Monday, July 7, 2008

18: Healing Wounds

"GRRRRRRRRRYYYYHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW," groaned Edward as the last bit of arrowhead was pulled from his shoulder.
"I am sorry my liege," apologized Sir Edward's servant who was acting as a doctor, "It was the last piece, all I have to do now is bandage up the wound."
"JUST HURRY UP YOU WELP!" Thundered the anguished knight,
"Yes my liege" answered the terrified servant, who rapidly finished the bandage, and set about cleaning up his tools.
"Now leave," said a slightly calmer Edward. "but send for Richard"
A few minutes later a figure wearing a dark gray cloak entered Edwards bed. Richard had been staying in the knight's in city estate, which was really just a house in one of the nicer areas of the city. By the time Richard entered, Edward had managed to get on a tunic covering the bandage that was tightly wrapped around his shoulder.
"You called for me my liege?" asked Richard bowing
"Yes I did." snapped Edward. "Do you know of the knight by the name of Jard? The one who bears the symbol of the fish?"
"Yes I have seen him before."
"I want you to go and find him, then kill him. After you do the deed, spread these around like you did before, but leave one of these as well." Said Edward, handing Richard a handful of Rooster Feathers, and one long elegant peacock feather.
"As you wish my liege" answered the man, who promptly left the room and disappeared into the darkness of the night.

Jard woke to a pain in his face. The pain was a dull pain, a pain that throbbed as if it had been there for a few weeks. An old pain. A pain that felt like it had once been a sharp pain but had since began to heal. He touched his face, he felt a jagged scab about an 6th of an inch in width, running from high on his right cheek bone, all the way down to the bottom of his chin. He sat up, he had slept fitfully all night, every few minutes his face would throb so bad that he would be partially awake, keeping him from the deep sleep that would rest him thoroughly, but not fully waking him either. He then remembered the previous days events: shortly after Peter had left, he passed out from blood loss. He had never, in all of his days, remembered loosing so much blood. Apparently he had slept since then. He looked around his surroundings. He sat on a bed made up of straw. The room was small. In one corner leaned up against the wall was a homemade bow and a quiver of homemade arrows, clearly crafted by someone with little skill in the art of weapon making. Against one wall sat a small table, on which was a piece of stale bread, and a cracked ale mug. A chair was set next to the straw mat lying on the floor. In another corner were Jard's few pieces of armor. A chain mail shirt, a leather battle vest, an iron plated leather helmet, a pair of greaves, a pair of vambraces, a sword belt, a pair or iron plated leather gloves, and a shield, the most prized of his possessions. It had a pale blue trout on it. Not simply painted onto the shield, but embedded into the metal itself, as if no ordinary blacksmith had forged it. The Shield looked like polished silver, and never had to be cleaned. Jard had never cleaned it himself, and had never remembered his father doing so either. The Shield had been in his family for as long as he could remember, and was considered one of the greatest treasures the family had, especially now that the family had descended into economic ruin.
"Peter's dwelling" thought Jard "it's a wonder he even hit Edward with that set of arrows. They are so warped, and the fletching is all crooked; must have been my lucky day." Just then Peter walked through the door, no longer wearing his customary tan tunic and brown pants, but a pair of brown red pants, and a red tunic. "He must not have a two sets of cloths" thought Jard.
"Jard!" shouted Peter when he saw his best friend sitting up, "you need to lay down and rest!" He immediately rushed over to Jard and tried to make him lay down.
"Peter I'm fine, my face hurts a little but I feel better and more capable than I did a few days ago."
"I don't know how anyone would have survived what you did, you lost so much blood! You need to rest!" exclaimed peter as he looked over Jard's face. "Oh my!"
"What? Whats the matter?"
"Your face is healing"
"Isn't that a good thing?"
"Well yes, but you were wounded yesterday!"
"Well I should hope I would heal to some degree over the course of a day"
"Jard, your face is not oozing, it is not bleeding, it has scabbed over, and not only that but the area around it is pink indicating new flesh. You have done about two weeks worth of healing in the course of one night." Stated Peter mater-of-factly.
"Since when did you know much about doctoring?" asked Jard, who himself wasn't that knowledgeable on the art of healing.
"Anybody can see that your face is not oozing or bleeding. Any one can tell you, that you have a scab on your face. As far as the pink skin, and the time line, that was just some things my Father told me. He was a physician before he died."
"Ahh I see," said Jard getting to his feet which caused Peter to react in a catching motion, this was unnecessary, for Jard had no need for any support. "But I think that it is time we got going, Edward is going to kill Edith, and we have to stop him."
"Kill the Princess Edith? But why? And I though the guard at the castle was sufficient?"
"Whoa there Peter slow down." Injected Jard, "I don't really know much but she isn't at the castle, and Edward is the man who killed an old guy by the name of Methuselah. Apparently he had a dagger that has some sort of value. Which Edith now has, and he plans on killing her too."
"Oh, um…isn't the king going to do anything about his missing daughter?"
"I doubt he even knows that she is missing." Replied Jard, "But I am going to go and rescue her, you do not have to come it will probably be dangerous."
"No you're my only friend, my Family are all dead, the princess is in danger I'm coming with you."
"Very well," replied Jard "But first I need my armor on, and a new sword."

Twenty minutes later Jard was dressed and ready, it was late morning by the time he had left Peters dwelling. Peter didn't have much food available for travel, but Jard, who had slightly more wealth, did. So Jard sent Peter over to his house to get the necessary food items for the trip, along with Jard's battle horse and pack horse. Those titles could be changed at a moments notice. The one that was tired was the pack horse, the one that was well rested was the war horse. While Peter collected the necessary equipment, Jard went to find a suitable weapon.
Jard knew of a good blacksmith by the name of Charles, who happened to be a friend of his families. Jard's father had saved Charles' life and the man had agreed to repair all of his families armor for free, and supply them with quality weapons at discounted price. Unfortunately for Jard the sword that he had used against Edward had come from Charles. Swords made by civilian blacksmiths, just aren't as good of quality as those made by the official blacksmiths for the nobility. But Most of the weapons that Charles produced
were of higher quality then the standard weapon.
"Good morning Charles!" Said Jard as he walked into the blacksmith shop.
"Mornin Jard, what can I get-chyou?" Replied Charles,
"I am here for some new weapons, I want something that wont break easy."
"Well I gots, 'uh battle ax, dat wont break undar much, but last I checks you weren't strong enough to fight wid a solid metal battle ax."
"Let me see it, I feel like I am stronger than I used to be."
"Jard its real heavy." Protested Charles
"I would still like to see it." replied Jard defiantly.
"Very well, but I will makes you a deal, if you can cut this here log in halfs with it, in less than ten minutes I will gives it to you fur free." Said Charles confidently indicating a log about a foot in diameter.
"Ok I will do that." Said Jard with a new determination.
Charles came back with a double bladed battle ax with an iron staff as well as a iron head. An ax that Jard would have struggled to lift a week earlier. Yet with his new found abilities, he was able to lift it without so much as a thought. Jard raised the ax above his head and in one quick swing cleaved the log in two.
"I would also like a long dagger, like a dirk that would be nice."
Charles was still too dumbfounded to say anything besides, "20 cent-pieces." After which he handed Jard an unornamented dirk, eyed the scar on his cheek, and sat down.
"Thank you Charles, you have always been good to my family." Said Jard as he left the Blacksmith shop, to find Peter.

Peter left while Jard was still dressing, and hurried to Jard's house, he knew exactly where everything was in the house. So it didn't take him long to find bread, salted smoked meat, waterskins, a few blankets, a map of the Desert of Dreams flint steel and tinder, and other odds and ends that would be useful on a quest; and get it all packed into saddle bags. After which he promptly rode back towards his own dwelling. Peter may have been good at finding things necessary for a journey, but he wasn't much good at observing his surroundings. If he had been, he would have notice a gray cloaked figure, following him.


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