Varanis — 1626 0856 Cut Off
????, Earth Season, Stasis Week
Earth Season, Stasis Week, Godday, early morning, before [[[s02:session-13|Session 13]]]
Varanis collapses towards the end of [[[s02:session-12|Session 12]]] and Mellia case Sleep on her. Now that the Vingan needs to wake up again, Mellia has come to do it and to inform her that there will be no more lumiviiva. Varanis takes it about as well as you’d expect.
Yelm has not yet risen when Mellia makes her way to Varanis’ door. At a soft knock, the door is opened by Marta. The old servant looks like she hasn’t slept.
“Goodness,” Mellia says, “don’t tell me you haven’t slept, Marta. May I come in?” Mellia is dressed for marshes, with a white robe over everything.
Marta nods and steps back, opening the door. Varanis lays in her bed, draped in a blanket. There’s a chair by the bed and a lamp burning on a nearby table.
Mellia warns Marta, “We may get into a shouting match. You might want to leave.” Then Mellia gently taps Varanis on the shoulder.
Marta shuffles away, unwilling to leave, but moving herself out of the way.
Varanis doesn’t move. In the dim light, the shadows under her eyes look like bruises. Mellia mutters a curse when she sees what Varanis looks like. Then she gently shakes Varanis’ shoulder.
The Vingan wakes suddenly, flailing in Mellia’s direction. Marta yells, “Varanis, no!” and her charge pulls the blow and scoots back in her bed, blinking in shock at the Healer. There’s a startled squeak from one of the birds that have taken up residence in the corner of the room. “I.. I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was you.”
“Good morning, Varanis. It’s okay, you missed. Did I wake you out of a bad dream?” Mellia looks concerned and determined.
Varanis blinks again. “I don’t remember. Maybe? It’s morning? How did I get here?” A look of panic crosses her face as she tries to piece things together. “Garin… I lost Garin. He escaped. But Xenofos came back. That happened before Garin and his taunting flute. I tried to get Vinga’s help. But… oh, I failed.” She raises a trembling hand to her forehead. “My head hurts. Marta? Is my lumiviiva here yet? I can’t think clearly and I have such a headache.”
Marta presses her lips together and glances at Mellia.
“No more lumiviiva, Varanis,” Mellia says firmly. “Solaska and I had a little chat while you were sleeping. You should be interested to know that the maximum safe dose of lumiviiva is two cups per day. There is also no antidote for lumiviiva.”
Varanis doesn’t seem to hear anything past ‘no more lumiviiva’. “What do you mean, no more? Mellia! I need to be focused. I need it.”
The little red and blue warbler shifts in agitation on its perch.
Mellia sternly says, “No more lumiviiva. If I thought you’d obey without being tied down, I’d keep you in bed asleep today. You could have burst a blood vessel or your heart yesterday.”
“Solaska would never harm me. You are worrying over nothing.” Her tone turns wheedling. “I just need one cup. I promise. Just enough to take this headache away, so I can focus on what I need to. Oh Vinga! The Temple. I need to get to the Temple.” She lurches out of bed and sways slightly as she comes to her feet. A fierce scowl crosses her face.
“Solaska had no idea you were drinking those pots by yourself. She was horrified. Normally I’d give you willow bark tea for the headache, but I don’t think that’s safe right now. What you get is breakfast.” Mellia is as unmoving as a mountain.
“Mellia! This isn’t about me. I have to save Lenta.” She turns her scowl on Marta. “Lumiviiva. Now, please.” The courtesy does little to soften the tone of command. Marta flinches, but does not move to obey, turning her gaze away from Varanis to look pleadingly at the Healer. The little bird trills in the sudden silence.
“No,” Mellia says firmly. “Nothing, by the way, says you must be the one to save Lenta. Lenta needs saving, but any saviour will do.”
“It’s my fault she’s in trouble, so I have to get her out of it. Quit meddling, Mellia.” The snarl gives way rapidly to reasoned calm. “I’m fine. I just need it for today. I will stop tomorrow. But, today I need to be able to focus and I can’t right now. My head hurts so much and the lumiviiva will take care of that quickly.” As she growls at the Healer, the red and blue bird rises up flapping its damaged wings frantically, then it subsides to pacing on the branch again.
“It’s GARIN’s fault that Lenta is in danger. Marta, would you please bring me a hand mirror?” Marta looks confused, but does as she is asked. “Thank you, Marta.” Mellia holds the mirror up, so that Varanis is forced to look into it. “Does that look like good health to you?”
Varanis stares before turning away. “I’m just tired. Tomorrow. I’ll rest tomorrow. No more lumiviiva tomorrow.”
“Drink more lumiviiva today,” Mellia snaps, “and you may not have a tomorrow. I’ve exhausted my fund of miracles, Varanis. If you burst a blood vessel in your brain, I won’t be able to help you.”
The Vingan flinches at Mellia’s tone. “But how will I get through today? There is so much to do.” She sinks onto the bed in defeat, wincing at the pain in her head.
The little bird has mostly settled again, but shifts from foot to foot, still making a soft trilling sound.
“First, get dressed. Second, eat a decent breakfast. Third, ask Vinga where Lenta is. After that, it’s up to you and the gods.” Mellia is still stern.
Varanis pales at the mention of food. “I’m not sure I can eat just now,” she admits quietly. “It may come back up.”
Mellia purses her lips. “I can’t do anything to ease any nervousness you have without probably knocking you out. I can give you something to settle your stomach.” Mellia begins to rummage in her medical bag.
“I’m not nervous. I’m just really not hungry.”
Mellia’s frown threatens to become a scowl. “You need to eat. Food should ease the pain in your head. Open your mouth so we can try a few drops of this.” The vial in Mellia’s hand smells like mint.
Marta interjects, “She hasn’t been eating these last few days. Not more than a bite or two.” Varanis shoots her a quelling look, but the servant continues. “She replaced her meals with that damned tea.”
Mellia shouts, “You’re actually starving! No wonder your head hurts!” Mellia calms down and says, “Just swallow a drop or three of this, get dressed and try some scrambled eggs and toast.”
Varanis flinches at the shout, while the little bird nearly falls backwards from its perch, fanning desperately with feathers that are still too short. Cowed into submission, Varanis accepts the vial from her cousin.
Mellia says, “Three drops, no more.”
The Vingan dutifully takes the medicine. She struggles not to gag as the drops hit her tongue. With watering eyes, she passes the vial back to Mellia. “Thank you,” she says politely. Rising to her feet, she turns to Marta. “My armour, please.” She moves slowly, stripping off the shift she slept in then stopping. “I don’t remember changing for bed… I don’t remember going to bed.”
The medicine tastes strongly of mint. Mellia carefully puts the vial away before saying, “I had to put you to sleep. We got you settled down for a nap.”
The little bird trills in confusion. Varanis doesn’t answer, but collects fresh clothing to wear under her armour.
Mellia adds, “You were visibly exhausted, shaking and not thinking clearly.”
“It’s fine. You did what you felt was right.” Varanis doesn’t look at Mellia as she speaks.
Mellia quietly offers to help Varanis dress. The Vingan accepts the help silently, dressing as swiftly as she can, then begins the process of buckling her armour into place. The helmet on the armour stand is not hers. She stares at it as Marta and Mellia work together to tighten the straps of the cuirass. It fits more loosely than it used to and Marta purses her lips, but says nothing.