Saturday, March 24, 2018

Monvesian Culture: Goliath Medicine

Medicine Work is nearest thing that goliath culture has to a religious tradition.  It is a profession that focuses on the purification and healing of the mind, body, and spirit--particularly in relation to the prevention, isolation, and eradication of taint.  This tradition incorporates several "sciences," represented by archetypes of several different classes.

Medicine Terminology

As a while, those who practice goliath Medicine are called Medicine Workers.  One's particular science could be specified instead--such as Physical Worker, Mortal Worker, Internal Worker, etc.  Following the "Tier of Play" model, levels of expertise are also noted:

  • First Tier, Medicine Student
  • Second Tier, Medicine Worker
  • Third Tier, Medicine Elder
  • Fourth Tier, Medicine Chief
The title "Elder" is common among goliaths.  While on its own it is used to denote the leader of a settled clan, it will also appear with a modifier (such as "Medicine Elder") to denote the chief authority in the clan in that area of expertise.  These latter elders are secondary to the clan's Elder, and may even serve to advise the Elder.  Similarly, the Medicine Chiefs are known to serve as a tribe's highest authority, and to advise that tribe's Patriarch.
A derogatory term used by outsiders is “witch doctor.”

The Sciences

Each of the Sciences of goliath Medicine evolved from processes related to treating and/or preventing the spread of Taint.  As these practices evolved and became codified, they became independent of each other, remaining under the broad practice of Medicine Work.

The Physical Sciences are those which pertain to physical health and wellness.  Physical workers are healers of both the body and the mind.

The Mortal Sciences are those which pertain to the protection and preservation of corpses.  Mortal workers can still heal the living, but specialize in caring for the dead.
Medicine worker clerics do not use the traditional holy symbols of other clerics.  Instead, it is through their medicinal implements that they may focus their energy.  In particular is their rod of iron, similar in length to a wand, that is flat on both ends and magnetized.
Mechanically, Channel Divinity works no different for Physical and Mortal Workers than it does for any other Cleric.  Thematically, however, the Medicine worker isn't channeling divinity, but demonstrating scientific principles.  The act of turning undead, for instance, utilizes powders and/or incense that the undead find repugnant.
The Internal Sciences are those which pertain to mind-over-body and the perfection of self.  By perfecting one's self, an Internal worker learns how to help perfect others.

The External Sciences are those which pertain to manipulating the fores of nature.  External workers hope to contain the Taint by controlling the environment around them.

The Martial Sciences are those which defend the innocent untainted from tainted aggressors.  Martial workers make the most use of the occult sciences, affecting spells through the manipulation of esoteric correspondences.
Martial workers use the same "medicinal focus" as Physical and Mortal workers--a magnetized rod of iron.

Why do Goliaths Not Have a Religion?

Life under the rule of the HMDJVNW was one of forced obedience and obligatory ritual.  After their revolt, the humans sought to fill this void in their society with similar practices--first with teh Cult of Human Perseverance, and later with the Temperamental Orders.  Goliaths, on the other hand, did not see their culture as suffering from a void.  They saw the HMDJVNW cult as a poison that continued to ravage their society in the form of the Taint.  At the time of their revolution, while about 10% of humans were orcs, nearly 1/3 of goliaths were ogres.  Curing this Taint was the goliaths' first priority; and divorcing themselved from the cultural elements that they perceived were responsible for it was second.

Though not a technologically advanced society (no more than the other races of Monvesia), goliaths do have an unmatched knowledge of both physiological and psychological medicine.  From the on set of their independent culture, they allowed their healers complete freedom from dogma and taboo.  If it meant curing their race, then any methods would be explored

Goliath Rites of Passage

Medicine workers do not solemnize weddings, rites of passage, or funerals.  Their involvement in these areas is purely clinical--such as serving as undertakers handling corpses before and after funerals. These areas of goliath society belong to their judges and chief judges (in the case of weddings, adoptions, divorces, etc.), or their elders and patriarchs (in the case of rites of passage and funerals).

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