Hands of the Healer

The Tantûraki

© Lowell R. Matthews

Version 2.0, May 27, 1997*
Version 2.1, prepared for The Guild Companion, July 1999

The Tantûraki people of the land which bears their name are the proud (indeed, often over-proud) descendants of the mighty mariners of Númenor and the indigenous Usakani, a people related to the Mûmakani. The nation of Tantûrak was founded as a Númenórean colony in about S.A. 1800 as the most southerly such colony on the continent of Endor proper. It was ruled by a Númenórean royal governor for 1200 years, until the arrival of the "Magician" who became the governor's adviser in 3000 S.A. (He was actually one of the Elven Lords of the Court of Ardor.) Forty years later the royal governor declared independence for Tantûrak and proclaimed himself its first king. Since that time the government of Tantûrak under the influence of the Magician has suffered a steady decline into corruption, while the spiritual condition of the Númenórean colonists, ever more intermingled with their Usakani subjects, has shifted downwards from disdain to hatred and jealousy of the Elves and Kirani and an ever increasing embrace of the Dark Religion.

Prior to the Númenórean conquest, the Usakani were a primitive Mannish people closely related to the Mûmakani and of a similar nature and level of culture. Since the conquest, after which the Númenóreans formed the upper classes of Tantûrak, the two cultures and races have mingled considerably into one more or less uniform Tantûraki culture. This process was accelerated by the Númenóreans' aloofness and voluntary relative isolation from the rest of the Mûmakan subcontinent, although trade flourishes with many countries near and far, including at times as far as Gondor.

The Tantûraki follow the wide variety of professions common to most advanced countries, and the economy is sufficiently diversified as to support many professionals. Practitioners of the healing arts are many and varied, from simple village goodwives through skilled midwives and surgeons to powerful spell-users (SU's). Most of the latter are of course concentrated in the capital, Sarûl, other large population centers, or the Númenórean estates of the nobility. A rivalry, usually friendly but sometimes not, has emerged between the Houses of Healing, whose members are typically midwives or SU Healers, and the College of Surgeons, whose members are typically surgeons or SU Lay Healers. Both guilds actively search for potentially talented youngsters to fill their apprentice needs.

Many Tantûraki SU's or Semi-SU's have access to healing magics. But while these individuals and most ordinary Tantûraki know basic first aid for a wide variety of injuries and diseases (about one rank per level), a bit about diagnostics (about one rank per two levels), and know that diseases can be spread by unsanitary conditions and even insects, they generally leave the rest to the professionals. The midwives and surgeons build on that base, and Tantûraki SU Healers and Lay Healers are truly sophisticated. Unfortunately, most Tantûraki SU's, particularly the Channelers, are devotees of the Dark Religion. Sample packages of relevant skills:

Midwife (Professional, L5)Ranks
Animal Healing9
First Aid12
Herb Lore9
Sanity Healing Lore12
Second Aid6
Surgeon (Professional, L5)Ranks
Animal Healing12
First Aid15
Herb Lore6
Sanity Healing Lore6
Second Aid15

Due to the isolationist tendencies of the Tantûraki, it is quite difficult for outsiders (i.e. adventurers) to even enter Tantûrak in the first place, at least outside of the royally commissioned and established trading zones in Sarûl and a few other cities. Nevertheless, within those zones (or outside them with the proper written permissions) travelers find healing in Tantûrak as easily as anywhere else in Endor-for a price, of course. And is dealing with the Dark ever safe?

The land of Tantûrak is a vast forest broken only by rivers and the clearings made by the Tantûraki. Most of the realm, especially the south and east, is classic tropical rain forest, while the forests of the north and west are somewhat cooler and therefore more mixed, including deciduous trees. Southeast of Sarûl, the flora and fauna are those typically found in climate code h and terrain codes F, J, and O, with minor occurrences of B, D, and V. The slightly cooler climate to the northwest has a great variety of flora and fauna from climate codes h and m and terrain codes D, F, J, and O, with minor occurrences of B, U, and V. Healers of various professions will almost certainly be very well supplied with native herbs and will have a good chance of possessing herbs from other climates through widespread trade. One herb unique to Tantûrak after its own fashion is called athalth˘r or Tantûrak athelas, a close relative of the athelas originally brought from the cooler regions of Númenor and now adapted to the tropics. It is potentially as effective as the Númenórean or northern variety, but this effectiveness has diminished with the dilution of the Númenórean bloodlines and knowledge. The following herbs, poisons, or raw materials may be found in the wild:

h-JKarfar (P)
h-JMurnan or Murtan (P)
h-JUmakilis (P)
h-OPentanoth (P)
h-VGrarig, Greater
m-DCathaana (P)
m-DCathaana Nolgurth (P)
m-OJitsu (P)
m-OSarnumen (P)
m-UJegga (P)
m-UJeggarukh (P)

A number of herbs which can be found wild in Tantûrak are in actual practice imported from Hathor, where they are heavily cultivated; the best examples are klynyk, tharm, and vessin.

* Submission to Iron Crown Enterprises. Source: Terry K. Amthor, The Court of Ardor (Berkeley, CA: © Tolkien Enterprises, 1983).

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