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Society and Culture


"Ooooooh… that looks nasty! I'd take that to that Alchemist three blocks over if were you: he's very good at that kind of thing; my husband had a really nasty rash, just like that one, in fact. The man gave him a course of leeches and a few herbs to make into a broth, and he was right as rain in no time!"

Before the Golden Age, Shalazar was racked with death and disease. However, thanks to a thriving herbalist culture and the acceptance of sorcery and alchemy as viable options for medicinal treatment, plagues and epidemics rarely trouble Shalazar for any appreciable length of time. Malaria, malnutrition, food poisoning, and various skin complaints are perhaps the most common afflictions in the city, all of which can be cured by any number of treatments. Alchemists can make potions, herbal packages, or enchanted healing crystals to cure most general ills. Slightly more serious illnesses can be taken to a sorcerer. However, treatment costs. Various bundles of medicinal herbs can be found in the numerous markets; rare, and expensive, herbs or ingredients are carted in from all over Shalazar and its various city states, and of course any consulted alchemists or sorcerers will charge for the practice of their expertise. Relatively cheap acupuncturists and trained herbalists are also widely consulted for treatment.

There is not much profit to be made from medicine, unless one can trade in rare and exotic herbs, or unless one is a member of the highly prestigious Calipha's personal physicians, who reside at the palace. The most highly respected and profitable form of medical practice in Shalazar, though, is without a doubt midwifery. Rich women will pay handsomely for the safe delivery of their baby, and an accomplished mid-wife can earn a very decent living indeed from her practice.

A point worth noting is that there are some in the city of Shalazar that will stubbornly refuse to use any form of magic to treat their afflictions. This stems from a belief that disease is a sign that the sufferer has in some way offended Shaliq, and so any form of treatment is an affront to the god of Shalazar. (Many of the great family of the Yildun are of this view.) This opinion is thankfully not held by the majority of people. Diseases of the mind, in the form of delusions or madnesses are, however, generally frowned upon in Shalazar. People who display traits of madness are generally considered to be either the victim of a curse, or forsaken by Shaliq, and so sufferers are shunned from society and must be hidden away and cared for in private.

However, for all these ills, the one most feared in Shalazar is leprosy. This disease has no cure, either herbal or magical, and those stricken with it are generally shunned from society and strongly encouraged to leave the city. Rumours exist of a colony of lepers outside the city, but as yet no one has had the desire to go and see if the rumours are true.