So You Want To Help

“Lilywhite,” you say, “I feel that I should help in some way when the massed forces of piracy, the fae courts, and common indecency have at us, but I fear my skills, constitution or temperament make me unsuited to the horrors of war, what can I do?”

FEAR NOT, GENTLE CITIZEN! You can help the town, and I don’t even intend this as a way to ask you for money. In combat, there are many ways that you can be of service, even if you are not the sort to draw steel or fling bombs yourself. In this post, I will elaborate on a few of these methods, answer any questions people have, and if there is general interest, propose a time for practicing during the fall.

I will say right now that this is not directed at our lovely surgeons who have done an excellent job of setting up triage stations and know their job better than I.

Being Of Service

  1. Helping Hands: Whenever a fighter falls in the line, if another weary battler is needed to remove them to the care of the surgeons and spiritualists in triage, it further weakens the lines. Hardy and daring souls willing to risk a little injury can be extremely useful simply moving the injured back. This does not mean running ahead of our lines on missions of mercy, which usually simply results in more wounded, but rather simple moving the safe-but-injured to the surgeon’s tent.
  2. Restocked and Reloaded: Our artificers are, without exaggeration, the heart and soul of a successful battle, but when they find themselves low on materials with which to improvise, their usefulness drops swiftly. Gathering spent components from the ground (once again, in safe areas) and consolidating them in a basket, bucket, or simply your shirt, before delivering them to the back lines, will greatly improve our outlook.
  3. Additional Care: Scholar and Engineers, do remember, surgeons are not the only ones who can help care for the injured and get them back in the fight. If a few of you station yourselves with the brave surgeons of triage, armor can be repaired and inspected on the spot before our warriors are sent back into the fight. A repaired chest-plate can be the difference between a soldier who can hold out for another ten minutes and one that falls immediately to an unlucky blow.
  4. Watchful Eyes: We’ve all experienced the tragedy of yelling “behind you!” and watching everyone on the battlefield except the unlucky person we’re trying to warn spin around. If you have friends entering battle while you stay behind, keep an eye on your own small group and use that personal connection to yell “Livewell, on your left!” rather than a more generic announcement.

If you have concerns about implementing any of these, questions about what is useful, or wish to add your own two pence, I encourage discussion. Remember, the safety of the town is everyone’s business!

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I would like to add, speaking from experience derived from this past festival, non-combat allies who can swap unloaded guns for loaded guns and/or load a gun mid-combat for a combatant can also be the difference between success and failure. Especially when facing armored foes.

A foe with a broken chest plate is far easier to slay than one with armor intact.

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I would like to second this. Merely having an extra set of hands to prevent a pair of guns from painfully exploding is incredible.

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There, Dear Brother, see? I can be of use in battle. I’m not being unreasonable when I want to help.
I’m more than happy to do these things to the best of my ability, though I usually inspect all the armor I can before a battle, and have little of use left to do in that area once it has begun.
I wish to hear nothing more from you or our family’s help on this matter. My assistance as a scholar has now been explicitly requested and it is my duty as a countess to serve the people.

(For clarification, I’m not salty OOC. That whole interaction is endlessly amusing.)

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Speaking from the surgeon’s perspective, extra hands do in fact make triage operations run much more smoothly. While Port Katherine’s medical professionals might some day have the opportunity to bring better healing directly to those fighting on the battlefield, as of right now we are required to be somewhat stationary in order to be most effective. In addition to that, it takes time to properly set limbs and bring someone back to consciousness, and if we are interrupted during that period, we must start all over, further endangering the remaining fighters who could sorely use the reinforcement.

People who can bring us patients and make sure our work goes uninterrupted are invaluable. If we are ambushed or flanked, triage is likely to fall apart without guardians. During large-scale triage operations, such as the pirate attack during the Festival of the Dawning, having a person to direct and coordinate patients to available medical practitioners is especially useful, as it cuts down on needless yelling and ensures people are directed to the best available medic.

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Although, Lilywhite, I must ask. What is the appropriate course of action for us noncombatants when one of our own townsfolk deliberately antagonizes a fae while he himself is immune to the sure retaliation?

-Countess Annaliese Leopolda Liane Verenberg-Hossler von Silberholz

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Well, while personally I would recommend removing yourself from such a dreadful-sounding situation, I don’t know that it could strictly speaking be called combat per se. That sort of thing generally requires two sides both able to meaningfully do battle.

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Countess, I believe your brother is retaining my services to protect you, including from townsfolk who are deliberately putting you in harm’s way. The best course of action is for you to report them to me.

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I really think you make an excellent point with the watchful eyes, which is incredibly helpful when out battle line is stretched thin and enemies come from all sides. I know I experienced this personally in the mission to recover the red aether infusion when I was able to avoid harm thanks to a helpful call.

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Excellent points, Lilywhite! I would just like to add that, if one has the ability to carry a gun or sword or dagger or what have you, that they do so – even if this means borrowing arms from a friend. Port Katherine is a dangerous place and you can never know when the next attack is going to come. I myself am dedicated almost exclusively to my practice as a surgeon, yet I carry around a sword because, well, it’s a bit silly not to. By no means am I a skilled fighter but we don’t always have the luxury to choose not to fight. Even if you are not confident in your ability to defend your friends and fellow townsfolk, at least carry around a small dagger for your own sake – it’s inevitable that sooner or later you’ll be caught off guard and it’s best not to be completely helpless. Carrying a weapon is by no means volunteering yourself to be a front line fighter: it’s granting yourself a little bit of protection.

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I wish they weren’t, but they are quite right.