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Herbalist: a person that harvests, processes, and/or, deals with herbs and mushrooms of supposed medical uses.
Definition found in Tregtet's law banning herbalists

The banning of herbalists in Tregtet

Some kids are born healthy and happy. Others seem to be able to catch every sickness under the sky. The dwarven family Dervik was unlucky enough to have sickly children. Unable to keep up with the costs of recharging their daffodil amulets on a regular basis, the Derviks sought a herbalist.
He was not easy to find, but eventually, they found a human who said he could help them. But he did not, both of the Dervik's kids died the day after taking the "cure" that the herbalist had prepared. Outrage soon spread to the community and even reached the capital of the state, Avalora.
Over the following months, the Avalora council worked to create a law that outlawed the practice of herbalism. The law stated that herbalism was an inferior form of knowledge, which used untested herbal mixtures and potentially dangerous mushrooms, to unclear ends. The law stated that often, there was no clear knowledge of what effect plants had. Moreover, the interactions of these herbs produced unknown and potentially deadly effects.

And then came the plague...

Herbalists were banned only a few of years before the first cases of plague were known in Tiel. With the spread of the plague, and the ineffectiveness of the daffodil amulets, people started looking anywhere for remedies. From concoctions that caused cheerful skin to supposed remedies like bathing oneself in water that has had a carrot soaking for a full day.
Due to the lack of law enforcement after a few years of the plague, herbalists saw a resurgence during the plague. However, most are nothing but people trying to make ends meet, even if that means deceiving a bunch of people. Some herbalists, however, have started practising again, and their services are in demand.

Abbreviated history of healing in Tiel

After the Daffodil amulets created by Drorsk Fineward started becoming more and more common, magical healing slowly took over other forms of healing.
While knowledge of the setting of bones and delivery of babies was still essential, as the amulet could not fulfil those functions, knowledge of healing herbs was not seen as essential. There was no need for herbs that supposedly "speed up healing" or that would "cure an upset stomach".
Over time, herbalists became an oddity, a curiosity, and sometimes, a joke, for most of the population.
But recharging the amulets besides the yearly allotment still costs money, so for those with little money and sickly family members, herbalists are their only choice, as no one seems to remember how to cure diseases besides "using their amulet".

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Cover image: by MarkuSpiske


Author's Notes

Summer camp ice-cream
The original version of this article was created as an entry for World Anvil's flagship Summer Camp 2020 event, specifically for prompt #21:
"Describe a profession in your world that has always been, or recently became, illegal."
  You can view my other entries from the competition here.   All images are sourced from pixabay, pexels, or unsplash unless credited otherwise.

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Grandmaster CoffeeQuills
CoffeeQuills the Coffee Quaffer
22 Jul, 2020 08:24

Whoops... kinda need these people... I wonder if they were able to find recordings and journals about healing or if they need to start over from the beginning again with collecting knowledge?

1 Aug, 2020 13:28

That is something that only time will tell (if my players ever go into that area)

Grandmaster Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
23 Jul, 2020 09:56

Really interesting idea. I like that there is a mix of actual herbalists and people who are... not really herbalists but just claiming they are. I also like that there was a resurgance of herbalists during the plague, despite the fact they were banned.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
1 Aug, 2020 13:28

Well... Let's just say that there was no one in a position to enforce laws for a good while during the plague.