The Way of the Artisan

A day in the life of an Artisan was a day to remember. The Alarian “Artisan” was Earth’s equivalent of a doctor, surgeon, aesthetician and nutritionist, all under one hat. That meant Lady Saah could treat your secret gonorrhoea and stitch your ears back on in a single sitting!

As keeper to the Golden Goose Mending Practice, Lady Saah was one of the most visited Artisans in the tri-urban area of Solidago, Palmatto and Emergente. No regular Healer could restore rotten flesh or reattach disembodied limbs quite as well as Lady Saah, and her herbalist-in-training, Vivian Amberville.

Matijas, Lady Saah’s only son, would sometimes help with sorting through his mother’s supply of herbs, while Vivian was tasked with arranging by category the many phials, jars and flagons of macerated plants and healing brews in the Artisan’s Haijk.

Every once in a while, Vivian would be allowed to assist the Artisan in more delicate procedures, such as concocting antidotes to common venoms, cleaning wounds or reattaching severed limbs.

As a rule, Vivian merely had to deal with simple put-me-sword-in-but-missed-me-sheath kind of scenarios, but every once in a while came the man with a respectable black eyes and fifty-six arrows in his back, vouching he missed a step going downwards.

‘Used to be knives, now arrows. Honestly now, third time in a waiting we’ve pulled projectiles out of that one,’ Vivian sighed. ‘Can’t the poor man take a hint his marriage is over?’

‘A mere blessing in disguise, dear,’ smiled Lady Saah. ‘Farmer Klint Arget is a regular. Delivers the Haijk quite the steady flow of income.’

Other times, Vivian was merely responsible for brewing a Featherweight Philtre. It was a potion that turned a patient temporarily weightless for long enough to be placed on a stretcher.

‘Reckon, dear, you got the concentration wrong on that one,’ said Lady Saah, pointing at the patient floating face-up against the ceiling.

Vivian scratched her forehead. ‘Lucky I got him tethered,’ she pointed at the foot-long cord tied to his leg, ‘or he would’ve floated away into the stratosphere.’

The worst Vivian had ever done was to give the wrong diagnosis or apply the wrong treatment. As to that, she treated Old Man Jimakki for testicular crabs instead of intestinal worms; told a recent leg amputee to “walk it off”; treated a woman for acute paranoia instead of food poisoning; gave a little boy a voodoo doll instead of a therapeutic puppet; and even told the man suffering from short blackouts that he just had a “blinking” problem.

Reality, however, had a knack for keeping things in balance. This is why Vivian Amberville never completed her Artisanship training. The universe found it safer that Vivian learned how to manipulate into the fabric of reality than attempt to cure another person again.

- Louise Blackwick

Advent 2017