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    Phedre nicEssus

    Post  Phedre nicEssus on Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:09 pm



    Once long ago there was a man. A man respected by the whole village of Leshadra. A warrior it is true, but that is not why he was respected. He was a Knight Hospitaler, and devoted his life to defending the weak and treating the sick. He had settled in Leshandra after taking a grievous wound in a great war and needed much time to recover. As he healed he also spent time treating the village. Tho flawed, he came to truly like the village and its people. So it came as no surprise when an evil sickness broke out, he took it upon himself to find the rare plant that could heal it. I'll not speak of much of his journey as this story is not his. Suffice it to say, he was led astray and lost in a deep forest. But an Elven woman came to his rescue and together they found the plant and saved the village. But this is not her story either. Perhaps another day I will tell of their many quests and great adventures, but not this day.

    Tho the narrow-minded village was grateful for his help, they did not care for the non-human who assisted him. There was much scandalous talk of the man's relationship with the elf. When it became apparent the Elf would not be leaving the man, the village started to pull back from the knight. He began to find it hard to find local merchants and farmers to sell to him. Friends he'd had for years stopped talking to him. Blinded by love he shrugged it off. But the beautiful Elf saw what was happening and stayed at their farmhouse to avoid trouble.

    Trouble came anyway when the village people found out she was pregnant.  Sly insults followed in the knight's wake. Stones broke windows in the middle of the night. Salt was scattered among her carefully tended flowers. The bar fight that started when the man was in the tavern seemed to end the ill will as he reminded the village he was still a warrior and not to be tampered with.

    The child, Phedre nicEssus, was born into a family that loved and doted on her, and a village that hated her.


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    Post  Phedre nicEssus on Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:55 pm



    She was a joyful child. Chasing butterflies and dancing among the flowers of the meadow. The only dark clouds in her life rested within the village itself. Her father took her into the village to trade among the merchants. They dared not to treat him ill remembering all too well the drunkards who attempted to fight him in the tavern years ago. But Phedre was not extended such courtesies. The adults of the village pointedly turned a blind eye to her as the other children picked on her, pushed her into the mud (and less savory things), teased, taunted, and called her an abomination. It is a word that to this day can put her into a black fury. The only time in town she was safe was under her father's watchful eye. Her father, the kind fool, dearly wanted her to make friends with the other children, but any friendly moves toward Phedre dissolved when the adults caught wind of it. No child of theirs would befriend the unholy combination of Human and Elf. That's when her father came up with his well intentioned, but nearly tragic idea. Phedre was to attend the village school.

    Phedre was mostly oblivious to the arguments, but she knew her father was angry alot and her mother was sad. She knew they wanted her to attend the school and the thought both interested and scared her. She so wanted to learn but there would be other children there and she wasn't eager to be trapped in a room with them.

    But things got scarier at home. Windows were getting broken again. A fox was let into the chicken coop. It wasn't an accident. When she opened the henhouse to collect eggs the trapped fox bolted out leaving feathers in its wake. Their milch cow was found with its throat cut. Not wolf bites, but a knife slash. The night the barn burned was the night they fled the village.




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    Post  Phedre nicEssus on Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:08 am

    For several years they lived a traveling merchant's life. Phedre's mother was a very talented spinner and weaver. They sold her trade goods, while her father hunted and did odd jobs wherever they went. Phedre felt like it was one long holiday. Sure her father kept his sword on him at all times eyeing the bushes along the road warily. And maybe her mother did spend all her time spinning and weaving and worrying about being able to sell her goods in order to feed them another day, but Phedre saw all manners of places and met new people who didn't hate her on sight. They slept outside every night and her father started teaching her how to use a small blade. It was a grand holiday.

    She was still young that first year on the road when she found out it wasn't some long grand adventure like in her books. The bear seemed to come out of nowhere. Huge and black and angry. No, not angry, MAD! She could see the bloody foam at its mouth as the rabid bear barreled into their camp. It was the first time she had seen her father fight and later when she wasn't so terribly frightened of the memory she would marvel at his fluid skill. The injuries he gave it would have driven any normal bear off, but the maddened bear just kept coming til her father finally managed to hit something vital. The bear retreated several paces away before dropping. All three of them stood in waiting silence for several minutes before her mother ran to her father. It was then Phedre realized he was bleeding. It seemed like there was so much blood, it was everywhere. His and the bear's. Phedre did the only thing a child of her age could do. Screaming she burst into tears.



    It took a long time before they could convince her Papa wasn't dying. But he did get very sick three days after the attack. Her and her mother bundled him into the wagon and they headed for the nearest city.The Knight Hospitalers there tended to him and he was well within the month. Sick with worry about her father, should couldn't help but be fascinated with hospice and the chirgons that worked it. When she visited her father one day in his sick room, he saw she had wrapped a clumsy splint around her dollies leg. Smiling he showed her how to do it right to keep the poppets leg immobile. In the weeks they were there Phedre learned that skin that had been badly cut could be sewn back together, withered limbs could be removed and replaced with wooden replicas, and twisted and broken bodies could be straightened and healed.
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    Post  Phedre nicEssus on Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:38 pm

    They spent years on the road, moving town to town. They saw great cities and villages so small they were scarcely more than a farm or two pushed together. It didn't seem there was any destination in mind, they just kept drifting west. They wintered in whatever city they were closest to when the first snows fell. There she would attend whatever school was there. She spent her free time spinning and weaving with her mother to rebuild their trade goods. She hung around the local hospice and potion shops trying to learn whatever she could without getting under foot and kicked out. They moved on again when the first blush of green graced the trees.
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    Post  Phedre nicEssus on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:58 pm

    *************

    Phedre gazed at the thick walls as Papa drove the wagon though the city gates. An actual City! The last few stops they had made had been to villages so poor they couldn't do more than glance at Mama tapestries and yarn. So poor Papa couldn't bring himself to charge any money for the deer and birds he had brought from the nearby woods. A share in the food was all he charged. But this place had promise! Most places they went were towns and villages that were interested in her yarns and bolts of cloth. The great tapestries they had saved from the fire when they fled their home were marvels, but also extremely expensive. Over the last 6 years they had sold only 2 and that was to nobles. But the money each had brought in had paid for a whole winters rent, plus some supplies for Mama. It was early spring yet and the money that had supported them this last winter was nearly gone.

    As the wagon drove past the different guild houses on its way to the merchant sector a great complex opened up to the side of the road. It was massive and bore the symbol of the Knight Hospitaler. It wasn't some outpost or hospice. This was an honest to goodness Hospital!



    She must have made some sound, a small gasp perhaps, because her father glanced over at her with an amused look.
    Now don't you be running off till the booth is set up and ready.Phedre rolled her eyes as only a teenager can do. I know Papa.

    By the time they arrived at the merchant's sector and they paid their booth fees it was already nearing dark. She wouldn't be seeing the Hospital tonight. She wouldn't wander off in a strange city at night. She lugged the heavy rolls of tapestries out of the wagon to set them up and thought she saw a boy watching her. He didn't seem much older than her but didn't care for the way he was watching them set up at all. Before going for the next tapestry she strapped on her longsword Papa had just started teaching her to use this spring. She didn't much like wearing it as it was long and got in the way of her legs as she worked but right now it made her feel safer in the strange city.

    The morning dawned clear and bright. There wouldn't be much buying this morning if there was any today at all. Their goods were something that needed to be looked over and talked about in town before people came to buy. Mama and Papa could handle the onlookers while Phedre slipped off to get breakfast and look over the rest of the market. Sitting on the edge of a fountain, eating her spiced meat roll she saw the boy again. In daylight he was dressed rather finely, but the man he was speaking to was dressed in a way that nearly screamed noble. Phedre slipped away. She could never remember how to treat with nobles. Just by looking she could never tell if they were a duke, a count, or a mayor. Did she bow low or just nod her head. It was all frankly confusing so she just avoided them. The boy was pointing the noble to Merchant's Row. Odd but maybe the noble was just looking for directions...in his own city...and asked a lowly trader boy...right like that would happen.

    She wandered the market for a while before coming back to the rented booth to see if Papa or Mama were hungry yet. There she saw the same noble ordering a few servants to carry off one of the great tapestries and Mama counting gold. Gold! Not the ever common copper or silver but Gold! The money slipped quickly into her inner money belt and Papa, standing guard at the front of the booth took on an even more watchful glare. Kinda and gentle Papa could really pull off the intimidating bodyguard act when he wanted to. A look of joy and relief greeted Phedre when Mama looked at her. She wouldn't tell Phedre how much they just made now, not where ears could hear, but the look said it was alot.



    Phedre skipped off for a round of bubbly pies for her family. Coming back she saw a noble woman swathed in silk heading toward Merchant's Row. That wasn't what caught her eye. The weird boy was standing in her wake watching the noble go with what looked like a smug smirk on his face. Seeing Phedre watch him the smile faded and he slipped off into the crowd. Phedre's eye just couldn't seem to follow him. Hurrying back to the booth she dropped off the bubbly tarts and started to talk to her father.

    Papa, I think something weird is going on...

    But by that time the silk clad woman came up and Phedre went quiet. Again, how do you treat nobles? She slipped off into the crowd to watch the woman buy two, TWO!, of Mama's great tapestries. After that it was noble after noble coming to buy anything at all. All different families, colors and crests. The amount of money that was thrown at her family was astonishing. Papa ordered her into her armor and to take up post on the other side of the booth. She did her best to look intimidating, but she rather figured she only came off looking bored. The more money that came in the more nervous the family became. The gold that was a relief this morning became a greater worry. That night they closed down the booth and all three armed and on their guard walked to the merchant bank Papa's hand wrapped around the money bag the whole way.



    They were able to sleep that night knowing the dangerous gold was locked away, but they wouldn't be able to leave it there when they left. Not all the lands they traveled through would accept a banker's note as currency. The next day dawned as the day before, with clear skies and a rain of noble's gold. This day Papa told her to go and see if he could find out what was going on.

    That task wasn't hard, the crowds were buzzing with the gossip that an enchanted Elven princess was in the city selling magical woven goods. It was said to even buy a hair ribbon from her would grant you luck, youth and wealth. The local rivaling nobles were not to be outdone by each other and flocked to the booth to purchase something greater than any of the others had. And where she saw the nobles or their retainers, she saw that scruffy well dressed boy.

    She returned to the booth to find Papa shutting it down. She repeated what she had found and he declared something was very wrong and they had to leave. I don't know why these rumors are being spread but we need to get out of here now. Some one is engineering this and I don't know what his game is. Its time to go. Now.They visited the merchant's bank to retrieve the gold left there over night and very nearly fled the city.

    When they got out of the city Papa stowed all the gold in a hidden compartment under their seats. Mama drove and Papa stayed armored and armed as they left the city far behind. But no man can stay at attention forever and the second day Papa started to relax. And that was just what the bandits were waiting for.
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    Post  Phedre nicEssus on Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:22 pm

    They poured, screaming out of the hills, brush and trees. Everywhere she looked there were dangerous men with weapons charging at them. Papa jumped from the wagon, sword in hand. Just like the bear, he was calm and focused. Where he sliced a bandit fell away. Several bandits stood at a distance and Phedre could see they were armed with bows and guns. One had a gun pointed right at Papa. Before she could scream a warning the bark of a gun went off right by her ear. Mama calmly reloaded as the bandit fell. The gunfire woke Phedre from her shock and she fumbled to put an arrow to the bow that was strung at her feet. That is what her parents had told her. If ever they were set upon, get her bow and take out ranged attackers first as Papa on the ground couldn't defend against them.

    Shaking she launched arrows into the ranged bandits. Frankly she didn't do much damage as she was quivering so badly her aim was horrid. This was so much different that hunting. Deer don't shoot back. But her arrows did enough to distract the enemy. They found it hard to hit her family when they had to keep ducking.



    When the ranged bandits were no longer a threat, Phedre grabbed her longsword and jumped down to join her father on the ground. She stood there for long heartbeats trying to decipher the chaos on the ground. She made a tentative swing at one bandit only to have him crumple with the sound of her mothers gunshot. Then there was no more time to be shy. Someone was charging her father from his back. He was interlocked with another bandit and her mother hadn't seen it. Phedre stepped up between her father and the oncoming highwayman. Seeing her bring up her sword the bandit checked his speed, but then thought better of it and decided to continue to charger. The hesitation gave Phedre the chance to recognize him. It was the scruffy well dressed boy. Phedre realized what was happening in the blink of an eye. How brilliant the plan must have been. Nobles are notoriously hard to rob. But merchants were robbed all the time. And a small family would seem easy pickings. Build up some story of magic wares to get the nobles spending money on them and you make sure the small family merchants would be sure to have loads of money on them when you robbed them outside the city. Phedre could almost pity them. Almost. Such a good plan about to be torn to shreds simply because they picked the wrong family to rob.

    All that came to her between one breath and the next. She raised her sword to strike him. She didn't want to kill anyone but if she could wound him enough maybe he'd just go away. But the sword was a new weapon to her. For years she had worked with her dagger, but just this spring Papa had been training her with the sword that had a greater reach. What would have been a simple wound with a dagger scored the boy deep in his chest. Skin parted and bones broke under the strength she had gained hauling heavy tapestries in and out of the wagon. The boy staggered back with a shocked look on his face. He raised his own weapon, a nasty looking dagger with a nasty green sheen dripping on its edge, but he stumbled back coughing. Phedre flinched as the blood flecked spittle hit her face.

    The bark of the gun woke her again from her stunned state. Glancing around the only enemies she saw were the wounded and dead around her and those fleeing into the hills. Papa spun her around to look at him. He was saying something but it took a few tries before her brain informed her he was saying Phedre! Talk to me! Are you ok? Did that dagger hit you anywhere? A scratch? Anything?She stared into his face that was pale with terror. Dumbly she shook her head but he wasn't satisfied till he looked her over. Staring at the blood on her arms and body Phedre's mind buzzed. She looked at the red ruin of the boy's chest. She did that. Her. She killed someone. Dropping her sword she barely made it to the side of the road before throwing up.


    Last edited by Phedre nicEssus on Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Post  Phedre nicEssus on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:36 pm

    Her mother sat by her side and muttered soothing words as Phedre spit bile from her mouth. Its ok little bird, you'll be fine. Just get it all out. Everybody is sick their first time. Its ok.Her mother handed her a waterskin and Phedre rinsed out her mouth before taking a few gulps. Steadied she got up and turned to view the carnage. Confused she watched as her father moved among the bandits. He stopped at a man with an arrow in his leg. Kicking the man's blade away he bowed down and tied the man's hands behind him. Then he turned to tend to the man's leg. A length of rope and a stick became a tourniquet.Phedre, get my bag. Phedre just stared at him.Phedre, my bag. Get it.She blurted the only thing that could come to mind. "Why!? Why heal him?" He looked at her slightly disappointed in her question.Who else will?"He just tried to KILL us! Let him die!" she sputtered. He shook his head and returned to his work.It's not my call who lives and dies, nor is it yours. He will heal and he will face justice. Now, my bag? Phedre spun and grabbed the bag blazoned with the Knight Hospitaler sigal on the side. Hold his shoulders down. As she did so her father began explaining about easing the arrow out and how not to nick the major vessels in the leg. She watched with morbid fascination and noted with sick humor it was her arrow being worked out of his leg. Just I could hit something after all. She almost laughed but was afraid if she did she wouldn't be able to stop the hysterics.

    One of the horses was dead, shot through with bandit arrows, but some creative harnessing got the other hooked up to the wagon. Phedre and her mother moved what was left of the trade goods so the living bandit wouldn't bleed over them and they lashed him to the wagon. He lost consciousness while they were ministering him. Seems that tho the Hospitaler was honor bound to heal the injured, he wasn't honor bound to make the healing pleasant. They returned him to the city and made a report with the city guard. The guard then followed them out of the city to collect the bandit dead. Even tho Phedre dearly wanted to see the hospital, they thought it best to move on before the nobles thought they were involved with the scam to buy the tapestries and demanded their money back or worse, for the family to be put into chains like bandits themselves.

    *************
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    Post  Phedre nicEssus on Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:06 pm



    With the money gained from the bandits, the family was able to travel for pleasure. Midsummer found them arriving at the great city of Fort Hold. Many years ago the city was just a military base, but had now grown to be a massive complex. But the important part of the city for Phedre was it boasted another Hospital. They stopped their travels early this year and were able to purchase a small house. Here they lived for 4 years while Phedre was schooled at the Hospital. Her studies for those first 4 years were dedicated to books and laboratory work. Her 5th year was to be spent observing doctors at work and monitoring patients.

    But a military city, just by it's very nature, makes enemies.

    Bright as a new minted copper dear Phedre may be when diagnosing ailments of the body, she is fairly dense when it comes to politics. She had never paid attention to the peace talks that were failing, to the talk of enemy armies camping on distant borders, or to the words politicians spoke to calm the nervous populace. In fact it wasn't until her family and the hospital started to stockpile food and water that she even realized the situation outside the boundaries of the city had grown so very unstable. She had shrugged off the drilling of the inner city militia, after all, isn't that what military people do all the time? Drill? But it was the local weavers spending time making bandages that had her the most alarmed.
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    Post  Phedre nicEssus on Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:35 am

    The City was on full alert the day the invading army was spotted from atop the outer wall. Doctors and Chirurgeons were stationed at the Hospital, while students and apprentices were to station outposts around the city to triage incoming wounded, patching them up before sending them back to the front lines or stabilizing them before sending them to the Hospital. Phedre found herself in the gap between the outer and inner walls just to the side of the southern gate. The city militia had marched past them hours ago and most of the students here could just stand at the gate straining to see the battle in the far distance. Instead of joining her classmates Phedre spent her time arranging and rearranging tools and bandages. It had felt odd to wear her longsword after not having used it much in the last 4 years, but she took to it again quickly. Waiting for the first of the ambulances to arrive from the front lines made her sick and she couldn't bear to look at the distance battle. The Trauma Professor that was there to supervise them called the students back to the hospice outpost. Here they come.



    At first things were organized as the ambulance wagons drew up. The Professor directed the students to triage, while the apprentices and Professor stabilized patients. But things grew quickly out of hand as the wagons just kept coming. The students, including Phedre, found themselves supervised less and less as the more learned of the group became too focused to watch them.



    As she finished wrapping a pressure bandage around another minor cut Phedre glanced up to find wounded everywhere with no rhyme nor reason to the layout. Belly wounds lay among broken legs and small cuts. How can the apprentices find the patients that need them if they are all so mixed together. The student in charge of directing ambulances was just pointing them to any open spot. The wounded were being treated on a first come first serve basis and stacked together like cord wood. This is wrong, she thought to herself. Stalking up to the student, she intended to yell at him for his stupidity but when she got close she saw he was pale and trembling. He just stood there staring at the line of wagons.

    Phedre looked him in the eye and said in her most convincing voice "Jors? I want you to get all the patients who can walk to line up against the side of the outer wall. Can you do that? Now Jors. Do it now. GO!" Stumbling away the student did as he was told. It took longer than she wanted but she got the chaos under some order. Minor cuts, scrapes and breaks tended to by the first and second year students. Deep wounds went to the third and fourth years. Spine, head and belly injuries went to the Professor and apprentices for stabilization. She yelled and bullied ambulance drivers and encouraged and cajoled her fellow classmates.

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    Post  Phedre nicEssus on Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:26 am

    In a lull between the wagons Phedre found herself stitching up a scared young man who just kept babbling. She had tuned most of it out as she held him down and tried to suture a particularly nasty gash from his groin to knee.

    ...and there was so many and they were calling out, but I couldn't look them in the eye you know? I mean, I have just as much right as they do, right? But they just kept calling for help, but there was no room, no room left for anyone, I mean Jensen had to be laid in our laps and we didn't know how to help him, we just kept pressing the rag to his belly but it just wasn't helping and the blood was everywhere and we just didn't know what to do.

    Finishing the stitches Phedre glanced up at him, realizing what it was he was talking about. Not the battle but the ambulance wagon ride.

    Wait, what?

    If the solider took any notice of her question he didn't show it. He just kept talking.


    So much everywhere, and he was starting to cough it up. They wouldn't tell me what happened but I know, coughing blood is bad and I know what happened, but no one would say it. The ride back was so slow, if we had just gotten help faster, of if someone knew whadda do, no one could help, and so many back thar...callin fur help...cudnt help...hep...

    The strong painkillers finally let the man sleep. Even tho she soon had another injury under her hands the soldiers words stayed with her. She never thought about the wounded on the lines, the ones that couldn't get to the wagons, or that there would be too many to fit on them. Why had it never occurred to her that men would be dying on the trip to help? Perhaps her mind had shied away from such awful thoughts, but she couldn't hide from reality anymore.
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    Post  Phedre nicEssus on Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:36 am

    Confident that the other students and apprentices had the triage under control Phedre lost herself in her work saving lives. Occasionally a first year student would come by with a water pitcher or a meat roll and made sure all the medics ate, but Phedre didn't notice them much.

    Phedre finally looked up from her work and found no ambulance wagons in sight. The road they had traveled was a churned and muddy mess. Many students found themselves at loose ends and stood looking down the muddy road where far in the distance the fighting was happening.

    What's going on here now? She asked the nearest student


    Ambulances have stopped coming. Does that mean we won? Is it all over? Are we done? Phedre pursed her lips and looked thoughtfully down the road. I don't know. I don't think its over, but where are the wagons?

    One lone rider came plodding down the road toward them. The soldiers who had been patched up and were waiting for a wagon to take them back to the front lines had picked up on the worry and stiffened to attention. They need not have worried tho, Phedre recognized the rider as one of the wagon drivers.

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