In the very earliest days of the settling of the Mec’ari, a young giant devoted heart and soul to the healing arts and the eternal powers that sought to bring peace and well-being to his people decided to establish a two-fold method of caring for the afflicted. Aurun’, they called him, meaning caretaker, in reference to the mortal experience they shared, established a house of healing where the afflicted may be brought, as well as a service to take healing to others or to bring them back where they might be healed. As he grew in the grace of his divine benefactor, he chose to eschew some of the daily prayer favor of his god for an ability to heal those he touched and eventually all those in his presence. This allowed him to provide greater healing, even while sleeping, and to focus his active healing efforts on difficult surgeries and on wounds to the mind and spirit. Among the Mec’ari, he is the father of surgery, psychology, and phantology. When he reached the end of his long life, he entreated his god to let his spirit rest forever on the House he had established and any other built thereafter. So, now, wherever a true follower of his path establishes a house of healing under his name, the ill may come to rest and heal or receive more active or esoteric assistance. The benefit of abiding in a particular house depends on the healing abilities, supporting skills, and latent effects of the clergy present. In exchange for the service of retrieving and healing the afflicted, the House requests a donation of money, items valuable to their order, or some service. Often the service is nothing more than to serve as a retriever of the ill or sanctuary guard for a designated time, but it has often lead to incredible quests and adventures spanning the continent and several years. Many adventurers have come gratefully to the doors of House Aurun’, pleased by the help they receive, only to later rue having agreed to
To qualify to join the order or establish a new house, one must either give up spells in exchange for latent healing or have acquired latent healing from some other source. The level and type of healing determine rank in the order and capacities beyond this help to define the individual careers of the clerical hospital staff. The branch of the thorn serves surgical needs, the branch of the leaf serves to provide herbal medicines and potions of healing, the branch of the flower focuses on healing minds and hearts, the branch of the vine specializes in retrieving those in need of help, the branch of the seed seeks to bring those on the brink of death or awaiting entry into the worlds beyond back into the mortal realm, the branch of the fruit seeks to nourish all who come into the House with missions extending to blighted regions in times of need, and the branch of the root seeks to advise others on creating and sustaining healthy living habits and environments so that fewer people become unnecessarily afflicted. It is possible for members of the order to serve multiple branches, even all of them, though that level of focus in so many aspects is difficult to attain and maintain. Each branch indicates a certain mastery in a skill set appropriate to the branch focus. So, while it is possible to join all branches, the more branches one joins, the less mastery, capacity, and prestige one will have. Even so, such jack-ministers, as they are called, are often the best choice to establish outposts, to send on rounds to report on the progress and needs of various houses, or to send as fill-ins in emergencies where specialists are not able to be brought around in a timely manner.
House Aurun’ is a permanent member of the Grand Council, as well as the Council of Memory. They are also often asked to sit on the Council of War to consult on preparations and the providing of mobile Houses Aurun’. They see all of these as necessary but unpleasant uses of their knowledge and skill, especially the Council of War. They understand it is needed, but dislike it, somewhat less than their absolute abhorrence of torture and killing for profit or sport. They have a view of the undead that is not popular among clerical circles, but that still believes firmly in the need to keep the souls of the dead inviolate. If necromancers can find somewhat sympathetic ears among the establishments of the Central Lands, it is usually among the thorn and vine of House Aurun’.
Access to the healing domain; at least one spell sacrificed for a healing spell-like ability; at least one permanent, latent, touch or area-effect healing ability; and 8 or more ranks in surgery, herbalism, psychology, profession teamster, profession sailor, healing, craft, or cooking, and any skill that is used to generate healthful sustenance. Members are expected to provide service time in accordance with their conscience, but with ceaseless effort when on assignment, whatever that may be. They are tithed, unless unable to earn income and currently on assignment. This means that most members give rare service (constituency), spend half a day once a week providing service (laiety), give service for one month of the year (contingency), or undertake a position with enough service requirements to support their lifestyle (administration, ministry or itinerancy).
Benefits: All members receive light service requirements or like-for-like exchanges for services received and do not have to pay for passive healing at an established House unless transported there by members. There are many aged merchants and expecting mothers who become members just to receive passive healing in their old age or condition for the cost of a simple tithe, for example. All members have access to the small but comprehensive library kept at most Houses for study or copying, but not for loan. For a small fee, members may have a beacon fashioned in the form of a gem or piece of jewelry that, when