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Author Topic: Kelancey's AoA--Afflictions of the Sanguine, The Malefic Grip  (Read 5921 times)
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Kelancey the Green
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« on: 13 June 2012, 18:11:41 »

HEART FAILURE, the Malefic Grip
Overview
The workings of the heart are simple to understand: Etherus, lascivious, spontaneous, gives spark to the throbbing of the heart, and Jeyriall, life-embracing, health-nurturing, infuses life into the blood which flows through the veins. Failure of the heart is more difficult to fathom, however. Whether the divine sway loses its grip over the heart, or some external force puts the heart into a panic, heart failure can rapidly turn fatal if healing assistance is not close at hand. People who suffer a debilitation of the heart complain of pain and difficulty breathing.

Symptoms and Effects
Pain in the chest is very common in heart failure, though not all chest pain comes from the heart.  Difficulty breathing and a sensation of someone sitting on the individual's chest are also common complaints, though this is not exclusively seen with heart pain.  Some people report a crushing pain in their belly, neck, or left shoulder.  In some instances, fainting may be the first sign of heart failure.  Other signs and symptoms to watch for are bluish hue in the lips and fingertips, weaking or fluttering of the heart throbs, nausea, and a sensation of impending doom.

Left untreated, the blood loses its fluidity, becoming sluggish, even congealing in some places. Over weeks or months, heart flutter can lead to plugs of congealed blood congesting the veins, the heart, the brain, and other parts of the body. Heart failure congests the veins as well, but in this instance the sanguine turns cool, losing its vitality and spark, and the organs of the body similarly become sluggish and cold.  Both sources of venous congestion can lead to death by depriving the vital organs of the life and spirit needed to sustain life.


Incidence, Causes
According to an informal survey of White Nehtorians, heart failure is believed to be the impedance of choler on the workings of the heart, felt to affect mostly men of advanced age.  In particular, humans are at greater risk than males of the other intelligent races.

A gnome healer of much esteem, Hodgerick Glassblower, of the Daran gnome population of Cavthan, wrote in his 1652 a.S. letter to Ximaxian medical philosophers:
"I do not, as do many of my colleagues, accept without some misgivings the theory that heart failure is purely an ailment of the spirit.  An informal survey of people I have attended for weak'ning of the heart demonstrates a role of lack of exercise and gorging on red meats in the development of heart problems.  I have not, as yet, been able to formally establish the link connecting an unhealthy lifestyle with heart illness.  Nonetheless, it is my practice to always prescribe regular exercise and adding salads to people's diets in an attempt to ward off further chest pangs."

Another prevalent view is that the Malefic Grip is a malign force, a magical invisible grip inside one's chest, perhaps an imp or evil spirit sitting on and crushing one's chest.  This seems to fit better than the previous explanation as to the symptoms of sudden onset of shortness of breath, squeezing chest tightness, and sensation of impending doom. It is likely that the evil being feeds on the fear and anguish it creates when it 'sits on someone's chest'.

Just as likely is the explanation that the soul of a victim of the Malefic Grip is pulled down toward the Netherworlds by an evil possessing spirit, overcoming the soul's defences.  This intuitively makes sense, since those of advanced age have more wrongdoings weighing down their souls, and the vices a person enjoys in life attract evil spirits to inhabit him and take away his soul. It has even been whispered by common folk that demons pulls victims to themselves in order to chew on the tender delicacies which are human souls throughout eternity. Ximaxian demon experts refute this folk tale as rubbish.

Some clerics assert that Jeyriall is dismayed with someone who develops the Malefic Grip. Although She isn't necessarily responsible for the blood pooling and turning torpid, She may have a hand in warning the person with symptoms such as a feeling of impending doom. It is likely that some evil force puts the Malefic Grip on a person, yet there remain some educated healers who maintain that people are responsible for the choler impeding the blood flow through neglect of their health.

Finally, though there be no solid evidence upon which to base this last claim, some scholars of ailments have tended to victims who were cursed by chisel witches.  These scholars claim that chisel witches are capable of devising a wooden replica of a particular victim, an effigy of a sort.  The witch may manipulate this effigy, moving it with her hands to make it run, do pushups, and all sorts of exercise.  The victim will experience the exhaustion, the shortness of breath, even the heart throbs he or she would feel as if they had actually undertaken such exercise.


Diagnosis
Thorough examination is usually sufficient to diagnose heart failure, without need of further analyses.  Feeling a heart flutter through the chest wall, diminished pulsations of the blood, and difficulty breathing are often enough to arrive at a conclusion.


Cure/Prevention
Tonic of nightshade can correct heart flutter; one drop is sufficient.  A plaster of nightshade, smeared over the victim's chest, can have a similar effect.  Healer Hodgerick Glassblower has suggested two pastilles of willow tree extract to be ingested immediately at the first notice of chest pangs, to relieve pain.  Herbalists prepare a concoction of false heart climber vine (Bleeding or  Burning Heart), used to heal heart problems; however, if the concoction is too strong, it can cause death.  Leaves of the loriv berry plant may be dried and ground, then made into a tea.  This tea helps with weak hearts, and gets the heart beating faster.  Sap of the tareptail weed added to cha or another hot drink relieves one of unpleasant waters and may soothe the aching heart.  Finally, chewing stalks of the waterstar flower similarly mobilizes the anima to help with heart problems, and may also alleviate swollen veins of old age or pregnancy.


History, Myth/Lore, et al.
The name of this disease stems from the frightful Fire magic spell Grip of the Malefic, which causes the heart of the target to stop beating, as if the target's heart is being gripped by an invisible hand. This spell paralyzes the heart of the target, preventing the distribution and circulation of one of the most vital constituents of the body, the blood.  As the flash of life in the sanguine is closely tied to the element of Fire, the ability to manipulate the Fire in the blood is at once fearsome and powerful.
« Last Edit: 04 August 2012, 22:55:51 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Kelancey the Green
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« Reply #1 on: 16 July 2012, 02:51:31 »

So that this one doesn't get forgotten, could I ask for any response to this topic?  Please and thank you!  :D
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« Reply #2 on: 16 July 2012, 08:00:43 »

Tomorrow^^
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« Reply #3 on: 16 July 2012, 20:51:13 »

Let's see :)

Overview
The workings of the heart are simple to understand: Etherus, lascivious, spontaneous, gives spark to the throbbing of the heart, and Jeyriall, life-embracing, health-nurturing, infuses life into the blood which flows through the veins.  Failure of the heart is more difficult to fathom, however.  Whether the divine sway loses its grip over the heart, or some external force puts the heart into a panic, heart failure can rapidly turn fatal if healing assistance is not close at hand.  People who suffer a debilitation of the heart complain of pain and difficulty breathing.

That's nice! The overview might not be the place for the god-explanation, but it flows so nicely, so I would keep it there. Etherus as cardiac stimulator!  grin

Symptoms and Effects
Pain in the chest is very common in heart failure, though not all chest pain comes from the heart.  Difficulty breathing and a sensation of someone sitting on the individual's chest are also common complaints, though this is not exclusively seen with heart pain.  Some people report a crushing pain in their belly, neck, or left shoulder.  In some instances, fainting may be the first sign of heart failure.  Other signs and symptoms to watch for are bluish hue in the lips and fingertips, weaking or fluttering of the heart throbs, nausea, and a sensation of impending doom.

Left untreated, over weeks or months heart flutter can lead to plugs of coagulated blood congesting the veins, the heart, the brain, and other parts of the body.  Heart failure congests the veins as well, but in this instance the sanguine turns cool, losing its vitality and spark, and the organs of the body similarly become sluggish and cold.  Both sources of venous congestion can lead to death by depriving the vital organs of the life and spirit needed to sustain life.

All ok, just 'coagulated' sounded too scientific, but that may only be my lack of the right feeling in English. perhaps, if you say, the blood might loose its healthy fluidity, gets thicker and builds clumps,/lumps/clots (whatever sound better, more familiar)
its an interesting thought - does Jeyriall look away when this happens? Or is there an evil force meddling with the heart?


Incidence, Causes
Men of advanced age are more prone to heart failure.  In particular, humans are at greater risk than males of the other intelligent races.  This author attributes this risk to the impedance of choler on the workings of the heart.

Love that!

A gnome healer of much esteem, Hodgerick Glassblower, of the Daran gnome population of Cavthan, wrote in his 1652 a.S. letter to Ximaxian medical philosophers:
"I do not, as do many of my colleagues, accept without some misgivings the theory that heart failure is purely an ailment of the spirit.  An informal survey of people I have attended for weak'ning of the heart demonstrates a role of lack of exercise and gorging on red meats in the development of heart problems.  I have not, as yet, been able to formally establish the link connecting an unhealthy lifestyle with heart illness.  Nonetheless, it is my practice to always prescribe regular exercise and adding salads to people's diets in an attempt to ward off further chest pangs."

Diagnosis
Thorough examination is usually sufficient to diagnose heart failure, without need of further analyses.  Feeling a heart flutter through the chest wall, diminished pulsations of the blood, and difficulty breathing are often enough to arrive at a conclusion.

Cure/Prevention
Tonic of nightshade can correct heart flutter; one drop is sufficient.  A plaster of nightshade, smeared over the victim's chest, can have a similar effect.  Healer Hodgerick Glassblower has suggested two tablets of willow tree extract to be ingested immediately at the first notice of chest pangs, to relieve pain.  Herbalists prepare a concoction of false heart climber vine (Bleeding or Bunrning Heart), used to heal heart problems; however, if the concoction is too strong, it can cause death.  Leaves of the loriv berry plant may be dried and ground, then made into a tea.  This tea helps with weak hearts, and gets the heart beating faster.  Sap of the tareptail weed added to cha or another hot drink relieves one of unpleasant waters and may soothe the aching heart.  Finally, chewing stalks of the waterstar flower similarly mobilizes the anima to help with heart problems, and may also alleviate swollen veins of old age or pregnancy.

I didn't check the flowers, I think you did your work here well. Only thing: tablet - isn't there a more oldfashoined word, has powder been pressed in tablet-form already (noidea), what about 'pastille' (that sounds more archaic in German)?

History, Myth/Lore, et al.
The name of this disease stems from the frightful Fire magic spell Grip of the Malefic, which causes the heart of the target to stop beating, as if the target's heart is being gripped by an invisible hand. This spell paralyzes the heart of the target, preventing the distribution and circulation of one of the most vital constituents of the body, the blood.  As the flash of life in the sanguine is closely tied to the element of Fire, the ability to manipulate the Fire in the blood is at once fearsome and powerful.

Kelancy, there is not really anything to criticise here, I tried hard without result ;)
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Kelancey the Green
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« Reply #4 on: 17 July 2012, 00:12:05 »

Love the word 'pastille', Ta'lia! Absolutely fabulous!

Edits made to remove scientific sounding words, and added some lore about Jeyriall warning a person of heart failure.
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #5 on: 24 July 2012, 04:30:40 »

Had a look at this one and am happy to see that Santharian rationality has already entered our green doctor's brain: nod

Quote
The workings of the heart are simple to understand: Etherus, lascivious, spontaneous, gives spark to the throbbing of the heart, and Jeyriall, life-embracing, health-nurturing, infuses life into the blood which flows through the veins.

Exactly! lol

There are some further bits and pieces of lore spread throughout the entry, but there could always be more I'd say, Kelancey.

The feeling of "someone sitting on the individual's chest" and the "Grip of the Malefic" reference could very well be exploited as well. The pain seems to be a sudden one, coming from the inside, and a heart attack can kill a person instantly, so why not make a reference or superstition that the person might be possessed by an evil spirit? E.g. on from the Netherworlds (there's that theory that there's a spiritual connection with the Netherworlds, and the evil spirit might eventually win over the person). A character's vices might pull him/her down, older people have more to carry in this regard, so they are better receptive etc.

You could cloak such superstition by making it a conflicting opinion among healers with some claiming that it's the meat and stuff and others prefer a more spiritual approach. I just think there's more possible in this entry that could make it very interesting in our fantasy universe!
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« Reply #6 on: 24 July 2012, 05:44:00 »

Ah, yes, thank you! That's what I was hoping to hear--a direction to grow this topic, some guidance for how to make this more interesting, more readable. I will take some time with this advice, Arti. As always, thank you humbly!
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Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang
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« Reply #7 on: 25 July 2012, 06:01:59 »

Kelancey, I think your opening sentence exemplifies two things:

(1) how to begin an entry;
(2) the spirit in which Santharian entry writing is best conducted: fantastickal yet precise and plausible, and with a twinkle in both eyes.

Aura from me for that one sentence alone, but I enjoyed the rest as well.

I agree with Arti (and yourself) though, that more fantastical elements could be added. I think the 'causes' section may be a particularly suitable candidate for expansion. At the moment, we are not really told against which views your gnomish scholar argues. You mention a few presumed causes in the Myth section, though, when you discuss the views of the clerics of Jeyriall. I wonder whether the views of the clerics would be better placed in the 'causes' section, as they are part of the discourse about causes among Santharian scholars? Just an idea.

A few more ideas, which you should please feel free to take or reject as you please:

- Inspiration for the 'feeling as though someone sits on one's chest'? ... What if people believed that mages command imps to sit on their chests at night? Another (presumed) cause could be that a witch has hexed a stone into the sufferer's chest.

[As an aside: In the middle ages, there were charlatans who made it their business to 'remove' stones from the heads of their 'patients'. People suffering from headaches came to these charlatans, and the charlatan would take a knife, cut into the patient's scalp, and 'find' a stone that had allegedly been sitting in the head, causing the headache.... There's a painting by Hieronymus Bosch depicting this practice. Humans are capable of believing rather fantastical things! So when describing Santharia, we have no reason to hold back with fantastical causes for diseases. I like how you put the rational view into the quill of a gnome, though. Deftly done!]

- A cause for heart palpitations could be a witch spell, too: a chisel witch (one whose craft is woodwork) may craft a replica figure of the victim in wood, and then move the replica about like a puppet, make it run or dance or do press-ups, thereby causing the victim to feel exhausted as if he had done all that exercise. I was thinking of developing a spell like that, actually. So witchcraft may sometimes be the actual cause of heart palpitations, but may also sometimes be merely an imagined one (i.e., attribution to witchcraft may be a misdiagnosis of a real heart disease).

Anyway, great entry. I've had a real-life enforced hiatus from the Dev Board for the last six months or so (not due to heart disease, I am happy to add!), and I haven't been able to catch up with everything that went on in my absence - but I noticed that you've got quite a project going with your Almanac of Afflictions. Great to see such dedication!

« Last Edit: 25 July 2012, 07:05:56 by Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: 25 July 2012, 07:36:22 »

As I have seen from your prior texts, Shabakuk, you are at once eloquent and inspired. Thank you kindly for your words and graphics that give me rich content to work with. I look forward to rewriting the Causes and History sections, almost as much as I look forward to reading more of your writing!
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« Reply #9 on: 29 July 2012, 22:34:15 »

Well, I've added a bit more food for thought.  I made references to the mystran spirt crushing someone's chest, and to Shadow Lord Khalkaroth pulling someone down to the Netherworlds to chew on their soul.  Could I ask for some more...um, reactions, I guess, to help me form this into an interesting read?
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« Reply #10 on: 30 July 2012, 01:25:19 »

Nice additions, Kelancey, but please colour them next time.

What I found initially a bit problematic is that you use the Demon Lord himself.  I think it diminishes the 'greatness' of the highest of all demon lords. At least how I imagine him   - he would never lower himself to deal with one mortal being. I looked for a lesser demon and found nothing which would suit. So if you maybe alter your sentence a bit in the direction, that the common people think, it is Khalkoroth, while demon experts deny it?

I wonder, what your masterwork will be! ;)
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« Reply #11 on: 30 July 2012, 02:19:00 »

Thanks for your sage feedback, Ta'lia!

I agree that it seems far-fetched to imagine a high demon lord persecuting one person at a time. But, I hope by modifying the entry to state that demon experts disagree, this will make it seem more like folks' tales or myth rather than concrete knowledge. Thanks for your guidance.  :)

And, sorry that I forgot to make color changes to my most recent edits!
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« Reply #12 on: 31 July 2012, 03:19:26 »

I would simply say that one of the many human folk tales claim that heart ailments are caused by demons squeezing or sitting on your heart. Other stories explain the ailment as witches curses. Of course, scholars and serious researchers dismiss these claims, but since demons can never be really proofed, who can really know?  grin

Keep the demon tale vague and general without naming any specific demon by name. Most common folk do not know about high demon lords, or any one specific. That is known to scholars and lorekeepers only.

I would also argue that commoners do not know what a mystran is either. I would keep it vague and instead dark spirits. Specific names like mystran are best left to scholars and books that 95% of common rabble have no access to.
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« Reply #13 on: 31 July 2012, 04:41:59 »

Aww! And I was so proud of the research I'd done on mystran spirits and High Demon Lord Khalkaroth.  cry

I removed references to arcane Netherworld beings, and simplified the explanations a smidge.
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« Reply #14 on: 31 July 2012, 04:48:07 »

Well, let me back up...

As a Compendiumist, you would have access to specific names and records, so Kelancey can make assumptions. But a common farmer in Erpheronia or merchant in the Rahaz-Dath wouldn't know the name Khalkoroth or a Mystran. However, ask a Ximaxian or Nehtorian cleric and they would!

UNLESS lore of such creatures is made to become common knowledge, but I am not sure of that. That is a question for devvers to discuss.
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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