1628, Earth Season, Fertility Week, Windsday
Maalira meets Yamia’s brother Hengrast – who is asleep – and finds out that little baby Tamakt has been in a battle. Yamia fails to admit that she is hurt until asked correctly. Session S3SA: 02.
Yamia looks up and gives a pleased smile that is just a fraction too short. “Maalira, hello. Have you met my brother Hengrast?” She gestures to the man in the bed – he is asleep, but perhaps that does not matter to Yamia.” Tamakt chews on his bread.
“I believe so, in the village,” Maalira says. “But what are you and Tamakt doing on a battlefield?”
“You met Venlar at the Blue Tree,” Yamia says with a smile. “This brother is different.” And she hasn’t answered the question.
Indeed, this man is different to the tall, strong, occasionally very clumsy Venlar. He has red hair, and a beard, and unlike Venlar will not have to spend a lot of time dealing with hair as wild and as big as Maalira’s. He looks like an Orlanthi should look, in all the stories of him.
“Ahh, of course, sorry,” Maalira says. “What happened to him?”
“Traumatic battlefield amputation at joint level,” Yamia says. He got his leg cut off at the knee.
The man does not stir.
“Oh no. I am sorry.” Maalira bites her lip.1Maalira fails Scan at +20 and does not notice that Yamia is ignoring an injury.
Tamakt drops his bread, although it cannot fall far. Yamia picks it up for him from where he cannot see it, gives it back, and kisses him on the brow. He has big hair too, although it looks more wavy than curled. Perhaps it will get awkward as he ages. “He will have it healed, once there is magic to be spared,” Yamia says. “It is good he did not die.”
“Berra will be glad to see you,” Maalira blurts out awkwardly.
“Why?” Yamia looks perplexed.
Maalira opens her mouth then closes it again. “Uh. Because… you’re from her home…”
“I am from the Cinder Fox clan of the Sambari,” Yamia says, “But I am in a way from her home. I can give her news of it. Tamakt, you are drooling.” She does not look down at the child, but does give him a finger to gnaw on.
Maalira nods. “Are you well, yourself?”
“I am. Tamakt survived his first battle, and he did well. We fought for a while on the right flank.”
Maalira looks at the toddler, then back at Yamia. “You took him into the battle with you?” Her tone is astonished, rather than judgemental.
“I could hardly let him go on his own,” Yamia points out.
Maalira opens and closes her mouth again.
Yamia offers a bit of bread to Maalira.
“Oh, no, thank you – I have eaten,” Maalira says. “Do you need anything? I can go and get hot food for you?”
“Thank you,” Yamia replies. “Tamakt would like an evening drink, and I will join him. Anything to help him sleep would be appreciated.”
“Of course. I’ll be right back.” Maalira forgets she is holding a lantern and it dances dizzily as she turns.
As she goes, someone catches hold of her arm. “Do you know the Humakti?” It’s a frazzled-looking young woman with a green edge to her white robe – an Ernaldan as well as a Lay Member of the hospital.
“Ah, which one?” Maalira says evasively.
The Ernaldan nods towards Yamia. “She won’t let us treat her!”
Yamia glances over as if she can hear, despite the distance.
“I think she’s alright,” Maalira says. “Just tired and hungry, and worried about the man with her. A hot drink will be good.”
The woman looks alarmed. “Have you not examined her? She’s unable to walk!”
Maalira blinks, and sags. “It seems she wouldn’t let me examine her either then,” she says through gritted teeth. “She assured me she was fine.”
“She says she is in pain and would not like help,” the Ernaldan replies. “Do you think you can get more out of her?”
“I can try.” Maalira looks over at her, frowning in determination.
The young woman gives her a supportive smile.
Maalira goes and fetches several types of hot drinks, then returns with an iron look on her face. She presents the tray to Yamia, waiting for her to choose something.
Yamia examines them with the care of a mother, and then picks up a mug. “Thank you,” she says, and tests it for heat, then with one hand helps Tamakt to drink. “This is what you need, little one. You have had a long day.”
“Yamia,” Maalira says seriously, “Are you truly unhurt?”
“No,” she says. “Why?”
A close observer might have thought Maalira was gritting her teeth, but when she speaks there is no sign of it. “When I asked if you were well, I meant unhurt,” she says. “I was asking to find out what needs healing.”
“Ah. I answered about whether I was ill,” Yamia replies. “My foot was broken, and my ankle crushed. It is too late to give it the immediate treatment needed.”
“May I look?” Maalira crouches down next to Yamia’s feet.
“If you wish.” Yamia’s ankle is splinted on the outside of the boot, but competently. It looks like someone created something from bits of shield.
“May I take the splint and boot off and see what is happening underneath?” Maalira is taking no chances with language now.
“Someone will have to hold Tamakt,” Yamia replies, “And he is having his evening drink.” A tough audience.
“Tamakt, could you sit here on the grass next to me while I help Yamia with her sore foot?” Maalira asks the child.
Tamakt considers and then puts his little tiny arms out to Maalira. Although tall, he is probably too young to have really understood – yet there he is, complying.
Maalira picks Tamakt up and gives him a cuddle, then sits cross-legged and sets him in her lap, slightly to one side so that she can still reach Yamia’s foot.
Tamakt makes this difficult by adopting a meditational position as soon as he is settled into place. He looks up at Maalira proudly to check that is right.
“Good boy,” Maalira murmurs, then looks past him to Yamia. “Perhaps if he goes to sleep…?”
“Tamakt, it is time for bed now,” Yamia says. “Maalira will know where.”
“I… can take him to where Berra and Varanis are?” Maalira suggests. “He can sleep safely there. Then I will come back and fix up your foot.”
“Tamakt, Maalira is to be trusted.” Yamia takes a little scrap of cloth out of the sling that held her son, and leans forward to offer it to the boy, managing not to wince too much. It is a little bit of blanket. It has Death and Truth embroidered on it.
- 1Maalira fails Scan at +20 and does not notice that Yamia is ignoring an injury.