(121-01-13) The Healer's Hall
The Healer's Hall
Summary: Thane tends to Maera and Eonn, and gets the story about what happened in the search for Cressen Glover.
Date: 121-01-13
Related: Black Sick

Healer's Hall, The Citadel

The room smells, in rather impolite but accurate terms, like the most foul shit ever taken. Opening all of the windows to let in the breeze and burning incense has done little to curb the foul smell in the large hall that contains cots where a dozen or so are laid out, as well as the appropriate equipment to treat/experiment on the ill. The source of the smell is coming from the substance that the infected vomit up; black sludge regardless of what the victim ate before. Luckily for the infected, the illness seems to be fading.

Maera wakes and stares up at the ceiling for several moments. Finally, she pulls herself up into a sitting position slowly, and asks a passing acolyte, "Some water, please…?"

Eonn is in one of those cots. Somebody's stripped his armour from him and has him turned on his side to stop him drowning in it if he vomits again. There's a basin on the floor beside the cot. The sellsword looks awful. Waxen. Sickly pale. His breathing is shallow, and he's unconscious.

Like many maesters with a silver chain link, Maester Thane is in the Healer's Hall, wearing a scarf around his nose and mouth. But he isn't presently tending to any patients. Rather, he is spooning up the foul ichor being spewed up by the patients into stoppered jars. A researcher's life is a blessed one. As he seals the last jar, he makes his way to Maera and Eonn, pulling up a stool to sit between them. "Are you two going to make a habit to exposing yourselves to every plague, toxin, and blade that comes near this city? I'd just like to know if I need to increase my usual supplies." He pats the battered leather satchel that he carries nearly everywhere.

Maera drinks greedily from the wooden cup that is given to her by an acolyte, and demands more when she has drained it. She stares at Thane placidly as he makes his jest, her eyes rimmed with yellowish black circles from the illness that make her look rather ghastly. "You're funny." Her words are flat.

Eonn hasn't woken since before Bryn got him here. He's managed to vomit without regaining consciousness, but that's about as close as he's come.

"I'm serious," Thane retorts. "I need to be prepared." He glances over at Eonn, reaching over to hold a hand just above his mouth, feeling for that faint breath. Nodding, satisfied that the sellsword lives, he turns his attention back to Maera. "So, all I know is that there was some kind of strange mist that seems to have made you all sick. Can you fill in some further details?"
You paged Gashlycrumb with 'Oh, and check the Logs page. Should be sorting by title now.'

Maera receives a cup, and takes a few greedy gulps before sitting the vessel down weakly on the little table between her cot and Eonn's. Her eyes flicker about the room in an almost suspicious manner before she begins to speak softly, "T'was sorcery. What happened was unnatural."

Thane nods, clasping his hands together. "Let's not leap to any conclusions. You would be amazed at what can pass for sorcery. Describe what happened. Just start at the beginning. Seemingly unimportant details can sometimes be key to understanding a mystery."

"We rode out with Lord Stark and several of his men after the first ill man arrived." Maera begins. "He arrived on horse, riding in like a madman, and was stopped at the gate. He was sickened by the same substance, and told Lord Stark that they had found a Wheelhouse believed to be Cressen Glover's after speaking to a girl who told them the Wheelhouse had headed out of it's way to take on water, even though there was a source of water closer than the one they went to."

Thane scratches his cheek. "And this man, the one who was stopped at the gate. Was he one of the men Stark initially sent out? Or did he have some other reason to ride hard for Oldtown with news of Cressen Glover's wheelhouse?"

"Lord Stark's man." Maera clarifys, "So, we-" She pauses, and looks over to Eonn's prone form, "Eonn, actually. Eonn rode into town to the Stark manse to call his men out and have them send for maesters. Amadys Baratheon arrived, and I asked him to come with us because the Stark man had indicated that there was another man left behind." She looks to Eonn again, and frowns, "He is still not getting over it?"

Thane follows her gaze to Eonn. "He may have breathed in a heavier dose. But tell me more, so I can better help him. Who else was in your company, and where did you go?"

"Lord Cregan and some of his men. Amadys Baratheon. A man whose name I do not recall, and Derrioth, Lady Brax's sellsword." Maera pauses, and frowns deeply, "The witch followed behind to avoid my attention, but she came. We rode to this place thirty miles away, perhaps. A little ways from this tiny unnamed village was this muddy trail surrounded by trees. We could see that the wheelhouse had went down the path. It smelled bad, and at the end of it was a swamp."

Eonn shifts a little, a weak little tensing and a tiny sad choking sound. More of the black fluid comes up, dripping from his lips and into the pan the Acolytes have positioned by his cot, under his head. It bubbles nastily when he inhales, starting to choke him.

Thane snorts. "The witch was present? Why am I not surprised." He sighs, shaking his head. Hearing Eonn's distress, he moves to the man's side, pushing his hair back and easing him over more on his side to let gravity help clear his mouth and throat of the vile stuff.

"I should have protested her coming." Maera says with a sigh, "But I was occupied, and didn't want to waste time arguing it when a man might still be out there alive. Did he live, by the way? Has anyone died?" At Eonn's choke she turns her head towards his cot, and watches with a helpless expression.

Eonn struggles weakly to clear his mouth and throat of the stuff, his body hitching. It doesn't really seem to wake him, but his eyed does come partly open and roll a bit.

Thane pats Eonn hard on the back to help shake loose the substance in his chest and stimulate coughing. "Some have died. I don't yet know who. The next time the maegi forces her company in a dangerous situation, you'd be better off cutting her throat and being done with it," he mutters. "None will mourn the passing of a blood witch. But go on. What did you find?"

Maera doesn't awnser the question right away. Instead, she watches as Eonn coughs and chokes on the black stuff before asking, 'Will he die?"

Eonn doesn't seem to have the strength to cough properly, but Thane's blows to his back do the trick after a few tries. He quiets.

Thane hems grimly, putting his hand to Eonn's throat and feeling. "I cannot say. Though I doubt it. There…see. Just a fit. This isn't his day to die."

"Good." Maera says with a little nod of her head, "He would mind it more than he says he would, I think." She tears her eyes from the man and says, "We found the wheelhouse in the swamp, the horses dead, and lion-lizards eating the dead horses. We peppered the beasts with arrows, and they did not die. Lord Stark cut the head from one, and it moved even after that. He had the head brought back with us, I believe."

Eonn feels clammy to the touch. His eye comes open again, though.

Thane frowns with newfound concern. "How long did the beast continue to move after being beheaded?"

"I do not recall how long. More than a few minutes, I think. There was a lot happening. We found this strange…ah, I want to say man? I do not know if it was a man as none of us saw it up close, but he was in a tree, and he was strong enough to hold a full grown man in the tree in his arms. I think maybe I shot at the man after he dropped the Stark man into the swamp, and cackled? It was right before Lord Stark cut the beast's head off…" She trails off. The illness has left her slightly befuddled. Confused.

Eonn tries to gasp for a deeper breath. It mostly just makes a quiet wheezing sound.

Thane doesn't comment on the unnatural activity of the headless lion-lizard, but sets that fact aside for later consideration. "The man in the tree. You seem hesitant to call him a man. Can you describe him to me?"
Eonn pages: Crocodiles just do that.

"I did not see him very well." Maera confesses, "I want to say his arms were….long? Yes, he had very long arms."

Eonn murmurs something, lower than a whisper. It's in Braavosi. "I am sick."

"Give me more, m'lady," Thane says, adopted a softer tone than he usually bothers with. "Did you see his skin? His face? Did he wear clothing?"

Maera shakes her head. "I'm sorry. I don't know."

Thane sighs. "So, what became of the long-armed man, then?"

"He dropped the man, and then he vanished." Maera says, "I went into the woods a little to see if he'd climbed down, but there was no sign of him."

"Troubling." Thane checks on Eonn again, taking note of his color and temperature. "Go on. We still haven't gotten to the mist, have we?"

Eonn looks dreadful, his eyes sunken and dark rimmed. They're open, though. Not focused.

"After the man was gone Lord Stark decided he would see what was in the wheelhouse." Maera says, "He and Eonn waded out to the thing, and I went into the water up to my thighs. That's when the mist started coming in. I told Lord Stark we ought to leave. It didn't feel right." She quiets a moment, "I don't know what they saw in the wheelhouse. Eonn began vomiting in the water, and I followed him soon after. Someone practically carried me out of there, but I don't remember who."

Thane snaps his fingers at a nearby acolyte. "Bring water, and a fresh bucket. Let's see if we can bring you around, Eonn." Reaching into his pouch, he produces a small bottle, packed with ground white crystals. He pulls the stopper, and waves the opened bottle under Eonn's nose. "Where did the mist come from?"

"Across the water. Like a fog but…" Maera searches for a word, "Different."

Eonn shudders at whatever Thane's making him smell. He makes a sound between a groan and a whimper.

Thane harumphs at Eonn, taking the salts away and stopping up the bottle. "That's a start." He lightly slaps Eonn's cheeks. "Come along now. Wake up." He glances over to Maera. "Different how?"

"I'm sick," says Eonn, thickly, in Braavosi.

"It smelled like the incense the Silent Sister's use. Smokey." Maera says softly, "Disgusting and appealing all at once." There's a pause, "What is he saying?"

Thane frowns. The Silent Sisters? "I don't know. I think it's Braavosi." Trying High Valyrian, Thane speaks to Eonn, "<Speak to me. What are you saying?>"

Eonn still doesn't seem to be focusing his eyes, but he's looking up at Thane, or what is probably, to him, the blurry shape of Thane. He replies, his voice soft and hoarse and whispering-weak, "<Sick.>" At least it is the High Valyrian requested. "<Bring me the milk of a goat.>"

Maera falls silent, and listens to the High Valyrian without understanding a word of it.

Thane scowls, his eyes darting up to the acolyte approaching with water and the fresh bucket. Snatching the bucket, and knocking the cup of water aside, he barks at the surprised young man. "Bring me goat's milk, damn it! And plenty of it. Go!" Entirely uncertain what he did wrong, but nonetheless not willing to risk the temper of Thane Thricewise, the acolyte runs off to fetch the milk. He looks back down to Eonn, again leaving poor Maera out of the conversation with his High Valyrian. "<Is it poison? Do you know what this is?>"

"<I am poisoned,>" whispers Eonn. "<Did they die? I am?>" He's starting to focus his eyes a bit, blinking. Sweat breaks out on his pale face.

"<Some have died,>" Thane explains. "<But you are not going to. Because if you did, Lady Maera would be very annoyed with you, and I think we both know that notion disturbs you.>" He fishes about in his satchel for a general antidote to help fight the poison. "<Tell me about the poison.>"

Eonn tries to take Thane's wrist. It's the sort of grip that would be a fierce one if it wasn't for the fact that the man is kitten-weak. "<Where is Maera? Not dead.>" The last is whispered in a sort of desperate hope more than proper statement or question. The name is at least understandable to those who don't know the tongue he's using.

"Maera," Thane says. "Tell him you're alright."

Maera's head turns at the mention of her of her name, "What is he saying?" Then, "I am right here."

Eonn lets go of Thane's arm at the sound of Maera's voice, and relaxes. He exhales slowly and completely, then seems to struggle a bit on the next inhale.

"Where is that damned goat's milk!" Thane bellows, drawing a few irritated stares from the other maesters tending the patients. "Keep talking to him, Lady Mormont."

Maera pulls the thin blanket covering her up, and stands on shaky legs. She grab's Thane's shoulder for balance, and lurches herself forward to sit down heavily on the side of Eonn's cot, "Breathe." She commands him. "Breath fully. You are strong. Stronger than this."

Eonn manages to get a better lungful. Then he whispers, switching to the common tongue, "The smoke," He blinks dully.

Spotting the acolyte returning with a clay jug, Thane rises and nearly runs across the hall to take it from him. So startled is the young man at the charging form of Maester Thane that he nearly drops the milk.

"What about it?" Maera asks. "What do you know of it?"

Eonn's blue eyes focus on Maera. "Poison," he says. "I cannot sit up."

Thane returns with the jug and two cups. Squatting on his stool again, he fills both cups, and puts one into Maera's hand. "Drink," he orders. The other he holds to Eonn's lips, his hand going behind the sellsword's head to tilt it up and help him drink.

Maera sniffs the milk with obvious distaste. After spending so long vomiting black slime the goat's milk has no appeal to it. Still, she forces herself to take a big swallow.

Eonn tries to lift his hand to steady the cup, just by impulse or force of habit. He doesn't succeed. But clearly he wants the stuff. Equally clear is that it's hard for him to drink in his position and severely weakened state.

Thane doesn't mind spilling a bit of milk. He's got plenty. As long as Eonn can swallow, he'll keep offering it to him. "So, the cloud was poison, you say? Eonn, if you know what it was, you'll save me a lot of time, and possibly more lives."

Maera sits the half-drunk goat's milk down on the table, and leans forward to pull Eonn up a bit by his shoulders. But she's weak, and he's a big man. It's not easy.

Eonn lets the stuff spill into his beard. Not that there's much he can do about it. He stops for a moment to lick his lips and catch his breath, or at least try to. "Probably," he whispers, "..Probably the Niloufar. The flowers red of her. Cruel." He tries to drink more. Maera will find that the milk does help, soothing the nausea and awakening some strength, and some hunger to go with it.

Thane squints, his irritation evident on his face. "I don't know of this." He glances to Maera. "I'm well versed in herbalism, but this escapes me. Eonn, is there another antidote? Something I can concoct that will purge this toxin?"

Maera says to Thane, "Give the rest the milk. It has already made me feel much better. I will get him to drink the rest." She holds her hand out for the cup.

Eonn shakes his head. "If there is a cure of it," he whispers, "I don't know it. Drink the milk. Rest and hope. It is a flower." He pauses lifting his hand as if to check the cup for more. "A flower. Of Qarth."

Thane hands off the cup and the jug to Maera, instructing her, "You drink more, too." But a word from Eonn snaps his attention back to the man. "Qarth," he echoes, eyes widening.

Maera sees that Eonn is able to drink on his own, and pours more into her own cup from the jug. She has another swallow, and finds that it goes down much smoother.

Eonn holds the cup, unsteadily, but he at least manages it. Propped up against the wall, he even stays uprightish. He looks at Thane and nods weakly. "I. Wish I knew better how to undo it. I am sorry."

"I didn't want to believe the warlocks could be involved. But I don't believe in coincidences, either." Thane pulls the cloth down from his mouth, apparently no longer concerned about contagion. "Eonn, did you see what was in the wheelhouse?"

"Two men," says Eonn. "Probably Cressen Glover?"

"I suppose neither of you know if those bodies were recovered," Thane mutters. "We'll have to look into that."

"What did he look like?" Maera asks Eonn. She says to Thane, "Lord Stark would know."

"He looked like a dead man with a big nose," says Eonn wearily. He does seem to be improving, though, steadier. "I don't know, I was vomiting." He gives Maera an apologetic look.

Thane nods to Maera, "We will speak with your liege lord, then." He rises, stepping away for a moment to instruct a nearby maester to bring the patients goat milk.

Maera says, with a sigh, "Big nosed Cressen Glover." She finishes off the cup of goat's milk.

Eonn looks into his own empty cup with sunken-eyed longing.

Thane returns, frowning at Maera's overheard words. "Then it was likely to be Cressen? Leaving us with more questions than answers."

Maera refills Eonn's cup with the jug before putting more in her own. "He might not have known anything."

"Did any of the others return?" asks Eonn. "After us?"

"He might not have known that he knew something," Thane retorts. "He had a purpose in being here, and may have not have known that he carries pieces to our puzzle." Thane gestures around the room to the other patients. "You know what I know, Eonn."

"What I don't understand." Maera says, "Is what happened to the rest. Surely a wheelhouse wouldn't travel without escort?"

Thane rubs his chin. "Do we understand what happened to Cressen in the first place? What drove that wheelhouse into the swamp? What killed him?"

Eonn drinks more of the goat's milk and says, "I suppose the escort was eaten by lizard lions. Or poisoned."

"Aye, but there was no sign of them that I saw." Maera points out, "And they may know why."

"Where I will serve best is trying to learn about this…creature," Thane muses. "The long-armed man in the tree. It certainly doesn't sound natural."

"Do you remember seeing the man in the trees?" Maera asks Eonn, "I recall him being rather long-limbed."

Eonn nods. "Thin," he says. "I. A man ought not to climb like that."

Thane rises to his feet. "I'll look into it. When you two are feeling better, speak with Lord Stark and see what he knows. I may have to consult the Silver Archmaester about this poison, though. It's beyond my realm of knowledge."

Maera nods once to Thane. "Aye. I hope to be gone from here soon enough, but I'll come if I have any more information."

Eonn nods slowly. He looks at Maera. "I wish to go," he says.

Thane frowns at Eonn. "You're only just regained your strength. I want you to remain here another night, so you can remain under observation."

Eonn sighs at Thane's words, but settles back as if he intends to obey.

Maera looks as if she may say something, but doesn't. She looks up to Thane, "I am well enough to go?"

Thane furrows his brow. "Will you listen to me if I say no?"

"I would." Maera says before glancing to Eonn, "But I would not remain if it was…unneeded." Perhaps she wants an excuse to stay.

"Stay," says Eonn tiredly. "I can hardly stand up; I was going to see if we might send for a cart."

'Hardly' is probably an exaggeration. Likely he cannot stand up at all.

Thane grumbles, finally assuming a commanding tone. "You'll both stay. But I'll see about arranging more comfortable accommodations."

Maera nods her head once to this, and seems satisfied.

Eonn looks up at Maera. He drains the rest of the milk from his cup, and seems unaware of how much he's got in his beard now.

"I'll to that, and then I have research to do." Thane gives a little bow. "Lady Mormont. Eonn." He turns and strides off, glowering at an acolyte on his out for who-knows-what.

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