|Summary:||Part Three in the 'pour burning firemilk on Gedeon's open wound' saga.|
|Related Logs:||All the other 'Gedeon is stabbity-ed' logs|
|Infirmary Room in Tordane Tower|
|A small room off of the Infirmary.|
|17 January 289|
A significant portion of Tordane Tower and its grounds have been allocated to the support structure necessary to supply and maintain a large army in the field. Those familiar with such things five years past would find the organization and layout rather familiar, if not comforting. Ser Gedeon Rivers has been instructed to wait in the allocated chamber, which has layers of clean (if rather worn and not exactly 'show' quality) sheets spread over a firm, but not uncomfortable bed. An end table with a clean basin atop it is at hand, and the retainer who deposited Gedeon here informed the knight that one of the healers would be along shortly. After inquiring whether the knight had need of anything, the servant would vacate.
Gedeon's reply is a calm shake of his head as he settles back in the bed with careful, ginger motions. His color is beginning to return, and if he's still pale, he at least isn't the ghastly greyish-white he was sporting in camp when the infection was raging. He keeps his gaze on the door, only the tap-tapping of fingers against the back of his other hand suggesting any sort of impatience or anxiety.
However much she might like to be, the lady Lucienne is not a healer. She's chattering in low tones to the lady Danae as they make their way up the corridor toward the specified chamber, her hands clasped gently in front of her. "Surely it's just a precaution," she says, following up with a soft shrug that indicates a lack of conviction to that theory. "Just up here," she adds, gesturing to the next door along. When they appear in the frame, she's a sympathetic smile for the injured knight. "Ser."
Although no chigurgeonist herself, Danae has some foundation as a herbalist; her response for the lady Lucienne's convictions is a soft smile as she walks with the other lady. "Surely, the company could certainly not malign his chances either way," she notes lightly, pale eyes flitting about the length of the hall. She follows in Lucienne's footsteps, a blonde shadow as they enter the room. "You're looking well, Ser."
The arrivals of the ladies Terrick and Westerling call up a soft smile from Gedeon, and as he cannot manage a bow, he offers each a deep nod, instead. "My ladies, thank you. I find I am feeling much improved. Thank you very much for attending me. You're both very kind."
The chamber is small, although not so tiny that the three are falling over themselves when the door open again, and a short, slight man in the grey robes of the Citadel steps inside, a chain of nine links about his neck (behind him can be glimpsed a pair of young men, carrying carious implements of the chiurgeon's trade). One greying brow is raised as he looks between the expected occupant, and the pair of unexpected ones. "My Ladies. Ser Knight. Have I come at a bad time?" he wonders, tone running toward the dry with that question.
"Thankyou for calling upon us," Lucienne says, glancing at Danae as she speaks for them both. And then the Citadel's man steps in, with his assistants and his intruments, and she dips a slight curtsy. "Maester, good day. You don't mind if we lend the good Ser some moral support?"
"If that isn't too much of an inconveinence," Danae requests sweetly, adding her plea to Luciennes as she dips into a matched curtsey. Her tone is a mix of respect and concern, gaze flitting towards Gedeon before looking back at the Maester through blonde lashes.
"Maester," Gedeon greets as the man arrives. "Not at all. The ladies are simply fond acquaintances who happen to have an interest in Chiurgeonry as well as offering a bit of comfort through an unpleasant process. I hope you might permit them to remain?"
"I would advise against it, and caution the good ladies that the procedure is not a pleasant one," the maester warns as delicately as he can, before adding, "But so long as my work is not obstructed, it is not my place to bid noble ladies where they may or may not go." Then his muddy brown eyes go to Gedeon, to whom he speaks further. "Ser, I am Maester Cerwin, sent to attend your injury. I understand it to be a gut wound that had taken foul?" A look back and motion to one of his assistants, who begins setting up the array of small blades, scissors, and other handheld tools that bear an uncanny resemblance to instruments of torture, as well as folds of clean clothand stoppered clay bottles. The second attendant carries a small iron pot that steams when it pours a measure of clear liquid into the bedside basin.
"We shall stand well out of your way, good Maester Cerwin," promises the dark-haired of the two ladies, in mild tones. For her part, she glides up to a spot at the head of the bed, a step removed to allow plenty of room for conducting whatever procedure needs be conducted, yet close enough and hopefully with a good vantage. Of the wound. Which she is itchingly curious to see, judging by the way she peers.
"Good Maester, you are too kind. Gruesome as it may be, it is a dear interest in these troubled times," Danae says favoring the man with a warm, broad smile. The lady Lucienne's arm is given a gentle squeeze, before she follows her into the tantelizing spot. "Will it be too untoward if I query some of that which you use, Maester Cerwin? I have some fair grounding in herbalism, but I do not recognize that clear solution," she wonders, eyes all on the tools which are being laid out.
Gedeon waits until the ladies speak and position themselves, and he nods at the Maester, though his gaze moves to all those sharp shining tools and capped potives. "I gut wound, yes, that went deep into the muscle but thankfully not beneath. It was cleaned with water and then firemilk, and when it became clear there was infection, firemilk was used a second time and a pocket of flesh and foulness was found and removed. I began to recover, after."
Maester Cerwin pauses a moment to favor Danae with a long look at her query over the steaming clear solution. "It is water, my Lady. Boiled." With that mystery answered, be notes, "I apologize if my manner is brusque, but for now I am not present as an instructor, nor a lecturer, but as a healer. I would thank the good ladies for a minimum of distraction." A look aside to his first asistant who has completed laying out the instruments. "Assist the knight in removing his tunic, Geon." He nods to Gedeon's account, asking of him next, "Have you oft been treated before with either sweetsleep or milk of the poppy, Ser?"
Lucienne keeps an even expression plastered on her face at the Maester's response to Danae, until she offers the blonde girl a little peep of skeptical eyes. Brusque - could be an understatement. As Cerwin wishes, though, she remains quiet, going to back to observing the laid-out instruments and those little jars.
A gentle smile quirks Danae's mouth, chin dipped in a graceful and — for the Maester — blessedly silent nod. There is no visible offense to his brusqueness. She clasps her hands at the waist to the watch the proceedings with the utmost attention.
"Only a pair of times," Gedeon answers for the taking of sweetsleep and milk of the poppy, his gaze flicking over to the ladies and Danae's suspicions of dangerous water before return his attentions to the Maester. "I react poorly to them and find myself sickened and sluggish for days, after. I should prefer to abstain, Maester Cerwin, though I understand the procedure will be painful without that aid."
Maester Cerwin inspects the knight's belly wound with narrowed eyes and a critical sniff. "These stitches ought to have been changed long ago," he notes evenly. He nods one approvingly at the first half of the answer, "Good, then addiction is not a danger," but the latter protest is met with a frown. "We shall see how you hold up through the easy part, Ser." The ugly black stitches puckered up around the healing wound and it's dull red edges- still leagues improved over how it used to look- with black scabbing flaking away is inspected with his eyes before the maester turns to the tools and takes up a finely pointed small knife and narrow nosed pair of grips. Each of the tools is dipped in the steaming 'water' for a long moment, before being wiped dry on a clean cloth. the first stitch is gripped and held lightly taut- just hard enough to tug lightly on the healing skin around it, before a deft motion of the knife severs the first knot.
Lucienne offers Gedeon her hand as the maester takes up his knife and grips. She manages to tear her eyes briefly away from the nasty-looking wound to give the knight a tiny smile, too, meant to be reassuring.
It is a wicked thing. Danae's cool gaze skirts from it, to the gleam of the wicked knife, towards the heated 'water' and back to the Maester.
"So we shall," the knight agrees calmly, settling back so that he might observe what's being done to his gut without impeding anything. He observes as the tools are sterilized, accepting Luciennes offered hand and curling his lightly around it. For that first lift and tug, there is no response, save a blink. After having his insides doused with firemilk twice in a week, he can take stitch snips like a champ!
With the head of the knot cut, Cerwin takes a precise, firm hold of the grips and begins drawing out the stitch, using the pressure of the dull back edge of the knife's flat to keep the skin from distending with the pressure, but still the pressure on the grips steadily grows without the stitch pulling loose, until it finally breaks loose and pulls out, blood welling up from where skin had closed around the sheep's gut stitching, mixing with pale yellow pus. The unpleasant and distinctly pungeant reek of stale humors pricks at the nostrils. the dipping of knife and grips in the 'water' and the wiping of them clean is repeated as the maester looks to the next stitch.
Luci can't help but to slide her gaze back down to the maester's work, watching - is that eagerly? - as Cerwin works the first stitch free. Her nose wrinkles slightly at the smell of leaking fluids, but she doesn't look away; there's a slight squeeze given to Gedeon's hand.
The scent of the stale humors makes Danae's lips twist, but little more as the work is observed keenly if silently. Her gaze flits up briefly to mark the countenance of the Maester and his lot as he works away the binds of the wound.
There is a small squeeze returned from Gedeon's hand to Lucienne's that starts out very light but grows in strength as the stitch is tugged and tugged and refuses to vacate. It comes free at last, and Gedeon breathes out, recalling himself and slackening his grip again, his own nose crinkling a touch at the foulness that seeps out with its removal.
Once the process is repeated on the second of twelve stitches, Maester Cerwin sets both knife and grips aside, dipping his fingers briefly into the steaming basin, holding them out the the side to have his hands wiped clean, before he adminoshes, "You must remain still, Ser," as he begins to exerts pressure through strong fingers on the knight's belly, working toward the stitch wounds from several inches away. At first a bit more blood seeps out, but soon after another short, twisting worm of foul pus works out, filling the air with a stench similar to that of foul, watery cheese. "Geon, clean it," he bids the older of his assistants. While the maester exhales sharply through the nose, he retakes the knife and grips, while his assistant cleans the foulness, and drops the soiled rags in a waste bucket. "Only ten more stitches to go, then the cleansing."
"My apologies," Gedeon murmurs as the second stitch comes loose, and he eyes the twist of pus that squirms out after. Such delight he has thriving within him! There is a small nod for the number of stitches remaining. "Very well," he allows with a small nod, words a little strained for the tightness in his jaw. "I understand."
"Only," murmurs Lucienne, darkly amused. That's not particularly helpful for the patient, though, and she offers Gedeon another squeeze and a pat to the top of their joined hands by way of apology. She weathers the stench of the fouled wound without much else ado than the wrinkling of her nose, watching keenly as the maester coaxes the pus out.
<FS3> Gedeon rolls Body: Success.
So that's…gross. Cheese scents and pus worms and discoloured tissues and all, fingers locked tightly at her waist there is a stark frame of concentration on Danae's features. She watches the procedure unflinchingly, mouth tipping in a dark twist of a smile for Lucienne's mark of humor. Her gaze marks the assiantant as he moves to clean the wound, watching for technique so well as actions.
Once the third and fourth stitches are cut loose (this time, the maester is less delicate about exerting gradual pressure in tugging the stitches loose, and gives sharper pulls that free the sheep's gut stitches more swiftly), and the unpleasant process of purging the belly wound has ceased to yield pus and only fresh spots of dark red blood, the maester again bids his assistant to "Clean it," while he again cleanses his tools.
<FS3> Lucienne rolls Body: Success.
<FS3> Danae rolls Body: Success.
It's not… there is nothing pleasant about sticking stitches being ripped from his flesh, but Gedeon lifts a corner of his mouth is quiet relief as no further pus squirts out. He keeps a firm, constant pressure on Lucienne's hand, now as his own features go a bit pale.
"It's looking better," remarks Lucienne, aiming for a comforting tone and ending up somewhere within the nebulous range of idle observation. "If you need to hold tighter," she says to the wounded knight, tearing her eyes away from his gut to bestow upon him another sympathetic smile, this one a little stronger, in lieu of speaking the end of her sentence.
There is nothing pleasant about the purtid stench of the afflicted wound. It enough to grey even the most stern of observers. Pulling her gaze away from the wound, Danae casts a smile towards Gedeon and moves closer to place a brief, light touch to the inner curve of his wrist. "It is," she adds softly, looking back towards the fixer-upper that currently exists in place of his stomach.
Stitches five and six are cut free, and mercifully, the maester's prodding doesn't produce more than the expected wisp of pus. Just to be on the safe side, Cerwin presses uncomfortably hard, but after another few beads of clean red blood run down Gedeon's side, he is satisfied and moves on the the sevent stitch. Halfway there. Cerwin repeats the nearly ritual washing of hands and tools, before bidding the younger of his assistant, "Fill the second basin. Take this one outside and empty it."
For that additional pressure on his belly, Lucienne gets additional pressure on her hand, and Gedeon's jaw clenches around a strangled growl. He swallows and restrains from sucking in another deep breath and disrupting the Maester's work.
If the added pressure on her hand is enough to cause her pain, the only hint of it is the clenching of Lucienne's teeth. Still - she's unconscionably pleased to be so close to the maester's practice, and is already a pale enough creature that the smells and the sights and the sensations don't see much change in her complexion, despite the sublte flip-flop of her stomach. She can take a deep breath, and she does so, peering after the assitant gone to change the water.
Stitch seven is cut free with practiced ease, although Maester Cerwin finds difficulty in the eigth: the stitch had twisted as it healed, and, frowning mildly, he delicately touches and prods with with pointed (but unsharpened) tip of a previously unused metal stylus, searching for the knot beneath the black scabs and flushed red scar. "This will be unpleasant, Ser," he warns, as the small, keen knife and grips are taken up again.
<FS3> Gedeon rolls Body: Good Success.
Gedeon murmurs a word beneath his breath that is rather unfit for the ears of ladies, but considering the circumstances, perhaps the knight will be forgiven. "Do it," is all he says to the Maester.
Likely neither of the ladies in question will fault him for offering an unfit word or two, considering the ugliness of the situation. Perhaps if they were amidst other ears, they'd utter their own… Danae shifts closer to the heated 'water', waiting and watching as a new basin is filled with which to wash the wound. Such a fascinating device, that. All hot.
Since Danae is moving to watch after the water, and Gedeon has a tight grip on her hand, Luci stays put for the time being, ignoring the cursing. "More than halfway," she reminds the blond knight, readying herself for another squeeze to her hand.
Being acutely aware of every tug, twinge and press grinds on the will, as Maester Cerwyn's ministrations tick into the fifth, the tenth, and the fifteenth minutes. The troublesome eighth knot is finally gripped and pulled loose, with an ugly pustule being brought above the skin with it. The ninth and the tenth knots are cleared with greater ease, but lingering and steadily growing pain from the knight's much abused belly.
Gedeon does his best to remain stoic and calm, though there can be little doubt it's costing hi,. He's lost what color his recovery offered and poor Lucienne's equally poor fingers may never be quite the same. Still, he remains mostly quiet, steady and stoic as he can.
<FS3> Gedeon rolls Body: Success.
It is not the most firm observation of the 'water', gaze flitting from the steaming machine to the Maester's ministrations on Gedeon. Although Danae watches with quiet focus as the basin is refilled.
The last of Gedeon's dozen stitches are cut and pulled loose, the bulk of the black scabbing has given way to fresh blood and fresh pink scarring. Maester Cerwyn repeats the dip and cleaning of his instruments, and hands, before beginning to reach for one of the bulbous clay bottles. "Ser, I am preparing for a measure of firemilk to cleanse the wound. It is no shame for you to accept a dose to ease the next hours, before I do so."
Gedeon draws in a slow, deep breath, now that the stitches are removed and he might do so. He offers a small shake of his head. "I am well enough. You may proceed."
There's some admiration in her gaze as Lucienne's dark eyes flicker to Gedeon's face, widened by the pain of his grip. She doesn't complain, though, her teeth remaining clenched closed. She nods, just barely, as the knight elects to remain unsedated - her fingers are going to pay for this.
Danae moves from her position near the water to offer Gedeon her hand as well with a tight smile — for what is to come or perhaps to take a little strain off Lucienne. Slipping her hand through his, she watches as the Maester prepares his jars.
"Very well," Cerwyn assents with a short shake of his head. A look to his assistants, "Hold him down," the maester directs them as he unstoppers the clay bottle, inserting a thin stylus to stir the ingredients sufficiently as the two young men step to either side of the bastard born knight. One of them mumbles an apology and seeks to take Lucienne's place at Gedoen's arm.
Not the most heartening of directions, no doubt, and Gedeon watches as the assistants take their positions. For the moment, at least, he does nothing that requires much force. He only glances at the space where Lucienne was and draws in another steeling breath.
Luci might actually be relieved, truth be told, and for the first time in this session pipes up to request of the Maester as she steps back to allow his assistant to take her spot: "Would you be so kind as to tell a curious lady, good Maester, what you mix into firemilk?"
Backing away from her intented position, finding it to be taking by one of Cerwyns assisstants, Danae moves to stand at Lucienne's side. A glance is sidled towards the other lady and back towards the mixture in the Maester's hands with the lady's query.
"My lady, in another few moments, I shall answer whatever curiosity you wish to prompt," the maester non-answers, awaiting the nod of readiness from his assistance. The firemilk is inspected b the maester, stirred briefly again, and once it the stylus drips with an ointment of a suitably pale red color, Gedeon is given a roll of leather to grip between his teeth in advance of the treatment. Once a nod is had from Gedeon, the clay bottle is tilted and the firemilk pours out onto the wound. The reaction from Gedeon is swift and immediate.
A small nod is offered once Gedeon grasps the leather and when the firemilk is poured, his reaction is…well, what the other guy said. The restrainers become necessary as his body tries to twist with or without the knight's consent. Perhaps the only small benefit Gedeon has is that, having been so recently doused with the stuff, he knows what to expect.
<FS3> Gedeon rolls Body: Success.
This part is just disturbing to watch, isn't it? And yet - grasping for Danae's hand - Lucienne is utterly mesmerised, forgetting even the slight to her question offered by Cerwyn. "I definitely wouldn't have been able to hold him down," she whispers to the other lady, turning her head without shifting her eyes from the writhing knight.
Is there a part that hasn't been? Danae's freckled fingers lock with Lucienne's pale, equally fastinated by the procedure. "Nor I," she murmurs in turn to Lucienne, squeezing her hand in light reassurance. Gedeon is too manlee and strong for their lady-like grasp.
Once the Rivers knight's agonized thrashings have begun to spend themselves (through exhaustion, moreso than the absence of pain), Maester Ceryn, re-stoppers the bottle, and replaces it among his components. As the elder of the two assistants begins to apply a bandage to the knight's belly, Cerwyn looks back to Lucienne and Danae, "My ladies. Whatever persuasion you may use, I strongly advise that Ser Gedeon take something for his pain, or his recovery shall be slowed. Now," he exhales. "If you have questions, now is your moment."
Panting, sweat-slick and worn thin by the firemilk, Gedeon still gives a small shake of his head for the maester's suggestion. "No," he rasps, once the bit between his teeth can be removed, "thank you."
"We shall see that he accepts some measure of relief, Maester," assures the dark-haired girl, giving Gedeon an insistent look after. "As I asked before, though - might you be so kind as to explain what goes in the firemilk, and how you expect it to act upon the injury?"
"Yes," Danae murmurs, words a soft echo of agreement to Lucienne's own. Reaching into her sleeve, she pulls out out a clean hankerchief and moves to dab lightly at Gedeon's sweatslicked face while Lucienne questiosn the Maester. A twist of a smile on her lips as her glance flickers towards the dark haired lady. "You did well, considering," she praises the wounded patient.
Cerwyn nods, and goes into a rather clinical discussion of the ingredients that go into firemilk. "These ingredients- while they weaken the body- have the combined property of burning out the corruption of a tainted wound. On an injury that had already mortified, I would typically have emplyed Myrish fire, but with the knight's body so frail, I do not have faith that he would recover from it, my lady. All that can be done for him has been, although if he continues to refuse sweetsleep, he shall have no rest for a full day or more."
Gedeon lies quietly and offers for Danae's sort-of praise, a weak sort-of smile. Mostly he listens and breathes and lies there in sucky, agonizing pain.
Lucienne listens attentively to Cerwyn's explanation, nodding as she parses a simple understanding. "I see - that's fascinating, isn't it? If he should insist upon refusing the sweetsleep and the poppy, Maester, might we try something milder? Some sort of tea, perhaps - I have quite the collection, though admittedly not all here with me in Stonebridge."
"It is well that they have such a learned Maester here in Stonebridge for things just such as this, Lady Lucienne," Danae says gently, shooting the other woman a warm smile. Her fingers brush lightly at Gedeon's brow as she wipes away more of the sweat. "I have much of my own here, perhaps we could furnish something lighter for the good knight?"
"The ladies are free to adminster whichever folk remedies you see fit," Cerwyn answers with a nod. "If the knight is able to keep it down in his condition, it will do him no hurt." Yet the maester's manner does not expect success in such efforts.
"I see," sasy Luci, both to Danae and the Maester. The former earns herself a quick flash of a smile, the latter spared a nod. "And have you any instruction for where you should like him to remain? Here, presumeably? Are we able to call upon you, should his recovery take longer than expected?" All the orderly questions, really.
"I do not recommend moving the knight for a time. A day, perhaps if he is able to rest," the maester voices. "If he is able to hold down soup or broth, that would be desirable. I or another of my order shall be available, should his condition worsen."
"It is a kind assessment, is not? It is good to hear that we shall do him no further harm," Danae acknowledges so sweetly. She listens while Lucienne and the Maester speak. "That is well then, not so long as to seem beyond recovery."
Gedeon frowns a little for this (rather than the burning) as he hears he's to remain in the tower for a day at the least. "I have a room arranges at Crane's Crossing," he says. "I should prefer the peace of a private room, if it would be possible for me to recover there?"
"Thankyou, Maester," is all Lucienne adds, allowing Gedeon and Danae to speak with him next.
"Ser knight," the maester notes to Gedeon's request, "As soon are you are hale enough to walk out of my care, you are welcome to do so. Until then," he adds, "You may keep the use of this chamber, in privacy."
The knight exhales a soft, resigned sigh for this, eyes closing for a moment. "Then I shall arrange for a guard at the door," he replies. "I am sure the maester cannot protest total ignorance to the risk my remaining here in this state presents."
Lucienne shifts a look between the maester and the knight, gritting her teeth again. What more can she say, though? "I can spare a man," she offers, suddenly and without thinking. She blinks, realising what she's said, but it's spoken now. "If it please you, Ser."
Maester Cerwyn looks slightly disgusted at the weakened knight's words, shaking his head and voicing a brief, "I will take my leave of you now, Ser. There are other wounded requiring attention." A bow to the two ladies, and the maester's assistants collect up tools, vials and all others tools of the healer's trade.
"As may I," Danae offers, so that either lady might not go unguarded all the while. She shoots a light smile towards Lucienne. "That will talk part of the weight off your own guard, should Ser Gedeon be so good as to rest well and heal quickly, lady Lucienne."
"Of course," Gedeon replies. "Thank you for your care. Lady Terrick, Lady Westerling, I thank you both. I am in your debt."
"That you are," murmurs Luci under her breath, seeing the maester off with a repeat of her earlier shallow curtsy. Once he's gone, it's an easier, lighter, "Thankyou, Danae," that she offers to the Westerling girl, along with a smile.
Danae simply smiles at Gedeon's words and offers a delicate curtsey to the Maester, settling her skirts with an easy hand. "Of course, Lucienne. It was easier with company," she says warmly. Gedeon earns the arch of a brow as she looks back towards him, "Now good Ser. You need to rest quickly and actually swallow a milder tea for the pain, should you like one now or later?"
"Now," comes Gedeon's rather prompt reply, amended with a hasty, "if you please, my lady."
"I shall go ready one then," Danae promises, her nod is a delicate as her curtsey was as she shoots him a small smile. "And take my leave of you both for now. Lady Lucienne," she bids with a bob of a curtsey towards the other woman.