PLAYED BY: Catherine Butzen
CHARACTER NAME: Manetho
AGE: Upper 20s
RACE: Feral Syndar
HAIR: Brown, messy braids
EYES: Gray, lined with tribal paint
OCCUPATION: She is a healer by trade, a wanderer who moves from settlement to settlement trading on her skills. A mendicant medic, if you will. She is not a member of any organization.
KNOWN SKILLS: It is difficult for disease to touch her. She is a healer, which brings along with it minor skills such as sewing, bandage-weaving, and mixing medications. She is literate, after a fashion, and she carries a book or two of notes she made. She is a decent illustrator, at least when it comes to medical phenomena. She is not bad with a knife.
BIRTHPLACE: Mardrun, unnamed patch of woods.
APPEARANCE: Mixed Feral/tribal and cold-weather adapted. Manetho’s tribe originally hailed from the outskirts of the May’Kar Dominion, and even on Mardrun still incorporated elements of portions of that culture, such as heavy eye paint (to cut down on the sun’s glare), white or brown linen clothing, or bits of leopard fur. Currently Manetho wears a brown dress slit up the sides to make for easy running, hosen with armored patches, boots, a long-sleeved tunic, a necklace of humanoid teeth, a leather hip protector sewn with the totem image of a lizard, and a few other belts and odds and ends. (She also has a leopard skin that functions as a cloak.—–Pending Herald approval)
NOTABLE TRAITS: Tribal paint, pointed ears, standoffish/blank expression.
RELATIONSHIPS: Manetho’s real relationships are few. She tends to be cordial with current companions, maternal with patients currently under her care, and brusque or sarcastic with patients who aren’t attending to their own aftercare once they’re off her mat. It’s difficult for her to form friendships, though, because not only does she tend to always move on and leave people behind, she was raised in a very different environment from most others and may not catch jokes or understand their tones and expressions. She currently travels with a group of sellswords interested in aiding the coalition, and is friendly with them, but not friends. However, if she finds someone equally interested in learning or healing, she can carry on a conversation for hours.
RUMORS: The rumors, if they reach this far from where they originated, call her Manetho Corpsecutter. Her self-taught medical knowledge comes from two things: 1) extensive practice, and 2) willingness to dissect dead bodies. In places where the dead are burned, this is obviously somewhat taboo. She gets around this by retrieving unclaimed bodies from battlefields and working out in the wilderness where few will see her, but even so, people tend to think it’s abnormal. “Corpsecutter” was originally a derisive name slapped on her by a dissatisfied patient who claimed she was only good at treating the dead, but it’s been hanging around despite her attempts to dodge it. Some people might say she’s a necromancer, or cuts up bodies because she enjoys it, while in fact she does not.
BIO/ BACKGROUND HISTORY:
Manetho was born on Mardrun, but she grew up surrounded by relics of the world that had been lost. Her tribe was made up of nomadic feral Syndar who once roamed the edges of the May’Kar Dominion, holding themselves apart from most of its customs but nevertheless feeling a strong connection to the desert (and a grudging, all-right-they’re-here-too-we-have-to-put-up-with-them tolerance for the humans who also lived there). But it was a tenuous existence to start with. The thirty-five-year period of large-scale war up until the May’Kar betrayal didn’t help.
Her tribe didn’t see the great betrayal coming, but they could see that the end was nigh and knew that they—perpetual outsiders at the best of times, with no protector and no ability to get one—weren’t going to fare well in the finale. It saddened them, but they packed up and left the dry lands, exploiting their small numbers to slip through the enemy lines. There had to be someplace free of the undead plague … Except there wasn’t. After fleeing from country to devastated country, what was left of the tribe eventually took ship for Mardrun with the rest of the refugees.
Making the transition from desert-dwellers to the forests of their new land was difficult. Manetho was born into a tribe whose totem animals she had never seen in real life and whose customary clothes were strange even to the few May’Kar refugees they met. Still, her family was loving enough, and many feral Syndar had always been isolated from the people around them, so being the odd men out was hardly new. The tribe traveled in a broad circuit around the colonized lands, mostly living by foraging and by trading the goods they made, embroidered leatherwork and weavings which fetched decent prices among the people of the Colonies and some of the Ulven. Manetho, quick enough and strong, believed she’d grow up to become one of their roving hunters.
When she was half-grown, the tribe was devastated by sickness. It would later be written down in her books as the White Plague: victims suffered a fever, sweats, swollen glands, and finally virulent white lesions that left thick scarring when (if) they healed. Manetho fell ill with most of the others, but she had a mild case and survived, gaining an immunity to the disease in the process. The healthy couldn’t get near the sick without risking infection, but something had to be done for them, so Manetho was sent into the quarantine tent to clean and care for them. The tribe’s healers would stand outside the tent and shout instructions, leaving Manetho to be their surrogate hands inside. She performed primitive wound cleansings and tissue excisions as well as preparing poultices and trying to calm the fevered patients.
By the time the plague was over, there wasn’t much of a tribe left. The exhausted Syndar looked at their tiny handful of remaining folk and, essentially, called it quits: the gods were trying to tell them that the tribe was finished, and they were going to listen. They split up. Some joined other tribes, struck out on their own, or went to the towns for work.
Manetho had her own plans. Watching everyone die had left her with a deep, haunting fear of plague, and after weeks of nightmares, the last remaining shaman told her she had been chosen by an old spirit animal of theirs—the lizard, the creature of healing, poison, and dreams. Manetho adopted the lizard as her totem and chose a new path for herself. She was going to go out into the world and learn as much as she could about healing, and if she was lucky, she could help other colonists survive the way her tribe couldn’t.
Plague was her initial focus, but the rising conflicts between the various factions led her to gravitate towards battlefields. Combat medics were always needed and, more importantly, there were ample opportunities to learn what the body could and couldn’t survive. For over ten years Manetho drifted, lending her growing skills where she could and filling books of notes with her observations on anatomy, disease, wounds, medicines, and medical theory. Battlefields were also the best places to find the dead she needed to practice on.
Ultimately, Manetho became a skilled healer with somewhat odd mannerisms, a good bedside manner, a motley collection of tools and practices, and a driving need above all to learn.
She’s also isolated from most people, even other feral Syndar. Her tribe’s nostalgia for the old country has made her somewhat derisive on the subject, and losing them relatively young means she wasn’t fully taught what many other Syndar know.