Formation of Dark Magika
Dark magika, for all intents and purposes, does not form as naturally as other magika colors would. To create dark magika, two agents are typically required. Firstly, Void energy, typically supplied from other dark magika stones, or sourced from tiny void portals, and secondly, existing magika of another color aside from white. The void energy slowly leaches into nearby magika sources, transforming the crystal from it’s normal color to a purple hue, and making it give off more void energy. This growth then begins to convert other normal matter, growing in size and potency. In addition, a slower method exists, wherein void energy simply corrupts normal matter of some sort over time, requiring many months to years depending on the material. Unsurprisingly, magika resistant materials take more time to become corrupted, as do nullification stones hidden away in pockets of rock.
Coming into contact with a raw Dark Magika Stone, coming into contact with a Voidling, coming in contact with a corrupted individual, or using Dark Magika (per battle, not per use) would add 1 corruption point, a point will launch the user to the next stage of corruption (see stages below), and receiving a treatment from the colony hospital's advanced machines, will subtract a point and a stage from the infectee.
Properties and Usage
Dark Magika is most commonly seen as a purplish form of normal magika crystals, consisting of a variety of crystalline structures dependent on the form of magika originally corrupted. Universally, the exact color of the stone depends on what was originally corrupted, ranging from red-violet to blue-violet, or possibly even a less saturated, grayish purple.
As a stone, Dark magika is near universally recognized as capable of causing debilitating effects in combat, ranging from being able to pull the life force of an enemy in the form of magikal energy from a target, to causing heavy sickness to organics, or rusting a machine. This level of power however, comes at a cost. Dark mages are, particularly if they use standard methods of using magika stones, vulnerable to dark magika corruption more so than others.
However, due to recent discoveries brought to light by Hi’vaa ‘Primal’ Sorcerers, an alternative method of use has been found. While normal magika channels energy like a magnifying lens, Dark Magika is best used to saturate magika energy with it’s properties. The energy is then used to cast.
Long-term, low-level exposure (such as a simple touch with no protection) to Dark Magika causes illness of various systems amongst almost all terrestrial life, and due to the aura corrupting nature of the magika, machinery as well. Unfortunately, this means that victims of Dark Magika poisoning almost uniformly experience a gradual decline over a span of time directly tied to the level of exposure, until eventually succumbing to the effects that span in different stages of the illness.
However, while it’s effects may appear physical and mental, the exact cause is on neither of these levels. Dark magika corruption itself is a slow poisoning of a being’s magikal aura, which over time results in a variety of symptoms as the very energy of the universe held within a patient is transformed into a form which, for all intents and purposes, is generally thought of as hostile to this universe.
What was not initially apparent, however, were the intra-organism mutations that could cause subtle to extreme mutations seen only within a few generations of exposure. The growth of Dark Magika crystals on the skin and flesh, increased resistance to the effects of Dark Magika poisoning, and even the ability of tissues to achieve accelerated cellular regeneration when in the presence of Dark Magika were originally only known to ancient Shivan researchers. In addition, due to the discovery of the Hi’vaa Sorcerers, mages skilled almost solely in the use of Dark Magika in such a way as to minimize, if not totally remove the risk of corruption to a dark mage. The intended target of a dark magika stone, however, is not so fortunate.
However, generally, exposure to Dark Magika will begin a spiral of corruption and a variety of symptoms that worsen over time, and even the most minute of exposures can, if let go long enough, lead to disastrous effects.
Cybernetics are not immune either. Metal endoskeletons would corrode and sprout dark magika crystals, causing synthetic materials to crystallize, harden, and break. All while crystals continue to bloom out. This would degrade strength of the components at first, cause malfunctioning sensors. Damage detection systems would be flagging everything in the same manner an organic would be feeling pain. The resulting feedback would overwhelm most I/O systems causing stuttering, lock-ups, and eventual system failure.
Stages of Corruption & SymptomsFranky, the former senior of the Colony Hospital, and the first known mortal to make contact with Dark Magika after emerging from the Void after the 2130 Portal incident, conducted a EarthGOV funded study of the Void and Dark Magika extensively and provided detailed notes about their corruption stages and symptoms on those corrupted by studying a battery of test subjects. These results were further proved by later studies conducted by the Colony Hospital, Tribunal, and other groups. The five generally identified stages of Dark Magika are detailed below:
The subject may experience painful boils and minor mutations, ranging from a dark purplish rash to tiny pockets of crystal in the body. Some minor personality changes may occur, as can small oddities such as bumps on the forehead, abdomen, and other areas.
The subject will start to show symptoms of extreme paranoia, insomnia, and heightened aggression towards anyone, including their allies. Dark magika growths make their primary appearance in most patients, in small clusters, typically along the limbs and extremities,such as fingers, ears, and toes.
The subject's growths will continue to overtake their body, covering significant portions of the body in dark magika shards, typically full limbs. The subject will turn extremely aggressive, suffer from fits of rage, and loss of sanity. This stage is considered curable, but with significant extra effort than earlier stages.
The subject turns fully feral, no longer responds to their name and exhibits the same symptoms of a hungry rabid raccoon. At this stage, most are considered lost and beyond cure. Growths have at this point covered the majority of their body, and the subject is now considered highly contagious for corrupting others as well. Subjects studied have shown their brain waves to respond as if constantly in pain, a statement backed up by the potential for magika growths to further damage the subject as they are crystallized.
The subject is completely crystallized and is almost universally pronounced dead, their body becoming one giant Dark Magika crystal statue of what they once were. The rarest of occasions may result in a barely sentient, unmoving, silent, blind crystal, but a crystal nonetheless. Those few patients studied into this final phase reported a sensation of being tugged back into darkness as they slipped from the mortal coil.
Currently there are several known treatments for symptoms of dark magika corruption, ranging from use of Water stones, or by simply withholding from use of Dark Magika. However, due to extensive research, the Tribunal has managed to synthesize a cure using the purifying effects of White Magika upon Dark, and the use of Blue Magika to heal the resulting injuries.
Typically, however, a patient would first treat low stages of dark magika with Blue Magika such as Water, as Blue Magika, while unable to completely remove corruption, can treat symptoms and make dark magika corruption go into a temporary ‘dormant’ state, during which further treatment may be applied. However, to fully remove dark magika corruption, a White Magika treatment is applied, typically in the form of prescribed medicinal vials, dosed out over a long time. This is typically harmful to a patient, as the White magika quite literally burns out the corruption in a patient’s aura. Thanks to recent prototyping, the currently used White Magika Flask treatment collects dark magika corruption in the stomach, turns it into a black, phlegm like liquid, and then causes muscular contractions, resulting in a patient literally vomiting up the Dark Magika within a patient’s aura.
Later stages are treated with a variety of means in tandem, ranging from first surgically removing any crystal growths, and proceeding with direct infusion of White Magika energies into a patient’s aura and body to force out the corruption. This is followed by a recovery period during which blue magika is applied to heal any injuries caused.
Another treatment is by the use of the Colony Hosptial’s Shivan Chamber, developed by former head doctor Franky, and consisting of dozens of Heal, Water, and Null magika stones, using each in cycles to attempt at purifying the corruption, nullifying anything that remains, and healing any injuries resulting, respectively. Symptoms sometimes include: becoming completely null to using any Magika for a full day, due to the over exposure to Nullification stones, and patients will have to return weekly after treatment unless purified via White Magika.