Grove of Vitalis
The Grove is a very modest complex, consisting of four buildings, a garden, and a central plaza. Three of these buildings are arranged in a U shape around the central plaza, and behind the center building a garden separates the fourth building from the others.
The central building is the Hall of Healing. Built from pine wood and cobbled stone, it is a long, low building where incoming patients go for treatment. Inside, the interior is open, floored with smooth pine planks. On either side of the central hallway, moveable panels divide healing bays to provide some privacy for patients. Each healing bay, illuminated by papered lanterns, contains a bedroll and blanket, a small table on which food and water can be placed, and a pair of cushions on which the healers sit. Patients are given herbal or magical treatments and allowed to recover from their ailments on the bedrolls.
The next building is the Hall of Sun, named after sun magic, which heals the body. It is built in the same style as the Hall of Healing, but is much smaller since it is used for fewer patients at a time. This building has private rooms with beds, chairs, tables, and chests into which patients may place their belongings. This is the building in which patients with physically taxing ailments may recover, including those with broken or weakened limbs. Here, they are assisted by the tenders of the Grove in regaining their strength and recuperating from these illnesses.
The final building open to patients of the Grove is the Hall of Moon, which, as a counterpart to the Hall of Sun, focuses on the recovery of patients from mental ailments. Nearly identical to its counterpart, it is decorated in soothing tones of greys, greens, and blues. Patients here may be left in isolation to calm their thoughts, or assigned to shared rooms where they can keep one another company and assist in the healing process. Many patients who board together build lifelong bonds with one another.
The final building, located behind the three public buildings, is the staff quarters and preparation rooms. It is larger than the Hall of Healing, but still rather modest, built in the same pine and stone style with a small second floor. A majority of this building is utilized for housing the healers and tenders, who share rooms with one another to save on space. These rooms are simply furnished, with two beds, two chairs, a table, and a chest of drawers for each of the inhabitants. The kitchens are also located in this building, where staff take turns preparing meals for themselves and the patients. Food is kept in a cellar below the kitchens, and meals are served for the healers and tenders in the dining hall. Another room holds stores of herbs and other ingredients for medicines and healing ointments, which are prepared as needed for each patient, and a small library of medical tomes occupies the rest of the space in the building.
Separating the staff quarters from the other halls is a large garden, where a majority of the Grove's food and herbs are grown. It is shaded by large fruit trees, and gravel pathways wind between beds of vegetables, patches of herbs, and clusters of shrubs. Patients and staff alike are welcome to walk through the garden, and many stone and wooden benches line the pathways to provide ample space for rest and reflection.
In the center of the complex, between the healing halls, is the main plaza. Built from smooth stone bricks, it provides an open space for passage between the three halls or for patients to walk around outdoors without worrying about uneven ground. In the center of the plaza is a fountain decorated with butterflies, the symbol of Vitalis. Patients and their loved ones often make small offerings of coins in the fountain to wish for fast recovery and good health. These offerings are regularly collected and used to help the Grove operate - patients are not charged for care and financial contributions are entirely optional. Generally, it is encouraged to pay for the Grove's services if it is within one's means, but no one is turned away if they cannot pay.
Every employee in the Grove of Vitalis is generally categorized as either healer or tender.
Healers are responsible for the initial care of patients and addressing their medical concerns. They are well-versed in either healing magic or in herbal remedies, although some healers know both. Healers diagnose and treat patients until they move from the Hall of Healing to the Halls of Sun or Moon, or they simply leave after their initial recovery time. Healers collaborate with one another as needed, since each has a different background in healing and may have a different approach to certain ailments. If needed, they reference the healing tomes in the library to find cures or treatments. Occasionally, there is a call from elsewhere for healers, such as in times of plague, and healers are sent from the Grove to answer the call.
Tenders are responsible for the care of patients after they enter the Halls of Sun or Moon. They are also responsible for much of the tending of the grounds and upkeep of facilities. Most tenders are trained in patient care, and are assigned a specialty in either the Hall of Moon or Hall of Sun. They are given one to two patients at a time to tend, and accompany them on their walks around the gardens and plaza, bring them food, and change their bedding as needed. Tenders water and weed the gardens and harvest where needed for meals and remedies. On some occasions, the Grove may need a specialty ingredient not grown in the gardens, and tenders may be sent to fetch the ingredient from the outside world. There are many more tenders than healers, but both roles are treated with the same respect - in the Grove, all are working towards the same goal of helping the wounded and sick.
The doyen of the Grove is selected from its healers and tenders, and is usually an individual who has demonstrated good judgement and leadership, skills which are essential to the role. The doyen is responsible for the Grove as a whole, managing orders, supervising the healers and tenders, and dealing with finances. They take a step back from their previous role in the Grove, and often spend less time with patients and their former peers. In exchange, they are treated with a higher level of respect and have their own personal quarters. A doyen serves until they choose to retire from the Grove entirely or they pass away, at which point a new doyen is chosen by discussion.
The Grove of Vitalis was founded some time before the Vanishing, although records of its existence are rather vague. For a long time, it operated in secret. Its original role was as a healing place for rulers and prominent figures who had been injured or fallen sick, and its existence was kept tightly sealed in order to keep the ailments of its well-known patients secret. It began as a simply grove of trees with a few cloth tents set up to house patients, and over time as it received payment from royals and wealthy folk it was able to expand its premises and build permanent structures. By 1322 AV, the doyen at the time decided that it was time for the Grove to open its gates to the greater public in order to better fulfill its healing mission. Word of this previously unknown place of healing spread across Qopith and the greater Jade Sea region, but the facility remains relatively unknown in the rest of Galactus.
Although the Grove of Vitalis is open to any who might need healing, it is difficult to navigate the winding roads of the Misty Pine Forest to find it, so often its only patients are those with severe or unusual ailments that would be difficult to diagnose and treat in other facilities closer to where the patients live. Often there are only around twenty to thirty patients in total at any given moment, but in times of widespread sickness the halls fill quickly.