(121-11-03) A Troubadour Falls

Madrighal is sitting under his favorite apple tree, playing his lute, grapes and a glass of white wine at his elbow. He is singing a song about a desert persuit in the Dornish style.

Isador otherwise known as the Red Witch or the Lady of the Brambles enters the Quill and many a soul stirs from their seat or place of rest to avoid her. Comely she may be but atavistic fears are stirred by her reputation as a fearsome Blood Maegi and witch. She sees the Bard in his livery - and though not often disposed to be social she approaches him.

Madrighal's smile is open and friendly, his accent is as Dornish as his silks. He is a small man and lovely as a maiden and his voice as expressive when he speaks as when he sings. Sweat sheens his brow, despite the cool breeze off the Honeywine. "Would you like to make a request, Mistress? I have not sung publically while the festival lasts and I am wanting to take up my post again.

"Hail master Minstrel," Isador says congenially with a sweet smile. "I dare not constrain you with my own requests. What do you fancy you should like to play?" Isador gestures to a seat. "Mind if I join you?"

Madrighal gestures, offering her a seat. "You are welcome to my wine and grapes, and I am just happy to be playing again." Indeed, so happy that his fingers keep moving over the strings, the rhythm mimicking hoof beats. "I've been playing up at te Citadel a bit, but I am a man who travels much and do not like to tempt fate.

"The citadel has it's troubles I hear?" Isador says as she graciously accepts the young man's offer. "It is good you were there to alleviate them - with sweet music. If for only a moment."

Madrighal nods, "Very many are ill and the fever makes them restess. It is an ugly desease and hard to tend. I go to play to calm the delerious, to give then something sweet to chase away the…." He makkes a strange sound in the back of his throat and thrusts aside his instrument, eyes wide with alarm. leaning sideways a vile stream of foul smelling black vomit pours out of him. He collapses against the tree, gasping, eyes glassy.

Isador regards him clinically and without shock, "As I had anticipated it likely spread to you…" Placing a strip of cloth across her motuh and some gloves on her hands. "Come minstrel - time to get you somewhere safe - safer for others as well as yourself." The crowd is more than a little ill at ease with this turn of events.

Madrighal is too busy with the horrible things going on inside of him to take much notice of the ditress of his audience. He stays slumped, mouth moving soundlessly as he clutches his stomache. Finally he whispers, "I do not feel very well, Mistress Isador."

Isador motions for a waitress to retrieve a bucket and remains with the stricken minstrel. It takes a while. "Little wonder youngling - you have spent too much time in the company of the sick with little protection. But fear not I may have the means to arrest the diseases progress. Besides - I would like to examine it. Perhaps there exists an avenue to a cure the stiff Tower types have not considered?"

Madrighal closes his eyes, "Do…whatever makes sense. Just protect my instrument. She's been with me my hole life. And tell… tell Maester Leandro I can not work on his peom."

Isador retrieves it with her gloved hand, "I'll take care of her for you," The bucket arrives. "Disgorge your innards as much as you have to Minstrel - then we shall move you to the hospice…"

Madrighal leans over it and more foul smelling goo comes out of his small body, more than can possibly be good. The terrace is pretty much empty, alarmed drinkers having sensibly fled. He is mostly limp after, all fever sweat and stench.

Isador continues to watch the young man clinically - she is not devoid of compassion - it simply has not utility in this situation. "It certainly strikes suddenly…" she remarks. Speaking quietly to a tavern wench she pays her to go obtain a Maester.

The tavern wench is happy to not be here. He whispers, "I don't want to die." He starts singing softly in what appears to be high Valerian, which makes no real sense for a Dorish lad with a bit of Summer Isles ancestry.

"Not yet - not in the future I see…" Isador says shutting her eyes for a moment. She listens to what he sings in High Valerian - being fluent in it herself as a Blood Maegi.

Madrighal is singing an ancient love song about a couple that meant under a cherry tree, only one misses the rendevue. Thinking he has been spurned, he marries another only to learn his love had fallen sick and was dying. The music sounds modern though, and the poem is so old, that if it had music it is long lost. He pays at his tunic as if the collar is too tight, but he can't seem to find the tie. His eyes are not really focused either. he stares into the distance as the song leaks from him in fits and starts.

Isador mixes some herbs in the nearby wine, "I think it is time for you to rest young minstrel…" she says. "And we shall see what the morrow brings - I'll give you my full attention." She waits for a break in Madrighal's vomiting to administer her tonic.

Madrighal has run out of things to vomit for the moment. He is shivering, the fever rising hard and fast. He keeps up his soft, ragged singing and the ineffectual attempt to open his tunic. he chokes on the tonic a bit, but does drink it docily enough, still trying to sing in the breaks between sips. If he ways more than about 120 pounds he doesn't look it, though moving him about, he is essentially dead weight.

Isador is no pushover coming from north of the wall but her figure is still perhaps too dainty for the task - when her Maester arrives she conscripts two burly men to carry the dead weight of the man with a suitable bribe. Isador is never short of coin.

The men require a lot of coin. No one wants to die this way. Madrighal panics as he's lifted, breaking off his song to beg them to leet him go, that the Lannister is a mad thug and that the heir will not thank them for murdering him, whatever Lord soran promises them.

Isador angrily shrugs to the Maester "The perils of delerium," she says. She applies the sleeping tonic once more to the lad if he will let her speaking in soothing tones as she does.

Madrighal drinks and then curls up weeping, soon to sleep. The Maester has brought a cart in which other delirious sick lie, tossing and turning in their filth.

Isador cleans out the cart as best she can with a broom wrapped in a cloth - pouring spirits on the cloth to act as a makeshift barrier to the sickness before Madrighal is placed in it. The best she can do in the present environ. Mask on she accompanies them to the hospice - hoping it is not in the citadel proper where she might not be allowed.

They are letting women in the infirmiry as they did during the silk outbreak a while back. There are too many sick of both sexes and they must rely on the help of friends and relatives and charitable ladies to tend so many stricken. It is a terrible disease and foul black stuff is apt to come ouyt both ends, requiring much washing and changing. The smell is terrible, and those tenfding the sick where masks. Delerious patients weep and scream and beg, the stronger ones trying to get up and wander.

Isador takes advantage of the 'largess' of the infirmiry's gaurds - momentarily apalled at the sight before her though she had seen and thorugh magic achieved worse. She tightens her mask and starts to take mental notes about what she sees around her.

The Maesters are exhausted and harried. They are doing their best, but the best healers amoung them are mostly amoung the fallen.

Isador joins the fray - with her understandable caution.

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