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There are tales of ghouls and the dead rising along the Eastern Allir Reaches. The Templar chapter based of Allria has gone to investigate the matter... and perhaps bring to an end to whoever is at the root of this evil...

Interested? Find out more here.

OOC:
A necromancer seems to be ravaging the Eastern Allir Reaches(near the spine). Some of the Templars are trying to stop him/her. Feel free to join in as a survivor, a passerby, maybe the necromancers servant!

Tales A Cure for Evil

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Fëanáro Elrohir, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Fëanáro Elrohir

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    #1 Fëanáro Elrohir, Nov 8, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    Falwood Border - 800 Leagues South-West of Alliria

    Word had been sent, now it was just a matter of waiting. Ironically despite her age and heritage Fëanáro Elrohir was actually not at all good at waiting for others, she liked action and she liked to take care of issues before they became problems, cut the bud so to speak. Instead the Knight-Sergeant was left pacing outside of the inner most tent of the Mehtayar Order's encampment, inside her superior lay in dire condition, grievously, perhaps even fatally wounded from the previous day's excursion.
    The she-elf kicked a bucket of blood-tainted water over by one of the tent posts, running a hand across her face and soothingly following the tattoos that wound down her features, able to trace them almost perfectly even without a mirror. She had to stay cool, calm and collected, her Sisters would expect that of her.

    "Knight-Sergeant Elrohir, scouts have sent word from Fort Tellor." A Swordsister announced, saluting her superior, rigidly straight as she had been trained. Her engraved ornate armour was dented and worn, mud covered the cracks and even smears of blood across one spaulder showed of the hardships they had all been exposed to the last few days. Fëanáro straightened herself and did her best to not let her weariness show on her features, nodding.

    "Speak freely Sister, what news do you have?" She requested, her arms folding across her breast. At this point she was expecting the worst, if it did come, she was unsure if she could take it. The Swordsister relaxed somewhat and even took a moment to lean against one of the tent beams, Fëanáro could not help but notice she looked exhausted.
    "The day has been quiet with only two sightings of the risen Dreadlord, no Lich presence yet. They report a mustering of undead, more sturdy than the last few waves..." The Knight looked positively dejected at the notion, if the undead got anymore organized or geared, they may very well breach the palisades. "... They expect Darking to be when they attack." Lifting herself from the beam, she stood straight once more, expecting to be sent back to the front.

    Elrohir placed her hands behind her back, pacing to and fro as she mulled over the information, with the Knight-Captain out of commission, she had spent most of the day seeing to the encampment as the next in charge.
    "Inform the palisade watch-guard and then grab something warm to eat Sister-Knight and get some rest, you will need it before the night is over." She ordered, saluting the Knight who loosed a breath of relief and trudged off to finish her duties for the rest of the day. A warm meal sounded good to even Fëanáro, when was the last time she had eaten?

    Moving across one of the strapped together ramparts on the border of the encampment, she set her pale gaze towards Alliria, hands resting atop two of the palisade spikes as she rested her aching feet from the weight of her body and armour. The good doctor would have to arrive sooner than later, or else everything may have been for nought. Elrohir could not even stomach the notion. Over her dead body.

    Amelia
     
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  2. Amelia

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    The beacon was lit, Elbion had called for help. At least they had roughly two weeks ago and mother still hadn’t come back home. Father was busy attending a local noble family, and the rest of the employees didn’t have the guts to answer the call. The weight of responsibility fell upon Amelia’s shoulders and for the first time in what felt like a long while now, she would have to be the one to take on the case that landed on their desk. The brief was short enough, Templars needed help.

    While far from as well-equipped as her mother who had practiced the trade for nearly a century and a half, Amelia would at the very least be able to provide them with helpful insight into what they could do to fix the situation. If they even could fix the situation that was. Amelia weren’t the miracle worker that her mother could be, but she had practiced enough of it to feel confident enough that they weren’t about to have a Grade-A disaster on their hands.

    Walking through the terrain had become habit at this point. Mother had her on errands out of town often enough that it just grew on her. Though some of the deeper ends of the Falwoods weren’t all too familiar to her she had been given just enough of an idea of the lands to make her way with some ease. The fact that she had someone by her side for half of the journey who could explain how to get to the area where the fort was bound to be certainly helped a ton as well.

    On the horizon Amelia could see the palisade walls poke up with militants pacing back and forth along its walls. Her back straightened and by the time she approached the camp she was ushered inside by the soldiers.

    “I tried to be hasty.” She said and slid off of her horse to let her feet touch against the ground with an unstable wobble. “Was told to avoid some of the roads, but I’m here now.”

    “What do you need of me?”
     
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  3. Fëanáro Elrohir

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    Amelia's horse was taken almost immediately by a cloaked elf, his brooch giving away the affiliation to the Falwood Rangers to anyone who knew them well. The encampment was alive with life, Templar Knights in their ornate, dark grey full plate moving to and fro, rangers moving along the palisades delivering messages from one end to the other, freshly cut wood was being hauled by horse across the muddy, worn down ground and men and women both were cutting sections of logs into various sizes, some for arrows, others for hafts of weapons.
    In the distance the faint clang of a hammer against an anvil told the tale of a smithy somewhere within the wooden walls. Almost all of those Amelia could see were Elven in nature, including the woman who approached her swiftly, inclining her head respectfully.

    "Hissa Sister, I am Swordsister Erynel. Thank you for coming at such short notice." She introduced herself, gesturing for Amelia to follow, turning on her heels and marching across the boggy ground towards the second set of walls within the camp. A heavy double door fashioned of lashed together logs lay half-parted and archers above on the ramparts scouted the horizons, some watching the pair as they moved through.

    Inside was possibly even more busy, many deep grey barrack tents were erected and among them hastily erected shacks, the place looked more like a semi-permanent outpost. Warhorses clad in armour were lead around the main tent in the center, two massive banners matching the colours of the tents flew by the entrance; the half moon, fashioned into the shape of a sword, a flame burning in the curve domineering proudly.
    As they weaved and moved between tents and horses and wagons, it would become apparent that almost all of the people she could see were entirely female and Elven at that, with only a handful of men, two of which were very clearly Knights of Alliria. Erynel herself leant in to speak low as they passed the two officials. "Our humble encampment has caused a small diplomatic issue with the humans, being so close to one of their cities. So they have come to 'assist'" She explained helpfully, though her voice was laced with distaste, almost venomous.

    As they approached the main entrance of the great tent, beneath the banners far up high, Erynel came to a halt, saluted and set her feet together firmly, back straight. "Knight-Sergeant Elrohir, Doctor Elsatra has arrived." She stated, taking a step back behind Amelia. Fëanáro turned from the parchment she had been given by a Ranger, looking Amelia up and down and after a moment, one of her fair eyebrows lifted somewhat.

    "Hissa, Sister Els..." She trailed off and approached with the slightest tilt of her head. "... Whom are you, we requested Doctor Elsatra. Explain yourself at once." She demanded, lifting her pale gaze to Erynel who placed her hand firmly on the hilt of her curved Elven blade, drawing it a fraction from it's scabbard. They did not have time for this, every second was valuable.

    Amelia
     
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  4. Amelia

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    Encampments like these were never a pleasure to visit. The strict martial discipline always lingered in the air like a heavy blanket that muted everything under it. There was a sense of urgency lingering in the few faces she could see that weren’t covered by helmets, and whatever reason that may have been Amelia thought it better not to know. At least there was no need for that at the moment, she was content with knowing she had simply arrived to take a look at some kind of wound left behind after an attack.

    The fact that most people in this camp seemed to be women did not escape her, but neither did the underlying hostility in what her guide whispered to her regarding the knights that were ‘assisting’ so to speak. Amelia made a small effort to tuck her hair back behind her ears to show their pointedness for the knights on both side to see.

    The half-elf followed along with the guide and when they stepped inside the great tent she found herself facing an imposing woman, or perhaps it was more accurate to say an intense woman. Amelia would lie if she said she had ever had a blade brandished on her. Perhaps it could be boiled down to luck, but regardless of what it was she lost her composure for a second as the slightest of glints from the Knight-Sergeants sword gleamed from the candlelit tables.

    Amelia went back into posture. Straightened back, head held high with a calm yet focused glance at everyone in the room.

    “I am Doctor Elsatra. Ashera Elsatra. My mother, Ariawyn, is in Elbion and my father was last seen tending to the sick in Alliria.” She took a deep breath. To most in this room she probably looked like little more than a child. It would be an uphill battle, Amelia was prepared for that the second she knew it was elves that she was dealing with. “I have studied with my mother since the day I could read.”

    “Now please, there were injured to attend to and I’d rather do that than stand here and explain myself to those who asked for my help.”
     
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  5. Fëanáro Elrohir

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    Fëanáro did not seem too impressed with what she had heard, raising a hand and motioning for Erynel to stand down, the sound of the blade being sheathed once more ringing around the entrance. Amelia looked far too young to be of any assistance, if she was pure-blood then perhaps her looks may have been deceiving, but Elrohir could tell, her ears were marginally less sharp than the rest, her face carried traits of humans. Doubt cast across her mind like a blanket.
    Well, she was all Fëanáro had and she had to agree, time was slipping. Thus Amelia was lead through the large main tent, past several hide cots, three of which had the injured forms of Sisters, being tended to by two healers. Deeper into the tent and past two guards stood either side of a heavy curtain of cloth, Fëanáro parted the entrance and gestured Amelia in.

    Inside was a large makeshift hide bed, covered in furs, the room was filled with incense from the many burning candles littering the room, no doubt part of some sort of ritual. Elven trinkets hung from leather throngs above the bed and across the posts and a set of ornate grey armour with a silver trim stood in the corner, the abdomen having a rather large gash through it.
    On the bed itself, lay a figure propped slightly by pillows. Her Elven heritage clear as day, but she looked far from elegant and well kept, instead her golden hair was matted with sweat, her skin pallid and the flesh around her eyes blackened from fatigue. The eyes themselves were once a brilliant gold, now a shadow of their former self, faded and almost unseeing.

    "Knight-Captain Ailaena, the physician has arrived to see to you, she came with due haste." Fëanáro spoke low, moving to the side of the bed and falling to a knee with a rattle of armour, taking the woman's frail hand in both of hers. Ailaena shifted weakly, coughing and lifted her gaze to Amelia.

    "Elsatra...?" She asked, her voice hoarse and worn, no longer carrying the weight and dignity of an Elf of her stature, she lifted the hand Elrohir held and reached for Amelia, before dropping it and closing her eyes. Fëanáro gritted her teeth and nodded.

    "Doctor Elsatra, yes. You are in good hands now Ailaena, she will save you from this evil and together we can finish what we started." The Knight-Sergeant spoke low, calming, before standing and moving back to Amelia, her features set in stone, unmoving. "This is a mere day of the Evil that has touched her, the wound is deep and none of our healers, despite all of their knowledge in the realm of dark magic have been able to slow the progress."
    Elrohir moved to a cabinet by one of the side walls, lifting a black silk sheet from it and revealing a long blade, the edges jagged and aged, the blade as black as the deepest nights. "We believe it to be Morthal steel, but we have not scried any enchantments, no magic." She explained, moving to the bed and her Knight-Captain. Lifting one of the sheets from her person slowly, she revealed the heavy bandaged area where the sword had struck, the gauze was fresh and yet even now the deep red blood was tinted with a black fluid like ink, seeping through the wrappings.

    The Knight-Sergeant set her pale gaze back to Amelia, stepping back. "The blade was wielded by a risen Dreadlord of Alliria, we think a Lich is behind this whole mess, but we have no proof yet. Can anything be done?" She asked, her features softening for the first time since their meeting, a look of genuine concern flashing across that stoic visage.

    Amelia
     
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  6. Amelia

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    It was always going to be hard to live in the shadow of her mother. Amelia’s mother may have tried to stress that it would be different with time but it still felt as if people would always compare the daughter to the mother. Ariawyn the great healer and fixer of people. Ariawyn the miracle worker and Amelia the daughter. It wasn’t really true what they said about being underestimated. It tore at your own confidence, and when Amelia looked at the soldiers she passed by she knew that they weren’t expecting the best from this encounter.

    The incense from the candles made the air in the tent feel all the more palpable like a thick miasma of the sick that threatened to crawl its way down your lungs if you weren’t careful. On the bed before her laid a sickly elf as pale as the sky and hot as the infernal forges of Belgrath. Her hand reached into Amelia’s and that was enough to give an idea of the situation. Feanaro’s explanation of the ailment weighed in the air but it didn’t strike Amelia as something that would be unfixable.

    “Something can always be done,” Amelia said and looked back at her patient. “It’s a question of how soon.”

    It was something to do with the body and the wound. Dark magic was involved which Amelia would have to admit she did not have any first hand experience with. Burn marks, cuts and other lacerations from rituals gone wrong was something she had done before, but not this kind of magic. She ran a hand along the elf’s side to try and see the spread of the injury. The elf hissed and Amelia stopped in her tracks and let her eyes drift towards the gaping injury before she withdrew her hand and reached for her satchel to withdraw a soft piece of fabric.

    “I am not familiar with Morthal steel.” Amelia said without letting her attention shift from her patient. “But I can make more than a few educated guess-”

    “I am sorry for this, friend.” The doctor cut herself off mid-sentence and prodded against the surface of the wound and applied pressure. The soldier squirmed, but seemed to understand. Hopefully. Amelia hoped she did.

    Held before her eyes, the bloodied rag gave off an almost oil-like shine as if the leak from the wound was no longer tapping blood but something else. It was disheartening, but a good first step.

    “Black blood.” Amelia said and made note of the markings around the wound. “The surface around the wound seems to have stiffened up, grown solid, like a carapace...”

    “How long ago did you say this happened?”
     
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  7. Fëanáro Elrohir

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    She watched in discomfort as Amelia saw to the Knight-Captain, understanding very little of what she was doing, but she had to have faith. After-all, this was the daughter of one of the best practitioners this side of Alliria. Fëanáro watched despite her unease, no stranger to wounds or blood, she did however hold a certain mortal fear of the dark arts that she would take to her grave, you did not become a Templar without a little bit of fear for the unknown, it often saved lives.
    At Amelia's question, the Elf placed her forehead against the back of her gauntlet fist, eyes closed as she recalled the day prior; they had rode out to probe the defenses of the Fort, around Mornlate she remembered, no later than Noon had the fighting begun, reinforcements had arrived and she remembered the patrol of Allirian soldiers who had fallen victim to the shambling undead, far more in number than anticipated.

    Lifting her gaze to focus on Amelia and then Knight-Captain Ailaena who had slipped back into a state of fevered sleep, she worried her lower lip with her teeth. "Around Noonlate yesterday, the Knight-Captain fought valiantly, but the Undead do not tire and their magic persists even through wounding strikes. I failed to get to her in time before the blow was struck, we thought it just a bad wound and immediately transported her with haste back to the healers, but they could not mend it and then..." She gestured with a hand towards the black seeping fluid.
    "We knew we needed someone with more expertise, our healers are good, but this is something none of us have ever seen, even with all our years." She explained, downtrodden at both the failure of her Sisters and herself, the Knight-Captain should never have been allowed to duel the Dreadlord alone, Fëanáro knew this, it was a golden rule among the Sisterhood, no one should fight without a Sister by her side. "Have you ever witnessed anything like this?"

    Amelia
     
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  8. Amelia

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    As the templar spoke Amelia would continue her examination. Mornlate was a long time ago by now, at least for these sort of things. The pale ghost lying before them was in a bad way but there was no doubt that her fortitude was the only thing that had even let her come this far to begin with. With another gentle touch Amelia would trace along the hardened surface of the wounds. The inside soft to the touch but the skin around it had stiffened up as if something meant to hold the wound open.

    “No.” Amelia shot a grim glance at the wound without letting her eyes divert from her patient. “Something is keeping the wound open.”

    “Now,” Her hand reached for a soft metallic device in her satchel that she let poke against the hardened skin. “My mother said that the body never wants to be broken and will do anything it can to become whole again, to mend.”

    The more Amelia worked around the carapace forming around the cut the more she felt as if she was stepping ever closer to solving the problem. It was easy to assume that the origin of this strife came from inside the body, and in truth there was most likely something to that as well, but what if the problem was actually the skin itself? Amelia withdrew a small canister of herbs and a small mortar and pestle. The herbs were dropped into the bowl and she went to work to ground it into a thin paste.

    “I think there is something in the skin. Something we can’t see.” Amelia explained herself as she prepared the solution. “It’s not out of the question that we have the traces of the sword somewhere in there. A poison perhaps or a fragment of the sword itself, or maybe something else that we have not discovered yet.”

    For the first time since getting to work, Amelia would let her attention set on Fëanáro proper with determined nod.

    “How many others were in this conflict, and what were their injuries like?”
     
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  9. Fëanáro Elrohir

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    Fëanáro would never admit to not quite understanding what Amelia was doing, or what the tools she brought with her were exactly. However perhaps there was hope yet, she may have been young and not the right doctor they had requested, but she seemed to have an ability for her practise, one the Knight-Sergeant could see in the way she dedicated herself.
    She listened and nodded, mulling over what was said. Indeed the body did not wish to be harmed, it healed well, something Fëanáro knew well, as she had suffered her fair share of wounds over the years, luckily none to the face however. If anything, she cursed herself internally for not noticing what was beginning to become more obvious, a fresh look on an issue was often what was needed in times as dire as these, something she would keep in mind. It was a valuable lesson, taught by a half-breed no less.

    As Amelia worked, Elrohir circled the bed and shifted her attention to and from Amelia and the Knight-Captain, the worrying of her lower lip had stopped and she seemed to be in better spirits as the girl worked. Thankful that Ailaena was unconscious for all the prying and prodding that was happening, she was sure even the battle hardened woman would have cried out in pain.
    Lifting her pale gaze to meet that of Amelia's as she asked how many more had been present, Fëanáro shook her head.
    "Five in total were wounded, one Ranger and four Sisters." She said, a grimace forming on her features, before it was dismissed. "None of the others have suffered a wound such as this and are recovering well. If I had to make an educated guess on the happenings yesterday, I would say the Knight-Captain was chosen and that sword is the only thing capable of dealing such a grievous wound." She explained, though it sounded more to herself than Amelia, thoughtfully, she moved over to the sword and lifted the black silk once more.

    "It would be wise to assume though that other blades like this are present, if we are to eliminate this threat. I would prefer to not have anymore of my Sisters suffer in such a way." Fëanáro spoke, turning back to Amelia searchingly. "If... When you succeed in purging this evil from the Knight-Captain, I would very much like if you would share any thoughts you have on fighting this, anything we can do to prevent such a thing happening again. You may be of great help for the upcoming struggle." She suggested, though it was far less of an order than it was an implored request. The Knight-Sergeant was far too proud to ask for help.

    Amelia
     
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  10. Amelia

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    “It’s a possibility that she was targeted, yes.” Amelia nodded and went back to focusing on the paste thinning out in her bowl. “It’s an effective tactic for the undead.” Amelia’s head tilted to the side to stress the point. “Gives them an easy friend if they decide to assault the holding, and many more from the Rangers and Sisters who hesitate to shoot their former comrade.”

    Two fingers dug into the paste before it applied a thin layer around the wound without dabbling too far into it. It was a mixture her mother had taught her to create for less serious wounds, but sometimes the simple solutions were overlooked when people looked for more complex answers. Life had a way to feel a lot easier when you had a complex answer to your problems. At least that was what her mother said. A century of experience had granted her enough experience for Amelia not to doubt it.

    “The salve is meant to help soften the skin. It’s usually something mother prescribes for nobles who want to become young again, but it also has some far more practical uses. It tends to absorb remnants of liquids and poisons that would usually go unnoticed.”

    Or in the noble’s case, sweat. If left unchecked the salve had a possibility of drying up the skin perhaps a bit too much, but at that point the mixture had usually stiffened up into something easier to dispose of. A few seconds passed and sure enough the paste became more of a cake that encircled the wound. Amelia let her metallic rod prod under it to pry it loose just a little bit. Cracks spread across its surface and she proceeded to turn a small piece over on the soldier’s stomach.

    “Black.” She muttered mainly to herself. “Like the blood.”

    It seemed her hypothesis was correct. Something was definitely on the skin and not just inside the wound itself. With that out of the way she proceeded to poke at the wound, and sure enough it had softened up. Not by a lot, but the results were visible.

    “Progress.” Amelia announced. “I will leave you with the recipe later.”

    “This would suggest there is a poison at hand. Do your people have any books on the undead? Specifically any kinds of poisons you have encountered when fighting them?”
     
  11. Fëanáro Elrohir

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    The Knight-Sergeant had guessed as much, the woman's words only enforcing what she had thought. It was a good plan on their part, both disrupt morale and create internal conflict, it would make the encampment far easier to take. She was thankful Amelia solved the riddle before something terrible had befallen them. Fëanáro could not take her eyes off of the happenings before her, watching the woman peel the dark magic, or poison as she suspected from flesh. It was as though she was drawing it from the wound. Impressive.
    Though she would have had to admit, leaving a recipe was not exactly what she had in mind for the woman when she had suggested she assist them. In fact she sounded like she would leave once she had stabilized the Knight-Captain, she may have just needed more faith in her own healers, but the way Amelia worked was something else entirely.

    At her request, Elrohir nodded her head, giving the smallest inkling of a smile.
    "Of course we do, we are Templars." She stated proudly, as if the question was unreasonable and the idea that they did not was a foolish notion. Moving from the make-shift room and into the main infirmary, Fëanáro scoured the ranks of books and scrolls that lined one of the far walls. Her fingers danced across the black leather and silver inscriptions in the delicate Elven written language. Pulling five from the shelf, she piled them on one arm and moved back to where Amelia was working.
    The Elf was about to ask if she could read Elvish, but remembered who exactly she was dealing with, no doubt her mother had taught her the traditional tongue and written language, Fëanáro would have expected that of her, even if she did have a strange taste in partners. Placing the books down, she took the first from the top and skimmed through the tome, the pages were leather with the same silver inscriptions, so that it could survive the wear and tear of travel. "I believe this may help, there was one case of this happening five decades ago. The person did not survive however." She explained, offering the book.

    Outside of the tent the sound of hooves gathering could be heard and the shouts of sentries. Elrohir lifted her head and listened, eyes closing to focus on the sounds and voices. It was scouts reporting movement on the perimeter watch. Turning to Amelia, she figured she should know if she was to stay. "We are expecting an attack later tonight, no matter what happens, do not put yourself in harms way, we may need you come morning."

    Amelia
     
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  12. Amelia

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    Well, the question was a bit unreasonable with the express purpose of being just as such. It got Amelia the tools she needed to continue and with the tomes at hand she threw herself over them with utmost haste. Eyes scanned page by page for the keywords she needed. Hardening, stiffening, anything related to the symptoms she had seen so far.

    Yet that was cut short.

    “A- another attack?” Amelia looked over at the soldier in fear before she shook her head and went back to focus on her patient. “I’ll just stay here, with your wounded then.”

    Her eyes continued to scan page for page of elvish scripture until finally she caught glimpse of what she needed. A blackened liquid that caused wounds to heal far slower than usual. Yet this liquid had been clear, if not almost entirely opaque. Amelia cursed under her breath and withdrew a piece of paper and ink pen from her satchel to make hasty notes of the symptoms and speculated contents of the poison.

    “I better not be right about this.” She muttered and continued to flip the pages. The book ran out of pages to flip and she proceeded to grab another one. “The liquid that had these properties seemed to have been as dark as the blood your sister is expelling, yet the liquid on the surface had been as clear as the water in your waterskin.”

    She had to look up clear poisons, something that was deadly in its own right and easily hidden in plain sight. Yet the revelation struck her without the help of the book. Her head rose.

    “Nobles!” She panickedly exclaimed with a modicum of joy. “Petty feuds, poisoning drinks. Do you have sprigleaf around here? A- a- a pointed-sort of… Purple and green shifting leaf that used to be considered myth until maybe a century ago.”

    “I think it’s the key to all this. Mother worked on it as an apprentice, helped realize its healing properties.” The girl approached a nearby cupboard and opened it to have a look around. “Easily identified by its—” She grabbed a jar and gave it a look. A satisfied grin spread on her lips. “I am sorry to make use of such a limited supply, but it's for the best, trust me.”

    She placed the jar on the table by the book and proceeded to grab herbs from her satchel.

    “Mother would have realized this by now.” She snickered to herself. “Hiding a poison in plain sight… It’s a bold tactic.”

    The muttering sputtered off into more nervous noises. Amelia wasn’t a combatant, the pressure to fix this woman up as fast as possible was starting to hit her far harder than she had anticipated at first. Tension built up inside which she tried to push on through yet it got all the more obvious to those around her that the idea of being faced with battle was not doing her any favors at all.
     
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