Magic Addiction Condition in Valayo | World Anvil

Magic Addiction

Leena pressed her palms into her eyes, willing her headache away.   If only it were that simple, she thought. She had already tried dabbing healing salve on her temples and drinking a cup of willow bark tea. She considered asking around for something stronger. It wasn't hard to find illicit drugs amongst the dock workers. That wasn't what she needed though.   Bile rose in the back of her throat as she bent to lift the crate, her head pounding even harder. She struggled not to drop it as her skin began to crawl. Sweat prickled along her back and quickly, that crawling sensation gave way to the feeling of biting ants.   They're not real, she told herself over and over as she carried the crate down the gangplank and toward the waiting cart. She deposited the crate and hurried over to the warehouse, wanting to escape the prying eyes of her supervisor.   Once she turned the corner though, she could not stop her feet from walking past the warehouse. She needed this job, needed the pay, needed to buy groceries. But she needed something else more.
Magic addiction is a condition that is more common than most would like to admit. It occurs when people become dependent on the effects of magic performed by them or on them. They become addicted to the feelings of euphoria, heightened awareness, or other magically-induced sensations.  
It was an invigorating, intoxicating sensation that made her heart beat a little faster. The world became sharper and clearer when her power was unleashed.
— Marcella, Necromancer Queen of Necros

Causes & Symptoms

Early signs of magic addiction in witches include seeking out ways to use magic more often than necessary. This progresses until the witch is almost constantly using low-level spells, often becoming reclusive in the process. This type of constant spellwork can irreparably damage a witch's ability to perform higher-level or more complex magic.   In nomas, magic addiction comes most often from seeking out the skills of an illusion guide to allow them to experience either the sensation of magic use or magically-induced euphoria. In some cases, it can also stem from abuse of potions and/or magic-imbued ingredients, talismans, or other items, including magimandus scales, driving underground market sales of such items.   Changes in personality to become more restless, aggressive, and secretive, decline of mental acuity, and decline of ability to concentrate are some of the syptoms or warning signs of magic addiction.


Magic addiction cannot be fully treated, but it can be managed with therapy. For nomas, this includes abstaining from all magical influences. For magic-users, this becomes trickier to manage.

Cultural Reception

Those who suffer magic addiction are shunned, mistrusted, and sometimes even criminalized, much like people with other addictions.   Both Salaris and Torverath have enacted strict legal measures to try to curb magic addiction, which include legally enforced magic detox in holding facilities and even jail time for illusion guides caught facilitating other people's addiction.


Illusion Guides

An illusion guide is a witch hired to induce and/or guide someone through a magical high with illusion magic, to heighten sexual encounters, or to otherwise influence party-goers. This magic can be performed on witch and nomas alike.   Because of this, many illusion guides find themselves, either willingly or unwittingly, enablers of magic addiction.  
Illusion Guides
Profession | Nov 30, 2021

This type of entertainment comes with a steep price

  Some guides can be hired for a personal experience, or they can even perform for a group or sometimes an audience.   The magic level and training of the illusionist determines their ability to influence others and their costs. Some of the best work only for private parties of high-paying, elite clients. Others prefer to work in secret bars like the Hideout.  
Building / Landmark | Dec 26, 2020

A secret bar in Salaris rumored to be a frequent haunt of the famous band, Enchanting Mesmers

Affected Groups

Some people are believed to be more susceptible to magic addiction than others, and certain groups do see higher rates of magic addiction. There are many factors that contribute to this growing problem.  

Magic Type

Illusionists do appear to suffer magic addiction at higher rates than witches practicing other magic types. In fact, magic addiction occurs more often in those practicing any of the metaphysical magics more often than those of the elemental magic groups.   Necromancy and blood magic are also thought to lead to higher rates of magic addiction, though the data here is inconclusive due to the secret nature of those groups.

Magic Level

Low-level witches are believed to become addicted more readily than higher-level witches. This is not the case. In fact, addiction amongst higher-level witches occurs at an alarming rate. The reasons for this are not well understood but are believed to be socially influenced.   Furthermore, some people believe nomas incapable of magic addiction. This is entirely untrue, and the number of magic addicted nomas is rising.


Many in the southern parts of Wennovi believe Necros and Rhovan to have the greatest number of magic addicted and that Torverath has the least. This, however, is not substantiated with facts and is unverifiable given that most Wennovi nations refuse to share such information. No true comparison can be made.  

Socioeconomic Status

Magic addiction is a growing problem throughout Wennovi amongst all socioeconomic groups. Harvesters are creating unprecedented access to illegal and controlled substances, including those of magical nature. This is driven by a belief that magic-induced euphoria is safer than chemical highs.


Most illusion guides are believed to be just as magic addicted as their clients. Other illegal occupations, particularly those that are magic-related, also see high addiction levels. Dabblers, those who intentionally practice a wide variety of magics, are also at higher risk.   Politicians and other high-stress occupations seem to also have higher rates of magic addiction. One profession that sees a high rate of magic addiction is perhaps a bit surprising: healers.

Leena dug into her pockets, pulling out all the money she had left. She shoved it into the bouncer's hands.   "You're short, Leena," he said.   "Come on, Mack. Please let me in. You know I'm good for it."   He stared at her for several long moments, until sweat started to bead along her hairline. Glancing at the line forming behind her, he huffed and gestured for her to enter the small, unmarked club.   She followed the steps down, the live music growing louder until she reached the landing and entered the bar. As she moved into the room, waves of transcendent pleasure rolled over her, soothing away the crawling sensation. She sank into a chair, blissfully relaxed.


Author's Notes

This article was created for Summer Camp 2021. To view my other entries, click here.
Thank you for reading!

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Jul 2, 2021 15:43

Magic as a drug? That's something new and cool!

Check out the worlds of Starhome and Magic Earth
If you are looking for my Worldember articles check Magic Earth or My Worldember Progress Page
Jul 5, 2021 04:28

Thank you :)

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
Jul 2, 2021 18:55 by Avalon Arcana

Oh.   Oh yes. This is such a well-written article. The framework with a story, the detail in its effects, the little side section on Illusion guides. I absolutely love this. Wonderful job.

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
Jul 5, 2021 04:28

Aw, thank you so much :)

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
Jul 4, 2021 12:38 by Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)

What a great idea. Well written out as well!

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
Jul 5, 2021 04:29

Thank you :)

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
Jul 5, 2021 23:09 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Really interesting that magic in your world can kind of become almost like a drug to people. Sounds terrifying to go through.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
May 6, 2022 04:23

Thank you :)

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
Jul 7, 2021 15:57 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Noooo! Don't take the magic away from me!   Great concept and article! All the social and cultural consequences are fascinating...

May 6, 2022 04:24

Thank you :)

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
Jul 8, 2021 04:53

That's super interesting! :D I can definitely see how someone might become addicted to the rush of spell-weaving, and treating it like this is a really cool take on the thing :D   I like the little story beats at the beginning and end too, great stuff :D   Are there any guesses why illusionists are more susceptible?

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
May 6, 2022 04:29

Thank you so much :)   I think I was thinking that they perhaps use their magic more often and that the nature of their magic, of altering people's perception of reality and perhaps even their own perception, would leave them wanting to do it more often... I should think on this a bit more

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
Jul 12, 2021 08:14 by AS Lindsey (Pan)

Super well-written article; the prose at the start is gripping and really pulls you in.   You mention it can't be 'treated', but can the start of it be prevented or held off?

May 6, 2022 04:43

Thank you. I'll have to think about prevention measures.

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
Oct 18, 2021 21:54 by Angantyr

Very interesting and refreshing concept. And a nice limit on the usability of magic.   Thanks for a good read! :)

Playing around with words and worlds
May 6, 2022 04:44

Thank you so much :)

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles