Private Tales Light After Dark

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Gerrard Duvont, Nov 18, 2018.

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  1. Audreyn

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    Audreyn The Devil's Apprentice

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    "Well. I didn't. I left to fetch wood too," She told him, scrambling up. She made quick work of packing, snatching things out from under his hands. "Went to the loo. Hid our tracks."

    She had no idea he meant 'thanks for not ditching me'. To her, that wasn't even in the cards. The thought hadn't even occurred.

    "You know, I hear the beeswax thing really does work. Maybe I could fix some for you. Oh! Maybe i can trap a bee, it's venom is great if you can get it to sting around the wound!"
     
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  2. Gerrard Duvont

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    "I...please tell me that the bee sting plan is a joke?" he asked hopefully. He left the packing to Audreyn and drew himself to his knees. Then he planted one foot on the ground and decided that it was enough for now.

    Regardless of what else she had been up to or how she might have misinterpreted the sentiment, he had provided it. That being spoken was enough for him. Catching breath seemed difficult enough that he didn't want to waste it on words. A determined growl came from Gerrard as he forced himself up to his feet.
     
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  3. Audreyn

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    She blinked up at him, at his elbow as she attempted to help him to his horse or something. Whatever he'd let her do, she was there trying to arrange it. Thank gods he was up and moving.

    "Why would it be a joke? It cured my mom's foot once. She stepped on a nail."
     
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  4. Gerrard Duvont

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    #179 Gerrard Duvont, Dec 22, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
    "Another day, we're going to have...a long talk about the experimental method."

    He leaned some of his weight onto Audreyn. He wasn't a heavy man by any means, but she wasn't a broad woman either. With wobbly steps they made it to his horse. He hoped she would turn out to have the aptitude to understand the principles of how the world was bound together, and thus how magic worked.

    Most could be taught, but it took an analytical, yet creative mind to truly advance the understanding of magic. Unfortunately Audreyn came with all the trappings of her villagist upbringing, but then there were so few in the world who rose above tradition and superstition. Teaching her to read was going to be the first, arduous step.
     
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  5. Audreyn

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    "You and your big words," she dismissed, physically fretting around him as he got himself mounted up despite the pain.

    "Can you-... can you ride?" She asked, as if there was a choice in the matter.
     
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  6. Gerrard Duvont

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    "If I slide from my saddle and break a limb then we will have learned that I cannot," Gerrard replied curtly. He leaned forwards and took a tight grip of the reins.

    His attention turned inwards, his gaze become unfocused. With a grimace he set his horse walking back towards the road. Every step hurt and his head span but they needed to get moving.
     
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  7. Audreyn

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    "You know what I hear is good for that?" She told him, quickly moving to saddle up herself. She pulled the bare besides him, glancing his way.

    "A tonic of dirt and piss."

    And before he could gleam if that was a joke or not, she kicked off her horse to the front, taking the lead.
     
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  8. Gerrard Duvont

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    He laughed, assuming it was a joke. The laugh became a strangled cough as she rode away. His world slowly collapsed in until it was the rhythm of the horse shifting beneath him and the patch of ground immediately ahead of them.

    Eventually it became too much and he had to call out for them to leave the road. He slid very carefully from his horse and found a comfortable patch of grass.

    "Just need a short rest," he told her. He breathed deeply and gratefully took the simple comfort of remaining still. "Rest, food and water. Better than what most 'medics' can do now."

    Despite her ignorance there was a strength in Audreyn that he had to respect. She had no right to be as resilient as she was. He was quite certain that she could go on to do great things. He still had some friends in the college. There was a chance he could quietly fund her education.

    She would never stay to learn with him. Not in the long term. After what she had been through, the point where she found out the price he had paid - and could pay again - for failure would be too much for her. She had already spoken of removing herself of the magic to avoid the consequences. Their views would never align.
     
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  9. Audreyn

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    All a problem for the future, the girl staring down at him with ignorant concern.

    "Are you sure you're not-" She bit her lip, holding back the words. "Can I see it? How about I- What if- How far is the nearest doctor?" The words bubbled out as she grabbed onto the reigns of his horse and kept it in place.

    "What if I-..." She tried out the words carefully. "What if I.... Go get a doctor for you? Do you think you could not die in the meantime?"

    The words were sounding like a joke, but her eyes were dead serious, the concern never wavering off his face.
     
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  10. Gerrard Duvont

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    "There isn't a doctor within a month's ride I would trust to do more harm than good," he said, waving a hand for her to rest.

    "Trust me. Rest, food, water. Will all do better for me than most medics. When we get to a town we'll see if anyone can stitch."

    Taking a deep breath he forced a smile. It hurt like hell, but he'd been through worse. Far, far worse. Infection wasn't going to kill him quickly.

    What if it does...

    Then, he decided, he would write a note of recommendation to the college. Send her off with enough coin to get there. They would hopefully pay some respect to that, even if they laughed at his passing on.
     
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  11. Audreyn

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    "Like... with a needle?" She offered hesitantly, surprisingly reassured by the smile. She could sow. She could sow most anything .... so why couldn't she sow up human skin to boot, she reasoned to herself.

    She stood, haphazardly yanking down his bags. "Do you have a sowing kit in here? Maybe... maybe you let me get some ointment on it too. You'll have to tell me which one it is though," she told him, dropping to her knees at his side and going through his bag. "I can't tell them apart."
     
  12. Gerrard Duvont

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    He gave a little shake of the head as he gathered enough willpower to keep talking.

    "Whilst I trust your hand, you need catgut stitches. No, they're not made of cat guts..." a pause and he seemed to be watching her expression closely. "...They're made of sheep intestines."

    Gerrard waited to see if she would believe him. A little amusement to distract himself from the pain.
     
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  13. Audreyn

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    She looked up, her nose crinkling in mild disgust. "...Ew. Really? Ew." But it made sense. Why wouldn't you use animal stomach to put back together your own stomach.

    "Maybe if I catch a rabbit? Does that work?" She offered, getting out his med kit and laying it all out again. She was stubbornly insisting on treating it. Even if it wasnt actually the best path.
     
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  14. Gerrard Duvont

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    "I don't know how to make stitches," he admitted with a shake of his head. Gerrard didn't like admitting he didn't know how to do something, but his knowledge was very specific. He didn't know how to make a chair or build a castle. He assumed it involved drying the innards but that was as far as his understanding went.

    The wisdom of using clean bandages and keeping a medical area properly cleaned would not come to the people of Arethil for a long time. Gerrard was struggling to think of much beyond the need for rest weighed up against the need to keep moving.

    "The black ooze is supposed to trap a man for a week. It should hold the skin...for a few days," he murmured. Gerrard decided to rest his eyes. His kids fluttered and fell shut.
     
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  15. Audreyn

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    Audreyn knew how to make stitches, but she kept that to herself. She bit her lip and watch in apprehension as his eyes closed, secretly wondering if she should do something. Like slap him awake. But the slap never came, neither did her voice. He was left to drift off as her mind raced, trying to piece out the best next step.

    As the minutes passed, it became obvious. He couldn't ride anymore, but she could. He wasn't gonna make it to the nearest doctor, either they risked infection or the ride getting to him. Healing on his own didn't seem like an option. She didn't know much about medicine, but this seemed grave. Not to mention staying in place for the time it would take for him to heal would surely get them found again.

    No. She would go. Ride fast, return even faster. To where, she didn't know. But first things first.

    "....Are you asleep?" She whispered, her voice feather light, checking his responsiveness.
     
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  16. Gerrard Duvont

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    "Not quite," he murmured. Gerrard hadn't managed a deep sleep. Even this drained it wasn't possible to get comfortable with the pain spreading up his side.

    Of all of his terrible qualities his stubborn nature was actually going to come to his aid. His work had to be continued. He wasn't going to die in some ditch off the road because he stood between an assassin and a peasant girl who refused to see her own worth.

    His face set into an angry grimace. Planting his hands on the ground he groaned his his pushed himself up to a seated position.
     
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  17. Audreyn

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    "Oh." She said, disappointed. She watched him sit up, grimacing in sympathy. She took a deep breath, gingerly trying to find the courage for her words.

    "Listen... I think... I think I should ride head for a doctor. You're starting to look green and while I can do a mean cross stitch I don't think I can find a rabbit so easily and..." She swallowed, her voice hardening. "Well, I don't want to hear you groaning the whole ride down the road."
     
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  18. Gerrard Duvont

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    He forced a laugh as he drew himself up to his feet. He wasn't so nauseated that he couldn't stand straight. There was no accusation in his expression or tone as he turned to face her.

    "Do you really think a doctor can do anything right now? Or would you rather be on your way because you think I might die before we get there? Be honest now."

    Gerrard hadn't missed the way she had sounded dissapointed to find him awake. Did he really look so bad she had been considering taking his coins and leaving. He wouldn't have felt any resentment at all if she had. There was no more blood seeping from the wound and he didn't plan on letting the infection get the better of him. If she did plan to go on there was a small chance she would be lucky and find a travelling healer who actually knew some magic.
     
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  19. Audreyn

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    Audreyn whapped his chest. Hard. "Rude!" She huffed, anger lighting up her features. "How could you think that? You've saved my life. Like three times now! And the first kind thing I manage to offer for you and-" Whapwhap.

    "Rude!" She practically screeched, so no sign of her indignation wavering.
     
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  20. Gerrard Duvont

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    He winced with each strike but didn't react any further. When she was done he smoothed out his expression and filled his lungs with enough air to reply. Every movement, even breathing, made his side ache.

    "I don't have a mirror, if I happen to look like I'm about to die I would not have thought badly of you for wanting to ride on," he said. His shoulders gave a hint of a shrug and he prepared to be struck again.
     
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  21. Audreyn

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    She sucked in a breath, looking ready to explode one moment before calming the next in an unease wave of intentional effort.

    "Shut up," she ordered. "Get on the horse." She pointed firmly. "Tie yourself down. Give me your cursed map. And knock yourself out if you have to. We're not stopping again until it's in front of doctor. Nah-" She held up her finger, doing her best impression she could of her father.

    "Don't want to hear. Get on the horse. Now."

    She bent down and started regathering the med kit, shoving it in his chest. "And if there's any tonics in there you can take, take them!"
     
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  22. Gerrard Duvont

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    "Tonics... Heston Jurande once did a study of 'tonics'. They found not one that worked better than water," Gerrard said. He was going to continue but the look he received suggested that it was time to be quiet.

    He didn't have the concentration to keep the pained smile from his face. Whether it was bluster or not, there was a fire in her. He liked it.

    Gerrard returned his attention to getting back up onto his horse. When he was there he wrapped the reins tightly around his forearms.

    "No need for a map. Just follow the road straight."
     
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  23. Audreyn

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    And follow the road straight she did. Straight through the day. And night. Straight through his unconsciousness and her growing exhaustion. Straight through small villages with shamans he'd scoff at, fields, farms, even a touch of more woods.

    Straight forward, not stopping, a period of time spent with both dozing and flopping on their saddles as the steadfast mare he bought her rode ever onward.

    Straight into a town, complete with a wall of stone. A feat so incredible, she half startled out of her saddle when her dazed vision focused on the rocky wonder in the distance.

    "Gerrard!" She exclaimed, her face wide with excitement. "Gerrard, we did it! A city! I found a great city!"
     
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  24. Gerrard Duvont

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    He didn't have the heart to correct her. This town was a satellite to a much larger city. It didn't have a cathedral or a mages' guild. It did have walls and it was apparently much larger than any place she had ever seen.

    With a deep breath he drew himself upright in the saddle. The black substance had fallen from the wound. It hadn't bled. The ichor that seeped out wasn't clear, but it didn't smell so rancid that he needed to cover his own nose. Objectively he knew that he was starting to recover. Practically he felt like death warmed up.

    "There is an inn called the Rusted Gate. We can...get rooms there. Straight on through the gate."
     
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  25. Audreyn

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    "Why would we want to stay at a rusty gate," she wondered to herself, feeling more alert in that moment than she had all morning. Was it wise to keep riding when he needed rest? She wasn't sure. But they certainly had good distance between them and any threats now. And if he was gonna collapse from that wound, best do it in a place with a doctor the stubborn ass would let touch him.

    She gave him an glance back, her expression uneasy as she drove them forward. "How are you feeling there, old man?"
     
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