He is constantly sick, but forever young. I wish there was a cure. I'm sure he does too. And I know he is wondering if he will ever die...
The Age Mites; Time Bugs; Youth Parasites.
So small, as to be invisible to the human eye, these microscopic organisms are extremely rare. They were created as a cure for death, but come with a terribly price. A magical malady, known to exist by only a rare few, and even they don't know the extent of it.
Thousands of years ago, a powerful man sought a never-ending life. He ventured far and wide, across land and sea, in search of fame, fortune, and immortality. And he found it. Deep in the Shilknose Swamps, on the Island of Tsuberot, there lived the outcast mage, Guolla Guade. The mage observed the powerful man shredding the small trees and creeping vines with an axe. Guolla knew the man was searching for him. Guolla waited for the man, in a small hut built of woven fine and strategically grown shrubs. The man found the hut, and knew this was the one he sought.
"Guolla Guade, Immortal Sage, Master of the Endless Days, I desire a life that stretches forever. I want never-ending youth and to never die!" He proclaimed upon entering the small hut he had ducked in to. Guolla said nothing, but looked up and smiled a crooked grin.
"Guolla Guade, Immortal Sage, Master of the Endless Days, why do you not speak? I demand you grant me the secret of eternal youth." He yelled. Again, Guolla Guade smiled, this time showing teeth. The man noted something eerie about the teeth. They seemed to shimmer and bend, indeed the entirety of the mage seemed to shimmer and bend as if an illusion.
"Guolla Guade, Immortal Sage, Master of the Endless Days, I will cut through your illusion! Reveal yourself, now!" He struck the disbelieved illusion, only to discover something solid beneath the guise. It was the real Guolla Guade, the illusion only obscured the sickness and wretched body of the young woman beneath. The blood sprayed into the man's eyes and something fled the death of Guolla Guade. Barely perceivable, the Bugs of Time entered the man's body. He felt renewed, invigorated, and young. He heard laughter in his ears, he knew it was the laugh of Guolla Guade, he had been tricked.
Guolla Guade had, as the man discovered, found the secret of eternal youth. A parasite, created from raw time, had infected Guolla Guade. And now it lived in him. His appearance never aged. He was immortal, but bed-ridden. He never eats. He cannot sleep, haunted by that laugh. If he could speak, he would beg for death. His body is gaunt and sunken, yet no wounds mar his flesh. His body appears as that of a boy, no more than sixteen years old. He was discovered on the edge of the town of Ghuthamn of the Island of Tsuberot.after venturing into the swamps in search of Guolla Guade. They assume he found the time mage who had not been seen in many years, and was cursed for his brashness.
After seeing the helpless body of the poor man, no adventurers have dared to seek immortality from Guolla Guade since.
Parasitic Youth: The Details
A swarm of incredibly small bugs ripped from time itself. They inhabit a host until the unnatural death of said host, at which point they enter the body of the closest living being. Once inside the body of a creature, there is no known way to remove them, they go to work like horrific nano-machines. They totally change the way the body works, and can keep it alive indefinitely barring no serious physical interference. The body will quickly be reverted to an ideal youth, physically about sixteen years old, and rendered useless. The Time Mites, out of time, can no longer do their job of maintaining the time-stream, and at such a disadvantage they go about their "programming" on whatever they can find.