Artemius Coil´s practice is situated on Lily Street in the Upper Maul, in a small, shabby and nondescript two-story building squeezed in between a pawnbroker´s shop and a cheap hotel. The entrance is set back a distance from the street and cloaked in shadows, making it easy to miss for anybody that does not know it´s there.
Likewise, there´s no sign or indication as to what goes on behind the low, deep-set door covered in flaking red paint, but to the citizens of the Maul, Artemius Coil is a godsend, their only real source of affordable medical care and more importantly: one who knows to keep his mouth shut when treating the gunshots and knife wounds of the local gang bangers, the overdoses of the street junkies or the bruises and bite marks of a prostitute hurt by an abusive customer.
Coil usually keeps his practice open during the dark hours, although he probably won´t turn a day-time caller down, if he or she is in desperate need of attention. However, in the daytime, he can be hard to wake (and probably less reliable) as he usually spends these hours in a drug-induced torpor, rendered insensate through his use of the Red Honey.
The medical practice itself consists of two cramped, filthy rooms on the ground floor, fitfully illuminated by flickering carbide lamps. The walls of the front room are lined by row upon row of narrow shelves filled with hundreds of brown-glass bottles, jars, flasks and tubes, in which Coil keeps a comprehensive stock of medicinal powders, ointments, tinctures, salves and pills, a selection rivaling even those of the major up-town pharmacies.
The back room, separated from the front by a grubby, suspiciously stained curtain, holds a make-shift operating theatre a sturdy, restraint-fitted wooden operating table and wall-mounted racks of sinister-looking bone-saws, scalpels, syringes and other, more intricate, worrying tools of the surgeon´s trade.
From somewhere, Coil has procured a modern, high-powered limelight - a ceiling-mounted, brass-and-glass monstrosity of the type used in up-town hospitals and theatres - to illuminate his work. In one corner a squat, carbide-fuelled stove provides the only source of heating in the establishment, doing double duty as Coil´s sterilization unit.
The second floor consists of a low crawling space under the eaves, filled with an untidy, stinking mess of sweat-stained blankets and clothes in which Coil sleeps or spends his days dreaming Honey dreams.
If one were to look closely at the piles of books and pamphlets that litter the floor, one would see that they are, in fact, very sophisticated medical literature, perhaps one of the foremost collections in the city.
Artemius Coil, Physician
Artemius Coil is a short, pudgy, olive-skinned man with excessive body hair and unpleasant body odor, his receding hair plastered to his scalp by sweat and grease, and with the unhealthy complexion of someone who seldom see the light of day. He is in his late 30´s, but look at least twenty years older.
Coil dresses in an outdated, white physician´s coat, covered in the stains of every disgusting bodily fluid imaginable, and wears thick, round glasses that magnify his sad, bloodshot eyes. His drooping eyelids and slurred speech betray his long-time addiction to the Red Honey, without which he breaks down in violent delirium. He appears mildly disoriented and never speaks above a mumble.
Once a promising young surgeon, a top-notch graduate of one of the finest medical colleges in Locastus and a man of great intelligence, Coil was brought low by his love for the Red Honey. After losing his license to practice medicine, Coil set up shop in the Maul, where niceties such as university diplomas and official license count for very little compared to actual results.
Despite his odious habits and unpleasant demeanor, Coil is not an evil man. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of medicine, and provides cheap and surprisingly sophisticated medical care for the population of the Maul, no matter what the patient´s affiliations.
Although it got him expelled from the University, his addiction has done nothing to limit his abilities as a brilliant surgeon. His connections with the alchemists and apothecaries of the Maul allow him to find medicine for even the rarest diseases.
Artemius Coil is currently kept on the payroll of Mowar Dusk, crime lord of the Upper Maul, to provide medical care for him and his henchmenw. Part of his compensation comes in the form of a steady supply of his favorite poison, the Honey.
Er, I´m not sure what to make of this one, except that it is a flavour piece. It´s one of these characters that I´ve always been able to visualize clearly and that won´t let me rest until I´ve made a formal write-up of him.
Although I can´t really see him being the driving force of a campaign, he could probably be dropped into a campaign if the need for medical attention arises (as it is wont to do) or as a pure flavour piece. Seeing your wounded PC´s panic as Coil absently pulls out a bone saw can be hilarious…..