In Nochet IIII

Mellia — In Nochet Iiii

1627, Sea Season


Late in Sea Season, when Mellia is in Nochet. [[[s02:session-40|Session 40]]]


Mellia enters the temple of Chalana Arroy. She’s carrying her satchel and an invitation for the Chief High Healer. If any of her friends are still there, they will be getting invited too.

There are a few people she knows, and after asking about the names, Ernalema is there. She used to sneak out with Mellia to get snacks and almost certainly gave most of hers to her patients.

Mellia thinks she had better leave an invitation with the Chief High Healer’s secretary before she invites Ernalema.

After a short pause outside the secretary’s door, she is invited into the secretarium, a well appointed room with a large horn window, allowing in some natural light while keepingout the worst of the heat. “Initiate Mellia,” she is greeted by a young man with a grey beard – powdered, probably. “I am Fenest. How may I serve?”

Mellia extends the invitation. “I am marrying soon. This is an invitation for the Chief High Healer to attend the ceremony. I will understand if she can’t attend.”

He bows, but does not take the gold-embossed papyrus. “I believe she will be able to see you shortly. Would you care for something while you wait, Lady Mellia?”

“I will be fine if I can just sit down, thank you.”

There is a waiting room for that, just off the secretarium, and a dozen comfortable chairs in it are empty. One is reserved by having sprigs of herbs placed on it, although it appears no different to the rest. Mellia does not know enough about plants to know if it is a message in itself.

Mellia plays it safe and sits in one of the other chairs. She waits, thankful that she is not getting fitted for the wedding dress AGAIN.

The women who have the dress fitting in mind were, when she left them, discussing whether to pad the belly and the hips, and had chosen exactly how the bodice would sit open formally. Mellia had been invited to comment about patterns of embroidery.

This is better. It is peaceful. It takes about a third part of an hour before Fenest comes in with a bow to say, “Her Eminence is free. Please follow me.”

Mellia gets up and follows Fenest.

He goes out of his room and down a corridor, to a small private shrine set about with charms of Fertility and Harmony. Oil warmed by flames gives off the scent of herbs. The High Healer is a small woman of about fifty, recogniseable only because Mellia has seen her before; her robes are plain white linen. She sometimes wears silk, or other decorations, but today is not that day. “Lightbringer,” she says, and offers Mellia an embrace.

Mellia replies, “Eminence,” and hugs her.

For someone who outranks Mellia so fully, she gives good hugs. “Congratulations, dear.”

“Thank you, Your Eminence. I came to invite you to my wedding.”

Disentangling is easy. She is good at reading body language. “How wonderful of you. I fear it does depend on the day and time.” For someone doing the polite dismissal, she seems very sincere.

Mellia nods and smiles. “The details are all in here. I know you have much to do.” Mellia offers her the invitation.

High Healer Tenriya smiles. “I shall send a gift, of course,” she notes. “But here is a little thing for you.” She walks over to the wall by the altar and from a niche there takes a silver Harmony charm. “Many people will give you things for Fertility. This is a reminder of the greatest boon of marriage.” She comes to Mellia to offer it. “Fertility happens without a bond, but marriage brings harmony.” It is small, an inch or so high, in a traditional shape – a bar at the top and bottom, with three between held by short lengths of chain. The top bar is silvered bronze so that it is strong enough to bend back into a brooch attachment.

Mellia gratefully accepts the charm, placing it in the satchel for safekeeping since there’s no way to wear it right now. “Thank you, Your Eminence! I will cherish this always.”

“I am sure you will do well with it. I have heard a lot about you of late.” Her expression says that most of it is good.

Mellia blushes. “I had no idea I was that famous.”

Tenriya’s eyes go to the Lightbringers Rune on Mellia’s forehead. “Not all of your deeds would be talked of in Nochet,” she says, “But some are certainly clayworthy.”

“I hope I am bringing the Goddess honour.”

“You are a delight, dear. A light to the darkness. The name of the Hospital is glorified where you go.”

Mellia beams. “I am very pleased that I have done that.”

“Run along, then. Perhaps your husband will have arrived by now.” Tenriya gives Mellia a smile as she gestures gently towards the door.

“Yes, Your Eminence. Thank you so much for your time.” Mellia bows, leaves and goes looking for Erna.

Mellia invites the High Healer to her wedding