Emery sighed as he waited for the healer to come into the small hospital room. He’d been feeling poorly for almost a month. In addition to general malaise, his right arm ached horribly and his left foot seemed to fall asleep even when he wasn’t sitting on it strangely. Then he’d begun having dizzy spells and passing out, especially after performing magic. Now he had a fever that didn’t seem to go down, no matter what he took.

“I’ve looked at your medical history,” the healer said as he entered. Emery looked up expectantly. He settled back against the pillows to wait for the information. “Your mother died not long ago. You indicated the cause to be a fragile aura. Do you know the specific illness?”

Emery shook his head and sighed again. “Dad never told us what was wrong, just that her aura was fragile and she needed medicine for it. He disappeared; she died shortly afterwards. The healer said she couldn’t handle the – the stress of the loss.”

“Her aura would pulse and shred, as yours does?” the doctor asked. Emery looked baffled and he explained, “The pain and tingling sensations you’ve been feeling. Did your mother have them as well?”

Emery nodded and sighed. Toward the end, Mom had to be sedated to ease the pain she’d felt. He flexed his right hand and looked down. He couldn’t see his aura. Was it flaring even now? “I wish I could tell you more,” he murmured.

“Judging by your symptoms and your mother’s condition, I would hazard a guess that you have Auric Decay Syndrome. It is known to be hereditary and results in all the issues you’ve been faced with. Stress makes it worse and during an attack, performing spells can worsen the symptoms. I’m going to put you on a new medication we have. It includes an ingredient that should heal the damage the illness had done to your aura as well as stabilize and strengthen it. For now, take it twice a day. After two weeks, take it only when you feel an attack coming on.”

Emery nodded and sighed. It was confirmed, he had the same illness that had killed his mother. He almost missed the healer’s next statement. “We know so little about the causes of auric decay. At this point we can only treat the symptoms. Do you have any siblings?”

“We had an older sister, but she was stillborn. My younger brother doesn’t seem to be sick at all. I’m the only one of the pair of us that’s been feeling ill,” Emery said. They didn’t often speak about their almost sister. It had seemed like such a sore point with their parents. They only knew of her existence because of the name in the family Bible. He’d mentioned her to fill out the healer’s knowledge of their family health history.

“Stillbirths aren’t uncommon in the families of those with Auric Decay syndrome. There might be a connection,” the healer said softly. “Thank you. We’ll look into that. A healer assistant will come to give you your medication. Your fever should go down to normal within the day.”