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I, Magir Linschoten, am recently arrived to the port moon of Aog, to fill the post of chief chirurgeon in the port's largest mercy-house, the Alburae.
On Aog, while the priestly classes deal with matters spiritual, the Qaidyas look to the ailments of the body. The Qaidyas, of course, practice Eyuridea and as with Eyuridic physicians elsewhere they had reached their heyday centuries before my arrival. Inbreeding, blind and unquestioning obedience to ancient texts and a failure to innovate have gradually diminished their capabilities. They are still held in great regard for all that, and many local customs honour them. Not least of these is their entitlement to wear a special broad-brimmed hat hung with chimes that is forbidden to all others. I have determined to win myself a Qaidya's hat to prove my ability to the natives.
The sicknesses and diseases of Aog that are most common come with the change of the seasons and the weather. There is a sickness called mordexijn that steals upon the men it weakens, making them cast out all that is inside their bodies and oft times their lives as well. The bloody flux is very common and as dangerous as the plague. They have many continual fevers that are burning agues that consume men such that within four or five days they are whole or dead. This sickness is very common and dangerous, but the natives do cure it with herbs and ointments. I have petitioned the elder Qaidya to teach me this recipe, but the Qaidites are as jealous of their recipes as they are of their newborn sons.
The Alburae is filled to bursting point. They lie in the corridors and between the bunks in the ward. The street outside is filled with those too poor to gain admittance. A hot fever-wind has blown from the hills for weeks without surcease. Men fall in the streets and are dead before they can crawl to their homes. The sweet scent of putrefaction hangs over everything, a thick and evil cloud that saps the will and dulls the mind. While the Qaidyas send up prayers with their drums, I have tried every method of treatment known to me; I have dispensed every medicine and tincture I have mixed since my days of apprenticeship. All of it avails me naught. Day by day the corpse-piles grow higher.
Uzao, the master of Qaidyas came to the Alburae this morn. He is a wizened old creature with a hat so broad that his attendants bore its chiming brim aloft on poles. He laughed aloud at our efforts and told me the Lord of Flies would show mercy only when his tally was fully made. In desperation I beseeched him for his aid and a clear understanding of the all-destroying ague no matter the cost. I feel my humility and my heartfelt plea must have moved him for he has promised to conduct me to his ceremonies and show to me his secret power.
A miracle! The terrible plague is broken, ebbing away as if it were the Great Lake at low tide. Men on the brink of death awaken as if from a fevered dream, stand and walk from the Alburae showing no hint of sickness. Uzao's wisdom astounds me, his view of the body not in anatomical terms but in aetheric ones revealing the folly of my prior thinking. A man must be treated whole, in body and spirit both, to pave the way for his survival. The unction that Uzao has taught me, a simple blessing of his primitive gods, wields greater curative powers than anything I have witnessed previously. I have sworn not to speak of the sights I saw so I restrain myself only to this - I have come to an apotheosis of mind and spirit.
I have found records that Dr. Linschoten travelled widely on Aog before his eventual death. In his travels he spread rots and agues without number through the pricking of patients with infected instruments and the dispensing of contaminated potions. His notions of treatment through exposure exceeded sanity to the point where he cultivated the diseases of those in his charge as a farmer tends his crops, more solicitous of the distempers themselves than the mortal flesh that bore them.
— Interrogator Jorgan Malpire, during his investigations of the Aog Port-Moon
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