Stages of the Change
The change has five stages. Three of them are common.
First is the start, the uncontrollable need to spill blood. Scientists are still baffled as to why blood eases the rage, but changelings can experience prolonged periods of control after spilling it.
Mastering the violence as it intensifies. Few get to this point because of how strong the disease is during level one. Most victims are slaves to that stage all of their lives.
The third stage is burnout, with no rage for defense of a mate. No pain and will to fight. Happiness and relief of the torment comes at a high price.
The fourth stage is burnup–snapping and killing whoever happens to be around. Many changelings almost like this one. It is infinitely better to them than having no fire at all, but there is also a legendary stage that has only occurred a dozen times. It is one that all of the infected secretly long for.
In this fifth cycle, the disease goes away, allowing for a normal life of anger and happiness in equal balance. No one knows what combination of environment, diet, and daily life might accomplish it, but according to rebel rumors, there has to be freedom and love.