• Solo • [Dust Quarter Clinic] Black and Blue

Dandelion seeks a healer for a hurt arm

Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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Dandelion
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[Dust Quarter Clinic] Black and Blue

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Two trials after the fight with the wolves, the bruising, as promised, was spectacular. Heavy, almost black, lines across Dan's forearm marked the site of the actual bite, with a halo of purple around them, fading to blue at the edges. They were tender to the touch, slightly swollen, and left the arm painful to use. Dan would have gritted his teeth and put up with it, but that, combined with the other bumps and bruises, meant every time he drifted towards sleep and moved wrongly, the pain woke him up again. He didn't have anything for it other than keeping it as clean as he could, and applying the occasional cold compress. Eventually, he gave up on sleep for the night, saddled his pony, Cloud, wincing the whole time and made his begrudging way into Rharne proper, rather than continuing to hunker down in the Stormlands between the city and Mistral Village. It was the right thing to do. It was the sensible thing to do, and he didn't want to do it. He did it anyway.

He counted out precious nel to a stable to take care of Cloud while he was in town, and trudged on in, trying not to jar his arm too much as he walked. Sound and movement left him twitching, head turning to check on each one, until finally he came to the Dust Quarter Clinic. He stood there, looking up at it for a long moment, trying to summon the courage to knock. His heavy, quilted, if somewhat shabby, coat kept him warm, and he had a scarf wrapped around his face, and hood pulled clumsily down over his ears. Tucked under his good right arm was a re-usable message tablet made by placing a layer of wax over a thin wooden board. On it, he had already written three messages, which he planned to show to anyone who accosted him.

[My name is Dan]

[My arm was hurt protecting my animals from wolves]

[I only know Common Sign/written Common]

He finally got in because someone came out of the door and held it for him with a smile that assumed he was going in, and he didn't have the words to explain that he was afraid to. That he had too many memories of being poked and prodded and pushed around as people tried to "fix" his voice for their convenience, without bothering to communicate in a way he might have a chance of understanding. Of being treated as if he had no thoughts and no sense in his head just because he couldn't understand spoken words. Now, he nodded as gratefully as he could manage to the other person and slipped in through the open door.

It was a different building, which helped, but inside it smelt much the same (a compound of common cleaning materials, medicinal herbs, and other aspects blended into something uniquely medical.) which didn't help at all. Someone in a cloak fired questions at him. He held out the tablet. They took it, scanned it, and their expression changed. He couldn''t read it, but he gritted his teeth and stayed put until they showed him into a tiny room, handed back the tablet, and closed the door.

Dan closed his eyes, counted to ten, and opened them again. It was warmer in here, at least, and he peeled off his scarf one handed, pushed back his hood, and unfastened his coat before perching on the simple wooden stool. Without being able to see the sky, he wasn't sure how long he was waiting. It felt both far too long for his nerves and memories, but not long enough for his backside to grow tired of the hard wood of the stool, so objectively, it probably wasn't that long before a redhead in her forties bustled into the room and swept him with an intensely penetrating look. She signed as she spoke, and an equally intense wave of relief washed over Dan as he understood.

She must have caught the relief on his face, because she smiled at him. "You said you'd hurt your arm? Which one, and may I examine it?"

Dan pointed to his left arm and nodded. She helped him remove his coat, easing it over his sore arm, and slid his loose shirt sleeve up to the elbow in order to examine the bruising underneath. Her gaze might be intense, but her hands were gentle and she stopped to ask him questions from time - when had it happened (two trials ago), what exactly had happened (he gave her the short version, telling her he was a hunter, rather than a feral thing of the wilds, and she gave him a raised eyebrow but let the fudged detail rest without further interrogation), was the wolf still out there (to which he shook his head and drew a line across his throat with his good hand), how had he been treating it (he had to admit to not much there, but she cast a glance at the shabbiness of his clothes and seemed accustomed to people without much, which on second thought wasn't exactly surprising, given where she was working.)

She probed, and prodded, and studied, and questioned, and Dan tried to pretend that it was all fine, that it didn't bring back bad memories, no, that would just be silly, he had never been in this clinic before, why would he have memories swamping him here?

"It's just a bruise, but a very deep one," she told him at last. "I will see that you get some ointment to take home and put on it and help it to heal faster. Willowbark would help the pain but otherwise make the bruising worse, I don't recommend it. Otherwise, rest it as much as you can, keep up with the cold compresses, and keep it raised, if you can. It should be healed in a fourteen-night, two at the most. If it isn't, come back and we'll have another look."

Dan nodded his understanding.

She went on, "We understand that this is the Dust quarter and most people here don't have much, so we don't ask for payment in hard cold nel - we won't turn it down if you have it, but most of our patients don't, so we don't demand it. We do, however, ask that they pay in some form, usually in kind. That might be with time, or with labour, providing us with work you're skilled at, or with resources you can access more easily than coin."

Dan tried to take that all in, his mind racing through options that wouldn't require him to hang around mired in his bad memories for too long, or to have to communicate with people who couldnt sign and wouldn't write. "Fresh meat for your kitchen?" he offered hesitantly at last.

Her eyes widened. He thought it was in delight. "Yes, you said you were a hunter, didn't you," she commented, still with the slightly disbelieving angle of her head on 'said'. "Yes, I think that would work. Do not, however," she went on, "make your arm worse by rushing into a hunt before it has healed properly, you understand me?"

"Yes," Dan replied, with a respectful tilt of his wrist, somewhat abbrieviated by signing one handed. "I understand."

"Good," she told him. "See that you remember." She smiled as she said it, and he thought that she meant to be reassuring.

She was a healer, she had been holding his arm, and she signed, which meant that body language was as obvious to her as tone of voice was to a speaker. She would have had to be a fool not to notice his nerves and tension. In a way, it was reassuring that the healers here were not fools. In another - well, he wouldn't have to stay here much longer. He could go home, back to his camp and his horses, and the cold cleanliness of snow rather than the sterile cleanliness of the clinic.

She vanished to get the ointment, and Dan eased back into his layers of warmth and protection while he waited. When she brought it, he thanked her with a polite nod, tucked it carefully in a pocket, and left, walking back through the cold and the noise to the stables and Cloud. His arm throbbed gently as he flinched his way through the crowded streets, doing his best to protect it from being jostled, but soon, soon, he told himself, he could be out of here again.

"Signed words" Spoken words
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Re: [Dust Quarter Clinic] Black and Blue


Experience: +10 xp

Knowledge:

Skill:

Discipline: doing the right thing rather than the preferred thing
Discipline: gathering courage
Discipline: fighting back old memories
Endurance: functioning on little sleep
Endurance: working through the pain of a hurt arm
Medicine: how to treat deep bruises

Non-skill:

Location: Dust Quarter
Location: Dust Quarter Clinic
The Clinic takes payment in kind as well as in cash

Skillplay: Appropriate to level

Loot: A debt to the Dust Quarter Clinic for treatment, a small pot of bruise ointment

Consequences If and when Dandelion returns to the Clinic to repay his debt, he will be asked for help. The clinic has seen a rash of bites from an animal or animals -perhaps a fox or feral dog- that is suspected to be possibly rabid. Recalling that Dan is a hunter, they ask him if he would be willing to track down and catch and/or kill this animal to help them determine whether it is in fact rabid. If he does this, they will be in his debt. If not, no hard feelings; he can still pay them back with meat as he had earlier agreed.

Injuries/Overstepping: Pre-existing bruised arm.

Magic Experience?: None.

Renown: +5. The healer will remember the strange hunter who only spoke sign.

Comments:

Dan pushes himself out of his comfort zone to get help he needs. Great stuff. It will be interesting to see if this is a one-off, or the start of a new character development.

Let me know if you have any questions/feedback. Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 260
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