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07 September 2011 @ 11:13 pm
Meta Month, Day 7: The Limits of Healing  
After having to deal with a very displeased digestive system last night, I found myself thinking about healing staves and what they can and can't do. It seems pretty well established in FE8 anyway, that staves can heal injures but not illnesses. After all, nothing can be done for Vigarde, and when Lyon talks about his research with the Dark Stone he goes on to say "Maybe we can use it not only to heal wounds, but also to stop diseases." So staves work on injuries. Okay.

Even when it comes to injuries, we know staves can't fix everything. Lyon mentions using the Stone to treat a burn victim who couldn't be helped by staves. There's the matter of Seth's wound that he says hasn't fully healed. And then there's the bit where L'Arachel offers to heal Ephraim's scars. Now, why can a staff heal a scar but not help Seth's wound?

When I write fic, one of the most important things I try to do in terms of battles is not make things too easy. If staves are a cure-all then there's little risk to the characters. I like to write it so that really serious injures, even if they can be healed by staves, may require several treatments over a period of days. Probably how soon the wound is treated affects how well the treatments works. I also think some wounds can't be treated. I you lose an eye on the battlefield that's that; it's gone. If your leg gets crushed to a pulp by a wyvern, there's not going to be enough material for the staff to reconstruct and they're going to have to amputate. Healing is also draining to staff users so I imagine a lot of triage has to be done when there's a whole army to treat.

As for the scars, my guess is that since that's only a cosmetic detail, then perhaps that's a simple matter to heal.
 
 
 
saffiremoon21saffiremoon21 on September 8th, 2011 03:50 am (UTC)
That's actually really super interesting and makes me think about a lot of the healing in fantasy novels. Is it explained well at all in Harry Potter, what can and cannot be healed?

I know in Wheel of Time they basically say that the only thing that can't be Healed is death, but it's very rare to find anyone who can heal more than a few scratches and it's quite wearying to both the healer and the patient. I always imagined staves worked somewhat like that, especially considering the healers are all rather...lightweight.
wolfraven80: FE: RD - Rhys - cutewolfraven80 on September 8th, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)
I don't remember anything detailed about healing in HP. The only thing I can recall off the top is that Harry had to take a potion in book two, iirc, to heal a broken bone and it took several hours and was fairly painful. It's been such a long while since I've read them...

As for FE, Natasha's supports mention her getting drained and collapsing after doing a lot of healing so it does seem to work that way in FE8 anyway.