The First Bone-setter
Alicia Godin  

Many times I have been asked why I chose to become a Doctor. After all, with so many white mages around, what would be the point? Fast, instant healing of wounds, thanks to spells, versus the practiced art studying the body and putting things back the way they are supposed to be.

Well, let me tell you - A cure spell is just dandy, but without setting the bone properly, a break still won't heal right. Likewise, a rifle, musket, bow, or crossbow wound won't mend completely unless any and all bullets or other projectiles are removed from the body and the area cleaned of any remaining debris that they can leave behind. That's the thing these adventurers forget most often, until their scars catch up with them, that a spell, no matter how powerful, will not clean out a wound for them. But, that's why I'm here.

In my time as a Doctor, I have seen countless visitors come through my door, a lot of them ailing due to some old injury, only to find out that there is still a piece of shrapnel inside their body that the wound has simply healed around. After a time, infection can still set in, and more often than not, I need to cut in and dig it out just to fix the problem, thereby injuring the patient one more time than necessary.

The Elvaan lets out a mildly exasperated sigh, and continues...

But I digress. As for why I chose to become a Doctor, I think my inspiration came from a tale I heard when I was still a child. Back then, I thought like everyone else, that a Cure spell could fix everything. However, I do remember a time when a wandering band of Mithra visited San d'Oria. The eldest of the troupe sat apart from the others, peddling an array of herbs and remedies, each of which I asked questions about. What they did, what they were made of.

It may have been due to this curiosity that the old woman began to tell me a tale of the first bone-setter.

Ages ago, there was a popular tale of a Sahagin in Yuhtunga Jungle who would drag unsuspecting wanderers into a pool of water and drown them before eating their flesh. Mother Mithra would tell this to their kittens to discourage them from wandering off into the jungle.

At one point, a young woman who had grown up hearing this tale so often decided that she would investigate if it were truth, or just something invented to frighten the very young. Jiie Tahagi took up bow and arrows and set off into the jungle to find the pool by which the Sahagin was said to reside. After several days of exploring, eventually she did find it, at the foot of a sparkling waterfall just as the story had said. And certainly enough, sitting by the pool was a lone Sahagin with a bowl of water perfectly balanced on its head.

Now, of all the Beastmen in the world, the fish people would sooner avoid contact with other people than take the time to attack. But rather than flee, the Sahagin stood up without spilling a drop of the bowl's contents, and extended a webbed hand out to the Mithra in what appeared to be a gesture of greeting.

"You have made it sssso far that I musssst commend," hissed the Beastman with a crooked, scaley smile. "Allow me to impart thisss challenge. If you can sssssspill the water in thissss bowl on my head, I will impart a great ssssecret known to no other. How to ssssset a broken bone."

Jiie recalled from the tale that this was so often the ploy the creature would use to catch its prey. This great secret would be a source of greed for those that crossed the Sahagin's path, and their longing to know had brought them to reach out for that finny hand. The fish man's grip was strong enough that before his prey could even try to make the bowl tip, they realized they had been tricked. When they couldn't get free, the Sahagin would drag them under water.

Thinking fast, the Mithra smiled brightly and shook her head. "I would shake yourrr hand, but my palms are cut from pushing thorrrny brrranches out of my way." And rather than take the offered hand of the Sahagin, she bowed politely.

Aside from being shy of outsiders, Jiie also knew that, in older days, the Sahagin were also polite even for being so uncivilized. So when the Mithra bowed, the Sahagin did as well, which made him spill the water all on his own. Surprised that he had been so easily fooled, he gave up on his dinner plans and kept his word.

Jiie became the first to learn the art of bone-setting, and this knowledge she passed on to Kazham's healers. Over time, as some Mithra began leaving their home, they brought this knowledge with them to Windurst and other parts of the world.

After the old Mithra finished telling me this tale, my curiosity was only stronger. So I sought out all the information I could regarding the art, I studied it letter for letter, over and over, until I knew it by heart. From there, I began to expand my knowledge, and it became a life long passion for me. It is the reason that I am where I am now.

So, you see, there is some merit to knowing more than just a few Cure spells. If only more people realized this, perhaps I could take a vacation...