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 Post subject: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:44 pm 
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Here are some things I found out about the Plague Doctors to introduce the topic:

They were also called Medico della Peste, and were usually unqualified people working as "doctors" when the real ones fled. They worked for the large sums they received (though there were, of course, some that were sincere), and they also took the opportunity to loot.

They often did little to heal, or even attempt to heal. They counted and disposed of the dead, and dealt with legal issues.

Their costume was designed to keep them sealed off from the disease, like an early form of an hazardous material handling suit. It failed to protect them, but this may have been because of the unqualifiedness of most of them, since the plague doctor that invented the suit survived to old age. His name was Charles de Lorme.

The suit consisted of a long coat with long sleeves, long trousers, and gloves, made of leather or canvas covered in wax; boots, a hood gathered at the neck, a hat, and a stick to keep people away, and to prod the victims of the plague without touching them.

They also had the mask, which covered their face, with glass covered eye-holes, and a long, curved, conical protuberance: the beak which gave them the name of beaked doctors.

The beak was filled with strong-smelling things, such as camphor, rose, or lavender. This was supposed to keep out bad air. To me it seems to be a simple gas mask. Gas masks often seem to be connected with horror.

In France they would burn things inside the beak to clear the air by the smoke. So sometimes the beak was smoking, and would probably have blown with smoke when they breathed.

Their connection with death has given them a dark aura.

Image

Discuss I pray you!

Have you used these in a story? Have you seen them used in a story? Have you seen something similar in some way? Do you have any ideas of how they could be used in a story?

What do you find most interesting about them? What else have you heard about them?

Here are some links about them:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plague_doctor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plague_doctor_costume

http://plaguedoc.tumblr.com/

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:45 pm 
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Fascinating. :book:

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:45 pm 
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Wow... o.O Seems like it would be creepy to be visited by a doctor wearing all that, especially the beak. o.O XD

Quite interesting, Patrick. :D

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:46 pm 
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So neither of you have heard of the beaked doctors before?

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:46 pm 
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I hadn't, though I'd seen the picture before.

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:47 pm 
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I always thought these guys looked like they would make perfect sci-fi villians. :P They are rather scary looking.


On an episode of Face Off one of the guys made a sci-fi costume based off of the plague doctors.

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
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No, I'd never heard of them before reading this.

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:48 pm 
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Oh, thanks for posting. :D I've been wondering about these guys. I've seen them all over the net and hadn't set down to research them yet.

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:48 pm 
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I've seen the picture and heard the name, but I had never heard of their background and the explanation for their odd looks (which are terribly creepy, by the way).

I can't recall reading them in a story yet, but I'm sure they would make interesting characters. *goes off to dream up a plot*

Thanks for sharing, Patrick!

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:49 pm 
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Thank you all for posting!

Airianna Valenshia wrote:
I always thought these guys looked like they would make perfect sci-fi villians.
Yes, you could think of a lot of variants for Sci-fi and Fantasy. It is a very unique idea, but basic enough to have a lot of options. I should probably start parallel threads on the other forums too.

Lady Kitra Mimetes wrote:
I've seen them all over the net
Lady Nicole wrote:
I'd never heard of them before reading this.
*grins * The first I heard of it was the Wikipedia article, though I am sure I had seen the beak shaped party mask before.

Where all over the net have you seen them Lady Kitra?

Idril Aravis Mimetes wrote:
*goes off to dream up a plot*
Be sure to tell us what you come up with!

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:50 pm 
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Oh my word, these guys are so creepy! o.O *Shivers* Especially if they like...didn't talk. Silent, beaked, expressionless figures... :shock: :pale: :rofl: That is food for a story. Why haven't I heard about this before now? o.O

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:51 pm 
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Calista Beth Mimetes wrote:
Especially if they like...didn't talk. Silent, beaked, expressionless figures...
Yes, I thought of them as silent too, and they always seem to be depicted as silent.

I even invented a creed: to make no sound, and to write no letters. They must communicate only by hand signs and pictograms. Various factions differ: allowing whistled signals or whistled languages, not allowing hand signs that stand for letters, but only pictorial ones, etcetera.

One of my favorite ideas is that of having something burning in the beak; the smoke would blow out whenever they breathed out.

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May Sir Emeth Mimetes find you doing this.
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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:51 pm 
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Oh wow.... :shock: What would be even better would be if the smoke was an odd color... XD Like, greenish, or really black black instead of grayish black...

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:52 pm 
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Wow. Thanks for posting this! Very informative.

I think I heard about them once in a book I read-but they certainly weren't the focus and I never bothered to learn more. I had seen that picture before though, but couldn't find out what it was. I thought it was some sort of costume for a holiday or something. Thanks for explaining!

By the way, in reference to the beak/gas-mask, how would that work? Breathing strong substances such and camphor and such, wouldn't that kill the breather on its own?

And how would I use them in my story? You have given me a marvelous idea for a type of monk/monster in a fantasy story I'm planning on writing.

And the 'absolute silence' part would be an interesting facet to add as well.

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 Post subject: Re: The Beaked Plague Doctors
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:38 am 
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Thank you Lady Charlotte!

People can survive amazing things. I doubt breathing through the beak would get worse than a bad smoking habit. I am not sure what smelling camphor too much would do to you, I do not even know what it smells like myself. Aromatic herbs would probably not do any harm at all, even if they were very strong.

It would be interesting to have a reclusive character who dresses in this costume out of a desire to be in a controlled and isolated environment.

Another interesting idea is a group of people who wear beak masks filled with hallucinatory drugs, so that they fight under their influence. Or a person who uses hypnosis inducing drugs to control his followers, and so they would be walking like sleepwalkers, but if anyone tore off their mask, they would wake up as if from a dream.

You could even have an idea like The Invisible Man, the Nazgul, or Alphonse in Fullmetal Alchemist, where the clothes are so all enveloping in order to conceal the fact that there is no one inside, or no one visible inside.
Or something like Darth Vader, where the body is connected to the mask, or the gas mask people in Dr. Who: The Empty Child, where the mask becomes part of the body.

A bit of a further out idea: they could be suits, uniforms, space suits, hazardous environment suits, combat suits, pilot suits, or biotechnology suits, for people with bird's heads.

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Servant of God, Brother of Christ, and Sealed by the Holy Ghost.

Tsahraf is Hebrew, meaning to refine, cast, melt, purge away, try.

Chahsid Mimetes means Follower of the Holy One, or saint.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
I Corinthians 11:1

May Sir Emeth Mimetes find you doing this.
Thank you, in Gods name, thank you.


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