Fahral Mikin Crafting School - Clergy Guest Room

A fairly modest guest chamber, although the white marble walls and gold trim do provide some measure of poshness that may be somewhat unfamiliar to the servants of the Church of True Light who spend time on-site at the Fahral Mikin Crafting School. The furnishings are rather austere, consisting of a simple pair of canvas cots, an unassuming wardrobe, and a writing desk and chair, with a shelf off to the left of the cots for storing chamber pots and other conveniences.

It's only been a short time after the 'corpse' of Moira was found in the entryway to the School. The Scourge does show mild signs of life however, shallow breathing and a moment of terrified screaming. A healer in training, the first one on the scene had begun the process of at least trying to get the girl attended to before running off to seek help. As she is now, Moira lays in a puddle of seeping blood that comes from a large, heavily infected gash that runs completely along her rib cage and punctures deeply. Blue lips and extremities show severe cold and lack of blood flow. Other signs, extremely pale skin of dehydration and hollowed cheeks of starvation are apparent as well. The once mildly plump girl is now skin wrapped around bone draped in armor. Her red hair clumps to the side of her head, matted with blood from a gash that runs from her left temple above her ear and to her neck base. She is alive, but the question is how to keep her that way.

Orell Mikin steps into the room, his blue eyes wide with concern. He leads Rowena into the room once his servant informs that she has been moved here in deference to her churchie status, proximity to the chapel probably helps the Light get to her aid, he so surmises.

Something terrible had happened, so sayeth the younger healer. Intuition had warned Rowena that 'terrible' was an understatement. Awoken from her slumber by the sound of fists pounding on the door, the duchess had instantly assumed trouble. She'd chased after her brother and the younger girl on near-bare feet, having time only to bind her flowing chemise to her waist and snatch her satchel. And it is in such a state that Rowena arrives now.

Neverminding the mane of hair that tumbles this way and that over her scalp, Rowena barrels passed Orell without more than two words in his direction. And those words are "Water. Hot."

Moira continues to lay there not really able to do much considering her condition. The psuedo healer that had started work on her is nowhere to be found now either, having perhaps gone to vomit her dinner out at the sight.

Orell Mikin hears his sister call and pauses by the door. Hot water? Hmm.. He beckons to the countless assistants that has to be nearby, "Go fetch the hot water! Guess there should be some in the Baths."

"In addition, I want a wooden tub brought here. It will take to long to cleanse her by cloth." Rowena adds, letting the satchel fall from her shoulder and to a clean space on the marble floor with a muffled thump. "And send for the girl. In time, I may need more than my own hands." Finished for now with her instructions, she circles the foot of the mangled scourge's cot in brief study while her hands roll back the sleeves of her pristine chemise. It would not be in virginal condition for long.

Hopefully they're not talking about Moira being taken out of virginal condition, the Church might have issue with that. Cough. The afore mentioned traumas about Moira's body are about all there are, but in conjunction with one another they are rather compounding.

Orell Mikin conveys the orders to the servants again, "Go get what Rowena needs, some tub.. made of wood! If you can't find that, go get the marble one in the Baths. And fetch the girl!" which girl it is Rowena wants isn't very certain in Orell's mind too.

"May the light burn into ash the creature which has done this to you." Rowena murmurs softly, bitter words for a woman known for her merciful way. Bowing to her knees and adjusting the chemise accordingly, Rowena gathers her mussed hair into a twisted mass at the back of her nape. She knots it roughly, keeping at least most of it from obscuring her vision as she now leans forward to hover over the girl's limp form. Gingerly, she reaches her fingertips forward to brush over the sunwheel medalion, wiping some of the grime away. Her curious gaze flickers over the rest of the breast plate, noting the lacings and clasps. Her water stone pendant escapes from her swooped neckline, spinning and casting sharp glares over the aurora-bronze. Retracting from the breastplate some, her hands shift to the puncture wound, fingering the inward bend of metal and torn leather beneath. Claws. Big ones. A soft gasp breathes through her lips and she tilts her head to better see.

The touch. It is the touch that brings a reaction as the eyes of Moira jerk open widely. The noise that comes forth is of pure terror, a scream that is dry and raspy from a destroyed throat from lack of water, but a scream of terror nonetheless as she gazes at nothing, body trying to thrash but to weak to do so well at all.

Orell Mikin has his face turned away in deference to the female Scourge, but in her scream, he can no longer stand it. He turns to see what is wrong. At that moment, 4 servant-girls rushes in with a tub, the marble one, filled with water.

Moira's sudden awakening startles Rowena nearly to the point of adding her own scream to the strangled chorus. Fortunately, her breath catches in her throat, probably blocked by her heart, and she places both hands gently but firmly over the scourge's feeble arms, folding them to the soiled armor before one of them catches her in the teeth.

"Sister." Rowena first coughs, then croons, repeating it softly as though she were singing a lullabye to a nightmare-stricken child. "Shhh...." she whispers, glancing to the arriving tub. With her head, she gestures for it to be placed between the cots. It would be a long, long night....

Time Passes...

Fixed, at least to a degree, is Moira. Her armor is undoubtedly thrown aside someplace and her clothing is wherever the Healer decided to do with it, leave it on despite the dirtiness of it or remove it and replace it. But since being stabalized, Moira has tossed and turned. Her hair is sweaty and clings to her sweaty forehead.

Glancing up every so often from the paste she's currently grinding, Rowena keeps a watchful eye over Moira's feeble, but at least clean form. It had taken two tubs of water to wash away the dried blood and grit from the girl's skin, and another bucket to carefully cleanse her hair of the same. Hours had been consumed in the process, as first she had to sedate Moira's troubled fits. And it seems that another mild rain of nightmares continues to plague the girl's mind.

From the stone bowl, soft scents of pulverized birch bark and thyme mix with the soothing wisps of burned rosemary oil that hover over the patient's cot. Lowering the pestle into the bowl, Rowena takes her eye away from Moira and eases her weight off her knees. In near silence, she creeps to her nearby satchel that leans against the wardrobe.

The stifled moans cease from Moira when Rowena moves off for some reason, her fits of tossing and turning ceasing as well. When the Healer's eyes would return in fact to the girl she'd find the Scourge's eyes wide open, wary, utterly terrified. An aggressive snarl on her lips as if to frighten away whatever is near her as she looks around in a panic.

Turning from her crouch with a tiny flask of milky liquid in hand, Rowena is met by Moira's fear-filled gaze. Not wanting to startle the poor girl any further, she ceases all forward motion for now and slowly lowers the flask to the ground at her feet. "They can't harm you here." The healer speaks softly, her voice low, almost melodic in the otherwise silent chamber. Gingerly shifting weight from one bent knee to the other, the duchess remains huddled alongside her leather pack.

"You do not know what harm is woman." Moira's voice is cracked, raspy from the massive dehydration she's suffered but she doesn't seem to back down, instead her green eyes settle on the Healer. "Where am I... what do you want..."

"I can see it in your eyes." Rowena murmurs somberly in reply, lashes beating once over twin pools of jade. Lowering her gaze to the flask, she picks it up and stands to walk the two steps to her working place. "You were found just outside, two eves past. This room you now reside in is kept safe within the chapel. The Clergy's chambers." With grace, she bends to the mortar and pestle, nimble fingers twisting the wax seal away from the flask.

“The creatures brought me here?" Moira asks her voice quiet as she moves to sit up but grimaces, doubling over in pain. A series of dry heaves rack over her body as she tries to up what is not present from the sudden dizziness that washes over her causing her to tumble from the cot she is in.

Abandoning the flask quickly, Rowena dashes to the cot's side and swoops down to kneel at Moira's crumpled side. "You musn't move so soon." She whispers, and places boths hands on her shoulders in attempts to steady the fallen girl into a half-seated position. "Not until you've recovered your strength."

Groans of pure agony escape Moira's lips as she tries to shake off Rowena. "I recognize you... the Imperial Circle healer... did the Emperor send you to kill me as well since his gargoyles couldn't finish the job?" Pure venom comes from the Scourge as she tries so weakly to get Rowena off her.

A flash of anger in response to the accusation heats Rowena's gaze, but rather than returning the snap, she maintains a soft, neutral tone. Her hands, however, remain firmly placed, and she doesn't attempt to yet remove the scourge from the floor. "If you will so falsely accuse His Majesty of such a murderous act then do not replicate the mistake with I." She instructs, slipping around behind to support Moira's malnourished spine with her weight. "That is what has caused your pain, then? Those creatures of stone."

Moira groans but tries to help Rowena move her to the cot again this time without the strength to get away. "Yes... those horrid creatures... took me right from Lightholder's Crossroads while the Blades stood about staring, pointing and laughing..." Surely not! "On order..."

Doubt puts a crease into Rowena's strained brow as she carefully hooks an arm around Moira's upper back. "Order?" She inquires while reaching to gather a pair of bony knees in her other arm. Bracing her balance with a widened stance, the woman lifts the scourge into the air with a mother's ease.

"They were ordered to not assist me... to... to let the creature take me away." Moira's voice trembles and tears spring freely from her eyes, whatever horrors she had to endure obviously the mere concept of remembering them shattering the resolve of a woman who combats the Shadow itself.

Rowena's brow distorts further, a few wrinkles burrowing across her face as she frowns. Straddling a corner of the cot, she slowly eases Moira back onto the tangle of blankets. "Hush...." She croons softly now, attempting to steal some of the blanket lengths from under her legs to tuck around the scourge. "We'll speak of these men later when you ache not as much."

Moira continues to sob uncontrolably even as she's wrapped up, her eyes have slid closed as her body rocks with the crying. But the act is too much for her feeble strength and it is ebbing as she is drifting away quickly.

Rowena lingers at the cot's side for time, taking up one of Moira's chilled hands to hold in her own. With vacant eyes, she hums deeply a lullabye that's only a hint above mournful, her other hand brushing some of the fiery locks away from the girl's temples. The healer's own thoughts were troubled now that truth, or so she would trust, had been revealed. No one had spoken a word in her presence of this vicious attack. But she would stay until Moira found slumber's embrace.

The slumber Moira finds is more peaceful than any she has had of late, mainly because she is so weary from her thrashing and being awake that she burned out her energy and is able to sleep in a quiet way. But her revelations, those are what echo.

Letting her song fade into nothingness, Rowena watches the shadows play over Moira's hollowed cheeks as the candle flames dance from the wall. The water stone tremors weakly from its dangling position as she sighs and quietly tucks the pale hand beneath the blanket's edge. "A kingdom built on the vision of righteous truths has begun its fall beneath a storm of lies. Of hidden truths." She mumbles to herself and sinks away from the cot's side.

The contents of the flask are cautiously measured by eye as it dribbles over the gritty paste. Her nostrils tingle as the antiseptic mixes, bringing tears to her eyes. Methodically, her wrist twists to grind the stone anew, mind trying to weave a solution for the newest loose thread.

Return to Season 3 (2005)

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