[Info] The Hospital - Printable Version

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The Hospital - Novus Team - 06-17-2018

The Hospital

Deep in the Tinea Swamp is a refuge, a haven for any who might find themselves in need. It’s hidden so well, many might pass it without ever noticing it’s there—but to any of the sick or the injured, they will find themselves stumbling upon Vespera’s threshold. They may not know what they’re looking for, but rumor has it if you wander in the Swamp long enough, you’ll find the help you’re looking for. Or rather, the help will find you.

All you need is to follow the trail of white lilies.

The Hospital is perhaps Terrastella’s best kept secret; few know of its exact location; only that it exists, somewhere, deep in the Swamp. It seems more like an urban legend than fact—even the equines that emerge from the Swamp claiming of their healings have difficulty retracing their footsteps to the mysterious grove of swamp trees.

It’s because of the work of the healers that this is possible. They conceal the entrances carefully; they hide their lifts and tend to the swamp to remove traces of their existence. Some say they were even blindfolded before they were released, healthy and whole once more, into the swamp. 

That’s not to say you’ll be denied service at the Hospital. The healers do not discriminate; if any in need venture forward, they will come, and they will help.

Most of the Hospital dwells above ground, up in the trees. The canopy above is thick, and obscures the walkways with foliage and leaves, but they are there. Wooden planks and rope suspensions allow equines to walk freely from tree to tree, where the insides have been hollowed out in bell-like shapes to provide rooms and shelters. The trees themselves have grown around these rooms; they are not hollowed by means of the doctors, but by the will of Vespera.

Down below, similar wooden walkways provide horses to wander through the swamp without fear of getting stuck in the mud or stalked by the swamp predators. They’re congregated around the Hospital, and many seem to lead directly into trees—and then stop, their paths disappearing.

But to those who might look closely enough, to any in need of help, this is revealed to be a fallacy. Many trees below also sport doors and rooms inside, stocked with basic medical equipment designed for emergencies. These rooms are rarely found without the help of a healer, or one already well-acquainted with the Hospital. At least a dozen of these rooms exist, interspersed throughout the swamp, waiting for the next patient to stumble through.

The Hospital is composed of wings: the healing, or operational wing, the recovery wing, the supplies wing, and the rehab wing. Somewhere in the center is a compilation of rooms that seem to have no specific purpose, but are available for gathering and conversing. Often, this is the first area a newcomer will see—unless they are rushed to the operational rooms.

The operational rooms are simple: rounded rooms, large enough for a small team of equines, with a raised stone slab in the center. More often than not, there is room for a fire nearby as well—encased in iron, to protect the trees the Hospital dwells in. Rough kits are provided in every room: thin bone needles and sinew thread for stitching, rags and poultices for staunching blood, potions to manage pain, crude scalpels made of stone, and all kinds of salves and bandages. Although the materials themselves may be crude, the healers of Terrastella know their craft well, and many will find themselves in capable hands within these rooms.

After a visit to the operational theaters, an equine will likely find themselves shuffled to a nearby recovery room next. These rooms are more simple than the previous: supplied with a low bed stuffed with straw and wool, with sparse pillows and bedding for comfort. Again, a place for a fire pit is supplied within most rooms to provide warmth, as are rags for cooling fevered patients. Bandages and salves for dressing changes are hidden in cabinets built into the tree trunks. These rooms, unlike the operational rooms, are built with windows that look out over the Tinea Swamp—the view is often of skies and the tops of canopies, but nearly all rooms face the west, and therefore the brilliant sunsets that light up the Terrastellan horizon.

Nearby are the supply rooms. These rooms are small and filled with bookshelves and cabinets, hosting every kind of potion, salve, bandage, and tool a healer could need. Herbs grow in clay pots often hung from the ceiling or place in windowsills, ready to be clipped and put to use. Additionally, there are dozens of scrolls and books detailing medical procedures, diseases, cures, proper handling of patients, and more. These rooms may be small, but they’re filled to the brim with information and remedies. It’s imperative for those who call the Hospital home to keep these rooms organized—the ability to find a specific ingredient or excerpt may mean the difference between life, and death.

The final wing hosts the rehabilitation rooms. These are the biggest of rooms within the tree buildings, and also the easiest to access and move around. The floors are heavily carpeted with moss, water supply is abundant, and the rooms are often oval in shape. Here is where the patients can begin their true recovery after serious injuries or ailments, regaining their strength and their functionality. An often overlooked part of medicine, these rooms are more often used for hosting games and contests between the healers and patients than truly exercising. But joy is also medicine, is it not?

Lily Flowers
These flowers have not been planted by mistake. They’re designed to lead horses to the hospital; dispersed at the edges of the swamp, they all gradually lead to the very center, helping disoriented travelers find their way to safety.

Not only do these flowers form a path, but any who might nibble on their petals will find both a pleasant taste—and a distinct feeling of pain alleviation. The petals work as an analgesic, the stems as an anti inflammatory medication. These flowers are invaluable to the hospital and its healers—and often, serve as the symbol for them, the famed Ilati—and for Vespera herself, the goddess of Terrastella.

Gondola Lifts
The only way into the main floors of the Hospital is via lifts. The lifts are often obscured, hidden in the foliage above—but are able to descend at a moments notice. They work as a pulley system, ropes and thick swamp vines supporting wooden crates, baskets, and planks to carry equines into the treetops. Each of these will bring the horses they carry into a general “holding” room—where they may be evaluated for security reasons, or whisked away into an operating room for healing.

Supply Rooms
The supply rooms boast every herb known to horse, found and collected from all over Novus. Some have even been shipped in from across seas—these are used sparingly, for supply is low, and they are often difficult to attain.

Connected rooms boast cauldrons and tables meant for mixing potions, salves, and poultices, for grinding up herbs and creating the best of medicines to patients in need. The lemur-like helpers are adept at creating these elixirs on their own; for much of their work, their is no recipe to follow, only their minds and ingenuity, instilled in them by the goddess who created them.

Healing Helpers
These lemur-like creatures have vibrant green eyes and distinct rings on their tails. They come in a variety of muted colors, but several also boast streaks of green or yellow in their fur, mottled to camouflage them in the swamp.

These creatures were created by Vespera, equipped with opposable thumbs to make them the perfect companions for healing and potion-making. These animals are more than happy to help the doctors of the hospital—but also are they perfectly happy to nap on the beds of healing patients, lounging in the sun let in through windows. They cannot speak the same common tongue as the equines, but they do like to chatter and can mimic tones and expressions. When happy, they purr almost as distinctly as a cat; and nothing makes them happier than a happy (and healthy) patient.