Apothecary Garden Open House
June 26, 2021, 2 p.m.
Arx - Upper Boroughs - Seawatch Sanctuary - Apothecary Garden
Comments and Log
Dodgy, a brown rat arrives, following Audgrim.
Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant, Strawberry Pupcake, the Graypeak Mountain Dog arrive, following Thea.
Seawatch Sanctuary, even for its proximity to the gate, is not heavily trafficked or subject to much of the noise of the city. The gardens that fill the back of the property are peaceful and lush, with the sound of waves in the bay and gulls mixing with the sounds of a small band set in the center of the garden. Seating is available there for those who wish to rest and listen. The paths have been trimmed for ease of walking so that guests can meander through the flowers and herbs. A small bar has been arranged near the seating area to offer drinks with an assortment of fruits, small pastries of sweet and savory varieties, and bits of sausage and cheese. Medeia is near the door from the conservatory to greet everyone. "Hello! Welcome, please come and enjoy the day."
Oswyn arrives, walking while tugging a book and some writing supplies from his satchel. He offers a faint, close-lipped smile to Medeia. "Thank you for hosting this event," he tells her. "I think I'll be doing some sketches. I have an idea for an illustrated guide to healing herbs."
Kace walks in with more comfortable leathers worn, bits of claws and fangs adorning them. She is a northerner through and through, easy to be seen with just her attire. She smiles sweetly to Medeia as she greets her at the door, giving a polite dip of her head. "What a lovely garden you have here Lady Medeia." her large wolf-like dog, Trig, following behind her as they continued along the path to admire the herbs and let the others be greeted as well.
Audgrim is arriving with little fanfare, though he looks more like he is prepared to fight the herbs than to socialise with people, even if he's at least removed his cowl and gloves. He bows stiffly towards Medeia and meanders to grab himself a drink and some food, looking curiously at the garden itself. "Thanks," he notes, raising the glass in an awkward gesture. "Great garden. Very lush - smells great too," he says raspily. He looks curiously at Oswyn and shifts closer to him, perhaps interested to see an artist at work.
Thea makes it with Rocco and well, that's it. She left the dogs at home. REALLY. You see NOTHING! The now Oathlander is dressed comfortably in a gown to fend off the heat and for other reasons. "Hey Deia,"Thea greets with a slight smile.
"Brother Oswyn," Medeia says, dipping her chin in greeting. "Congratulations to you. I heard about you taking your vows." Her hazel eyes flick to the drawing supplies. "Oh! I think that is a fantastic idea! Please, use my garden as you need. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them." Kace's arrival draws a curious tilt of her head at the unfamiliar woman. "Welcome to Seawatch Sanctuary. Thank you. And, yes, I am Lady Medeia Eswynd. I don't believe we've had the pleasure to meet, before." She smiles at the dog, also. "If you'd like, I can have some meat and water made available for your dog. Mine is around here /some/where." Probably rolling around on top of a mint plant. Audgrim's arrival brings a look of pleasant surprise. "Messere! Good to see you." Then, she's grinning at Thea. "Hey, yourself."
Oswyn offers Kace a polite smile as well, and nods to Thea. Audgrim is given a nod before his attention returns to Medeia. "Thank you. I'll keep that in mind." That done, he shuffles some papers around finds one with plenty of space left on it. Squinting, he wanders over to a close flower and hunkers down by it. He might be s l i g h t l y in the way. The particular drawings already on the page are pretty skilled: they are detailed plants with some notes neatly written beside them.
Audgrim isn't shy to help himself to free food, but he does make an effort to not eat like a slob, at least. "Nice drawings," he nods to Oswyn, clearly impressed. "Lady Medeia - I brought you something," he says and pulls out a satchel from his own bag, handing it over. To the rest, as he suddenly remembers it; "I'm Blade Audgrim Veilandir. Assistant Guildmaster of the Crafters Guild."
Thea greets Oswyn with a bow of her head and a slight smile. As well as Kace and Audgrim. "Countess Thea Wyvernheart. It's a pleasure,"as she goes to get herself something eat. She hasn't been shy these days. "The Sundraw has been growing well,"Thea mentions to Medeia. "If you'd like, and you have the proper place for it, I can see about having some maybe transplanted here for you..."
A grey-eyed man with platinum-hair, dressed as a moving like a monochrome apparition as he enters the gardens. His outfit compliments his features and his pale skin, his clothes a mixture of grey colors, though his shirt is white and pressed, his clothes immaculate. As he enters the gardens, the normally dispassionate man greets his host with a smile that approaches warm, though that smile clearly looks like it's unused to being there. "Good morning, my Lady Eswynd. My apologies are both deep and prolific for my tardiness." He bows to the woman without introducing himself, they must know each other. He doesn't spent /too/ much time there, lingering just a moment to express his gratitude to the host before moving into the crowd, offering polite bows and nods to those he knows and those he doesn't.
Kace had taken a general interest in looking at the watermint in particular before glancing about at the rest of the garden. Afterwards, the redhead would turn to face the others "Princess Kace Redrain, a pleasure to meet you Lady Eswynd, and Countess Wyvernheart. I've heard much about you from your protege Thesbe, Lady Eswynd." the woman would offer a polite smile, looking back to Trig, then back again, "Trig, would certainly appreciate that." referring to the meat and water for her companion. She'd nod to both Audgrim and Oswyn, amber eyes looking over his drawings, "I'd never thought about drawing plants... just merely scenery."
"Well met. Scholar Os... Brother Oswyn." Oswyn tells Audgrim. "Still getting used to that. Blade?" Oswyn repeats, sounding a bit curious as he uncaps a small bottle of ink. He dips his quill into it, wipes off a quantity on the inside of the bottle, and sets to work sketching. He pauses to squint over at the arriving Vulpiano, offering a vague but amiable smile thataway, and bows his head to resume sketching one of the medicinal flowers. He asides to Kace, "Oh, drawings for guides are very useful. I have a very complicated anatomy book that takes me months of work to complete as well as a guide to, ah, leaves."
Trig, a large dog with an intense stare leaves, following Kace.
Medeia accepts the satchel Audgrim hands her with a sound of appreciation as she looks over the fine craftsmanship. "This /color/," She says, clearly fond of it. "Oh, you didn't have to... Thank you!" The lady is expressive and looks as though she might hug the man but keeps herself composed. In a low tone, she hands it carefully to her assistant Klavdiya with some instructions - likely about refreshments for the various dogs within the garden. She drifts toward the refreshments to talk with Thea. "Sundraw, here?" Her eyes widen, expression openly excited at the prospect. "I would love that. You know I want to help you, having a supply here would let me run some of my own experiments with it." As Vulpiano comes along, she returns the warm smile and greeting. "Messere, so good of you to join us. This is Brother Oswyn, Countess Thea, and Messere Audgrim..."
Vulpiano checks composure and etiquette at hard. Vulpiano marginally fails.
"I'm a mercenary with the Crimson Blades. It's just what we call ourseles," Audgrim explains to Oswyn. "Pleasure to meet you all," he says and bows again. "I wouldn't mind a book about herbs and pictures," he admits. "I mean, I know the usual edible ones out in the Gray Forest, but something like that could save a life." His lips curl into a near-smile at MEdeia. "No problem. Enjoy making them." He nods cortouesly at Vulpiano in greeting. "So... what's Sundraw?"
Thea nods her head to Medeia. "I'll see about it, I can't promise, but I'll see what I can do. It's a bitch to grow." She takes a bite of fruit, exhaling. Looking over to Vulpiano, Thea tilts her head a moment. "I'm not sure we've met. I'm Countess Thea Wyvernheart, nee Malvici. Pleasure to meet you."
"Sundraw is an herb that was used at one point to cure blight amongst the Sylv'alfar. Whether it can do such in people, I have yet to find out. I've been running experiments on it, so hopefully I'll have a better idea soon enough,"Thea explains.
Audgrim checks composure at hard. Critical Success! Audgrim is spectacularly successful.
Vulpiano is introduced by Medeia, offering polite bows to Oswyn, Audgrim and... "Countess Thea Wyvernheart?" The man's tone betrays nothing, but what little color might be had in his pale skin drains - along with the blood in the man's face. There's the briefest of stumbles - hard to catch, but the observant might notice, those especially skilled in socializing might. "Ah. It is a pleasure, Lady Countess, Brother, Messere Audgrim." Vulpiano recovers smoothly, introducing himself to Thea again, even though his hostess had /just done that/. "Vulpiano Rossetti, Steward of House Tor." He absolutely does not glance at Thea as he identifies the name of his House, his gaze flickering back and forth between Oswynd, Audgrim and Thea; it just so happens to miss Thea at that moment. "A mercenary, Messere Audgrim?" Vulpiano's dispassionate demeanor returns as he offers a polite smile to the man. "That sounds a terribly exciting life."
But it's Thea's comment that draw's Vulpiano's attention, "Are you... also a healer, my Lady?"
Medeia checks perception and empathy at normal. Medeia is successful.
Audgrim is sipping a drink, and it might take someone perceptive to notice how the hand tightens around the glass and his eyes widen a little as Thea explains what Sundraw is. His voice is even when he continues asking questions, curiousity at least writ plain. "Blight... what sort of blight?" he asks. "Are we talking about some sort of... taint?" He replies distractedly to Vulpiano; "It's ninety percent marching and camping, and about five percent gear maintenance. The rest is fighting."
"Very useful. Also it can be carried with you in the event you don't have someone to teach you," Oswyn supplies cheerily. He nods again to Vulpiano, offering, 'well met'. Thea's offer of Sundraw has him raising his eyebrows, but he's smiling, so he seems pleased.
Thea lifts a slight brow at Vulpiano as he turns away from her. And turns a bit--paler? Is that even possible? "Oh. So you knew my cousin Duke Inigo, then,"she tells him. Thea says nothing about the past history of the houses. "I'm sorry about the loss of your Duke, he was great man,"her words sincere and sad.
"Yes, I'm a combat medic, but I also study alchemy and apothecaries,"Thea explains to the man before looking to Audgrim. "Blight sickness. So quite possibly. I--,"pausing a moment, careful of her details. "I had a map and took a group with me and was fortunate enough to find two last plants. They've managed to flurish in three different areas at this time."
Medeia looks from Vulpiano to Audgrim and back to Vulpiano. Her brows knit together, silently taking note of the reactions. To Oswyn, she notes, "Your drawings are exceptional. My primer lessons are useful, but not everyone can attend them. Something portable is nice."
Audgrim checks perception and empathy at normal. Audgrim marginally fails.
"I know about that Blight during the War of Stolen Names," Audgrim says thoughtfully. "I did research into something else and came upon that information. Have you ever heard about Shards?" he asks of everyone present. "They are tainted animals or humans, often coming from what is popularly called 'Shardhavens'. I was just wondering... if this plant would also work against that sort of 'blight'."
Oswyn reaches up to rub the back of his neck with his hand. "Thank you," he tells Medeia. "I'm no great artist - my skills tend toward depicting things accurately. Usually right in front of me, at that. I'm no good at whimsical or made-up things." He seems pretty oblivious to the discussion around him. Another careful line on his drawing and then he's picking up to squint at the other plants and sitting down at another nearby one. "I've heard of shards," he confirms. Maybe not entirely oblivious, then. "I know a few things, anyway."
Augrim's comment draws a dip of his head. "Those sound like interested stories, Messere." Again, though, Thea draws him in. The comment about Duke Inigo almost looks as though it stuns him for a moment. "Yes. He was both my friend of many years, as well as my Duke. I thank you for your condolances - truly." It's Thea's apparent sincerity, perhaps. "He was, indeed, a great man." There is a moment of silence for the man before he shifts the topic, perhaps to avoid the less distasteful one. "That also sounds an exciting tale, my Lady. Was it dangerous?" He glances to Medeia, catches her look, and simply cants his head to one side. Whatever that means. He's half listening to the other conversations, it seems Thea has put the man quite in a discombobulated space.
Thea tells Audgrim with a small smile. "Remind me to tell you stories of our childhood one day." Moving on, she nods her head. "There were these wolves, that were----large and seemed to be a bit off than normal wolves. They attacked." Thea admits too,"It is my HOPE that it will cure those tainted,"nodding too about the shards,"I have heard about them. Yes."
Oswyn wipes some ink off his quill on the inside edge of his bottle and squints over at the others. "Have any of you heard the story of the Cleansing of the Black Vale? It's an old story about a place in the Oathlands. A shardhaven."
"I've hunted them for decades, but to be fair I didn't truly know what they were until just about a year ago," Audgrim explains grimly. "I didn't realise I was killing people that had become so tainted they were no longer human." He quiets and looks at Oswyn in that expectant way someone does when waiting for a story. "I wanna hear about that."
The conversation catches up to Vulpiano in a rush, causing him to blink a few times, "Shards were people?" His eyebrow arches, wrinkling his forehead on one side. "Now, that I did not know." He glances to Audgrim again, perhaps more appraisingly of the man. "Very interesting, Messere." And a glance to Oswyn, "I do not believe I have heard that story either, Brother Oswyn."
Medeia steps back, briefly disengaging from the conversation to dismiss the band, invite everyone into the comfortable seating, and personally ensure drinks are topped up. Once she's sure the conversation can proceed, she sits and listens.
"People, animals, perhaps even plants," Audgri nods at Vulpiano.
Oswyn nods, closing his eyes and speaking as though reciting something. "The Black Vale of the Oathlands is now remembered only in folklore, but it turns up in a few historical records surviving from before the time of Queen Alarice. Those records indicated the Vale had an ominous reputation; hunters would not travel down into the vale to seek game, and explorers who ventured into its confines often did not return. Those who did brought tales of a sickened and twisted area; the trees half-dead, their branches black with rot even as they grew. Of a land roamed by strange, twisted creatures full of rage and hatred towards any intruders... shards.
In time, the Faith came to believe the land was infested with demons, and sent a group of thirteen Templars and thirteen 'Beseechers' specializing in exorcism to cleanse it. The result of the journey is recorded only in a fragment of a journal left by one of the surviving exorcists..." Oswyn goes on to talk about the contents of that journal, finishing up with, "There's also the matter of the source of the shardhavens, an entity known as the Green Mother, among other things."
Thea pauses her own story to listen to Oswyn. That plate of food though? It's still on her lap
Audgrim checks composure at normal. Audgrim is successful.
Audgrim squirms uncomfortably and takes a few gulps of his drink as the story unfolds. When Oswyn has finished, he stares at the scholar with thoughtfulness, before he lets out air in his lungs in a deep sigh. "So, it's safe to say that this is not something that is even possible today. Not by people of Arvum, anyway," he says, sounding... tired. But, he nods encouragingly to Thea. "You went through a lot of danger to find those plants, from the sound of it. Have you been able to test them, at all?"
Vulpiano listens quietly to Oswyn's story, remarking softly, "A terrible price to be paid, for certain. The Vale today, Brother - is it still cleansed?" He's found himself a chair and a bit of refreshment, but is otherwise just listening.
Thea listens to the story and frowns a bit. Taking a drink of her lemon water, she then turns to answer Audgrim. "I haven't been able to yet, no. It took a long time just to grow. I had to make sure they were all grow properly and not die off before I was going to experiment on them."
"I'd hope so," Oswyn tells Vulpiano. He then pauses, squinting at Audgrim. Looking at the man's weaponry, he shakes his head. "It's... ah. There have been recent enough battles against such creatures in a number that would suggest the underground labyrinthine lairs are a possibility, though the majority of people will dismiss the idea and look at you funny if you talk about it." A mild shrug, and then another squint at the Blade. "How did you come to hunt the creatures?"
"If they don't work in the garden," Medeia says, making a motion to the conservatory, "The winters can be hard, but the conservatory stays fairly comfortable." She takes a sip of wine, still mulling over the information about the vale. Her eyes flick to Audgrim. "So Shards can be human?" That confirmation makes her shudder.
"Hmmmm," Audgrim says and rubs his jaw thoughtfully, nodding understandingly at Thea. "In the Silent War, the baron in our home sent his scouts to work for the Grayson army when banners were called. I was one of the scouts. Before we got to the main troops we were told the Silent Army was heading straight for our homes, so we turned around to ride back, to warn our loved ones. We were too late. They were all killed." He finishes his drink and reaches for something stronger. "We were all taken prisoners too, by the army, brought to a small lake, and then we were all sacrificed in a ritual." He pauses, staring into thin air for an awkward moment. "Except me. I woke up on the shore of the lake. I was all alone. I went back home, buried everyone, then I lived in the forest and joined together with others of similar fates. After a year or so, monsters started roaming the forest where we stayed. So, we hunted them, for over a decade. Later, I learned the monsters were my former fellow scouts, and we'd killed them all." He finishes another drink, at that. "The lake where they were sacrificed is now a Shardhaven."
Vulpiano listens to Oswyn, and nods in turn, saying, "I certainly hope it is as well, Brother Oswyn. Surely you've heard of something from the Archives that is similar to what Messere Audgrim is speaking of? Perhaps something that could reverse the process, like this flower?" He pauses for a moment, then glances to Audgrim, "And you, Messere. I am terribly sorry for the tragedy of your loss. You believe that this flower might have helped them, even after their... transformation?"
"I didn't realize people could be twisted into the corrupted animals," Oswyn tells Vulpiano, blinking. Almost absently. His brow furrowed, he looks at Audgrim with clear sympathy. "That must have been awful, and here we are bringing this up so casually. I'm sorry for that."
Thea nods her head quietly. "You realize a lot of things after awhile." For a young woman, the Countess has learned quite a bit. "As soon as I'm able to get this herb into fruitation, I'll make sure it's use is available to the compact. That's all I want for it and why I worked so hard to find it."
"I have been told there is no way. The problem with taint is that it is unpredictable. I've spent the past two years researching this, and every expert I've talked to, every hint of information, suggests that only the true masters of Abyssal magic can effect a specific outcome. So, - a cow might be entirely unaffected, or become Demon Cow Evila that rampages through a village and kills everyone," Audgrim says, some wry humor in his voice. "Also, it's nothing to worry about - /I/ brought up shards here. This all happened a long time ago. But..." And he bows his head to Thea and Oswyn. "Up until today I'd not heard much hope of there being some way to cleanse that sort of taint." He eats some fruit, glancing around at the group gathered. "Maybe I should visit more events."
At the mention of Abyssal magic, Vulpiano falls silent for a long moment. It's Thea that gets his attention first, as he says, "That is both very kind, and very noble of you, my Lady. I am not incapable when it comes to methods of farming, either - if there is anything I could do to help, I would be happy to." His earlier stumbles seem to be forgotten. He turns to Audgrim afterwards and says, "There are few things that might be truly taken from us, Messere. Hope, even in the darkest of circumstances, is sometimes a light that can see us through. Perhaps all is not lost for others that might be so afflicted."
There is the smallest smile on Medeia's face at that last comment from Audgrim. "The most interesting conversations happen when you least expect them, I think." She nods at Vulpiano's words. "Hope. It's a necessary thing."
"Well, perhaps if thirteen godsworn beseeched the gods to cleanse someone..." Oswyn thinks out loud. "Though those thirteen Templars died for the Vale. Was that because of the sheer size of the cleansing?" He twirls his quill between his fingers absently.
"I use the term hope losely, more metaphorically. In my case, it's more that I'm very stubborn," Audgrim jokes. "...fruitation?" he asks of Thea, a term he isn't familiar with. "Like - making it grow fruits?" There's a tilt of his head to Oswyn. "Brother Oswyn - well, all of you here really - if you want to aid in the research, I'm digging still."
Thea nods to audgrim,"As in made. Sorry,"she says with a grin. "I hope this herb doesn't grow fruit. That would be awkward." Realizing how late it is, she admits,"I have work to do at my own House, but this was great,"her eyes flicking to Medeia. "If anyone needs my help for anything, please feel free to ask."
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