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St. Helga's Guide To The 1700s (Start Here)


21 October 2015, 08:28 PM    #1
Joined: 29 Sep 2015
Posts: 99
Last edited by ‹fuckingpickyournoseidiot›, 19 June 2016
The Victorian lunatic asylums of this city were magnificent, from the purely architectural point of view. Municipal pride, manifested by artistic embellishment without utilitarian purpose, shone out from them. They were built on generous grounds in what were then rural areas, outside the city bounds, on the theory that rustic peace had a healing effect upon fractured minds—and also that remoteness would protect the sane of the city from distressing contact with the insane. The city expanded and soon engulfed the asylums, but the grounds remained, often the only islands of green in a sea of soot and red brick. These grounds, right up until the asylums closed, were tended with a care that spoke of love and devotion. For all who worked in them, the asylums provided a genuine sense of community. Indeed, by the time of their closure, they were the only real communities for miles around, the surrounding society having been smashed into atoms. They held annual cricket matches and other sporting contests on their spacious lawns, and hosted summer and Christmas balls. The staff were often second- or third-generation employees, and the institution was central to their lives. The patients benefited from the stability; the asylum was a little world in which they could behave as strangely as they pleased without anyone caring too much. They were free of the mockery and disdain with which people elsewhere would greet their strange demeanor, gestures, and ideas: for in the asylum, the strange was normal. Within its bounds, there was no stigma. But of course, there was a very dark side as well. Physical conditions, especially for those patients so chronically ill that the wards were in effect their homes, were appalling. There was no privacy, with beds sometimes packed so closely together that no one could walk between them. The smell of urine so deeply impregnated the furnishings and floors of the dayrooms that it seemed ineradicable (not that anyone tried to eradicate it). The stodgy food and physical inactivity meant that chronic constipation was universal; and most patients looked as if they had filtered their food through their slips and stockings. Aimless wandering in the corridors was the principal recreation for many patients, who rarely saw a doctor, therapeutic impotence being more or less taken for granted. Most of the staff were kindly and well-meaning, but, as in any situation in which some human beings have unsupervised care of and power over others, opportunities for sadism abounded. Usually these were minor: they often saw nurses denying bread and water to patients, telling them to come back in a few minutes, for no other reason than the pleasure of exerting power over a fellow being. But from time to time, far worse cruelty would surface, always hushed up in the name of institutional morale. This was easily done, since very few outside the asylum concerned themselves with what went on inside. ----------------------------- St. Helga's Cures: Leeching: The application of a living leech to the skin in order to initiate blood flow or deplete blood from a localized area of the body. Bloodletting: The withdrawal of blood from a patient to cure or prevent illness and disease. Leucotomy/Lobotomy: The surgical interruption of nerve tracts to and from the frontal lobe of the brain. Solitary Confinement: The isolation of a patient in a separate cell. Ice Baths: The placement of a patient in a tub full of ice or ice-cold water in order to draw out their ailments. St. Helga's Attire: Shift: A shift would be made of linen and would serve as both nightgown and slip. A woman might only own two or three. She would wear her shift night and day, often for weeks or more at a time especially in winter, without laundering. Underpants did not exist yet so a woman would wear absolutely nothing under her shift! Stockings: Everyone wore socks called "stockings" that came up over the knee. They were commonly hand-knitted of wool or linen. Elastic had not been invented yet, so stockings were held up with garters. These garters could be made of ribbon, knitted or leather strips and might tie or buckle on above or below the knee. There is not yet electricity, and water that is pure enough to drink is very rare to come across. This being said, please keep in mind the time period as you roleplay. The password is 'butternut'
Evangline Asmosia-Haste. Fifteen. Orphan. Eidetic Memory. Female Hysteria.


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