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Did Someone Call For a Healer? [Closed]

Dristan Xuresh

DAO/DA2 Timeline
(( 30 Firstfall - Denerim Docks, Mid-Afternoon - Kiran Xuresh ))

Dristan hadn’t expected to stay in Denerim for more than a few days. To be frank, he hadn’t expected to end up stranded in the midst of a snowstorm with a woman who absolutely detested him, either, but that was the turn his luck had taken of late.

In many ways, he was still recovering from that encounter. It had turned him about, knocked him far from his center and left him unsure of how to proceed. For days afterward he felt like he was eighteen again, faced with an impossible choice that he’d made in a panic, believing he was doing the right thing for everyone.

No, that wasn’t exactly true. He couldn’t lie to himself about that little detail any longer. Seeing Andi again had brought everything to the surface, and it was impossible for him to retreat into meaningless comforts.

He’d made that decision because he was ashamed of his father’s actions and his family in general. Over the years he’d tried so hard to be better than the life he was born into. Thestian’s place in the world, the respect he’d earned had always felt so unattainable. And Dristan supposed it truly was now.

Funny, he’d thought himself content just two weeks ago. As content as he was ever going to be. There was plenty of work in Amaranthine, with a diverse range of cases to treat and elixirs to sell. He felt like he’d made a difference in the city.


Now he was on his way to the docks after staying in Denerim for a week longer than planned thus far. The vendor he’d made an arrangement with had their supply damaged by the recent hard freeze, and while there was more coming on a ship from Antiva, that would take another few days to arrive.

The average person might have counted the extra time as a blessing and taken a small vacation. Dristan did not. Instead, he sought out work where he could, making home visits for those who required them.

His current visit was to a small and rather cramped home near the docks. He’d taken a break in a tavern earlier to record some notes about the spread of a rather aggressive flu in the impoverished areas of Denerim when a man had come in absolutely frantic.

He’d explained--after several gasping breaths and restarts--that his youngest had taken ill. That she was delirious with fever, couldn’t keep anything down--even water--and looked as though she already had one foot in the grave. The man’s wife had evidently also gone in search of help, but Dristan followed the husband and stepped through a house that likely should have been condemned years ago.

Younger children were being wrangled by the eldest, and he felt a pang of not exactly pleasant remembrance of his own childhood. No doubt both parents had to work to make ends even begin to meet. Or perhaps these children’s father was an irresponsible fool, as well.

“Where is the child?” he asked, tamping down those thoughts. The father had sought help. That was likely more than his own would have done.

“We put her in our room so we could keep an eye on her.” The end of his sentence was cut into by an exhausted plea, “Bryce, Maker’s sake, just give us five minutes of peace.”

The mentioned child--perhaps no older than seven--had immediately swarmed his father when he entered. A girl in her early teens pulled the boy away, giving her father an apologetic look.

Dristan focused on the task at hand, following the man into a small bedroom that was riddled with the stale scent of sickness. A small girl--perhaps four or five years old--was practically buried in thick, woolen blankets, her blonde hair matted to her forehead by sweat, her skin ashen, lips chapped and crusted over. Even from this distance, he could hear a whistling, wheezing sound whenever she breathed in--the sound of wet lungs, no doubt.

“Eloise,” the father called gently, barely getting a response, “I’ve brought the healer. He’s going to help you feel better.”

Already he guessed the child was stricken with pneumonia, but he approached the bed, set his bag down, and began the examination just the same. He didn’t have the proper tools on hand to drain her lungs, and so he found himself hoping for some other symptom to present itself.

Kiran Xuresh

Circle Mage
DAO/DA2 Timeline
It had been an... eventful morning, all things considered. Kiran decided that the word fit all of his outings these days. Before, it had been all study and practice, diagrams and numbers, books and solitude for days on end. Sure, there were the chipper Enchanters, gregarious templars, and the odd Tranquil needing something in that drawer to the left but patiently waiting until it's less occupied, yet none of that could compare to the turbulent mornings of an overnight carriage ride. Or the first room in the city and all that noise - did anyone sleep? And then there was that "rustic inn" just a few weeks back, which evidently meant "hay loft in the barn out back with a leaky roof and sick calf"...

This time, he had been planning a quiet day in the Chantry. And then Cedric had misplaced a pauldron for morning inspection and upturned all of their belongings. And a wagon broke down in the middle of the street, descending a herd of goats upon the cathedral's garden. And the Chanter had lost her voice midway through Threnodies 6.

Kiran was halfway to declaring the entire day defective when a woman burst in, begging and pleading for the Sisters to help and... a slurry of words he didn't quite catch. There seemed to be a lot of "my littlest," a smattering of "something's wrong", a sprinkling of "can't breathe," and every other sentence was an under-breathed "I told him-", half-pause and all, where the entire sequence was also impossibly buttressed between a vivid recollection of the previous day's itinerary, which evidently consisted of burnt spinach stew, damned Sean's broken chair, a cluttered cupboard still not cleaned out, and the blasted weather running all the fishers away - how was she supposed to keep any stock now?? - plus all of this morning all over again, or at least what she caught of it.

It was a test. Or a sign, or something that made sense of any of this chaos, and the Xuresh mage agreed to help however he could.

Which started with waiting all over again, because Cedric wasn't done being Cedric yet and had managed to lose a boot. Yes, the steel-cast armoured one he had been wearing not five minutes ago. No, Kiran hadn't a clue as to how, and quite frankly had learned better than to try comprehending the templar's predicaments.

... He was probably playing with one of the goats.

In any case, that was how the three ended up winded and late at the tiny residence, a ramshackle of a home that hardly seemed capable of fitting three more. He wasn't the only one to have such thoughts, the father casting Cedric a dark look as the third came into view. It was only with his wife's intervention that he softened, a gentle touch on the arm and a nod Kiran's way and at the flame-engulfed sigil of a sword communicating something in that first room that kept hostilities at bay.

Not that the mage noticed, wasting no more time and at once dipping back to where another was on the scene. "Oh, good - they did find a physician," he said by way of idle conversation, still buried in his satchel and scrounging for a book that wouldn't be nearly as difficult to find if he stopped carrying so many with him, "just in case." "I'm afraid I may not be as helpful, but I do know a spell that might help, and I have a couple potions of spotroot... Or was it kingsbloom that aided respiration? ..." The exact recommendation evaded him, having never formally studied medicine and all, but he found that reference manual at long last - and in doing so, proved that the Maker didn't just work in mysterious ways. He was actually kind of a jerk.

"... Has anyone ever told you that you look kind of familiar...?" Kiran remarked from over his copy of Thelion’s Field Reference, flipping pages all the while for a relevant entry. Although he couldn't see much of the physician's face, choosing to stand by the wall somewhere out of the way so the patient's assessment could continue unimpeded. He explained, "I swear, you've the same posture as David when runecrafting - are you in the habit of moonlighting as an enchanter?"

Meanwhile, Cedric's own voice rumbled from the other room. "... Sooooo...." He was trying to look after his charge, but the mother kept getting in his way, poking in her head to worry after Eloise and her consistent, raspy breathing. That left the two stunned children gaping at him, the gruff father attempting to not openly leer, and the exasperated young woman who had already asked twice if he wanted tea. "... Does your youngest, ah, have any allergies...?"

The room remained quiet, save for the eldest daughter excusing herself after all to put that kettle on a fire.

(( The mother: #ffa1a1 ))

Dristan Xuresh

DAO/DA2 Timeline
"I'm going to listen to your breathing, all right?"

Over the years, Dristan's bedside manner had improved. He still wouldn't say he was the first choice for those requiring the most reassurance, but empathy went a long way toward understand a patient's fears. That was even more true with children who had little idea what was going on. For them, he did his best to explain what he was doing before he did it--to give them the knowledge to temper their fears.

Eloise was too weak to respond. She just looked up at him with slightly sunken eyes, taking shallow, whistling breaths. Dristan propped open his bag and removed a hollow wooden tool that was shaped like a bell on one end, the other end flared out in a wide disc. There were holes in both sides, and he pointed them out to the girl as he held the tool aloft.

"I'm going to place this end against your chest, side, and back. It's just to listen--it won't hurt," he assured her, warming the end of the stethoscope with his hands.

Pressing the tool against her chest, he instructed her to take deep breaths. The raspy, whoosing sound of fluid was far clearer, confirming what Dristan already knew., and it seemed present no matter what angle he listened from.

There was a commotion as he worked, but he was only vaguely aware of the presence of additional people in the room. He barely heard someone speaking, only catching the very end of what seemed a scattered thought.

"...couple potions of spotroot... Or was it kingsbloom that aided respiration? ..."

"It's spotroot," he said distractedly, moving the stethoscope, "kingsbloom decreases inflammation, which will likely be useful here as well, if you have any."

He glanced at the man who'd obviously been summoned by the girl's mother. It was just the briefest cast of his eyes, but that was enough to catch the all-too-familiar book. Thelion's Field Reference was widely used, but it was still a curious thing for Dristan to see it "out in the wild," as it were. His own copy was in his bag, the book in dire need of rebinding, the cover cracked, the pages faded with age.

It was the man holding the book who truly warranted a second glance, though. He was tall and lean, short black hair spiraling to a few stray curls over his forehead. Dusky skin and bright blue-grey eyes set him apart from everyone else in the room--aside from Dristan, who couldn't help staring as the man thumbed through the reference.

There'd been a time when strangers to the Xuresh family could not tell the twins apart. By Dristan's estimation, that was no longer a problem. Before him stood proof that they now looked vastly different from one another, even if the resemblance was unmistakable. The stranger--something Dristan was still going to call him as a means of distancing himself--was mostly distracted by his book, but even so, he gave an odd look.

"... Has anyone ever told you that you look kind of familiar...?" Dristan stiffened, waiting for the inevitable. It'd been so long and the twins had been so young, but there must have been some resemblance still. "I swear, you've the same posture as David when runecrafting - are you in the habit of moonlighting as an enchanter?"

Or perhaps not. He let out the breath he'd been holding and returned to his patient, chiding himself for being foolish. "I am not, to my knowledge."

He could hear someone in the other room, and a woman's voice as she answered. "We had a cat in here once. Took care of the rats that found their way in. I told my husband to put traps out, but he never did--"

Dristan tuned out the rest of that information. An allergy to cats--or rats, he supposed that story could go either way--was irrelevant in this case. "I heard mention of tea being made," he called to the household. "That will help. She is in dire need of fluids."

"What about her blood?" the father asked. "The last physician we had in here, he said some of it needed to be let out to promote healing."

He scoffed openly at that. "The only thing bloodletting will do is make her weaker and give her another potential source of infection. She needs a clear airway and a means of relieving the fluid in her lungs so she can breathe. She also needs something to bring down the fever."

Putting away his stethoscope, he rifled through his bag. His gaze cast back toward Kir--toward the other man--as he said, "If you do have that potion, it will help. And... I'm not averse to any spells you feel may relieve her symptoms. I don't have the proper tools to drain the fluid, nor any means to clear her airway..."