The peace that formerly reigned in Terra Nova has eroded, now little more than a memory. War ravages the continent. Disputes divide kingdoms; ideals divide families. The quest for power consumes absolutely and indiscriminately. None are immune to its allure.
Who will rise and who will fall? Only time—and ambition—will tell.
New gifted family of Lorendale added to the Families of Importance, the Decarlos!
At the beginning of February 2022 the site will experience a 5 year time jump! The IC year will jump from 822 to 827! This gives us about 8 months to prepare our characters for that jump. We plan to host very intentional planning sessions to help everyone get their plots and characters ready for this! As of this moment, one thing you should all start considering is making sure the threads your characters are in are furthering your character's stories.
Etta's mornings were now spent making careful rounds to visit those whose injuries had rendered them bedridden, making sure they were resting comfortably in their own wagons and shelters. It wasn't too different from her prior habits, only now there were so many more who needed help, with injuries so much more grievous than she was used to seeing.
By the afternoons, she was usually found at her wagon, where folk knew to come and see her, if they could bring themselves. If she had any time, she would pick over her supplies and compound new treatments--salves, distilled liquids, powders, poultices--and had Sage working on a patch of earth just behind the wagon, to summon forth from the ground the things she was most in need of, just then.
Her favourite geraniums still bloomed from little clay pots set beneath the window and along the steps at the back of the wagon in a profusion of pink, white, and red, their scent all the stronger when she worked at a quickly-erected trestle-table outside, crushing their leaves in a large stone mortar, worn smooth with years of use.
Garrick walked among the Kushti wagons, flashing a toothy grin at those who looked to him. Argos walked close behind, clearing a path as he went, as there was no way for the twenty foot crocodile to move without things being destroyed or paths being cleared. The people of Dresmond were used to it at this point. Plenty of dyrs were creatures of great size, thus their lifestyle had learned to cope.
He wouldn't have paid a visit to the healer, except a pretty little brunette with a rascally raccoon dyr insisted he get the wound on his chest checked out--after she'd spent a night touching, grabbing, and running her tongue along it. He'd been sliced at the beginning of the summer, and though it was almost five months since, the wound had yet to fully heal. It had become infected due to his negligence, and was now a bit of a mess. There was pink, puckered skin as if it was healed, but pores along the wound randomly oozed pus. Not quite right...
Garrick had never met Etta--he hadn't had the wound treated when he first sustained it--but he was eager to. He heard she was excellent with her hands.
The rogue approached the wagon he'd been pointed to, pretty hazel eyes easily pinpointing the woman going at it with a pestle. An easy smirk tugged across his lips. He spoke as he approached, his tone playful.
Etta glanced up, but her hands didn’t still, given that if a person had time for teasing, in all likelihood they were not actively dying.
“It’s Garrick, isn’t it?” she said. She recalled the boy from Dijila, though they had never been particular playmates as children; and he’d come to Kushti a year after she had, but hadn’t stayed long. Still, one did not easily forget a sizeable crocodile...or a smile like that.
“What can I do for you?” she asked bluntly, though her tone was not unkind. It had just been a rather busy few days, and even when she tried to rest or eat she could think of at least five other things she ought to be looking after. The leaves in her mortar being mashed to a smooth pulp, she used her fingers to start scooping them into a square of muslin laid out on the table beside her—and not for the first time that day, as her green-stained fingertips suggested.
Garrick was mildly surprised that she'd remembered his name--but then again, he'd made a name for himself, hadn't he? The Dresmondi man traveled with the One, one of just a handful and Danior kept close. Furthermore, he'd been a part of the group that had battled the Coheed stragglers at the Cav of Names. Maybe she'd heard his name that way? Regardless, he was flattered. And now interested. Surely not intentional on her part, but inevitable when it came to Garrick.
"That is is, ma'am." He said with a dip of his head, bringing his pointer finger up to tap his forehead in a slight, casual salute. He continued to step closer, observing what she was working at.
"I got something for you to see." Smirking, as always.
Etta was no stranger to the ways of men who went out of their way to be charming. She’d seen Arlo at work often enough...not that he’d ever tried it on her—ew—and not that she assumed that was exactly the sort of aim Garrick had with regards to her—also ew—but she recognized that when he said he had something for her, he probably actually wanted something from her, but didn’t want to seem needy.
Turning her palms out, she rested the heels of her hands on the edge of the trestle table and leaned forward slightly.
Etta was playing along with his little game, his suggestive speech that danced around what he was really here for and afforded him a moment of flirting with the pretty healer. Her face wasn't one to stop traffic, but was simply in its beauty. He liked that. She clearly wasn't trying. He liked that even more. He considered himself a connoisseur in the art of women. He always knew how to pick the good ones (and the bad ones, when it suited him).
"It's large." He warned, angling his face, smirk turning a little more stupid. "And..." he nodded with a slight grimace, as if the situation was unfortunate but true, "it drips..."
Given that he could apparently afford levity under the circumstances, Etta was fairly certain he wasn’t teasing her while a dagger hung out of his back. She was also no stranger to the occasional dirty comment from people who didn’t know how to handle the sudden intimacy of sharing themselves with a healer. She didn’t grudge them their defence mechanisms, and never took it personally—it wasn’t as if anyone was seriously going to proposition her while she was in the middle of her work. And she had a few jokes up her sleeve, too.
“Oh dear,” she said, both eyebrows rising as she tutted lightly, before lowering her voice. “Don’t worry—you’re not the only person I’ve seen recently with a nervous bunghole. Have you tried avoiding spicy foods?”
Garrick had been expecting...something else. His brows lowered over his eyes for a moment as her mirrored jest reared its superior head, unseating the jester and casting him into an audience of indignant confusion. It took a few heavy blinks for Garrick to realize that she'd pulled one over on him, at which point his brow lightened and his smile resumed.
"I have a natural inclination towards things that are hot." He pointedly eyed her, smile widening, if such a think were possible. He started to remove his shirt.
Etta was not unmoved—she was as prone to enjoying flattering attention as much as anybody—but she knew for a certainty she was in no danger of being overwhelmingly seduced in broad daylight, even by a very handsome man. Shirt or no shirt, she’d seen just about every sort of body there was, and there were such things as reasonable boundaries between a healer and her patient.
“That may be so,” she said, reaching for a rag to wipe her hands on. “But all things in moderation, hm? Why don’t you sit down,” she suggested, pointing to a wooden stool, “and tell me what’s troubling you.”
Removing his shirt would be all the explanation of his trouble. Only a blind individual would have been able to ignore the wound on his chest that stretched from nipple to navel. The pink, puckered skin was half an inch wide. Parts of it were more red than others, and she'd be able to see at least two spots that had pores from which the pus would sometimes ooze.
Garrick held his shirt in the crook of his arm, his arms growing goosebumps as an autumn breeze whispered through.
"I'd rather not sit." He told her, having dropped the flirting, or failed flirting.
Etta sucked in a breath with a sympathetic sound as she furrowed her brows and looked closer at the wound, or what was left of it. She was glad the pretense of flirtation had been done away with, as she was on much more comfortably firm ground when talking about her work.
"How long since you were hurt?" she asked, reaching out to press lightly at the edges of the scarring, watching the pus well up. She couldn't scold him for not having it properly seen to, before...that wasn't going to help him, now. "You have any soreness? Fever?" It really came out sounding more like a statement than a question, but he was free to tell her otherwise as she lifted one green-fingered hand to lay the back of it against his forehead.
Garrick would have preferred to keep playing. There was something safe in play. Otherwise, standing here as he was now, he felt vulnerable. Weak. No one liked to feel that way. It had taken a lot of pride swallowing to come and be seen.
"Conclave." That had been the beginning of summer, making it about five months now. He relayed the answer with a stiff indifference. If he couldn't flirt then he'd be boring. Anything but sincere. "It's sore. I've had a fever, though I don't right now." He raised a finger to her investigating hand to guide it away from his forehead, clearly not the type to be babied. Or, maybe just the type.
Alright, so she wanted to scold him, a little bit, but Etta kept her eyes on his chest to resist the urge to give him a look of reprimand. Clearly he was paying for it, anyway.
"It looks like an abscess," she said. "I'd like to try draining it, then applying a fomentation of white oak bark."
She finally lifted her eyes to him with a raised brow.
"...or would you prefer if I told you I need you to lie on your back because I've got something hot and wet to use on you?"
It was said with far too much dryness to be taken as anything but a joke, but she did hope it would make him feel a little better. He already seemed like a man who vastly preferred to avoid problems with humour, (which was precisely why he was in this pickle,) so if they were going to be forced to consider this problem, they could at least temper it with levity.
Garrick cringed at her first description, and then his face split by his grin at the second. Why yes, he did prefer that suggestion. Hot and wet. Two things that were never regrettable (unless a butt was involved).
He didn't reply, as he felt anything he might say would dampen the beauty of the healer's moment. He would comply with however she sought to maneuver him, whether she truly did want him on his back or if standing would be sufficient.
Garrick would watch Etta, unable to keep his lips from their smirk.
"How'd you learn to do this?" A more sincere topic of conversation. She'd fed him, he could feed her.
When there was no objection to her proposed course of treatment, Etta immediately went to the open door of her wagon, reaching inside to a small set of shelves which she had packed with clay jars, retrieving the one she wanted, as well as a clean bowl. At her table, she had everything else she needed, and she began by carefully measuring out enough powdered bark with a small wooden scoop before she took a small, sharp knife and carefully held the blade in the low flames of the campfire she used to keep a ready supply of hot water available.
She glanced back at Garrick, smiling a little, hoping it might put him at greater ease. Lancing didn't sound so bad when one talked about it, but few people managed to not be a little unsettled by actually watching her prepare her tools.
"My dyr's powers are with plants," she explained. "And a year or two after I began to learn how she wielded them, I realized there could be more to everything that grows than just fruits and vegetables and grains for eating. I'm not much of a cook," she admitted. "But I was fascinated by how things could be used, to treat sickness, to ease pain...and I wanted to help. So I began to haunt the wagon of one of the Dijila healers, asking far too many questions. By the time I came to Kushti, I was capable and confident enough to begin treating people by myself...but I'm always learning new things, too."