The Consumed Condition in The Valley | World Anvil
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The Consumed

The creek seemed to pause for half a second as the drumbeats for the High Summer Noon Song began. Hector smiled and unslung his mandolin’s case from his back. As the great harp started its motion, Hector joined in, playing the melody.   A few second later the strings took up the melody, and Hector swung into a wild, discordant countermelody. As the Summer Noon Song swelled around them, Hector’s discord created a strange feeling of discomfort and illness.   Elbert recognized the song that the countermelody was built on. The Song of Deep Winter Night. A song that was only played on the darkest and longest nights, and only by a small quintet huddled deep in the caverns.   The music rising around them spoke of green growing things, warm days, and fast-running brooks, but Elbert shivered and pulled his vest around his chest. Hector’s countermelody spoke of ice, dark, and death.   Was the air getting colder?   A crack sounded from the creek below, and Elbert looked to see a sheet of ice spreading out from beneath the bridge. Frost began to spread across the worn wooden railing, and above the tree’s leafs shriveled into brown husks. Hector’s coat whitened with ice, cracking off as he moved. He grinned with wild glee as his fingers raced over the strings of his instrument.   For a second Elbert was swept away in the strange beauty of the song, but then shook himself. This was dangerous.Who had taught him how to play like this? It was beautiful, though.   The Song of High Summer Noon built to its bombastic end, the sound of summer thunderstorms, and faded away.   Hector continued to play for a few more seconds, then abruptly cut off, leaving his countermelody unfinished. He stood for half a second before lowing his mandolin.   Elbert released a long-held breath and it puffed out in front of him. The stream below had gone completely silent, but as Hector snapped the clasps of his case closed the water from upstream rushed over the ice, quickly melting it.
    While occasional use of Full Creation can leave one unscathed, repeated and consistent use can bring about horrifying and deadly changes to the one extending themselves.

Transmission & Vectors

Someone with The Gifts can influence the world and the medium they work with in an unnatural way, a process called Full Creation. For example, someone with the Animal Gift can control the animals around them, musicians can influence the environment around them with the kind of music they play, and Tree gifts can cause trees to grow at an incredible rate.   Repeated use of Full Creation causes the medium of their gift to consume the body slowly. One of the most well-known examples are the Treemains, a collection of Wood Gifts that attempted to raise a stand of giant trees on the edge of the Small Lake. The five individuals each planted a tree and forced their will on the trees. The trees grew quickly, but as the days passed the Wood Gifts began to feel the negative effects. One felt his bones fuze together, another felt her blood turn to sap, and another's skin began scabbing into the texture of bark.   Months later someone stumbled onto five trees, each nearly fifteen feet in diameter and over two hundred feet tall. In front of each of these trees lay, knelt, or leaned human figures made partially of wood and partially of shredded human flesh.


The Consumed starts small with uncomfortable but mostly harmless changes. Animal Gifts, they may begin growing animal hair across their body, Stone Gifts' fingernails may turn thick and stony, and Grass Gifts' hair may turn fibrous and green.   If this warning is not headed, some vital organs may be affected, leading to a quick death. Sometimes, however, they linger on for decades with bones or skin, but not much else, are transformed.

Cultural Reception

Those who show signs of having used Full Creation are shunned from the community. Some, who may have done this accidentally, attempt to find a community that will accept them. Others may begin living as hermits. Some Consumed gather in communities far from civilization, finding refuge in shared suffering.   Contrary to this, some folk heroes are Consumed, tragic heroes striving against great odds. They are seen as sacrificing themselves for a great calling, while those who are contemporary are seen as selfish and greedy.
Chronic, Acquired
Extremely Rare

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Jan 26, 2024 04:49

Very interesting article. I wonder if there are any famous stories about people who have acquired this condition.