• Mature • [The Cold Mountains] of Labor and Trade

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect

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Sybil Malach
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[The Cold Mountains] of Labor and Trade

Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:05 am

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2nd of Cylus arc 719, midday:

An outlying Videnese town was preparing to make trade with the Capitol, but was coming up short this season by a significant margin when it came to precious metals and anything that could be scrounged along the mountain. Due to this shortcoming, men and women of working age have been forced to work harder over longer hours in the blistering twilit cold in hopes of not being short-changed when it came to their pay. Mining accidents became more common, and more gruesome. Prospectors are increasingly disheartened.

The Chirugeon's tent was hastily erected and supplied over the course of the last few days. The patchwork layers of furs and wool were poorly dyed to match, but townsmen could not be expected to care about such things, during the Cylus season. The groaning laborers were no doubt thankful for the reprieve. The presiding Chirugeon, however, was attending to the labor camp's foreman, who had come down with some strange illness.

Leaving Sybil, clad in an apron, and blood-stained button-back sleeves, to care for the convalescing.

Leaned over one of the laborers, a middle-aged man, Sybil slowly plucks the maggots and slough from his wound. Dead flesh, left behind by frostbite. The Chirugeon had determined the limb saveable. Slowly, Sybil plucks the last maggot that can be seen with a pair of tweezers, and place it onto a piece of meat-- Existing to temporarily hold the creatures.

"Better straits than yesterday." Sybil offers in a soft voice, as the raw piece of meat is returned to the bin, swarming with the disgusting things. The student's hands turning to a freshly boiled bandage, packing the hole in the man's flesh, "Think you'll be walking soon. Just keep yourself warm, yeah? Tell me if you need another blanket. … Heard the Foreman found a… Cache, of leathers."

Sybil couldn't admit that it came from the tent of a dead man, 'donated' by the foreman.

"Don't want nothing from that Fod-sack. Y'ain't know where that come from." The man rumbles out. It earns a knit of the lip from Sybil. The student begins to wrap the newly packed wound, the outskirts of which seem far less black than before, "Fark! Y'need to tie it that tight?" He barks out.

The student's eyes widen, before evening out, as the bandage is loosened by a fingertip's breadth, "Well… The feeling's back. Another good sign, no?"
word count: 420
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Jakob Daud
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Re: [The Cold Mountains] of Labor and Trade

Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:32 pm

"I'm just sayin'," the man in front of Jakob prattled, "A trial of sledgein' is trial-an'-a-half." Jakob remained focused as he drove home another blow against the hand-steel held in place by his co-worker. As per the norm, Jakob found himself on sledge-crew. He had heard some words from the higher-ups, whispered among the workers as if it was some precious secret. They stated that the extra hands were a rush to meet some big expectations. One boss helping out another for favorable contracts or backroom deals. Stacks of nel, most of which the prospectors would never see, swapping hands in the warm halls of the Videnese Bank. He drove another blow, driving the hand-steel ever so further into the cold rock. Sledge-crew is often tedious and always tiring. Not so much for Jakob, however. If he kept his thirst quenched and his back straight, he could sledge for hours. Just as good- no, better than those press-ganged Lotharro. Another blow.

This operation wasn't as uniform as some of the other ones Jakob was involved in. If he had to gauge it, he guessed that a quarter of the prospectors in Viden were out here. He felt sorry for those that were assigned on load-crew; knee deep snow and vicious winds. Too much ore and stone to be loaded into a never-ending wagon train. A platoon of goons to make sure nothing gets stolen. That sard could be done by the slaves, he'd prefer nonstop sledge-crew; just his luck, it was what he got. Instead of one sledge-crew maneuvering around the mine and expanding or clearing, there were two sledge-crews working trial-in-trial-out; one on the west, and one on the east - which is the crew he was on. Another blow.

In front of Jakob was Moorn, a stubby man with a fiery-red beard going down to his chest. He messed up his arm on trial four of the excavation, so now he's holding the hand-steel; an over-sized chisel, held over the shoulder of a man to keep in place to create a fist sized hole into rock. It takes the average worker about thirty-four strikes to get a hand-steel down to the base. Only takes Jakob about twenty-six on an off-trial.. Once the hand-steel has been driven in to its base, it is pried out, where a flammable mixture is poured in and set ablaze. Once the rock is heated, sledge-crew douses it with water, causing tough stone to crack, which can then be broken down by sledgehammers; that is a process called fire-setting, and Jakob finds it rather rewarding. Another blow.

This trial, there were eight prospectors on the eastern sledge-crew, and they were broken up into duos. Jakob with the sledgehammer, Moorn with the hand-steel and pry bar. Out of the four duos, three of them were doing the exact same process as Jakob and Moorn, while the last duo was dedicated at breaking down the cracked stone left over from fire-setting. Moorn was in a conversation with the duo that was roughly ten paces to their right. Another blow. The man with the sledgehammer in the duo next to them was called Bors, a monster of a man missing his nose and a chunk of his lips from some animal attack. He spoke like a dragging bag of gravel. Another blow.

"Aye, it fekin' better be." Bors drove his hammer down into the hand-steel like it owed him money. "I just hope bossman has the coffers for dis. I've been on this skich for three trials!" Another blow.
His complaint elicited a chortle from Moorn. "Whine some more. Daud and I've been on it since the start." Another blow.
Jakob cleared his throat, and stated plainly; "I didn't realize it was a contest." Another blow.
"Bunch of show-offs," said the man holding the hand-steel for Bors - Jakob never caught his name.
"Aye!" shouted Bors as he set his hammer down head-first to get a look at Jakob and Moorn. Bors spoke in a mocking tone as he said "You'll never see that day-an'-a-half for it," his tone returned to normal as he continued, "Bossman doesn't got the nel for a farkin' army of miners, yet alone two full-time sledge-crews. You're getting the same pay as the rest of them."
"We won't if we got any say in it," Jakob responded coldly.
"He innit wrong," Moorn spoke up, "How far you think you could toss that rookid bastard if don't pay us, Bors?"
The unknown member of the duo spoke up "I give him eight paces if Bors can get a running start."
"Ten." Jakob spoke up, "After we take our pounds of flesh, that is." The four of them chuckled.

The work continued, and eventually the process of fire-setting began. While the fires heated up the rocks, sledge-crew is given an impromptu break, overseen by the hired goons. Doesn't matter how nice they are to the prospectors, they're all goons; Jakob knew and admittedly liked these ones, however. The four men were propped up against the wall, and one of the goons, a male Biqaj called Ryn, was talking with them about the whole operation. Jakob stood on the outside of the group and was sizing up Ryn the whole time. Ryn stood shorter than Jakob, but was wearing some cheap chainmail and had a sword on his hip, his hand resting on the hilt. Standard goon attire. Soon after his appraisal, a dozen or so slaves that were pressed into the pick-crew shuffled past them. He focused on some of the slaves, and lost track of the conversation.
Moments passed, and Jakob carelessly interrupted whatever topic was on the table. "Ryn."
Mid-sentence, Ryn showed slight surprise, "He speaks! What?"
"How much you getting for this?"
Ryn blinked and shifted his head, his eyes changing color. No matter how many time he sees it, Jakob couldn't get used to that. "I don't think that's a question I should be-"
"Don't be a wago, 'Bicky'," Bors said impatiently.
"Not like it matters. Two silver nels a trial." Ryn stated.
"When's the last time you got paid?" Jakob probed.
"About two trials ago, why?"
"That doesn't seem good."
Moorn interjected, "Don't fret, Daud. You do this every fekin' time. Give it some bits."
"Look, I wouldn't always do this if it wasn't fo-" Jakob was interrupted by sudden pain.

In a second, Jakob looked down to his foot and saw that a pickaxe had found its way into his right boot. He reflexively threw a right straight at the person he deemed responsible for this. Turns out, he deemed correctly, as the slave in front rose his recently-emptied hands, but failed to stop Jakob's fist from flying past his guard and square into his face. In a spray of blood, the slave went down hard, and Jakob suddenly became aware of the pain in his foot. He also became aware of the fact that he just clocked somebody. Ryn had adopted some semblance of a fighters stance and was inhaling to raise his voice when Jakob spoke out.
"Sorry." he stated, extending a hand to pick-up the target of his misplaced aggression. The slave didn't offer a hand back.
"He's out." Moorn punctuated with a chuckle. "Take him to the Chirugeon's tent."
Jakob took a deep sigh. "Can one of you carry him?" He asked sincerely.
"You laid him out. You pick 'em up."
Jakob positioned himself to shoulder the slave when he stumbled forward. Bors chuckled at that. Turns out that pickaxe went deeper than he thought. This wasn't going to be fun. He scrunched his face and shouldered the slave and started limping towards the tent.
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Sybil Malach
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Re: [The Cold Mountains] of Labor and Trade

Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:16 pm

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The constant noise soothed something within Sybil. Any right-minded Videnese would look down on this clamoring crowd, likely only the bare requirements of education. Unless these were slaves, or foreigners. But being a student... Placed Sybil in no place to speak, and thankfully, the student minded it little. This apprenticeship would help, down the line.

Sybil recalls something, as steps are taken towards a recovering patient on a bedroll. The woman was in her prime, with blond hair and strong features. She had endured an amputation right below the left kneecap due to extensive frostbite. Out of sorts, she had been dulled with diluted opiates and liquor. The pains never stopped, despite the limb itself being removed. It was strange. An obvious cure that simply... Didn't work. As though some spectral outline remained, from her reports.

The student grasps at the woman's side, as they get a good handle on her, preparing to roll her, "Need to get you off your back, missus." A muffled groan of delirium is the only response Sybil recieves, as the student grunts, shifting the muscular woman into her side, bony prominence of her hip now resting against a pillow. Sybil's current instructor had warned the student of something peculiar, something that affects healing men and women who lay far too long, "Just need to check, missus, hold still..." The student murmurs out. Something akin to strained, muffled groaning is the only response. Sybil pinches the tail of the woman's breeches, and pulls back, ensuring the smallclothes beneath do not obstruct anything...

A wince. Sybil wasn't taught soon enough. A bedsore, exposing the beefy red of muscle. It's open, and about two fingertips deep. It looked as though the wound were yawning.

Gently allowing the pants to close, Sybil rises to a stand. A soft breath catches in the student's throat. Nothing can be done, aside ask the Chirugeon for advice with the salves. The student had no answers for this. There's not enough flesh to sew closed. Walking over to a stack of papers and an array of tools for recording, the student bends over, dipping a pen into an inkwell, and working quickly to write down the state of the current patients. Things were starting to look dim. Staring at the rate of deaths... Something didn't make sense. Sybil's pen pauses. For a long while a considering, appraising view is given of the parchment. Some of these were... Prospectors. What were they doing so far in the mine? Sybil can't recall the names--

The student is distracted by noise outside of the tent. Part of Sybil had hoped that the Chirugeon was simply returning, but the student knew that things are never that simple. "Who goes there?" Sybil says in a raised voice, "Mind the flaps! We've got enough frostburn."

The paperwork leaving the student's mind as Sybil rises back to a stand, and towards the entrance to the tent.
Last edited by Sybil Malach on Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 501
Status: Alive      Location: Viden      Corruptions: N/A      Wounds: Weak Leg
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Jakob Daud
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Re: [The Cold Mountains] of Labor and Trade

Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:05 pm

Jakob wordlessly tossed open the tents flap and limped past the threshold. He was immediately assaulted by the stench, resulting in him loosening his grip on the unconscious slave over his shoulder as he recoiled and half-retched. Not the first time he's smelled any of these various scents, but all together was rather nauseating. The metallic smell of blood, what he was fairly certain was decaying flesh, and lastly, the unmentionables. He pulled on the collars of his three linen shirts and covered his nose with it, preferring to smell his own sweat than whatever that skich was. He quickly surveyed the tent, and got to see the veritable crowd that had been gathered. He knew a few of them, the rest were strangers. He was certain that one of these poor fools shuffled off to the Beneath, but that wasn't exactly his problem at the moment. His problem was the slave on his shoulder, and the wound on his foot.

He heard somebody say something from inside the tent, and just assumed it was "Take a seat!" He wasn't exactly listening, more trying not to vomit. How could somebody sit in this smell? With the assumed directive in mind, Jakob looked for a cot, and found that there was only one left open that wasn't soiled or occupied. He pursed his lips. Guess he was to be seated with the sleeping one. He limped over to the cot, and propped the slave onto it in a sitting position, resting him against one of the tent's support beams. Afterwards, he got off his foot as quickly as he could, and breathed a sigh of relief. He looked to the slave next to him, and let out a titter. Asides from the blood streaming from his nose, the guy looked like he was enjoying his nap; with his head craned upwards and to the side, jaw hanging open. He stifled his grin and straightened up, looking towards where he assumed that voice came from.
His voice shot up in pitch at the start, and he could accredit that to the pain. After the first shot of pain, his pitch returned to normal as he said "Two more for ya!"
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Sybil Malach
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Re: [The Cold Mountains] of Labor and Trade

Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:55 am

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Another thing Sybil didn't truly want to admit. How many times the student had vomited during this tenure with the miners. Having long since nose-blind, the nauseating smell of rotting flesh no longer seems to bother Sybil, but it nearly impossible to miss. It chokes the air, giving the dry air itself an almost staining quality. It smells of pungent sweat, rotting meat, and above all, one can smell far worse things just beneath the miasmatic perfume. It would refresh every time the student approached a different patient. Bedsores had a more piercing, disgusting smell, but the frostbite being treated had another, and it was nigh omnipresent. The tent's lack of ventilation helped none of it.

Before Jakob was a young woman wearing a stained leather apron, and button-back sleeves. The cloak is still worn despite being 'indoors', but kept at the back, and pinned into place. Sybil most definitely is not the standard healer in place here. The crotchety old man named 'Jameson', had a habit of being stingy with the opiates, diluting them and attempting to make it last through endeavors. It's probably why he was so favored by the foreman, with how much money having him around probably saved. Either a student or a new hire, it at least likely means more forms of pain relief available to the labor camp. Which would be welcome, considering how many injuries this trip is starting to accumulate.

"Two more?" Sybil asks, as the student appears to glance between the unconscious slave, and the laborer. A distant blink is given, as Sybil approaches the two, "You're tracking blood in here. A fight, I take it?" The student asks, as a hand is reached over, and into the actual doctor's pack. The man wouldn't be back for hours. And Sybil is forced to... Play it cool. Act natural. There's definitely no lacking knowledge here. No way. Bandages and sutures of catgut thread are pulled from the back, Sybil approaches the two, glancing towards the origin of the blood, and down towards the man's pierced boot.

A cursory glance is given to the unconscious slave, before it shifts back to Jakob, "... I take it you're the only one bleeding? Aside from the nose. Not much I can do for a man that ate ice."
word count: 393
Status: Alive      Location: Viden      Corruptions: N/A      Wounds: Weak Leg
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Jakob Daud
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Re: [The Cold Mountains] of Labor and Trade

Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:05 pm

Jakob started sizing up the doctor in front of him. From her long hair to the cloak hiding anything worth mentioning. He realized he was glaring her down and broke eye-contact. He glanced over at the knocked-out the slave and slung his right arm over the shoulder of the knocked-out slave. With deep amusement, he focused back on the doctor and said "Nope, an accident." The doctor was focused on searching through the bag, and while they were preoccupied, Jakob did his best to learn what was going on in the Chirurgeon's Tent. There were too many people here, and he hadn't been hearing anything from the other crews about people getting wounded. Many of these miners were "owned," and they have accidents all the time. But on the cot across from him was a prospector from the guild that he had seen around; he didn't know his name, but he knew the guy had been on sledge-crew with him a few years back on a Bank of Viden sponsored excavation. Professional prospectors from the Miners Guild would be more cautious, and if any of them got hurt, the other prospectors would start talking. The man wasn't moving - wasn't even breathing, from what Jakob could tell. His clothes were neatly folded at the foot of bed, resting on his boots.

He lost focus when searing pain shot up his right foot, eliciting a groan. "He dropped a pick on me, and I dropped him with my fist. Can you hurry?" He said impatiently. Staring at the Doctor, the question swirling in the back of his mind had to be asked. "Hey, is that the first death on this excavation? Him, on the bed," he spoke, pointing at the person across from him.
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Sybil Malach
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Re: [The Cold Mountains] of Labor and Trade

Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:58 pm

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"According to the Physick? No." Sybil says, with a mild trepidation to the student's voice. A light breath is exchanged, before a shake of the head, "A few have fallen to the mines. Not quite a score yet, but notable." Comes the genuine answer, eyes going sidelong, as the man speaks his need for haste. Obviously untroubled, but taken a bit aback. It's a slight thing, the obvious mannerisms of a neonate without the guidance of a teacher. However, Sybil bears it in stride, as a knee is taken, next to where Jakob and his sleeping beauty of a worker sat. An uptick of the chin is given, as an undyed leather waterskin is pulled from the student's belt, and shoved into the man's hand, "Pain punch. Drink deeply, you'll likely need stitches." Comes the comment, grey-green eyes settling on the man, as the student sits down at the bottom of the tent.

Upon closer consideration, Sibyl appears to be quite young. Definitely a nature-born Videnese, with the straight-to-the-point demeanor and lack of complaints about the cold. Smells bathed, but not perfumed. At least this one was human, less racial arrogance, and more focus on the job. Strangely enough, this one's expressions are slow to change. Either at this point too tired to even properly behave intimidated, or too worn from the day's sights to really care. The hacksaw lying in bloodied water within a pail all but answers the question of what today's lesson in class was.

Placing both hands over the boot the man has bloodied, a glance is given up towards him, as the equipment is sprawled out, the straps and laces being unworked, "We'll both pull. I'd suggest drinking. It'll help." Comes the suggestion, cold green eyes staring up at the larger, older man. A steady grip is already being given to the man's boots, slim fingertips grasping at the heel, and the tip of the affected foot. The man's stare is returned. Seems this one isn't some wilting waif, at the very least. Fecking thing is already putting pressure in the way of removing it.
word count: 369
Status: Alive      Location: Viden      Corruptions: N/A      Wounds: Weak Leg
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Jakob Daud
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Re: [The Cold Mountains] of Labor and Trade

Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:25 am

"A few?" Jakob questioned sternly. "How much is a few? Five? Ten? A hundred? I can never tell with you lot." He wanted to know. "D'you got papers for it? A list?" Jakob continued. He was hoping that the Boss of this operation wasn't convincing the chief-Chirurgeon on covering up the deaths. Taking a moment to realize that he may be over-reacting, as Moorn said minutes ago, he sighs and drops the interrogation. The nurse went on one knee to check the fresh wound on his foot. At least we aren't in a salt mine. Wounds there tend to hurt more, he thought. Afterwards, his eyes wonder, getting a good look around the tent. A staging table in the center, littered with various tools of the medical trade, some of them sharp and rather intimidating. The others not so much. Was that a mallet? By the time he was going to ask the same question, the nurse shoved a leatherskin into has hand. Pain-punch, she said.

"Pain Punch? Didn't think it was that bad." Jakob said, taking the leatherskin and setting it aside him on the cot. He didn't want to drink this and be out for a few hours. When he noticed that the nurse was staring at him, waiting for him to comply to her command on pulling off the boot, he was quick to get the boot to slide off. She's stronger than she looks, and his old hide-boot slide off with a pop. It was then that Jakob was aware that she wasn't kidding in telling him to take the medication. As the animal hide grazed over his wound, Jakob gritted his teeth, inhaled sharply, and gripped the edge of the cot as he shouted "Fek!" His body jerked, and he felt the cold air against the skin of his feet.

Once the pain faded away, it felt rather refreshing to get his boot off. He finally got a look of the wound. It didn't look deep, but it hurt; like the time he got a nail stuck in his foot as a kid. He was relieved, but sure as skich didn't show it. With concern in his voice, he asked "What now?"
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Sybil Malach
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Re: [The Cold Mountains] of Labor and Trade

Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:15 am

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Sibyl blinks at the cut. A tilt of the head. A bandage is taken up in stride, as blood drizzles down from the top of the man's foot, "We bandage, is what we do." Comes the answer, as the Student begins to do the very basics of triage. One hand folded over the other, a light breath escapes Sibyl's lips. As pressure is applied in force, the Student takes the time to mull on the previous question, "You were warned." Comes the mild chuckle escaping the Student's lips. The bandages are made of a coarse wool. Obviously made with whatever livestock could be had in these parts as byproducts, as flax comes at a premium. The material soaks easily, as could be expected of wool, giving it a look of stark crimson. Regardless, the leather gloved Student simply keeps up the pressure.

"A score. Less than ten. I'm under the chirugeon here, he handles the scribework for the dead, afraid. What with all the requirements of the census up in Viden." Finally comes the response to Jakob's question, as a quirk of the head is given, "Might be a bit closer to that number, here soon." A grimace is given, with a vague cant of the head sideways, towards the amputee. Though the leg had been fully removed, the sores upon the woman's backside and tailbone were worsening. It's not a process that could be actively seen, but there was simply not enough materials to care for it, here in the camps. She would have a chance elsewhere, but here? There's very little that can be done. "Been trying to talk the good doctor into allowing me to take her back to the Academy with me. Said moving her would only make things worse. Either we make due here, or..."

Settling eyes on the wound proper, once the bandage has lifted, a light breath is taken, as the line of catgut is threaded through the needle. Tying it off, those marble-green eyes simply return, dimly, to Jakob, "Three stitches. Won't need to bite down on anything." Comes the statement... And for a moment, all is well. Taking the curved needle in hand, Jakob doesn't feel a thing.

Until the needle enters the skin.

Without the watered down painkiller, Jakob experiences the full brunt of the stitching. Though, in truth, was it a case of it even numbing anything? Sibyl's stitchmanship is something to be desired, but the practice behind it is amateur enough that it works, though not pretty. One edge of the wound is pierced, and re-acclimated against itself. Two fingers spread across the slit of skin, straightening it out, as the needle works itself against the superficial flesh of the man. Sibyl's hands are firm against the man's foot, the leather gloves pressing against the man's skin in an attempt to keep him still, but the wide, uneven stitchwork is serviceable, but not desirable, as time goes on.
word count: 506
Status: Alive      Location: Viden      Corruptions: N/A      Wounds: Weak Leg
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Jakob Daud
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Re: [The Cold Mountains] of Labor and Trade

Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:12 am

Compared to the actual wound, the stitching is repeatedly stinging, rather than the out-right gash that he suffered. Jakob fidgets as he watches the needle pierce the skin. He cranes his head upwards and closes his eyes, coming to the surprising conclusion that stitches sting quite a bit. He grips the bed, grits his teeth, and does his best to focus on the sound of the mining. The shouting of foremen, the plinking of pickaxes and hammers, and the howling wind. The discordant sounds dull the stinging. His left leg is restless, and bouncing on the ball of his feet, but he doesn't notice it. Eventually the stinging stops, and replaced by a dull discomfort. He looks down, and as far as he can tell, the stitches look good, but what does he know? The nurse deftly wrapped his foot with wool bandages. And just like that, the procedure was over. Jakob was unaware of that however, and with a blank stare he asks "Is it over?"

When the nurse nods, he quickly gets up on his feet. He didn't want to spend another second in this wretched place. What, with the corpses, the smell, a bin of... rotten meat, he assumed, covered by a plain cloth. While his foot didn't feel good, it felt better, and that would make do. He's got work to do, - he can't afford to be malingering. He nods his head at the nurse and curtly states "Thanks."
He takes a look at the amputee woman that the nurse was prattling on about a moments ago. She was in an absolutely pitiful state, and as such, was rather unsightly. He couldn't tell if she had an owner or not... not like it mattered, but he wondered if she was a slave or not. He was going to ask how it happened, or what happened to her leg, but he figured it wasn't his problem. His eyes shifted to the corpse of the familiar prospector, and his full outfit left at the foot of his resting place. An idea crosses his mind and asks "What do you think she'd need? To save her life, that is."
word count: 369
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