Page 555: Tea and Gingerbread
Tea and Gingerbread
Summary: Dania sets to curing all ills with tea and gingerbread.
Date: 29/Jan/2013
Related Logs: Not related as such, but chronologically after Break In The Journey
Kalira Nathaniel Dania Mortimer 
Healer's Cottage, Heronhurst
Though small and sparsely furnished, this cottage appears well lived in and full of life. Well fitted stones pave the floor, covered over with woven rugs in a myriad of earthy colors. Woven tapestries also hang from the whitewashed walls, providing decoration and insulation. A stone fireplace with a bronze cauldron graces one wall, with a large floor loom and spinning wheel standing nearby. A rope bed piled high with linens and wool blankets sits opposite, the pelt of a bear providing the topmost layer. A simple wooden table and stool sit in the middle of the single room, a linen cloth providing a covering for the table. Beeswax candles provide illumination for one to see the bundles of herbs and strings of vegetables which hang from the exposed rafters. A wooden sideboard holds a few simple clay dishes and wooden utensils, as well as an urn of honey and a few ingredients for cooking. And to the left is a door leading to the sick room.
Tue Jan 29, 290

Seated on the edge of one of the beds, and sporting a bandage wrapped around her right hand and a mottled set of bruises along her right temple, along with the fragrant herbal scent of other compounds designed to offset bruises and other muscle strains, Kalira is wiggling her feet back into her boots in a one handed attempt at setting herself to rights once more. Thanks to the good help of Nathaniel and Dania keeping her awake for the better part of the night, so as to make sure that she didn't doze off and never wake up after being thrown from her horse and banging her head rather unpleasantly in the process, she'd slept most of the day once it was safe to sleep and is only now trying to shake the sleep out of her system. Granted, trying to dress oneself with only one good hand, the other all pins and needles and not feeling all that awesome at the moment did hamper the process but properly dressed, save for her boots, she is most of the way to a new 'normal'.

Nathaniel pauses outside the door to knock. Then he turns to give instructions to Mortimer. "You'll need to clean the mud from your boots out here," he begins. "Once inside, you'll find a basin, a jug of water, and soap to the right of the door. Use them. Wash your hands /thoroughly/. Mistress Dorsey once explained to me that dirty hands cause all manner of infections. She might have sick people here, but we shouldn't bring sickness into her house if we can prevent it. Kalira was here when I left for town. She's probably here still." He reaches for the latch. "If you like, I'll go in first and wash my hands," he offers while scraping his own boots on a sturdy scraping board by the door.

The place is clean and smells of herbs and soap. There are no rushes here as the owner of the cottage deems them messy. Though the owner is not in the cottage at the moment, in fact there is no sign of her. Instead, there is a not on the table written in bold letters. 'Kalira, your boots are with me. Stay indoors. -Dania' Next to the note is a cold cup of willow bark tea and loaf of bread.

Each additional delay to their departure for the Roost once more seems to be having a knock on effect to Mortimer's mood. Should any more occur he'll likely spontaneously generate a personal thunder cloud above his head. Still, accompanying Nathaniel out here seemed a better option than just standing around in Heronhurst doing nothing so here he is. Raising an eyebrow at the instructions he looks like he's about to protest something, probably the entirely unnecessary nature of them before deeply ingrained politeness beats its way through the gathering grump and he starts to kick the worst of the muck from his boots. Once they're as clean as he figures they're going to be be gives a brief nod towards the door and mutters, "go on then."

Levering herself upright by sheer dint of Valen willpower, Kalira pads her way - in stocking clad feet - to the table (sans boots) and scoops one hand through her shoulder length hair before picking up the note and eyeing it. Ok so her eyes are a bit blurry, new rule: Concussions suck, try to avoid them in the future. The cup of tea is picked up, sniffed at lightly before taking a small sip of it, recognizes the tea and takes a much longer drink from it before seating herself at the table. That she's maybe walked a dozen feet before sitting down again, wincing in the process, is making rule two equally as important: when thrown from the horse attempt to FLY instead of crash land. The sound of boots being scraped clean by the door makes her lift her attention away from the tea and bread to eye the door curiously.

Nathaniel turns the simple latch and pushes the door inward. Then he steps inside, stopping to pull his own boots from his feet and store them near the door. Seeing Kalira, he offers her a warm smile. "How are you feeling?" he asks in a gentle tone. "Shadow is fine, and as promised, I checked along the road. I found the shoe. I found Master Trevelyan in town waiting for Lady Faline." He nods toward the door. Then he turns to the small wash-stand and starts to wash his hands.

With the milk delivered and the eggs having also been given up. Dania with her basket full of fruits, cheese and flask of summer wine makes her way towards her cottage. She looks tired but cheerful. She is dressed in a faded hunter green linen gown that has been carefully patched and mended over the years. Her long hair is bound up and hidden underneath a wide brimmed straw hat. She is just coming around the corner towards her cottage when she spies folks enter through the door. She quickens her pace.

Mortimer follow's Nathaniel's lead and starts to pull his boots off as the other man starts to wash. Why he has to clean them only to then remove them he doesn't know, but asking just seems like far too much hassle at the moment. Besides Dania isn't her to ask. Well, she is by the time he's got his second one off, but the amount of hassel is still too high for his current ability to care. The healer gets a nod once she's spotted and then he gestures for her to skip ahead of him in the queue for the sink, it's her cottage after all. Kalira he has not yet seen, not having fully entered, although he's assuming that that is who Nathaniel is talking to.

"My head hurts, but I'm not seeing double any more," Kalira reports, saying nothing about the blurry vision, she can cope with that. His words about Shadow makes her smile, "Thank you. I think I drove both of you nuts last night, didn't I, worrying about her," she adds in a rueful tone of voice. "You found the shoe? Excellent, that's one less coin I need to lay out." Her eyes move past Nathaniel toward the door, expecting to see Mortimer any moment and starting to get to her feet. The gesture of respect for the deputy sheriff is well intended - but the movement amps up the headache from a muted growl to a dull roar in her head, causing her to abort the gesture mid motion and ease back down into the seat.

After leaving his shoes inside near the door, Nathaniel heads for the table. He smiles and shakes his head. "You were fine, Kalira," he assures. "I don't know what Dania thought but I understand your worry. Shadow is to you what Molly is to me. I understand, and I don't blame you a bit for worrying." When starts to stand and sways from the effort, he steps more quickly, reaching out to her with steadying hands. "You sit," he urges her. "Stay off of your feet. If you do need to walk, you'll do it with me at your side. Whatever you need, I'll get for you." He looks down at the note and chuckles and murmurs, "Good."

Dania offers Mortimer a dimpled but charming smile. "I have not seen you in ages. How is your head doing?" She asks him. Her eyes are warm and bright. "Come in and let me get you some tea and thank you." She steps inside after she fanatically wipes the mud from her feet. She then slips her shoes off. Stepping lightly towards the table, she sets the basket on a chair before she goes to take off her hand and wash her hands. It is a ritual for her and she washes them with both soap and water three times. As she does this she speaks to the other two. "Nathaniel, thank you and come in and be seated after you wash. Kalira I thought you would sleep longer, and you should listen to Nathaniel. Are you missing anything?" Once she is done she goes to start getting them all tea.

Mortimer leans against the doorframe a moment as Dania slip on ahead into the cottage then turns to follow her. "Mistress," he offers simply in return to her greeting, although it can not be said that the smile he manages to accompany it is another like as convincing as her's had been. That's all he answers for now though, turning instead to wash and then dry his hands. Only then does he turn back to the others in the room and offer Kalira a faint nod as well.

Kalira takes Nathaniel's hands in hers now that she's seated again and tugs him lightly toward the seat next to the one she's currently occupying, "I'm fine," she says in a quiet voice. "My head just hurts when I stand up to fast, or alright when I stand, period, but it'll get better," she is confident that the tea will help as soon as it kicks in. "Dania took my boots," she mutters before Dania enters and asks that oh-so innocent question that brings a reluctant smile to her face. "You took my boots to keep me from heading out and walking around, tripping over my own to feet and falling over in a heap, right?" she challenges with a mild shake of her head. "and I can't remember the last time I slept while the sun was in the sky, no matter how early in the day, I'm a dawn riser. " She offers a slow - careful - nod of her head to Mortimer, "Master Trevelyan, it's good to see you," she pauses, eyes studying the deputy sheriff, blinking a few times as she brings him better into focus, "how are things?"

Nathaniel gives Kalira another broad smile and settles into the chair beside her. "You'll be better soon, and riding again, soon enough, but not today or tomorrow, I think," he advises. "Not unless you're on Molly and sitting behind me." He glances toward Dania while she busies herself with brewing more tea, likely one pot of willow bark for Kalira and one of a non-medicinal brew for everyone else. He nods when Kalira mentions rising early. When Mortimer nods his greeting, Nathaniel notes, "Lady Faline's guard was ill. She saw the master and dragged him along as guard for the wedding."

Nodding she takes gingerbread out from a cupboard along with a crock of butter. She places them on the table along with knife and earthen wear plates. The water is now hot and tea is made. Dania nods, "Nathaniel is correct my dear, he is more than correct. You will get your boots back when you headache goes away and you stop seeing double." She goes to get them honey. Dania is a whirlwind of motion and movement. "How are things at the Roost Mortimer?"

It seems for a few moments as if Mortimer is going to remain by the sink but eventually he seems to decide that he should join the others and makes his way to the table. "Mistress Valen," he replies briefly before taking a seat on the other side of the table. Not directly opposite, but nor any great distance away. "One of," he then corrects Nathaniel, "hence me being here and not glued to her side while she does whatever it is she's doing." There's a definite air of a grumble there though, since what Faline is doing is not being on the road back to the Roost. The rest though he lets pass without comment while he rests an elbow on the tabletop and uses the corresponding hand to rub at the back of his neck. This does force him to bend his head down a bit, although he does lift it once more when Dania asks him a direct question. It's hard to say if he doesn't notice, or doesn't care, that she's used an entirely less formal means of address than the others as he simply turns to glance at her a moment before answering with a shrug, "quiet." Not perhaps as in depth a report as he could possibly give were he to try, but he's not feeling overly conversational.

"Ahh," Kalira replies, "my sympathies, Master Trevelyan," she remarks from where she's seated, lightly massaging her fingertips against her right temple with a small wince as she gives Mortimer a look that is all sympathy and empathetic understanding. Her other hand is curled in Nathaniel's, "I think I'll take being thrown from a horse over attending a fancy function, never did like those when Lady Aeliana brought me along," she admits, "you wouldn't believe how itchy lace actually is." She fixes a look in Dania's direction, amusement still coloring her tone of voice as she says: "How did you know I'm seeing double?" she wonders with a slooooow shake of her head. "And I can't thank you two enough for staying up with me last night," she says as Dania sweeps by the table in a whirlwind of motion and movement, glancing between Dania and Nathaniel even as Mortimer's one-word reply draws Kalira's attention again. "Quiet is better than having a marauding army invading though, right?"

"I suspect that some people are still feeling the effects of the party that came after the wedding," Nathaniel comments to Kalira with a chuckle. He squeezes Kalira's hand in his, and he grins. "She knew about what you're seeing because she's a healer. I'm sure that she has seen this before." More seriously, he adds, "You're fortunate. You could have hurt yourself much worse." With his free hand, he places a slice of the gingerbread on Kalira's plate and then carefully scoops a pat of butter from the jar with the knife. He spreads it evenly enough. "I was glad to stay and see that you didn't fall into an endless sleep." He pushes the plate, now with its slice of gingerbread ready, toward Kalira. "Eat and regain your strength." He looks across the table at Mortimer, and nods to the deputy. "I know that Lady Faline has other guards, but one more wouldn't hurt, and I imagine that she'll want to leave soon. She misses her home. Perhaps you should head back to town to see her back to the Roost."

Dania makes Mortimer his tea with is different than what she is giving the other two and she sets it down in front of him. Next she offers him gingerbread and butter. She then offers the other two their food. Before she gets herself off her feet, she places a warm compress on the back of Moritmer's neck. "It will help with your stiff neck." She then makes her own tea and she goes to find a place to sit. "Magic and a good guess, Kalria." She tells her with a slight mystical air about her. Then an impish smile has her all but beaming. "I know injuries and symptoms; it is why I know healing and midwifery. I need to talk to old Sara and see if she is willing to drag her poor old bones out for me sometime." She muses. "The good news is you did not crack your head open. It will fade in a few days time, or it should at least." She nods to Nathaniel as he speaks. "Yes, both Shadow and you are lucky. I will gladly stay away from the nobles and their weddings give me the back stairs."

Mortimer takes no immediate comfort from the fact that he did not have to experience the weekend's wedding in lace, but it's likely enough that once he's home again and he's mood has easied that the thought will amuse either him or his wife. Kalira is given another brief nod, this time in both thanks for and acknowledgement of her offered sympathies before he then confirms, "Aye, I'll take quiet." He considers Nathaniel's words for a moment then sets his hands on the table as if he's about to push himself to his feet and go to do just that when the tea arrives in front of him and he pauses a moment before relenting and remaining seated. It really would be rude to just walk out as soon as it was ready after all. "I will, shortly" he offers in reply, notioning briefly to the cup in case a reason for the delay was required. Taking a sip he can't stop himself from pulling a bit of a face at the sweet taste, honey he guesses, being far more used to taking his teas bitter. Any comment on it though is abruptly cut short as the compress is added to his neck. Turning to Dania he reaches his free hand to catch hold of it as if he's about to remove it but her words give make him pause and after a moment he silently relents and turns back to the brew in front of him, offering Nathaniel another "shortly" as he does so.

"It would've been worse if she'd broken her leg though," Kalira says with another ginger shake of her head, using her free hand to pick up the slice of gingerbread and takes a bite from it, eyes closing in pleasure - gingerbread happening to be her favorite of all kinds. "Mmmmm," is added to the eyes closed and bliss expression before she offers the slice to Nathaniel to share. "I'm glad I didn't, and that she didn't, I'll take some of my cousins with me and we'll work over that stretch of road, filling in the gopher holes and the like. It won't last long but it'll probably keep anyone else from going flying over the same spot." Dania's words make Kalira grin again, "Magic indeed, I knew it. Do you grant wishes too?' she asks, lightly teasing her friend with a wink. "I agree, on all counts," even while fixing a longer look at Dania, her well honed familial instincts kicking in as she says, mildly: "Sara's been delivering babies in Heronhurst for generations, she's the best midwife around for several days walk, though I believe you're just as skilled. It's difficult to follow the adage of 'healer, heal thyself'," she adds in a quieter tone. "Quiet is good, as long as it's not that 'quiet before a storm, lull' sort of thing," she adds with another longer look at Mortimer, "you look a bit beat, Master Trevelyan."

"I am making sure she can cover for me when I travel. There is no healer heal yourself." Dania points out. "Also I was hoping I could return the favor for her if she wanted to go and visit family." She smiles again as she says this. "Mortimer, drink all the tea." She moves to rise from where she was seated. She has hardly touched her own tea. She goes to her apothecary cabinet and she creates mixture of herbs. These herbs are put into a small cloth satchel made of cheese cloth and she places it where Mortimer can reach it. "That is for you." She then looks to Kalira. "Drink that tea, the willow bark is your friend."

"Nothing being back home won't fix," Mortimer replies to Kalira, turning to glance to her as he does so. A maneuver that's made slightly more difficult with his neck encumbered, but he seems to get the hang of it quick enough. Perhaps people will believe him now when he says he doesn't travel well. Still, at least this time no one has tried to kill him. That he's aware of. Sipping the tea slowly, in the vain attempt to make himself accustomed to the sweetness he eyes Dania briefly as she address him and asks drying, "Why? What have you put in it?" The honey should perhaps have been a clue but that comment is a clincher for him. Not that he's put the cup down though mind.

Kalira is finishing her half of the gingerbread, sharing it with Nathaniel back and forth over the plate between sips of the tea. "I know," she admits with another wry smile, "my father keeps a pouch of the tea with him at all times. Some ridiculous claim about old age, aching joints, that sort of rubbish," shaking her head as she says this, a thoughtful look in her eyes as she studies Dania, blinking more often than normal as she continues to try to get her vision to clear up. She gives a bit of a yawn before saying, "I know the feeling. I was just trying to get home before the moon started to set and the road got to dark to continue when Shadow stepped into that hole and we ended up in pieces on the road. Nothing is better, in my opinion, than my own home, my own hearth and blessed Seven my own bed to sleep in."

"The usual brew that I give you." Dania says to Mortimer. "Your wife if she is out of it I will get you more. You really should not travel without it." She tells him gently. "I would say if you would like a short nap the sick room can be made dark and it is already cool."
She looks at Kalira and she blushes as she feels her eyes trying to focus on her. "Do not look too hard you may not like what you see or find. My mom used to tell me a story about the others and how if you looked too hard your face would freeze and the crows would swoop down and try to carry you off. Mind you I was four and trailing after my older brothers."

Mortimer had been meaning 'home' in a more general sense, one that encompassed the whole of Terrick lands but he's not about to argue with the sentiments Kalira expresses. He might though, add in one of his own about his wife and son, the thought of whom only serves to bolster his frustration at not being on the move. Vicious cycle really. As Dania answers his query he wishes for a moment that he hadn't asked, not with Kalira and Nathaniel around to triple the number of people besides himself and Dania who are aware that he takes anything at all. Not dwelling on that particular thought he moves on rapidly to her offer, shaking his head slightly as he does so. "No. Thank you. As Master Corbitt says, I should be off back into town." That said, and now he's aware exactly what it is, he downs the rest of his tea in one before setting the cup down and reaching up for the compress on his neck.

"I've always wondered what it would've been like to have a mother to tell me all those fanciful things," Kalira admits with a slow shake of her head. "But I have lots of aunts and all sorts of grand parents, adopted grandparents and such to fill in the blank, but I still wondered all the same. My father, however, would say: The truth is in the details, Kal my girl, they say the Stranger is there, as well, but the truth's there all the same," she quotes with a wry smile. Her eyes shift back to Mortimer, seeing the restless set to his body language, understanding the edge of it but no one ever understands entirely what inspires anyone else. "It was nice to share a bit of tea with you, Master Trevelyan, you're welcome at Heronhurst any time, if I have any say in it."

"I am sorry Deputy Trevelyan." Dania says to him with a bow of her head. "Take that satchel with you and you can steep the tea in cold water if you need to." She tells him. "It will do you some good." That is all she says on the matter. She then looks over at Kalria. "I will gladly give you my mother, she and I do not see eye to eye. There is friction between us, I think part of it is she only sees me when I am sick and both times I was dancing with the Stranger." She chuckles. "Now then, I think your father is grand. If you would like sometime I can tell you some of the stories I grew up on."

Mortimer sets the compress down on the table beside his cup and pushes himself to his feet once more. He's still looking in Dania's direction so she gets a nod in departure first and after a brief moment's pause he does reach for the offered cheese-cloth pouch, muttering a quiet "thank you," as he does so. Then it's back to Kalira and Nathaniel to whom he offers a louder, "most kind Mistress, but I'm afraid I don't tend to travel well." As in part witnessed by his neigh-on consuming desire to be on the road again. Moving over to the door so he can pull his boots on once more he offers a final nod to the three of them and a faintly more human sounding, "good day to you," before he heading for town, and home once more.