The Alienist

1255-1350 ASF

The Alienist, known as Mikhale vi’Kalum in life, was a soldier and physician from the Posna Krajin who served in the battles against the Ackenzali retribution forces. He became a founder of a new field of medicine when he attempted to diagnose and treat the “injuries of the soul” that he said occurred in those who participated in the long and brutal fighting in the island, and he also took an interest in understanding and treating hysteria, grief, and madness. To aid in his study, he attempted to learn the basics of Gnostic magic late in his life, and though he attained some of the basic capability to peer into a person’s knot, he never was able to unlock even the most basic spells. His writings on the nature of hysterical disease, The Material of Madness, gained him an invitation to treat the Chatelaine Dorla of the Winter Court for her despair. This position earned him a great deal of respect in the court, and while there he started addressing the conditions of lunatic asylums of the nation. He argued for a tailored management of patients entailing cleanliness, good food, fresh air, and distraction from friends and family. He argued that mental disorder originated from dysfunction of the material brain and body rather than, or in addition to the internal workings of the mind or the Knot. He argued that the disease of the brain frayed one’s interiority rather than the other way around, a remarkable turn in the history of understanding madness.

He continued his work throughout his long life, writing extensively on “erratics,” those who displayed psychosomatic diseases such as hysterical blindness, and treated scores of patients, including those from the lower classes. At the end of his life he suffered greatly from a disease of the throat, removing his ability to speak for his final years, that eventually killed him. He ascended while at his home in Posna Krajin, witnessed by his grandchildren.

His holy order is devoted to continuing his work, and many hold offices attached to the temples of more popular Ascendants to help treat worshipers who have the injuries of the soul described by Mikhale vi’Kalum in his prodigious writings.

The Alienist

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