Concept: Healing in Fantasy (pt.1)

So the time since my last post has been a crazy time, creatively and writ-vely speaking. The mad dash for creating, polishing, and submitting as story for the Writers of the Future contest had a number of obstacles, not least of which was settling a story idea. I recall at least three stories in which I gave the old college try, one of those was rewritten three times before I scrapped it.

And yet, there was success. In the final days before the deadline, I managed to soak up my resources like a Zerg Extractor and managed to pull something off that wasn’t half bad.

The story itself was about healing. You know, as a concept, as an act. There’re loads of humorous pictures and videos out there that depict “What [insert game] would be like in Real Life,” but what I don’t often see addressed is when characters are healed of their wounds. In a real-world sense, healing is not a blast of energy or in the form of an insta-heal potion, it’s either a slow process or a miraculous event.

So I tend to sit around, usually where they think I am working, and think about things like Healing In Fantasy. I’ve actually had these concepts stewing around for awhile, so before you today I will demonstrate my findings.

There’s gonna be a lot of World of Warcraft references here, so for the sake people who never tasted that particular flavor of cocaine, I’ll endeavor to alternate examples.

Let’s start the show.

I figure there are three primary-general categories of healing, divided by function and source. Starting off, we have:

  • Natural Healing

WoW example: Druidic HoTs (Healing Over Time) spells. Any spell in a fantasy setting that does not provide a blast of health, but rather what might be construed as heightened regenerative capabilities, falls under natural healing. Natural healing magic is derived from spirits, trees, nature, herbs, maybe a dance here and there – we’re talking about enhancing the body to do what it normally does, which is heal itself. Someone who is the recipient of Natural Healing would sooner see their wounds close in a dramatically small space, or perhaps in intense circumstances, would appear invulnerable on account of regenerating faster than damage is inflicted. Take the troll.


No, more like this kind, from Dungeons and Dragons.

Trolls in popular fantasy are notoriously difficult to kill, and sport a very high threshold for pain and injury. They tend to regenerate quickly after damage is inflicted upon them. Except when fire is applied…

Anyway, HoT spells would essentially bestow troll-like regeneration upon an individual. This is badass, especially if consider how muscles are made ; i.e., that movie Unbreakable with Bruce Willis. Or Wolverine, for that matter.

I count Healing Potions (that includes Tonics, Hi-Potions, X-Potions, Elixirs, Megaelixirs, or any other elaborately named variety) as Natural Healing, since it’s more or less energy being consumed and delivered into the rest of the body via ingestion. Eating good food will help a body heal just the same, so I figure any potion in a fantasy setting that provides healing effects is simply speeding up what the body would normally be doing.

Stay tuned for next week’s post, where we look at little bit of the second category, Divine Healing. Until then dear readers, happy writing.


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