Knights of Anathaeum Herbal Remedies

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The embrace of the Monastery was always a welcome change after being on the road for many days. He could feel himself being rejuvenated upon entering the Eldyr's Trees influence. Jin's knowledge of Wyld magic was limited but he could not deny its influence. His attempts to grasp the fundamentals of the Order's arcane paradigms had eluded him to some extent. Jin's innate understanding of the Loch had not extended to everything else. A disappointment which he eventually learned to accept. Unfortunate limitations aside, the knight was simply happy to be home.

Jin had a number of reports to make but decided that the scribes could wait. He doubted they would agree with his assessment but such were the liberties of ignorance. The sworn made his way towards the infirmary, he had not come out of his recent missions unscathed. A rogue mage had taken to all manner of heinous acts and was loathe to relent. Very reluctant to put it mildly.

A few expertly woven stitches later and Jin was on the move again. His destination was not far from the infirmary itself but also not easily found. He made his way through a maze of old ruins until he found himself in what had certainly once been a dungeon. Jin knocked on the old door but did not wait for a response before entering the room.

"I see this place is as hospitable as ever," the sworn remarked lightly. "The poultice you gave me worked like a charm. Couldn't feel a godsdamned thing. Problem is, everything I've tried to eat in the last few days has tasted like dry bark. Don't suppose you could do anything about that?"

Orsolya Embermoss
 
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Orsolya was drying leaves with a towel when the man entered. His sudden presence had surprised her for she did not expect visitors, at least not at this hour. Her workshop was a place of “by appointments only.” In fact, she was certain there was a sign by the door.

But the door had opened and she heard it shut. She turned and looked into the dim-lit threshold. “Syr Jin,” she smiled. There could be worse interlopers. “You have been away,” Orsolya heard his familiar voice. She climbed onto the table and tucked her legs beneath her, listening.

The remarks about her little basement, as vast and dark as it could be, were ignored. Where he would enter would be a place of ever-deep plants, the scent of soil and old parchment from tomes that have long outlived their writers. An ornately carved bow hung on the stone wall above a desk, its appearance as though chiseled before the gods themselves were but children. “Like dry bark!” She tapped her cheek with a finger. “If you are to eat bark it should at least be live and green and damp.” She hopped down from the table and grabbed his chin between her fingers, studying him, turning his face to and fro. “Say ahhhhh!” And his breath would be all that she needed to know.

The witch nodded thoughtfully before rushing to a cabinet and searching its contents. “So, tell me, where did your adventures take you? What have you done?” She pawed at a set of mushrooms pulling a dried one from the drawer. Polite enough to let him speak his words, she would shove it into his mouth when he was done. “Chew, and tell me if you can taste this.” If he could it would be rich and earthy. If he could not, she would have more work to do.
 
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Jin normally would have been surprised if someone tried to grab his face but he simply remained still. He complied with Syr Embermoss' orders and then watched as she ruffled through various ingredients. Originally he had been caught off guard due to her timid nature but quickly learned there were exceptions. The other knight was undoubtedly skilled at her craft, which required an innate curiosity.

"Too far, if I'm being honest," he began to explain with a sigh. "A couple merchants turned up dead in a town to the northeast. I'll spare you the specifics but the state of their bodies was far from natural. Turns out it was the work of a rogue mage. Finding him initially wasn't difficult but he was too slippery by half. I eventually caught up to him near the Delta..." The knight did not say any more on the matter. It was always harder to capture a target alive, and Jin wasn't so inclined when the mage showed no contrition.

Silence sat between them for a moment as he chewed on the potential remedy.

"Nope, nothing," he eventually replied as he discarded what remained of the mushroom. Jinhae supposed there was some benefit to having everything taste the same. Some of the Order's standard rations were about as bland as it got. Food on the road could often be questionable, especially with a knight's purse. Still, it would be dangerous in his profession to be unable to differentiate certain tastes. He'd look pretty foolish if he died from poison just to save himself from a tough meal.

"And you? What have you been keeping up to? I hope you've seen some sun since I've been gone."


Orsolya Embermoss
 
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Her mushroom lay chewed up in his palm as he discarded it so. Merchant princes would pay a fortune for such a thing! It was the most flavorful in all of the Vale. A forager would feed their family for a season! And here it was broken and wet with saliva on her table. She had meant it for her own mix of rice and lentils and… and she had only the one.

Orsolya put on a smiling face, her ears drawing low and tight against her, a gaze that never left the chewed up mush. “I have been training in the yards, yes.” She said, as though there were tears in her eyes that found itself soon replaced with pride. “Against squires, and they make a mess of me, but… I am not you. I am not you Sir Jinhae. I will best them one day, but I am no knight. No sworn, not in truth…” She looked about the room and no wall spoke ‘warrior,’ they spoke only “creature, monster.”

“Jin,” she returned to her tables, her back turned to him as she thumbed various ingredients. If a mushroom that would change the soul had been found lacking, she would need do better. She sprinkled a poultice of bright red and pepper black, ginger, all of the common things that touched the tongue and so very much more from her alchemical drawers.

“You need not spare the hunt of a rogue mage to me, Syr.” She turned her head over her shoulder inquisitively. “He was removed, yes? Dare I wish?”

She would let him answer, folding her poultice thoughtfully. “Hold this first to your chest, and then your throat, a count of one bell each, and finally, your mouth, you need not chew, but rest your tongue to it.” She shivered. “It will not be comfortable, Syr. It will burn. But… if it does naught, you may needs borrow someone else’s tongue.” The witch nodded confidently. She climbed back onto her table once more, watching, waiting.