(1311-04-21) Nature's Warning
Summary: Symon hurries home to warn Étienne of the dangers of coloured frogs, only to find that Étienne has made that little discovery his own self…
RL Date: 22/04/2019
Related: Preceded by One At A Time; also directly follows Charming Fellows.
etienne symon anse 

Étienne’s Chambers — Les Tanières

This small sitting room is wood paneled and cozy. It has a small fireplace with a shared flue, with two comfortable chairs in front of it, with a small table on a green and black rug between them. There is a small writing desk and an X shaped oak foldable chair in front of it.

The floor of the bedroom is made of blackened wood that has aged to be hard as stone. It bears a shallow dip at the door, worn shiny by the passage of feet. There is an oval rag rug made of old clothes in all the shades of the sea in all its moods at the center of the open space. The room is lit by an irregular window, with a deep, padded sill. It has heavy asymmetrical shutters than can be closed completely, or secured on one side, with thick green curtains that can be drawn to hide the window seats. There is simple stained wood paneling. The ceiling is timber frame and plaster. Someone has re-plastered it, embedding a wide assortment of shells from the north coast of Azzalle and the southern coasts of Eisande. In between are smaller bits of mica and iridescent shell fragments that make the ceiling sparkle when a candle is moved.

The furnishings are in the same heavy, sturdy, but simple style as the sitting room. A canopy bed with faded green and black hangings is pushed against one wall, with a heavy chest at the foot. A table and two chairs is set by the windows. The table holds a large brass bowl for washing and an ewer of mildly lavender scented water, assorted cloths, a shaving kit, strops, and some other rather nice male grooming items of clearly local manufacture. A bookshelf mostly holds particularly nice shells and books on astronomy, navigation, and travel, along with a few other items. The bedside table holds a lamp, spare candles, assorted small jars and tools for care of weapons. A few swords and practice blades are propped in a corner.

Symon has been quiet for a few days, and has made a few trips out to talk to various healers and quacks and to purchase various charms and tinctures and amulets and potions, but at last he steeled himself to go and visit Garance on hearing of her condition, perhaps as a way to try to cure himself from his own illness-based panic. When he returns, he seems in a fine enough mood, stripping off his cloak with a mind to hang it up. "Étienne!" he is calling. "Garance found frogs for me in a book which was all in Aragonian, but she knows Aragonian…"

The bedroom door is open. A hand holding an open box, suspiciously like the one François lives in is sticking out through the open door. It is a very familiar hand. It is very, very still. Presumably, the owner is lying on the floor inside. Étienne doesn't answer.

Symon freezes, trying to make sense of what he is looking at for several seconds. He drops his cloak, then runs to see what has happened. "Oh… Oh no, oh no, oh n…o. It's p…"

Étienne is on the bedroom floor, in the position in which he fell. His other hand, his sword hand is swollen. His eyes are open, and he blinks very slowly. His breathing is shallow, but he's breathing.

Symon gives up on language for several long moments as he scrambles in and kneels beside Étienne. But seeing a blink might be what returns enough speech to him that he can shout, "ROBERTS!" It is really a roar, the loudest anyone in Marsilikos has probably ever heard Symon be. Only he doesn't know if Roberts is at home or not. He puts his hand on Étienne's chest, to feel that the breaths are still happening. "The f…" His eyes roll with the effort of looking for words. "The b…b… The book ssssssays you w- w- won't die," he says, either to reassure Étienne or himself, the last bit coming out in a run-together rush.

Étienne struggles to move his mouth, but the result is more like a goldfish's dying gasps after it escapes the bowl and not much like speech at all. The eyes slowly roll towards the bed, then back to Symon, the towards the bed.

Symon wrings his hands. He follows this gaze, but it could mean any number of things. That the frog is on the bed. That Étienne wants to be put on the bed. Symon shakes his head mutely at the overwhelmingness of not knowing. Then decides on a course: stand up and look to see if there might be a little brightly-colored creature on the bed. That is the first step in a procedure. Meanwhile, he tries to talk, but many of the sounds he makes are truly unintelligible. Apologies are a large percentage of what can be made out. "I am ssss…uch a fool," he also acknowledges. And some of it is just him going "Oh, oh."

<FS3> Symon rolls Perception: Success. (6 1 7 1 3 3 6 3)

The tiny frog is right behind where Symon had been squatting, between the noble and the bed.

Symon moves toward it, a hand out, then thinks better. He whirls around. Étienne is a swordsman. He must have leather gloves. Symon roots for them, opening a trunk and throwing everything out of it until he finds the gloves, then moves to try to gently scoop the frog up, praying silently that it won't leap and smack him in the face.

<FS3> Étienne rolls 4: Failure. (6 3 4 4)

The frog hops the other way, landing under the bed.

<FS3> Symon rolls Unarmed Vs Frog 4: Success. (2 8)

Symon is very wary, wide eyes goggling down at the little frog. When it hops, he stumbles back a step, but then he creeps up on the little thing and darts in — and catches it! Just barely. He stuffs it in the box and fits on the lid, then slides the whole thing under the bed. Maybe it will go to sleep and stop being so poisonous. Then he strips off his gloves and throws them into the far corner of the room. Now back to Étienne. "I p… pu…" Nope, a sentence does not seem likely to form at the moment.

Étienne has taken the intervening time to try to move his lips enough to give the faint impression of a smile. He blinks very slowly twice. That slow, shallow breathing continues. Otherwise, he hasn't moved.

Symon kneels down again and puts his hand on Étienne's chest. Roberts hasn't come. Symon finds his eyes tearing up. He fumbles at a pocket and draws out a sizeable chunk of amber that he has been carrying around for a day or two, and presses this into Étienne's hand, but thankfully the hand that isn't swollen. "I f…orget w…w…when…" It's taking him a long time to get things out. He sniffs and dashes a hand across his eyes.

<FS3> Étienne rolls Body: Good Success. (5 8 7)

Étienne's eyes open wider and he makes a supreme effort. He just manages to rasp out, "Love you." Slow blink, "Better. Doctor?"

Symon puts both hands over his face. Which probably isn't what Étienne wants to see in the moment. He nods his head. "I…I'll go…call one, b-but they w…w… they won't know a…about the fffff…" Nodding to indicate the end of his sentence, he gets up and rushes toward the front door so he can run out and send the first boy he can collar in search of a healer.

Étienne drools quietly onto the floor and closes his eyes so he can just concentrate on breathing.

Symon finds a boy to overpay to rush to the healer, then comes pelting back to Étienne, kissing the side of his face. "I'm sorry," he says again, quite heartfelt. "Do you w…want to b-be on your, on your side?" he asks. "Do you ffffeel like v…v…?"

Étienne gasps out, "Side." After some thought he adds, "Pillow?"

Symon nods, approximately one hundred times, and hurries off into the other room. Fortunately, pillows abound in Symon's abode. He keeps quite large ones strewn about, so he flops one down in front of Étienne and then does his best to struggle Étienne's whole upper body onto it, turning him on his side in the process.

Étienne's eyes are still closed, but he manages another slow, barely-there smile with that same effort. "Good." Long pause, "Better. Than. Was."

Symon watches Étienne's face closely, then kneels down and puts his head on Étienne's hip. Possibly he's trying to avoid interfering with breathing apparatus. "I…I w…was just coming to w-w-w-warn you," he says, which takes forever.

Étienne says, "Feeding. Ground. Meat. Got. Loose."

"I'm sorry," Symon says without lifting his head. "Thank you for f…feeding it." He wrings his hands together again. "Étienne, I…" It is at this point that the healer shows up with the boy, and they both come right in since Symon has left the door standing open. So Symon gets up again. "P…poison," he explains to the healer. Who, at the utterance of that word eyes Symon suspiciously. Symon makes a gesture to ward off this look. "Not d- Not d- deadly," he assures. "P-please." The healer kneels down to examine Étienne. She determines that he is breathing, and starts to ask what he ate when she notes the swollen hand. She seems surprised that they are dealing with a contact poison. When asked the source, Symon shakes his head. How on earth is he meant to explain all this to a stranger?

Étienne rasps out, "Frog. Sailor. Box."

"Well, whatever you touched," says the healer, to whom frog-sailor-box means little, "It's done a number on you!" She is in her middle age, chubby and clever-looking. "You didn't eat it, so it's no good making you vomit. You're breathing, though, that is good!" She points at the boy. "Boy, fetch water." Symon helps him find water and fill a small bowl. The healer first washes Étienne's hand with a rag, careful not to contact any lingering poison herself. "This may or may not help," she says honestly, then looks at Étienne. "Can you swallow?"

Étienne says, "Want. To. Vomit. Can't." He hasn't opened his eyes for the healer. There is a long pause and then a truncated choking sound. Another long pause. "No."

"Is it getting worse, or better?" the healer asks, while Symon stuffs himself into a corner to wring his hands. "Your stomach and pipes are probably about as paralyzed as the rest of you," she says.

Étienne says, "Better." Breath, breath. "Not. Talk. Came. In."

The healer seems a little surprised, but pleased, to hear it is getting better. "Well, thank heaven for that," she says. She starts rooting around in her pouches. "When you have been able to swallow for a good hour, you can take this to vomit if you like — don't take it lying on your back, now — and then after you are done with that you can take this for swelling. Drink a lot of good clear well water, and take this one to make plenty of water of your own, and you ought to live through it all, I think." She looks up at Symon. "And don't go poisoning your sailors any more, my young lord!" she scolds lightly, "No matter what he might've done." She has misinterpreted a few things. Symon has not the words to correct her impression, but does goggle at her.

Étienne makes a horrifying sound in his chest that sounds a lot like he may be dying.

<FS3> Symon rolls Perception: Great Success. (6 7 5 8 8 5 8 7)

Symon looks alarmed at these noises, but the healer just pats Étienne on the back firmly so his airway won't close up. And then Symon blinks down at Étienne. How could he possibly— Symon puts a hand over his mouth to stifle a laugh of his own. It might be a touch on the hysterical side. This makes the healer eye him again, but she says nothing.

The door is standing open. There is a fuss going on in the bedroom where Étienne is on his side, partially propped on a pillow. he is very still and making an alarming sound in his chest and drooling. He is otherwise very, very still as the healer pats his back. There is a wooden box on the bed.

Symon is standing with his back in a corner and looks as if he may have been crying but now it's possible that he's laughing? He has a hand over his mouth and is making odd sounds. They could be strange sobs or hysterical laughs. It's quite hard to tell. There is also hanging about the place the runner boy who was screaming for healers in the street a few minutes ago.

Anse is heading down the hall on an unrelated matter, the blue-robed priests barefoot steps soft as he pads down the hallway talking to himself. "I swear, every darn time" he walks past the open door a few steps then takes a few steps backwards to look inside. He looks into the room and narrows his eyes a little "I can't tell if this is something I'm needed for, or should be barred from seeing."

Étienne's sword hand is very swollen and red. He stops making that horrible sound and rasps out, "Should. Charge. To. See."

The plump little healer quits pounding on Étienne and looks up at Anse. "Well," she says, "I don't think he's like to die just now. Care to watch over him for a bit, brother?" she offers to Anse. "You might have more time for charity than I." This snaps Symon, who has just about got a hold of himself, into the moment. He fishes in more pockets, first coming up with a bit of pink quartz, but then coming up with coins, some of which he puts in the healer's hand and one of which he puts in the boy's hand. The boy promptly dashes out for a lucrative evening of message-running. "Remember what I said!" the healer admonishes Symon. "The sailors have enough trouble these days without…" She looks at Anse and back to Symon with a glance and a nod that says she knows very well what he did but won't denounce his sins in front of a man of the cloth.

For some reason Étienne has a bit of amber on his slack, unswollen hand. "Rough. Trade." And then he starts making that maybe choking to death sound again.

<FS3> Anse rolls Perception: Good Success. (8 3 4 1 3 3 5 7 2 6 7)

"uh" Anse starts as he's signed up for watch duty "I mean, I am inclined towards charity…" He says taken a little aback "but, this is the blue for Elua not for Eisheth, do I have to do anything?" He questions and then the messenger is dashing out of the room and Anse is left even more confused "the heck is… what just?" He looks into the room and then back down the hallway and then back into the room. "What?" He asks the healer, now even more connfused as Symon is being admonished

The healer turns toward Anse. "If you're busy, he'll probably survive." Probably. "Just needs watching so he doesn't choke." That is all the instruction she leaves before she departs, perhaps to get back to a patient she left to attend to this emergency. Symon, for his part, has said nothing since Anse came in, but he does make a gesture that is vaguely apologetic.

Anse scratches the back of his head "ok, so, what is? Huh. You don't SOUND like you're dying" Anse guesses, having taken that Étienne is laughing rather than dying of some awful plague "so I don't suppose I need to give last rites, which is good, because I haven't memorized those yet… what did I just get signed up for exactly?" Anse asks with a glance between the pair of you.

Étienne takes in another breath, this one a little less shallow, then ventures, "Frog. Poison. She. Thinks. Sailor." He rests for a while, just trying to breathe. "Hello. Brother."

Symon opens his mouth to try to explain to Anse, but it is slow going. "There's a, a, ffff…foreign p-p-poison f-frog," he says, visibly struggling to produce that much. It perhaps adds little to Étienne's few words. Symon uses a hand in the air to put that aside. "You nnnneedn't stay, b-brother. I…I'll w…watch him."

"It's good to see you again lord D'Arguil, I think?" Anse says in reply to the greeting and decides to actually step into the room. "How do you poison a frog? And why would you, that seems awfully cruel" Anse says, getting his bearing around him again and slipping back into his natural oddness. He steps up to Étienne and pokes him (gently) "I thought you were a good man, why are you poisoning frogs?" And then he looks to Symon "or was it you?"

Étienne slow breaths. The improvement is subtle, but it's there. "Yes. How. Brother?" He makes a soft nasal sound, "Fed. Frog. Loose. Caught. Poisoned. Me."

"The f…frog has p-poison skin," Symon attempts to explain. "B-by nnnnature. B-but the healer gave us herbs. He'll p…p…prob, probably be all right."

"So you didn't poison it on purpose then, ok, I'll pass on the admonishments for now then" Anse says, though he can't help but let a smile creep up the corner of his lips. Now that it all seems less perilous he seems much more willing to not be serious. "Probably?" Anse asks Symon "I never like it when a healer says probably. I knew a guy back home who probably would heal from his injury. He's one less leg now." Anse says, trying to put on a grim expression.

Étienne manages the faintest hint of a frown, "No. Wine. Water. Punished." He rolls his eyes, "Healer. Thought. Sex thing."

If Anse means that as a joke, Symon doesn't take it well. He steps back toward the corner he was in before, the confidence slackening out of his face, and he looks at Étienne. Rather as if his legs might drop off at any moment.

Its Anse's turn to laugh then, a short burst of laughter as he shakes his head "i've seen all sorts of injuries from sex, for some reason those are the ones people always want to tell us about like we have special insight, if that's what laid you out that'd be impressive" With a glance towards Symon Anse smiles "it was a joke, don't worry, the lord here seems like he's recovering fine, hows it go, laughter is the best medicine or something?"

Étienne's eyes roll towards Symon, "Sorry. Should. Not. Have. Said. Earlier." He takes a while, gathering strength, "Proud. Of. You. Sweet." His eyes roll towards Anse, "Prop. Me? Try powder?"

Symon shakes his head a little at Étienne. The lord is perhaps not at his best in this moment, but he will at least be reliable to keep an eye on Étienne whenever Brother Anse should go.

Anse looks over towards you then "I don't know anything about healing, do you want some water or something?"

Étienne tries again, "Prop up. Water. First powder. Mix in. Should help. I think. Get basin. May vomit." He is talking better and his breathing is closer to normal even in the time Anse's been here. “‘Ware frog box."

Anse ah's then and helps you up, grabbing some pillows to help prop you up before looking around for the basin "this first" anse says, setting it next to you before looking around for the water and powder. He begins mixing as he talks "I've been laid out in bed before, it sucks. I hope this passes soon for you, because being stuck in bed is pretty awful. As someone who's been in your situation before, I can actually keep company" he says as he brings the powder-water mixture over to you "help you keep from going stir crazy if you need it."

Étienne is floppy as a doll, really, but once he's propped his breathing settles into something nearly normal. "Frog poisoned? Tell."

"Was I frog poisoned? Is that what you're asking?" Anse asks, trying to suss out your question. "I didn't even know frogs could be poisoned until this moment, so that's definitely not it."

Étienne says, "Yes. How sick then?" He sighs, "Almost died. Don't tell Sy. His frog."

"Ah, I wasn't sick, I was cut fairly badly, almost died myself. By Elua's grace it didn't kill me" Anse clarifies "But it still laid me out for a while." Anse smiles at you "promise, wont tell him. At least you only almost died, much better than actually dying if I were to guess."

Étienne manages enough facial expression to look curios, "Accident? Fight?" He makes a distressed gurgle, "Basin?"

Anse picks up the basin and sets it on the bed next to you, backing away a little as to not be near what might happen next. "Both actually, the accident wasn't as bad. Poor keeping of our training sword, snapped and stabbed me right in the chest. That was only a day or two in bed. The bad one was the Skaldi sword" Anse pats his side "few inches to the left and i'd have a few less insides.

Étienne flops enough sideways and horks up his toes. He rests tilted like that, eyes closed and listens. "Skaldi? Tell story?" Once his breathing is more normal, "Water. I think. Hold to lips. Tip small amount. See if swallow."

Anse points at you "this is becoming dangerously close to fatherly tasks, I was told that I was giving up a family joining the priesthood, so dont go expecting to be adopted now" he says before gabbing the water and holding it to your lips as requested. "Not much story to tell I don't think. I was a lucky one. Plenty of other knights die or become maimed. I have a scar and bad dreams, but nothing more." Anse goes to shrug and then stops himself so he doesn't spill water on you. "Story as old as Camlach really, one of our patrols meets one of their patrols, some of us on either side die or go home broken, and then we're all a little more bitter about one another."

Étienne snorts. That is definitely a snort, "Too young. To call 'Daddy." A faint smile. He does manage to swallow. It does seem to stay down. "Again?" After another sip, "Azzallese. Familiar story. Not much injured. But Father was a few times. Raid us sometimes."

Anse gives you the second sip, watching warily for the signs of the water not staying down, clearly ready to get out of the way at the first sign of vomit. "Its a terrible thing. It pains me to this day. I wish more than anything I could take back that time, and don't wish it on anyone. We do dark things to one another, and still I fail to understand why."

Étienne doesn't seem at all offended by a near stranger not wanting to be in the splash zone. "I think. Brighter people than us. Failed to make peace. War becomes habit."

"Well, I never claimed to be bright" Anse says with a grin "but in that? That I agree wholeheartedly. I thought maybe through Elua I could do a little bit to break that habit, turns out it’s quite a bit harder than I thought when I signed up. And I already thought it was a bit of an impossible task." Anse says with a little chuckle "but, I suppose I can be happy that at least I'm helping take care of the sick. Never did that as a knight."

Étienne says, "I touched a strange frog. Not bright." He thinks for a bit, "People enjoy hating. Sometimes. Not me. A lot of people do I think." He has those ridiculously blue eyes. Which are blinking normally now. "Another sip, I think."

Anse reaches out to offer you another drink "I always knew I liked you m'lord" Anse says with a smile "no use in hating anyone. That’s my belief. I do my best not to have ill will towards anyone. I am glad you see life similarly, at least a little"

Étienne sips, "I think… There is a lot of meaness in the world. Rather not add to it. I was just feeding Symon's frog. I swear…."

Anse laughs a bit "I believe you. I was honest when I said you seem like a good person. You helped my brother and you don't seem cruel or mean hearted. And I still won't mention to Symon you almost died, he seemed quite terrified when I made that joke about amputation. I suppose I should be more capable of reading a room then that."

Étienne says, "Is Oliver doing better?" He makes some alarming sounds, but the water stays down. "Symon… It is hard to explain. Scared him. Finding me like that.""

"He has been yes, though our family has done quite the number on him so it’s not a simple fix. Our oldest brother is helping keep him on the straight and narrow as well." Anse almost makes a move to bolt and then settles back down once he realizes its a false alarm. "That seems a simple enough explanation, no? He found you all sick and it scared him, think it would scare a lot of people."

Étienne looks amused by the near flight, rather than offended. "He did fine. Caught the frog. Got the healer. He… hasn't been well treated always. The stutter. His mind is fine, but…"

Anse ahs at the explanation "aye, people can be cruel about such things. I am sure I was one of those cruel people growing up, so I feel for him." Anse sets the water next to you and rises up "I wasn't planning on staying this long, if you'll be fine, I'm going to return to the temple for a bit, let them know where I am, and come back to keep you company. That is if you still want it."

Étienne manages a slight raise of the eyebrows, "You were cruel? I'd not have guessed. Thank you. I'd like the company. I think I can manage for now." He manages a stiff but genuine smile.

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