Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chapter 107 - The Physician & Merchant

 Surgeon Gavin leaves the clinic and explores the bushes near the market and town square for the herbs needed to craft strong tonics and salves.
 At the same time, Percival opens his stalls for business. 
 Gavin takes a break from herb gathering and walks over to the market to see about buying food for dinner tonight.
 Just outside the market, a villager begins coughing loudly.  Just from the sound, Gavin knows that it is not a normal cough.
 Gavin spots Percival and intends to have a word with him later, for now, the coughing villager requires his attention.
 The villager is walking away.  “Hold it one moment!’  Gavin calls out to stop him.
 The villager turns when he realizes that Gavin is speaking to him.  Gavin can tell that this  is one of the new refugees.  He has never seen him before.

“I am the Surgeon here in Archolia and I could not help but hear you coughing.”
 “Aye, this cough came on suddenly.”

“Allow me to examine you,” Gavin says.  Gavin lays his hand on his shoulder and can feel that the villager has a fever.  Gavin pulls out his tongue and sees that it is swollen.
 Gavin looks the patient over and recognizes that his skin appears yellowed and clammy.  As he blinks, Gavin can see the eye warts.  Gavin realizes that Jolene was right.  He has never seen such a combination of symptoms at one time.
 Gavin pulls out a tonic.  “Sir, you are very ill.  I beg you to drink this.”

“What is it?”  The villager asks as if he does not trust Surgeon Gavin.
 “It is a mild tonic.  It should make you feel better.”
 “How do you feel?” Gavin asks after the patient has drank a fair amount of tonic.

“Worse than before…now I think I might vomit.”
 “You will be just fine.” Gavin says keeping a smile on his face to reassure the patient, but inside he is very concerned.  The villager finished the whole tonic, but did not improve.  In fact, as Gavin stands there, the villager’s eyelids begins dripping ooze. 
 Gavin returns to the clinic and Percival closes his stalls and retires to his sleeping quarters to rest.
 His wife Felicia comes to join him.  Percival cannot say that their relationship is the most loving, but they get along and do not necessarily hate each other.
 As a wife Felicia performs all of her wifely duties and never turns down Percival’s requests for woohoo.
 Percival pulls her close.  “I believe it is time for us to start a family,” he suggests.  “What do you think of that?” He asks after she does not respond.
 “I might like to be a mother,” she finally answers.
 That is just what Percival was waiting to hear.  Felicia lies back onto the bed and Percival leans over her.  He and Felicia kiss. 
 Their love making is not necessarily passionate, but they are satisfied.  They pray that their connection will bring them a child.
 Gavin finally has all of the herbs that he needs to craft new tonics.  In the back of his mind, he is very worried that the tonic did not heal the villager in the town square. 
Gavin decides that he will seek the Merchant’s help in finding other villagers with similar symptoms to the villager that Gavin just examined. 

Chapter 106 - The Physician & Merchant

 Back at the market, Percival approaches Taylor Xin.  Taylor Xin’s taylor shop is located right in the middle of town, Percival is sure that Xin may have some indication of how bad this new illness really is.  “What have you seen or heard?” Percival says attempting to pull information out of Xin.
 “I have seen a few sick customers come in and out of my shop, but nothing unusual and no one has told me anything.”
 “What about deaths?  Have you heard of any new deaths in town?”  Percival presses for more information.

“No more than usual.  Just the occasional elder whose time was  up anyway.”
 “There has to be something more to it than that,” Percival insists.

“Well, if so, I am not the one to ask,” 
Xin states effectively ending the conversation.
 The only other townie that Percival can think of who seems to know all of the latest news is town crier Bertram.
 “What do you know of this illness that seems to be going around?”  Percival asks.
 “You mean the one that did not show up until we started getting all of the Aarbyville refugees in town?”
 “Aye, that is the one.  Do you know how bad it has gotten?”

“From what I have heard, the blight has consumed the countryside.”
 Percival lowers his voice so that no one overhears him,  “Should I be afraid?”
 “We should all be afraid.  Rumor has it that the leaders of Aarbyville purposely sent these refugees here, knowing that they were ill to kill us all off for destroying their plans to take over Archolia.”

“Really?” Percival says, realizing that Bertram is known to spread rumors that are not exactly true.
 Bertram picks up that Percival does not believe him, which leads to a few awkward moments of silence. 
 Back at the clinic, Gavin turns his attention to the patients that seem to be suffering from illnesses that he is more familiar with and can easily cure.
 This patient has a pretty bad infection.  Gavin knows that drawing her blood and medicating her will easily cure her.  He leads her to the operating table.
 “I am going to drain the infected blood.  You will feel weak and sleepy, but I will give you a tonic that will have you up and on your feet again in no time,” Gavin says to the patient.
 Gavin applies the leeches and allows them to sit until an adequate amount of blood has been drained.
 Percival finally makes his way back to the clinic and is happy to see that nurse Jolene has returned. “Good eve Nurse Jolene, I have heard about the illness that is going around.  I wanted to ask you for a fresh supply of tonic to restock my stalls.”
“I wish I could be of assistance Shopkeeper Percival, but our supply is low.  We have been so busy with the sudden swell in population that we are having a time trying to keep our own supplies high.”

“I see,” Percival answers with concern on his face.

Jolene notices it. “If you follow me to the examination room, I could probably spare some of our weaker tonics
.”
 Once they are in the examination room, Percival feels more comfortable asking questions.  “Should I be concerned about this outbreak of sickness?”
 “I see no cause for panic.  It is actually not spreading as you would think it would.  And so far, there has been no loss of life.”
 Nurse Jolene hands Percival a few flasks of tonic.  “It is not much, but it is all I could spare. Now if you will excuse me,” she says before walking away.

Percival thanks her quietly, but his attention is on Gavin and his patient.
 While Percival is still standing there, Gavin pulls out a bottle of tonic for the patient.  He places a funnel into her mouth.  “This will revive you and have you feeling as if you were never ill.”
Gavin pours the tonic into the funnel and as he promised, the patient feels as good as new.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chapter 105 - The Physician & Merchant

 Percival is also aware that something unusual is going on.  He sits down to take care of some bookkeeping and sees that he is having problems keeping enough tonic on hand.
 Percival runs out to check his stall and just like his records suggests, he is running low on tonic.  “I should visit the clinic and  request more tonic,” Percival reminds himself.
 Gavin is unnerved by the symptoms exhibited by these new patients.  Seeing a need for more strong tonics, he goes to the craft table to check on his ingredients.  Again, he has to go out and collect more herbs for his tonics and salves.
 On days like this, Gavin wishes that he had more staff to help out at the clinic.  It is impossible for he and Jolene to see all of the patients, keep the craft table stocked and make sure there is a fresh supply of medication available at all moments.
 Gavin is on his way out of the clinic when he hears his son Godfrey descending the stairs.
 “Good morning son!”  He greets him, glad to see that he has slept well.
 Good morning father.  I was hoping that you had time to take me fishing today as you promised.”
 “Oh son!” Gavin says feeling deeply sorry for continuing to let his son down.  “I am so sorry.  I cannot take you today, the waiting room is full of sick patients and I was just on my way to gather new herbs for tonics and salves. 
 Godfrey tries to be understanding.  “No worries. I understand,” Godfrey says, but Gavin can see in his eyes that he is saddened that is father is once again too busy to spend time with him. 

“I shall make it up to you son…I promise,” Gavin says, wondering if it is wise to promise the boy when he has no idea what is going on with the health of these refugees.
 Percival arrives at the clinic and is shocked to see it so full.  Nurse Jolene is no where in sight.  I am sure that she and the doctor are very busy, Percival thinks to himself.
 As he is about to leave, Percival overhears two villagers talking. “I am afraid that we are facing another deadly pandemic,” the first says.

“I know.   Half of the new refugees are sick and it is only a matter of time before the sickness spreads to the rest of us,” says the second villager.
 Percival, bothered by what he has heard, decides to return to the clinic later when nurse Jolene is available.  Right now he hurries to the market.  He will ask around to find out what he can about the new refugees and the sickness that seems to be spreading quickly.
 Meanwhile, Gavin finally leaves the clinic in an attempt to locate enough angel weed and lord leaf to restock his supplies and craft new strong tonics and salves.
 Behind the clinic, he locates a bush of herbs that he had yet to discover, but it contains none of the herbs that he needs for the tonics and salves.
 Gavin returns to the clinic and is happy to see that nurse Jolene has returned.  She spent the morning by the docks waiting for a shipment of the mysterious tonic from Gavin’s contacts from the East.
 Jolene moves in for a hug, but stops when she sees the concern on Gavin’s face. “What is it Gavin? What has you so troubled?”
 “It is this new illness.  It does not appear to be very serious, yet those affected are convinced that it is deadly and that they will die.”

“I do not know Gavin, from what I have seen the yellowed clammy skin, swollen tongue, and blistering fever combined with eyelid warts is nothing like we have ever seen.”
 “Yes, maybe you are right…”
“I shall go out and find one of the villagers ailing the most and examine them.  Maybe I just have not seen everything yet.”