The Wheatons were a simple, farming family (1). For three generations they lived in the same farmhouse and farmed the same fertile land. The current Wheaton family residing in the family farm consisted of grand-dad Thoms; the patriarch, Will; his wife, Tana; and their four children: Markus, Peter, Sam and Garthane, who was the youngest.
They were a hard working family. Everyone helped on their 12 acre farm. By the age of three, Garthane was feeding the chickens and the dogs as well as assisting her mother with the family cooking.
As a very young child Garthane demonstrated a rare gift for sensing illness or need in those around her.
By the age of eight, Garthane had assisted at several cow and horse births as well as attended to many of the animals’ maladies. Her grand-dad and mother were excellent teachers and Garthane was a very willing student.
Garthane constantly asked “Why” and sought the deepest truths of everything she encountered.
She learned much about animal husbandry, herbs and natural healing. She appeared to have a special touch when animals or her brothers were in pain. They naturally trusted her and were more willing to allow her to treat them than anyone else.
When she was only nine, her unique perceptive sense revealed to her that something was amiss with an older cousin recently returned from the ever-present Braken Border War.
“James, you have to have this old wound looked at – now!” Garthane persisted.
Garthane’s self-confidence and perpetual insistence finally compelled him to seek out a healer (2). As fate decreed, the nearest was two days’ journey away at the House of Life in Meren Beach.
“Mistress LiLean, my nagging cousin, Garthane, has forced me to bother you about this. The wound healed months ago. I’m only here to appease her. Please, forgive me for disturbing you”
LiLean, the elderly mistress of the house, found and removed a tiny chip of a spear point remaining from a wound that had long since healed itself (3). If not removed, it soon would have pierced her cousin’s heart!
When they were not working, her brothers constantly harassed Garthane with mischievous teasing and innocent tricks. However, only they were allowed this privilege. Should any of the other children living nearby even mildly upset their baby sister the brothers were her fearless defenders.
Garthane, with her long chestnut blond hair and beautiful green eyes, grew into a pleasantly pretty young teen, and, thanks to her brother’s excessive protection, was never allowed to become close to any non-family, male.
At fifteen, after much emotional and heated discussion with her family:
“I can do so much to help others, but I need real training”, stated Garthane
“Your place is here on the farm, helping your mother”, countered her father, Will
Tana finally spoke up, “Garthane is right. She has a real gift and she needs real training. Keeping her here will only frustrate her. She is going!”
With that statement, the matter was settled. Garthane descended from a strong, stubborn line of women.
Garthane entered that same House of Life in Meren Beach and became a protégé of mistress LiLean. Children are normally taken around the age of seven, but, due to Garthane’s demonstrated empathy with those in need, Mistress LiLean personally accepted, worked with and helped her develop control of the Golden Force; a precious and very rare gift. For the next three years, Garthane was educated in natural herbs and medicines. She witnessed and, eventually, assisted in the births of nearly every human and domestic animal within several miles.
Throughout her training, she was slowly, carefully, introduced to the very secret manipulations of the Golden Force. The Golden Force is used to manipulate the raw Life Force within and around every living creature. It can be used as a powerful healing tool – or – a powerful force for mutilation, pain and death. All Healers are taught both sides of the Force. They personally experience the effects of each manipulation. Mentor and student become extremely close as they practice on each other. Many perish during this rigorous and demanding experience. Their personal mentor has the responsibility to determine where their student’s true ambition lies; to assist those in need, or, to dominate and control. When a student demonstrates the desire to assist others, even at their own personal expense, they are taught more advanced techniques. Should they be pulled to the other side of the force, it is their mentor’s difficult task to assure their swift termination.
During her nineteenth summer, Mistress LiLean escorted Garthane around the country and introduced her to both natural and magical healers of several non-human species. Garthane learned the similarities and differences between the various humanoid species of Airth. She grew to truly love her chosen profession. Her tenderness and understanding caused her to be invited to return to every community she visited.
Garthane completed her training just prior to her nineteenth birthday and in several ways surpassed her elders. Mistress LiLean was very proud of her former student and now, close friend.
A few months later, when the stricken inhabitants of the coastal village of Carthos begged for aid, she gathered her supplies and rushed to the scene.
A black sailed ship, manned by strange green-skinned, very agile, magically assisted pirates had raided the town in the night. They burned, looted, and viciously murdered until they were finally driven off. Many of the townspeople and several of the raiders were severely injured in the long battle that lasted through the night.
In the weeks that followed the attack, several of the wounded perished, but Garthane’s abilities saved most of them (3,4,5,6). None of the townspeople speak easily of the battle or their wounds even to this day.
In the course of her administrations, Garthane even attempted to assist the vile pirates. She was totally repulsed when, upon close examination, she discovered that they, at one time, had been normal humans. Someone had utilized the Golden force while they were still in the womb to alter them! (7) Never had she even imagined the gross misdirection that her wondrous Golden Force could be twisted to. She was repulsed, sick to the core of her being, and felt nothing by mercy toward the green victims. Crying almost constantly, she relieved as much of their pain as she could with herbs as her Golden Force was totally blocked by their altered nature. All finally, mercifully, perished. The Cobalt Blue Force (8) that they were wielding she could understand, but not this abomination of the beauty of life.
On her return to Meren Beach, a changed Garthane reentered the house—and no one from the outside world saw her for the next four and a half years. When she finally reemerged into society as a smallish young woman in her early twenties, now with whitish-blond hair, she was very much reserved and quiet. She continually demonstrated a maturity and deep understanding of the cycles of life far beyond her training and mortal years.
This afternoon, at Tuskin’s trading tent set up at the north edge of town, she was bartering a jar of healing balm for rare herbs.
“Three cops, one sill and the herbs for the balm” offered Garthane.
“Two sills, the herbs and 3 clean jars for the balm” countered Tuskin.
Round and round they bantered, half serious and half in friendly fun.
When Garthane heard a strong male singing voice accompanied by a wonderful lute, just outside Tuskin’s tent, she, uncharacteristically, agreed to Tuskin’s slightly high price. She quickly grabbed the herbs and rapidly departed.
Returning to the House of Life, she …
To continue Garthane’s story, please read “The Last Tale of T’Lar” by RJ Borton
- Venturers of Airth ® Species: Human
- Venturers of Airth ® Class: Healer
- Venturers of Airth ® Class Magic Spell: Heal
- Venturers of Airth ® Class Magic Spell: Super Heal
- Venturers of Airth ® Class Magic Spell: Cure Disease
- Venturers of Airth ® Class Magic Spell: Neutralize Poison
- Last Tale of T’Lar ® LeZarick’s abomination brought about by warping pure magic
- Venturers of Airth ® Class Magic: Wizard
by RJ Borton, 8/18/2014 last updated 07/19/2017
A Tales of Airth™ publication brought to you by The Phanta Corp.
This story is a work of fiction. All names, characters, species, classes, places, things, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblances to fictitious or actual persons living or dead and events or locales real or imaginary are entirely coincidental.
© Copyright 2014, 2017 by Tales of Airth® Publications, Bensalem, PA. “All Rights Reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form”
Limited permission is granted to Bards, Heralds, Storytellers and anyone wishing to retell this story to tell and retell the Tale so long as it is told in its entirety and proper credit is given the author.
Limited permission is granted to Bards, Heralds, and Storytellers and anyone wishing to print, copy or reproduce this story in a Positive, Not For Profit manner, so long as it is printed, copied or reproduced in its entirety and proper credit is given the author.