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Burnout is a dual-sided condition, beginning with a heightened magical power that eventually runs out, causing the victim to lose all potential for magic use.  

The Drug

Burnout is not a natural condition. In fact, it comes from a drug of the same name. The drug Burnout is a purple potion that comes either in small vials that can be drank or injected, or large potion bottles intended for drinking. There is no difference in effect between the two, but dealers will often say the larger bottles are more bang for your buck to get people to pay more for the same effect.   Burnout is no longer being made officially, though many knock-offs exist on the market. No one has been able to replicate the formula made by the Professor, who made Burnout in the first place.  
Burnout by Jarhed


After taking Burnout, the Portal in one's head opens up to the greatest possible point it can without destroying the body of the user. This Portal is the connection to the realm of Magic, where mana comes from. This allows someone to use their full magic potential. One big blast. It lasts anywhere from around five minutes to fifteen minutes.   When one is under this effect, their body begins glowing the same purple of the potion. It is not on the whole body, but moreso in smaller regions, like the ears, the fingertips, and the lips. Places small enough to hide, as Burnout can be hidden. But hiding Burnout only makes what comes next worse.   With Burnout, anyone reaches their full potential. They could operate at max capacity for a quick burst, doing something that otherwise they would not be able to do at that point. However, they reach it rapidly, at a point where they are not ready. Without being prepared, the body can only handle this power for so long. After enough time, it is too much to handle, and it's all over.
The Professor by Jarhed

The Professor

The Professor was a famous Draocnian alchemist from Tamd.   He was best known as a genius both in his alchemical design and his distribution of potions, with his creation spreading out on the streets within a single year of its creation. His most famous creation was the drug Burnout.   Few knew it, but his true identity was as the future Chief of Tamd and adoptive son of current Chief, Higar Vixik. Higar would later regret causing so many people to lose their magic.

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Ilxar Nimphonker by Jarhed

Feeling Burnout

This is when one feels Burnout. When they have reached the end of their alloted time, when they have not finished what they needed to finish yet still used all their energy. That is Burnout.   For the power, once it has run its course, will leave. The Portal in ones head, which opened up as far as it could, closes for good. It dries up, and all connecting nerves disconnect. After using Burnout, one can never use their magic again. It has all burnt out.   The purple of the potion lingers on their body, staining them forever. For everyone to see. A fatigue lingers in their bones, and slowly their motivation ceases until there is nothing left but the lingering feeling of a feeling that no longer exists.  

Burnt Out

A poet by the name of Imvis wrote a short story about Burnout. After the Chief Crisis, where it was in use constantly by soldiers wanting to boost their power or civilians wanting to protect their homes. The story was called "Burnt Out: The Aftermath of War." and was part of his overall collection of stories about the Chief Crisis called "All Around the Birdcage"   A famous passage at the end of the story speaks on Burnout's effect on the war, and its connection to a larger problem in the world at large. Burnout, after all, is not an isolated case. Burnout is a byproduct of Totania, and Totania has paid the price for it.
"The war pushed everyone to their limits. Some were more ready than others, and those others suffered for it. They had no time to understand. The desperate struggled for a saving grace, and found it at the bottom of a bottle of Burnout. This, too, betrayed them. In the safety they sought, they only found more danger. Now, the world is tired. Always, always... there is a better solution than to be burnt out. There is always patience, pacing oneself and taking breaks; perhaps if everyone were to follow this, there would be peace. Peace of mind, peace of spirit, and peace on the planet."
— Imvis

Cover image: by qimono


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10 Jan, 2022 23:32

This is such a fascinating idea for a condition! It ties together the physical and spiritual world while also highlighting some of the devastating impact of war in the world's history. I particularly like how it's a comment on the world we all come from as well, as burnout is indeed a painful problem that leaves you feeling emptied out.