Crown Time Drain Condition in Scarterra | World Anvil

Crown Time Drain

"Crown Time Drain" is a loose Common translation of the well-documented elven condition known in the Elven tongue as "Reynachronaltok"...even elves have trouble pronouncing it correctly.   Despite it's name "Crown Time Drain" can and often does afflict people who are of common birth, but it disproportionately hits the upper classes, with well over half of elven kings and queen suffering noticeable Crown Time Drain.   Typically, elves start dying of old age early in their fourth century of life. Very fortunate elves can live to see their five hundredth nameday. An elf with Crown Time Drain is fortunate if she can live to see her third century.


Elves often speak of what they call "Fast Time" and "Slow Time". "Slow Time" is considered an elf's normal, fairly relaxed state of being. "Fast Time" is what an elf enters when there are problems that have to be addressed right now, when there is a tight deadline or dire consequences. For an example, an elf on sentry duty is probably in Slow Time but if they see evidence of an approaching enemy army, he will move to "Fast Time" when he has to warn his superiors of the approaching threat. From an elven perspective, humans and many other younger races such as tengku and kalazotz live their whole lives in "Fast Time". Dwarves and gnomes can access "Slow Time" but not as well as elves.   An elf (or in theory, any long lived race) that is forced to operate in Fast Time over and over again for extended periods of time will sap his or her long term health. This is what is causes Crown Time Drain.   Because kings and queens and other authority figures constantly have people bringing them problems to solve, elven leaders have to access Fast Time more often than most elven commoners. That is why it is associated with royalty even though nothing is to stop a very proactive commoner from developing the condition.


Essentially those with Crown Time Drain age faster. This accelerated aging is really no different from regular aging. Wrinkles, aching joints, grey hair loss, hair loss, reduced muscle mass, and all the other joys that come with aging. Aging in Scarterra is impacted by elemental ethnicity so an earthy elf is likely to get very pronounced wrinkles, grey receding hair and persistent joint paint, but they are not likely to lose much muscle mass or stamina. A watery elf is likely to get doughy and droopy but not have much wrinkles and they are likely to die with a full head of hair.  
Dreiters the gnelf by Me using Hero Forge
Dreiters, half-elf, half-gnome
"I have proudly served the Elven Empress for most of my adult life. I can indeed say with certainty that heavy is the head that wears the crown.   Even with the scourge of Reynachronaltok, the effects are rarely obvious. I have not watched her majesty's hair turn grey before my eyes or anything dramatic like that, but I often interact with the rest of the royal family.   You can see the impact of reynachronaltok by comparing and contrasting them.
  The Empress has a sister who is five years older than she, and dare I say it—is rather lazy and carefree. Those who do not know her well often falsely assume she is the younger sister by many decades.   Such is the power of Crown Time Drain."


The only way to treat Crown Time Drain is to reduce stress.   Elven leaders that delegate more aspects of rulership to underlings tend to live longer than leaders that are micromanagers.   Often, elven leaders decide that their reduced life span is an acceptable price to pay for their power and privilege. Others state that a ruler is supposed to make sacrifice anything for their people, including their long-term health.


by Me using Hero Forge
-Umara, half-elf adventurer and Lantern
"I do not seek death, but neither do I fear it.   Death comes for all of us eventually. Their time may be short or their time may be long, but anyone who avoids death from violence or mishap will eventually succumb to old age.   Often those elves or half-elves who live the longest accomplish nothing in their lives. Their heads are too far up their asses enjoying Slow Time that they forgot to truly live.   As far as I am concerned, that is a fate worse than death.
by Eron 12 with Hero Forge
Vesstan Heithana Chief Scholar and school Headmaster of the Principality of Silfûrhëim
"Fast Time is sometimes very necessary and very useful but it is not the key to leading a meaningful life.   I am blessed that I rarely have to use Fast Time, yet I am still a valuable member of my community. I pass wisdom and lore to our leaders and I have taught many generations of promising pupils. My legacy endures through the minds I have molded and will shape the destiny of Silfûrhëim long after I am dead and dust.   And despite all that, I still take the time to enjoy the aroma of flowers on a warm spring day."


Beslyfle the gnome, High Priestess of Mera
"Gnomes are rarely kings or queens, but gnomes are often trusted advisors to kings and queens, and sometimes, just sometimes, these high placed gnomes seem to drop dead faster than more humble status gnomes.   Compared to elves, gnomes are resistant to Crown Time Drain, but we are not immune.   The difference between so-called 'Fast Time' and 'Slow Time' is not as pronounced but it is there, but it is not our relationship to time which ages us prematurely but our relationship to stress.
  We gnomes are created by Mera, the Mother of Mercy, the Patroness of Medicine and the goddess of the Hearth. We overcome the harmful effects of stress and strife with love and understanding. Only those gnomes who have neglected Mera need fear a 'Time Drain'."
by Eron12 with Hero Forge
(scoffs loudly)"Is there ANYTHING good you don't believe was created by Mera? We gnomes live longer because have the drive to change what we can change and the wisdom to accept what we cannot. We don't let stress figuratively or literally consume our lives and it has NOTHING to do with Mera."   -Carcelli the Arcane Priestess of Greymoria
by Eron12 with Hero Forge
-Green Reverend Brynn
It makes sense that Crown Time Drain is a roundabout way of saying 'stress' I do not believe that humans are vulnerable to Crown Time Drain. Most humans that live stressful lives have a good reason for their stress and the reason for their stress kills them violently or tragically.   Those humans who take on many stressful burdens and beat the odds to die of natural causes, it seems that half of them live to a ripe old age and half of them die fairly young. There must be another unseen factor that decides our fate in the Nine' hands.
by Eron12 on Hero's Forge
Ujarek, Herder of Men
"The 'unseen factor' is not complicated. Ever since the Divine Rebellion rewrote the laws of the cosmos, hardship or 'stress' as you call it makes the strong become even stronger, and it makes the weak break entirely.   For humans, it just happens to be the case that aging gracefully is one of the advantages that the strong enjoy."


by Eron12 with Hero Forge
-Akeem of Magicland, Professor Emeritus of History
"The phenomenon known as Crown Time Drain is well documented by elves, both ancient and contemporary. I would dare say that many elves are obsessed with it. Some elves are desperate to prevent it and others wear it as a badge of honor but I never met an elf who has denied its existence.   One wonders, what about the other races. Maybe everyone is afflicted and doesn't realize it because the differences are less obvious.
  Perhaps no one remarks on it when a human king dies five years earlier than expected compared to an elf king dying a hundred and five years earlier than expected. Would anyone notice if an elderly gnome lost fifteen years of her life?   Dragons live much longer than elves. Draconic scholars believe that they can live anywhere between one and two millennia. Perhaps they are affected by their own version of Crown Time Drain?   Very few modern dragons are forthcoming with how old they are and dragons do not lot to speak with outsiders about their own mortality or shortcomings. Many modern dragons don't even know exactly how old they are and can only make an educated guess. The only dragon I am aware of that even acknowledged the possibility of a dragon succumbing to Crown Time Drain is the founder of Kingdom of Swynfaredia known as Kovenoth the Builder. He put forth the hypothesis that modern dragons generally outlive their ancient forebears because they are more withdrawn from the wider events of Scarterra rather than immersed in them. Then he went in on a wordy tangent on how most modern dragons had become weak and lethargic...   It is quite possible that the ancient dragon kings and queens of the First Age had their lifespans cut short relative to other dragons but we will probably never know for sure. Very few written accounts survived from the First Age for historians such as myself to peruse and what records we do see suggest that very few draconic monarchs lived ruled long enough to pass away due to natural causes."

Cultural Reception

by Eron12 with Hero Forge
"Maybe we dwarves are susceptible to 'Royal Time Drain', maybe we aren't. Life is hard enough for us that we don't have time to worry about some sort of invisible force aging us. Our true lengevity is through our descendants. Along those lines, I intend to live my life to the fullest to honor my ancestors, whether the rest of my remaining time is long or short."   Bosoulin Chainbraids, dwarven homemaker
by Me with Hero Forge
-Jaromir, head of the Fumayan Keepers
"A mad dragon queen precipiated the First Unmaking. A mad elven king precipiated the Second Unmaking.   It is generally believed that the Nine gave elves a shorter lifespan relative to dragons and humans a shorter lifespan relative to elves in order to prevent a deranged monarch from gaining enough power in a single lifetime to threaten the fabric of the Creation itself.
  There are still a few dragons out there and there are at least two million elves. I heard a priestess of the Cult of the Compact once speculate that elves have Crown Time Drain now, but their ancient ancestors didn't. In other words, the Nine created Crown Time Drain as a check against future elven leaders.   If true, while harsh, this decision was probably wise."
Chronic, Acquired


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Dec 12, 2023 19:38 by Marc Zipper

What a great idea about longevity species. I really love hearing the different species and their ideas on it

Let's have fun creating the impossible, building new worlds, and all types of possibilities. Valcin
Jan 5, 2024 14:38 by Devin

I like the dimension this gives a species that lives so much longer than others - both an actual challenge for them to overcome with the health problems, as well as a worldview of why others don't live as long. Very nice!