[Eureka] Catching Up

The surrounding lands of Rharne boast several towns and settlements that lie on the northern shores of the River Zynyx. This includes Mistral Village, Caervalle Town, Zynyx Market and Volta.

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Dandelion
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[Eureka] Catching Up

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12 Vhalar 721
Continued from here
Plotline continues here
OOC Note
Third in a series dealing with this settlement challenge/plotline
Dan eventually found Faith in what would eventually be the main garden. The string of dead animals was draped over the garden fence, looking even more like a macabre bunting than it had when he handed it over to Emily to take to Faith. Movement off to the side revealed Faith's bodyguard keeping an eye on her.

Dan leaned on the fence a bit further down from the string of dead animals and clucked his tongue against the roof of his mouth to get Faith's attention - it was also one of the ways he let his ponies know he was there, but he wasn't going to mention that if no one else did. If she didn't respond to the quieter sound, he could always escalate to a loud whistle.

Once he had her attention, he handed over the report he had written on his wax tablet. The script he used was cramped, but legible - the legacy of always having to fit as many words as possible into a small space, because he'd never been in a situation where he could afford more than either scraps and offcuts of paper, or a small, reusable, slate or tablet.

He stayed leaning on the fence as she read, waiting for the questions that would probably come once she had caught up with the summary of the events so far. Emily had said that Faith would want to ask him about the details and he had no reason not to believe her. He also knew better than to get involved with the garden without instruction. The nearest he came to knowing anything about gardening was scattering enough of the seed of annual plants to be sure that there would be more of them growing the next arc. Growing things deliberately requred staying in one place long enough to tend them, and he never did. Nor was he any good at 'weeding' since to him, too many of the plants that gardeners called weeds were sources of food and other things. All in all, he figured it was best left to someone who knew what they were doing.
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Last edited by Dandelion on Thu Jan 13, 2022 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 386
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Faith Augustin Champion
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Re: [Eureka] Catching Up

12th Vhalar, 721

Faith enjoyed gardening, very much and this was without doubt her favourite season. Vhalar was usually a season for harvesting, but due to the timing of their arrival, that wasn't possible this year. However, Faith had started to work on the garden in preparation for next season. A few trials ago, she'd started the fertilization process. It was a strange thing that the trip to Quacia and all it had entailed had led to her getting given some magic manureA bag of magic manure: An domain bag of manure that never runs out. This is no ordinary manure, however, but will ensure that any crops or plants grown from it will grow at a 2x rate. 3x rate for subterranean farming. It cannot be used to grow trees, however., but there it was. She'd made sure that the place was thoroughly planned out - plots and so on clearly fenced off - and then she'd worked with a group of four settlers to till the soil. Having done that, she'd put the manure on it, and left it.

Now, they were ready to plant. The autumnal time of Vhalar meant that it was excellent planting time and Faith was working with the settlers to do so. "This will be ideal for the beetroot, onion and potato," she said. "Over there, we can make the pumpkin patch, mingled with some squash. The trellis area, lets get sweetcorn and beans, intersperse them with sweet potato, please?" Of course, alongside those instructions, Faith had small diagrams for each small group. "And here, this would be the best place for cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce."

She was just about to launch into a consideration of a herb garden when she heard a gentle sound. Faith turned to look and she smiled in pleasure as she saw who it was. "Hello, Dan," she said quietly and, wiping her hands, she made her way over to him. His face showed that he was concerned and he had a wax tablet. She walked down, past the area where Emily and she had strung up the dead animals earlier. "Emily told me what happened. Let me take a look at this," She lowered her head to the parchment and began to read. That prompted a frown to cross her face.

"Thank you for bringing this to me, Dan," she said. Alissa moved over to her, and Faith glanced at her bodyguard and friend. "We need to talk to her and the parents, I think." She smiled at Dandelion and spoke to him with concern on her face. "Would you mind me accompanying you? I really appreciate you coming and telling me, and I'd like to know what's going on."

She didn't assume, because this was his finding and, as much as the settlement "belonged" to her and Padraig, this was his discovery and Faith had no intention of being pushy. It simply wasn't her way.


ooc: sincere apologies for the delays - I have a computer again now so should be back on track!
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Dan watched Faith frown over his report for a moment, and then glanced away, watching the handful of settlers with her working to plant things, and trying not to sneeze as a strong smell of manure crawled up his nose and tickled the back of it. The sound of her voice snapped his attention back to her. She was smiling and asking questions. He hesitantly matched the smile, and then looked over at Alissa for a translation into Sign as the bodyguard came up to stand beside Faith.

Once he understood what was being asked, he nodded. He kept his signs compact and simple for easy translation, clarifying and spelling things out if necessary, tamping down the eagerness that threatened to make his gestures too fast and expansive for anyone not fully fluent in Sign to understand. "I do not mind at all. I would have asked you to come if you had not offered. I would also like to know what is going on, but," He shrugged expressively, and his smile went crooked, "unlike you, my skills are all in dealing with practical things, not in dealing with people. I have followed what trails I can, and I know better than to get in an expert's way." His nod and grin made it clear that by "expert" he meant Faith. "You have time to finish what you're doing here though. The child said her parents wouldn't be back until the evening, and that's," He squinted up at the sky. "a break or more off." He hesitated a moment, and then added, with a shrug and a nod towards the dead animals. "Any idea what killed them?"

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Re: [Eureka] Catching Up

12th Vhalar, 721

Faith was concerned about the animals - and the girl - and the parents. She was also grateful to Dandelion for bringing it to her, because she thought it maybe needed dealing with. She smiled when he said that he knew better than to get in an expert's way, although she didn't argue with it she also didn't recognise it in herself. She'd been thrown in to some quite unusual situations and they had led to her developing some skills, Faith knew. But an expert? Well, she'd have to do her best and that would hopefully be enough.

"Yes," she said when he asked if she knew what killed the animals. "Salt, I think. High levels of salt and the salt itself is unusual." Gesturing, she suggested that he move over and she showed him. "See, here? Salt on the fur, on the mouth - the same in the stomach and, here," kneeling down, Faith showed him a small dish of blood with salt crystals forming on the edges of it. "Drying them out has shown that, and I noticed something interesting," Carefully, she put the bowl back down and then reached and picked up another. "This is the salt from the animals. I was going to examine it under the magnifier we have, but I noticed that it gives a shock." She offered him the bowl, "In such small amounts, it feels like a slight tingle, nothing more. But ingested? I don't know what it would do to a person, but it did no good to these poor things. It also meant that, while they would use their pelts and so on, the meat of these animals wasn't getting eaten by anyone. Just in case.

When Dandelion had examined the salt as much ~ or as little ~ as he wanted, Faith gestured in a vague way, sort of an 'around here' manner. "Volta is well known for the charge in the air, it's one of the reasons we came here," she said. "But this is specific, I believe. If the salt was usually charged like this, it would be all the salt and, here, I have some from here." Glancing around she reached for some. "It's not charged. So, I think that maybe the parents have discovered something, or created something. I'm not sure which, but I'm hoping it's the former."

As for what they were doing here, Faith nodded. "I was just about to start laying out a herb garden," she said. "Would you like to help? I was going to ask you, actually, if you'd teach me to sign?" Faith had considered it and knew that it would be useful in the extreme. Whether she'd be able to learn or not, she didn't know, but she was usually quite a quick study.

Either way, she gestured to a patch of ground that had been prepared for planting. "I'm a doctor and a chef, so herbs are very important to me in both roles. Chewing a mint leaf, for example, can help your digestion, soothe stomach pain, help to freshen breath and it tastes good, too. Mint ice cream is a thing of beauty." She smiled at him. "What herbs do you use or know of? You could grow them in pots which hang off the side of a cart, for example?"

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So it was salt. That fitted with what little Lily had said about her parents mining salt from the mountain. "That's probably what they're mining for then," he commented, and made a mental note to thoroughly wash his hands before he ate, in case any of the salt had transferred to them when he was hauling the animals out of the river.

He touched the salt dish with a cautious finger, just enough to feel the tingle so that he would recognise the sensation if he encountered this strange salt again, and then clasped his hands behind his back to keep them out of the way. When Faith asked about learning Sign, he blinked a little, more used to being the one that had to adapt to others than to having other people adapt to him. Then he nodded. He could teach her, at least a bit.

It was her question about herbs that really threw him though. He never really categorised plants that way. Plants were plants. He divided them by whether they were edible or not. By how filling they were (which often meant how starchy). By flavour. By which part of the plant he should gather - roots or fruits or leaves or shoots. By how long a life cycle the plant had - annual or biennial, or perennial - which tied in to whether he needed to scatter some of the seeds to be sure of having some to gather in the next arc. None of that helped him to understand what she meant by "herbs."

"For flavour?" he replied at last, his fingers sure on the shaping of the words, even if the shifting of his weight from foot betrayed his uncertainty. "Garlic. Onions. Mint. Dill, sometimes. Coltsfoot. Sorrel. Watercress. Whatever is growing in the area." He shrugged and finished tentatively. "I like a pine needle tea come Ashan? It's good to have after all the dried food in Cylus." New pine needles were one of the first green things to appear when the sun came back, and eased the cravings (and stopped the scurvy) that set in from eating nothing but preserved food, but he didn't know how to make that simple enough to be translated, so he just shrugged again and left it at that.

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Re: [Eureka] Catching Up

12th Vhalar, 721

Dan seemed surprised that Faith wanted to learn to sign and she smiled slightly as he did. "It will help me," she explained, "to be a better doctor. To be able to help more people. I can't help if I don't understand what's wrong." Looking around for a moment, Faith had a thought about that. About hiding here, isolated and unable to help so many people. Were they doing the right thing? She didn't, honestly, know. But that was not a thought for right now, instead it was something to store in her mind. Looking down at the animals she nodded. It was salt, or something in the salt. Faith considered it and she knew that there was more to discover here, and possibly things which were important.

As for herbs, she smiled at him as he asked about whether it was for flavour. The way he spoke, Faith thought he seemed unsure. "Yes," she said. "For flavour. For health. For preserving, too. I dry herbs and use them when fresh food is scarce." When he spoke of pine needle tea, Faith nodded. "I like that, too. I also use pine needles in oil, it gives a nice flavour. Also, it's very nice when mixed with rice. Pine needles on your camp fire, too, they'll give your food a nice smoked taste, and will give a nice smell."

Looking over at him, she wondered how he felt about living in what seemed to be such isolation. It seemed to her that it was a choice he made, so she respected that - but she couldn't help but wonder if he maybe appreciated the company, too. "I love Ashan," she said. "When the first bits of green poke out, it's like there's hope in the world again." With the slightest shake of her head, Faith dismissed her tendency to being poetic and waxing lyrical about things.

Faith took some time to show him what herbs they had, because she thought he might be interested. But there were a couple which she was specific about. "This is thyme. It's a good thing to dress wounds with, it's a natural antiseptic. Cleaning a wound with water which has thyme infused in it is really good." She took another, "And this is oregano. This helps fight all sorts of diseases. If you have those and garlic in your diet, you'll be much healthier than if not." She knew that it was important not to over step her grounds, so she helped and advised as much as was appropriate, no more. "I can show you, if you'd like, how to combine them into a rub, to put on meat or vegetables. It tastes good, and is healthy." She said no more than that on the subject, though, as it was up to him.

They would continue this conversation, Faith was sure - but for now, they were getting the herb garden planted before going to speak to the parents of the child and finding out what, exactly, was going on. Faith didn't want to jump to any conclusions, but it was very much something that she wanted to get to the bottom of. Now.
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Re: [Eureka] Catching Up

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Experience: +15 xp
Magic: No.
Collaboration: Yes
Wealth Points No.

Dan

Skillplay: Appropriate to level.

Knowledge:

Medicine: mint is good for digestion and stomach pain
Medicine: thyme is a natural antiseptic
Medicine: oregano is good against diseases
Gardening: growing mint
Gardening: growing thyme
Gardening: growing oregano
Gardening: growing plants can be portable
Socalisation: accepting a request

Non-skill Lily: a deaf child

Renown +5, for bringing an odd event to the Governor’s attention.
Loot -

Comments

Dan may want to work on other gift ideas for the ladies going forward. Although I’m sure Faith can find some use for that garland of dead critters.

This has been an interesting series so far, and I’m sure it will get even more so now that Faith is on the job as well. I don’t read enough of Dan interacting with other PCs, though I understand IC why he doesn’t.

This thread conveys aspects of his character that don’t always come out in his solo wilderness threads, like how he has to consciously restrain himself so that he doesn’t get too carried away while signing and lose his audience, or how he thinks of sedentary endeavors like gardening. I’m almost tempted to try pine needle tea now.

Faith

Skillplay: Appropriate to level.

Knowledge:

Linguistics x 2
Gardening x 6

Renown +5. For figuring out the involvement of electricity.

Comments

Animals poisoned by salt; I wonder if there’s a cure. Hey, it was either that or electricity puns.

Faith’s intelligence and curiosity come through here, as well as her humility. She doesn’t condescend to Dan and seems genuinely interested in what he has to offer. The revelation that the salt found in the animals has a charge was unexpected. One might even say a shocker. It’s an idea that definitely has potential. Okay, so you got electricity puns, too.

It will be interesting to see what she is able to discover once she confronts Emily’s parents.

Enjoy your rewards!
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