Upcoming Persona Series: Maril Hawker
By Utsunqu'ur Berry
If you will recall, the last article in our Upcoming Persona series took a grand look at a new organization that has begun recruiting across the lands: the Realmsward Initiative. Headed by Sir Von Sayrillont, its aim is to gather all able-bodied soldiers, fighters, adventurers, and other such people to better be able to coordinate the war against the Garleans and to take back many of the participants’ homelands.
On the other hand, it is my intention to take a look at some of the lesser acknowledged people of the realm: the healers that are the lifeblood to our people. Without such dedicated and spirited citizens, organizations like the Initiative would cease to exist-- their people would perish in battle and see not one bit of the dreams that they have realized. It is with a great warmth in my heart then that I would tell you of Maril Hawker and The Matron’s Reach Clinic. I had the extreme pleasure of being able to attend their last opening of the Clinic and to sit down with the Lady Maril Hawker despite how busy they were at the time.
The Clinic itself is a relatively new establishment, only having been open for half a dozen moon-cycles as of this time. With the intention to make it easier for healers to get in contact with each other and to thus be able to help patients more effectively, a building space was secured and linkpearls distributed to all such healers that wished to assist; not only do they offer the linkpearls to any and all healers that would like to assist but to anyone with at-risk positions, such as mercenaries and highly vulnerable traders. Not only do they have the Clinic open in Ul’dah but there are also locations in the other city-states that are available for visits.
It warms my heart and strikes me as quite admirable that Lady Maril Hawker has opened a business despite having no such experience beforehand. The work that she is doing with the Matron’s Reach organization is one that is much needed and welcome in today’s society. It is my understanding that healers get oft overlooked whereas many praise the fighters, not remembering-- through no fault of their own-- that such people would not be here without the talents of others. Even worse, as stated by Lady Maril, many often see themselves as such a bother to the healers and therefore do not seek aid when they should. To that, Lady Maril would try to assuage your doubts: “I can say that you would never be a bother to us, no matter how little or how much there may be wrong with you. We strive to give every patient the best care, and every case that walks through the door gets a fair shot of it. Please come to the clinic if you doubt about your health, and please come for regular check-ups. We can catch things early sometimes and that can save life and limb. Us healers are at the clinic because we want to help, our time will be devoted there no matter what. So no one would ever be a bother, we’d love to see you, even if it’s just for a cup of tea.”
It warms my heart to note as well that The Matron’s Reach Clinic does not only assist with illnesses, critical situations, or matters that need healing immediately. They have a veritable stock of potions, ethers, tea blends, bathing oils, and other such things to help you; they serve tea each Monday when they are open and would welcome in any who need even the slightest of healing, physical or mental. Truly, Lady Maril Hawker is someone to keep an eye on in the realms and one we should all thank wholeheartedly for her devotion.
[ For more info on The Matron’s Reach Clinic and how to get in touch with them, whether you be healer or patient, check out this page. ]
Exploring The Garden of Words
By Talman Chryses, Additional Reporting By Noah Ronsenburg, Pictures By Shio Maeda
The Garden of Words is a public library and bookstore located in the Lavender Beds. Run by Illyriana and Yuri Usagi, the cozy store boasts an extensive collection of books which patrons are welcome to browse at all hours of the day. It also holds a special open house event each week where staff are on hand to direct patrons to whichever books they may be interested in.
As well as being a comfortable place to read, the Garden also sells and rents out books, as well as buying and trading books of all kinds. The collection is varied, ranging from classic literature and poetry to romance and adventure novels to illustrated Doman "manga" to works of non-fiction, including scientific treatises.
Illyriana is a gracious host and knows her collection by heart. She's particular generous with selling books, not being very concerned with profit as long as the book is going to a good home. One of our reporters was able to conduct an interview with her earlier this week.
TCC: Do you like books?
IU: Like would be a bit of understatement. You don't amass an entire shop filled wall to wall with tomes, if you don't have a bit of obsession. I love them.
TCC: What's your favorite genre of books?
IU: Probably romance, more so fantasy and romance fused together. Though I read almost everything that comes in I can't help but get emotionally drawn in by that genre specifically.
TCC: What drove you to open this bookstore?
IU: Well… my husband and I have always been fond of books. It's something that brought us closer together. To be honest. after getting married we wanted to focus on making something together and after a while The Garden of Words was born. We wanted to make a place where people would feel comfortable and at home while also providing knowledge for those who sought after it. It's also part of why we loan books out if one cannot afford to buy it. Knowledge and wanting to expand on oneself should never be restricted, regardless of how much gil has one in their pocket."
TCC: Do you get many seekers of knowledge in the bookstore?
IU: We always get quite a good lot that come in. Most are honestly surprised at how many tomes we have.
TCC: How many books does this bookstore have?
IU: Ten thousand. I'd say we hold somewhere solid around that number, give or take now and then depending on how many tomes come in and out.
TCC: It must have taken ages to tidy all these books, right?
IU: It took us quite some time to get things organized. Luckily, we have a great structure set up for them and the staff are always on point with helping keep things neat and together. We first started off with just my husband and myself. After putting up a few help wanted posters we found a few who shared our interests. We honestly have a mixed lot of staff that help with the shop, from part time workers to live-in staff. That being said, we keep gathering more attention each time we host our fully staffed library nights…so we always looking for more book loving people who'd like to staff with us.
(about the library nights)
Each Second and forth Saturday of the month we host where we are as fully staffed as possible. People are allowed to come in, sit, drink, socialize and know that the staff is active and there for them and their needs. Most times we just have one to two staff watch the shop. On full nights it's as many as wish to help us. And we honestly keep getting quite the large turnout, more than we ever expected.
TCC: Can you tell us about the genres of books that the bookstore has in it?
IU: We have a bit of everything. History, lore, maps, mineral guides. Fantasy and fiction, romance as well as notes and hand written works from researchers.
TCC: Do you have any plans about making any other events besides the library nights?
IU: We actually just started another small one, the first Sunday of each month. We always encourage diversity and thus we opened a small Cafe on said day. The Sleepy Goobbue Cafe run by our chef, Koi Kami. He's the one who makes the small plates of treats you find around the shop. We figured it would be a nice, upbeat change to the quiet the shop that normally has. We also plan on trying a few other avenues in the future as well. Of course we've only hosted it once so far and the turnout was quite small since we're just getting started, but we look forward to seeing it to get more lively.
If you're ever looking for something to do before the Grindstone or other events at the end of the week, the Crystal Chronicle can heartily recommend the Garden of Words.