Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for Hell, Healing, and Hotels

Although those uneducated in such matters use the term, referring to a place of punishment and torture (and, indeed, torture chambers are often referred to as "The King's Hell"), and some mythologies may refer to a Hell of punishment, there is - as far as any sage, savant, magus can determine - no such place. Instead, there is the Outer Darkness, which exists separately from the Great Beyond (sometimes referred - erroneously - as Heaven), the Elemental Points, and all-that-is.

Although some savants believe that the Outer Darkness is the primordial Chaos from which all-that-is was wrested by AO, others - perhaps the majority - believe that that Chaos is, in fact, something else entirely. All that is known is that when those-who-did-not-agree were banished from all-that-is, they were cast out into the Outer Darkness, and have since carved out for themselves places of exile that are - if not to their liking, at least suitable to their needs and purposes.

Which, to the eyes of those-who-would-be-man look much the same as we regard Hell....

Healing magics are, if not commonplace, relatively easily attained in Malaster - priests of various gods are relatively common (and adepts who have been able to master minor orisons, etc. even moreso), and a variety of alchemical and herbal unguents, philters, potions and such are available as well.

The exact effects of a healing salve, etc. are based in part on their precise nature. Most clerical healing is direct restoration of physical prowess, as are potions of healing - the user recovers full usage of the injured area near-immediately (within a round or two at most, unless they were fatally injured), and without scarring or long-term debilitation of any kind. Alchemical (and especially) herbal remedies, on the other hand, often have some sort of side effect, take longer to come to full potency, or work merely to accelerate normal healing rates - while such healing is usually without long-term effects, it often does not prevent (and may cause) scarring.

Magical healing effects are under some level of limitations. A person can, in a 24 hour period, avail themselves of only one of each type of spell-based healing, in general (some exceptions, like Goodberry, are noted). So a character with grievous wounds might have a Cure Light, a Cure Moderate, and a Cure Serious Wounds cast upon them - but could not be spammed with a dozen Cure Light Wounds from a pair of scrolls*.

*For this reason, Wands of Spell have never been developed, because their efficacy would be strictly limited in most cases. Rings of Spell-Storing, Amulets, and the like are usually considered a better use of enchantments, and military units tend to prefer Potions of Healing (because they can be made in large batches).

Most alchemical solutions are similarly restricted (although they are most often wound-based, rather than spell-based - so an Unguent of Rapid Healing can be spread over a wound, but using two doses does not double the healing - just the cost of the preparation) - except for Potions of Healing of various sorts, which for some reason do not have this limitation. This makes them very much desired by those who go in harm's way, for obvious reasons, and it is considered fortunate indeed that there are a number of different recipes that all produce very similar effects - which helps keep the cost of these potions down.

More commonly, places where accommodations can be had for a short or medium-term stay. A wide variety of locales can be  said to provide lodging for a price - some of the more common examples can be found below -
  • Hotels are distinguished from the (usually) smaller taverns (below) in part because of their size (usually multiple floors, sometimes as many as six or seven), locale (more commonly found in cities and larger towns, while taverns can be found in nearly any community), and their clientèle (while not all hotels seek after a more affluent sort of guest, many do).
  • Private Clubs are not generally in the business of renting out room to their members - but they often have rooms that a member (or their guests) may stay in for a few nights, either while between residences, on the outs with their partner(s) (of which nothing more need be said), or simply because they have extended business in the club to take care of. Membership in such clubs is highly dependent on the exact nature - some are incredibly exclusive, while others are open to anyone who meets some basic membership requirements.
  • Guild Halls are akin in many respects to private clubs, but are usually less exclusive (any member of the Guild is afforded rights to the Hall), less posh and circumspect, and less polished in most respects (exceptions to this - to a greater or lesser extent - to exist, e.g. the Wizards Guild found in many cities).
  • Taverns are, essentially, inns that provide some level of formal accommodation in addition to food and drink. This can range from a handful of rooms above the stablehouse, to several floors or outbuildings worth of rooms, depending on the location and nature of the owner.
  • Coaching Inns, on those well-traveled roads that have them, do not generally have formal accommodations for travelers - but will usually allow those who come into the Inn after nightfall to stay the night (sleeping on benches, in booths, or wherever else they may find a place to rest) for a few silvers, so long as they look trustworthy.
  • Road Houses, on the other hand, normally will provide lodging of some sort (the difference between a Road House and a Tavern generally being the location and nature of services - a tavern's primary income source is from the food, drink, and lodging they provide, whereas like a coaching inn, those revenues are secondary to the services provided to various coaches, wagons, etc.)
In all cases, those who service the roads and those who walk/ride them tend to be circumspect in their dealings with travelers - on the one hand, one can never know that the person one is dealing with is a doppleganger, or lycanthrope. On the other hand, they could also be a powerful sorcerer, incognito godling, or member of the Fair Folk gone on walkabout - and antagonizing the latter can be as dangerous as admitting the former. Fortunately, most who seek to stay overnight merely want a place to rest, perhaps a hot bath, a filling meal, and a stout drink before making their way onto the trail again in the morning.

1 comment:

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Fantastic Fantasy Award.
Go to and pick up your award.