The Haruspex

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The Haruspex
Artemy Burakh
Haruspex (Гаруспик)
Isidor Burakh (father)

Artemy Burakh (Артемий Бурах)—also known as the Haruspex—is the only child of Isidor Burakh. Artemy is a man deeply rooted in the local folklore and tradition, but is also one trying to find his place within it. He is one of three playable characters alongside the Bachelor and the Changeling.

One day, Artemy receives a letter from his father, warning him of a coming danger and urging him to swiftly return home. Upon doing so, Artemy finds out that his father is dead, gets blamed for the murder of another man, and is forced to fight to restore his name and to uncover the nature of the doom that is about to engulf his hometown.

Description[edit | edit source]

Artemy is a severe, restrained man with a sharp gaze. He tells rough, even cruel jokes and is generally sarcastic. Those that fear him think he smells of blood. However, for all that, Artemy is straightforward, honest, and comes to the rescue in times of need. He uses violence only when it comes to matters of duty and honour—and the smell of blood is relative. In fact, one of the herb brides says Artemy smells "like autumn earth, and the smoke of burnt leaves."[1]

It is also generally considered that he is the biggest of the playable, and of most non-playable characters, although in-game it may appear otherwise.

Background[edit | edit source]

Artemy Burakh is coming back to his home town after an absence of ten years. Born to a family endowed with a caste right to cut living beings open, he was preparing himself for this line of work since childhood. Artemy's father, Isidor Burakh, a wise man and philosopher well-respected by the locals, had admitted to the limits of traditional knowledge and sent his son off to study modern medicine in the academy.

Artemy has been travelling from town to town learning theoretical and practical surgery for several years now. Suddenly a mysterious letter appears with his father giving him notice of his impending demise and begging Artemy to return and accept succession. Unwilling to wait for a regular freight train, Artemy follows the rails through the Steppe until he's caught up with by a small shunt locomotive. This is how young Haruspex arrives in the Town.''

"Sacrifice" Route Introduction

Artemy Burakh; a haruspex, an oynon, and the only heir to the greatest local shaman: Isidor Burakh. He is a member of a menkhu family, which according to local custom gives him the ancestral right to dissect bodies.

He left the Town-on-Gorkhon at the age of 16 to study surgery at the Capital. He's been defined as a "vagrant scholar"—indeed, Artemy has lived in more than a few places while learning medicine, prior to his return home at his father's request. Not much else is known about Burakh's background, and it is probably safe to assume that Artemy does not remember much of it himself.

Goals[edit | edit source]

Artemy's main objective is to fulfill the obligations of his father. His route is called The Path of Sacrifice.

Because he is an oynon, or sage, he cannot afford to allow the dead of his family to have outstanding commitments. If they do, he shall be divested of the right to his title. The Haruspex relies upon the traditions and wisdom of his ancestors; he is a menkhu first of all, no matter how long he lived in the Capital.

He strives each day to create a Panacea, in the hopes of being able to cure the Sand Plague, and believes that the future of the town rests on the survival of those that are Bound to him. Whether or not this is the case is dependent on one's disposition.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Unlike the other two playable characters, the Haruspex begins with no starting or special weapons, and only can use what is obtained during the game. Artemy is the only playable character who can take organs from dead bodies, as in local tradition only "Those Who Know the Lines" (menkhu and butchers) may dissect bodies. He can trade said organs with the hunchback for medical supplies. He can gather herbs as well, and unlike the other playable characters, may trade them with Worms. Both organs and herbs may be also be useful for making healing tinctures in the distiller inherited from his father.

The Haruspex can also gamble on rat racing or fight in the Circle of Suok for rewards.

Pathologic: The Marble Nest[edit | edit source]

Spoiler warning: Significant plot details follow.
In The Marble Nest, it is revealed that Artemiy perished sometime before the eighth day of the outbreak. The vial of Panacea that Bachelor retrieves from the drugstore is the only one produced before Artemiy's death. However, given the nature of The Marble Nest, it's not clear that this is Artemiy's ultimate fate.
Significant plot details end here.

Bound (Termites)[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • In the original English translation of the game, his name was written as "Artemiy Burakh."
  • The practice of haruspicy (from the Latin haru "entrails, intestines" and spec "to watch, observe") was a religious process dating back to ancient Babylon, and later to the Etruscans, in which a religious figure known as a "haruspex" was trained to inspect the entrails of sacrificed animals. The belief was that these entrails contained supernatural messages and prophecies. In the game, Burakh uses haruspicy to find a cure for the Sand Plague.
  • The Haruspex's appearance is based on Nikolai Dybowski, the head of Ice-Pick Lodge.
  • The surname Burakh has multiple potential sources: perhaps burkhan, which means 'spirit' or 'god' in several steppe languages; the Semitic root B-R-K, which means 'to kneel down', or 'to bless'; or the Semitic root B-R-Q, which means 'lightning'.[2][3][4]

Spoken Dialogue[edit | edit source]

→ See The Haruspex/Spoken Dialogue

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]