The cause of these symptoms is the body’s attempt to expel the toxin from the digestive system, and such vomits can cause harm to the irritated places in the mouth and esophagus. The acids that exist internally come in contact with the irritated zones, dissolving the tissues slowly over many vomiting incidents. The vomit takes the color of dark, mucusy green, intertwined with blood and black murk. As explained by Dr. Ribinoxious, the black murk is the impurities and taint that is purged from your system. While parts of this may be true, the black murk is mostly the concentrated toxin from the Tunnel Tuber’s rhizomes. Those with weaker constitutions can suffer permanent damage due to the repeated dissolving of tissues, making for an esophagus that can be pierced easily by unchewed sharp foodstuffs. This also may promote the loss of teeth or function of the tongue in those same afflicted.
Some lucky folk may be able to expedite the sickness’ passing through the system if they are able to vomit and expel enough of the digested rhizomes and toxin, making for the sickness to be sped up and weakened in it’s symptoms. Magical intervention may also help improve the chances of this occurring.

  1 day - 1 and a half days
There exists an intermission phase in the Tunnel Gut sickness, of which the body has not expelled enough of the toxin and the mushed rhizomes and is forced to digest it and expel it in the other bodily direction. The toxin and rhizomes are prepared to be pushed into the intestines, as the body takes in the toxin and attempts to dilute it and filter it out. This phase’s symptoms include extreme irritation and pain from the stomach, an increased rate of urination, and the beginnings of diarrhea. The increased need to expel the body wastes comes from the body recognizing it must make way for the toxin and rhizomes to pass, so it frees up as much space as possible.
Folk with incredibly weak constitutions begin to come under risk during this stage, as the chances of the toxin overworking their system and causing death increase the longer they undergo the sickness.

  1 and a half days - 3 days
After the body has prepared for twelve hours in the intermission phase of the Tunnel Gut sickness, the afflicted will begin to notice bloating and pain from their guts. The intestines will begin to swell as they absorb and filter the toxin out. The liver takes in the toxin as much as possible, causing further swelling. Symptoms of diarrhea and increased rate of urination continue throughout this phase, as the body begins to expel liquids mixed with blood and black murk. Once again, Dr. Ribinoxious touts that the black murk is the impurities leaving the body.
Those of weakened constitutions may suffer permanent damage in their intestinal tract and liver. Where the toxin would be filtered enough in a healthy person’s body, it instead disrupts the natural order of the digestive system. The acids of the stomach which should be diluted and safe for the rest of the body are left unchecked and out of balance. This begins to eat away at soft spots, leaving the strange tunnel-like holes or weak spots in the intestines that the sickness is so named after. The weakest of constitutions faces a high risk of death in this phase, as the toxin runs rampant through the gut and tears through what is the natural defenses of the body against its own acidic secretions. The liver could very well rupture completely, as if an internal explosion of viscera and blood when off inside the unlucky afflicted.

  3 days - 5 days
After 3 days of excruciating irritation, pain, and disruption to the natural health of the body, the afflicted begin to recover. Relief sets in at varying times for each person afflicted with Tunnel Gut, but there are still symptoms of diarrhea and increased urination. At this stage in the sickness, the blood and black murk will fade from the diarrhea and urine of the afflicted, and the bloating of the guts will fade with time. At the 5 day mark, most folks of the average constitution have recovered completely from the illness.

  5+ days
While the average recovery time is between 3-5 days, there are those that undergo sickness for longer. Folk who are recovering from previous illnesses and injuries, who are weaker of health and constitution, or who are just plain unlucky will find themselves in this category and should be cared for carefully or treated with even stronger magics. No cure is available, but with enough care and healing magic, even the weakest of health can recover past the Tunnel Gut sickness, though there will be deep consequences.

General Information

Chemical Compound

No Known Cure

Currently, there is no known cure for the Tunnel Gut sickness. Magical healing and consistent care with clean water and soft foods or stews improve the chances of those who undergo the "treatment" that is offered by Dr. Ribinoxious. Those fauna that can burrow and survive through the rough enviorment of the Jagged Expanse seem to either instinctually avoid the rhizomes of the Tunnel Tuber or have developed immunity to it's toxin.

Cover image: by Damion Otter


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