|Fire and Blood (and Pus)|
|Summary:||Maester Taleryth responds to a desperate appeal, none too soon.|
|Related Logs:||Dania's injury logs|
|Infirmary, Sept, Terrick's Roost|
|A short flight of stone steps leads down from the level of the Sept proper into a secluded and quiet chamber to the rear of the building. The walls here are not so ornate, nor so decorated. It's the rich atmosphere of calm and warmth that invites the guest onward across the floor. Cots of sturdily carved wood line a wall on each side of the room, spaced well enough apart to leave plenty of room for healers to move amongst those being cared for within them, and each has a small table for a night-light and pitcher of water. Though a trio of tall, narrow windows high upon the far wall provides some illumination in daylight hours, by dusk the chamber relies upon well-tended braziers for warmth and light both. A tall set of shelves toward one corner houses piles of freshly laundered and folded sheets and blankets, while a lower cabinet at the other side is scattered with bottles and jars, even the odd sheaf of parchment and world-weary candles.|
|4th December, 289|
Night has fallen and the sounds of crickets and frogs can be heard. Most are home or eating dinner; those residing in the Sept are either working or tending those that are sick and hidden away in the infirmary. Dania is still here, she seems to have taken up residence.
An older woman in late forties sits next Dania's bed. Her long ash blond hair has been neatly braided and pinned up underneath veil; she is dressed in a blue linen gown that matches her pale blue eyes. There is embroidery work along the hem and the neckline of the dress that is done in darker blue floss. The woman is working on some needle work and she occasionally looks up to peer at the sleeping Dania. When she does do this her brow is furrowed with worry. Placing her needle work down on her lap, she leans forward and places the back of her hand on Dania's brow. She then reaches for a cool compress and places it on her brow, back of her neck, the crook of her arms and the back of her knees. She moves quickly and once this is done she places her hand on Dania's cheek one more time before she picks up her embroidery again.
Entering the room in her fine gown is Freya Caul. Seeing the other lady she curtsies. "You are a relative of Mistress Dorsey? You look similar Mistress. I am Freya Caul - an old friend. Just wanted to see how she is doing… hope I'm not interrupting…" Freya has that small measure of awkwardness about her that marks her as common. None of the poise of the aristocracy.
The uncertain hoofbeats of a less than entirely confident rider on a less than totally thoroughbred mount pound the soft ground outside, and throb through the evening air. Some raised voices and hissed remonstrance go back and forth, before a firm, efficient human step succeeds to the animal's clopping. The trim, youthful, and without doubt *healthy* form of Tordane Tower's maester in his long, pale grey robes materialises at this persistent sickbed; there is something reproachful about Taleryth's wholesome, unblemished state…or perhaps slightly guilty. Whichever, it fuels his impatience as he bids the other visitor - whom he takes for a septa - stand aside to let him get closer. But he is also curious, and there is a frantic note in his voice as he enquires of the elder woman, "She has been stable these last few days?"
The other girl he seems indifferent to, though if his hazel eyes do reach her direction, they'll be seen to be hovering in a state of indecision as to whether it's good practice to let such creatures as she in a sickroom at all…
Call it a conflux of excellent timing, or just plain random happenstance, Nedra arrives with her own Septa and one of her armsmen soon on the heels after the arrival of the healthy form of Tordane Tower's Maester. In her arms there is a heavy wicker basket laden with fresh baked bread, a crockery jar full of soup, another one of a rich clear broth, along with a small selection of fresh fruit wrapped in a cloth package. She hesitates near the entrance to the infirmary, "If I may, Maester?" Nedra volunteers from the door, "if by 'stable' you mean has not been worse, I would say no, not worse, Maester. But we did bring in several remedies and hopefully good intentioned medicines, the Septa last night did what she could to try to clean the wound." With that said she continues forward, offering a awkward -arms full- sort of curtsy of respectful greeting to the Master healer, "You received the Raven that we sent and the note, I hope? I'm Nedra Mallister," she adds by way of belated introduction.
"Nay not good Lady, if you are a friend of hers. She could use the company." She tells her. The older woman offers her a curtsy. She is about to say more but the Maester has her attention.
"I am not certain my husband and I arrived yesterday at the bidding of our oldest son. They having been giving her the milk of the poppy and I and my husband have yet to see her lucid. From what we have been told she has been burning with fever, but they have been able to keep the fever from killing her."
The woman offers a curtsy to Nedra and moves to offer her help. "Lady Mallister, she is the same. She has not been awake and when she is she is asking what flag flies over city and she names off people asking that they added to the roster of the silent ones. I think the remedies helped as they have kept her from sweating, she is hot to the touch, but fluid seems to be staying in her."
Freya curtsies at the entrance of Nedra and the Maester, "Mi'Lady - Maester," again almost unrecognisable in noble attire to anyone who knew her in the room from when she was a manacled dirty thief. Aside from Nedra of course who'd seen her in this attire before. "Gladly I will keep Mistress Dorsey company - Your son is the knight of the keys - Ser Keelin then? I know him as well - he is a friend."
Taleryth swivels first in Lady Nedra's direction, conceding her a respectful if slightly perfunctory nod - "My lady, I did, though betimes rumour flies faster even than ravens. I came when I could…" He pauses for the goodwife's account, then nods cautiously and goes on, "and if this woman's account coheres as truly with yours as it seems, then it would seem I am not, yet, too late. Do you know…what it was this septa used to treat her, my lady? Has Mistress Dorsey yet endured any firemilk, for example…?"
The maester pauses his inquisition with a sigh, as if his spirits are bending beneath sudden, heavy doubt, and speaks no more, but gets to his knees beside the bed, as he folds back the coverlet to examine the arrow-wound, no matter of propriety consulted or needed in this urgent circumstance.
The leg is bandaged loosely. Beneath the loose fitting bandage a puncture wound can be seen. Maggots feast on the gangrene flesh. The area surrounding the puncture is red and angry looking with veins of green and yellow and it looks like it will burst. The puncture wound itself is weeping green and yellow puss. The scent is putrid. It looks like they have been cleaning it and it is hot to the touch. Dania is hot to the touch but she is no longer sweating. She is pale and lips dry and cracked. There are also cool compresses that have been placed on her to keep her temperature down.
Nedra tilts her head in a subtle nod toward Freya, "Ms Caul," she says simply before shifting her attention toward Taleryth, shifting the wicker basket to the arms of her own Septa before she rubs her hands lightly together to smooth the indents away from her hands. "I don't know, I'm so sorry, Maester," she says with a slow shake of her head. "That is, I know that she has some firemilk, I know that she's been given some liquid poppy to help with the pain and help her rest. I spent the day yesterday going from herbalist to wisewoman and gathering as many possible remedies as I could, each gave me detailed instructions on how to use the suggested remedies and all was given to the Septa that is doing most of the work to tend to our Dania."
"And maggots," Nedra adds hastily, "to try to stay ahead of the sickness in the .. well, the sickness around the wound."
"Well," the young Maester observes drily, "I'm glad at least to hear that those last are there by invitation, my lady."
Freya merely watches the proceedings, "Yes I heard mention of firemilk from one of the Septas who was in here…" Only being able to confirm that part of Nedra's story but contributing little else other than sympathy. Her brow is furrowed.
"Either a sliver of the arrow head, a substantial splinter of the shaft, or both, is still buried beneath the apparent incision, and has long since begun to fragment," Taleryth murmurs, his low tone, as far as anyone can tell, addressed mainly to himself; and even as he mutters, a slender silvered scalpel glitters in his dextrous right hand, and soon begins a hunt in the would's morass, with deft, exploratory, angular strokes.
<FS3> Taleryth rolls Chiurgeonry: Good Success.
"That.. yes," Nedra says, or - rather - starts to say in reply to the Maester before he begins to employ the use of a slender sliver of a blade upon the unpleasantly fragrant mess surrounding the wound on Dania's leg. As a daughter and sister of Knights, soldiers, sailors, Nedra is no stranger to the sight of a blade being employed in various means. Gutting fish, for example, messy and smelly work, but necessary. Or - after a successful hunt - seeing the animal dressed and bled before being carted back. There is, however, some measure of a difference between a fish or a stag and a human, especially one that she is fond of. "Oh," is about the sum of the sound that Nedra makes before she sets her jaw, lips pressed together, eyes wider than normal, but bucks up and stands silently after a slight movement forward then back, being mindful to NOT FAINT, Mallister women don't faint.
Freya is a little bit more indifferrent to the surgery - having seen her family murdered - her mother's limbs boiled in torture - she can take the sight. However she is still worried and that concern registers on her face. "Hmm evidently Lord Keenan's field medicine did not help overmuch…" is her only remark.
And, indeed, the result of the search involves a little rusty iron - if it was once steel it's no longer identifiable as anything of the kind - more brittle wood fragments, and what looks at first sight like about a quart of pus and blood. But the proof of his hypothesis is not sufficient to let the Maester decide his task is complete. He now goes about applying something new from an inner pouch within his robe. It seems he is trying to stem the flow of flesh blood with its clotted counterpart, something dark red and thick and sticky…
<FS3> Taleryth rolls Herbalism: Great Success.
Whatever Taleryth just slapped on, those maggots don't seem to like it all. The lucky or adept ones realise their term of tenancy has expired and evacuate, but the rest are about to learn that Myrish Fire is the very purest death.
Nedra's face drains of all color when the liquid spill of blood and pus is pressed out of the wound, the loss of color is followed - or accompanied by - a harsh exhalation of breath. Her attention is drawn to a thick drop of the dark liquid that hands in a nasty looking clot before it slowly drops the floor with a splat of sound that Nedra imagines she can hear. Even if she really cant. Imagination, such a wonderful thing, or not wonderful, as the case may currently be. What ever it is that the Maester pours on the wound causes the maggots to flee the wound, the pale sluggish fly larvae wiggling for the relative safety of the surrounding flesh - mindlessly, but instinctively - seeking a new, safe food source.
Freya cants her head and sighs, "Is she going to be alright maester?" a question that Freya had asked a thousand times before of other people. Her large blue eyes expand to the size of saucepans. The blood and pus and maggots however do not disturb her.
Having returned once more empty handed from the search, Mortimer was quickly informed of the arrival of the Maester by the guards on watch and so after a brief converation with the missing maid's family, he's sticking his head into the infirmary to see what the prognosis might be. Not that he's planning on staying long mind, not after the night before, but long enough to see what there is to see. He's just stepping down from the main area of the sept as the Myrish Fire is applies, having just missed the cleansing of the wound. The Maester is easy enough to spot besides Dania's form, although his attention is quickly drawn to Nedra as her lack of colour is noted. Noble women taking 'turns' is not generally considered a great idea, especially on hard stone floors, so he quickens his pace towards the small gathering, grabbing a small stool from beside one of the other cots as he does so. "Lady Mallister," he offers, "here," placing the stool beside her and offering a hand should she need steadying. Only then does he acknowledge the others present, "Master, Mistress."
"It'll hurt for some time," the maester admits curtly, deigning in this extremity, as he packs up his ointment and blade alike, to address Freya directly, "a lot. But after that, if she dies, it won't be from an arrow-wound. Or indeed its treatment, as I value my chain. Good night, my lady," he gasps out to Lady Nedra, somewhat hoarse after the moment's tensions. "I have done what I can, and must depart." The Terrick man gets the briefest of nods as the Maester leaves, as in his departure Taleryth seems to be bearing in mind that he is sworn to House Nayland. For now.