Gneia originated when a young mage overexerted his aura (the energy drawn on for casting spells) and continued to practice a spell he was struggling to learn. Later that night he lost his sight for several seconds. The same happened with his other senses, and the episodes became more frequent and lasted longer, until all had gone at once, and showed no signs of returning, leaving him, as far as he could tell, floating in endless darkness.
When an individual's life energy, or aura, is depleted and continues to be exerted, it begins to fail. The first sign of it is the loss of one of the senses for no apparent reason.
Sense loss. In terminal cases, the individual's life force is essentially depleted, and their spirit is fading from the world, though they still exist in their body until its death. Long-term cases result in insanity, though it's only ever a matter of days in the longest untreated cases before either a fatal accident, successful suicide, or starvation.
Anything or anyone who can supplement the patient's life force. Some are gifted in sharing their own aura to heal others, though in terminal cases this only delays the inevitable, it can at least allow the patient a chance to see their loved ones before they are left to complete darkness and a terrifying but physically painless death. Eonwood is the only known remedy that can cure, or at least indefinitely alleviate the symptoms of Gneia. In tamer cases, it can be ingested as a pulp to restore life force, while in terminal cases it must be worn as a pendant for the rest of the patient's life.
Again, Eonwood is one of the best defenses against Gneia, though it is dangerous for a mage to grow used to having an extended aura. Mages are taught early to know their limits, and to push their boundaries only in dire need, and even then to resort to external sources of magical energy if at all possible. Wisdom and self-discipline is a mage's best defense against this condition.
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