|The Worries of a Healer|
|Summary:||Dania visits Mortimer to discuss a few worries before they're joined by Nathaniel, Kalira and Cairan and other matters are discussed|
|Related Logs:||Tea and Gingerbread and in part The Circle of Life|
|Mortimer's Home, Terrick's Roost|
|A cottage not too far from the town square.|
|Sat Feb 09, 290|
It's morning, quite early on in fact. Not dawn, not that early, but first thing as it were. It seems to have been a quiet night in town at least, although if that's just because everyone has been holding their breath in light of the troubles up in the tower it remains to be seen. Knowing that he's expecting company, Mortimer is attempting to fill the time before it arrives by doing little things, refilling a waterskin, tidying away the remains of breakfast, that sort of thing. The door is left slightly ajar as an indication to those coming that they shouldn’t stand on ceremony.
Early in the morning and Dania is up and dressed. She is clean and smells of soap and herbs. When she reaches Mortimer's residence she knocks on the door and she waits. Today she is dressed in a navy blue linen dress and a pale blue apron dress over it. Her blue eyes rest on the door as she waits. With her she has her saddlebags and a basket.
It would seem that Mortimer's wife and son are already out and about elsewhere for the place is quiet and empty as he calls out "come in Mistress," as he hears the knock. Setting the aforementioned skin aside he then moves to set a pitcher of water on the long table that stands near the hearth and adds a "take a seat, please," notiong to the benches that flank the longer sides of it.
She comes in and sets her black saddlebags down on her room. Her long hair has been bound up primly and she offers Mortimer a smile. "I thought I would come and talk to you about your headaches. When I saw you in Heronshurst you were having a bad one. Are they coming back worse than ever?"
Mortimer takes a seat himself then glances to Dania as she gets straight down to things. Truth be told he was half expecting this conversation, the half expecting for an update and finding that particular archer. Not that he'd been particularly looking forward to either mind. Still, best get it over with. "They're.. variable," he answers, taking just a moment to make sure he has the appropriate word, "but aye, that was a bad one and I'm sorry Mistress if I made a poor guest."
"You were not a poor guest you were man with a very bad headache, I am a bear when I have a headache." She points out to him. "I want you to start taking the herb every day same as before. Though the willowbark only when your head is starting to hurt." She looks at him. "Now that we have had this conversation I feel better." From her bag she draws out more herbs for him. "Use these." She tells him. "That rumor I hear about Lady Mallister was interesting." She tells him. "How did the current Lady Terrick take it?"
Mortimer glances at the offered mix for a moment and then back to Dania, leaning back a little on the bench as he does so. "Thank you Mistress, but I have been," he offers her a faint smile then adds, "do you really think I'd be able to get away without?" Not that his wife has been pushing him on it, or making a fuss, but nor has she let him slip. He seems mildly surprised when the conversation changes, having been preparing himself for a longer inquisition but at the question his brow furrows in thought for a moment. "I'll be honest with you, I'm not even sure if Lady Tressa is in residence or if she's accompanying her husband to Riverrun. I would imagine though that she will be pleased Lord Mallister is showing such open confidence in her son."
"I adore your wife. She and I think alike." Dania grins. "And Anais I have a feeling will be either lobbying for power or will be leaving come first light." This is said thoughtfully. "For now it is not my business. But your head is. Have your headaches been more frequent?" She asks him. "For that matter did you find the shooter?" She pauses then she looks sheepish. "I have not eaten yet this morning so I might be a little awkward with my questioning."
"Lady Anais is considering her options," Mortimer replies after taking a moment to think through the best answer to that one. It's not something he particularly wants to be drawn into conversation on though so he keeps the conversation moving. "We have a pottage on the go which you’re welcome to share" he notes, indicating towards a large pot that's resting over the embers before he shakes his head at her question regarding the mystery archer. "I'm afraid not, but we're still watching the practice butts still." Probably not the answer she’d been hoping for but there's not a huge amount he can do about that really so it's back to the nitty-gritty. "There's no really sense to them. There'll be a few together, then none or maybe one on it's own." He shrugs, not entirely sure what to make of it all before something else occurs to him and he adds with a frown, "couple of times though, couple of times it was the other way, everything felt numb. Not for long thank the Gods, only a minute or two, but definitely numb."
"I should let it go then, it matters not. They did not fire on anyone of importance. I am alive, it is fine." Dania looks at him then. The thought of food pushed from her mind. "Describe numb and everything being numb? where did it start, did you see any light or did everything seem very loud?" She asks him. "How have you been sleeping? Have you lost any time? Had any incontinence after a moment where you lost time or when you woke in the morning?" She asks him. Her eyes are on him now and she is focused just on him.
"We'll keep looking," Mortimer answers back, "even if just so someone can have a word with them about proper caution." Just because he doesn't it to have been a deliberate act, doesn't mean he's going to let the archer get away without having his or her ear bent over the matter. The list of things to confirm or deny gets a faintly raised eyebrow before he leans forward once more, resting his forearms on the table in front of him. "Just numb," he starts, aware how utterly useless that is as an answer and trying to think of how to describe it. "Not like if you've slept funny on your arm or such, closer to when it's really cold, or wet, only without being either." He gives up there though, having no idea how else to put it and then moves on to the list. "No lights, no loud noises and I'm not sure what you mean by missing time so I'm going to say no as well, no to all of them. Sleep wise?" he shakes his head, "I've never had what you might call the best of sleep Mistress. Thanks to the years a soldier I can sleep just about anywhere and anytime if I've need, but I haven't slept deeply in a long time, not unless I'm entirely spent." Like that night when she had been in the infirmary, although he's not sure if she would recall that or not. "You're welcome to ask Freya though to see if she's noticed me being worse than usual, although she reckons she's used to it by now and just sleeps through."
"Where is the numbness, toes, legs, or fingers, other appendages?" Dania asks him curiously. "The reason I am asking all the questions is that I am worried about you developing the shaking sickness. I have told you this many times. You have had too many head injuries. May I check your neck?" She rises from the bench and moves towards him. She looks at. "I will talk to Freya too. I think what I will do is see if you can take a small dosage of sleepsweet. You need to be very careful with this as too much of it can have you sleeping into a coma. But twice or three times a week may help you."
"Shaking sickness?" Mortimer repeats back, one eyebrow raised slightly in askance, "I thought it was dropping sickness or somesuch that you were worried about?" As she moves closer he tilts his head forward a little assuming she's meaning the back of his neck as he considers his answer to her first query. "My arm usually, once it spread further but that didn't last." At the mention of sweetsleep though he shakes his head and replies with a slightly firmer tone than the conversational one he'd had before. "I'll give that one a miss thank you. I may sleep od but it means I wake if anything is going on and I'm not going to risk sleeping through something because I'm drugged."
"They are the same Mortimer." Dania points out. "Just different names for the same thing." She tells him. Her deft fingers check the back of his skull and his neck. "Any pains in your chest, shoulder or jaw?" She asks him as she continues with her examination. "Two night a week, I also will talk to your wife, the drug will give you a long quiet night. You may need it."
While Dania is conducting her examination, a knock comes suddenly to the door, followed by Nathaniel calling, "Mistress? Master? It's Nathaniel! I hope that I'm not interrupting. Mistress Valen and I were out riding. I bought a new slate and some chalk for the boy, and we decided to bring them to your house."
On the heels of Nathaniel's words come Kalira's own: "Good morning," given quite cheerfully, "we passed through the market and one of the stalls had fresh baked bread and these little meat pies that smelled to good to pass up," she carries a wrapped bundle tucked into the curve of one arm. "Enough to share," is added with a glimpse of a grin.
Mortimer gives the slightest of nods in understanding as Dania starts to check his neck, not wanting to move too much as she does so. "None," he then answers confidently, "or none that aren't just old injuries making themselves known again. That wolf bite for example, it doesn't like the damp at all." Examination or not he shakes his head again as she continues to speak of the sweetsleep. "No. I need to be able to go from asleep to alert in seconds in time of need. It's both my job and my responsibility to my family. That stuff," he points towards the herbs she produced earlier, "is fine, but I'll not risk their safety." He seems firm on that, although any further comments are shelves when he hears the knock at the door, followed by the familiar voices. He has no objections to them entering, but he glances round to Dania to confirm the same with her before inviting them in.
Having been gone on a run for the healer Ciaran has quite good timing it seems as he is returning as both couriers are arriving as well. Carrying a young boy in his arms as well. Seemingly having split the kids up with Alisynn today it seems. If the door opens he will follow in behind. "I've got the herbs as well." He calls out through the door to let Dania know of his return.
"The bread smells lovely." Dania says in response to the food that Kalira and Nathaniel have brought into the cottage. "Good morning to you both." She shakes her head and gives Mortimer a neck massage as she talks to the other two. "I will talk to you wife, I am sure your wife will agree with me that you need it. I also think it will help a little. I will be here for a while longer. You can I can talk more later and I want to examine you more and bleed you a little. It will help." She nods her head and looks to the Door. "Good and thank you Ciaran, bring them in."
Nathaniel pushes at the door and holds it so that Kalira can carry the bread and meat pies to the table. This also means that he must turn sideways, and in so doing, he sees Ciaran coming, with his own arms full, toward the door. Nathaniel grins and nods to the apprentice. "If you'd like, I can take one of your burdens," he offers. "Then you will have only one to manage." He glances into the cottage and calls, to both Mortimer and Dania, "And good morning to you, too!" He smiles warmly to Kalira, and then glances back to Ciaran, ready to help wherever he can.
"It barely made it from the market to here, it smells so good," Kalira agrees with a grin aimed at Dania as she slides past Nathaniel in the doorway and lightly brushes her arm against his along the way. "More herbs? is someone ill?" she wonders, looking from Dania to Master Trevelyan (whose happy home they are currently invading), to Ciaran, back around to Dania with a curious look.
Mortimer's expression seems to indicate that he's less than convinced still, although it stops short of actual stubborn refusal. Possibly because there are now others in the room or possibly because the massage is working. Either way he accepts the idea of discussing it more later, rather than now and turns his attention to the door. He's a bit restricted in turning his head to greet the new arrivals properly but he does glance in their direction and offer what of a nod he can and a "Morning". Pointing with his thumb to a pot that sits in the embers he offers, "there's pottage on the go if you're wanting with the bread." There's also a pitcher of water on the table, but he figures they're perfectly capable of helping themselves to that without prompting if they require.
Ciaran smiles and nods to Nathaniel. Offering the herbs over. "Thank you. Alisynn still have Kaicee. Thought I could bring Deicun along." He explains and smiles. Stepping inside behind the others. Raising a brow to Kalira at that curious look. Going inside and over to Dania's side.
"None are sick, just stopped by to chat, I always leave Freya (Mortimer's wife) herbs here." Dania half explains. She continues to massage Mortimer's neck and she is now working on his shoulders. "I will pass on the pottage for the moment. The bread I will gladly eat." She says. "But not now."
Nathaniel accepts the herbs, reaching with one hand for the bag while he closes the door behind Ciaran with the other. "Deicun?" he questions. "Is this the little one who survived the sickness that raged through the Flint camp?" He nods to Dania, and then explains, "Mistress Dorsey told me about him." After releasing the door, he scoops his hand under the bottom of the bag as a precaution in case the seam is weak. He sets the bag to the table and then shifts his courier's pouch so that he can open it and remove a new slate and three long pieces of white chalk. He lays these at the other end of the table, away from the food and herbs. Then he steps nearer to Kalira.
Kalira carries the bundle of baked bread and the delicious smelling meat pies to the table and unties the top of the bread which it had all been carried in, smoothing the edges down as she speaks: "Deicun?" is asked, making the name a question.
"Thank you," Mortimer offers to Nathaniel as he sets the chalk and slate down on the table. Sitting up straighter now Dania has shifted her attentions from his neck glances at the baby a moment, having heard part of the story from a passing merchant a week or so back. "He's a lucky lad from what I heard," he says to Cairan, "are you keeping him or will he go north when he's strong enough?" The bread smells good and he almost breaks and reaches for some when Dania hits something with her thumbs and he winces, muscles tensing a little as he does so.
Ciaran does react to the name, before clarifications sink in. "I am quite fine for now as well." He offers, perhaps having missed the question, or just having been busy with the kid in his arms. Nodding to Nathaniel's words. "It is. Deicun Einar." He explains before eyes shift to Kalira. "Yup. After my father." Foster. But not needed to add that to it all. "At the moment, we are not sure. We are keeping him for now. But perhaps if we can find his family north then he might go there. With his mother dead, and most likely father and rest of the family as well… I wonder if anyone would even take him." he shrugs at that though.
"The ex Lady Flint when I asked her said to write. I did and once he is weaned I will write again and see if I can get an answer. But, if the child is to stay we will cross that river when it happens in the meantime. He is wonderful." She says with a grin and moon eyed look. Her fingers continue to work on Mortimer's shoulders. "Ciaran and his wife are caring for him” she explains further. “Ciaran you are a wonderful, I know I have said it before but I am saying it again." There is a hungry look in her eye when she look over at the bread but she does not stop yet as she is working. She does cast a glance at Kalira and Nathaniel.
Nathaniel nods to Ciaran and then Dania. "As I understand it from the mistress, if the three of you hadn't been in the camp at the moment when he was born, the little one would have been another loss. He will have quite a tale to tell if he learns about the events that surrounded his birth." While Kalira is opening the bread, Nathaniel opens the other bag that contains the hot pies. He nods to Mortimer, and answers, "I'm glad to encourage the lad." He glances to the slate and chalk. "With those, he should be able to work with numbers without wasting so much paper. It will help in the long run."
Kalira aims the still-curious look from Dania toward Ciaran and the infant that he's holding, back around to Dania again: "There's rather a lot of rumors to be had about the sickness and the survivors of, but I'd guessed that the majority of the rumors were just that. Nothing but crap slathered over a single grain of truth," she says with a slow shake of her head. She hands a slice of the bread to Nathaniel and takes one of the hot pies, "Math is beautiful," she remarks, "and it makes sense. But why wouldn't his family want to take him in?" she wonders of the infant.
Mortimer's expression twitches a couple of times as Dania goes over that same spot again, but this time he's expecting it so the reaction is far more contained. He offers Cairan a nod at the explanation given then turns to look a bit more towards Dania and states, "if you need to eat then don't feel the need to wait on my account." His shoulders are not about to go anywhere after all. Not unless some new emergency strikes and he's summoned away that is. Nathaniel's remarks about the slate get a brief nod and he's mostly letting the babe's story pass without comment but Kalira's question gets a response. "By the sounds of it," he glances to Cairan to confirm or deny, "the immediate family is dead. Unless they got names then it'll be hard to trace anyone back in Flint lands and he just becomes another orphan." There's enough of them about the Roost as it is, although he's certainly not going to begrudge this one for having found a home, even if it may only be temporary."
Ciaran nods about the child and smiles. "Thank you either way, Dania." Not being that modest of a person it seems. Nodding about the child as well, when Nathaniel brings up the camp as well. Perhaps spotting the look in Dania's eyes, but if he does he does not seem to be saying much about it. Nodding about the immediate family being dead. "If we do find his family then it will be good. But it is hard to say if we will."
Nathaniel smiles while he exchanges a savory meat pie for that slice of fresh bread. He takes the first bite and chews thoughtfully while Ciaran and Dania elaborate on the baby's situation. He looks around and then urges, , "Certainly, help yourselves. We were thinking that the master's family would be here, so we bought enough for everyone." He waves to the food. Then he looks at Kalira and says with a grin, "I told you. It was worth the wait, wasn't it?"
"Nay I will eat later, do not worry." Dania say to Mortimer. "My stomach is not happy with me this morning, I ate too much the night before. I will eat the bread soon enough. Though, Cairan would be kind as to boil some of that water and put some mint in it for me. If the Deputy does not mind?" She continues working on the Deputies back. Her fingers are now working along his spine. "The other issue is that most nobles do not care what happens to us or our children. We are seen as nothing more than numbers or dinner for the carrion." She shakes her head.
"Not every house is like that," Kalira says in a mild voice as she glances still from face to face, eyes lingering upon the infant for a moment of quiet puzzlement before Dania's remarks make her shift that puzzled look toward their healer. "Mint tea is a nice way to calm the stomach," she says, recalling this as something given to her before for that exact same reason.
"You didn't miss them by long," Mortimer offers to Nathaniel with a faint smile in thanks for his consideration, "they're off to the market to see what they can pick up fresh I think, although there was some talk of following that with a walk along the cliffs as they were leaving." He then nods his agreement to Kalira's words, "It's too early to tell for sure about Lord Bolland, but Lord Ozric was quick to show concern when Inna was taken and thats a good sign. Lord Jerold saw us right too. Other Houses he won't comment on, even if he knows there are a couple he would not wish to serve based on experience of their lordlings.
Ciaran shrugs to Kalira's words. Not saying anything though. Starting to move to get some water boiling and to find the mint. This being after Mortimer gives permission of course. Not really being one to care too much for nobles, Ciaran only does as asked for now. The baby fussing just a bit in his arms. "I should get going. I do think he is getting hungry." He offers. Bowing his head. "Apologies." He says and seems to be keeping his appearance for now.
"Ciaran, thank you so much for your help. I appreciate it. Tell your wife thank you." Dania tells him. And she nods. "Mint is good for that. Now Mortimer, I think met the lord but I cannot recall. It is a vague sense that I should." She shrugs her shoulders. She looks over at Nathaniel. "I am sure it is worth the wait." She smiles a little bit.
Nathaniel swallows a second bite of the bread. Then he nods to Kalira and notes, "The Erenfords value the importance of community very much, and several of the Terricks have worried about families who have seen hard times here." Shifting his attention to the other three, he adds, "I know some good families in Stonebridge who have taken foundlings as well, if that will help." Looking back to Kalira, he adds, "As couriers, we know quite a list of people who are compassionate and could help with something like this."
"Good day Master Fullbringer," Mortimer offers with a nod, "and best of luck with the lad." Glancing round to Dania again, still not easy given where she's stood, he asks "Which Lord?" wondering perhaps if he missed something in the flow of the conversation before belatedly noting that he has no issues at all with anyone boiling water if it's needed.
Ciaran bows, "Thanks. And I will." He offers before he is gone out the door.
"I wrote, but my missive was ignored." Dania says pointedly. "In fact I wrote to Lady Anais." She shakes her head and looks annoyed for a moment. "I think well over half my missives are ignored. Kain even ignored them and most likely would still would if I wrote to him again. Even though he supposed to be courting me again." She snorts at that. Her fingers continue to work on Mortimer's back. "I think all lords in general. Though Lord Brennart is good one, he has helped me many times. I am just bitter over the Ashwoods."
Mortimer still has the distinct feeling he's missing something in what Dania is saying, a step in the conversation or thought process, and so offers a brief, quizical glance to Nathaniel to see if he can shed any light. "I haven't seen Master Kain about in a while he admits, not since that incident with his father, but then he often was a tough one to track down if he wanted to stay hidden." There's another slight flinch as Dania finds more muscles that are feeling hard done to before he nods to her comment about the Ashwoods, "can't claim to have met many of them, but I can say for certain that I wouldn't change Lord Justin for either either Lord Sheriff or his deputy."
Dania looks down at Mortimer. "I have seen him since his father has died. Master Kain that is. He does his own thing that is for certain, I should be kinder with my words." She adds. "I am just getting annoyed in my old age." She shakes her head.
Nathaniel inclines his head to Ciaran, and calls, "Be well and safe!" Then he finishes his slice of bread while he watches Dania unkinking Mortimer's tense muscles. He sighs and shakes his head. "I'm sorry that she ignored your messages, mistress, even though we who carry them cannot do much about what heed such things receive." He looks at Kalira and touches her arm with his hand. "We should head for the market, too, and see if the leather-smith has the bridle ready." Nodding to Mortimer and then Dania, he urges, "Enjoy the bread and those pies. Perhaps we'll see you in town later." Then the two couriers head for the door.
Mortimer seems faintly amused by Dania's remark and rolls his shoulders a little as he replies, "Mistress, when you get to my age, then you can start to call youself old, until then I'll hear nothing of the sort." Nathaniel and Kalira get an understanding nod, "I'll likely see you about yes, that or I'll send the lad to say thank you himself."
"Oh we will see, I have made enough mistakes to last me a lifetime Mortimer." Dania tells him. "I will be dead and gone long before you my dear Deputy. Unless some god either nameless or named deems otherwise." She looks then over at Nathaniel and Kalira as they part. "May you be well and thank you."
Nathaniel pauses at the door to smile at Mortimer, and he suggests, "He'll thank me best by continuing his progress. The lad has skills. He should learn them now so that they'll serve him later." He waves. "Until later, then, be well!" And he steps through the door. Soon, the sounds of two sets of hooves fade into the distance.
"Because the rest of us of course have never made a single mistake in our lives," Mortimer replies to Dania as he watches the door close behind the couriers. Rolling his shoulders again he sits in silence for few moments before he states quietly, "I meant what I said about the sweetsleep. I've slept this way all my adult life, it's not done me harm and I won't remove that protection from my family."
"I understand but you are now exhibiting more symptoms. I would like to try and keep those symptoms at bay if I can. There is only so much I can do. I can offer you potions and herbs. I can bleed you to try and balance your humors. Which I would like to do you on your next day of rest." Dania tells him and she stops to rub his back as she digs a knuckle into her lower back near her hip. "I want to do everything I can for you Mortimer and I know you are worried about your family but what will can you do for them if you are not here? Meaning you died?"
“And what can I do for them if the Ironborn come again and I'm lying there drugged?" Mortimer answers calmly, turning to face Dania properly now she's working on her own back not his. "I appreciate your efforts, I hope you never doubt that, but I can not see how you're getting from the fact that I sleep lightly to the idea that I have to take dangerous and addictive drugs or I'll die. The bigger threat is still from someone else's sword and for that I need to sleep as I do."
"I cannot and will not force you to do anything. I can give advice and wait and see. I can treat as best I can. Even I can only do so much." Dania tells him and she just looks exhausted. "I have given my advice and explained my reasoning. You do not wish it then I will not force you." She goes to make herself that mint tea. "Use the herbs and have your wife rub your back and feet." She frowns a little as something occurs to her the mug is placed on the table. She moves over to him and does exactly what she did for herself. She uses her knuckle and rubs his lower back near his hip. The tea is forgotten for the moment.
Mortimer had been half expecting to have to remember that argument to put to his wife if Dania had got to her first with the sweetsleep, but as the healer accepts his wishes on the subject he gives her a brief nod of thanks. He hadn't realised he'd tensed up a bit as it was discussed, but the muscles that Dania was kneading quickly fill him in as they protest this apparent gross misuse. He's just straightening up to roll his shoulders again when he feels her knuckle in his back and instinctively flinches away in surprise. "Hmm?" he starts, turning to look as he does so although since it seems to be just another part of the massage he settles back quickly enough, "sorry, thought you'd finished."
"I had but I thought of something." Dania tells him. "Mortimer, if the Ironborn come they will come and there is nothing that we can do about it." She looks at him when she says this. When she finishes with the massage she goes to pick up her drink. She takes a sip and makes a face but continues to sip it. She is quiet for a long time as she studies him. "I think I am over reacting most likely it will never develop into the other, just do not get hit on the head again."
"It needs not be the Ironborn, they are simply the most recent," Mortimer starts, "but aye, if they come then they will come, but every moment more warning means more people will make it to the safety of the keep." He glances to the table in front of him at that before reaching to the pitcher to pour himself a drink. "Or say if there's a fire close by, the sooner it's noticed and the quicker people can get to it the less risk there is to people." Taking a sip he then smiles briefly as another thought comes to him and he adds in a lighter tone, "or if something comes up work wise then someone can come and get me to go help knowing that they won't have to do much to wake me and thus aiding in preserving the sleep of my wife and son." He takes the time to finish his drink as Dania falls silent for a while then simply nods at her final words. "Thank you for that reassurance, and I shall try not to."
"I know I repeat myself a lot." She shrugs her shoulder. "You are a good man, I wish there were more like you out there. Your wife is a very lucky woman. I should start my rounds and go and check on others." She shrugs her shoulders. "Thank you, and keep taking those herbs as directed." She smiles again at him. She places her now empty mug on the table as she gathers up her things.