The Story of Heronymous
Many non-Thooms, and even a fair number of my fellow Thooms think swamps and marshes are insect ridden awful places that they avoid visiting, let alone living in. But they would be mistaken at least about Meadowmarsh. Water flow in most places is fast enough to discourage insects, and where it isnt, the larvae provide excellent food for the local fish and other aquatic animals. Ok, so there were quite a few bugs. But some of the butterflies were so beautiful that seeing them made it worth enduring the mosquitoes.
The reputation has proved an advantage. Conquerors avoided our territory, afraid of monsters, diseases and slow travel. The best that Emperor Mobius could do was have a minor garrison at the outskirts, which we could easily avoid.
My family did not move here for political reasons, but rather the aforementioned aquatic life. My parents ran (and still run as far as I know) a successful fish farm. Just put up some nets and stock the area. The ambient water flow brings in nutrients and washes away the waste. Supplemented with harvested plants and hunted land animals, it was quite a comfortable living.
I enjoyed my time at the farm, even with the hard work. It was a wonderful place to grow up. But when I went on a trip to the local university to help my father negotiate a supply contract, they immediately saw that I had a talent for healing. So I enrolled. Cafeteria food in general wasnt the greatest, but I couldnt complain about the fish!
After graduating, I got a job as a ships surgeon. Spending time with, let me put it tactfully, less polite members of society definitely put a harder edge on the basically gentle aquacultural personality I had formed up to then.
But I found out soon enough that there are far more cruel beings. For one day our merchant ship was attacked by pirates. We fought as well as we could, but we were out-manned and far more out-armed. My entire crew was killed or captured. The only reason I survived to this day is that we did enough damage to the pirates that they needed a healer. After a time, I became useful enough to the pirates that I was able to bargain for the freedom of my few remaining shipmates.
Cruel as the pirates were, the sea can be crueler yet. Shortly after freeing my friends, (I had to stay with the pirates, it was part of the deal) the pirate ship got caught in a storm. We tried to get away but it was too late. So we tried riding it out. Would have worked too, except that these islands got in the way. I managed to separate myself after the crash and found my way to Puddleby.
I was glad to find fellow healers here, and eventually found a clan that would accept my somewhat independent spirit. In fact, I helped found ThoomCare.
While I have seen and killed several Darshak, I have yet to see any of my former pirate shipmates. I have no particular hatred towards them, I was treated fairly well. I am under no illusion, they treated me well because I was more useful that way. The only hatred I have is toward rats. Rats make my job as healer harder and spread disease.
Lately, I have been in the library a lot, but I hope to soon be able to roam the lands in search of the wounded to heal. Spirit linking and/or donations are welcome, but are strictly optional. Although Glory has deemed me worthy of being in the third circle, I have yet to save enough to afford a caduceus.
Copyright © 2000 Brian P. McCarty, all rights reserved
However, this story may appear on the ThoomCare website, and in the ClanLord book.
If it appears on other ClanLord story pages, I would like to be notified.
Thoom healer Heronymous is a founding member of ThoomCare.
June 20, 2000