Lowlands Madness Condition in Thaiterra | World Anvil
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Lowlands Madness

An unexpected side effect of the Weinadi making the cavern systems their homes was that, as they got deeper and lower down in the chasms, problems arose. They expected the flooding and the damp, and the problems with unknown wildlife. What they did not expect was Lowland Madness.   Higher concentrations of carbon dioxide tend to appear at the lower depths of Thaiterra. Even small dips and valleys on the surface can come to concentrate it more than those areas where the high winds ensure a steady mix. While Weinadi physiology requires more carbon dioxide and less oxygen than a human, too much will bring about negative side effects, and in the right combination, it can be catastrophic.

Transmission & Vectors

Lowland Madness occurs when a Weinadi spends too much time in an area with a toxic amount of carbon dioxide. This could, theoretically, occur anywhere, but since the pockets of concentrated gas are usually found in the lowest areas of the planet, it usually occurs on those locations. The madness may not appear immediately, and can appear as much as a day after the Weinadi in question has left the problem area.


The madness begins as a headache, slowly building in intensity over the course of a day until it becomes a sharp stabbing pain that extends down the spinal cord. According to those who have suffered from this illness, the pain is distinct from a typical headache and can be distinguished. Eventually the nerves become deadened to pain, and the neurons in the brain misfire and cause the affected patient to go mad.   They will usually tear at themselves, causing harm unless restrained, but at least one in three patients will go on to attack others, suffering paranoia and hallucinations.   If the toxicity is strong enough, and if the patient has not already died from self-inflicted damage, seizures will set in, and if these continue, the patient will die. The whole process takes about ten days, if it ends in death.


It has only been recently that a treatment has developed for this illness. If the patient is injected with a particular medicine at any point in the illness, the symptoms will abate, sparing further damage to the nervous system. It does not cure damage already done, but it is shown that if it is caught at the headache stage, then most patients won't have suffered permanent damage.


Lowland Madness is a grave illness. While it won't end in death if the patient is removed from the harmful environment in time, it can still cause permanent damage to the nervous system if it progresses far enough.


Depending on how far the illness progresses, the patient may face ongoing side effects similar to that of a stroke.


As the Weinadi understanding of air and how it works has expanded, they've gotten better at avoiding those areas that will become toxic. Some of the more enterprising scientists among them have begun work on respirators, modeled after those the humans use to traverse the surface outside their Domes.
Affected Species


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