Yeva woke just before dawn, head pounding and body sore. With a whimper, she rolled over and tried to find solace in the cold side of the pillow but it only brought fleeting relief. Everything hurt. No matter the chill of the morning room, she felt flushed and light headed. Was she still drunk? Another whimper and the medic was forced herself to slide away from the cot and trudge to the water basin in the far corner, suspended somewhere between wanting to purge her stomach of its contents or dunk her head into the liquid. Her body felt heavy, her hair... Immortal's breath, she didn't even want to know.
"I hate drinking,"
Yeva took shaky breaths, washing her face and blindly feeling for the towel to pat it dry, "I hate drinking. I hate drinking."
Water dripped from her chin, she rested her face against the butt of her palm before collecting enough resolve to brush her teeth while the mantra continued in her mind. As a Rharnian, such a saying was sacrilege, but in the bleary morning, it was the easiest and most immediate thought. All the others seemed to be caught in the molasses memories of the night before.
Yeva washed and got dressed, random groans and sighs heaved from her chest. Below, in the tavern under her room wafted the smell of coffee and early morning breakfast which made her both hungry and nauseous as she made her way down the steps.
"Good morning!" Whit, the tavern owner of the Knight's Rest
bellowed, spotting her sluggishly lingering by the steps. Only one or two patrons found themselves in the dining area; a few fishermen finishing their breakfast before setting out on their ships. Whit sat propped on a stool beside them, less business than later hours would dictate, with a series of papers in his hand, "How'd you sleep?"
Yeva tried to smile and the bearded man barked a laugh, "Say no more! How about some breakfast to settle that stomach of yours?"
she climbed into a stool and rubbed her eyes, slightly slumped forward, "Ginger and mint, if you could."
"Hmm.... Let me go ask, Zana."
The large man bounded off to find his daughter, the head of house and main server while Yeva rested her head on the table and listened to the men on the other end of the bar. Their voices were gruff and salt worn, and they shook their head in disappointment, "That's a real shame. Have the Elements released as statement on it?"
Yeva turned her head to see the other shrug.
"Dunno. But it's twenty children. Missing," he snapped, "Just like that. No foul play, either. Mother's just waking up to find their kids gone. What's Scalvoris coming to?"
"Aye. I'll be keeping my girls close. I can't imagine what those parents must be going through."
She continued to eavesdrop, nearly forgetting her tea until it was set in front of her by another redheaded woman along with toast and beans, "Thank you so much."
Yeva paid and drank slowly nibbling on the food and allowed the morning to continue well enough. She went back to her room after to tame her hair and continue her drink and her body began to uncoil from its tension. Ginger was good for an upset stomach and mint cleared the mind. The worst of her hangover gone, she even tried to read but the gossip from earlier played on the edge of her consciousness and she knew it couldn't be ignored. They were children.
Yeva grabbed her things and slipped on her cloak.
The air around the Element Hall felt anxious, somber. A few people shouted as they were directed away, crying for answers. Where were their babies? Why had no one found them yet? Yeva's heart seized in her chest as she watched a mother break down by the front steps, inconsolable in her worry. Suddenly, the medic's own problems felt so minuscule by comparison; The soft snowfall and dramatic cast of lanterns in Cylus darkness an ominous backdrop for the tragedy. Unable to find any words, she ducked her head and slipped inside with brows furrowed in deep concern. She couldn't just stand around!
"I'm here to help,"
the brown eyed woman announced, shoulders back. A look of stark determination was settled on thick lips as she bounded up to the front desk with her cloak billowing behind her, "If there's anything I can do for those children,-"
Yeva stopped short, spotting a familiar face from the night before. He had been at the Casino, and now stood next to another man. Had he seen her? She cleared her throat, trying not to grow distracted by the recollection of gambling and drinks. She did briefly wonder if he had felt out of sorts this morning too, but refocused on the task at hand, "There has to be something I can do."