Most every Wednesday, I participate in the Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday group topic meme, but this week I’ve decided (with lots of help from my the Doppels) that since they are in charge, we are going to do a top five dedicated to one of the most amazing aspects of Michael R. Fletcher’s Manifest Delusions series: the Geisteskranken (crazy people capable of warping reality with their delusions). So enjoy . . . and don’t stare into mirrors too long. You’ve see why in a second.
5. Hassebrand: (Pyromaniac)
These guys can set fires to anything using their delusions of repressed rage and loneliness as fuel for the burning inferno they create. The only problem is the fire inside is burning them up faster than the outside one they create.
4. Mirrorist: (Catoptrophobia)
These individuals believe the reflection in a mirror is someone other than themselves. Most Mirrorists believe their reflections know things, can see the future, or travel freely between different mirrors (useful for long distance communication). Some others even believe mirrors are portals to other worlds or dimensions. The Mirrorists featured in Manifest Delusions generally live inf ear that their reflections are constantly planning, scheming and preparing to escape at any time, determined to drag the real person into the mirror and the reflection take their place in the real world.
3. Dysmorphic: (Dysmorphic Syndrome)
These Geisteskranken are consumed with worries over perceived defects in their physical features. They want to look different so badly their appearance actually changes. Due to their obsession, they are unable to see the changes and still think themselves defective. Many believe they are so unspeakably hideous they are unable to interact with others. This will eventually spiral out of control. Most Dysmorphics withdraw from society and end in suicide. Many become abnormally thin, muscled, large-breasted, or exaggerated specimens of physical perfection…in one area. Think today’s celebrities.
2. Therianthrope: (Therianthropy)
These guys believe they are possessed by (or sometimes were born with) animal spirits. Many believe they can transform partially (or completely) into their animal form. All of which means that their dreams of being a dragon or unicorn or anything else will become a reality the more they slip into complete insanity.
1. Doppelgangist: (Syndrome of Subjective Doubles)
My favorite of the crazy bunch is the Doppelgangist, who believe their double (called a Doppel) is running around the world living their own independent life. Hell, some powerful Doppelgangist don’t stop with jsut one copy of themselves but manifest more than one Doppel. Doppels are aspects of the original person’s personality. Sometimes parts of themselves they hate, or manifestations of who they wish they were. Sometimes Doppels appear as exact copies of the original, while others can manifest as twisted versions or even look like completely different people—depending on the delusions of the insane. In outward appearance Doppelgangists and their Doppels can be mistaken for Mehrere as both manifest as multiple people. Mehrere, however, are true schizophrenics and suffer from multiple—and often completely different—personalities.
And that short list is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg folks, because Michael R. Fletcher’s mind has dreamed up a whole world of psychotic users of magic. These Geisteskranken turning the world into their own mad playground.
You can learn more about these guys and discover even more Geisteskranken if you read through the author’s Rules of Responsive Reality, which starts in Part I: Defining Geisteskranken, continues with Part II: Explaining the Scope of the Power, and ends here at Bookwraiths with Part III: Types of Geisteskranken (though Mr. Fletcher’s mind keeps coming up with even more bizarre types).