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Author Topic: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven  (Read 3423 times)

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Offline Evie

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Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven
« on: December 23, 2011, 10:27:24 am »
   Chapter Seven

   En route to Pwyllheli, Llannedd
   August 26, 1136


   Helena pointed out the rooftops of her childhood home to her traveling companion, who studied the still-distant city with only vague interest.  They had made the final leg of the journey on one of Helena's father's ships, in the company of his factor in Concaradine, Master Einion ap Gwystl.  Cass was not taking to ship travel as hardily as she'd have liked; while she had handled the smoother waters of the Eirian well enough when they'd set forth from Concaradine, the swells had grown as the river emptied into the Atalantic Ocean, and her stomach had taken to lurching with every rise and fall of the waves that conveyed their ship closer to the magistra's home port.  But at least she'd managed to keep her lunch inside her.  Out here on the deck, with the fresh sea breezes to cool her, she felt better than in the confined space of the captain's cabin where she and Helena had broken their fast that morning.

   Captain Cadogan cast a sympathetic eye at the girl.  "Yer first ship journey, is it?  Well, we'll have ye on solid ground soon enough."  His voice was gruff but kind.  "I've a son about yer age.  The first time he tried sea travel, he didn't take to it near as well as ye, but now look at him."  He glanced up at a young man climbing agilely in the ship's rigging."  The Captain watched him for a moment before grinning at Cass.  "Of course, ye'd be no use as a sailor clad in skirts like that," he said, indicating her Scholar robes with a sweep of his hand, "so ye needn't fret about bein' put to work on th' crew just yet."

   Cass managed a faint smile at his jest.  “How much longer will it be before we arrive in port?” she asked.

   “Well, given the favorable winds and the tide going in rather than out, I’d say we should be docked in just under an hour,” the captain assured her.  “Barring anything unforeseen, of course.”

   Master Einion chuckled.  “Don’t worry, young mistress, we’ll get you on dry land soon enough.”

   Helena turned away from the sight of the Llanneddan coastline to study her traveling companion's face.  "Are you feeling any better yet, dear?  I wish I'd thought to bring along some of Sister Therese's boiled ginger syrup for you.  I almost never have trouble with the sea sickness myself unless the swells are especially high, so it simply never occurred to me to prepare some for the trip.  I'm sorry.  I'll be sure to make up a batch for you before our return trip to Rhemuth."
   
   Cass stared down at the moving water below them.  "You mean it can get worse than this?"

   Captain Cadogan chortled as Master Einion met Helena's startled look with a wry grin.  "Aye, this is nothing, little mistress," the Captain replied, looking vastly amused.  "Just the normal choppiness for this part of the sea, with the flow of the Eirian meeting the Atalantic ocean currents that follow this part of the coastline.  Ye've not been caught out in a proper storm yet, lass, or ye'd know these little waves are naught to fret over."

   "Oh."  Cass pondered that thought.  "I hope never to see a proper storm as long as I live, then, at least not from this side of the coastline!" she told him, her voice fervent.

   Master Einion chuckled.  "Well, it's highly unlikely you'll need to worry about one brewing between now and the time we reach port, at any rate," he assured her.  “Not with this clear sky.”

#

   Penardd Quay, Pwyllheli
   August 26, 1136
   

   Helena beamed as her father crossed the distance between them with arms outstretched to gather his daughter in a warm embrace.  Her eyes discreetly studied him as he drew close, noting the small changes in his appearance since her last visit to her native shore.  His formerly dark auburn hair had mellowed to a paler ginger over the years, threaded profusely with silver-gilt strands as age had begun to steal the vibrant hue from his curling locks.  Now it had lost all but the faintest vestiges of pale golden-red, though his neatly cropped mustache and beard still retained some reminders of the fierier shades of his youth.  His eyes remained the same vivid shade of amber they’d always been, flecked with pale green, and they sparkled with the same delight she’d seen in their depths when they’d last met.  He seemed in better health than he’d been at their last meeting, and a trifle stockier, with a slight bit more girth around his waist, although not quite to the point of running to fat.  Evidently his new marriage was agreeing with him.

   “My darling girl!” he exclaimed as he drew her close in a swift hug.  He drew back a moment later, studying her face as intently as she’d just studied his.  “How have you been, bach?  You look to be in good health, and unless I miss my guess, in better spirits than the last time we saw each other.  Are you enjoying your new life, then?”

   The magistra’s lips quirked at her father’s endearment.  At age six-and-thirty, she was hardly the small child anymore that the Llanneddan term implied, but she supposed in her father’s eyes, she would always be his merch fach, his little girl.  “I am well, Da.”  She turned to face Cass, drawing the girl forward.  “Da, this is Cass Draper, one of my students at the Schola.  Cass, I’d like to introduce you to my father, Master Ednyved ap Iorwerth.”

   The Llanneddan merchant bowed graciously over the young scholar’s hand, his eyes twinkling at her as his lips moved in a brief air kiss above it.  “A draper’s daughter, are you now?  And what did you think of my shipment, or did you venture below deck during your passage down from Concaradine?”

   “I avoided going below as much as possible, Master Ednyved, though I did catch a glimpse of a selection of fine woolens Master Einion brought up to show Magistra Helena.  My Ma would be quite envious indeed,” Cass assured him.  

   “Da, I didn’t bring Cass along so you could bore her with business matters,” Helena teased.

   “Did you not?  Ah, then I shall have to find some other topic of conversation to bore her with,” he joked back, favoring the girl with a wink and a grin that made her laugh despite her usual wary reserve.  Turning back to his daughter, he added, “I imagine you’re both a bit weary from journeying and would prefer to go straight back to the house rather than touring the sights right off, aye?”  At her confirming nod, he added, “Einion’s had your trunk and Mistress Cass’s bag sent on ahead to our coachman.”  Glancing back at Cass, he added, “I wasn’t sure if you’d feel up to a five mile walk directly upon finding your land legs again, so I’ve secured a coach to bring us to Plasnewydd—that’s my home—and it should be along now in a minute.”

   “Thank you, Master Ednyved.”  Cass gave her magistra a sidelong look, a slightly puzzled look in her eyes despite her efforts to mask her confusion.

   Helena laughed.  “It should be here shortly,” she explained.  “Da, Cass isn’t used to Llanneddan turns of phrase.  In Gwynnedd, something can’t happen both ‘now’ and ‘in a minute.’”

   “Is that so?”  The merchant grinned, sweeping an apologetic bow at his young guest.  “I shall do my utmost to be less inexplicable, then.  Assuming I remember, of course.”

#

   Plasnewydd
   August 26


   The coach stopped in front of a large building a short distance outside of the city's center.  To Cass's mind, the merchant's home looked more palatial than house-like.  She'd been expecting an apartment tucked away above his shop, like the home where she'd spent her childhood years, but this sprawling edifice seemed more like a wealthy man's mansion.  She snorted back a dry laugh at herself and her expectations.  Of course that's what it was!  All the signs had been there earlier, had she only bothered to put them together—she'd known that Sister Helena's mother was noble-born, that her father owned several ships and had business ventures in ports as far away as Bremagne and the Forcinn States, and that he'd managed to provide a good enough dowry for his daughter to attract a husband for her from the nobility in her mother's homeland.  None of those things spoke to humble circumstances such as hers, had Cass simply thought the matter through, despite the fact that both families were merchant-born.

   The man seemed a decent and down-to-earth enough sort, though, not simply on his charming surface, but in that way that Cass could only describe as pure gut feeling.  And he was Magistra Helena's father, for whatever that was worth.  Cass refused to feel intimidated.

   The coachman opened the door, offering his hand to help her out of the enclosed space.  Cass stepped down, accepting her bag from him so he could deal with the magistra's heavier travel chest, and followed him into the building's entryway.

#

   Master Ednyved laid a restraining hand on his daughter's arm just before they reached the house, his expression growing serious for once.  "Elen…."  To his daughter's eye, he looked oddly nervous.  "I meant to tell you earlier, but I wasn't sure how to work up to it, nor did I think that it was the sort of thing I ought to inform you about in a letter rather than face to face.  You'll be meeting more than just my wife and her children this day, cariad."

   "Oh?"  Helena tilted her head up at her father in mild curiosity, wondering what he was working up to telling her.  "You're not trying to find some way to tell me that Marared is with child again, are you?  I'd rather hoped she might be by now, if you are, and you needn't worry about needing to spare my feelings.  I know you need sons, and I'm not one to hold another woman's good fortune against her just because I proved to be barren in my own marriage."

   Her father blushed.  "No, pet, it's not that.  Well…that is, Marared is pregnant, and I meant to tell you about that as well once we were sure it was safe—she's only just started her third month, you see, and she miscarried one before in her first marriage, which has left her wary of announcing this one’s arrival too early—but this is a different matter."  He took a deep steadying breath.  "I…ah….I have another son living with me now.  I've offered to raise him in the trade."

   Helena thought briefly of her stepmother's young son from her first marriage, but she knew instinctively that wasn't the lad her father meant.  He'd be too young still to be put to an apprenticeship.  Taking in her father's faintly embarrassed look, she ventured another guess.  "I take it he's not simply a fosterling. So, how old is my half-brother?"

   Judging by Master Ednyved’s sheepish expression, her question had hit its mark.  “He’s fourteen.  Nigh onto fifteen, actually, come October.”

   “Ah.”  Helena mentally counted back the years.  She’d been sixteen when she wed, and her mother had died not long after—two years later, as Helena recalled.  Long enough to see her daughter wed securely; not long enough to know how bitterly that marriage would eventually end.  Her father had remained a widower for years after, not remarrying until his business partner had died unexpectedly and young Marared had found herself in need of a provider.  Evidently he’d not entirely lacked for female companionship during those years when he’d lacked a wife, if he’d managed to father a son during that span of time.  “And what’s his name?”

   Her father heaved a quiet sigh of relief that the worst seemed to be over.  “Henri, though he’s called Hal.”

   Helena’s eyebrows rose in surprise.  “Henri?  Is he Jouvian?”

   Ednyved blushed again.  “Bremagni, actually.  I…ah…had an arrangement with his mother for a while, when I was there on extended business, but it’s long been over, and her health began to fail last year….”  He broke off at his daughter’s upraised hand.

   “No need to make a full confession of it, Da,” Helena assured him.  “I have a brother and he lives with you now, that’s sufficient information.  I assume Marared has no objection to his presence here, or that you’re training him up in your trade?”

   “No, no objection.  I plan to see Hal gets a good start in life, and that he’s provided for, but it’s our own bachgen who’ll inherit from me in the end, once I pass from this life to the next.  She knows that, and as her first son is already provided for out of his own Da’s half of the business, Marared has no worries over it as long as Hal’s portion doesn’t take away anything from any future sons we might have together.”  He cast a droll smile upwards at his palatial home.  “I suspect I can leave any number of future sons and daughters well enough provided for in any case, unless the Lord sees fit to endow me with half a village’s number of progeny.”

   “Let’s hope He stops a little short of that, or your poor bride might end up gelding you.”  Helena tilted her head towards the doorway before them.  “Speaking of whom, when do I get to meet her?”

   Ednyved chuckled.  “Now, I suppose.”

#

   Helena found herself swiftly ensconced in her father’s comfortable solar, seated in a cozy oriel window with a cushioned bench.  She had been in this room before, of course, having spent a large part of her childhood at Plasnewydd, but Marared had put her own special touches on the place since she’d last seen her father’s home, and while a few of its furnishings remained as they’d been in Helena’s mother’s day, many had been replaced or moved to other locations over the years, so the chamber looked far different now from her girlhood memories of it.  She found it quite pleasantly appointed nonetheless, if a little disconcerting to see old familiar haunts made over so completely.

   Cass sat a little to one side, allowing herself to be drawn out by young Hal’s questions about the City of Rhemuth and life at the Schola.  Despite their closeness in age—both had been born in October of the same year—the youth seemed slightly in awe of their family’s younger visitor.  As to his feelings toward his elder half-sister, he’d seemed somewhat abashed when they’d first been introduced, his eyes wary as if half-expecting her to recoil in horror at being presented with their father’s bastard get, but at Helena’s matter-of-fact acceptance of him, he’d relaxed slightly, though not to the point yet of feeling fully comfortable in her presence.

   Marared bustled back into the room, followed by a maidservant bearing a tray laden with a variety of light refreshments.  She motioned for the girl to set the tray down on a nearby table, giving her husband’s daughter a shy smile as she offered her a goblet of watered wine.  Helena smiled back as she accepted the beverage.  She’d found her father’s bride very welcoming and almost overly eager to please.

   “Do sit, Marared,” Helena urged her.  “There’s no need to treat me as some special guest; I’m just family.”

   The young woman’s cheeks turned rosy.  “Oh, but I’ve so looked forward to meeting you, Elen,” she said quietly.  “Ednyved has spoken of you so often, I feel like I half know you already.”  A small commotion outside the door drew Marared’s notice, and she straightened.  “That must be Nurse returning with my children.  They’re young yet, and I’m afraid quite noisy at times.  I hope they won’t be too much of a bother while you’re here,” she fretted.

   “I don’t mind a bit of noise,” Helena assured her, patting the seat cushion beside her invitingly.  “I teach at a Schola, remember?”

   “Oh yes, Ednyved’s quite proud of your scholarship.  I only have a little learning myself, I’m afraid, but my Anest has started learning her letters and Owain already writes with a clear hand, so I’m hoping they’ll go further than I did with it.”

   “I’m sure Da will see to that.”  

   The door opened, and two young children burst in, a nursemaid close upon their heels, with their step-father bringing up the rear, giving his wife an indulgent smile over their heads.  “I’m afraid we had to make a slight detour for an unscheduled bath,” Master Ednyved explained.  “The children were making mud pies in the back garden.”  He grinned.  “Well, Anest was, at any rate.  Owain was negotiating with one of the neighbor lads to see what the pies might bring in trade.”  He ruffled the boy’s hair affectionately.

   “Oh dear!”  Marared looked torn between horror and pride.  “How soiled were they?”

   Her husband chuckled.  “You really don’t want to know, cariad.” Turning his attention to his eldest child, he gave a perfunctory introduction.  “Elen, these are your step-siblings, Owain and Anest.  Children, how do you greet your sister Elen?”

   Owain bobbed a stiffly polite bow in Helena’s direction while little Anest ventured a wobbly curtsey.  Helena stifled a laugh and politely inclined her head in return.  The children made similar courtesies towards Cass, the older girl returning them gravely enough, though afterward she caught Helena’s eye with an amused look.

   “All right, you two, back to the nursery with you.  If you mind your manners and don’t make Nurse pull out all her hair, you may rejoin us later for supper,” their step-father told them.

   The children giggled.  “What if Nurse only pulls out half her hair?” Anest ventured.

   “Then you’ll have to take your supper standing because your bottoms will be too sore for sitting, I daresay,” the nursemaid good-naturedly grumbled.  “So let’s not find out the hard way.”

   Master Ednyved gave the woman a sympathetic smile.  “Once more into battle then, off you all go.”

#

   Once they'd finished their light nuncheon, Mistress Marared showed her household's two visitors upstairs to the chamber reserved for their use.  It had been Helena's former bedchamber, and here the magistra discovered that little had been changed since last she saw the room.  A box bed occupied the space against one wall, and Helena's quick perusal showed that her trunk had been carried upstairs and set at the bed's head.  Cass's smaller bag sat upon a nearby table, close to a basin and ewer that looked new since Helena's last visit,  although nearly all else was as Helena had left it upon her last visit, aside from being clean and tidy enough that it was obvious the chamber still received a regular dusting and airing out despite its current lack of occupancy.    

   "I'll leave you two to rest and settle in," their hostess told them, "though you're welcome to come back down at any time.  It's just that I know how tiring a journey can be, and you needn't feel obliged to be social if you're too tired."

   Helena hadn't felt especially tired until that moment, but as if the very suggestion had brought on the expected fatigue, she yawned.  Glancing over at Cass, she spied a look of silent relief cross the girl's features.  Turning back to Marared, she smiled.  "Yes, now that you mention it, I think perhaps a nap might be in order for us both.  I'd hate to get our days and nights too turned around, though, so if we've not risen in a couple of hours, would you please wake us?"

   "Right gladly," her father's wife assured her.  "I'll see you have time to freshen up well before the evening meal."  Marared left, closing the door discreetly behind her.  The two travelers shed their outer robes, taking turns enjoying the reviving coolness of the water in the ewer to wash away the light sheen of perspiration brought on by the Llanneddan August heat now that they were back on land and mostly sheltered from the ocean's cooling breezes.  A light breeze still found them through the open window, and they luxuriated in the feel of that faint eddy of air against moist skin.  Helena glanced at her former bed.  Although the box bed curtains had been drawn back to avoid trapping in the day's heat, the enclosed space didn't look very inviting on such a hot day, so instead she drew forth the narrow drawer beneath the bed to reveal a thin down-stuffed pallet where her former tiring maid had once slept.  It would serve well enough for their brief rest.

   A songbird twittered outside.  Cass yawned and sank down gratefully on the pallet.  Helena finished folding her veil and wimple, setting them aside along with veil bands and pins, and joined her.  Within minutes, both were fast asleep.

#

   They awoke to a pounding on the door.  Helena sat bolt upright.  Cass was already awake, her defenses up, though she looked to her magistra for guidance.

   A voice came through the wooden door—a man's voice—its tone urgent.  "Mistress Elen?  Th' young master's been injured.  Yer father said t' come quick-like, he's worrit th' lad's t' lose his eye if ye tarry."

   The two Deryni glanced at each other then leaped off the pallet, scrambling into their outer robes.  "I'll be there now in a minute," Helena called out as they dressed.  "Where are they?"

   "In th' back storeroom on t'other side of the courtyard, beyond th' gardens."

   Helena didn't bother with replacing her headgear here in her father's home and given the urgent summons.  She settled for giving her hands and lower arms a quick wash, allowing Cass to pour the water over them and then switching roles so that Cass could wash as well, in case her help might be needed.  "Enter," the magistra called out.  The door opened, revealing one of her father's laborers standing in the corridor.  They followed him down and out through the courtyard to where the injured lad waited.

#

   When the two Deryni guests arrived, it was not little Owain who was injured, as Helena had half-expected, but her half-brother Hal.  He held one hand over his eye, beneath which a mixture of what looked to be blood and tears streamed, barely restrained by his father while Marared tried in vain to dab at his cheek with a damp rag.  "Sit still, lad!  You need to calm yourself," Master Ednyved urged, though he looked less than calm himself.  Under the circumstances, Helena could see why.  Something jutted out between the young man's fingers—something whose other end was clearly buried in Hal's eye—though he writhed and whimpered with pain to such an extent that she could not make out what it was at her present distance.

   It would help if we could get him to sleep so I can take a closer look at the injury without him jerking around in a panic, Helena quickly Mind-Spoke to Cass as she crossed the short distance to her half-brother's side.  To Hal himself, she soothed, "Son of my father, lower your hand please.  I need to see what we're dealing with here."

   He flashed her a brief glance with his uninjured eye, but it was to no avail; from its glazed look, either he'd failed to comprehend what she had said, or he was in too much pain to comply.  He continued to flail, despite Ednyved's powerful grip on him.  

   Cass moved around Helena, gently moving Marared aside so she could face the young man directly, and cupped his chin in her hand, forcing his face around to look directly into his eyes.  His whimpers died away briefly as his mind registered her presence, and he stared dazedly at her for a brief moment.

   "Hal," Cass spoke, her voice soft but demanding, "you need to stop fighting and go to sleep."

   For a moment longer, he sat still, but his fear overrode the control she attempted to set in that brief moment and he jerked away, rocking back into his father's arms.  A look of sudden comprehension crossed Ednyved's face, and he brought one hand up to hold his son's head still, but before he could act further, Cass had grasped the lad's chin again in a gentle yet firm grip.  "Damn it, look at me!"  She leaned forward and surprised Hal with a quick kiss.  As she drew back, the lad froze, gazing back at her in shock.  

   He stared back dumbly, his good eye blinking up at her once, twice, and then he fell backwards limp and unresisting into Ednyved's arms.  The merchant gently lifted him up onto a nearby table, chuckling quietly despite the grim circumstances.  "That's certainly a unique approach, young mistress Cass.  Did you learn that at your Schola?"

   Cass scrubbed absently at her lips with the back of one hand.  "No, but it worked.  I needed to get his full attention for a moment, and figured that might do it."  She snorted.  "Men!"  She moved Hal's bloody hand away from his injured eye, glancing back at Marared, who rinsed out her clean rag in a basin of fresh water and handed it to the girl.  Cass dabbed gently at the skin around the injured eye, careful not to get too close to the protruding object, and shifted to one side to allow Helena better access to the wound.

   Helena stood rooted in place for a moment, fighting down a sudden surge of panic—Jesú, she wasn't ready for such a test of her Healing gift yet!  She overcame the momentary fear, moving forward to brush Hal's hair away from the injury so she could inspect it closely.  "What happened here?" she murmured.

   "I'm not entirely sure," her father said.  "I didn't actually see it happen.  We were unpacking some crates, and it looked like Hal was struggling to pull one of the nails out."  He pointed to a nearby crate to show how its lid was secured with several nails around its periphery.  "I told him to wait while I found a proper tool for the job and had started to go look for one, but I think he grew impatient and tried to bash the crate open.  I only looked back when I heard the wood crack and the clatter of his dropped hammer…."  Ednyved waved one hand helplessly.  "He was clutching at his eye and wailing."

   "Yes, I can see why."  Helena sent a careful mental probe into the injured eye, trying to visualize the full extent of the injury.  "This doesn't appear to be the nail itself, though.  From what I can see of it, it looks more like a large splinter of wood broke off when he did whatever it was that he did, and it must have flown up and pierced his eyeball.  I imagine his face must have been quite close to the crate at the time."

   "I suppose."  Ednyved stared down at his sleeping son.  "Is there any saving it?"

   Helena glanced up at him.  "I don't know yet."  Her mind whirled, trying to dredge up some solution to this problem.  Master Janos had not covered the anatomy of the eye yet, not in any great depth at least, and she felt out of her element with this sort of injury.  She laid gentle fingers over the closed eyelid of Hal's unwounded eye, trying to visualize its underlying structure, feeling what a healthy eye ought to feel like.  Cass watched in silent interest.

   "Make sure he remains asleep, and monitor him closely.  Let me know if he seems to be going into any sort of shock…if he lapses into a deeper loss of consciousness, I mean, or if his heartbeat slows too much or becomes too rapid…."  Cass wasn't Healer trained, and Helena hoped she wasn't asking for too much, but the girl's unruffled look and nod of assent reassured her.

   Helena did another, more thorough probe of the injured eye, this time taking inventory of the differences between this eye and the healthier one, assessing how deeply the intruding object had penetrated and whether it would be safe to remove it immediately or if other precautions might be needed before she dared dislodge it from its present position. After a closer examination, she determined that it seemed safe enough to remove the large splinter, as long as she withdrew it carefully and at the same angle that it had gone in.  Fortunately it was slightly tapered, with no barbs or protrusions that looked like they might cause more damage to the eye as the wooden object was drawn back out.  The more worrisome prospect to her now was how to treat the injury once the splinter had been removed from it.  Helena would like to have had a clearer view of what had been damaged within the eye's structure, but she dared not make the puncture any larger in order to see or feel inside it.  This would not be like Healing a shallow surface cut, or even like Healing a stab wound large enough to feel the deep tissues underlying the skin and then begin healing them from the inside out by first determining the extent of the injury by tactile means.

   She glanced up to meet Cass's gaze.  "I'm about to make my attempt. Let me know if anything changes in his pulse or breathing.  If you sense that I'm causing him pain, do your best to alleviate it."  

   The girl nodded.  "I'll do my part.  You can do this, magistra," Cass said quietly.  

   Helena wasn't so sure—this felt well beyond the current scope of her training to her—but she knew she had to try.

#

   The splinter slipped back out of Hal's eye with little resistance.  Ednyved extended an upraised palm for it as Helena drew it forth.  She dropped it into her father's hand and immediately turned her attention back to the leaking wound which now gushed with a sudden flow of fresh blood mingled with some clear jelly-like substance, slipping into a trance as she sought to see the wound from within, comparing the damaged eye to the normal one once more for a frame of reference before drawing upon her Healing gift, letting it flow up through her and into the injured tissues as she sought to knit them back together again.  She began at the deepest level of the injury that she could sense, working her way outward, slowly mending the tear in the delicate tissues until there was nothing left to indicate where the puncture had been but a thin, faint scar.  Cass handed her the damp cloth again, and Helena dabbed away the remaining blood and viscous jelly that had flowed from the open wound earlier.  She knew Sister Therese would prescribe liquids to help restore the lost blood.  She hoped it might replace the clearer goo that had come from deep within the eye as well, though she was less sure about that, since this was a sort of injury she had not been taught how to deal with as of yet.  She'd certainly have a lot of questions for Master Janos when next they met, that was for certain!

   "Will he be all right, Mistress Elen?"  Marared asked, her voice tinged with awe.

   "I can't say for sure yet," Helena told her, accepting the basin Marared handed her and rinsing her hands in it.  Taking a towel from her, she added, "There's still the danger that the wound site could become infected, though I know a few remedies that will hopefully prevent that, and a few other things we might try if an infection sets in despite our efforts."

   "But will he be able to see, once it heals?  Or…is it fully Healed now?" her father asked.

   Helena sighed.  "I have no idea, Da.  I suppose once he wakes, he'll have to tell us that himself."  She studied the scar thoughtfully, her lips quirking in a wry smile.  "I'd say this was a case of the blind Healing the blinded, but let's hope that's not entirely accurate."  Looking up at her father's grim face, she shrugged helplessly.  "I've never worked on an injury of this scope, Da.  So far I've mainly just had to deal with the theory more than the practice of Healing, learning about internal anatomy and the standard means of dealing with various sorts of wounds in various locations.  In terms of actual practice, I've Healed a few cuts and scrapes and the occasional laceration, and this year I worked up to setting a few bones, but this is the first time I've attempted anything this complex without a more experienced Healer's supervision."

   "Should I see if I can find some willow bark for a tisane against pain, in case the eye is still a bit sore when he wakes up?" Cass asked.

   Helena pondered.  She was fairly certain she'd stopped all the bleeding, both inside and out, but what if she hadn't?  Would the tisane make the patient bleed more freely?  It could happen sometimes, for the same tisane that helped to cure pain could also thin the blood, making it flow rather than clot when clotting was needed.  She wished Tessa were here to guide her.

   "No, let's see how he feels when he wakes first, and then work from there."  She considered her options.  "Let's go ahead and and brew up a Vinaigre de Quatre Voleurs for him to sip as a tonic, though.  That should do him no harm, and might well prevent anything worse from setting in."


   
Chapter Eight: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=806.0


   
   
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 12:17:33 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline AnnieUK

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2011, 10:44:24 am »
This should have come with a rating of some sort - lots of icky gooey stuff LOL.  Seriously, interesting to see healing applied to something more unusual.  I wonder if Janos has dealt with eye injuries of that sort himself?  Helena could become the eye specialist in Rhemuth!  Poor Hal though - introduced one minute, half blinded the next. You could have given him a chapter or two!!!

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 11:00:25 am »
Poor Hal though - introduced one minute, half blinded the next. You could have given him a chapter or two!!!

I suppose I could have, yes, though I'm already wondering if I'll ever finish this story before I die of old age.  :D  With my shrinking free time, it seems to be taking me for-blooming-ever to write from Point A to Point Z, and once the Christmas hols are over, I'll be heading back to the office just in time for one of my busiest months of the year!  *sigh*

Hal says if I want to make it up to him, he's developed a partiality for a certain raven-haired, blue-eyed Deryni lass with interesting notions on how to send a lad to Dreamland.  Unfortunately for him, I don't think she's overly receptive to that idea....   ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2011, 02:18:03 pm »
Kissing has been known to make bad things feel better.  At the very least, Cass has made a life-long friend (if not a potential suitor) in Hal.  If anyone tries to harm Cass, they'll have to get past Hal first.
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2011, 03:01:13 pm »
So much interesting information in this chapter.  Trust Cass to be the calm and steady one in the face of misfortune, and Marared did better than I thought she might have at the sight of such a wound.  Hopefully Hal has learned a lesson in patience and using the proper tool for the job.

Which, come to think of it, is what Cass did.   ;)
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 Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2011, 04:00:15 pm »
Yes, women like Marared couldn't afford to be shrinking violet sorts in need of smelling salts at the sight of blood.  In that era, wives were expected to know the basics of tending injuries and illnesses, and a physician was only called in if the need was dire.  So even though this sort of injury would be beyond simple first aid, she'd still consider the blood and gore to be par for the course and something that needed dealing with if she was to be a help and not a hindrance.
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2011, 06:03:35 pm »
Hal's very lucky there was a Deryni Healer available.  For all her self-doubts about her lack of healing knowledge and experience, Helena did just what Alaric, Duncan and Dhugal must have done many times as they learned about using their powers. 

And full marks to Cass for quick and lateral thinking!  :)    She's probably aiming higher now she's at the Schola, but she could a lot worse than young Hal in due course, seeing his father is going to train him in the trade and see he is provided for.

Offline bronwynevaine

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2011, 07:37:54 am »
Merry Christmas--or Happy Christmas--to all!
I don't just march to the beat of a different drummer...I dance to a beat no one else can hear :)

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2011, 08:53:18 am »
Merry Christmas from rainy Alabama!  Um, I wonder if I'm getting coal in my stocking again this year?  ;D
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2011, 09:42:03 am »
Merry Christmas to all!  Enjoying my traditional--for our family at least--Christmas breakfast of fillet minon & mushrooms with Champaigne. 

Back OT--did they know about bread mold?  If they would ask Cook if she has any bread that has gone moldy, they should bind it to Hal's eye.  The bread will absorb any secretions and keep it moist, while the mold, as a natural source of pennicellin, would guard against infections.

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Seven
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2011, 05:15:56 pm »
Secretions wouldn't be a problem, since the wound was closed off by Helena's use of her Healing gift, so there's no more internal bleeding and no vitreous jelly leaking out of the retina anymore.  The main chance of infection at this point would come from whatever bacteria might have been on that wooden splinter before it was removed.  Some of those bacteria might still be in Hal's system, but that would be what the Vinaigre de Quatre Voleurs and other remedies Helena learned from Sister Therese would come in handy for.  It's possible she might use bread mold in one of those remedies, assuming that the infirmarians of the day had discovered its efficacy yet, but it would probably be an ingredient in some potion meant to be ingested rather than applied topically, since the eyeball itself is now completely whole.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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