Mellia — Poppies

????, Earth Season


Earth Season/Week/Day/Time , in the abandoned warehouse at the docks. [[[s02:session-15|Session 15]]]


Berra vanishes downstairs. Mellia has time to take a good, sharp look on Lenta.
Her face is smudged by dirt and hair total mess.

“Lenta? You’re safe now. Are you hurt?”

Her gaze is slightly unfocused. “Mellia Saiciae? Is that you?”

“Yes, it’s me, Lenta. Can you look at me?”

“You are not wearing a mask? Why was Varanis wearing a mask?”

“That wasn’t the real Varanis, Lenta. The real Varanis has been with me.”

Her eyes are almost black. “Not Varanis? She doesn’t love me? But then it was not her who said those evil things?”
“I don’t know any more if I am sad or glad” she tries to hug Mellia.

Mellia gently hugs Lenta, then checks her for head injuries.

Her head is a bit wobbly, but you see no bruises or blood.

Mellia will give Lenta a Heal 2 in the head, just to be on the safe side. Does Lenta improve?

She looks at you with a confused look.
“Why you do that for?”

Mellia studies Lenta carefully. “You seem to be hurt.” Is Lenta drugged?

“I am just a bit dizzy. That’s all there is to that.”
(her s are getting softer and she seems to have issues with balance.)

“Then have some water.” Mellia raises her voice. “Did anyone bring food?”
Mellia gets out her waterskin and tries to get Lenta to sit down.

“I… think so. Why are you angry, are you going to hurt me?”
It is easy to get her down, but you need to be quick to keep her from falling.

“I’m not angry with you, Lenta. I’m just trying to talk to the others.”

There are tears on Lenta’s cheeks.

Mellia says, “You need to stay awake, Lenta. You’ve been drugged.” Mellia then yells, “Berra! Tell that idiot Hulta to be useful for a change and both of you come over here!”

Lenta’s head falls forward like a ragdoll.

With slightly less than perfect timing, Berra and the idiot Hulta appear at the top of the stairs. Berra comes first, managing to keep a straight face.

Mellia snaps, “She’s been drugged. I don’t know precisely which drug and so can’t counter it. I need you, please, to carry Lenta out of here and get the others moving.”

Berra is moving in at speed, to catch Lenta, or help Mellia do that. “Make her sick?” she suggests.

” Nono, Varanis made me drink that potion and she would not hurt me” lisps Lenta.
“She said she loves me”

Mellia shakes her head. “I think too much of the drug is in her system for that. What did the potion look like and taste like, Lenta?”

“Not Varanis. She was pretending. Someone who wants to hurt Varanis.” Berra takes a deep breath and chants a few words, then looks up at Lord Agri. “Do you know the Vigour spell?”

Agri shakes his head ” Lenta! Stay awake cousin.”

Berra tries again, and this time the spell goes off, invigorating Lenta for a few moments. “Empty her anyhow. Stop it getting worse.” She is obviously worried, maybe even guessing at what to do.

Mellia rummages through her medical bag, muttering a prayer to Chalana Arroy. With luck, Mellia will find something in there that will make Lenta vomit. Otherwise, it’s finger down throat time.

” It was too shweet. But why did she say those nasty things when she loves me?”

“It wasn’t her, Lenta. Please don’t bite my finger.”

“Because she was someone who wanted to hurt Varanis, pretending to be her. Can you stop her? Please? By doing this? Get the drug out. For Varanis.” It is, of course, all true. There may be some bias in there, but Berra says it with urgency.

“But Varanis said…. “

“When? When did she say it? When did you drink it?”

Mellia will let Lenta answer, THEN make her vomit.

She is almost crying ” You are mean, you want to hurt me.”

Berra looks to Agri for help.

Mellia, rapidly losing patience with the patient, makes Lenta vomit.

Agri winces at the undignified scene of Mellia manhandling his cousin but does not interfere.

Berra looks down towards where Varanis is, obviously prepared to shout out, but not doing it yet.

Lenta pukes.

Mellia takes a look at the contents of Lenta’s stomach. Maybe Mellia can identify the drug now?

Berra says to Agri, “Help support her. Get some water into her, we can do that again.” She has her own bottle, full enough to make a decent drink. “She needs to feel safe!”

Apples, no. Bitter contents of stomach, almost drowned by honey. (( Int 5 ))

Poppies. That smells like essence of poppies.

Mellia blanches, says something truly impressive in Esrolian, then clarifies, “Essence of poppies. She needs a better healer, half an hour ago.”

Berra, with one arm supporting Lenta, lifts the water bottle to her lips. “Come on. Drink. You’ve grown up among Esrolian matrons. You know to be aware of poisons. Drink.” Agri or no, she is going to bully the girl into a second round of puke if necessary.

“She said I need to drink it, Varanis would not poison me.”

Meanwhile, Mellia comprehensively calls the wrath of all seven Lightbringers down on Garin while she checks her bag for respiratory stimulants.

“No, she wouldn’t. But that was not Varanis. Come. Drink. Then you’ll be able to see her. Water.”

” I am sleepy…”

“I know. Ag… Lord Agri. Help me stand her up. She can’t sleep. If it’s a big dose she needs to stay awake.” Berra gives him a direct instruction, no ‘please’ inherent in the tone.

Mellia pauses while ransacking her bag. “You must stay awake, Lenta.”

Agri helps getting the ragdoll up. ” Stay awake Lenta”

“You can force yourself home from parties, you can do this. C’mon. Show what you’re made of.” Berra holds up the water to her again.

“I just wan’t to sleep. Is the palanquin…”

Berra pours water, just a little.

Mellia finally finds a stimulant and prepares to administer it. “Now we could use lumiviiva.”

“How long?” Berra asks. It could be to Lenta, or to Mellia.

“please let me sleep Varanis.”

Berra tries to get more water into Lenta. “Tip her head back a bit,” she tells Agri. “So she has to swallow.”

“Who knows? Poppy is not harmless. I can give her a stimulant after she vomits again. Then it will be time to try to keep Lenta awake, or at least breathing.”

Agri nods and tries to keep his cousin on her wobbly feet.

“I can cast the spell about once more,” Berra says. “And if anyone else has it, we should call them.” She is concentrating too hard on getting water into Lenta to do that.

“I wish I did,” says Mellia, who then curses Garin again.

Water goes into Lenta though not necessarily not into her stomach.
She starts to cough like she is not getting air.

“Swallow. You have to swallow. Remember to swallow.”

Berra grabs Lenta’s hair to pull her head forwards, dropping the water bottle to bounce in the regurgitated poppy.

Mellia makes Lenta vomit again.

Berra leans away from that, and perhaps tries to ignore where her water bottle is. “Come on. Keep wakeful. Your cousin’s here. Don’t let him down.”

“I want to sleep. Is the palanquin there yet.”

“Does she have to swallow the medicine, Mellia? She’ll need to take it in tiny bits.” Berra looks at Lenta for evidence of wakefulness. “It must have been over a hundred heartbeats. Should I put the spell on her again?”

Mellia says, “Yes, please put the spell on her again, Berra. That Garin gave her too much.”

“If it’s been time, sure. I don’t want to have to use anyone else’s magic…” Berra looks at Lenta, reaches a conclusion about time, and starts to chant the spell again. Once more, it goes off. “If this doesn’t work within a minute, we have to get her downstairs so others can help too.” Her voice is calm, pitched so Lord Agri can hear it, and be prepared.

Mellia says, “What Lenta needs is a healer who can call upon the White Lady to purge the poppy from her system. I couldn’t do that even if I could call on the Goddess right now.”

Once again the sleepy lass perks up a bit. Mellia can feel her pulse racing as she raises her wobbly head. “No palanquin… Where did Varanis go?”

“You can see her once you take your medicine,” Berra says. “All of it.”

“Snort this, Lenta. It is medicine and will help you breathe,” says Mellia, carefully measuring out powder from a packet.

She tries to focus on Mellia, looking confused “What do you want me to do.”
“” Close your nostril with a finger, put your nose to her hand and take a deep breath through your nose, Lenta” Agri tries to guide his cousin and keep her hair out of the stuff.

Berra just does the work of supporting Lenta’s body, letting Agri have a moment of finer control.

Lenta tries to inhale powder Mellia is offering.

Mellia, seeing that Lenta doesn’t quite understand, puts the dose on her fingertip, then holds her finger right up to Lenta’s nostril.

Obediently Lenta breaths deeply in.
Most of what was left of the dose vanishes into her.

Mellia says, “That’s good, Lenta.” Mellia then tells Berra and Agri, “That’s about all I can do. Let’s get out of here.”

Lenta nods, with her nose oddly wrinked as she tries to hold back a sneeze.

“I thought of a motive,” says Berra. “Finally. Now breathe in through your mouth, Lenta. Leave the nose alone a moment.” A quick change of tack mid thought cuts off what she might have been saying.

With eyes watering from the irritation Lenta nods, holds her nose – and sneezes.

Berra winces. “That’s good. You’re awake. People who are awake sneeze. But Mellia is right, we need to get out of here.”

Mellia doesn’t seem concerned about the sneeze.

Agri produces a kerchief that- like himself has seen easier days and helps Lenta wipe her nose.

“To the stairs, then. Walk her down. You first, Agri. You’re taller than me. I’ll go beside her. And we do have to get out. Garin’s … he can’t be far away, and I thought of a possible reason he’s doing this and it makes sense of the effort he put in.” Berra keeps an arm under Lenta’s shoulder.

Quick glance around the chamber shows bundle of clothes and a blanket Lenta was sitting on when Berra found her.
“”Garin? He was here? “” Agri sounds perplexed.

“Probably. Someone must have helped the woman who gave her the potion to leave. And someone, I think, wanted her asleep while we were killed. Then Varanis would be left here to be found, Garin rescues Lenta, and his money troubles get a lot better. What would a grateful family do?” Berra helps Lenta, and then asks, “Mellia? Can you grab those clothes, and the blanket? We might need a Lhankor-Myte to look at their history.” She is as alert as if she took the drug herself; her usual state when in action, in fact.

“” —” Agri looks like he is going to say something but closes his mouth, shakes his head and prepares to help Lenta down the spiral staircase.

Mellia packs up her bag, then grabs the clothes and blanket.

“You know that the Merelt Palazzo is up for sale, right?” Berra asks as Mellia packs. “I don’t know how much gratitude it would take, so I could be out, but it would make a lot of sense, and be worth his while, and you’re right, it does sound weird. But for money, less weird.”

Mellia nods. “I think most of Garin’s motivation is madness, but making money wouldn’t hurt.”

Lenta is getting heavier to hold up by the way.

“We’re going to need to scoot. Damnit. She’s trying to sleep. Get her downstairs, get the place searched in about half a minute, get her to wherever Irillo says the nearest hospital is. Unless you know?” Berra gives Mellia a brief glance. “Wake up, Lenta! Varanis is downstairs.”

“Eeer, what? I am sorry Varanis…”

“Agri? Any clue?” Berra checks. “Welcome to being her bodyguard, by the way. And you’re a target too. Try to stay alive if there’s trouble.”

Lenta’s head drops slowly as she leans relaxed on Berra.

Mellia says, “The nearest healers would be in the Great Hospital, which is farther away than I like.”

She is not holding her own weight. Agri steps closer.

“Damnit. Still, we’ll have Rajar. Varanis. Us. The prisoner. I may have to call this personally. I’d prefer to take her on on foot if it’ll keep her awake, but I don’t think it will.” Berra uses her free hand to lift up Lenta’s head and shake it gently. “Come ON. Awake!”

“Varanis? I want to…”

“Yes. We’re going to see her. Now walk!” Berra’s voice rises a little, and she ushers Lenta forward. “Step.” Now, finally, she is sounding worried.

Lenta seems to have no worries, she is just very sleepy.
“” she is going to break her neck if you make her walk the stairs. Let’s carry her downstairs.”

Mellia says, “An excellent idea. Perhaps I had better bring up the rear.”

“We catch her, but she needs to stay awake… Can you take her?” Berra looks around, as if committing this place to memory. “Down to where the others are. And then someone needs to grab Irillo’s Rapier.” Her body language is now that of someone preparing to help Lord Agri Hulta – but without enough deference for the Lord part.

“”I can carry her downstairs I think, but not keep her awake at the same time.””

“Yeah. Just down this one set, then.” Berra now gets ready to take instructions. “But I’m battle captain now. Now I can see a clear reason for Garin to risk everything, you’re both targets. So if I call to run, take her and run.”

There is shake of head with disbelief, but he squats low to lift Lenta over his shoulder.

Berra considers, then says, “Me first. If you fall, try to fall on me and warn me.” She goes down.

Mellia will bring up the rear, silently praying.

Agri staggers a bit and Mellia can see he has some trouble using his right hand, but he is not letting that stop him.
Nor does he fall on Berra.

Mellia calls out, “We’re leaving. NOW,” just as soon as they reach the ground floor.

You meet them on way down.
Bad news. Lenta is asleep.
Good news. So far there can be no doubt she is breathing.

At the bottom of those stairs, Berra asks Mellia, “How’s Lenta?” Her gaze sweeps the larger floor professionally. And so it goes downwards.

Since pretty young noble girls don’t snore it is hard to describe the sound.

Mellia purses her lips. “Her breathing is good. Can we safely leave without the others?”

“I don’t think so. There’s an Orlanthi and a known Trickster, and they’ve had time to prepare. We’ll have to make sure we’re prepped too. Two people to protect – Lenta and the prisoner. Unless he can swear now in front of Agri to who was here.”

“The prisoner won’t do it,” predicts Mellia.

To be continued…