(121-01-02) The Sea Witch and the Hedge Wizard
The Sea Witch and the Hedge Wizard
Summary: Having heard that a maester with unusual methods and a healer's touch has returned to the Citadel, Millicent rolls the dice and goes to visit Maester Thane.
Date: 121-01-02

Millicent comes from the street after slipping from her carriage. The rumors have circulated enough that she earns a wide berth from the smallfolk that are gathering to get into the citadel for last minute readings of bills and other writs and such. The fact that the sun is setting on this warm and fair summer day and the Lady known as The Sea Witch is finally seen in 'public' only helps the rumors. As well the fact that it is warm and fair and the Sea Witch is wearing a voluminous black cloak. The smallfolk that don't notice her at first are soon leaping in their skins when the one legged raven tentatively balancing on her shoulder screams at them. ' STORM! Storm!' It makes Milly shake her head and a pale hand lifts up to pinch the birds beak shut. One of the maesters is spoken to in a whisper her answer is a few gestures as she is given directions to the Umberal Spire. She follows the directions precisely and when she raps on the door her presence is also herald by the caw of 'STORM! Storm!'

Millicent's voice has a whispy nature even though her volume is normal. "I am here to consult Maester Thane." When the raven on her shoulder cries out, 'Chain!' The lady draws out a treat from her cloak and gives it to the bird and he spends an great while eating the treat and using the top of the cowl as his plate. The noblewoman allows him to get away with it and she steps forward to make her way past the acolyte and into the tower.

The acolyte seems to go a little paler at the mention of his senior maester. "You want to see Thane Thricewise?" He says in astonishment, as if disbelieving the possibility. He looks over his shoulder toward the spiraling stair that leads up into the tower, and stumbles out of the way as the Ironborn woman steps inside. "H-he's all the way up…m'lady…" His voice is already trailing off as he is left well behind Millicent. So must the better so he can return to his work.

The climb to the top is certainly not the most grueling in the Citadel, but the narrowness of the Umbral Tower makes the circular ascent somewhat dizzying. When Millicent finally reaches the top, she finds herself on a small landing, before a door that looks as thought it may have been partially burned at some point. From underneath the door, the flicker of firelight can be seen, and the mutterings of a deep voice reach her ears as little more than muffled murmurs.

Millicent lives in the Hightower, very high up in the tallest structure in Westeros, so she's no stranger to taking some effort in getting to where she needs to go. However the elevator like baskets in the tower have also spoiled her to a point so the climb is slow going, often she stops to catch her breath and muffle a coughing episode in her cloak. "Sick!" Her raven announces. "Sick! Sick!" His beak is clamped closed when they are close to the top. Delicate and pale fingers reach for the metal ring doorknob and she uses it to knock for her before she waits for bidding to enter.

The muttering comes to an abrupt stop. Moments later, the door swings violently open, revealing a man that, were it not for his robe and chain, no one would ever take for a maester. Tall, broad-shouldered, with crop of ginger hair and a scruffy beard, and lifelines on his face well beyond his age. His steely gaze sets upon Millicent with a hint of suspicion, glances fleetingly to the bird on her shoulder. In the room beyond, another raven can be seen, preening itself on a perch near the open window. "Yes?" the man says curtly.

Millicent's voice is still whispy, even worse off than before, a wheeze still rattling in her chest as she answers coolly, "I wish to put that Silver Link to good use." The raven click his beak at the maester and squawks, "Chain!" and then "Sick!" "Forgive my echo. He's concerned is all." Another treat is given to the raven. "I am Lady Millicent Greyjoy, this is Storm."

A brief flash of irritation shows in Thane's eyes, but he does nod and relent, stepping aside to let her into his chamber. The circular room looks to fill the entirety of the top floor of the tower, which still leaves it relatively small, especially as it seems to serve as both a bedroom and a workspace. As he shuts the door behind her, Thane muses aloud. "Lady Greyjoy. So, are you a witch?" The question is blunt, and asked without even a hint of a smirk or smile — nothing but a deadly serious gaze of expectation.

Millicent shakes her head as she steps in and moves towards the bed to sit down on it's edge and perch Storm on the bed frame by her side. "Rumors and superstitions. If I have any powers that your…Valyrian steel link would cover, I am very unaware of them. Of course my faith lobs me into the realm of witches and mages by the ignorant. But I am simply a woman who has poor health and who's heard you have… unorthodox medicinal practices." She lifts up those delicate white hands and lowers her cowl and if it weren't for her having light green eyes instead of glowing blue, her pale and rather on the gaunt side appearance could have the Other's name spoken.

The other raven watches Storm with ageless eyes — as quiet as Storm is talkative. Thane drags a chair over from his desk to face the bed, and takes a seat in it. "Alright, so you think I can help you. But I have to wonder. You say you are a woman of faith. I can only assume that you follow the Drowned God. So why not seek the aid of an Ironborn priest? Or are you afraid that the Drowned God will not suffer your weakness to live on?"

Millicent gets a wry smirk to her lips. "He's not been able to kill me yet. Though I am disappointed in your theology Maester." Her tone dry, but also playful. "I carry a Raven named Storm I'm far from my island home and I now live in the sky and you assume that it is the Drowned God I follow." She tsks and shakes her head, though her jade eyes dance lightly.

Thane frowns in disappointment at Millicent. "I'm disappointed that you think me foolish enough to accuse any Ironborn of worshiping the Storm God, especially to the exclusion of the Drowned God. Perhaps that is the answer to the riddle of whatever ails you — misplaced faith." He leans on one arm of his chair. "So tell me of your poor health. How it is poor, and what have the other maesters told you?"

Millicent strokes her raven's belly feather's lightly. "My change in faith is a recent thing. My health is a long standing issue. But don't misplace my health for weakness. I certainly don't. I was born poorly, the tenth child. I came early, they said I would probably die. I did not. When I was drowned they said that I would not revive. I spit sea water into their face as I came back. What is dead may never die. I went to the North, to The Wall. The cold did me no favors and I became very ill. The Shaking Sickness the Maester at Castle Black called it."

Thane sits up, brow furrowed at the mention of the shaking sickness. "Born prematurely, and the shaking sickness? Tell me about the shaking. Do you always feel it, like a constant tremble that you have to control? Or does it come in violent bouts?"

Millicent shakes her head as she gracefully slides her ebony hair free of her hood and lets it tumble down her chest. "The only thing that has stayed with me is difficulty breathing, bouts of coughing. When I was at my worst points it would come with blood. I think the Maester mistook me freezing to death with the shaking sickness in all honesty."

Thane grunts and nods. "Aye, it sounds to be the case. The shaking sickness doesn't come and go so easily. In all likelihood, this weakness," he emphasizes the word, "of constitution is a product of your early birth. It isn't uncommon with premature babes. You are fortunate to be alive. That you are is a testament to your will. But I'm not going to leap into making a prognosis. What else can you tell me about your condition? Symptoms, treatments you've received, and which have alleviated your symptoms and which have not."

Millicent lifts another treat up and tosses it into Storm's mouth to keep him from completing another cry - most likely "Sick!" By the way he was building up and body language. "My mother, much to my chagrin kept me… protected. I was in my room most of the time as a child. I lived off of mutton and seaweed broth and what ever other concoction she heard from my grandmother would put more 'Salt and Iron' into me." By that it's clear she and her grandmother were being metaphorical to being made more Ironborn than anything having to do with her health. "I have actually been feeling rather well since I've been sent here." She gives a light little cough and she raises her hand to beg apology a she turns her head to give a few more light coughs. Gesturing to her display as evidence of her asthmatic bronchitis symptoms.

"Hm." The abrupt sound is Thane's only response for what feels like a long while as he stares her pensively. Finally he stands, approaching Millicent. "Stand up, please." When he's got her on her feet, he arches an eyebrow at her. "I need to listen to your breath. Closely. Don't take my head off. Understood?"

Millicent stands up with the sinuous grace of a kraken dancing through the depths. Said iron kraken is twisted and danced over her chest so that the cloak slides away from her shoulders to reveal that she does not dress like she's from the Iron Islands. Silk, satin and sheer silks make up quite the lovely grey noble woman's gown. Her hair is once again twisted and maneuvered so that it is woven with the iron kraken into an updo where the kraken acts as hair pins and circlet. She does not answer him, the rattle in her chest still present and sign that if she did speak she'd be interrupted with another coughing fit. But she does lift her chin and roll back her shoulders, presenting her chest for inspection. As she takes slow shallow breathes to keep the coughing fit at bay.

Thane eyes her warily for a moment, and it soon become evident why. He places one calloused hand at her back, bracing her as he leans down and presses his ear to her chest. Certainly not an appropriate place for a man to putting his face. But he holds perfectly still. "Take a deep breath, and let it out slowly."

Millicent doesn't seem to be startled or take much offense at all. He is a maester. She's been poked, prodded and groped much worse by many another maester that she rather likes his approach and manner. "If I do, I'll be hacking. This is me breathing deeply." She explains again with dry humor in expression even if her tone is dead pan. "Are you in the service of anyone Maester Thane? Of Three times the wisdom of others."

Thane doesn't respond right away. He simply listens to the sounds in her lungs. "I am in service to the Citadel," he says at last. "Now, breathe deep. I'm sorry, but I need to witness the coughing." He rises, already moving to a cabinet at the wall. When he opens it, hundred of phials and bottles can be seen inside, containing various liquids, powders, and herbs.

Millicent awaits for him to return and a bit unconsciously her hand raises up to the back of Thane's head to brace his ear against her, or to seek some sort of stability for the coughing fit she knows will come. Once he's returned she'll submit however and take as deep a breath as she can. But it's only a matter of moments before her airways collapse and she gasps and chokes and turns her head and her cheek goes to the top of his head so she can look away and protect him from getting gusted by the outburst of wheezing and coughing. Once she's recovered she rasps, "My family would say… my mother ate… so much seal when… she was pregnant with… me… that she…birthed…one." More dry humor from the Sea Witch.

Thane doesn't listen for long once she starts coughing. He stands upright, and simply offers an arm for support until she regains enough control to speak. "Drink this," he commands, offering up the phial. "Try not to inhale. The mint will soothe your throat, but the vapors could trigger another coughing fit if you get too much." He watches her for a moment, scratching at his stubbly cheek. "I can offer treatments to help you manage your breathing problems. I cannot promise that I can fix this. You were born too early. You should have stopped breathing less than an hour since you emerged from your mother's womb. But since you've defied fate, it seems this is the price for your life." Thane has never been one to sugar-coat things for his patients. His honesty may be harsh at times, but he leaves no room for confusion. "Meanwhile, I'll need to observe you more to try to determine more precisely what your body is suffering."

Millicent finds his manner rather refreshing and even after she's suffered another coughing fit, and nearly has yet another one, but swallows it down along with the phial he gave her as instructed, she didn't inhale. She takes a shallow breath again. Really that's normal breathing for her. "I accepted that price a long time ago. But accepting the price isn't the same thing as wanting to also find a way to better myself either. I came here to ask you for your help in that exactly. Will the Citadel spare you to take on in my service?" She pauses very briefly, almost well planned and subtle. She's learned how to talk and when to pause and how to pause to cover up her affliction, mostly.

Thane arches an eyebrow, folding his hands behind his back. "That depends entirely on what you mean. I'm not offering myself to your household, if that's what you're after. But if you've found the medicinal care of other maesters unsatisfactory, I can make time to diagnose you and construct a new treatment."

Millicent nods and elegantly lifts and twirls her cloak around her so that the cowl flips up and covers her head and the whole thing settles down around her like a shadow. It's no wonder the mysterious rumors have sprouted up about her. "I'm not asking for fealty, just dedication to my health. The Hightower's maester is a boy, and he blushes. I need a man and someone unafraid to do what needs to be done."

Thane regards her for a moment with that steely gaze. Slowly, he nods. "Very well, Iron Lady. I am, if nothing else, a healer. I'll see to your health. But you must do as I say when it comes to you health. Agreed?"

Millicent puts the final touches on dressing to mystify and terrify the public and lift up Storm so he can perch on her hand for the moment. "Agreed. Will you be joining me at Hightower?"

"No," Thane says curtly. "Not now. I'll visit you daily, for the time being. But my work is here." He gestures to the desk, covered in stacks of books and scrolls, as well as a small collection of talismans and fetishes.

Millicent bows her head in acceptance. "That is fine by me. We will discuss payment on your visit. Thank you for your time Maester Thane." She twists the ring 'knob' and swings the singed door open. She lifts her head up enough that beneath the cowl can be seen and her jade eyes sparkle, maybe still misty from the coughing fit. Maybe watery eyes is another symptom, though this is the first time it's appeared since her arrival. "Thank you." With that the cowl lowers back down and she begins the slow slow descent down the stairs to return to her carriage.

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