Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chapter 111 - The Physician & Merchant

While Percival is at his stall, Town Crier Bertram walks over and gives him a message from the pigeon post.  “I believe this is from a merchant in Tredony,” Bertram says.
 
 Percival makes a quick sell, then he opens the scroll.  His merchant contact in Tredony reveals that they know nothing of any mysterious plague going around.
 
 Percival is disappointed, but does not give up hope.  He still has yet to hear from Crafthole.  He decides that he could use a drink and maybe some lively music.  He walks into the Tavern and sees Surgeon Gavin sitting alone looking to be in a bad state.
 
 In Gavin’s hand is a goblet of the strongest ale available at the Tavern.  He is determined to drink until he has forgotten everything.  It is the only way he will be able to sleep tonight.
 
 Percival does not need to ask, but he knows not what else to say, “How is it going Surgeon?  Have you come closer to a cure?”
 
 “Oh! Qh…quite the opposite.  You …you know the vill…ager named …Lynn that you had visit me.  Well…she…she is dead now.  Why?  Because I failed her… that is why!” Gavin says in a drunken voice.  He is clearly intoxicated and can barely stand.
 
 “All is not lost Surgeon,” Percival trying to convince himself as much as Gavin.

“Oh but you are wrong!  That is what I am trying to tell you.  If I cannot figure out why these villagers are sick… I CANNOT HEAL THEM!”  Gavin’s voice reveals his disgust for himself.
 
 “Maybe I can help with that.  I will go to the village and interview some of the refugees.  I am sorry about Lynn’s death, but I believe that one of them will be able to give us something that we can use.”

Gavin laughs with a drunken grin on his face.  “You do that…in the meantime I am going to drink until my cursed head explodes.”
 
 Gavin walks over to the cask and fills another goblet.
He sits at a table and quickly downs every ounce of ale…
 
 …still, he cannot get Lynn’s face out of his mind.
Gavin sits with yet another ale in his hand.  Percival decides that it is time to intervene.  Gavin is their only hope.  Percival must get him off of this path of self destruction.


“Do you know who visits the market everyday bragging about his father?”  Percival waits, but Gavin does not answer.  “A young man by the man of Godfrey.  He is your son, is he not?  Well, he is convinced that his father can cure even the rarest of illnesses.  But…”

Percival stops and gets up from his chair.  “…I wonder what he would say if he saw his father now?”


Percival’s words hit right where he wanted them to.  Gavin gets up from his chair.  “I have got to get home,” he says quietly.
As Gavin is leaving the tavern, he overhears a couple of bar patrons talking.  “Yeah, now I can see how his patients are dying by the handfuls.  As many drinks as I have seen him toss down, I would not trust my cows in his care,” the first guy says.
“I heard that he killed Lynn today.  Maybe he mixed ale in place of the herbs.  I bet she never saw it coming.  Poor old wench,” the second patron says laughing.
Gavin taps the second guy on the shoulder.  “I would appreciate it if you would not discuss Lynn in that way,” Gavin says.
“Or what? What will you do you old tosspot?”  The patron answers. 


Gavin pushes him and the two of them break out into a fight.

Although he is beyond drunk, Gavin is suddenly very aware of what he is doing, but something in him will not stop.
Gavin grabs the loud mouth guy and throws him to the ground.
Gavin wins the fight.  “Now I would appreciate it if you do not mention Lynn again.”


“Sorry, sorry. I meant no harm.”

The patron leaves the bar.  Gavin is not proud of his behavior, but he does feel a bit better.
He decides to return home to get some rest and possibly sleep off his ale so that he can return to what he does best…heal.
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Chapter 110 - The Physician & Merchant

 Percival closes his shop early.  He has the idea to write his contacts in Tredony and Crafthole to find out if they have had any instances of sickness in their territories.
 Percival drafts his letter to his merchant contacts in both territories. 
 At the same moment, Surgeon Gavin walks to his scribe table to devise a medical formula for a cure using Lynn’s affected blood.
 Gavin uses his knowledge and experience to determine which herbs to mix with the infected blood to counteract the virus.
 Gavin works until he is satisfied with his formula.  Now all he has to do is craft the tonic at his craft table.
 Percival finishes his two letters.  He hopes that his contacts will have information to help them with their current pandemic.
 Percival attaches his first message to a pigeon at the pigeon post.
 He then attaches his second message and watches as the pigeon flies off. He prays that he gets some helpful information from one of the territories.
 These messages may be their only hope in finding out the cause of this new pandemic.
 Back at the clinic, Gavin is hard at work, researching to come up with the new anti-virus.
 He checks his stock to make sure that he has all that he will need.  If he can nullify Lynn’s illness using her infected blood sample combined with the right herbs, he will be on his way to conquering yet another potentially widespread threat.
 Gavin says a silent prayer as he mashes everything together.  “Holy Watcher, I pray that this works.”
 “Good news Madam Lynn.  I think I have come up with a cure, but first I must ask if you will allow me to test it on you.”
 “Are you sure surgeon, because the last medication only made me feel worse?”

“Well, I am not 100%, but we have to start somewhere.  Do you not agree?”
 “Well…I guess I cannot feel any worse…” Lynn says, but she sounds reluctant.
 “Actually, you may be right to be concerned.  Maybe I should go  over my notes again just to make sure everything is right,” Gavin says having second thoughts.

Lynn laughs.  “No surgeon.  You have talked me into it now.  I shall try the tonic.  What is the worse that could happen?”
 “Well…” Gavin begins, ready to answer her question.

“No please, if you tell me than I shall chicken out.  Just give me the tonic.”
 Gavin pulls the tonic out of his pouch.
 Lynn opens the cork and sniffs it.  “It smells like the slop of my pigs,” she says scrunching her nose.

Gavin smiles, agreeing.  “Aye I know…it is the herbs.  It is a real potent combination.”
 Lynn drinks down the tonic in one gulp.  The tonic has an immediate effect on her.
 “How do you feel?” If Gavin had been more aware, he may have noticed the grim reaper standing as still and quiet as a gargoyle behind her.

“I feel fine!  I think I may be all better!” Lynn says; her voice excited and lively.
 “Thank you Surgeon Gavin…I-” Lynn begins…
 …suddenly she begins to appear dizzy and sways on her feet.  As she slowly crumbles to the floor, Gavin can see the Grim Reaper in all of his glory; an old friend that Gavin prayed he would not see again for a very long time.

“No!” Gavin shouts, for the first time aware of what is happening.
 Lynn hits the floor and everyone around her can see the life being sucked out of her as they gasp in shock.
“No!” Gavin shouts again.  “It was supposed to heal her.  Why did it not heal her?”
 This is not by far the first time that a patient has died at Gavin’s hands, but this death hurts the most.  She did not even want to take the tonic.  Gavin feels that he should not have insisted.
 Gavin stares down at Lynn’s lifeless body and his tears fall and leave wet splotches on her dress.  “I am so sorry!” He says.
 Gavin cannot for the life of him determine what has gone wrong.  His tonic should not have killed Lynn.  What type of illness is he dealing with?
Without Jolene or his son there to comfort him, he heads to another place where he can find comfort in liquid form.