Have you thought about how much your healers can do and how? In many fantasy stories and games, it seems that healers can expend a lot of healing energy in order to save the victim from dying or injury. Some of you may have such characters and may have developed a system for the way they are going to be able to heal.
I would really like to hear your thoughts and ideas for creating fictional characters that can heal or even resurrect other characters in your fictional worlds. It would be very interesting to me to learn about the ideas you came up to make healing believable.
Let's face it. We can't expect healers of fantasy worlds to understand and react the same way we would expect them to react in modern day. For medieval fiction, Florence Nightingale, who developed the modern system of nursing, had not been born yet. Even medicine was very different, involving a lot of strange ideas regarding the human body. I have seen historical videos and programs and it's really bizarre and scary to see what doctors used back then.
When I read The Midwife's Apprentice by Caren Cushman, I was amazing by some of the ingredients midwives used. Though it is a fictional tale about a girl who finds work helping the town's midwife, the author added a glossary and some information about what it was like in those days. I was fascinated and I recommend this book to anyone interested in medieval medicine. It is not fantasy, but it is historically based and an entertaining read.
But now back to fantasy fiction healers.
I am currently writing a blog story called Add a Spark of Valor with my friend and co-author, Jack Shepherd. If you have read any of the blog "mini-chapters" here you will see we are getting to a place in the tale where little Audrey and her druid sisters are healing the victims of a ship attack.
As I write the next few posts regarding the healing abilities of my druidesses, I have decided to make the healing spells somewhat draining to the inexperienced. In other words, the less you cast healing spells, the more tired or draining of energy you will feel. Druids who use it often will not feel so tired or drained unless they keep casting for long periods of time. I can imagine a druid healer in a war torn area becoming totally worn out after constantly healing the wounded all around him. So what it boils down to for my fictional characters is that casting spells -- ANY magical spells -- will take energy and leave the caster weak and tired. The caster will need rest and food before they can travel, work or do anything that requires normal strength.
And what do you think about a healer resurrecting the dead? How do you handle this topic in your stories?
A good friend of mine who read my latest story post from Add a Spark of Valor : Crescent Cove Village shared some thoughts with me and our chat went like this:
Friend: one thing I noticed that didn't seem "natural" to me was the sisters talking to folks before rushing to the injured.....EMS here would talk while running to them
Friend: course EMS don't have a chance to res them if they die.
Me: True. Well, they did move on quickly once they met the halfling
Friend: yes....but asked a couple of times if anyone know what happened...no biggie...just how I saw it. Medics rush in where bombs are going off and into machine gun fire to reach wounded soldiers.
Me: You are thinking too modern and remember they can cure anything even death. My druids didn't get formal training.
Friend: At least they didn't stop for a smoke and coffee.
Let me point out that my druids can't always resurrect the dead. To keep them from becoming too powerful to believe, I made it a rule that the goddess of Tiaera, Astria, has the final say who can be revived and who stays dead. No, I don't roll any D&D dice to decide what my fictional goddess will do, but at least it doesn't make my character too god-like.