The Madness

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A common symptom, the afflicted may temporarily present green luminescent eyes, especially during symptomatic display or active transfer of the affliction.

The Madness, also known as Sol Sickness or Sun Sickness to the Bakians, is a highly contagious energy-based affliction on one's "Essence" or existence that alters and breaks down one's very state of being until they either perish, or in most cases, devolve into some form of misbegotten fiend. The disease is spread through optical perception even if the means aren't functioning (i.e., a camera that's turned off can still act as a receptacle, and a blind individual can still be afflicted through eye contact.) General symptoms include true chaotic neutral mannerisms, both sudden bouts and gradual onset of insanity, a desire to spread the affliction, and eyes that turn green most often during flare-ups.

The cause of the affliction is a form of Sentient life being imbued with a mote of Radiance in an incompatible way. Normally only curable by ending the lifeforms afflicted by sending them into Radiance, a cure exists involving special Siels that can displace the energy from the individual without damaging the lifeform. Curing can vary on a case-by-case basis from simply staring at a Siel you've formed a bond with, or by having to overcome some kind of trial the Madness presents as when displaced out of the afflicted individual.

Rules of Engagement

Participating in The Madness is conditioned upon accepting the rules of engagement. These rules are non-negotiable. Please make note of language like "may" (optional) versus "must" (not optional) and so on in the rules. Players are in control of their own narrative for becoming afflicted; however, absolute cooperation is necessary for storytelling success:

  1. This is an opt-in mechanic. Players are free to spread "The Madness" to any other player, even players unrelated and outside of the Whisper plot; however, mutual OOC consent to affliction and this Wiki page's contents is absolutely required!
  2. Madness is a "spatial" infliction through eye contact that can impact organic and non-organic sentients.
  3. Madness may be spread to entities possessing the afflicted by eye contact with their afflicted vessel through a mirror or similar.
  4. The only way to prevent spread is by wearing optical coverings that are 100% opaque. Simply removing or disabling optic function, or being blind, will not stop the spread.
  5. Madness is usually a slow descent over days or weeks of scenes, so symptoms are not necessarily full-force immediately. Players are still free to choose the narrative of their own progression and even add additional unique-to-the-character effects of their own, so long as the core rules of engagement, prevention, symptoms, and treatment functions are also met.
  6. There is only one OOC Exit that will be used if a player decides to exit the story before a cure is presented.

Walk into this plot eyes wide open. There is no retconning. These terms are not negotiable. Players afflicted by Madness do not need to exude it every waking moment. They're allowed to shelf the plot when it'd be inappropriate to role-play, such as totally unrelated peaceful public events by other groups.

Cause

Little was known what actually causes The Madness or its symptoms other than it was an affliction that originated from one of Anai's forms until after a confrontation with Azazel, Xii Prime revealed that the cause of the affliction is a form of Sentient life being imbued with Radiance energy in an incompatible way. Historic documents found in Saaphor's vault previously suggested seemingly inert particles of Anai Prime are the cause for exceedingly chaotic swings to sentients afflicted by the particles due to the entity's chaotic nature and the broad incompatibility of his Essence with that of sentients.

Prevention

Completely blinding your eyes with a physical veil is the only way to prevent both infliction and spread. The eye covering must be completely opaque. Players that are blind can still receive The Madness through exposed eye contact so disabling optic devices or being blind will not protect characters. Closing eyelids in time can be used in a pinch, but may not be as reliable.

Symptoms

Those afflicted with The Madness will exhibit a slow progressing descent into insanity through increasing bouts of true chaotic neutral behaviors and impulses. The iris portion of the eyes of the afflicted will glimmer, flicker, or glow a shade of green from time to time, most often when symptoms are activating or spread is active. Characters do not become any less intelligent, and in fact, may become even more cunning at finding ways to further spread the affliction.

There may be varying side effects on a case-by-case basis. Some afflicted are known to suffer from giggling that's difficult to stifle, while others developed a chaotic alter-ego or became susceptible to immediate possession by chaotic entities. Please note, these are optional and opt-in for your character for story-building purposes.

Treatment

⚠️The Madness for Book II has been cured. There is no activity required to be cured when the solution comes out as the cure is a magic-based story completion event. A cure will automatically have applied to all characters afflicted upon the end of Tales of Stairell: Book II; however, this cure is also optional. Players are free to keep The Madness as a part of their character and story going forward if they so desire. Players are free to self-manage being cured automatically themselves; however, the recommended lore for doing so would be any means to expel existential energies of chaos lingering in the character's mind. Curing should also be available to players by visiting the Astral & Umbral estate for medical assistance by requesting a cure.

Pre-Cure Treatments

While there is no active cure, players can treat symptoms with sedation, restraint, or isolation during flare-ups. The afflicted should wear eye coverings at all times possible to prevent spread. As the Caturae's research staff develop methods of treating the symptoms and progression, this Wiki will be updated with where and how to obtain such temporary measures.

Below The Candlejack at Shirogane, Ward 3, Plot 29, there are several holding cells for those that need to be restrained. For lesser cases that need supervision, you can use the inn rooms at Plot 26's visitor center downstairs.

After unlocking Veda, the group learned that because "Madness" is a form of your whole 'being' getting afflicted by incompatible Radiance (described as having too much "life" energy but not spirit in form) the only cure is to find a way to transfer the energy out of you, which can be done through imbuing a Siel with your Madness. In order to do this, the 'laws' of Radiance must change first, and then anyone with Madness can imbue it into a Siel, enhancing the Siel's abilities, and curing themselves of Madness.

Veda described Madness as being infected through observation, similar to Schrodinger's Cat, existing and not existing until observed, and once observed, not possible to un-observe which is why it is infected through optical experience and difficult to cure.

Curing the Madness

All that's required is to gaze deeply into a Siel you're attuned to and it'll be transferred safely rendered inert, giving the Siel energy. There may be additional trials and challenges, such as a "Memoria Devina" or some kind of mental or physical struggle; however, this is up to the player to encounter. It's entirely possible to keep it as simple as looking into a Siel you've attuned to, or to make it as complex as creating some kind of battle, trial challenge, or other thing to overcome.

OOC Exit

The Madness is a major plot component that cannot be retconned due to its function and its impact on those becoming involved in the story. Players cannot simply erase their character's history from the chain of spread without disrupting everyone else. Thus, if for some reason you need to remove your character from The Madness for OOC reasons, it will be meta that this transpired in order to preserve plot integrity:

"A rare occurrence, but, The Madness disappears from the afflicted time to time. Never a good sign though, as it usually means its energy has been displaced elsewhere or is roaming freely. At least the poor soul who encountered it is now free from the affliction. It will be up to us to seek out any consequences."

Chaos Magic (Optional)

Optional. Madness can manifest as a form of "chaos magic" sometimes. This is an optional table for "unlucky" rolls and effects for people that have Madness. It's entirely optional and meant to just allow for some extra shenanigans while under Madness. The lore is that it causes an instability in the afflicted person's energy that resolves itself by lashing out wildly often with strange or dangerous effects.

⚠️You must choose before starting a RP scene or before engaging in Whisper combat if your group is going to use Chaos Magic effects or not. You cannot selectively decide when to enable/disable it. The effects are either on the entire scene/combat event, or not at all. Additionally, rolls should only occur naturally, and never be meta/forced!

Random

Roll (0-999)

Chaos Magic Effect
Non-Combat Combat
0 to 99 Everyone rolls, even those without Madness. Everyone with Madness activates the appropriate consequence from this table. Your character exudes the results of your roll in addition to the rolls of anyone tolling without Madness. Your initiative becomes your roll. If it's your active combat turn, immediately cease action where you stand, skip any effects that would happen afterwards during your turn, and immediately progress to the next turn.
100 to 199 You are instantly teleported to a random location, including the Whisperverse. You are stunned and unable to act until the start of your next turn.
200 to 299 You are allowed to post one more RP post. After that you cannot speak again until someone makes a post that includes one of the words in that RP post you made. You and your target (or 1 random target if AOE) swap all DETRIMENTAL status effects unless unremovable.
300 to 399 Uncontrollable screaming that may summon a continuous swarm of stickbugs. The effects of the rolled action are reversed. If damaging, it heals. If healing, it damages. Other actions unaffected.
400 to 499 You uncontrollably start copycat repeating the last person to speak for a while. You and your target (or 1 random target if AOE) swap all BENEFICIAL status effects unless unremovable.
500 to 599 You begin to emit some form of your Siel's element (if no Siel element, use d8 to determine element) on everything you physically touch with your hands. How your element presents is your call. Hope it's not fire... Roll a d8. The action your original roll was subject to becomes elemental: (1) Earth, (2) Wind, (3) Ice, (4) Fire, (5) Water, (6) Lightning, (7) Dark, (8) Light. Overwrites any elemental affinity for the spell or from status effects like Whispers.
600 to 699 Yowo stuwk uwusing owo speawk fowr a indetewrminawte amownt ow time; stahp either awfter the scene yowre in uwu or when yuwu feewl wike hawving it wear off. OWO All your attacks are replaced with "Bonk" requiring 500 HIT. It only deals 1 damage. Your target is randomized and includes your allies and yourself (use d# where # is all sheet users.) Wears off only upon your KO, or after the current wave.
700 to 799 You faint. You are KO'ed.
800 to 899 You experience a fit of madness. If you're with a group RP'ing, quickly leave any party, teleport away, and hide on that map. Send cryptic madness messages over chat giving small hints until you are located. No metagaming! Next turn (or current if attacking) you get to attack again; however, end output is halved (round down) and AC costs are doubled for that action.
900 to 999 You suddenly burst into hot green flames in a fit of madness and enter into a chaotic rampage! Cancel current action immediately. Your AC Gauge is set to 9; deal 9 damage to whatever was the target of your roll even if ally or self.