Plague Doctors

With the arrival of the 2020 spring season and frighteningly familiar flowers, three Luperci with strange, beak-like masks appear. A plague is coming! They warn. We can save you! They promise. For a cost, of course.

This event was done in-tandem with Strange Spring.

A traveling band of strangers appear along with the warming weather.

Capricorn Ziskid, Dalibor Boscko, and Fiction Asylum set up camp near Fort Cumberland. Each Luperci wears a strange, beak-like leather mask and doesn't want to breathe the same air as others. (Interestingly, there are some clusters of the new hybridised flower growing near their camp, but these canines seem unaffected by the sweet smell? Hmm.)

They have four horses between them, but the spare's not for trade. Instead, they apparently have a large stock of medicinal goods, including dried herbs, edible pellets, tinctures, potions, balms, and salves! Preventatives and cures for a coming plague, they say. Whole packs and large territories are covered in the dead and dying in the south, don't you know? Best stock up before it's too late!

How Trading was Completed (IC)

Rather than having traders pick and choose their wants and go through the hassle of negotiating dozens of individual transactions, these self-described "plague doctors" bundled various goods into mystery bags with a set price. Interested parties didn't know what they were getting except that it would be from a selection of the travelers' goods.

Accepted Items for Barter

Offered Mystery Bundle Examples

  • 10 lbs dried meat
  • 1 lb dried herb (acceptable varieties: yarrow1, mint, coneflower (non-native), chamomile1, more!)
  • 2 lbs dried root (acceptable varieties: ginseng, ginger1, garlic1, more!)
  • 1 tanned sheepskin, cowhide, or fur of comparable size
  • 1 trinket with at least one cleaned gemstone of reasonable clarity; any metal should have minimal tarnishing
  • 1 Luperci-made tool or sachel of good quality (e.g. bladed tools and weapons, leather bags)
  • 10 small jars, either of sturdy glass or wood
1 these plants are toxic to canines in large quantities
  • 3 oz dried mint, wrapped in a tree bark envelope
  • 3 oz dried yellow dock root, wrapped in a tree bark envelope
  • 1 bottle of headache cure, 10 daily doses (mint, ginseng, feverfew)
  • 1 bottle of plague cure, 10 daily doses (??)
  • 1 fl oz pain numbing salve, wrapped in a tree bark envelope; topical use only! (turmeric, ginger, basil, mint)
  • 3 oz dried feverfew (non-native), wrapped in a tree bark envelope
  • 5 mL bottle of peppermint oil
  • 1 bottle of plague cure, 10 daily doses (??)

No returns, refunds, or exchanges! Traders had agree to the above terms beforehand. The bundles were limited to two (2) per individual (character) or ten (10) per pack, if someone was trading on behalf of their pack.

Trader Summary & Profiles

These strange plague doctors were camped In-Character from March 31st - April 15th (however, the plot/threads were accessible through April 30th) and were typically open to trade as long as one of them was awake.

They are generally willing to tell you about the coming plague, but are otherwise not too keen on idle small talk if you aren't there to trade (well, Capricorn aside).

Any of the traders is happy to handle your transaction, though it's most often Capricorn or Fiction. Those who aren't handling potential visitors and customers are usually sorting or grinding herbs, foraging or hunting nearby, standing watch, or resting.

For the most part, the plague doctors wear their bird-like masks. They will take them off to eat, drink, and sleep, but they won't welcome traders during that time. Strangers approaching the group while they're unmasked will be asked to maintain a six foot distance at all times "for safety."

There is a marked out a perimeter (made of rocks and small logs) six foot out from the space their camp occupies and all of them will insist that visitors remain outside the perimeter if they're having a food break. Trades may still be facilitated by placing goods on the perimeter, walking out six feet, waiting for one of the doctors to swap the goods and retreat, then picking up the bundle.

Capricorn Ziskid (Played by Mel)

  • Species: Dog Hybrid
  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 4
  • Appearance:
    With his long fur and floppy ears, Capricorn is undoubtedly a dog – a bit of retriever, a bit of collie, and who-knows-what-else. Medium-sized, he makes an effort to keep himself looking presentable. His fur is mostly tawny with notable white markings and darker charcoal. He has gray eyes and wears his hair long.
  • Mannerisms:
    Annoyingly friendly and eager to talk to anyone, it's no surprise that Capricorn is an extrovert to the extreme. He will put up with just about anything in terms of stupid questions or attempts at bartering, and generally tries to close out deals so that everyone is happy. However, when pushed too far – or when someone tries to take advantage of him – Capricorn is swift to ensure they don't mistake his childlike nature for weakness.

Dalibor Boscko (NPC)

  • Species: Wolf
  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 4
  • Appearance:
    Average sized for a wolf, Dalibor is nearly uniformly black in coloration. There are hints that he may gray as he ages, though this is not very apparent under his leather armor and cloak. He has yellow eyes, one of which has a scar across it.
  • Mannerisms:
    Strong-and-silent describes Dalibor perfectly. He seems to have been made for his role as a protector, and uses his gruff voice to help reinforce this appearance. Secretly, however, Dalibor is really a big softie – he loves baby animals and will go out of his way to see/help/casually interact with them nbd. He also likes flowers, though pretends to gather them for Fiction.

Fiction Asylum (Played by Kiri)

  • Species: Hybrid
  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 3
  • Appearance:
    Too big to be a coyote and too small to be a wolf, Fiction has large ears and limbs that seem too long for her body. Her coat, meanwhile, clearly has doggish origins. It's mostly white with a grey and black merle saddle; a similar pattern covers a good part of her face and there's some light spotting on her arms and legs.
  • Mannerisms:
    Easygoing at first glance, Fiction makes an obvious effort to be open and friendly, but her true impatience and annoyance is quick to show if someone asks too many irrelevant or personal questions, or otherwise seems to not be there to trade. She doesn't respond well to flirting and while she'll try to maintain a degree of neutral professionalism, will eventually betray her true feelings if pressed.

NPCs and OOC Assumptions Permitted

Players were welcome to make general references to the plague doctors, their camp, making trades, and hearing about a plague. Characters could, of course, discuss the contents of their mystery bundles once they had been obtained.
Otherwise, references to specific interactions with plot characters had to be cleared with the 'Souls Assemblage.

Category: Plot