Table of Contents
The Huzsan word for pharmacist is yaozs. They are the first medical professionals most people meet when they feel under the weather. The pharmacist deals with typical ailments and sells all kinds of medicines. In many cases that is enough and people never have to see a doctor. The pharmacists also produce cosmetics and some even specialise in that. Big pharmacist families in cities tend to have a few shops and sell their medical products and cosmetics separately, so that healthy people do not have to queue with the ill ones.
The pharmacists have their own academies, but one does not have to actually attend it to become a nboak (assistant) pharmacist. You can reach the nboak level just by studying with a master in a shop. City pharmacists tend to be much more specialised than town ones, but generally specialisation is common.
The pharmacist locyin (regulated professional organisation) is regulated by panhuzsan law and structured like this:
* yesi'gri (entry level) ses u (trainee) yaozs is often delegated to perform chores, they clean the lab, observe how their teachers deal with ingredients, perform the more tedious and repetitive parts of the processes required to produce the drugs or cosmetics. They also learn some theory and travel on ingredient gathering trips. This level takes about 2 years to complete and is finished with an exam - the exams are organised twice a year by the academy.
* ilre (advanced) ses u yaozs still perform a lot of chores, but they also trusted to make some things without supervision. They continue their theoretical and practical training and after 2 or 3 years take another exam.
* yesi'gri nboak yaozs are qualified to work on their own, but they should not have their own workshops or design their own recipes. They also start to specialise. This usually lasts 3 or 4 years and ends with an exam. After that they usually become ilre nboak yaozs, but they can also become nmek nboak yaozs .
* ilre nboak yaozs are usually specialists in one but more often in two fields. Those fields can be: producing medical herbal mixtures for drinking or inhalation, producing other ingestible medicines, producing medical ointments, creams and lotions, producing beauty ointments, creams and lotions, producing hygiene cosmetics, producing make-up cosmetics, cultivating herbs and other medicinal plants, gathering ingredients. They can own their own shops and they can educate ses u. They can design their own mixtures. Most people end their career here and never try to become masters.
* nmek nboak yaozs join the academy and pursue a more scientific career. They can become masters. They prepare and check exams for the ses u of both levels. They study botany and chemistry and write scientific papers and text books.
* if one stays at the academy for a long enough time and has some impressive scientific achievements one becomes a master pharmacist i.e. yaozs. They govern the academy and the whole locyin, they often also advise the agni. They also investigate when people complain about the quality of some pharmacist's products.
Similarly like in the case of doctors and veterinaries one is required to be literate and have a good understanding of arithmetic before one is accepted as a ses u and the buy-in is expensive. Also one should have some gardening experience and be able to find one's way in the wild. As always children from pharmacist families have an advantage.
Character wise this profession requires patience and precision. Also caution, because dabbling with chemicals can be very risky.
In Huzsa a lot of learning is done within and at the discretion of particular professional groups. There are no public schools which would teach everyone the basics, so literaReligious traditions In Huzsa and in the Empirecy is generally low. Only people who have relatively rich parents are tutored from a young age. One place where poor people can gain some education is the military which teaches all soldiers the basics of reading, writing and mathematics. On the other hand many highly paid professions require these skills.
Historically only the medical professions have had special schools supervised by the clan and strictly regulated. This came about as a result of anti epidemic laws issued by the office of the Red Queen with which all clans had to comply. Doctors, veterinaries and pharmacists created special academias which provided professional exams without which no one could legally perform these professions. While doctors' and veterinaries' academias have remained very strictly connected to their professions the pharmacists' ones have expanded. Initially the master pharmacists concentrated mostly on botany, chemistry and biology in the most practical sense, but with time their interests have widened and they concentrated more on the theoretical. They have begun to describe the world, analyse it, also venturing into fields which would in modern times be called physics, geography etc. The academias evolved from strictly providing exams to places of nurturing knowledge and scientific inquiry. They are slowly evolving into institutions with separate divisions for different areas of study and they start to invite specialists from other areas to further the knowledge. At the point of the story these are still mostly institutions for scholars by scholars which sporadically present their findings to the general public. But they are evolving.
The pig as a domesticated animal is unique to Haibne when it comes to Huzsa. In the Empire they are also domesticated, but they are used for food. In Huzsa the wild variation is sometimes hunted and eaten although hunting is strictly regulated and not everyone is allowed to kill such big wild animals. But the domesticated ones are not for consumption, unless there is some catastrophic famine when everything that can be eaten gets eaten.
In Haibne pigs were domesticated by shamans and medicine people in the ancient times and now they are a symbol of the pharmacists' locyin . One can often see pigs as part of ornaments in pharmacies or on pharmacy signs. And if pharmacists appear in story books or theatre they are always accompanied by a pig for easy recognition.
The pigs are a working animals which help to gather herbs, fruit, mushrooms etc. in forests and plains. These plants are usually rare and not grown in the gardens, therefore very valuable. The pigs have been bred to be smaller than their wild counterparts. They reach up to 50 kilograms and are the size of a big dog. Training them is a trade secret and takes a lot of time. Some pharmacist families specialise in breeding and training these pigs. Then they sell them to other pharmacists. It's a highly regulated market and the prices for pigs, especially those already trained, are very high. Breeders are forbidden to sell the pigs outside of Haibne thus giving Haibne pharmacists almost a monopoly on certain sought after natural remedies, because finding them without pigs is very hard. Medical products are some of Haibne's trade staples.
As it happens not all piglets show promise with their olfactory skills. Of course their sense of smell is still very good, but they are not as excellent as their brothers and sisters. Others do not respond to training all that well. Such specimens are fixed and sold as pets. Rich Haibne citizens consider a pig an extravagant status symbol, build them small 'palaces' in their gardens and spoil them rotten. Sometimes the pigs are give as gifts by the agni.