Duban, the Doctor
Duban was a Doctor, at a time when Doctors were believed by many to be sorcerers, especially if they were unusually successful and skillful. For this reason, legends grew up around the Doctor and his abilities — not unconnected with his use of snakes in healing.
Duban was born to a jiniri and a Doctor in an ancient stone town of tall towers on the edge of the desert. As a child he journeyed with his father on long excursions into the heart of the desert to treat the people who lived at a remote oasis. In the town, his mother taught him the ways of her people, including how the venom of snakes could be harvested and used to make cures for different diseases.
It was a study that fascinated Duban, and he began to study new cures, and how the venom could be mixed with herbs and plants to create antidotes, vaccines and potions that could bring restful sleep, healing dreams or — when all else had failed, as sometimes it must — a peaceful death.
Over the years his reputation spread beyond the desert, and his desire for new learning, as much as the commissions he received, drew him to new lands. Marshes delighted him in particular, and he discovered in marshlands a whole range of new plants that could be used as astringents and antiseptics.
He would treat all who needed his help, regardless of their income — something that many times put him out of favour with the wealthy who would have preferred to reserve his services just for themselves. But Duban quietly, calmly, and compassionately continued his work, treating his patients both physically and mentally.
So he remained till summoned by the Bard Queen to teach his medical skills to her daughter, the Princess Flora, and also to act as her physician. But the Bard Queen understood that Duban would not confine himself to palaces. All who needed him could call, and he would answer.