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.
Garrick had been sincere in asking his question, but her activity prevented him from truly hearing her answer. He was among the majority of people who were unsettled at the sight of her warming a blade. People warmed blades to cut things. The heat helped the risk of infection. What was she preparing to cut? Surely their jesting hadn't inspired her to remove his most prized possession? No, that would simply be barbaric. He had to assume, then, that she intended to use the knife on his wound. Or--a stroke of optimism suggested--perhaps to cut a particularly stubborn ingredient for her recipe.
His hazel gaze didn't leave her hands.
"Oh. Interesting." He didn't sound interested. He sounded alarmed. "You--what are you going to do with that? I should probably respond to nature before we begin your treatment." One of his feet shifted back.
Etta looked up as she poured a few drops of eucalyptus oil onto a clean square of folded linen. Garrick, for all his cocky smiles and easygoing words, looked ready to bolt and possibly to be sick.
"Oh...I'm sorry, I didn't explain," she said, realizing she'd presumed too far. "If I'm going to drain it I'll need to make an incision in the skin. Just a small one, really, to allow the pus to drain, relieve some of the pressure, and help the poultice to draw out the infection so it can begin to heal properly. Half a second, it might sting a little, and then it'll be done, I promise."
She tried to offer a reassuring smile, but she was very concerned that if Garrick didn't get this seen to now, it would only get worse. She knew some people were like that, staying away from healers in the hopes that things weren't all that bad...but what might start as not-all-that-bad could too soon become actually-quite-bad, without treatment.
"...we can do this inside the wagon for some privacy, and you can have a lie-down if you're feeling faint," she told him in a low voice, realizing that he might feel too proud to ask for such things.
Oh, Garrick was definitely too proud to ask for those things, and also too proud to accept them when they were offered. He played the tough card, the uncaring act, the flirty devil, but none of those things encompassed the truth of who he was. Unfortunately, even he couldn't see that. He had worked to craft himself into somebody he was not, and now even he didn't remember who he was.
"No, no, it's fine, I just--yeah, I needed to know what you were going to do." He was floundering a little. "You can't just walk up to a fighter with a knife and think it will go well for you." He grinned and shook his head, a glimmer of anxiety still lighting his eyes as his gaze flickered from Etta's and to the tool in her hand. His smile faded and he frowned, leaning away from her a fraction of an inch.
"Maybe," he wet his lip with this tongue, "maybe just do it really quickly, okay? Like," he pretended to hold a knife and drew it up to his chest, moving his hand extremely quickly--far more quickly than anyone could make an expert incision. "Like that? Can you do that?"
"I'm not much of a fighter at all," said Etta. "I'm sure you could disarm me in a second if you wanted to."
She bit her lip, watching him closely and seeing that he still looked very jumpy.
"Wait a moment," she said, laying aside her supplies and returning to her wagon, rummaging around inside for half a minute before she returned, a bottle in one hand and a chunk of ice in the other--Tove had obligingly filled a bucket for her, in case she needed it. And it seemed she needed it.
"Here," she said, handing him the bottle. "Wild plum brandy. I made it myself. Have a sip to settle yourself, and hold this ice just here," she showed him where she intended to make the cut, "and keep it there while I get everything ready. It'll numb the skin so you'll feel it less. I'll be as quick as I can, and I promise it's going to feel a great deal better when the pressure in the abscess has been relieved."
She looked back up at Garrick's face, wondering not for the first time why some people had to be so hard-headed about refusing to allow themselves to experience even one second of supposed vulnerability or weakness, when that was just about the only thing everybody had in common. Courage was a strange thing...and Etta both admired and reviled it, for what it could make people do.
"I could give you something that would knock you out entirely," she said. "You wouldn't know a thing until you woke up." It was drastic, yes, but sometimes people got so tangled up in their nerves that it became impossible to treat them effectively or efficiently.
"It's not about the cut itself," Garrick clarified, laughing nervously as he took the bottle of brandy. "It's..." he shook his head, "unnatural watching a knife go into your skin, that's all." He assumed this healer had never been injured enough or in the necessary way to need an incision like the one she was preparing to do on him.
Garrick didn't hesitate to partake of the brandy she offered. He took a long swig, grimacing upon pulling it from his mouth. He probably should have only had a sip like she encouraged. He also pressed the ice to his chest, but he was still unconvinced of this course.
From where he rest, Argos stood--raising up about three inches--and meandered over towards the two, opening his mouth to hiss. Garrick rolled his eyes before shooting a glare towards the croc.
"No." He returned decidedly. His gaze then found its way back to the healer.
"Look, I don't want to be knocked out for this, and I don't want to know you're doing it. So, can you work with those parameters, or should I jut be on my way?" He was asking a lot, but it didn't strike him as so. He never went to healers and was used to handling things himself. This too would pass eventually. Surely Argos could flush the wound frequently enough to keep him free of infection. Or at least help clean it after it was really bad...
Etta was too used to people's dyrs acting up when her patients were nervous to turn a hair at the crocodile's snapping jaws--she'd never yet been attacked, and dyrs were civilized enough outside of battling true enemies.
"Well, if it's just the sight that bothers you, you may want to close your eyes," she told him. "And I won't explain what I'm doing unless you ask me to, alright?"
She turned back to preparing the knife, running the oil-dampened cloth over the hot blade, the scent of the eucalyptus rising over the smoke as she wiped it clean of any soot, the metal bright and smooth.
"Why don't you tell me how you came by such a cut in the first place?" she asked. "By the looks of things you're rather used to having knives going into you." Etta couldn't suppose such things became easy habits, though...and perhaps he was leery of sharp objects at close quarters precisely because he'd encountered them so often.
Garrick might act childish at time, but he was no child. Etta was not slipping past his guard on this one. He huffed, blowing out his cheeks, and shook his head a little. Argos though he was being a baby, but Argos could shove it. It wasn't about seeing the blade coming, necessarily. It was about knowing it was coming and letting it cut. That was unnatural on so many different levels. He knew she was a healer and it would ultimately be for his good, but he didn't want to get cut again.
"I'm not here for storytelling--" Garrick started, though whatever else he might have said was dashed by the mound of water that crashed into him. It encased him in a bubble that tossed and turned him before dispersing, showering him to the ground. Argos promptly crawled over the coughing and sputtering Garrick, then settled a large potion of his hulking frame onto the man.
"You asshole!" Garrick roared, but there was nothing he could do about his dyr's weight. They didn't have a relationship like some other Dresmondi and dyrs. They didn't cuddle and whisper I love you's. Argos was Garrick's bro, and he treated him like one.
Etta would notice, if she chose to take advantage of the crocodile's aid, that Garrick's chest was accessible.
Etta jumped back, her boots getting splashed with water as Garrick's dyr took him down, her mouth hanging open as she watched the crocodile take the initiative. She and Sage certainly had their disagreements on how to do things, sometimes, but she'd never seen anything quite like this.
Was it against Garrick's will, if this was his own dyr? Etta could have mulled over the ethics of whether or not hesitancy counted as refusing treatment, but she knew she could be quick about it so long as he held still, and...he was certainly being held still, now. The water and dirt on the ground hardly helped, but she was able to wipe down the area she needed to work with with some of the eucalyptus oil, the sheen of it glowing against Garrick's bare skin.
"Thank you," she said quietly to the dyr as she carefully positioned her blade and made the cut as swiftly as she could...which meant with no inconsiderable amount of force. There was scar tissue there, after all, and Etta knew Garrick's discomfort would only linger if she was squeamish enough to not do it right the first time. She felt the pressure, and then the pop, and pulled back, watching the pus begin to well up before it started to seep from the cut. "There," she said. "All over," she showed Garrick the knife as she tossed it back onto the table. "Now we just need to let it drain, then I'll clean it again and apply the poultice while it's hot. It should stay in place for at least ten minutes, and have a fresh one applied, morning and evening, until it's cleared out and healing properly."
"Damn you, Argos!" Garrick declared hotly, struggling under the weight of the beast, but in vain. A slew of profanities left his mouth, in which he insulted the dyr's spiritual origins, questioned whether he was loyal to Dresmond or Coheed, and finished by swearing to rip out his own heart just to see Argos crumble and die. None of it true, of course, but Garrick was reacting strongly to the fear of the knife. Argos didn't take any of it to heart. In fact, he chuckled internally, externally opening his mouth and hissing.
When Etta did her deed, the croc rolled off of Garrick, making sure to avoid crushing his strewn arm. Garrick, now released, sat up quickly, his wet hair a mop around his face, and tucked his chin to his chest to examine what had been done to him. It wasn't getting cut that had been the fear, but allowing it. Now that it was done, it was done.
He raised a finger to poke at the tissue.
"Gross." He grimaced from both the sight and the pain.
"Don't touch it," said Etta quickly. "I'll...I can get you a towel," she offered, finally looking up at his dripping head and shoulders, and trying not to laugh, not even to smile. "You need to let it drain, then I can clean it up and apply the poultice."
As she said it, she went to the fire and took the lid off the heavy pot of heated water, ladling some into a clean small basin and putting it down on her work-table to let it begin to cool a little so she wouldn't scald him.
She looked at Argos, and gave him a small wink. If the abscess was bothering Garrick, chances were his dyr wasn't entirely comfortable either...or at least Argos was tired of the whine-and-do-nothing approach. Either way, a solution had presented itself, thanks to the crocodile.
Argos, ever the charmer, though to most he appeared to sit by in a world of his own, returned to the wink to Etta. Garrick looked up sharply, pinning a glare and scowl on the crocodile, though his eyes flickered to the healer too. He murmured something about getting a wagon, though it was hardly loud enough to be heard in entirety by Etta.
He did stop touching the wound, as she directed him, and stood to move towards her table.
"Yes, a towel would be good. I don't really want my pants smelling like..." he made a face and shook his head, not even sure what it was oozing out of him.
"All your own work," Etta reminded him cheerfully. She was too used to all kinds of bodily fluids by now to feel all that squeamish at what she saw, or smelled, because she knew the healing could begin, now. She retrieved some clean towels from the wagon and handed them over to Garrick before she pushed lightly at the skin, causing another gout of pus to eject from the cut. "Oh that's good," she remarked, pleased. "We're getting a lot out."
Maybe it was weird that it made her glad to see it, but to her it just meant she wouldn't have to make another cut, and that likely all of the abscess would be able to drain by this one opening.
"You'll really need to keep it clean...I can give you a vial of some distilled oil that will keep it from getting infected again, between poultices."
Garrick made a face at the back of Etta's head, turning the expression to a grimace as she approached him with a towel. No, actually, this had been the work of a Coheed, blade, thank you very much. If he had failed to clean the wound or help it heal then really it was her fault for not checking on him sooner. Or some other healer's fault. Not his. Never his. Typical.
The man pressed the towel against his torso just by his bellybutton and wiped upward, catching the yellow gush with an expression of disgust. The sight and the smell was worse than the pain of the cut. He couldn't let anyone see him this way. It was gross, and gross wasn't sexy.
"Sure, yeah." He replied absently, folding the towel to capture the pus and to give him a clean edge to wipe again with.
"This really is the worst of it, I promise," said Etta as she began to scoop the powdered white oak bark into a small basin, ready to be mixed with hot water and applied as a paste to the wound. "Have you never had an infection like this, before?" she asked, nodding to his other sundry scars across his torso. She guessed not--only a true idiot or someone deeply fearful of healers would have avoided treatment long enough to let it get this bad, twice--but she had to ask to be sure. "You look like you're rather in the habit of getting hacked at with dubious blades."
Garrick followed Etta's movements with his eyes, making sure she wasn't about to pick up another sharp object. Clearly he didn't trust her, though there wasn't really a good reason for it. She's been straightforward with everything she did. Only Argos had betrayed his trust, but his dyr was a part of him, thus intrinsically trustworthy.
Garrick only grunted at her promise.
"Getting hacked by the blade of an enemy is a decidedly different sport than the hacking of a healer." He carped in a low tone. "Usually my wounds stay clean." His dyr obviously manipulated water. Whatever had happened differently this time was left to mystery, and Garrick closed his mouth then without the intention of saying anything more.