Section I: Spells
Section II: Blessings
Section III: Magical Appliances
“A body ravaged with pain, wrecked by disease or wound – ‘tis nought but an insult to the gods! Man, elf, dwarf, they were created to be the perfect embodiments of the divine spirits. Granted they were the blessed breath of life, the marvelous gift of mind. Should that be devoured by awful demons of the likes of sickness?
“Nay, I say, it shan’t be thus!
“What the gods have created shan’t be destroyed, not while a cleric draws breath, not while a single mortal’s soul be consecrated to the divine! All priests, all sacred souls must strive to right what was wronged, to heal the body and cure the mind – to restore the divine image of what the mortal should be!
“Healing, ‘tis the most noble, the most fundamental cause of the clergy, and if it were the only ability of ours, it’d be all we should hope for.”
“I have often wondered why it is that all the gods have granted their followers the ability to heal. All the gods, that is, except for those too bent on destruction themselves to care about curing ill. For all I know, Shenaumac or Taurquemad have probably perverted the ability to heal into something that allows their clerics to inflict disease!
“But that is not what I wish to write about. The majority of gods known to us has indeed included the power to heal in the abilities bestowed upon their clerics, in varying intensity. The followers of Darawk are the weakest in this regard, as they cannot heal much more than a few scratches, and for that they need the aid of sacred liquids sprinkled on the wound. Priests of Sayguel require a breeze of fresh air – their god’s element – to heal, and the best results they achieve during flight. I have heard that on a Cayaborean airship, a cleric of Sayguel once managed to regrow a hand that had been severed by the machinery. Such a task is ordinarily far beyond this order’s power, yet the air may have improved their ability.
“Alyssian priests are among the higher classes of healers who do not require any physical aids to cure disease – yet many illnesses are beyond them as well.
“Only the clerics devoted to Decalleigh have the power to cure all physical ill known to us.
“Of course most readers will object at this point since they know that none of their local Decalleigh priests has ever regrown an entire arm of a patient or even raised someone from death. The reader needs to be reminded, I fear, that not all priests are equal, and that their abilities grow with their experience – and incidentally their ascension in the priesthood. The power of resurrection is open only to the highest levels of the clergy – and I believe that at this time there are only some ten or twelve people alive who belong to these levels. The absolute power of healing is almost never encountered, and perhaps that is for the better.
“Be that as it may, the gods do care enough about the mortals to cure them. I have heard some of the older priests speak of the blessed sanctity of the mortal body that must not be corrupted by disease; the high priest of my own temple is liable to talk about this for hours, preferably without allowing his interlocutor the chance to say a single word.
“As you, dear reader, may infer, I am not quite convinced of this explanation. There have been too many occasions in our history where gods have inflicted pain on us mortals, including plagues that destroyed entire nations. And I am not talking about vile deities such as Shenaumac, oh, no. My own Dicerius, the highest of the gods, the Lord of Eternal Justice, once sent the plague of the boils to the city of Azogaras, to punish the citizens for their blasphemy when they had tried to raise a new god in Dicerius’ stead. It was a just cause, and a just punishment, considering the blood the Azogaranians had shed in their evil quest – yet a god inflicted disease. A god himself corrupted the bodies supposedly sanctified.
“No, that sanctity cannot be sufficient reason. If that were the case, would it not also mean that, say, Darawk cares less about this sanctity than Alyssa? Or is that merely the reflection of this god’s weakness?
“I fear that I am not wise enough to offer any answer sufficient to you, dear reader. The facts are known to you as well as to me, yet the reasons… Well, it is a matter of the gods, and their reason is divine.
“The answer I have found for myself, as simplistic as it may be, is that I accept the care of the gods. Are we not their children? And is it not any parent’s wish to see his or her children grow up healthy and strong? That is what I believe, and that is why I cherish the gods.”