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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Winter Mist

A Woman's Touch - Attn: Saerythra

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~Dilora~

 

Every bounce the wagon made gave her cause for concern.  As the Andoran hills changed to the flat of near-civilisation, Dilora looked to the horizon to see the town of Four Kings loom at her.  No doubt there had been closer places to go, but she felt the need to have somewhere a little more populated for now.  Caemlyn would be next on her list, for re-supply and to find a really good tavern, but for now the relative anonymity of Four Kings would suit her purpose admirably.  Grass gave way to paved streets, a blissful change from the cobbled stones most villages had, and soon her eyes were filled with sights of shops selling their wares and people bustling about their daily lives as though they had no cares in the world.  She felt a brief twinge for the commerce she was losing with every day that passed but there was nothing to do but wait it out and find someone to help her with her injuries.

 

Tending a horse alone was hard work.  Ensuring her beloved mare was curried and stabled by a lad that looked to know what he was about, Dilora asked him briefly if there was a Wisdom in the village and if there was, where she might find him.  Fortunately for her, the majority of her bruises were under her clothes and only her pained gait would give anything away.  She bore a few healing scabs on her face from shards of glass, but those could have been anything. 

 

The lad passed the information along without hesitation; the silver coin Dilora placed in his hand for his hard work and discretion helped with that.  He told her where she could park the wagon so it would not attract too much attention until she was ready, leading her to an area where carriages could offload heavy cases for visiting nobility, and a large shed with a stout lock on the door would protect her cargo, too.  Dilora smiled, remembering the old times and the fun she had had out on the road.  And promptly winced as a chill wind caught her back and she straightened to a painful ache in her shoulder.

 

“Do you want me to fetch the Wisdom for you, good mistress?”  The stable lad asked.  He did not look around from grooming Altie, and the mare looked content enough.  “No,” Dilora replied, “I’ll go and find her, thank you.”  Bowing, the lad returned to his work and Dilora set her shoulders against the aches, leaving Altie in the man’s care.

 

The street outside was quiet; few people were abroad and from the look of the large bank of dark, heavy cloud bullying it’s way over the rooftops, they had reason to not venture outdoors.  It looked as though the heavens would soon open.  It was most definitely not a day to be abroad.  Increasing her pace a little, Dilora ambled along, looking at each of the houses shrewdly until she came to one that looked promising.  She knocked on the door. 

 

And was promptly directed a few doors down the road.  Cursing under her breath, Dilora trudged to the relevant door and knocked loudly.  Her shoulder ached, so when she stepped back she massaged it with her hand.  Light, but she must look a sight! 

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Saerythra grumbled at the pile of darning, “Light,” she muttered, “I don't know why Marric even bothers with socks; I wish I knew how me manages to rip up every pair so!”  As she slid the needle into the fabric in her hands, a loud knock sounded through the door.  Yelping as she accidentally jabbed herself, Sari put her labor back in the basket on the table and went to the door.

 

Upon opening the door, she found a disheveled young woman standing without.  Blinking, Sari stepped back and gestured that the strange woman should enter.  She shut the door, bemusement painted on her face, and returned to her seat, pointing to a chair at the table for the other woman.  After the other woman lowered herself down and leaned upon the table, Sari spoke, “I'm Sari, the local Wisdom.  And you are obviously not a local, so I can only guess that you need my assistance.”

 

She picked the needle up and gestured with it at the younger woman, “At least, I'm hoping you're asking for help for yourself, and that you don't have a friend stashed somewhere in worse shape; I'd rather not be out in this weather sewing someone up, and looking at you, I'm guessing you're going to need a fair amount of sewing up yourself!”

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~Dilora~

 

Dilora sat back in her chair with an effort, the muscles in her back protesting at their strain.  She winced.  “You would be right there, good mistress.”  Gingerly leaning forward to regard the woman a little closer, Dilora pondered the last time she had seen a Wisdom, or any other form of healer.  She could not remember.  Either she had been incredibly lucky in her lifetime, especially considering the number of fights and predicaments she got into, or the Light was watching out for her.  She snorted at that last one.  Nothing watched over her, she was just careful by nature and had a little luck.  The small sack of remedies she carried in the strongbox under her seat had seen occasional use, after all.

 

Rolling up her sleeves, Dilora showed the Wisdom her forearms; the just-formed scabs had cracked in places and little blobs of blood leaked from them.  Moving her shoulders was an effort to do more, so she merely told her what had happened to cause them such injury.

 

“I hit a tree with some force.  It was nothing major; just an altercation – traders and peddlers get caught up in those all the time, especially where money is concerned.”  Dilora exhaled and let her shoulders slump a little to help against the pain in them.  “Oh, through a window,” she explained, nodding down to the cuts on her arms.  “These things happen.”  Her mouth felt dry and the oppressive nature of the sky outside was beginning to weigh on her.  She closed her eyes and wavered in her chair.  “I don’t suppose you have something I could drink, do you?  Some water, perhaps?”  Dilora licked suddenly dry lips and attempted to swallow without much success.  Why was the room spinning so? 

 

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Sari's eyes widened as the girl went even paler (if that's bloody possible!) and asked for water.  Taking a deep breath, she took the young woman by the arm and helped her get up, "Yes, you may have some water, but how about you come lay down on this nice soft bed?"

 

The girl murmured under her breath, but didn't fight it as Sari put the beaten-up woman's arm around her shoulder and lead her deeper into the house.  It wasn't a big house, but she kept it sparsely furnished and maintained her children's old rooms for patients to rest in.  So it was with not too much effort that she had the peddler woman laid out on top of a coverlet before she began to lose conciousness.

 

The girl had had the right of it though, and was in need of water.  The Wisdom went back into the main room to fetch the pitcher and a mug, and sat herself next to the patient.  "Child," she said softly, laying a hand on her shoulder, "Here is your water..."  She trailed off, realizing that the girl had most definitely passed out.  Sighing, Sari put the cup down and once again to go to the kitchen to prepare what she needed to treat her unexpected surprise.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~

 

<i>"Altercation, she says.  Minor, she says.  Hrmph!"</i> Sari thought to herself as she worked on her unconcious patient.  The Wisdom had been working on her for some time, all while trying to coax some water down the poor child's throat.  Besides the numerous cuts, bruises, and the fever to attend to, there was at least one broken rib.  The girl had moaned at being moved, but the plaster had to be set to keep those ribs from shifting!

 

Satisfied with her work, Sari allowed herself a moment to get a tea for herself before returning to watch the patient.  She had already prepared a mug with the appropriate herbs for when the girl woke up, and had the pitcher on hand.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Some time later, the girl started to come to.  She touched the wet rag on her forehead hesitantly, and weakly turned her head towards the Wisdom.  Sari smiled and rose, "Well child, I dislike treating people without even getting their name, but you'll mend with some rest.  I am going to go put the kettle on, and will be back shortly."

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~Dilora~

 

Did it feel easier?  Dilora was not sure.  Certainly whenever she tried to move it was more difficult.  Her first vague memories were of feeling dizzy, then of looking at an unfamiliar ceiling, and now this.  A damp cloth lay on her forehead, sending cool trickles into already messy hair. 

 

As if she could do anything about her hair at the moment.  Light, it was hurting purely to move her arms.  Where she had been achingly stiff before, at least now she was merely stiff.  Oh, whatever.  She was in the considerate hands of someone that was looking out for her.  My ear itches she thought.  Oh, Light.  She’d not given her name at all to the kind woman now treating her.  Light, Light, Light.  “My name is”, but the woman was already closing the door lightly behind her to go and put the kettle on, she had said.  “I’m Dilora Fashelle.” 

 

The room was warm with vague hints that it had belonged to a young person before this.  The bed was comfortable underneath her and she would have stayed longer if she could.  Of course, that would depend on her carer.  When the door creaked open, Dilora weakly told the woman her name.

 

“Dilora Fashelle,” she began, watching a single ray of sunshine breaking through the heavy cloud visible from the window.  “I cannot begin to thank you enough.”  And then she fell silent for a time, words being too tiring for her.  “Have you given me something to make me sleep?”

 

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Shutting the door lightly behind her, Sari moved the kettle over the fire and made her way to her storage cabinet.  As she waited for the water to heat, she checked her stockpiles of various things, <i>”I'm getting low on sleepwell root; I shall have to find time to harvest more after this girl is resting more comfortably,”</i> she thought to herself, somewhat abashed to be running low on something so needed at this moment.  <i>”But isn't it always like that, running out of what you need when you need it the most?”</i> she mused rhetorically, chuckling softly to herself.

 

Closing the cabinet doors, she turned her attention back to the kettle.  Smiling in satisfaction, she grabbed the toweling hanging near the fireplace and carefully lifted the hot kettle.

 

Pushing the door to the patient's room open carefully with her ample hip, the child croaked out her name. “Dilora Fashelle”, she said, trailing off and turning her attention to a bit of sunshine breaking through the clouds, “I cannot begin to thank you enough.”  Saerythra smiled at the girl as she sat down next to the bed and carefully poured the steaming hot water into the cup of herbs she had prepared earlier.

 

“Have you given me something to make me sleep?”  the girl Dilora queried.  Sari put down the kettle, “I realize that I asked your name and forgotten the courtesty of mine.  I am Saerythra Al'Thorin, and I am obviously the Wisdom, as my mother and her mother were before me.”  Gesturing to the cup, the Wisdom spoke again, “I've not given you anything to help you sleep yet; your body already knew that it needed the rest and did the job itself this time.  This cup contains sleepwell root, as well as a few other things to help speed your healing.  When you wake again, we'll see about getting some food in you – I don't think you're quite up to a meal yet!”

 

She smiled, took the cup from the table, and proffered it to Dilora.

 

 

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~Dilora~

 

Somewhere in the dim and distant fog of her mind, Dilora realised she had never before met a Wisdom.  In all of her travels through towns and villages alike, she had always done business with the men of the councils and the women had not really been in evidence.  Oh, they were at windows or busily about their work, but she had not spoken overmuch with them.  A smile formed at the corners of her lips at the thought that things were coming full circle and that the women were shaping her life more than men were now, and closed her eyes to drift into a less painful slumber than she had known for a few days.  Her last conscious thought was that she had not thanked the Wisdom for her kindness.  Ah, well.

 

Some time later, when the sky outside was darkening and clouds still lingered in ominous presence overhead, Dilora woke.  Her mouth was dry and she tasted some foul substance in her mouth that might just have been the result of her sleep, and the world did not seem as agonising as it had done.  She lifted her arms experimentally.  The pain had receded a little.  The burning around her shoulder joint was not as bad as it had been and she felt in better health, if still weak.  Could she get up?  She tried to move her legs.

 

A few minutes later, she tried again.  She managed to get her legs over the edge of the bed and almost put her feet on the floor when the tiredness hit her again.  Perhaps she’d just lay here for a bit first.  Relaxing sideways, Dilora put her head on the pillow and went to sleep again.  Sleepwell root, she remembered the Wisdom saying.  She’d have to remember that when the nightmares came again. 

 

Full dark had descended when Dilora woke again.  Saerythra had thoughtfully lit a candle that burned slowly in the corner of the room, giving a cheerful glow.  This time, it felt a lot easier when she moved her arm, if still painful.  That Sleepwell root was good stuff.  Her bare feet hit the floor and she shuffled slowly towards the door to try and find the kindly woman that had helped her.

 

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