Xenofos — Chalana Arroy
????, Fire Season, Illusion Week
Fire Season, Illusion Week, Freezeday [[[s01:session-41|Session 41]]]
It is starting to end. The dragon has eaten you. Eaten Esrolia. Eaten the Clan. A mouth at once large enough to devour a world and personal enough to crush you between great, blunt teeth has killed you.
Xenofos hears a voice a long way away, a soft singing that calls him, a way that is not the Dragon.
Stars rotate slowly on the night sky. My head rests heavily on the ground like my heavy arms and legs. Soil is cold.
The song continues, promising freedom from fear, and the soil begins to warm, and becomes a bed, and the heaviness is a blanket and the stars are lamps set in patterns above, a hanging of tiny flames in the shape of the Air Rune.
When he comes to understand he is awake is a hard question to answer, but Xenofos is awake.
I look around. This is not attic room where I was writing.
I think I heard Varanis? I look for her.
A voice says, “Welcome back. If you do not know who I am, then know I am Jaldis.” There is a Mellia there. No, not a Mellia. Mellia is one of these people. A White Lady. People have names and voices. Even that seems strange and mystical right now.
“I am…. Xenofos. Pleasured to meet you White Lady.” Still disoriented polite phrases seem at same time comforting and absurd”
She is speaking in Trade Talk, but switches to Heortling on hearing Esrolian, speaking in one language and listening carefully in the other.
“Can you tell me the name of the Queen of Nochet, please? And spell the name of your God for me?” Her voice is gentle.
“Samastina, blessed of Ernalda, long may she reign. Lhankor Mhy the Sage?”
“Goooood. And what year is it? What season, week, day?” She pours some water, noisily, from a jug to a cup.
“1626 Fireseason, movement week, freezeday? – No that was probably yesterday?”
“Close enough. Can you tell me what happened?” Her voice is soothing and safe.
“I seem to have had even worse nightmares than usual. This is not the tavern?” Answer comes after a pause.
“No. What did you take?” Her voice is still calm, cool.
“Hazia – I think. Seems like a bad substitute for poppy seeds.”
“Aaah. Did the hazia have little bumps in it? Try to sit up. I will help you to drink.”
I sit up. Bed seems a bit unsteady and my head feels swirly.
“Looked and felt kind of like the poppy resin. Could be a tad uneven now that you say.”
“You took hazia sap with dreamroot. You are very fortunate you were found, Xenofos.” Jaldis helps to hold the cup, offering him a drink.
Shrug. I take the cup. “Have I slept long?”
“Over a day under my care alone. I took the decision to keep you in dreams until most of the poison was gone from you, or you would know the desire for it all the harder. The hazia has attacked your body while the dreamroot took your mind.”
Raised eyebrow. “I doubt I would wish to repeat the experience. This brought sleep, but not without the dreams.”
“Over the next few days, it will call to you. You should be certain not to have the root or sap close by, and if your friends are near, have them keep you busy.”
“If you say so, I suppose I need to get rid of the rest. Do you have medicinal use for it or should I just dump it into a better ventilated fire?”
“I can dispose of it for you if you have any left,” she says. “But you must be aware that the Orlanth Church here searched the inn where hazia was reported. There will be a fine to pay. But for now, you should sleep more naturally.”
“I don’t think I have time for that luxury, alas. If I have slept for day and more othrrs have probably already travelled onwards and I need to catch up with them.”
“They have, and you should sleep more naturally. If I release you, you may be arrested. It would be awkward, nothing more, but as a healer I thus have two reasons to keep you here. Your health, and your freedom.”
“So we are in house of Chalana Arroy?”
“You are. I am visiting on the way to Whitewall. Your cousin was on the road, bringing you to see me. You were under her care at first.”
“I thank you and appreciate your care, but if my lady is on way to harm I should do my utmost to reach her without any undue delay.”
“Such as collapsing on the road? Or fleeing justice? What would she say to that?”
Raised eyebrow. Xenofos throws his legs out of the bed and stands briskly up.
Jaldis sits back. “Her name is held at the Temple of Orlanth,” she says lightly. “For your behaviour.” He is shaky, but he can stand.
Xenofos is swaying slightly and pauses to think for some time.
Jaldis takes a quiet sip from his cup.
“Would you kindly release me to attend to this matter at temple of Orlanth first then?”
“You are released, of course. I could never keep someone against his will.” Jaldis smiles up, but her eyes are knowing. “The Storm Voice, Falnin, dealt with your case, and two of your friends who were defending you. Be prepared to find out who loves you.”
“I thank you for the release as well as your care. You warned of the stuff calling for days?”
“It will. You will feel weak, and your spirit may let the stuff of magic slip, but you will recover in a week or two. Your dose was too large but it was taken once only.” Jaldis stands, and bows her head.
There is a dim light up above from under the eaves. It is daylight, but it is hard to tell more. This is a little private room made by putting a curtain around a bed.
“Price of stupidity I guess. Well I suppose I just have to pay.”
“There has been a donation made on your behalf,” she murmurs. “At least in the temporal world, you have paid a price.”
“For body, soul and friends not so much.”
Xenofos bows and starts looking for his gear.