Pathophysiology of the Blight and Red Lyrium

All right!  This will be my last science meta post about Thedas for a while, unless something else strikes me.  As always, thanks to everyone who’s shown an interest in these sorts of posts.  I hope they’re entertaining and interesting, I know I’ve had a ton of fun thinking about them.

Part 1: Lyrium Addiction and Withdrawal

Part 2: Biology and Life History of Lyrium, and Dwarven Physiology

The Blight is two different entities: one is the coordinated attack on the surface world by darkspawn led by a tainted Old God, the other is the disease that results in infection and the creation of wastelands.  We’ll be talking about the latter.

The Blight pathogen has to be something pretty elastic; it is able to infect animals, plants, and fungus.  Our options for infectious agents include bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and prions.  

Parasites are typically fairly host-specific, sticking to well-established life cycles, so they’re out; there’s no parasite in nature that would infect both plants and animals, and when they do infect animals of different classes, typically it’s just a handful (i.e. mosquitoes and dogs both are affected by heartworm, not mosquitoes, houseflies, beetles, ants, dogs, bears, birds, lizards, etc.).  

Viruses are more diversified than parasites; consider rabies virus, which is capable of infecting all mammals.  However, plants and fungi, as well as birds and reptiles, would be safe from rabies.  There are certainly viruses that jump entire classes of creatures - West Nile infects birds and mammals – but I really can’t name one that jumps kingdoms, affecting Animalia AND Plantae, for example; making it more doubtful that the Blight is a virus, in my mind.  

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Non Magic Medicine In Thedas

A talk with “Surgeon” in Skyhold nets a good look at the state of medical science in Thedas. It’s quite interesting because for all that the world of Dragon Age seems to have healing magic it’s ideas about medicine seem to be quite primeval.  

Surgeon tells us that Magic can’t cure everything, and that she believes that science is the way of the future

Here is where things get interesting. Apparently Thedas believes in the idea of the Humors! History lesson time!

Belief in the four humors and their effects on the body was a system of medicine that started with the Greeks and lasted through most of history since then until the start of modern medicine (the discovery of germs and such) in the 1800s

Basically the idea is that the body is filled with four different humors. When these were in balance the body was healthy but if one had too much or too little of one type it caused illness

treatments included things such as bleeding to get rid of the excess blood.

To clarify bleeding meant cutting a patient or sticking leaches on them.

I also think however that, despite believing in humorism, people like surgeon would have had a major advantage over their real world counterparts that I think would have made non magical medicine in Thedas a LOT more successful. 

People in Thedas did not to deal with the actions of the christian church!

For one thing witch hunts would likely not have destroyed centuries worth of herbal knowledge by killing those who used herbs to heal. Herbalism is a skill that is established and respected in the world of dragon age. I mean we see the use of potions, and poultices in the games. So chances are a good deal of Surgeon’s herbal tonic’s would work if she also has some not based on the concept of humorism. 

Then there is the fact that from what I have seen I think it is unlikely that the Chantry has placed a ban on dissecting the human body, Or even if it has I find it difficult to believe that healing magic does not require a basic understanding of how the body works, and thus that it is highly unlikely people like Surgeon are going around with the impression that human’s have four stomachs because the closest thing to a human they have ever dissected or heard of the distinction of is a cow.

I think what Thedosians do not understand when it comes to medicine is what causes illness. They do not have microscopes to see germs! Magic has likely given them a decent understanding of how the body works. What they do not understand is why it stops working. “Magic can’t cure everything” “Good Health is not magic”


MYTHOLOGY MEME :  ten goddesses → nyx

       Nyx was the goddess of the night, one of the ancient Protogenoi (first-born elemental gods). In the cosmogony of Hesiod she was born of Air, and breeding with Darkness produced Light and Day, first components of the primeval universe. Alone, she spawned a brood of dark spirits, including the three Fates, Sleep, Death, Strife and Pain. 

Nyx was a primeval goddess usually represented as simply the substance of night: a veil of dark veil of mist drawn forth from the underworld which blotted out the light of Aither (shining upper atmosphere). Her opposite number was Hemera, who scattered the mists of night, or Eos, the goddess of the dawn. 

In ancient art Nyx was portrayed as a either a winged goddess or charioteer, sometimes crowned with an aureole of dark mist. (X)

“The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens to that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach.”

~ C. G. Jung

I hit my first 1K and decided to do my first follow forever! A lot of them are mutuals, others are favorites. All are awesome!

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Happy Earth Day! “May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you – beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
-Edward Abbey
#desertrat #canyon #earthday #zion #znp #edwardabbey #hike #hiking #backpacking #camping