Brittlebone Condition in Shireon | World Anvil


Brittlebone is perhaps one of the more normal things that happen to someone when they grow old. Although the name points at one of the symptoms, Brittleboke includes several bone-related things that happen to someone as they grow old. It's so widespread it's in fact impossible to grow old without getting Brittlebone in some form or another.

Brittle Bones

This symptom is in the name of the condition. The person's bones get brittle with age and more prone to breaking. Falling over is risky as the fall might cause broken bones. The bones are also slower to heal, making a broken leg into a potential risk to not be able to walk again.

Bending Back

The spine will curl forward, giving the person a forward bent position. It will also become slightly shorter, which means the person will have a decreased height.

Stiffer Joints

The joints will become stiffer, making the person less dexterous and making it harder to move. Joint pain is a common symptom as well.

Prevention and Treatment

It is thought that some foods might lessen the chance of getting Brittlebone early, and possibly lessen the severity of symptoms after getting the condition. Physical exercise might help slowing down the process as well. None of these are completely proven, and doesn't work on everyone, but some might have a slight positive effect.

Most treatment is centered around giving pain relief for joints.

Chronic, Acquired

Sapient Species and Brittlebone

Most humans get Brittlebone around their seventies. It varies between individuals and can set in both a bit earlier or later. By their nineties practically all humans will have some symptoms of Brittlebone.
The Enari is perhaps the species who have to live the longest with Brittlebone, as they can live in the age group where Brittlebone is common for a century. Most of the really old Enari are bound to wheelchairs or a permanent seated or lying position due to broken bones.
The Inmali have a culture of taking good care of their elders for their wisdom. Although they have a longer lifespan than humans, they generally get Brittlebone later than other sapient species. What causes this is unknown, but it's suspected that their diet has something to do with it. When they first get Brittlebone they seem to be more included in their family's life than seen among other species.
Darki have slightly denser bones than the rest of the sapient species, so they can live slightly longer with the beginning symptoms of Brittlebone before becoming too affected.
The Kiz have a cultural love for their dexterity, making it hard for them to handle getting Brittlebone. Still, they can live for a while with the condition, though they often get more isolated, both due to the Kiz culture of being lithe and dexterous and due to a tendency to slip into depression as their body deteriorate.
Not much is known about how the elusive Sirens are affected by Brittlebone, but no old Siren is known to have been seen by the other sapient species so it's suspected that they either don't grow old or they don't go to the surface when old.
The Elders are immune to Brittlebone, mostly because their bodies stop ageing at age forty and they live indefinitely.
The Elderblooded does not inherit their Elder parent's immunity to Brittlebone, as they start ageing again towards the end of their lifetime.

Cover image: by Brian C. Goss


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20 Jul, 2019 22:40

Hi Milladamen, it's me, the friendly worldbuilding wizard who is at D&D right now (don't tell my DM lol).   I'm pretty sure this is just arthritis, but I like how it affects the people in your world differently depending on their culture. Because that's what you do with an article about a disease everyone knows: you show how the people of your world react to it.   I'm not a big fan of the sidebar holding all of that info though. Try using the three columns to separate them out in the main text. You can always put an image or expand on treatment info in the sidebar.   Alright, I'll see you around. See you :D