Mirrored from Sythyry.
Some time afterwards, and not long before midnight, Estertherio’s day as Summoner was over. She headed off to the Count of Muskrat’s Head, a pleasant sort of tavern half a block from the Healer’s Guild headquarters in Vheshrame, and where the guildmasters gather to confer, discuss, complain, relax, recline, incline, decline, confine, undermine, determine, sine, countersign, cosine, and, of course, go off on tangents.
“You would not believe the day,” she conferred, discussed, complained, relaxed, and etc.ed to the other guildmasters. “This and that happened which was all very serious, so that I did not get my morning meal until after sunout! This plate of roast meat and raisins I am devouring is my luncheon, and it is not long before midnight! And after that — a pile of minor cases! Imagine, a poor farmer’s cosi who lost an antenna — just one — and wants to get it put back on! I hate wasting my own time on impossibilities like that when there are so many serious patients that need attention. Or so much roast meat and raisins who need it at least as much!”
Spurffle, the eldest waiter of the Count of Muskrat’s Head, said, “Your pardon, master-healer, but if you plan to heal that roast, the cook will be sure to break a bottle of fine old Marque Datal over your head. She worked harder on that roast than you worked on any three patients today, and she won’t have her roast unroasted by the likes of a child like you.” He is older than everyone else but me, and feel obliged to be as rude as possible about it.
I poked my head out of the fireplace. I am not often found in Vheshrame anymore, and, even when I lived there, I didn’t spend that much time with the Healers’ Guild. But I was back, trying and failing to arrange for Kismirth’s guild chapter to get a teacher for a year or so. “The solution is obvious to all! The Healer’s Guild of Vheshrame should procure, by honest means involving a great outpouring of lozens to a convenient enchanter, a talisman which reattaches severed limbs!”
Estertherio frowned. “That’s not really the problem: nearly any master-healer could merely reattach the curst thing. Making it useful, now, that’s the slobbering fish of sorrow.” (Yes, she really said ‘slobbering fish of sorrow.’) “And it’s not so much the reattaching of an antenna alone, but the reattaching of a lost finger, ear, toe, hand, foot, tail, penis, tentacle, or what have you.”
“I, personally, have most of those, and wings as well,” I noted.
“Right, wings. And each of those requires a different spell, does it not, master-healer?” She said that “master-healer” in a rather disparaging way, as one does to a fellow guildsman whom one is annoyed with but does not wish to directly spew disrespectful invective upon. The Vheshrame guild isn’t entirely happy with me: perhaps because I devote more time to my other guilds than to them, perhaps because my healerly activities are mostly enchantments which the guild has trouble charging for. (Consider a device which can heal wounds as often as you like. How do you charge for a single use of it? Once you have the device, it costs no extra to use it. But the device is hideously expensive to make, even if I had foregone my profit, which I did not in that instance — so they have to charge for the use of it, somehow. And that’s a spell which nobody else in the Vheshrame chapter can cast at all, making it particularly embarrassing to have around.) Or perhaps because I am a joyous and blatant pervert, of course.
“I’m sure there’s some way to do it all with a single device,” I said. This opinion is based on sound theoretical principles of advanced magic.
“If you can make a device that does it all, you’re a better enchanter than I had imagined, master-healer!”
“I am a better enchanter than you had imagined, master-healer,” I said, musing that with my fairly-newly-acquired Glory of Mircannis, I could probably manage it.
“Well, don’t go making that particular toy until you’ve made us a full set of all the actually life-saving devices we could possibly want,” said Estertherio. “We have enough serious and hard work to do without wasting our time on cosmetics.”
“They’re only cosmetics until your boyfriend’s penis needs reattaching,” said someone who may remain nameless. “Then they’re essential.”
“You are certainly a cruder enchanter than I could imagine, master-healer,” said Estertherio.
Which seemed like a good time to get out of the fireplace, pay my tab, and see if the Rassimel I was trying to meet with had gotten back to the guildhall yet. None of the healers, including me, spared a thought for Elecampagne. That sort of injury happens — not often, but too often. And one cannot go about healing it every time, much as one would actually like to, so one must become callous about it.