Studying, in Kali'rial's mind, had to be the truest test of discipline and dedication. The Sev'ryn had left Peytrs Pots & Potions with a pack full of stuff and a head full of information. When she had returned to the sloop, the brunette had spread herself out on the deck under the shade Pash had constructed, to read through the Encyclopedia Herbalicum Idalosica. It was very quickly obvious that the book was huge
and frankly overwhelming. At first the huntress had simply shut it again, rubbing her eyes and frowning at the amount of nel she'd spent on something she knew nothing about. It was that same thought that spurred her to open it again, this time also taking out her journal and her writing utensils to take notes.
As the trial wore from morning to evening, the southerner lost herself in the book, taking down key notes on particular herbs. Some, such as comfrey for example, worked completely differently depending on being fresh or dried and how it was used. Fresh, comfrey roots could be peeled and would release a gummy sap that could be applied directly to open wounds to stop the bleeding and help seal the skin shut. She would be looking to find some of these in the wild, hopefully around Scalvoris Town. Others seemed more exotic and could potentially be collected in other cities.
Opening the gardening book, Kali also jotted notes beside fresh herbs she wanted to attempt to cultivate; such as the purple peach flowers and elderberries. Hyssop was another, good for soothing coughs when brewed in a tea. Some were exotic and very much an immediate use item, such as the White Herb and Pside Shield. The southerner wondered if they were even worth the effort, still she noted it down. Taking the third book, she moved to the pages specific to Sev'ryn and Biqaj circulatory systems, again making minor notes beside her current ones about the dosages for their races. It was interesting to note that any part of the Dragonplant was ineffective on Ydulih and furthermore actually poisonous to Aukari.
Closing all three books and the journal, Kali'rial groaned and stretched her back. It was like the more she researched, the less she actually knew. Packing everything away, she made her way into the belly of the boat, describing her frustrations to the tall tanned Biqaj as they ate. It was easy to get lost in it all, and the huntress was thankful when he provided a much needed distraction.
The following morning, Kali'rial took her notes and books with her back to the shop, nodding to Peytr at the counter.
"Well met Peytr, is Callie free for the private session she mentioned yesterday?"
The little man grinned with delight and nodded to the Sev’ryn, coming around the counter with a rub of his hands, glancing a little nervously at Sarkis beside the woman.
”Yes, of course. She’s just finishing with another now then you can chat. One nel per break, remember.”
Kali smiled and jingled her coin purse.
”Oh yes, I remember thank you.”
Stroking the velvety ears of her bonded, the wolf-walker looked around the room as she waited for the blonde herbalist. Now that she had spent time looking through the books, the brunette realised that she could recognise some of the plants hanging from the rafters. White willow bark there for headaches and mild pain relief, belladonna for numbing and also for poisoning if used incorrectly.
”Now Lacey, if that rash doesn’t go away in five trials, come back and see me.”
Callie said, perhaps a little to loudly as she exited her back room beside a familiar blonde pirate. Kali’rial recalled her face from the barfight in Almund, and it seemed the piratess wasn’t at all bothered by her private condition being public.
”Yar, thanks doc. I’ll be back fer sure, they ne’er go away fer me ha!”
She chuckled, winking at the brunette in a way that gave her cause to blush deeply. As the herbalist turned her gaze on the huntress, she smiled.
”Back already love? That was quick!”
Kali smiled a little charigned, dropping her amber gaze with a frown.
”I spent all trial and almost the night studying these books but there’s so much I feel like I’m just getting lost in it all.”
Callie smiled kindly, putting an arm around the girls shoulders with barely a glance at Sarkis and leading her to the back room.
”I should think so. Herbalism isn’t something you can learn all in one trial pet. It takes lots of studying and field practice, and a book might help but it’s your head and instincts that will guide you.”
Showing the Sev’ryn to a seat at her little table, the woman pulled the curtain closed and came to sit herself, avoiding tripping over the grey furred canine that settled itself at Kali’s feet.
”If you came here to try and get a magic know-all, I’m afraid you’re out of luck...”
The huntress frowned deeply, dropping her rucksack on the floor with a sigh. That’s exactly what she was here for. Callie raised a finger and tilted her head.
”What I can do however, is help you with some basic critical must-know items for someone of your trade. You’ve already found the herbs from yesterday in the Herbalicum yes? Great, so let’s focus on those. Grab out your notebook.”
Smiling with relief, Kali’rial pulled it out and handed it over. The herbalist nodded, turning the pages slowly and reading Kali’s notes. She glanced up with a raised eyebrow.
”Only Sev’ryn and Biqaj?”
She said questioningly. The brunette nodded.
”For now. Myself and my...fiancé...we’re sailing at the end of Vhalar and I want to be sure that if something happens we’re not left helpless. There’s a Tunawa too but she’s pretty self-healing.”
Callie turned the pages, listening and also reading. She tapped one of Kali’rial’s notes about yarrowroot.
”This is a good observation, external application can be a fantastic way to combine effects. It’s called a poultice, here, write that down.”
She turned the book and waiting for the tanned woman to grab her pen and scribble it down. As the breaks passed, Callie worked through Kali’s notes with her, pointing out where she’d incorrectly made an assumption or a calculation for dosage, or giving extra advice on those she’d got right. It was well into the third break that Callie put her hand on the notebook with a smile, closing it gently.
”Tell me what would you do if your patient, a biqaj, had slipped overboard and been cut against the reef. They have minor cuts and abrasions on their person, and a rather nasty gash to the bone on their scalp. No peeking.”
Kali’rial glanced down at the book with a wide eyed sort of moment of fear, before closing her eyes and thinking.
”I would want to clean the wounds but I also want to stop the bleeding from that gash. To immediately help, I would use snekvine salve and then bandage it to hold it together whilst the boiling the iffliol seeds to mash into a poultice with yarrow root and place over the top of the bandage to stem the bleeding. I would start steeping a tea using rhyth petals, ground moukou beans and willowbark, to help with the pain and calm the patient, whilst also using snekvine salve on the other cuts and grazes.”
The herbalist grinned at her, eyebrows raised slightly when Kali opened her eyes to look at her.
”Nice work. Snekvine salve for the antiseptic properties and rhyth petals for the infection fighting work really well together. What if the patient is unconscious?”
Kali frowned, closing her eyes again, remembering their lesson.
”Sleep is a good healer, so it’s not really wise to give the patient anything to wake them, but I could give them a tea of laki-laki leaves to reduce swelling whilst getting them to a healer as soon as possible with as little movement as possible.”
The blonde chuckled and nodded.
”Yes, but that’s not going to be possible on the ocean. You’re going to need to think about keeping the heart strong as well as the swelling, so the body can work on healing. It’s a great start Kali’rial. If you like, why don’t we spend a break a day together? I will assign you scenarios and field work you’ll need to complete when you come back to me next. Would that work for you?”
The huntress smiled with a nod, feeling a wash of relief. The time with Callie had given her a much better understanding, and she felt less like it was a mountain of information threatening to drown her.
Hopefully, by the end of Vhalar, she would have enough herbalism knowledge to keep her and Pash alive.
three breaks with Callie = three gold nel.