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Author Topic: A grand adventure is about to begin  (Read 141 times)

Description: Attn: Cadence, Roshan and eventually Babak

Offline Hadjara al-Izar

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A grand adventure is about to begin
« on: Dec 03, 17, 04:52:54 PM »
Takes place shortly after the events of : Bonds of Blood and The Truth Changes Nothing Between Us



Hadjara paced in her room nervously, her hands wringing as she walked back and forth across the floor.  This was the second day in a row that she had woken up dizzy and sickly and had only managed to hide it from Babak because he had been taking Kurush to morning trainings while she was still in bed.  Her head hurt, and everything just felt strange and off.  She felt disoriented and cut off from her power, even her Rose and when she reached for it, the feeling of danger and warnings stopped her from doing anything.  She should tell Babak, but he had been wound up so much after her Trials and after the Rains, so worried that something else would come to attack her.  She had been loving the added attention, the way he had almost never left her side in the week or so since she woke up from her long sleep that she didn’t want to alarm him over something that was probably nothing more than exhaustion from the ordeal.

It wasn’t until she began to lose what little food she had been managing to keep down did fear begin to set in.  She hadn’t ever been this sick about food, not since…

Hadj stopped pacing, her hands clenched so hard that her knuckles had turned white.  It shouldn’t happen here, not in this place, not when there were so many webs and wards around the compound to keep out dangers, but what if…

She ran out of her cottage, stumbling a little over a loose pavement stone as she ran for the main house, ignoring the sting of hot sand and stone on her bare feet as she threw herself through the patio doors, ignoring Rania’s startled shout from the kitchen as she rushed to the rooms of one person she trusted to ask for help.

Hadajra pounded on Cadence’s door, panic in her voice, “Please Lady Cadence, I need your help, please let me in!”  She tried to reach out to Roshan, the only other person she could think of who knew about being poisoned and was rewarded by her efforts with a wave of nausea and a pain in her stomach, enough to stop her in her attempt.  When had it happened?  How could it have happened?  What sort of poison lingered for so many days without killing you.  Her hands felt cold and clammy as she continued her assault on the Healer’s door.   “Please,” she said, her voice a whimper, “Please be there, please.”

When the door finally opened, Hadjara fell in, her arms enclosing around the other woman as she felt tears sliding down her cheeks.  “I….I can’t reach Roshan and I think...I think I’m dying.  I think someone has poisoned me again!





Offline Cadence Fellows

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Re: A grand adventure is about to begin
« Reply #1 on: Dec 03, 17, 11:05:25 PM »
Cadence heard the pounding. Her rise from the desk smooth. Easier as she had taken the time to do more walking. To start regaining the flexibility once presented in her youth. The bulky drab drape of her outerwear shed for her room. Instead a simple blouse of saffron yellow and dark brown pants came together presenting the tidy trim nature of her figure. Flesh had always been spare on the woman but sunlight and nutrient rich food had added enough flesh to turn gaunt into thin.

Cat green eyes widened for a moment before her arms wrapped around the sobbing bundle of frightened Priestess. A little croon caught up in her throat as she rubbed Hadjirah's back in soothing little circles. The words poison touched Cadence's thoughts and she reached once more for her training. Strove for it and winced as she struck the limit of her abilities; that phantom limb that kept aching.

"Shh... Easy child. Deep breaths." A breath caught before she pulled the other woman into the room. Her hand continued the circling motion even as she resented the limitations on her abilities. Before she could have touched craft to probe but now it was based off what the patient had to say. What she could relay over while Cadence struggled to piece the symptoms together. A reason, perhaps, that many broken or jeweless blood found themselves retreating to Landen villages and tribes.

"Tell me what is wrong. What symptoms are you having?" There were many minor things that could simulate poison and it was easier to rule them out than work on the assumption of poison.

Offline Hadjara al-Izar

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Re: A grand adventure is about to begin
« Reply #2 on: Dec 03, 17, 11:26:04 PM »
Hadjara pressed her face into the other woman’s shoulder, shivering from her panic and as the gentle touch of hand on her back began to sooth her from tense worry, the shivers were more from released tension.  She meekly let Cadence lead her into the room, the scent of the familiar and trusted woman doing much to ease her fears as she lifted her head, and wiped at her cheeks.

She followed instructions, sucking air in through her teeth harshly until she could begin to breath normally, long deep breaths that only shook a little until her shoulders drooped and the tension subsided.

“I know it’s poison, it’s just like before.  I feel weak and dizzy, I can’t seem to eat and when I do it won’t stay down.  I’ve thrown up the past two mornings and if I try to swallow anything more than some bread, it comes right back up.  I...I tried to call for Ro but I can’t...I can’t reach my Rose,” her voice broke in a hiccup.  “I tried and I got even more dizzy and then my stomach flipped.  It’s not sandworm blood, I know that because I don’t have a fever, at least I don’t think I do, and there’s no funny visions but...but I know something must be wrong.  I’ve never been sick like this and I’ve never not wanted to eat!  I was watching Rania cook yesterday and I know it was a dish I love, but it just smelled….so awful that I had to leave the kitchen.”

Hadj looked up at Cadence, her eyes wide, “What’s wrong with me?  I thought I was finally safe, that no one would try to do this again.  What if it isn’t just me?  What if its something in our water or our food?  What if everyone is going to get sick now too because they were trying to hurt me?” 

Hadjara looked up at the older woman, “Are you ok?  Have you been feeling strange or different too?





Offline Cadence Fellows

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Re: A grand adventure is about to begin
« Reply #3 on: Dec 19, 17, 01:45:24 AM »
The panicked Priestess's words tumbled out of her in the rioting current that indicated the fear and anxiety any illness would bring so close to a traumatic event. Fears that once Cadence would have prescribed a visit to a Black Widow for aid in working through to ease away. Once she would have been able to reach with that delicate weave of craft to probe over Hadjara's symptoms to the root of the issue while the woman poured out her anxiety and grief.

Instead, Cadence fell to the lessons that she had mastered easily. Where the lighter jeweled had relied on wit and more mundane methods of diagnosis Cadence had once been guilty of complacent use of craft. When one stood at the level of the Green even little siphoning bursts of power helped keep it from building up and so the little cheats were encouraged even during training. A bad habit she had no choice to resent now. That phantom reaction of trying to reach with the mutilated tendrils of craft only causing a resulting wave of grief to press upon her. Professional candor kept her from showing the pain that unwitting blunder had delved up from her psyche.

The symptoms apart made no sense. Together they could be anything from as innocent as soured food ingested to anxiety driven illness. The loss of craft though; that helped isolate it down further. Symptoms she had once cataloged and delighted in celebrating herself; before the harsh sands and before the Mines of Pruul. Long ago removed but no less remembered for the mixed emotions of misery and elation.

"When were your last courses?" Cadence asked. Always best to at least get that part out of the way. Easier for the patient to understand you were listening and taking their concerns fully even if you already knew exactly what the issue was at hand. "Are your breasts tender?"  Not even a blush stained the normally modest and retreating healer's cheeks. Professional Healer mask was secured in place as she helped Hadjara seat herself on the tidily made bed. The woman would need the spot to sit and she stepped away to ring the discreet bell that summoned one of the household staff. A quiet order for mint tea and plain toast with only a small hint of butter given before she stepped back into the room.

Cadence didn't wait for Hadjara's answer as she went into her few jarred supplied. There were some herbs that could help but moderation was the key with anything during this time. Still the tisane was mixed up and put into a little clay jar for future use. The infusion of herbs meant to soothe the stomach and aid in finding sleep. Things that a woman in Hadjara's condition would need. Later, well later, she would take time to try and educate all the Mineborn on the symptoms of pregnancy. It seemed that some parts of their education were a bit vacant.

"Hadjara.. Did you remember to take your contraceptive tea regularly this month? Same time every day.." How many times had she stated that before the Mines? To a young witch who was in denial about her body's sudden rebellion. Countless young witches and some middle aged had left her office with the knowledge they had not come down with the local winter stomach ailment but instead the natural results of the slower season's enforced indoors.

Offline Hadjara al-Izar

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Re: A grand adventure is about to begin
« Reply #4 on: Jan 26, 18, 07:13:59 PM »
Hadj sat on the bed limply, fear and adrenaline running their course and leaving her feeling wobbly and exhausted.  She looked up at Cadence’s question with a strange blankness in her eyes.  “My...moontime?”  She asked unsure of the way Cadence asked the question, her eyes shifting as she thought.

“Umm...more than a month ago, but I don’t have regular moontimes.  The Healer who saw to us after we came out of the mines told me it was probably because of what they gave us to delay our birthright, my body doesn’t….tell time the right way?”  Well that’s not the wording the Healer used, but that was how she interpreted it.  “Sometimes it's every month, sometimes every other month, sometimes in between.  One time at Dar al-Saleem it was almost four months but that was only that one time.  I usually know a few days before, because my stomach becomes very upset, like I ate bad food.”  She flushed a little in embarrassment, but Cadence was a healer so she had probably heard and seen worse.

Her question about her breasts made her blush more and instinctively she raised her hand to her chest, noting that they did feel a little strange, sore and achy.  She whispered softly, ‘Well yes but um….last night…”[/b] she flushed again brightly.  Babak had been rather passionate the night before, but she liked that...even liked the way the scruff on his cheek scratched at her skin when he pressed his face to her…. In all sorts of places.

She blinked to clear her head of those thoughts as she watched Cadence move about the room, scooping out bits of dried herbs from a number of different containers without saying much. Hadjara started to feel her panic rising up at Cadence’s lack of responses when spoke again.  Asking about contraceptive tea and…

“I...I don’t remember.  I mean, not every day.   I didn’t know I had to take it everyday.  I usually drink it at night, because….” another light blush, “but sometimes I go right to bed and forget.  Or…” or come to think of it she hadn’t been drinking it even that much anymore.  She meant to, but there was always something that distracted her thoughts.  The whole mess with Lucky and then Omid and finding out about their father and then Kurush had those exams and she stayed up late with him helping him with his studies.  Then she had been learning some kitchen things with Rania, or spending time with Vashti and Ennead.

Her mind spun and she felt her stomach flip, making her cover her mouth in expectation but nothing happened.  Not a nauseous flip, but a nervous one.  She looked up at Cadence, her eyes wide.  Now, any other witch, with the proper education and upbringing might have figured out how these three things would have combined into an answer, but Hadjara, while educated in a fair number of things, had missed some vital and important aspects.

“Cadence, I...I don’t understand what’s going on.”

************

Meanwhile, Rania had not been oblivious to the scene of Hadjara running past her kitchens, pale and panicked and she would have had to have been deaf and blind to not know where she headed.    Instead of hurrying behind her as she wanted to, she did a sensible thing.   She reached out on several psychic threads; to Omid, to Babak, to Ennead, to Roshan.  Firstly to Roshan having heard Hadjara’s fearful worry of poison and there was no other Black Widow that could be trusted.  Then to Babak, as Hadjara’s intended he should know if she was ill or in danger, then to Omid as the senior ranking male of their family unit.  It didn’t matter what was going on between him and Lucky, Hadjara needed her brothers now and finally to Ennead.  He had been preoccupied with his own Queen, but she knew from observation that he cared for Hadjara like a sister and had appointed himself as another one of her escorts.

She paused and didn’t reach out to Lucky.  Not yet.  Let some of the cooler heads prevail at the moment until a cause was discovered.  The last thing anyone needed, especially Hadjara, was a frantic and aggravated Warlord Prince riled up and making anything worse.





Offline Cadence Fellows

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Re: A grand adventure is about to begin
« Reply #5 on: Feb 08, 18, 04:15:26 PM »
Cadence often wondered if Mother Night had some twisted sense of humor. Her life seemed to come in circles and around the bearing of joyous news to confused witches even while her own children were pulled from her arms by defect or time. There was no point in musing further. Her body would remain fallow and barren even if she could conceive again. The idea of allowing another's body to cover her’s, to dominate, made her ill. The ability to trustingly yield to another gone and shed with her jewels; shattered as fully by her past.

The jar of mixed herbs for brewing were mingled together. Another serving was put in a spare tea diffuser before being added to an empty stoneware cup. That combined with hot water from the teapot that remained on her desk, the heat preserved with a warming spell her future daughter placed each morning, started to seep into a pale yellow tea. Soft and pleasant smelling with the reminiscence of spring it was meant to soothe the stomach. While Hadjara answered the questions Cadence counted over the steeping until the brew was strong enough to her liking.

"Drink this.. It should help your stomach. " Cadence offered gently. The heavy cup offered over to the flustered and distressed priestess. Carefully Cadence balanced at the edge of her cot. Giving Hadjara some space yet close enough to offer comfort. An understanding that came from being of the mines. Physical contact must be initiated rather than assumed. Hands and bodies had not always been kind to one another and they all bore their scars in unique ways.

"Deep breaths... There is naught ill with you. You are pregnant not poisoned but for the first few months, potentially longer, you will feel as if poisoned." Cadence offered a little smile even if she was ready to dodge uncomfortably hot tea. The broken healer took a moment before writing down a name and a rough due date based off her mental calculations from Hadjara's statements and time frames.

"I have heard good things from Setare within the Healer community. You will need a healer who wears jewels to monitor your progress and get a more accurate due date. Also, Babek or someone you trust will need to help you drain your jewels on a regular basis." Cadence took a moment to see how Hadjara was taking the conversation thus far. She rose then to fetch the small jar of herbs she put together.

"This is safe to drink. It should settle your stomach. Instead of large meals I recommend snacking through the day. It will help with the sickness; though in the mornings have something simple like toast first with the tea then eat your meal" Little advice. The kind that a mother should have provided Hadjara. Something none of the children really had outside of her Omid.   A fact that made her feel guilty for not striving hard to fill that role long since passed needing filled.

Offline Hadjara al-Izar

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Re: A grand adventure is about to begin
« Reply #6 on: Feb 09, 18, 07:02:22 PM »
Hadj took the mug in her hands, feeling the heat soak through the stoneware.  It was very hot, but the heat was comforting somehow - relaxing even through her hands.  She leaned over the cup, ready for the smell to send her dashing for Cadence’s bathroom but instead the scent flowed through her and seemed to settle what had already been a tenuous truce with her stomach.  It smelled wonderful.

She blew carefully on the steaming liquid before lifting it to her mouth and taking a careful sample. Still very warm but like the heat from the mug, it was a warmth that settled her, sliding down her throat and warming her from the inside.  She sighed deeply, eyes closing in relief.  After a moment, she opened her eyes again for another sip and studied the Healer carefully.  She had moved away just a little, looking skittish and a little nervous.

“Cadence, what…” she began when the older woman spoke.  The words flowed out of her so quickly she almost didn’t catch the point of them.  She stared dumbfounded at the Healer as her mind ran through the jumble of words.  Not poisoned...pregnant… pregnant….pregnant….

Hadj’s hands shook and she carefully placed the cup on a solid surface, suddenly not sure if she was hot or cold or going to be sick again or… or…

“I’m…. I’m… what?!”

She lowered her hands to her lap, and then felt as they moved of their own accord to her stomach.  The same vessel that had been causing her so much discomfort.  Pregnant… there was a….

Her eyes widened as she looked back up at Cadence, now unsure if she wanted to cry or cry.  She knew about pregnancy, she had known about such things when she was still a child in the mines, had seen so many women in those conditions, though she never saw any of the children.  She understood why now as well.  She wasn’t a simpleton, she understood how the process worked but she hadn’t considered that it would happen so quickly.  She was so very young and… and well like she had told Cadence she hadn’t been regular in her moontimes.  She had always assumed that like that natural rhythm, conceiving a child would be something that would take years to accomplish.  Babak hadn’t mentioned anything about wanting another child, and there was so much happening.

“A baby.”  She said still feeling the awe of the moment, “I’m going to have a baby?” 

Panic then, raw panic as she leaned forward and grabbed Cadence’s hands.  “I can’t be a mother!   What do I know about raising a baby?  I don’t know how to be with Kurush half the time and he’s past his Birthright!  I didn’t grow up around babies, I don’t know how to… I mean I don’t know about how they eat or how to teach them things you teach babies.  What if I do it wrong?  What if this baby ends up…” her eyes widened more.  “What if the baby isn’t right?  What if what they did to me in the mines makes the baby sick or not formed right?  I don’t even know if… I mean my own mother died having me.  What if…”

Hadj quieted, reaching for the mug to take another sip and ignoring the sting on her tongue.  Without looking up from her mug, she whispered, “What if I’m not a good mother?”

Her hands clenched the mug like a lifeline. *Babak*  She sent as calmly as she could possibly form the thought, relieved that the action didn’t cause her any pain. *Please love, I need you to come home right away.  Something...something has happened.*





Offline Cadence Fellows

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Re: A grand adventure is about to begin
« Reply #7 on: Feb 12, 18, 11:34:46 PM »
Healers revered life. It was what they were. They called to life and bound souls to the vessels that hosted them through the strength of will and test of skill. Life was precious but it was important to cherish the life here instead of the potential of future life. A hard lesson that all healers struggled with and one that Cadence had put to test in her years in the darkness and dimness of the mines. Of snuffing out those fragile strands of existence before they could fully take root and thrive. There was no secret of what dangers birthing in the mines offered. No secret of the fates of those poor wretched creatures born in the darkness and salt drenched tunnels.  Cadence had done what she could to end those existences before they truly began. Had held the potential mothers as they sobbed that conflicting outpouring of grief mixed with relief.

The words that tumbled from Hadjara were not the heartbreaking ones that came from women in a desperate situation. They were the normal ones she had once waded through in gentler times. When the possibility of malformed infants was only a statistic rather than something that had touched upon her own life. A time when hardships were measured in not being able to purchase a shawl she fancied or needing to pinch down the twice weekly hearth witch visit to weekly for tending her home. Smaller annoyances now that seemed trivial in retrospection. Once she had humored the women with gentle pats and sweet words of reassurance. Confident that ill fate could not fall upon her and those in her care. Cadence knew better now. Tragedy touched on all lives in its ways. No one was safe from it and in the end it defined them on how they weathered it.

" You are pregnant. To stay that way depends upon you." Cadence measured her words carefully. This was not the mines where desperation forced the hands of choice. Where a woman had to choose between her life and the life growing beneath her breast. It did not lessen the drastic change that pregnancy and a child would bring to Hadjara's life. Just made it more feasible to remain a positive rather than potential death sentence.

"Most first time mothers feel this way. I suggest joining the local creche and practice around other children. There is support available in most clans for first time mothers and plenty of helping hands. A loving heart is the most important thing to offer and you have that in abundance." The solutions were there and most healers knew the resources available for new mothers. This experience would seem overwhelming to even the most lovingly reared witch. Patience was the one thing the mines had not stripped her of.

"First, the chance of defect is slim. Second the chance of death in birth is a real possibility but also low for a witch in good health and with an attending healer. Which is why I am referring you to a healer who has assisted with many births including difficult ones." The last fear Cadence could not fully reassure. Every mother had those questions and doubts. Even proud of the man Omid had become Cadence feared she had been a poor mother. The healer felt as if the Prince had become a fine man despite of her; rather than because of her. Truly a beautiful soul.

"There are options. If you choose not to continue the pregnancy. Speak with Babak as you are both entering this venture together. All healers know how to safely end a pregnancy so early in the stages if you so chose and none will pass judgement." There was understanding in those cat greenish gold eyes. A quiet sort of sympathy of understanding what Hadjara was feeling in these moments of panic. Cadence knew, deep in her heart, that Hadjara would not take the escape offered but ethics forced her to give the woman the knowledge. Hadjara had to understand it was her choice and her control of her body to continue forth. Sometimes that little control made the unknown less terrifying.

Offline Hadjara al-Izar

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Re: A grand adventure is about to begin
« Reply #8 on: Feb 17, 18, 09:47:32 PM »
Hadjara stared up at the older woman, her eyes widening in surprise at the meaning behind her words.

“What are you… you can’t mean..” her hands clutched at her flat stomach protectively, her eyes getting painfully wide.  “Cadence NO!”  She shouted, jumping up from her seat, chest rising with heavy breaths.

“I might be scared, I might be afraid of all the things that could go wrong, but I could never… never…”  Her hands pressed to her belly.  “This is my child, MY CHILD.  A dream that I never once held for myself in those scary dark tunnels.  It’s a part of me and Babak, growing inside me.  He lost his daughter Cadence!  I could never hold out another child to him and take it away, no matter what I might be afraid of.  He lost his child and his wife, and Kurush almost died protecting his sister.  I want this child!”  All those worries and fears were burned away with a wildfire of passion as she stared at the Healer, a woman whom she thought would understand how precious a gift this was.

“I...I’ll go see this healer,” she said, looking away from Cadence, unable to hide the hurt or pain in her expression as she did so.  Omid’s mother, who had lost her own child - Hadjara just couldn’t understand why she could even bring such a thing up.  Maybe it was something ever Healer had to say, horrible as it sounded to her in this moment, but in this moment Hadjara could not get past her shock.  She reached for the tea and the jar of herbs.

“Thank you Lady for the tea,” she said.  “I think perhaps I’ll go back to my room and rest.  Now that I know I’m not….now that I know that I’m not in danger, a nap will probably do me good.