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Basilicus

Worldbuilding
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Teratogenic, or monster-forming, energy is a type of magical energy produced as a side effect of Magnaphar thaumaturgy. It is speculated that it operates through the Dominion of Identity. Teratogenic energy produces several related but distinct effects.

A pregnant female (either woman or beast) exposed to teratogenic energy will conceive monstrous young. These monster-children are often characterized by missing or additional limbs or sense organs, and may also vary greatly in intelligence (in either direction) from the natural limits of the parent species; in rare cases, monstrous young of beasts have been known to develop a crude capacity for language. The only attribute known to vary in only one direction in monstrous children is the capacity for moral reasoning, which is never seen to improve upon the creature's natural ability, but only ever degrades or remains intact.

A person exposed to teratogenic energy will almost invariably have vivid nightmares. In addition, various victims have been known to suffer blindness, deafness, uncontrollable rage, unquenchable perverse lust, amnesia, and psychosis. Similarly, domesticated beasts turn feral, wild beasts stray far from their natural homes, and naturally shy and unaggressive creatures run mad.

A child conceived naturally while one or both parents were suffering from teratogenic nightmares will be born with no irises. Although there are no other effects yet known, these madborn are often treated as different-in-kind by the rest of society, and they have a higher than average tendency to become poets, schoolteachers, and politicians.


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