Illness and Medicine
Who are physicians?
A true doctor is considered to be one that can diagnose the entire flow of one's soul within the vessel and whether the vessel harms the soul or the soul harms the vessel. Depending upon the diagnosis, a treatment would be prescribed of herbs, spices, or powers, with physical manipulation provided for serious injuries.
Favored treatments included binding and allowing severed limbs to heal together with application of spice to the joining, cleansing and leaving open wounds untouched so that the air could assist in the body's renewal, applying the appropriate emotional addition with the use of their commandeered assistants, and serving crushed herbs in semi-liquid solution for internal and external application.
They were utilized primarily before the war and by the upper class.
A family's choice of physician will largely depend on their social status and history.
Upper-class citizens, largely uninvolved in the war, will generally visit the local brewer, who has been carefully trained in the acquisition, growing, selection, blending, brewing, and application of various spices. Strong spices are applied to strong physical ailments, while mild spices are applied to mild discomforts. Injuries are cleaned with emptiness, then bound, and the ancillary ailments treated as usual. This is considered the most powerless way to treat and, of course, the most genteel.
The thriving middle class—of anyone who has to earn their own living and succeeds without much struggle—largely believe in the powers as they were taught before the great war and the necessity of engaging those powers. The heart is considered the source of all wellbeing, and typically, a visit to a Collector is in order, where they will be informed of the appropriate change of heart that will bring about the greatest change in their life. Collectors are born with their talent and will often have a large selection of emotions to offer.
For injuries, the middle class, as well as the poor, turn to a bone-setter or blood-taker. These are usually former warriors or wranglers with field experience in dealing with the harsh realities of a broken vessel. They make their money on a lack of repeat visits, for all follow-ups are free by law of the rebel council.
The lower-class citizens will turn to whatever caretaker they can afford. Afflictions are thought to be caused by uncleanliness. They will often seek out the underbelly of society, where takers will sell them distilled white coloring. This is applied readily to any manner of bruise and mild injury not serious enough to warrant an experienced wrangler, and is drunk or bathed in for illnesses. If money is available or the illness is severe, this may be supplemented by a small amount of spice, whether sold in a back deal or acquired properly at the brewery.
What is the role of doctors in the culture?
Very few of the old guard doctors remain alive after the thirty-year war that bloodied their country and pulled all qualified and necessary personnel from the cities out onto the field. The handful that are left were granted by the rebel council full noble status, houses, and lands with a stipend to sustain them. There was little incentive for the doctors to remain in their previous occupation.
Doctors were feared as they were trained by the Old King's service and could conscript any likely looking Collector as they pleased, provided the youth had not yet been conscripted as an Enforcer. Nobles offered them respect, but maintained great emotional distance from their doctors. The other classes always sought out the much more accessible brewers, which maintain a friendly merchant status.
Only doctors, brewers, and cookeries are allowed to maintain gardens, and the contents thereof must be appropriate to the work to be accomplished with them.
What are the limitations on doctors?
A true doctor has only the limitations of who he can acquire to take his work. During the Old King's reign, he had access to any power or item necessary. He could place a royal order upon a powerful to take his work, unless they could prove that their workload did not permit it. He grew his own herbs and spices and could requisition spices from the brewer if he ran out—though he could not requisition herbs, as only doctors were permitted to grow them. He had quite a bit of money at his disposal for colors and emotions and other such, as noble houses retained their doctors with a monthly stipend, and any who were not noble must pay for his services with coin or labor. If his own money were not sufficient to procure what he needed, a doctor also had unlimited credit with the Old King's services and was able to purchase with royal writs of credit.
After the war, doctors did not enjoy such prestige and resources, but mostly retired entirely from the business. When sought out, they are limited by whatever is available for purchase with the new freedom of the people and the scarcity of resources. If they have gardens, then they may be able to use those as well.
A brewer is limited to his spice garden and rudimentary physical techniques. If it cannot be cured or aided with spices or physical manipulation, he is unable to do more than assist with pain.
The Collectors provide emotional services only and are unable to aid in physical healing. They are reputed to have good long-term effect, however, as a change in the person's mental and emotional wellbeing or faith may make profound changes in rapidity or nature of recovery.
Bone-setters are limited to dealing with bone injuries, but are proficient in their work. Blood-takers will buy and sell blood and treat minor injuries, bruises, and other such. They can be very clean in their work and storage or rather dirty, depending upon the blood-taker. This is an unregulated trade.
White is culturally associated with emptiness or cleanliness. It is devoid of impurities and any value, good or bad. Distilled white is used for cleaning everything from the vessel, or body, to food or buildings. Emptiness is associated with cleanliness, and clutter is associated with uncleanliness.
Where do the rich people get their money?
Under the Old King, all families connected by birth relationship were automatically granted a weekly stipend from the royal house, which was paid for out of a cut of the taxes due from merchants, trade, and agriculture. Any house once made noble remained noble, regardless of any changes in the inheriting royalty or anything else.
Noble families provided the bulk of those in the Old King's services and were responsible for waging war; engaging in diplomacy; conscripting, training, and disciplining enforcers, guards, wranglers, and thieves; maintaining peace within the cities, directly or indirectly; collecting taxes; appraising land; and funding education. They were permitted to earn wages from any service offered directly to an individual but not for any service that benefited the general populace, as this was compensated by the weekly stipend.
Other profitable industries were manned by those who received training in the Old King's services or in the educational halls built by noble families, including the Noble Hall of Medicine, which produced doctors; the Noble Hall of Merchants, which taught economics, taxes, business, foreign policy, and trade; the Noble Hall of Lecturers; and the Noble Hall of Judgments, which taught law, elocution, diplomacy, and record-keeping and produced speakers who could assist individuals in receiving a favorable judgment from the Old King.
Some individuals not conscripted for their powers would pay for education by the Old King's services in espionage, war, field dressing, or other skills and would then hire themselves out to merchants, traders, and the occasional noble for a great deal of money. These were forbidden from working for the Old King directly and thus were quite valuable to those who feared enforcer spies.