Jump to content



To Boil Water (Solo RP- Mordre)


Recommended Posts

“Warm the water,” Shri’s said, her voice interrupting the steady flow of reminders Mordre’s mind was sifting through as she sat on the floor of the hut Shri insisted to work in, crushing herbs with a mortar and pestle. She eyed the gaishan standing silently just to the side of her and wondered for a moment who the Wise One was speaking to. With a resigned inward sigh, she rose to her feet. If the gaishan wasn’t moving, then Mordre was obviously the intended water warmer. She moved towards the fire pit and, not for the first time, wished she still had that beautiful cloth her mother had given her when she was ten for moving hot items off a crackling fire. She’d been forced to give it away when Shri had taken her from her home. She’d cried as she wrapped her youngest sister’s hands around it, knowing this sister would have the most need of it. Pelina had cried, too, but she’d clutched the cloth to her chest like she’d never let it go and that had to be enough for Mordre. Pelina would make a great roofmistress someday, after all. 

Mordre wrapped her hands in a much thinner cloth and moved a small bowl closer to the fire to warm. The water inside barely moved. She’d realized the day was a cool one, but just hadn’t realized it was cold enough to freeze water! She looked over her shoulder at Shri, who was busy making a poultice for a fallen Warrior. She edged the water a little closer to the fire, hoping the ice inside would melt and begin to warm up more quickly. She watched it closely until Shri’s voice again interrupted her thoughts. 

“Watching it does not make it warm faster,” the Wise One said. Mordre felt her face flame and turned away from the bowl, keeping time in her head to keep the water from growing too hot. Shri said ‘warm’ the water, after all. If she handed it to her boiling hot, she was sure to earn toh for it. She shuddered at the thought and sat a few feet away, picking up her bowl of seeds and returning to grinding them. She did it rather absently, though, as her attention was almost wholly focused on the bowl of water resting a breath from the fire. 

A few moments later, she checked it, deemed it warm enough and moved it away from the fire. She hissed as the hot bowl burned her fingers, but it was the only sign that it caused her pain as she moved the bowl across the room to the table Shri was working on. “Mordre, this water is barely lukewarm. Try again.”

Mordre stared at the bowl, but turned back to the fire, moving it a bit closer to the fire so as to warm faster. She turned her back on it, using the grinding of the pestle to count time in her head as she waited for it to warm again. She heated it a little more this time, believing that the trip across the room cooled it off. When she pulled it off this time, she bit back the hiss of pain as the hot bowl burned the already reddened portions of her fingers. There were tears shining in her eyes, but she held them back as she took the bowl back to Shri.

“Just set it there. It needs to cool off a bit,” she said, her eyes still on her poultice. Mordre sighed inwardly, but set the bowl on the table and moved back to her mortar and pestle. It was harder to grind the little seeds into dust with the burns on her fingers, but she did it, tears still shining in her eyes.


Only when the herbs where a hazy powder in the small bowl did Shri say anything else. "Bring your herbs, Mordre, and come sit with me." Mordre did as she was told, head bowed as she settled next to her mentor. "You are too hasty for results," she said softly, handing the now-warm water that Mordre had burned herself on back to her. "Mix your herbs in the water slowly, stirring it continuously until you get a nice thick liniment. Do you remember what these are for?" 


Mordre took a deep breath and thought about the herbs she'd been told to grind up. "Dogsworth," she started, her hands stirring the powdered herbs into the bowl of water. "will clean a wound, fighting off further infection. Sunburst root will help bruises fade quickly. Lionheart will numb the pain of whatever it's applied to." 


"Very well done," Shri said softly, taking the bowl away from Mordre as the liniment thickened up. "Now give me your hands. I had you mix this liniment to treat your own wounds, knowing, as I do, that you are hasty when there is a simple task to be done. You seek to finish the easy things quickly and dedicate your attention to the more difficult tasks. What was your reward this time?" Shri began massaging the liniment into Mordre's burned fingers and palms, bringing tears to her eyes that weren't all related to pain. 


"I burned my hands," she responded quietly, her shoulders slumping. 


"More so, you damaged tools that you needed in order to complete the more difficult tasks. There are any number of ways that doing something which you believe to be simple, much like boiling water, can turn disastrous when the proper attention is not given to them. Patience is a skill, much like any other that you must learn, Mordre. It will end badly for any seeking your aid should you forget that." Shri's voice never rose, not in all the time Mordre had been around her. Perhaps that is why  Mordre actually listened to what she was saying.  "I hope you learned more than a liniment for burns this day, Mordre."


Mordre didn't answer, at least not verbally. She nodded slowly, her eyes glued to her fingertips as she felt the coolness change to heat and back to cool again. That would be the Sunburst Root, she guessed. 


"Shri," she asked suddenly, her voice dropping to a whisper. "Is it possible to boil water without using fire?" 


The woman actually took a moment to look back at her, her expression devoid of emotion when she finally did. "Of course," she answered, her tone clipped. "Think you that it is time for you to learn that, as well? Have you not learned enough this day?" 


"I would learn such that I might not burn myself the next time a simple chore presents itself," Mordre answered, her gaze never waivering from Shri's as the woman stared back at her. 


"When you can make that liniment without injuring yourself or any other you administer it to, we will discuss learning what you ask," Shri answered, turning away before Mordre's expression darkened. 


So, she had make this mixture and administer it before she was allowed to learn another way? She could do that tomorrow! All she needed was someone to burn themselves...




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Months! It had been months since she’d burned her hands on Shri’s liniment and she grew more and more irritable each day that passed with no one crying their way into Shri’s presence begging for burn liniment. It was cold! People had fires! People cooked! People lit candles! Yet, no one came to Shri for liniment! Her patience was wearing thin and she found herself biting chunks out of her cheek to keep from earning toh with a less than civil response.


She busied herself with learning everything the woman would teach her, going so far as to act the part of a gaishan when another Wise One visited, serving whatever refreshments Shri asked for and waving off the white-robed man who shadowed her every movement. She learned quite a bit about behaviors and attempted to model them when she was not around another Wise One. If she was going to be treated differently, so be it! She’d act differently, too!


Finally, she heard a shriek from the center of the village and, following close on Shri’s hels, ran every step to  the source of the chaos. A house was ablaze, settled far too close to another roof, which was already smoking. She didn’t wait for Shri to shout orders, but set about organizing the water lines and the ash buckets to get the flames smothered. Three Wise Ones appeared around the house, and two split off into the house that had yet to catch fire, leaving only she and Shri outside. The woman turned towards Mordre and motioned inside with one hand while holding up the other. She was telling Mordre to stay outside, that she was going inside to be of whatever assistance she could be to the others already inside. It galled Mordre to be left outside, but she nodded, turning her attention to asking questions of those standing around about whomever might still be inside the house and about how the blaze was started. She learned very little about the latter, but did find out that two small children were unaccounted for and that the roofmistress, herself, hadn’t been seen since the smoke was seen from the roof.


A shout drew her attention to the door and she gasped, seeing Shri stumbling through it, holding a young girl in her arms. She hurried over, taking the girl from Shri’s arms. “Ready the cots,” Shri said, breathlessly. “There will be more. Take this girl and get to work on her burns. Be quick about it!”


Mordre, half elated that she’d get to test her liniment and half frightened she’d somehow manage to maim this child, rushed back to Shri’s little hut, dashing through the doorway and settling the child on one of the cots settled against the wall. She hurried about, laying fresh linens over the other two cots and setting up small work stations with clean rags. She paused, eying the girl on the cot. A few moments later and a small bowl of water was settled next to the coals in the fire, with another larger bowl settled right next to it. She tried humming a soft tune as the girl on the cot began stirring, soaking a rag in the small bowl of water, which had just grown a little warm and cleaning away the grime that covered the girl’s face and neck. She gently stroked the ash away from the girl’s body, finding a few burns that would need attention, though it was likely the worst of her injuries were inside her small body.


She was crushing herbs when Shri bustled in with a handful of people sporting injuries and two others needing the cots. Mordre didn’t have time to feel proud that she’d correctly guessed what was needed any more than Shri had time to pat her on the back for it. Somewhere in the hours that followed, Mordre made six bowls of the burn liniment, cleaned skin with gentle hands and warm water and slathered the liniment over the burns while Shri set about diagnosing the three on cots and bustling out anyone who was still standing around. Mordre murmured softly about bringing them more liniment as soon as she could and helped Shri until she was close to dropping.


In the gray hours of dawn, Shri finally settled down in a chair. Mordre was nursing her aching back as she bent over another bowl of the burn liniment, mixing the herbs together until they were smooth and filling small jars with it that she would deliver to the people she’d promised last night. Shri had asked for more than this little liniment and she’d delivered each herb, each mixture, each tincture and each cup of hot tea until their patients were all sleeping peacefully.


“You did well,” Shri said quietly, her head leaning on the back of her chair. “Tomorrow, we will begin new lessons for you, I think.”


Mordre was confused at first, turning her head to Shri with a wrinkle in her brow. She smiled at Shri, too tired to do more than that. “I would be honored,” she said, turning her head back to the liniment. Was it sad that she hoped the woman meant tomorrow as in after they’d both recovered from this wild night of mixing and running? 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...