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(Archive) ETHRING: Plague

Tags: Menelglir,  Farielle,  Lominzil,  Fencrist,  Silmir,  Calardan,  Tavor,  Aewmir,  Ssamori

Short Summary: Plague reigns in the town of Ethring, and the Gondorian investigation party meets a familiar Hlorithain.
Date (real-life): 2014-01-21
Scene Location: Ethring, Lamedon
*****If you're reading this log as part of the Plague plot, please be aware that some earlier scenes are missing. 
Lamedon: Ethring

Standing just south of the mountains and leaning over the Ringlo-- the township of Ethring is an uncluttered maze of cosy buildings; some set in spacious avenues while others lean toward the hills. The mood is carefree and airy in this settlement, so detached from Gondor's greater dramas.

Homes and stores are open to the roads-- their classic architecture consistently favouring the open, elegant, and roomy. Balconies open everywhere atop of reoccurring second stories, and pristine verandas spread from front doors of manors to be shaded with canopies in the summer. Bronze benches crowned with bowls are placed beside the lime-hued cobblestone roads to be lit at night.

Here in the centre of the townsquare, from which all surrounding roadways are born, sits a great fountain. Children and teenagers might splash in its water at times, when they are not taking advantage of the river. 

Obvious exits:
Men Ernil <W>

It's a frigid mid-winter day, and, thanks to the clouds, even the sun has been barred from warming the earth this day. The frozen ground crunches faintly under the hooves of the horses as they ride into Ethring.

There's a general disease about Ethring, and the streets are perhaps quieter than they normally all even for a cold and chilly day like this one. The trader, Tavor, wrinkles his nose as he glances about the quiet streets from atop the newly purchased horse he acquired before leaving Linhir. He's helped the group make good time to this point.

[Silmir(#24455)] Silmir also rides a newly purchased horse, not having ridden up with them. He sits rather stiffly, unused to being on horseback, but he has been taught. For once he is glad of the scarf around his nose and mouth, it being functional for the cold and to keep the sickness at bay.

Farielle has arrived.

"This, then, is it," Menelglir says, drawing his horse up next to Tavor and looking about. "Though I am not certain what our coming here will show us. At least not yet."

Riding into Ethring, Fencrist is hale and hearty, having no ill effects from the sniffles combined with drink that afflicted him. Pushing his hood back, he looks up at the cloudless sky and then at the town around him. Whether from the chill air or the feel of this place, Fencrist shivers and pulls his cloak closer about himself.

"Perhaps it is a holiday," says Lominzil lightly, his words spare. Above his head, the frozen spearpoint bears the banner of the Swan, crusted with ice, and below, horse and horse-blanket are rimmed with white.

[Farielle(#31396)] "We sh-should have a bonfire," Farielle adds, trying to keep her teeth from chattering. "W-we could r-roast apples..."

Scowling at Lominzil's words, Tavor simply shakes his head, "A holiday..." Dark eyes turn towards Menelglir and the trader adds, "If you wish it, I can show you to the house of healing. Perhaps the healers can answer your questions better than I." Reaching a hand up to rub the back of his neck Tavor grumbles, "And then I will see if my goods and horse team have returned here, or if they are lost entirely somewhere on the plains between here and Linhir."

[Silmir(#24455)] Silmir smiles grimly at the quips, glancing around. The scowl from Tavor cuts off anything the fisherman had thought to say on the matter. He pulls his cloak closer, glancing around the town. "If there are still people here, anyways. They might have all left to escape the sickness."

"Yes, I suppose so," Menelglir answers, turning his eyes from the street and back onto Tavor. "That was our purpose in coming here. And..." he glances to Farielle, "we must warm up."
"Then they brought it with them," Lominzil says, and nudges his horse. "We will follow you, Master Tavor."

Fencrist nods at Silmir. "I fear you are right. But which way? I do not recall seeing an exodus between here and Linhir."

"I think you might find both there." Tavor replies with a nod for Menelglir, and his gaze flicks back to Farielle as he adds, "And, perhaps, the healers could use assistance from the good lady you have with you." Turning his horse owards the north side of town, Tavor flicks the reins lightly, setting off at a trot, "This way."

[Silmir(#24455)] Following the others, Silmir glances back at Fencrist. "I am unfamiliar with the area. Is there any place they could have gone other than Linhir? If so, someone ought to go there and check on them." He relaxes a bit once they move a little quicker, but still horribly unused to horse riding.

"With haste, then," Menelglir nods to Tavor.
Lominzil peers through shuttered windows as they pass through the street.

Fencrist shrugs his shoulders at Silmir, indicating his own ignorance of local geography. As the group moves forward, Fencrist spurs his horse to keep pace.

[Farielle(#31396)] "I would be g-glad to assist your h-healers," Farielle says. "If you w-will sh-show us where they are, p-please."

Passing several buildings, Tavor turns down a wide street and pulls up his horse as he scans the street before him. There have been few people thus far, but outside a building just ahead people wait in a queue to enter one particularly large building. Sucking in a breath between his teeth, Tavor nods to that line, "That. That is the healing house."
"And that is why you neglected to visit the healers ere you left," comments Lominzil to Tavor. "They are standing in the cold."

"This should not be," Menelglir shakes his head. "We must go in and see what is causing such a line, but the horses must be tended to first, in this cold."
"Where is the inn? Or must we buy another warehouse?" asks Lominzil.

"It's worse than when I left." Tavor responds to Lominzil's comment with a frown. His eyes flick to Meneglir as he adds, "I can show you to the inn and help you get the horses settled. I think I would prefer not to brave the house of sickness."

Fencrist wheels his horse around, looking back the way they came. "If the plague is here, somewhere we can defend if victims do go insane."

Lominzil follows, saying, "Thank you. We shall have more questions for you soon."

To the south and west of Ethring are the rolling hills of Tarnost, scrutable amidst this wintry chill by the barrenness of her distinctive willows. In that direction comes the rhythmic pounding of falling hooves, beating louder and steadier as the sound draws near. They are riders, and there are three.

Their herald is not a voice nor a sword, but a banner that catches the cold wind and beats about: a golden willow on evergreen sea.

The riders slow as they draw nigh to the town and its desperation. They say little to one another until a glimpse is caught of another company, this one flying the banner of Imrahil, Lord of Belfalas. As that company turns the corner and spies the line outside the healing house, a voice follows.

"Who is it that flies the Ship and the Swan of Dol Amroth?"

[Farielle(#31396)] Farielle pulls her horse to a stop. "Lomin," she calls, " - will you take Miera, please?" she says, dismounting stiffly - almost falling to the gorund. She steadies herself against the horse's side. "I will go in and see what I may do to help." She glances back at the sound of more hoofbeats and a voice calling to them.

[Silmir(#24455)] Silmir gets down from his horse. "I can assist you, my lady, if you wish." He glances between Tavor and the healer, unsure of whether to go or wait until after he's stabled his horse himself.
"Go on, Farielle," says Lominzil, and adds, "Be careful."

As the company from Linhir proceeds to find lodgings, the squire remains in the street, holding the reins of two horses. It is not a stranger's voice that halts him, though he turns, stiff from the cold.

"Hir Menelglir, Silver Knight of the High Guard, leads this company," he calls, waiting.

The people lined up before the healing house look at the new arrivals wearily and, in some cases, warily, and the door stands cracked open. A woman's voice beyond the portal can be heard speaking, "I'm sorry, but there's really no room left. It would perhaps be better if you went home and rested there." 

The heady scent of herbs wafts from beyond the door, and there is a low hum of other voices and more just within the building as if many, many people were inside.

"I know the name," says the weathered rider, "But your voice too."

Two boots hit the ground.


It is Hir Calardan Hlorithain who emerges from atop the steed, throwing back his hood to reveal silver hair and a face divested of more years than have truly passed since this knight willingly surrendered his post as Knight-Marshall and returned to his ancestral lands.

[Farielle(#31396)] "Thank you," Farielle says gratefully to her brother. She relinquishes the reins of her mount to him, admonishing him, "You be careful, too."

"We are not ill," she says, turning towards the opening door. "We have come to help. I am Farielle Girithlin, of Dol Amroth - I am a healer. What do you need?"

Fencrist climbs down off his horse. Leading his beast forward, he comes up besides Silmir. "Go, I'll see that your horse is stabled."

[Silmir(#24455)] Silmir nods to Fencrist, handing over the reins of his horse. "Many thanks." He follows Farielle, standing quietly near her, ready to help. He glances back toward the new riders for a moment, but soon returns his attention to the sick and the healers.

"Hir Calardan," Menelglir says with some surprise as he greets the knight. "Have the rumors, then, brought you here, too? I would speak with you on it, but some pressing business calls me. Lominzil, see to things here--Farielle's safety above all--and I will take Silmir and see to finding us suitable quarters." He grimaces at that.
The Swan dips, blown awry by a blast of wind.

"Come no closer, Hir," calls Lominzil Girithlin. "Here is illness, and here," he glances back to Menelglir, "our errand."

The one minding the door opens it wider at Farielle's words. She's a young girl, probably just an apprentice at this place, and it's with wide eyes that hint at a bone deep weariness that she first stares at Farielle and then looks about the street, noting the horses headed off and the gathered men. "Ahh... then p- please come in..."

Pushing the door wide, the scent of herbs, sweat, and urine washes out into the street in full force. "Mistress!" She runs to a wide doorway, leaving the group to enter or not as they will, "Mistress! Help has come!"

On the floor, tucked into every available corner, and down the hallway that is visible, there are people lying on cots or on the floor in makeshifts beds of blankets and discarded clothing. Some babble to themselves and thrash, and the worst of these our tied firmly to their beds.

Gwaithmir has arrived.

[Farielle(#31396)] Farielle's eyes widen also, at this evidence of the extent of the illness. "Lomin - a warehouse would be very welcome," she says, before heading determinedly towards the door. "Who is in charge?" she asks, looking around. Over her shoulder, she says to Silmir, "We need hot water, as much as possible. Can you arrange that?"

[Calardan(#30834)]  "You must stop giving commands to your superiors, Squire," laments the approaching Hlorithain knight, his words not burdened by any true severity.

He looks past Lominzil to Hir Menelglir and nods his head, "I wish this meeting found itself better terms, but the town lies on Tarnost's borders."

He pauses for a moment before adding, perhaps unnecessarily, "There are concerns."

Fencrist gives the reins to his and Silmir's horses to Fuinlos, who leads them away along with his own. When the stench hits the beasts, they try to pull away, but Fuinlos asserts himself and the horses mind him. Fencrist watches his companion go and then turns to rejoin the others.

[Silmir(#24455)] "I can do that, most certainly, my lady. I think I saw a well around back." Silmir pauses at the door, talking to the girl at the door. "If you could, please find someone who can arrange for a bath set up. It is the best way to hold the water once it has been heated. Keep it by the fire so it stays warm." He grabs a pail and heads around to the back.

"Mistress Aewmir." The girl answers Farielle's question, pointing down the hall as a dark haired woman comes striding quickly towards them. She looks just as tired as the girl who opened the door in the first place and she hurries towards Farielle pulling a cloth away from her face, "That would be me." Her eyes flicker to follow Silmir, and she nods slightly, motioning the young girl to follow after him, "Help him with whatever they need, child."

[Farielle(#31396)] Farielle smiles at Aewmir. "I am Farielle. We found a man with this illness in a field south of here - near Linhir. But he recovered. Can you tell me what you have done for these people, and how I best may assist you?"

"I am sorry, Hir," Lominzil answers.

"News came to Pelargir of plague in the north. In Linhir, we found a patient, and now ..." He gestures, with spear. "But the origin lies further north. And I do not trust the news-bearer."

Breathing out, Aewmir gives Farielle a gateful smile, "Good. Not the man with the illness but ..." She raises both her brows and glances behind her, "Just working to keep the fevers down as much as I can, and keep anyone from hurting themselves. I am nearly out of medicinal herbs, and I am saving those only for they very worst cases."

Frowning deeply Aewmir adds, "If the fever breaks, the survival rate is good, but ... It is exceedingly important that the fever breaks."

The Hlorithain knight dismisses the apology and sinks into thought.

"Were there any others in Linhir?" he asks the Squire after a spell.

"Fencrist of the Hosts," states Lominzil, falling to silence as a cart passes by, "suffered fever, but not madness."

"And he is with you?" asks Hir Calardan. It is clear that the roots of a plan have planted themselves within his head.

[Silmir(#24455)] Silmir directs the girl to prepare the bath while he begins bringing in water to be heated, slowly but surely filling the large tub with hot water.

Fencrist comes up besides Lominzil and bows. "I am here, yes."

[Farielle(#31396)] "I have herbs," Farielle says. "And men to help with the labor - we shall bathe them to help bring down the fever." She turns, looking around. "I shall send for my brother, to bring my saddle bags. Has the entire town fallen ill?" Despite herself, she cannot keep a note of disbelief out of her voice.

"An extremely large portion of them, yes." Aewmir replies with a frown and a shake of her head, "And those who have recovered or have not fallen ill... they have been isntructed to stay at home and limit their exposure to others until the worst of this passes. It got particularly bad in the last few days - right after the winter feasting. I can only guess that the disease spread among those who came out to celebrate..."

The aging Dunedain regards Fencrist plainly, "Well met, Fencrist of the Hosts."

His turn, and his call to his kinsmen, is swift, decisive and brooks little compromise, "Bors, call the banners. We must prevent travel to and from the area, and Imrahil has but a few to see to all the southern passes." Calardan does not look worried, though his words may suggest elsewise.

[Farielle(#31396)] "Do all have the same symptoms?" Farielle asks. "The man we found said he felt but a cold, and then a fever came upon him, and then he remembered nothing more. But we found him raving in the field, and he fell unconscious shortly after, and did not awake for several days. When he did, he was in his right mind again. Weak, from lack of food, but no longer with any ailment at all."
"I shall send word," calls Lominzil hurriedly, as he is whisked away by a bedraggled acolyte of the healing house.

A few beats later, he enters the sickbay, a laden bag upon each armored shoulder.

"That sounds simliar. The fever and a raving madness that accompanies it. Individuals are different in their responses in that, but ... yes." Aewmir frowns slightly as she adds, "The earliest cases I saw always began with a cold, but ..." Her eyes narrow and she frowns at Farielle, "These new cases happened very rapidly, and I am not sure of the early symptoms..."

[Silmir(#24455)] Silmir continues bringing water, leaving some in the large kettle to begin to refill the tub as it gets used. He pauses with his pail of water, listening to the healers talk. "Those are the symptoms Suliell described. She brought the news of the sickness to us. Her village is called Lafgobel?" He sits the pail down near the fire and returns to them, ready for whatever instruction Farielle may have for him.

"Well met," Fencrist replies. "And prudent actions. I just hope your men are not too late."

"Tell me of the sickness," dispenses Calardan of the remaining pleasantries, with words told to Fencrist.

Of, to the distance, depart Hir Calardan's sworn bannermen.

[Farielle(#31396)] Farielle takes the bags, smiling distractedly at Lominzil. "Thank you ... " She sets them down, bending to open them. "Silmir - we will need more men. I have herbs here," she pulls out the packages, holding them up to Aewmir. Back and forth her comments go, from the man who came with her and is heating water, to the healer in charge of this house. "Yes, that is true - We will give the fever herbs to those who are the most ill, as you have been doing. The others will need to be bathed to keep the fever down. Is there another building that people may be housed in? They cannot stand like that, out in the cold."

Fencrist nods and begins his tale. "It is said to begin like a common illness. But it leads to a high fever and drives the poor fool stark raving mad. The man we encountered on the road was half naked in the freezing cold. How he survived, I cannot say. I'm no healer. Whatever this plague is, people have been fleeing for their lives for days. I fear your containment will be too late."

Shaking her head at Silmir's words, Aewmir frowns, "I do not know of whom or where you speak, but I'm sure word of our troubles here have spread far. We are situated at a point where many must pass through thanks to the way the mountains jut out on one side and the hill on the other. That is, of course, if one is headed towards areas of Lebennin. Even still, there has been a marked decrease in people travelling here."

Stooping to accept some of the packages as Farielle pulls them forth, the healer frowns and shakes her head, "I do not have the power to claim buildings beyond this one. Perhaps, one of those you have brought with you can convince someone to allow us the use of their property? This is a thing beyond my simple abilities."

Her eyes narrow slightly and she glances between Farielle and Silmir before asking, "Are you aware yet of the source of this?"

[Farielle(#31396)] "My brother will find us a place, if you but tell us where to look." Farielle looks up, smiles, and tucks a stray wisp of hair behind her ear. "Is there a building that would suit?"
"I know someone," says Lominzil, removing the unncessary bundles from the saddlebags.

"There is the inn - if you can convince the innkeeper of it, and the ususal public buildings - but not all are suitable for keeping patients. However, any place inside is a good place." Offering Farielle a shrug, Aewmir tilts her head as Lominzil speaks, and then lifts her brows questioningly as her gaze returns to Farielle.

[Silmir(#24455)] "I am not aware of any source, but I am certain it will be found. Do you remember who fell ill first?" Silmir glances over to Farielle. "I agree, more people who can help and more herbs are needed. Someone should go back to Pelargir to get help and supplies, I think."

The Hlorithain knight takes note of Fencrist's story, his face wrinkling particularly and distinctly on the Hostman's last sentence.

"Your fever, though. Have you taken fever before? Was it the same?" come this pair of questions.

[Farielle(#31396)] Farielle accepts Lominzil's assurances with complete confidence. At Aewmir's uncertain look, she simply smiles. "If he says that he will, he will." 

To Silmir, she nods. "Can you see to that, please? Ask Hir Menelglir who may be sent. Tell him that we need chiefly herbs that will reduce fever. And ask him to send as many as may be spared to help here."

Turning towards Silmir, Aewmir nods, "That's why I ask the question. I know exactly who got sick first, and that person is not a local of Ethring."
"Is it Tavor the merchant?" asks Lominzil grimly, and leaves.

"Hir Calardan," he says, coming out into the cold.

Fencrist shakes his head. "Though I prepared the sick man for travel into Linhir, I do not believe so. My illness was just a case of the sniffles combined with too much to drink after we arrived in town. It was cold and I needed something to warm my belly. Even with the drink in my blood, I did not lose my head." The young man shrugs his shoulders and then turns to see Lominzil approaching.

[Silmir(#24455)] Silmir heads outside as well, looking around for Menelglir, frowning as he does not seem to have returned from stabling the horses. "Lady Farielle requests that someone return to Pelargir for more herbs and assistance." He shivers a little at the sudden change in temperature from the warm healer's house.

"No. Tavor's been here for some time now. She... she is from some small village in the vicinity of Tarlang's Neck. Though she has survived the disease and largely recovered, she refuses to return home." Aewmir's brow twitches as she adds, "And taking up a cot, because she has no coin to her name. Still, I haven't found the will to simply toss her out."

Rubbing her fingers between her eyes, she offers Farielle a weary smile, "Be that as it may, she is what brought this mess here. Perhaps someone else would have better luck talking to her and convincing her to leave."

Hir Calardan is silent for a while, that is, until he speaks.

"Squire," he says to Lominzil, before turning to Fencrist and pursuing the man further, "Did you feel ever, even once, that you may lose your head?"

[Farielle(#31396)] "I will talk to her," Farielle promises. "But first, we must help these people." She rises, and opens one of the packets of herbs, stirring the contents into some of the water that Silmir has heated up.

Fencrist makes a face while in thought. "No. After I fell ill, I slept for it off, save for when I was given water to sate my thirst. If I awoke insane, no one has mentioned it to me."

Nodding at Farielle's words, the head healer set to work along side the other woman, speaking softly as she explains the arrangmenets of people and indicates the worst cases that need to be addressed.
"Man-at-arms, you seem sane," states Lominzil, his arm burdened by cloth and cloak.

"Hir Calardan, misfortune and suspicion overtook us on the road. I do not wish for you to stay overlong, and yet I would ask a favor."

[Silmir(#24455)] "Not mad. As far as I saw, you merely talked in your sleep a bit. I believe you dreamed of daring heroics, not madness." The fisherman smiles a bit toward Fencrist before he falls silent again.

The Hlorithain knight parses through the words of all who speak and settles upon an answer swiftly.

"Daring heroics are often the greatest of madness," he says, his words a warning.

He asks Lominzil, "Now, what is your favor?"

"The sick need lodging, and I would borrow the innkeep's quarters," says the Squire plainly.

"You'll have the town if you wish it," says the Hlorithain knight.

"Hir Menelglir will press the Prince's banner on the city. They will relent and send word to their liege, Angbor, to sort it out."

"This correspondence will, I assure you, take some time."

Fencrist nods, though he seems reluctant to accept the knight's warning about how being a hero drives one insane.

[Silmir(#24455)] Silmir does not respond, though he does smile slightly in agreement of daring heroics being somewhat mad. "Madness or not, someone still needs to get supplies and maybe another healer or two. Lady Farielle and the healer here will need help with an entire town sick."
The smile warms Lominzil's face: "Thank you, Hir."

"I shall send the Willow word - we shall find the end of the illness yet."

"I will await the Guardsman's decision," says Hir Calardan.

"My men shall harry all who move south but if he will not bear the weight of the decision, it will mark the end of my travels."

"For, whatever this is, it must be stopped."

"Stopped first, then pursued."

[Silmir(#24455)] Silmir heads back inside to speak with Farielle. He waits until he can move out of earshot of most of the patients before speaking. "It may be some time before help and more herbs come. Hir Calardan has posted guards to dissuade travelers from this area going south. I suppose it would be too much to hope that some useful herbs would be in season now?" He chews his bottom lip, looking around at the patients in concern.
Lominzil answers, "It shall be so."

And, after a hesitation which clouds his breath in the air, "My regards to the Willow, Hir Calardan."

He shoulders the Swan and is gone with brisk steps.

[Silmir(#24455)] Silmir heads back inside to tell Farielle about the guards, then returns out to the group. "What would you have us do about medicinal provisions?"

"A bold move, Hir Calardan," Fencrist agrees. "When I sent my own escort from the Silver Ship Company away when we arrived in Linhir, they had orders to backtrack our path and look for plague-carriers on the road. I only hope they had some success. Did you have any other questions for me?"

Hir Calardan watches as the Girithlin passes, and then says to Fencrist, "No more, no."

Fencrist nods and then bows again. "Very well. I should check on our horses. Excuse me."

Date added: 2014-02-26 01:28:43    Hits: 49
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