Whitefish River but the hearts of small children are delicate organs
Private  August 20, 2019, 03:36 PM

        It was with an inscrutable, somewhat-gentled guise and a herbarious bundle clutched between fangs that airgetlám went to @Dragomir. All of her words had left her in the several days flitting to and from the riverlands; her ranging on the Road had her voice hoarse, throat useless.

        Hidden within the green confines was the lunar-gem she’d smuggled back into the claim; the other of which had yet to be proffered to her daughter. But the silver handled her gatherings with care, even more so as to not reveal the glinting trifle. Not yet.

        Eventually, when she came nearer to her son, Aurë did set her gatherings down and look into his face; letting a soft murmur issued from between scarred lips, whether he rested or no. ...Hello, balaur.
        And it was muscle memory that had the silver’s gaze ticking across him; inspecting all that’d healed, and all that’d yet to be realigned.
August 20, 2019, 09:50 PM
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He was resting when Aurëwen arrived. With a few opium poppy seeds from Speedy, he was able to slip into dreamless sleep now and again. They couldn't be too heavy-handed with the doses, though he already felt like he needed them to be able to get any rest at all. Without them, his mind conjured nightmares and flashbacks that woke him screaming in the middle of the night. He had been allowed a few now and was dozing when his mother entered the thicket that he was confined to while he healed.

He didn't hear her approach, but his nose twitched in response to a familiar smell and his eyes fluttered open when she spoke. Aurë might recognize some marked improvement in her son, both physically and mentally. The lacerations on his neck and hindquarters were reduced to scabs that would later turn into scars. They itched more than they hurt these days. The swelling around his eye was steadily going down, though there would always be something a little lopsided about his face. His other broken bones remained painful, perhaps less so than when they were fresh, and stiff beyond comfort. The wasting of his muscles was evident by now, but there was a brightness in his eyes that had often been absent of late, suggesting that for once he was neither dissociated nor panic-stricken.

Aurëwen looked as though she carried the weight of the world on her shoulders. Dragomir noticed, but didn't know what to do or say about it. He knew he had been harsh to her before Sanguinus tricked him and he had never apologized for it; it felt too late to do so now. He instead said, hi, mom, and let his eyes flick curiously to the items she'd placed on the ground. How are you? It felt weird coming out of his mouth, but he said it anyway.
August 20, 2019, 10:29 PM

        She never saw reason to fib, especially about her own well-being, and so Aurëwen told him the truth: Worn to ze bone, my dragon.  All the same, it felt as off-kilter to be the receiver of such an inquiry; still, she tried to do so with a clumsy grace,  But not so much, now that you are here,  and attempted a pale smile that almost reached her tired eyes. ...And perhaps it was the warmth of the day, suffusing green and lulling her son, but airgetlám descended upon her skinny belly all the same. Better to look into his eyes with; and better to rest her paws.

        Her own greenery went unheeded, for the moment, as she gave a luxurious stretch of her spine and then, with a yawn that made her half-sight gleam, turned to lie with her shoulderblades pressed into the grasses. Her lower body remained strewn upon one hip, and her tail feathered away, absent. 

        In all these moons, I don't believe I have told you a single thing of my past life. ...I hadn’t always taken kindly to healing.”  She mused with a drawl, eyelashes remaining heavy upon scarred cheekbones.  When I was a little older than you are now, I wished to know ze art of war, much as your sister wishes to know, now. But I was too thin-limbed, too... too furious with myself,”  the contents of why would remain bitten away  (lest he enquire),  and so, it was not to be, and I was sent to ze favor of ze haven’s herbalists instead.”

        And I... hated it. Hated plants. I did not yet understand ze purpose of what feeding wolves like sheep was. I thought it ludicrous. But, I was then tutored by Hypatia — one of ze finest, and most known for her patience.  Her lashes fluttered,  Even for me,  and unveiled the memory-misted eyes beneath. 

        Then, with Cheshire queen’s grin, the druid canted her marred head to her son and crooned, What do you think my first patient had? Guess.”
August 21, 2019, 04:50 PM
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Dragomir watched with envy the way his mother stretched and half-rolled, settling her weight on her back with her spine in a supple twist. His hind legs were useless and it would only strain his ribs if he tried to turn like that. He'd give anything to be able to stretch out his back that way. When she was comfortable, she began to speak, telling him things she'd never deigned to tell her children before—things from her past that he'd never been interested enough to ask about. Dragomir was too busy pursuing his interests and being angry about the things that were taken from him, then. Now he had all the time in the world to listen.

Somehow, Dragomir couldn't imagine Aurëwen being as gung-ho about fighting as Isilmë was. Her history of going out and getting into trouble and returning hurt suggested it wasn't her calling and was probably for the best she'd been turned to another path. He lacked the drive to fight that his sister possessed as well. With training, perhaps he could be good at it—surely it wasn't much different than hunting—but his heart wasn't in it like his father's was.

If you hated it, why did you do it? Dragomir asked. He didn't think he could pursue any skill that he had no interest in, even if it was for the best. She impishly posed him a question then and he wracked his brain with a little frown. Her mischief couldn't touch him through the haze of his perpetual pain and fear, but he made an effort to inject as much engagement into it when he answered, a bellyache?
August 21, 2019, 10:54 PM

        Airgetlám hummed in consideration, fatigued eyes crescenting, You could say so. I suppose our tenant must have digested a ... a natural poison, one whose make I cannot recall. However— she dove into her recollection, speaking both delicately and practically of how the patient had writhed, clawing at the throat, frothing, before the assembled greenseers and Aurëwen herself could figure what the matter was. Two had held the ailing vagrant down, and Drago’s mother had been the one to  (with paws as little as hers, still were)  cast a bezoar down their wards’ throat.

        His fit had subsided ... eventually. “It was a very rattling experience, nevermind that I was some moons into my instruction. But more than anything, my dragon, that was ze day I came to understand how I could be there for others. Be there for them in a way that doesn’t require brawn ... of ze body, at least.” With another flicker of lashes, Aurëwen quieted once more; and seemed as if she’d been more content than ever to sungaze into the fire-ivy of her son’s thicket.

        But then, she started with a little shiver, scarred lips parting as if to bring forth words. None came from her chords, though, except an absent  And, speaking of stones—”  and instead she wisped a few breaths, squirmed back upon her belly, and reached for the gatherings she’d brought along.  (It still hadn’t occurred to her that she never expressed, exactly, what a bezoar was, not its relation to stones. Forgetful, she.)

        In the moment that followed, she clutched her earth-grown tomes to her breast; corners of her thin mouth quirked in ever-mischief. ...And then, with the fragility that comes with well-thought care, she unwound the wrappings again and again, until finally — she produced the glimmering moonstone that’d been hidden within.

        Wordlessly, still impish, albeit rather gentled, now, Aurëwen proffered it towards her son with a nudge of a nose pinker than his.
September 03, 2019, 11:11 AM
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What Aurëwen went on to describe was horrifying; he fought to swallow his panic and bile at the notion of someone suffering such a torment, fighting down the flashbacks of his own ordeal, and attempted to focus instead on Aurë's true lesson. He had no idea what a bezoar was, but assumed it was similar to Speedy's magic seeds. The moral of her story was that there were more ways to help others than to simply be a strong guardian. Thankfully, talk turned away from harrowing accounts of suffering to stones, which he was more interested in.

Aurë painstakingly drew her bundle of plants forward and unwrapped a glimmering white stone. Dragomir pricked his ears forward and watched with interest, then slowly extended a paw to scoop it closer when she pushed it toward him. It shone in the light like the back of some iridescent beetle, drawing the eye to its glinting surface. Dragomir quietly asked, what is it?
September 06, 2019, 08:10 AM

        My haven told of it as silmaril,”  the herbalist mused, eyes smarting a bit at particularly brilliant flecks.  But, I believe in ze common tongue, it is called a moonstone. I found it in a quarry of them. Troves of them; like a little moon in ze earth.”  Her halfsight lingered upon the glimmering scale of earth, before flitting to wonder as to Dragomir’s countenance.  Some of our tenants said ze moon protects those who travel in ze night. Others think that ze shine inside is a living spirit, or a gem within ze brow of their deity, or ... or, that it brings clairvoyance to ze beholder. Some dare to not bring it out into ze day at all, for fear of weakening ze energy within. All assumed that stones such as these were made from ze light of ze lune.”  Eyes lingered on the pink nose, before sweeping back down to the gem in question.  What do you think, my dragon?

        Did he agree with anything that she’d told him? Aurëwen scooched a bit nearer to the curious thing and son upon her belly, her own blushed nose wriggling in thought; ears pressing forward, rare that they did. Remembered the time when her dragon was just a hatchling, practically, nibbling at her belly; legs stretching like wings; leaving her to wonder what myths he was living away in his mind.

        Perhaps that had been why she had slept as nearly as much her Dragomir had — to try and meet him through the realms of their dreams. She wished she knew if they ever had ... her tail feathered, and Aurë returned from her momentary reverie with a quiet try at a smile.
September 10, 2019, 11:19 PM
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If Dragomir were a well read scholar, he might recognize the mention of silmaril. But Dragomir was just a young wolf and it was the first he'd ever heard the term, and the first he'd ever seen the stone. It was pretty, lovely like the stone itself, and it was woefully the kind of word that escaped your mind not long after hearing it due to its unfamiliarity, much as he might try to recall it later. Moonstone would be easier to remember for he whose mind was preoccupied most hours of the day with staving off reminders of his trauma and the crushing hopelessness that came to him along with each flashback.

But for right now he quietly repeated it in his mind and listened to what Aurë had to say about the moonstone. He gazed down at it in the crook of his ankle, pursing his lips. His interest, as it had been lately, was subdued and dimmed by the darkness that pressed in all around him, but it was nevertheless evident in the glint of his eye. It does look like the moon, he mused. Can pieces of the moon fall? Stars fell sometimes. Maybe it was possible for the moon to break and fall as well.

Another time he may have asked these questions with wide-eyed wonder; now he asked them in the same tone he might use to ask about the weather in any other situation. Merely the result of his ongoing issues, and he hoped she wouldn't notice, even though she likely already had. In spite of his flat tone, the boy then asked, can it heal?
September 20, 2019, 09:53 AM

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        Perhaps,”  the silver hummed to the first, eyes drifting to the bit of gift she’d given him.  Once, I have seen ze moon ... fill ze skies. Maybe that is how moonstones come to be; or, maybe stars hit ze moon on their journeys over our head. They are other, though, and ... we might never know.  She lulled once more into quietude, but the second wonderment returned her consideration to Dragomir, though the tones were less brilliant than before.

        At first, as she parted her lips to answer, she didn’t register the deeper enquiry; mind still orbiting around the more mythological aspects of her find for him. Yet, as a musing of  Well,”  went from her tongue, she seemed to snare herself, and soon lowered the softening of her eyes back to the earth’s treasure.  It is a ... stone which soothes ze emotions, ze discomforts, and one which instills strength within oneself. It is said to bring good fortune to its beholder. I have not collected many in my pastime, but ... my dragon, I hope it may be a light for you, when all else is dark.”

        Resting her chin upon minute paws, then:  If one is not enough, I could bring you ten. Twenty,  a phantom of a smile at her lips,  We can make a treasure trove, here, no?
September 23, 2019, 02:03 AM
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They are other, said Aurë, settling the matter once and for all. Dragomir's brown eyes swept up toward the sky, lips pursed in thought. It was fun to speculate about how these things happened. Once he thought he saw a star fall, but it happened so quickly, a little wink of light, that he hadn't been sure it ever really happened. He'd convinced himself he imagined it. If stars really could fall from the sky, then surely they could knock stones loose from the moon and bring them down to earth. He would hold onto that thought each and every time he found such a stone.

She went on to explain that the moonstone could heal the hurts of the soul in a fashion, bringing a ghost of a smile to the corners of Dragomir's lips as he beheld the stone. In spite of his doubts and his guilt, it was good to know his mother thought of him enough to bring him this gift to light his way. There was pain between them they needed to mend over time ... but this was a good start.

Thanks, mom, whispered Dragomir, scooping the stone close. He would cherish it always. We can't have ten or twenty though, then no one else would get any, he reasoned, perhaps a little impishly, though it was buried beneath the weight of his typical dissociation. One would do, he thought. Are there other ways to soothe emotions or just moonstones? Not for him, though he would trade almost anything to soothe his own disquiet. He asked because he wished to know how to help others, in the future.

And then Aurëwen told him more about emotional pain and how to heal it.