Known as St. Silin's Hospital, or more formally, The Hospital of St. Silin of Wales. It is dedicated to the saint who gave the village and the local parish church its name.
The hospital is on land granted by Angharad in the village of Llansillin. It has charter to serve the locals of Powys without regard for their ability to pay or their religious background. The latter is important due to the large jewish community housed at the covenant who live on lands granted to Angharad. She wished for all her subjects to have access to care.
The hospital charter was granted to the Council of Members at the Covenant of Nova Semitae. They are both responsible for the operation of the hospital as well as the benefactors for any money it makes.
With the agreement with the Knights Hospitaller based in nearby Poole, there are now black-robed brothers and lay members wearing a white cross who are helping tend to the infirm. The occasional patient is redirected from Poole to the hospital when the knights are unable to provide treatment. This is often the case with diseases, as there are no trained doctors at the Priory in Poole.
These characters primarily serve the hospital and would unlikely be at the covenant proper.
Both doctors and apothecaries were acquired from the University of Monpelier in 1225, and all four traveled north to settle in Wales by the end of 1226. All are relatively inexperienced but trained. This allowed the covenant to pay less for them, expecting that they would then hone their craft on the job.
- Administrator: Jeanne de Dreux
- Jeanne, sister to Geoffrey of Jerbiton, is the covenant's day-to-day administrator for the hospital. While she was relatively inexperienced in the staffing of a hospital, she is noble-born and so carries an air of respectability so that her social inferiors are more likely to obey her while her social peers are more likely to treat the hospital's presence with respect. She also has closer ties with the doctors and the apothecaries as she led the expedition to find them in France in the first place. Odo the Younger is especially helpful in managing supplies and dealing with locals.
- Hospitaller Advisor: Dean (Fr.) Robert of Harlech
- Unlike most of the Hospitaller's foreign leaders for the knights based in Poole, Robert is a local Welshman who joined the Knights Hospitaller as a way to both save his soul and get out of the life of a peasant. His superiors recognized his abilities and he rose to the level of Dean; a minor promotion, but enough to merit some authority. He has never traveled to the Holy Land and given his humble background, is unlikely to ever be trained in the ways of the knights. However, when the Covenant spoke with the Knights about having an 'advisor', he was offered to lead a contingent of non-military brothers and lay members to be nurses and orderlies.
- Estienne de Bise
- Onfroi filius Matheri
Estienne and Onfroi graduated from the same class at the University. However, due to the relatively larger number of doctors in southern Europe, they were considering what their prospects were when the covenant presented them with an opportunity to run their own hospital. After making inquiries about the nature of their future employer and life in Wales, they agreed to come.
When it comes to medicine, Estienne focuses more on diagnosis and treatments that don't require surgery, whereas Onfroi is much more likely to dig into a patient's body to fix things.
Estienne is from Provence and his father is a bishop who fell in love with a woman he met in his travels around the bishopric. They had an affair and Estienne was the result. The woman was a fae, so Estienne has faerie blood. His father put him into the care of a monastery and taught to read and write. He then paid for him to go to university when he got older. While he was pursuing his Magister in Medicina, his father died so he had barely enough money to complete his education. His father's death also deprived him of the contacts to find a good placement at a University or just for clients. Jeanne's offer came at a convenient time, so he is looking forward to beginning a new life in the north.
Onfroi is from the Burgundy region and pursued his education as a way to satisfy his fascination with the human body. He has largely worked around many of the clerical prohibitions of cutting into people under the argument that to not do so would be violating his oath as a doctor to first do no harm. He manages to hide this part of his personality, however, as he is savvy enough to realize that scaring people away would not allow him to continue seeing patients. He is hoping a move to the north where, supposedly, a lot of war is going on will permit him the opportunity to operate on more people.
- Johannes the Elder, older fraternal twin to Odo
- Odo the Younger, younger fraternal twin to Johannes
Johannes and Odo are fraternal twins who both got into the business of supporting doctors, due to various rules about doctors being unable to provide medication on their own. They are natives of Montpelier from a family with deep trading roots in the city. With four elder brothers already in the family business of trading and manufacturing of ships, they opted for a career associated with the University. Their education was paid for, but it was clear that they would be on their own afterward as their education didn't contribute to the family businesses.
Johannes is the more serious of the two and was the first to consider a life as a healer. He has an uncanny ability to find hard-to-find flora that goes into medication (Dowsing), which makes his medicines more potent and effective. He dabbled in some medical training to better understand the doctors' medication requests. He is somewhat nervous about moving to the north, having heard stories about the lawlessness of England and Wales.
Odo followed his elder twin into the apothecary business as he was accustomed to doing the same thing as his brother, and while he is certainly a competent enough apothecary, his interests lie closer to the family's business. Namely, he is very good at using his training to connect with doctors, herbalists, and the regular townsfolk to drive business to his brother. Far more gregarious than Johannes (and more handsome, according to many Montpelier women), he puts on a friendly smile and a handshake with everyone he meets. He has recently married a distant cousin, Eloise, whom he grew up with. Both of them carry a secret, however, in that both are gay. The marriage is one of convenience and remains unconsummated. They play the role of husband and wife out of fear their secret will be discovered. The family (including his twin brother Johannes) has no idea and consented to their marriage as both had numerous older siblings.
Nurses and Orderlies
Most hospitals were run by religious staff who take care of the poor and infirm as part of their religious duties to assist those in need. Because of the unorthodox founding, St. Silin's hospital had very few religious members; much of the day-to-day care were undertaken by nurses and orderlies hired by the covenant using funds paid for by Angharad or by wealthier patients (donors).
In 1230, the hospital received a small contingent of non-military Hospitaller brothers and lay members to assist in non-medical treatment and welfare of the hospital patients. Their familiarity with hospital duties allowed them to integrate quickly and provide a high level of care beyond what the doctors were able to provide. Politically, Hospitallers were placed there to both fulfill one of the Fourth Lateran Council's edicts, as well as to bypass the Bishop of St. Asaph's meddling.