A Primer on Healing Herbs Pt. 8
(OOC: As usual, an RP and teaching event. I'll be offering trains to attendees in related stats, skills, and abilities - intellect, perception, agriculture, alchemy, medicine all to 4, apothecary to 5. All are welcome to attend regardless of seeking training.)
Sept. 25, 2021, 1 p.m.
Arx - Upper Boroughs - Seawatch Sanctuary - Apothecary Garden
Comments and Log
Dodgy, a brown rat arrives, following Audgrim.
The guards at Seawatch Sanctuary have opened up the gate and the steward greets guests in the foyer to direct them to the garden. Once back outside, Medeia is standing near the central seating area fussing over a few things on a table - samples for today's lesson. There is a cart with drinks and pastries available, and a general sense of quiet enjoyment as a few students roam through the budding garden before the class begins. Once satisfied with the arrangement of things, Medeia looks up with a bright smile. "Welcome, it's so good to see some new faces. I am Lady Medeia Eswynd - physician, professor. There's time to grab some refreshments! We'll be starting soon."
"My lady, good to see you again," Audgrim says after bowing. His entrance was unassuming and quiet, though the fact he's fully armored might stand out a little. He does get himself a drink, something with no alcohol, and nods politely around to the other guests there.
Edris enters with a quiet step and open curiousity as he is led through the foyer and then into the garden proper. The Elwood knight's expression is reserved, but polite--though there is genuine enjoyment of the colors and varieties of the plants sparked in his dark eyes. He is dressed down it would seem from the typical stylish peer, wearing leathers and linen on this pleasant spring day. He offers a bow to Medeia, with a quietly spoken, "My thanks, Lady Medeia. I am Lord Edris Elwood. Your hospitality is very gracious; I am looking forward to learning as well." He offers a courteous bow of his head to Audgrim as well, though then seems content to quietly take a place of observation.
"Sir Audgrim!" Medeia greets the knight cheerily. "I imagine you'll be running off to Bastion? My husband, as well. Do be careful, mm?" Her gaze shifts to Edris, quickly giving him an appraising look - not unkind, it doesn't feel like she is sizing him up, just familiarizing herself. "My lord, welcome, it is a pleasure to meet you and a delight to have a new student. Please, make yourself comfortable." As everyone settles, the lady moves to give a quiet direction to her assistant. Then, she addresses the group again. "Today we will be discussing the merits of juniper and willow - a generous application of the term 'herb,' perhaps! However, with spring upon us and more heading back out into the wilds, it would be irresponsible to not prepare you. Any questions before I start?"
"Lord Elwood, nice to meet you. I am Sir Audgrim Veilandir, Knight of the Red Wall. Duchess Isabeau Telmar is my patron," Audgrim introduces himself, bowing again. "I know Baroness Natalia a little. She helped me with something a few years ago. Give my greetings if you see her, please?" he asks. He sips his drink, then nods at Medeia. "I am. I will be careful. I hope Lord Haakon will be too." He says that somewhat wryly, as if maybe he suspects that's not quite Haakon's gambit? Either or, he takes a seat as close as he can, to hear and see better. The herbs in question does make him quirk an eyebrow. "Not a question as much as a very vivid memory of a very strong juniper drink I was offered once..."
Edris seems to accept the gentle scrutiny in the manner of its intent, his expression warming slightly, though there still is that air of natural reserve about him. "Thank you, my lady, and likewise. My cousin Marquis Kael has been encouraging my interests in this area, and so I greatly appreciate the opportunity." He offers another bow of his head to Audgrim. "Sir Audgrim. Telmar is wise to recognize such valor. I have heard of your talents in craft as well. I shall be happy to pass on your greetings to the Baroness." He makes no comment to the scouting of Bastion, though likewise he also settles in to one of the seats. "I once created a pine needle tea on a ranging, out of curiousity," he says, with a straight face but somewhat dryly. "I believe it was not of the correct tree, and so the effect were...not something I believe anyone would wish to create."
A wry smile curves Medeia's lips, a knowing look in her eyes as Audgrim mentions her husband. She says nothing, however, as a flicker of worry briefly crosses her features. To Edris, she notes, "I have not seen Marquis Kael nor Na- Baroness Natalia in many months. I hope they're well." Then, she sniffs in an attempt to keep from laughing, the pine needle tea bringing the light of humor to her. "I see. /Some/one might wish to, but there are many types of evergreen. Identifying them can be tricky. Juniper, thankfully, makes things somewhat simple. It does lend toward making alcohol, but the same berries from the tree are beneficial for several ailments." She reaches out to offer around a small branch from the table. "This is a cutting, showing the unique needles and berries. They resemble blueberries, but smaller, distinct for their dusty blue color."
"Thank you," Audgrim murmurs to Edris, looking genuinely pleased by his comment there. The story about the tea has him smirking in amusement, and nodding knowingly - perhaps he's had similar experiences. Leaning forward to accept the branch of juniper, he says; "I've been putting juniper into food when I've cooked out in the forest. Stews from wild bird, in particular. It goes very well with that," he explains. "Didn't know it had much medicinal use though, but here we are. This is very interesting."
"They are," Edris assures Medeia. "Though everyone has had a very busy winter, planning for the spring and beyond." He just shakes his head a little. "I do not doubt that there is someone amongst humanity who could enjoy almost any sensation," he agrees, in his deadpan way. "Unfortunately there was none in our small bad. At least none that would admit it." Is that a wink to the Lady and other knight? It passes quickly and fades back into his reserve. As the branch is passed around, he inspects it visually, but also brings it closer to inhale the fragrance, including from rubbing a small bit of the greenery between his fingers, observing closely, before passing it on.
"Mm, juniper berries are wonderful with pheasant, venison, those gamey meats. Boar." Medeia nods, expounding on Audgrim's note about cooking. She offers a quick smile to Edris before noting some details about the juniper plant. "In almost all cases, you will likely be taller than the plant itself - not me," There's a laugh from the lady, who is just an inch over five feet tall. "The bushes rarely exceed six feet. Note that the needles stay fairly short, and that they grow in pairs or triads, evenly spaced around the stem. Not a particularly dense foliage." She accepts the branch back once everyone has seen it. "The berries can be eaten, added to tea-like drinks to help with internal ailments - especially coughing and congestion, or crushed and added to topical treatments of wounds to aid in healing and pain reduction."
"And they tend to grow in rocky environments, and in more open areas. Gnarly small trees, can be a pain to walk across such areas," Audgrim says. "Snags you when you walk, they grow low." He listens curiously. "Coughing and congestion, eh? Good to know. Not that I have that a lot, but still. Pain reduction too."
Edris listens attentively to the explanation of the whole plant, and where it grows, his expression thoughtful. "I believe I have seen it in the mountains as well, though some of the plants may have been closer to your size, my lady," he smiles at Medeia. "I will have to note more carefully when the scent and flavor show up in foods and drink. I am certain that they have, it just was not something that I held in my attention."
Medeia nods to Audgrim's additions. "Yes. They /do/ make lovely additions to large properties, though, so it isn't too uncommon to see them used in creating natural barriers in some villages. They're hardy, and resilient, which makes them reliable sources of medicine." That grin returns, turned on Edris. "I am a useful measuring tool." She winks. "If you find you sleep better after ingesting juniper - whether with a meal or as a medicine, it is like lying due to some its effectiveness as a sedative, as well. A juniper tea can do wonders before bedtime. Any further questions on juniper before we talk willow?"
"One Lady Medeia tall - the new Compact measurement," Audgrim suggests deadpan. He shakes his head, having no more questions or additions - but he is clearly enjoying himself here, perhaps because as a wildlife person, this makes him feel like he has something to contribute. "Willow, eh? They are very nice trees."
Edris files the information away, his expression interested as he listens. But at the call for more questions, he shakes his head slightly. Though at the mention of willow some of that reserve returns, though his polite attentiveness never wanes. A shadow of some memory, perhaps, that quickly passes. "A home for vines as well, on occasion," he adds quietly to Audgrim's words.
With a small flourish, Medeia exchanges the juniper branch for a bundle of sweeping willow branches. "Willows are easily recognizable, and most are good sources of medicine. White willow," She indicates the bundle she is handing off, "Is so named for the white-ish underside of the leaves. It bears yellow flowers in late spring and can be recognized for its more gray-hued outer bark." A few notes get ticked off on her fingers, "The part of the willow you seek is the inner bark - not the leaves or flowers. It can be chopped and made into a tea or used as a decoction. If out exploring, finding a willow is a blessing."
"Hey. I think I've heard about that and even been given willow bark tea," Audgrim remembers. "Usually after they've patched me up, if I remember it right. I don't remember why, right now." He isn't the healer, he just trusts them to know their stuff.
Edris takes the bundle of branches when it is his turn, once more not limiting himself to visual inspection, but tactle as well--the feeling of the thin leaves under his fingertips, and the scent he can draw from the banches as well. "Are the leaves or flowers poisonous?" The Elwood knight asks, gently, as he passes the branches on. "Or merely not medicinal?"
"Pain relief, mostly," Medeia offers in response to Audgrim. For Edris, she shakes her head. "Neither, the leaves are just terribly bitter. It makes them very difficult to get anyone to actually take the medicine. They can be eaten, raw or boiled, and achieve similar pain relief - but I strongly recommend going for the bark instead." She gives a small shrug, something of a 'but circumstances may require quickness' to her tone. "The bark can be boiled multiple times and eaten. Actually, in particularly lean times, areas that have lots of willow will boil and grind the inner wood of the tree into a fine flour, mixing it with more traditional grains for bread." As a aside, "And some get turned into flutes."
Audgrim snaps his fingers. "Yep. Definitely helps with that. Good to know, about the leaves though. In emergencies," he says thoughtfully. That's definitely the sort of thing that is good to know for someone out there alone in the forest, if he gets hurt. "If it tastes that bad, eating it while in pain, probably wakes you right up," he jokes darkly.
"Mm," is Edris' thoughtful comment to Medeia's answer to his question, though that knowledge too is filed away. "A good thing to know that the bark can be reused, for conservation of resources," he observes, though it is perhaps to himself more than anything else. "Or at least gives a new taste amongst all the others one has experienced under those circumstances," he agrees.
Shad, a Kite of the Cloudspine arrives, delivering a message to Audgrim before departing.
Medeia clears her throat, a hand lifting to cover her amusement at the dark humor. "Yes, yes, it's good for spreading care and nourishment when resources are thin." Her eyes sparkle as she sets the branches aside on the table. "The tea can treat head and stomach aches, break a fever, soothe tense muscles and sore joints. The decoction can be used to treat skin ailments - banishing itch caused by rash or bug bites, clearing blemishes. Swelling and pain from cuts or burns can also benefit from the application of willow." She looks around, searching the group. "Is there anything else you would like to know about willow? If not now, you can always reach out to me later. I'm always happy to offer what help I can through letters or private tutoring."
"I think I stuffed my brain as full as it can get for now," Audgrim says with a thankful nod at Medeia. "I'm afraid I need to get going. We're having a meet up before going to Bastion, do some preparations. But I didn't want to miss this either."
"Indeed," Edris echoes Audrim's sentiments, with a grateful look towards Medeia. "This has been most illuminating, my lady. And your company very enjoyable, Sir Audgrim. May your path be blessed and your blade true at Bastion, that our paths may cross yet again upon your return." He turns towards Medeia. "Though I do not believe that I have the calling to become a healer, as you probably knows, our lands and people are still recovering from many scars past and present. In the process of rebuilding, I am hoping to assist our people in making use of our resources as much as we can without damage to them. If you are available or can recommend a tutor in how this might best be done, I would be very grateful, my lady."
Dodgy, a brown rat leaves, following Audgrim.
Medeia gives Audgrim a bow of her head before focusing on Edris. "I can speak with you on that, and I can connect you with others who can fill in gaps that I have in my expertise. There are... Similar concerns facing my people, so I know well what you face." She smiles and, with the class dismissed, makes a gesture toward the sanctuary. "I can check my schedule to arrange a time to meet."
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