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Author Topic: Coins of Memory - Chapter 7  (Read 2069 times)

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Offline Laurna

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Coins of Memory - Chapter 7
« on: April 09, 2013, 04:26:52 am »


Previous Chapter: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=1057.0

Chapter 7 - JK 9.18.985  3rd Coin 


Sister Vivian reluctantly pulled her novice healer out of the earl’s pavilion and away from the glaring presence of the two abbey physicians of Saint Foillan’s.  Being forced to leave the side of the wounded knight gnawed at Jessa’s nerves.  She was shaking when Sister Vivian stopped between the two convent horses, out of sight from the squire guarding the pavilion entrance.  The nun opened her saddlebag and pulled out two full skins.  The first one, filled with water, she poured over the novice’s shaking hands, washing them clean.  Afterward she gave the second skin of wine to the healer.  “Take a good swallow.  There now, tell me, did you do enough?  Will the earl’s brother survive?”  Vivian’s voice quavered as she spoke.  She was as upset as Jessa at the unexpected interruption.

“I healed all that was deep,” Jessa managed to whisper after swallowing the sweet wine.  She recounted in her mind all she had done and if it had been enough.  “Only the superficial remained,” she finally said aloud.  She paused to hand back the wine, attempting to gain some control.  “Still, I don’t know if he will live.  Too much blood’s been lost.  His heart still has a slight irregularity.”  Jessa shivered, desperate to return to finish what she had begun.  “The earl must continue to monitor him.  Then, there is the barb in his arm.  It will need to be removed.  But not yet!  Best to delay that until he is more stable.  To lose any more blood will be too much.”

“Oh, my dear,” Sister Vivian wrung her hands, upset.  “How can we warn the earl?”  With purpose, she left Jessa and walked back to the pavilion entrance.  After speaking to the squire, she waited while he disappeared inside. 

A minute later Sir Artimus came walking out of the entrance.  He, too, was upset, especially since he had been asked to step outside.  When his gaze turned toward Jessa, his face softened and his eyes opened with awe.  “You’re a healer?” he questioned, when he reached her side.  “I never guessed…I beg you, please don’t leave Sir Washburn.”

“I don’t want to—” Jessa whispered.  She looked across at Sister Vivian pleading for permission.  “Please let me return.  Is this secret so necessary to keep?” she desperately asked.

“From the earl?  I think not; he already knows,” Vivian stated with her voice low, “but from the abbey monsignors—?  They can’t ever find out your blood heritage.  Even for this nobleman’s sake, I won’t allow you anywhere near the influence of those priests.  You understand me in this, don’t you?”  Jessa nodded surprised how protective her mentor had become.  She had not known that Vivian cared so deeply.  “We will have to find a way to get you near the knight again, as soon as they move on.”  Vivian promised in a voice that was soft but stern.  She turned to Sir Artimus.  “Don’t ask us to return until the Monsignors depart.  I won’t risk Jessa.  The priests of that abbey have a long history of burning Deryni at the stake.  She won’t live out the week if they find out.”  Only when Artimus sadly nodded his agreement did Sister Vivian urgently whisper her further concern.  “The earl’s brother’s life is still at high risk.  Please, as discreetly as you can, inform the Lord of Lendour that he must delay the removal of the arrowhead.  The additional shock could be more than the wounded lord can endure.”

Artimus bit his lip.  He placed his right hand into Jessa’s open palm.  Surprised to find him Deryni, she cupped her hand around his and timidly opened a limited mind link.  Through the link, she passed on what she knew of Sir Washburn’s unstable condition.  He accepted her insight with grim determination.  He turned from the women quickly, retreating into the pavilion entrance.

Jessa took a cleansing breath.  For the moment, there was nothing more she could do.  She looked at the camp around her and began to realize, contrary to her first impression, that many working to make camp were injured themselves, just not so greatly hurt that they could not complete their tasks before being looked after by their own.  The young healer wanted to help them all, but knew she had neither the energy, nor the tact, to approach them.  She walked down the trampled river sands with Vivian behind, and came upon four knights lying prone in the sand; their cloaks were wrapped around their bodies, and their heads rested upon their shields as if asleep.  Tears filled Jessa’s eyes.  With very few exceptions, she had avoided the sight of death, ever since that long ago childhood horror.

“Sister Vivian, I have a word from my Lord Muir,” Sir Artimus called from behind, drawing the convent women’s attention away from the dead.  “He wants me to tell you that Sir Washburn is breathing and resting much more easily now.”  The knight stepped in closer, his voice low for only the two women to hear.  “Muir has taken your warning, and is prepared to act as necessary.  The monsignors seem perturbed that Wash’s wounds seem less serious than they were led to believe.  For that, I am deeply in your debt.  They at least can see the Knight Captain’s weakness.  Therefore, they agreed to postpone the removal of the arrow.  For now, they are suturing the wound closed.  Can I convince you to come back inside?”

Jessa took a step forward, but Sister Vivian put a hand to her arm and held her back.  “Sir, when the priests have departed, we will do all we can.  But I will not take the risk of Jessa being near them.”  Vivian was adamant in this stance.

“Very well,” Artimus said, understanding the difficulty all too well.  He turned his head to search the organizing camp, and then pointed toward a second hanging of canvas from tent poles over an open-sided pavilion.  “We have other wounded.  Is there anything you can do to ease the pain of these men?”

“Yes,” Sister Vivian replied, “We will do what we can in the time we are allowed.”  The knight understood her meaning.  “Lead us, please.”

They came to a row of eight wounded knights lying under the second pavilion roof.  An older knight commanded the infirmary with a team of squires attending to the injured.  He responded to Artimus’s inquiry with a sad shake of his head.

“Sir Thomas is the most greatly hurt, though I do not believe anything can be done to help him.”  All eyes turned to the farthest knight lying motionless on the canvas-covered hard ground.

Jessa held her breath, scanning the middle-aged face and grey streaked brown hair, comparing it to the image in her dreams.  Could it be the same man?  She was certain that it was.  Instantly on her knees, she brushed her fingers around the cloth a squire held tight against Sir Thomas’s bare upper chest.  Her assessment proved a sword thrust had punctured the right upper chest wall.  His breathing was shallow and labored.

Looking upward at Sir Artimus, who appeared stricken by the plight of another friend, Jessa asked the moral question that had often stayed her hands in the past.  “You have seen that of which I am capable.  Sir, if I do what must be done, will there be repercussions?  Many fear a Deryni’s touch.”

“My lady, we are all Knights of the house of Cynfyn.  Every man among us has known the touch of the energies wielded by our earl.  If your gift can help this man, then all here will be grateful,” Artimus said with pleading in his voice.  She looked up at the squire present and saw only curiosity in his eyes.

The novice healer was self-conscious of the necessary touch of this man’s mind that would be required to heal his body.  She made a quick prayer with the medallion cupped between both hands.  Using the medallion as a focus point, she centered her powers and tuned her senses to the wounded knight before her.  She reached the level of trance required to energize her healing talent.  Only then did she release the pendant and place both her palms over Sir Thomas’s brow.  Briefly, she remembered the man in her youth.  He was the one who had brought her nightmare to a close.  She knew now he had only done his duty, but his manner had been kind and his patience with her reassuring.  She could do no less than to return the debt.  Gently, she entered his mind.

For a moment, she wondered if men’s minds were so different from women’s, for in her touch she found a resistance, a thickness that took a slow wading to pass through.  With healing affirmation, the resistance parted.  Now she was at the back of the mind, touching the breathing controls.  She eased the tendrils of her control over his stressed nerves.  She spent a long moment focusing the balance of his respiration, allowing the good lung to fill with air at a deeper volume and at a more regular interval.  She took the pain from the right side and blocked it from his mind.  The knight’s faded constitution took on a softer color as air revitalized the tissues.

It was of no wonder that humans feared Deryni.  At a touch, a human mind was open to the energies of a Deryni.  Unlike the magical race, humans were without shielding, leaving them vulnerable to unwanted intrusions.  This was the common fear that led to the harrowing of the Deryni people seventy years before.  Humans always feared the worst, thinking every touch was devilry, every intrusion done with evil intent.  Jessa could never imagine doing harm.  To her, all healing energies were benign, a gift of goodness and caring, a gift from the heavens to help mortals survive.  Reverend Mother Phyla Mary had found the ancient Oath of the Healer’s creed, ‘To do no harm.  To be benign and nurturing in all ways, at all times…’  This one oath Jessa had made and reaffirmed regularly before the abbess.  Sir Thomas was now under her full influence, but had he known, then he would also have known she could no more do harm to him than she would to a newborn infant.

With her right hand, she helped Vivian clean away the dried blood and torn cloth from the sword gash.  Centering down once again, she called on her healing gifts.  The soft apparition in grey-cowled robes appeared next to her, his hands and face close to hers.  Without further preamble, she thrust her fingers between the two ribs and deep into the wound.  Thomas’s body froze in shock.  The muscles held tight for the few seconds it took to pour her healing energies into the cut.  She healed the tissues, pulling out as many of the clots from the inner tissue as she could.  As she pulled her fingers from the chest, the body eased and began to breathe again.  She found the collarbone smashed from the initial impact of the sword cut and lifted the splintered bone fragments back into place.  The words of the text she had just read hours before finally had meaning.  This is what they meant by using the manipulative kinetics of her focused forward thoughts.  That successfully accomplished, she took a moment to search the rest of the body.  She healed torn tendons of the shoulder and minor cuts to the warrior’s frame.

As she came out of trance, she smiled at the white knight, noting his eyes opened wide, staring straight at her.  As her angel dissipated, she touched the man’s surprised mind.  “You can rest easy now, Sir Thomas.  You will feel much better when you wake.”  She willed the knight to close his eyes and sleep.

Jessa sighed, happy with her own success.  The adrenaline faded.  Drops of perspiration fell from her forehead, and a wave of dizziness forced her to close her eyes.  She held her breath for a moment and steadied her perception of the outside world.  When she opened her eyes this time, the ground held still, and she could focus on the patient beneath her fingers.  She was pleased to see the fresh healed skin and the now eased breathing of Sir Thomas.  Briefly, into his mind, she sent out a warm greeting from an orphaned girl of years long past.  Later, when he awoke, he should have no recollection of a healer’s touch, but somewhere in his subconscious, he would know that there was one who cared.

Vivian made a quick fuss of covering the bare man’s chest as Sir Artimus and the attending squire stared on in amazement.  The art of healing had not been seen in the king’s land in many years.

“No one can know,” Vivian said softly to the men.

The healer wavered in her exhaustion.  She had never accomplished two consecutive healings, one upon the other, until now.  It surprised her how weak it made her feel.  She stood with assistance and moved over two wounded men to a knight that had a deep cut across his sword arm and a heavy, barbed war arrow embedded in his knee.  She was introduced to Sir Ronald, who was awake and watching the women with interest.

“Are you in much pain?”  Vivian asked, kneeling at the man’s side.

“Not much,” his gritty voice lied.  “Just don’t touch it,” he requested, indicating the arrow in his leg.  No one had yet removed the mail chausses that the short-shafted crossbow arrow pierced through.

Jessa knelt next to Vivian, her fingers moving across the armor.  She shook her head.  “I do not have the experience to handle such a delicate withdrawing,” she announced with concern.  Sir Ronald nodded in understanding.  The young knight, no more than twenty years of age, closed his eyes against the possibility that he might lose his leg.  “I can help you in other ways until the surgeons arrive.  Will you permit me to heal your other wound?”

“How could I say nay to a pretty lady such as you?” he asked with a smile, but instantly he gritted his teeth and grimaced when his knee flinched of its own accord.

Jessa’s heart ached with the knight’s pain.  She wanted desperately to help him, but she could not find the focus to her healing talent.  Her hands shook from the attempt until Sir Artimus abruptly placed his hand upon the healer’s bare wrist.  His energy bolstered her talent and revitalized her stamina.  With a resurgence of power, Jessa placed her hand over Sir Ronald’s open eyes and willed the knight to sleep.  She calmed his pain and then turned her attention to the cut that rendered the young man’s sword arm useless.  Vivian cleaned the wound, exposing the raw muscle under the clotted blood.  When the nun had finished, Jessa moved over to the arm, placing both hands over the wound, and sent a surge of healing into the flesh before she might lose her control.  She was glad when the muscles mended and the skin knitted closed under her touch.

“So the Lendour knights are not invincible!” stated a booming voice from beyond the tent.  “Why did you not tell me there were honest injured men to be tended to?”  The younger abbey physician, Father Pernal, stepped into the infirmary.  He spoke to Sir Paulson who’d accompanied him from the earl’s pavilion.  There was a hard look of malice in the priest’s gaze, as his eyes flashed back to that place.  The look disappeared as his gaze came back to the convent women kneeling at Sir Ronald’s side.  “How can I help here?”  His voice softened as he came over to kneel beside Sister Vivian.

Jessa attempted to recover inconspicuously from her healing trance.  She wiped her bloodied hands on a discarded cloth, then fussed with a length of Sir Ronald’s hair, brushing it back from his closed eyes.  She silently assured herself of the knight’s forced sleep before she looked up to see Father Pernal’s disdainful look at her.

Sir Artimus instantly bristled, drawing the physician’s attention to the arrow in the armored knee.  The surgeon scrutinized the problem and discussed removing the right chausses without disturbing the arrow shaft.  There was no knowing the damage done underneath until the chain mail was freed.

As the men talked, Vivian tried to get Jessa to leave, not liking her so close to the priest.  Jessa, however, was carefully monitoring Sir Ronald’s life forces and did not dare to withdraw.  Playing the innocent novice, she wrung a fresh cloth in a bowl of water and dabbed at the perspiration on the knight’s forehead.  She would stay in Sir Ronald’s mind and help him diminish the anguish about to come.  Vivian said nothing, but looked at her, questioning the risk of such a maneuver.  Jessa was certain the priest no longer noticed her, an arm’s length away. 

Sir Artimus firmly held the arrow’s base with one hand, and then snapped the shaft close to his fingers with his dagger.  Together, he and Pernal lifted the mail over the protruding shaft.  Once that was cleared it was easy to remove the rest of the chausses and woolen padding down and over the foot.  They exposed the swollen, large clotted wound around the penetrating wood.  Without much addendum, Father Pernal took his knife to the skin.  He sliced a wider area to make room to pull the arrowhead free.  The sleeping knight gasped and Jessa turned pale.  Dropping her head down low to hide her focus, she forced more control over the man’s pain.  If the physician thought it was queasiness on the novice’s part, all the better.  Jessa’s trance linked deeper with the mind she held in her hands.  She took the young knight down into full unconsciousness, away from the trauma of the moment. 

Father Pernal never seemed to notice, thinking his patient had fallen naturally unconscious.  Thereafter, the arrow was extracted with more care.  The barb, when it came free, was as big as a child’s fist; its double-sided jagged edges had been honed to cutting sharpness.  This human creation was meant as an instrument of death.  Jessa shivered, knowing a mate to this one was still embedded in Sir Washburn’s arm.  The physician held the barb up for inspection.  It was whole; no broken metal had been left inside the knee.  Vivian, aghast, commented on the Torenthi’s barbarism.  None of the men could disagree.

The surgeon sutured the wound closed and bandaged it tight.  He passingly commented on the narrow chance of the wound healing true, that the young man might never bend his knee again.  Both Artimus and Vivian looked up at Jessa, pleading for a better outcome.  When Father Pernal moved down the line to the next injured man, taking Vivian with him, Jessa stayed behind, appearing queasy.  Quietly, unnoticed, she moved down to the man’s leg, slipping her fingers under the bandage edge, and healed the knee clean.  This brave young knight she was certain would have no limp or further complication from that ill-placed arrow.

Now she was truly fatigued.  Jessa swayed on her knees.  The world before her eyes did a slow swirling circle.  She had to drop her head into her hands to stop the spin.  Sister Vivian took note of her condition, but could not leave her new job of assisting the physician priest.  She rightly assessed that her Deryni healer had reached an end to her endurance.  Jessa had used more energy than she had ever before.

“Sir Artimus?”  Vivian asked distractedly, “I think the heat has faded young Jessa.  Her delicate nature has never seen this type of devastation before.  Perhaps you could find a quiet, safe place for her to rest?”

The priest’s voice piqued with distaste.  “Why did you bring such an unconditioned girl to such a site as this?” he asked.  “Her delicate nature, as you say, is of no use here.”  He made no attempt to hide his nasty tone.

Vivian barely hid her own outrage.  “I needed an assistant, and she was the only one of the few who could ride at the pace required to get here.”

The physician huffed at the wasted effort but let the matter go.  Vivian’s eyes narrowed, gaining Sir Artimus’s attention; it was time to get Jessa away.

The Deryni knight came to Jessa’s side.  He hesitated to give his hand out to the young woman, afraid to appear too forward, but Jessa could hardly move to stand on her own.  With a quick glance at Pernal, whose back was turned, hunched over another wounded man, Artimus took the chance and covered the novice’s forehead with his palms.
 
“Let me show you a spell that will help,” he said into her mind.  She could barely resist his touch.  He recited words of power.  Her dizziness calmed, and her head cleared.  She looked up at him as his hands pulled away.  She clasped his wrist amazed.

“What was that?  Could you teach that to me, please?” she beseeched.  He smiled warmly back, and mentally repeated the words that would banish fatigue from the body and mind.

“It is a simple spell.  One of the first taught to young adults.  I am surprised you did not know of it,” the knight said lightly.  Jessa locked the spell into her memory; that one would be of great use.

“Thank you,” she said aloud.  If only she could tell him, how much she did not know.  How much she needed another Deryni to show her.  Artimus had a strong, mature face that held an aura of confidence and security.  His protective nature reminded her of the way her father had been.  She did not resist his outstretched hands to lift her off the ground and steady her stance.

“Come away and rest a while.  I will find out when you can return to Sir Washburn.” She followed him back toward the outer edge of the earl’s pavilion.  He laid out a bedroll for her to sit upon and brought her drink and rolls to eat.

Distractedly, she watched the area settle into becoming a camp.  The last of the wild horses were caught up.  A huge string of the enemy’s coursers lined the north cliff face.  Fortunately, at her current vantage point, the trees blocked the view of the horrific bonfire in the east.  She turned from that sight and watched the white pavilion where the earl and his brother remained inside.  Her mind kept sensing that Sir Washburn was still in need; she had to find a way to get back to see him, but the older priest would not leave his side.  She was so very tired in mind and body.  She lay down, closed her eyes, and fell into an uneasy sleep.

                              *******

Harsh words punctuated by a curse reverberated beyond the canvas walls.  Jessa woke fully alert as more angry voices echoed inside the tent.  A man yelled out in pain, and then all too sharply fell silent.  Jessa jumped up in instinct, she found herself running toward the pavilion.  She crashed in through the canvas flap just as Sir Dillon was forcing the older surgeon priest out the entrance.  Father Harman’s gaze fell upon the novice of the convent and he laughed at her.  His hands were covered in bright red blood.  He carried the broken arrow in his fist, and then waved it before her like a trophy won.  “Fine, let the nuns suture his wounds,” the belligerent priest called back with a snide smirk.  “All this fuss for superficial cuts.  Now I see how inferior Deryni really are.”

Horrified, Jessa ran passed him, into the center of the pavilion.  What she saw was worse than her fears.  Sir Washburn Cynfyn’s arm lay in a puddle of his own blood.  Lord Muir held one hand heavily over the gushing wound, while his other hand lay across the dying man’s brow.  Desperately, he tried to stay off death.  There was a tourniquet across the left upper arm, but not tightly constricted; not enough to stop the bleeding emanating from the severed artery in the forearm.  That buffoon of a priest did not know what he had done, or did he?

Jessa threw herself beside the bleeding arm, deliberately forcing Muir’s hand aside.  Her fingers swiftly found the open wound in the mass.  She forced a healing so quickly through her two long fingers that she was stunned when the artery closed and the seeping of blood ended.  With an inhaled breath, she regained a clearer focus and reviewed the wound thoroughly. Very quickly, she pulled the fragments of bone together and knitted the tendons back to their proper place.  Mere seconds had past when she pulled her hand away; beneath it, there was not even a scar, just a deep stain on the carpet.  Quickly, she released the tourniquet, and for a painfully slow moment, she watched color return to the hand.

When she looked up at Muir, she knew how close it had been.  He was still in full control of his brother’s vitals, for even now, the Knight Captain could not sustain them on his own.  Fighting back frightened tears, she watched the earl.  His trance was so deep he did not see her there.  He struggled with the energies keeping his brother alive.  He was not a healer and this was as far as his Deryni energies could allow.  Bravely, Jessa slipped her right hand under his fingers upon the captain’s bare chest and slipped back into trance.  This time she joined with Muir, asking him to let her within his shields.  She was surprised when a tightly focused mind abruptly allowed her into his.

“He is dying.  Those priests would kill him simply for their hatred of what we are.  Please do what you can to save my brother.” The earl opened red, exhausted, pleading eyes up to hers.

The link that Muir opened gave her passage within Sir Washburn’s shields.  This gave her controls she could not have managed before.  She strengthened Muir’s focus on the heart’s weak rhythm.  The loss of blood was great and only time would see it replenished.  Could they earn enough time?  She felt through the weakness and found fever starting in the already tortured frame.  With her deformed hand, she pulled aside the bandage from the left abdomen.  A rare curse passed her lips.  That surgeon priest had purposely not tended the stitches equally, leaving gaps where debris had entered the wound.  Did the priests so hate Deryni that they would allow even one as highly placed as the earl’s brother to die from neglect? 

Jessa once more pulled forth the silver medallion from the inside of her gown.  She slipped it off her neck and placed it under her right hand, near the dying man’s heart.  The medallion gave her courage, and she prayed that its magical aura would enhance the energies required to accomplish this task.  With her left hand over the stitches, she focused all her strength into the abused flesh.  She was gladdened to see that the inflammation was shallow, it did not come from the deep healing she had accomplished earlier.  She took her trance down to fully heal the wound; she was grateful when the familiar hands of her angel brushing next to hers.  His touch reinforced her mind, showing her how to purify the wound and heal from inside to out the last of this horrific sword thrust.

Jessa faltered from the energy drain.  She could not do this alone.  Timidly, she reached out to Lord Muir through their rapport.  She asked him to release what he could to help her.  Power poured through his hands into hers.  In that instant, she felt the surprise in Lord Muir’s mind.  He became aware of the otherworldly entity floating between them.  She assured him of the apparition’s benign presence.  Never before had anyone held this experience with her, and it gladdened her to know she was not the only one to experience this heavenly angel.

The two Deryni exhausted their reserve of conscious energy, but still the wounded knight’s breathing would not resume on its own.  There came a moment when Jessa did not dare to take more, for fear that if she or Lord  Muir fainted, their patient was certain to die.  They were going to lose this battle.  There had been too much trauma and blood loss to allow recovery.  In the moment of most need, Lord Muir and Jessa watched the heavenly ghost stretch his arms over Sir Washburn, and then seemingly, the apparition lowered his form into the body of the dying man. 

Wash took in a great gulp of air.  The blue eyes of the warrior opened wide with an awed look of astonishment.  The apparition reappeared, rising upward, then hovered above the wide eyes of the Knight Captain. 

“Is this it then?  Is this death?”  Sir Washburn whispered to the angel above him.  If so, he was ready to leave behind the torment of this world. 

The angelic figure smiled warmly, and then motioned toward the porcelain maiden in godly attire.  He gestured for the knight to seek her comfort.  Washburn raised his right hand to the woman’s soft, fair-skinned cheek.  Without question, he poured what remaining energy he had into her being, believing her the conduit to his passing. 

 At his touch, Jessa glowed with a soft golden halo.  The brightness of it engulfed his arm and rushed over his body. 

In this euphoria, he was prepared to die. 

Jessa instinctively tilted her face heavily against Washburn’s outstretched hand, and then cupped her right hand over his, holding it there in a frozen caress. “Nay Sir, you will not die today,” she assured him, revealing herself fully to the Knight Captain.  She was Deryni and Healer.  She accepted his gift of energy, which she purified in a brilliance of gold.  A sudden surge of warmth and health flowed out from her and infused both brothers with the energies of life renewed.

The heavenly angel raised his arms in benediction.  All three Deryni, their essences linked soul to soul, experienced the angelic blessing of his embrace.  The giving of vitality and energy escalated to an experience of rapture beyond any other moment in their lives.

The miracle was complete.  Bliss washed across the room as the ghostly angel departed from their eyes.

Stunned, Muir fell out of the link.  He backed away as the brilliant energy of life, in the form of golden light, continued to encompass the man and woman in the center of the pavilion.  Washburn raised himself up on his right elbow, his left hand continued to embracing the healer’s cheek.  Jessa, on her knees, held her hand over his.

They, neither of them, willingly chose to release the gift that they shared.  They remained in a state of mutual rapport, sharing their own intimate joys of life.  The Knight Captain shared his loyalty and duty to the king, along with the family responsibilities he shared with his brother.  He let the warmth of his gratitude extend over her presence.  He exclaimed in wonder of her skill and the joy of her beauty.  She blushed and showed him the life she had made for herself at the convent of Saint Clair: the study of medicine, and her apprenticeship with Sister Vivian as midwife.  She shared the healings she had accomplished, and he responded with amazement and awe of the skill she possessed.  She, in turn, was warmed by his interest, and his genuine concern for her secretive profession.

He knew well the dangers of those who lived in fear and hate.  The status of the Cynfyn family was secured by the protection of the Kings of Gwynedd.  However, today, that protection had been willfully neglected.  Purposely, it seemed, the priests of Saint Foillan’s were willing to let a Deryni of nobility wither away from unclean wounds, or when that was not a quick enough death, sever an artery and watch the man pour his life’s blood on the carpet. 

Pushing past the outrage, knowing that it did more harm than good, the two Deryni buried the negative feelings behind them.  They reached a positive sharing that hinted at the depth of their souls.  Two strangers, no longer unfamiliar, combined the joys of their lives and found peace in their union.

An interrupting whistle penetrated their reverie.  Sir Artimus was at the pavilion entrance trying to warn the healer away.  The real world was brought back into play.  The priest physicians were returning and both were angry.   

As Muir’s hands lifted the healer’s body from the carpet, Jessa’s parting thoughts to Sir Washburn were to ensure his rest and regained good health.  His to her were for her to return soon, to ensure just those things occurred.  She blushed as their hands parted, and she let Muir lead her to the back of the pavilion through a side of an untied flap.  In the earl’s parting words, he took her hand and kissed its back.  “I cannot express enough thanks to you for saving him.  I promise no human will know of your miracle.”

Never in her healing career had the maiden felt so overtaxed yet entirely elated from the touch of another.  When in need,  Jessa had benignly touched human thought before. However, this sharing of two minds elicited a complete trust she had never imparted before.  Was it only because this knight was Deryni, or only because she had saved his life?  Somehow, her heart quivered; she wanted it to be so much more.  She smiled at her own idealism.  He was of the nobility and a knight; she a mere orphan.  After this day, their lives would never cross paths again.  For a moment that thought dashed her smile away.  Reality said it was only his Deryniness that made them seem so right for one another.  Nevertheless, her heart and her soul could not let go of the notion that there had been a true moment of oneness, a connection between them that forever would remain unbroken.

She found her way back to the bedroll she had used previously, and sat down upon it.  Her mind was in turmoil, her body in exhaustion.  She would have slept then but for the raised angry voices from the tent within.  The earl was emphatically informing the surgeons that their services for his brother were no longer welcome. 

Both priests left the pavilion together.  The older monsignor muttered about heresy, while the younger father bit his lip and said not a word. 

Next chapter: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1067.0.html


« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 04:38:20 am by Laurna »

Offline Evie

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 7
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 04:03:16 pm »
The risks increase, although I'm sure all the Deryni present figure the risks were definitely worth taking, given the outcome....   :)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Laurna

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 7
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 01:15:59 pm »
The hardest concept to learn as an amateur is that 'less is more'.  I have always had the trouble of thinking that 'more is more',and 'big is better'. Professionals learn where best to take the short cut's, where to never take short cuts, and how best to work the pieces of their profession together to make the highest quality product.  I personally have worked at my job for 22 years.  Although there is always something new to be learned, I have a pretty good idea how to solve most daily problems.  But when playing in a new field, I still tend to lean toward 'more is more'. 

This chapter was very hard for me and has taken many cuts to make it presentable. I work in a hospital, so healing is my true motivation. Hence my love of the Deryni. But the original was far too much.  In this art of writing, I am an amateur. My hope is to slowly learn that 'less is more'.

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 7
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 04:33:14 pm »
From one amateur to another, I think this is very well done.  I'm happy this went well for Jessa. Though I suspect there is a storm brewing on the horizon.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 7
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 06:27:42 pm »
I would love to see Camber pay those priests a visit in their dreams like he did to Loris.  I'd pay good money to be able to witness those encounters.
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 7
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013, 01:16:42 pm »
Good morning Jerusha, I feel so less panicked over this than I did yesterday morning. I'm glad to see you here again this week. The storm is still far out to sea but it is starting to brew.  Have a great week.

Hi DF64, I am so glad you joined Jessa and Wash again this week.  Our Camber is such a Saint. He is so wonderfully helpful. I had forgotten about his mischievous side. lol.   Have a wonderful week as well.
 
And to everyone else here have a lovely week.

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 7
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2014, 02:09:36 pm »
Lovely chapter - as far as I am concerned there is just the right amount in here - any "less" and I would not have been drawn in. As it was I kept wanting to shout out a warning to Jessa.
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

 

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