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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.
shining_valor: tacticiansshining_valor on September 11th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
Another point that can be considered is the fact that the clergy have a monopoly on healing

Well they don't entirely. After all magic users (e.g. Lute, Saleh, Ewan) can learn to use healing staves in the game and I've usually assumed in fics they could do some healing as well even if they weren't as efficient as the professional healers. I imagine it takes a lot of training and experience to be proficient.

I do agree on the point that it would take training and experience to become proficient in the use of magic of any type.

I'm also of the opinion that anyone in Magvel could become a magic user of any type, provided they studied. This is based on the supports where two complete idiots throw around magic that not only produces fire, but also heals. And the funny part of it, IIRC they used a stave for both effects. Which would be partly why I consider staves more foci than absolute necessity. I would say that they allow for more efficient healing than trying to cast the magic without.

As for the monopoly part, please consider that although party mages can use staves after their class upgrades, who is it that you see starting out with healing magic? Clerics. No other class deals with this until afterwards and seems almost an afterthought. It could make interesting food for thought to figure out exactly how they manage to work training for healing into the mages while battling through the continent.