Category:The Break

Name Description
Ballow Mist A remedy formulated by Robian during his long years of isolation. The mist released when heat is applied to this ballow resin mixture is capable of slowing the effects of the Break on the human body. It can even be used to temporarily protect against light concentrations of the Break, making brief trips into the outside world possible for the average person. However, the long-term effects of such exposure have yet to be fully understood.
Ballow Resin Ballow resin is typically amber in color, but turns a vivid blue when the tree is In Bloom. It is considered Sacred by all Athians, who believe it represents the lifeblood of their land as such, the act of harvesting it—which causes the ballow tree to wither and die shortly afterward—has long been forbidden by law.
Breakshards These mysterious crystals are often found in areas where the brake is most concentrated. They can cause memory loss and cognitive impairment on contact, making them a great danger to the average person. However, they also possess great magical power, which some believe may be related to that of the Tantas themselves. Sadly, no Cognoscents' Guild has ever been able to obtain sufficient numbers of them to satisfactorily test this theory.
Breakstorms, Part 1 Breakstorms are maelstroms of highly concentrated corruption that occasionally form in places where the Break is strongest. While records of them have been found in Cognoscents' Guilds across Athia, not much is known about them, as no human has ever approached one and survived to tell the tale. However, several reports feature claims of enormous monsters lurking within.
Breakstorms, Part 2 The storms that form where the break is strongest are capable of warping everything in their path, including the very land itself. As one might expect, any living being unfortunate enough to be caught up in one is instantly killed. Cognoscents who have observed them from afar aptly came to refer to them as "the Corruption's Rage" for their seemingly unbridled ferocity.
Broken by Design, Part 1 The Cognoscents' initial attempts to study the Broken were stymied by their inability to see the actual process of corruption in action. This let a group of them to decide to carry out experiments and secret whereby animals would be intentionally subjected to the effects of the Break in a carefully controlled environment, and detailed observations recorded from a safe distance. Though controversial, this branch of research quickly provided answers to many of the more urgent questions concerning the nature of the affliction ravaging Athia.
Broken by Design, Part 2 The Cognoscents' intentional corruption of various creatures led to huge leaps in understanding of the Break in a very short amount of time. However, certain among their number were so intoxicated by this success that they began to lose sight of the original point of their research—to learn how to protect humanity from the Break and ultimately halt its spread. Some even began to perform experiments on the very humans they were tasked with protecting, a development which led many Cognoscents to abandon their research altogether in disgust, leaving their Guilds to crumble as the Corruption consumed them at last.
Broken by Design, Part 3 The original aim of the research in which subjects were deliberately exposed to the Break had been to solve the mysteries of the process of corruption, thereby revealing ways in which it could be counteracted. Sadly, this Noble goal was never achieved, and as the realm fell one after another to the encroaching miasma, the Cognoscents' experiments with lives already hanging in the balance rude to seem increasingly misguided. Some would even say it was lucky that the Guilds were consumed before things could progress any further than they did...
Nightmares, Part 1 While the Cognoscents' controversial research into how living creatures could be corrupted by the Break continued, reports of an altogether more frightening phenomenon began to emerge: devastatingly powerful beings created entirely from the Corruption itself. While some were skeptical at first, the tales of entire Guilds being wiped out by such beings were too similar to ignore, and even the most skeptical dissenters were soon forced to accept that a whole new nightmare was upon them.
Nightmares, Part 2 One of the Cognoscents' Guild known to have been artificially manufacturing the Broken was destroyed by what appeared at first to have been a sudden explosion. Further investigation revealed that a tornado-like force had torn the experimenters' supposedly safe observation area to pieces, and the bodies scattered across the surrounding area were shown to have been viciously attacked by some unknown assailant. Further data could not be collected due to the sudden cost of high concentration of corruption in the area.
The Ballow Tree, Part 1 The ballow tree is a species only found in Athia—specifically in Avoalet. Its unique properties and remarkable glowing blue flowers make it both a long-standing symbol of the realm and the object of almost religious reverence.
The Ballow Tree, Part 2 While ballow trees were long seen as sacred by Athians, making it a crime to cut them down or otherwise harm them, an exception was made when research by the Cognoscents revealed that there would has the mysterious power to repel dangerous beasts. Ever since this discovery was made, it has been used in the construction of safe houses to protect the pilgrims and other Travelers who patronize them.
The Break and the Body Once a human has been corrupted by the Break, there is no reversing the effects. Should initial contact be limited to a single bodily extremity, a person can retain their humanity for a while, but the corruption inevitably spreads, eventually transforming the person tainted by its influence into a monster—if it doesn't outright kill them first.
The Break The name Frey devised for the corrupting miasma that blankets most of Athia.

Nobody knows where it came from or why it suddenly appeared. What is clear is that it is no mere weather phenomenon—it creeps insidiously along the ground, "breaking" everything it touches. Some of the changes it brings about are easy to see, While others are invisible to the naked eye.

The Broken, Part 1 Organisms coming into contact with the Break or either killed by it or irreversibly changed. But these altered creatures—the Broken—were originally dubbed "the Corrupted" by the Cognoscents who studied them, and it was noted that both formerly human and beastly Broken share some common traits. All are far stronger than they were pre-corruption, and all are driven by a mindless and instinctual rage.
The Broken, Part 2 At lower levels of corruption, the Broken often remain largely unchanged from their original forms, but as exposure to the Break increases, mutations become more extreme, and grant ever greater levels of strength and ferocity. Some Cognoscents took to dissecting corpses of the Broken and an attempt to better understand them, but progress proved frustratingly slow due to an inability to witness the process of corruption in action.
The Broken, Part 3 Extended exposure to the most intense levels of the Break can cause mutation so extreme that the resulting organism is almost unrecognizable. Only four such supersized abominations have been reported thus far, but more will surely emerge in time. Sadly, little is known about them, as Break levels where they appear are so high that witnesses inevitably die before they can give more than the briefest of descriptions.
The Depths of Corruption The areas surrounding the Tantas' castles suffer from abnormally high concentrations of the Break. As such, any already Broken creatures that happen to enter these regions are inevitably transformed into even more monstrous versions of themselves. The Break is so volatile within these zones that it will occasionally form a Breakstorm—a deadly phenomenon that corrupts everything in its path.
The Effects of Breakshards In the course of experimenting with the crystals often left behind by the Broken, it was discovered that certain patterns created with a powdered preparation of these curious stones could give rise to powerful magical effects. Such research is still in its infancy, but it is hoped that greater understanding of this phenomenon will uncover various useful applications.
The Effects of the Break on Athia's Flora While the Break's effect on humans and animals is almost immediate, it is much slower to develop in plants, and in some cases does not develop at all. Some species—such as the ballow tree native to Avoalet—even seem to have the ability to reverse its corrupting effect. While the mechanisms behind this phenomenon have yet to be fully understood. It is thought by some that the study of such anomalies may hold the key to combating the menace of the Break.
The Effects of the Break on Athia's Minerals Much like everything else in Athia, the minerals of the various Realms have been greatly changed by the Break. Some have developed new shapes or colors, others have begun to give up light, and certain varieties have even turned completely to liquid. Minerals exposed to the highest possible levels of the Break almost seem to develop a life of their own—a phenomenon so fascinating that many Cognoscents have risked life and limb trying to collect and study them.
The Effects of the Break The Break exerts its influence on everything it touches, whether organic or inorganic, but the exact effects vary widely. While the effect on humans and animals is easy enough to detect, the changes brought about in other substances are much more subtle, but no less profound. Powers similar to those of the four Tantas' magic have been detected in some minerals, for instance—powers which some have theorized could be harnessed to devastating effect
The Spread of the Break A weathered map that was likely drawn by a refugee from Praenost as they fled to Cipal to escape the encroaching Break.

While a little crude, it is surprisingly detailed, with important landmarks clearly noted, and sightings of the Broken carefully logged. Based on these logs, one can surmise that the region around Cipal was still relatively free from the influence of the Break even as the other Realms had begun to fall.

The Tantas' Chosen and the Broken The Tantas each created elite forces of fantastically dedicated soldiers, loyal only to them, and hostile to any who might posed a threat to their beloved rulers, be they humans, Broken, or otherwise. It was no surprise, then, that these zealous souls charged into battle without a second thought when Breakbeasts first appeared in Athia.