Solo Two Ways To End Suffering

Doctor Blackwing, what's your diagnosis?

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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Two Ways To End Suffering

Postby Brandon Blackwing on October 16th, 2015, 4:49 pm

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Day 7 of Fall 515AV

Now that the disaster crews had been disbanded –or at least the obligation to work in them had been lifted- Brandon had once again been restored to his status of jack-of-all-trades, doing one job for a couple days, then moving on to another. This time he had to try his hand at helping at the Infirmary for one or other reason. Apparently the Valintar hadn’t given up yet on finding Bran a “better” job than teaching the yasi martial arts. Brandon himself, on the other hand, did not believe in finding something he’d prefer over his current job. Cook, masseur, and now medic; they all paled in comparison to thieving. Playing scout had been enjoyable though, if not a bit tedious. Bah, at least he’d been out and about, free to climb trees and sneak around wolf packs.

Still, it did lack in the thrill factor. The only time he figured things would get exciting was when the local predators had settled on him for lunch. And while that did score a lot of points on the adrenaline gauge, it couldn’t be called pleasant. Not really. At least the rush he got from it was fulfilling. But once again, it couldn’t compare to thieving. There was a rather simple reason for it too; all those jobs were work, and felt like it, whereas larceny was not, and did not. Quite the contrary in fact. Unfortunately though, this was how his life in Wind Reach was set up. Actually, this was how all lives in Wind Reach were set up. You worked, or you didn’t get to eat. Effective, yes, but so … frustrating.

Nevertheless, Brandon had no real options other than conforming to the system. It had been adapt, or leave, and seeing as Dira was counting on him –but was she really expecting anything from him? His mark seemed to indicate she did- and as such, he couldn’t walk away. There was a responsibility resting on his shoulders now, one he wasn’t too sure about, to be honest. Surely there were people who were a far better choice when it came to dealing with duty and the sort, but Dira had marked him. Perhaps it wasn’t personality the goddess was looking for, but values, and skill. The latter, at least, was something Brandon could offer.

The problem though was that he wasn’t quite sure what exactly the mark could do. There had been no manual accompanying it, nor some instant knowledge like he’d been expecting. Power tended to be quite useless if one had no clue what to do with it. Only a few aspects had been revealed to him so far; living corpses stood out like a sore thumb, and he could sense death. Or were those two things actually just one? Brandon did not know; nor had he any idea what more he could do. However, if this kind of ability was the norm for all the abilities coming from the mark, then the Kelvic guessed Dira’s gift served to amplify his existing skills. An upgrade, if you will. Still, passive in nature or not, without any knowledge of its uses, the mark was just a fancy adornment.

Eventually the bat arrived at the Infirmary, the location he hadn’t even set foot into ever since the start of his stay in the volcanic city. Even when he’d been in rough shape after having survived the deathtrap the Inclement had become, he hadn’t been allowed treatment. The endal and avora have more need for it, they’d said. In the end, Dru had come to check on him, always concerned, always looking out for him. In truth, Brandon’d rather go blow some glass than treat wounds of people he didn’t care about. Of endal he disliked. Ah, well, a job was a job, whether you liked it or not did not really matter.

With a sigh the Kelvic set his body back in motion, entering the rather small space. It appeared to be a waiting area of sorts, an antechamber separated from the rest of the location with a curtain. A dek passed through, looking at the bat with questioning eyes. “I’m supposed to help out here for a couple days,” the thief explained, and the man beckoned him to follow, leading the bat to the next chamber. This was the actual infirmary, it seemed, a square-ish room littered with beds, some occupied. At the far wall some sort of desk was placed, and at it sat a woman, cataloguing whatever salves or other healing items the infirmary was rich. “Ah great timing, Jasse,” she chirped in Nari without turning around, “Can you see If we still have some Comfrey paste left?”


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Two Ways To End Suffering

Postby Brandon Blackwing on October 16th, 2015, 6:04 pm

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The dek didn’t say anything though, instead making some gestures to try and get the woman’s attention, to no avail; she was too focused on her task. Eventually he gingerly tapped her shoulder, making her look up and see the dek was not alone. “Oh, a patient?” Jasse shook his head, gesturing some more, as if attempting to convey some sort of message. It apparently didn’t work out all that well though, as the woman sighed, sending the dek helper off to fetch the medicine while she would ask the bat herself. Brandon stared at the man as he strolled away. “Jasse is mute,” the woman’s voice spoke in common, “but he’s a reliable worker nonetheless. Although we do have difficulties figuring out at times what he’s trying to say.”

Brandon hummed in consideration, head turning back so he could study the woman in front of him. Her voice was soft, quiet, and gentle, much like a spring breeze. A swirling, seemingly random gathering of lines decorated her face, but that was about the only eye catching feature she possessed. “I’m Keah, by the way,” she introduced herself, “I suppose you could say I run this place with Micquel, now Endal Aidara has … gone missing.” From Keah’s expression, the bat could gauge it was a touchy subject, one he’d better not bring up in the near future, at least, not when the young woman was present.

Perhaps he’d ask this Micquel guy if he found out who he was; the name Aidara sounded familiar somehow… “Brandon Blackwing,” he responded, “Martial arts teacher when I’m not doing these odd jobs.” He gave a small smile, which she returned. There was an awkward silence for a couple moments, during which Keah shot some glances at her unfinished catalogue. Then, fortunately, the dek returned, handing over a small pot that emitted a strong, plantlike scent. “Ah, good. Thanks Jasse,” the healer spoke, then pondering for a moment. “Could you fetch Micquel, or one of his assistants if he’s preoccupied, for me?”

She turned to Brandon again then, explaining herself. “I’m afraid this will take a while longer,” the young woman gestured at the desk, “But Micquel is a great medic, so if he’s not busy he’ll be able to take you under his wing for a while until I’m done here.” And with that she lowered herself in her chair again, grabbing the quill and started to work. The bat did not have to wait all that long for Jasse to return, the dek appeared within a couple chimes, accompanied by an elderly man, which Brandon presumed to be Micquel. Keah explained the situation in a couple chirps, and before he knew it, the Kelvic was following the older man through the room.

“So, my name’s Micquel,” the man began introducing himself, Brandon doing the same. “From what I understand I am to show you a couple things until Keah is done with her inventorying our much needed medicine and salves. Tell me, do you have some experience with treating wounds and illnesses, Brandon?” The Kelvic shook his head. “Not really. I can apply bandages, but that’s about it…” he pondered for a moment. “And I have had an introduction into massage as well.” Micquel nodded, seemingly contemplating this information for a brief moment. “Good. Well, I suppose it’s better than nothing. I’ll just be showing you some basic things you might need when you’re helping out here.”

For a moment the man scanned the room for a bit, turning around a couple times. “If I can find someone who hasn’t had treatment yet… ah! There! Follow me.”


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Two Ways To End Suffering

Postby Brandon Blackwing on October 19th, 2015, 7:04 pm

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Micquel approached a bed with a woman in it, pressing a bloodied rag into her side. Her breathing was steady, though her face was twisted in to a grimace of pain. “Hello,” the medic announced his presence, the woman's eyes shifting in his direction. “I'll be treating your wounds, do you mind if this young man watches?” She shook her head. “Go ahead,” she grunted, averting her face. “Right then,” Micquel spoke in common then, so Brandon could actually understand, “the first step is knowing what caused the wound, as to better be able to treat it.” He gestured at the bat to find out. Gingerly, the avora woman removed the rag she was pressing on the wound, and revealed a huge set of rakes having torn her side into a bloody mess.

“Well, the wounds are deep slashes, almost parallel... so probably from a clawed creature. A Zith maybe?” Last season there had been a few of attacks by the winged nightstalkers, and the feral race never really ceased attacking people in the Unforgiving. “Perhaps. But the best way is to ask, rather than to guess.” The medic smiled, then practiced what he'd just preached. “I was attacked by bear during hunt,” the woman spoke, visibly flinching at the task. Micquel nodded sagely, then turned back the the Kelvic. “So we have the cause, and the bleeding has been stopped already. Next up is cleaning the wound.”

With a couple chirps in Nari, the older medic summoned a dek, and sent them off to get him some clean water. “Always use the cleanest water you have. Boil it if necessary, but remember to let it cool off before using it.” The drudge returned then, a bucket in her hands, as well as some clean rags. Micquel dipped one of the rags in the water and carefully started washing the wound. The huntress didn't make a sound, but her face was more than enough to let everyone know it hurt quite a bit. When the medic was done, the wound looked a lot better already, though the cuts were still open.

“Okay, the next step is to close the wound. This means stitching it. Technique is important here, as the better you stitched the wounds back together, the faster it will heal. Another important thing to remember is having a sterile needle and thread. This is to prevent infecting the laceration, which would do more bad than good. This can be done through different ways, but I prefer soaking both in alcohol for a bit.” Brandon nodded, he had once used alcohol to treat a wound too, though he hadn't stitched it. Instead he'd washed the wound with the liquor. “Say, can you use alcohol for cleaning the wounds too, or is it better not to?” The medic contemplated for a moment, in the meantime summoning another dek to get him a bowl with alcohol.

“I'd say it's best not to. Water should be just fine. All we want to do is wash all debris and dirt out of the wound. If that's been done appropriately, there shouldn't be an infection either -given that you applied a good bandage of course. But perhaps if there's no clean water nearby, and you don't want to leave the wound exposed for too long, that might be a good choice.” The Kelvic nodded, soaking in the knowledge like a sponge... or he tried to anyway. Whether he'd actually remember was another matter. Nevertheless, this was useful information, especially for times when he'd be unable to get a professional to take a look at his wounds. Which basically meant for the duration of his stay in this volcanic city.


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Two Ways To End Suffering

Postby Brandon Blackwing on October 20th, 2015, 6:07 pm

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The dek returned then, bringing both what had been asked, as well as something else. It looked like a piece of wood of sorts. Gingerly the drudge placed the items next to Micquel, then sped away; another medic calling out to them. Brandon frowned at the small piece of bark as Micquel picked it up and brought it to the huntress's mouth. “Chew on this,” he chirped, the Kelvic's frown only deepening as the huntress did so. The medic noticed his confused look of course, and explained it while the patient started to slowly chew it up. “This is willow bark,” Micquel said, “it eases the pain a little, which often makes things easier on the patients. Stitching wounds can be quite painful after all.” He paused for a tick. “And injuries too of course.”

A roll of thread and a needle were placed in the bowl with alcohol for a little while, being disinfected by the liquid. Then, the medic removed both, pried the end of the thread through the eye of the needle with practiced movements and steady hands. He measured a length of thread, cut it off from the rest of the roll, and tied both free ends of thread together, creating a large loop with a needle attached to it. “Watch closely,” he warned the bat before stabbing the thin needle through the huntress's skin, through the wound. The tip emerged on the other side, pulling the thread behind it, the knot preventing it from following the needle entirely. It was brought to the side where he'd started again, and the process was repeated a lot of times. Before long, the needle had reached the end of the wound, and Micquel pulled at the thread carefully, closing the wound further. With the needle still attached to the thread, he tied another knot in it, as close to the -now stitched close- wound as possible, then separating the needle and thread with a pair of scissors. The medic also got rid of the excess thread dangling from both ends of the injury.

“Did you see that?” the older gentleman asked, and Brandon nodded in reply. “Good. Tell me, why do you think it's important to make a knot-” he pointed at the one he'd made most recently “-as close to the laceration as possible when you're done? Instead of just making a knot and letting it sit wherever it wants to be?” An easy enough question, one Brandon didn't even have to think about to answer. “So the wound stays closed.” The medic nodded contently. “Excellent. This is also why you need to slightly pull at the thread too. If you don't, the wound will re-open itself, and all your hard work will have been for naught.” While talking, Micquel had prepared the needle once more, his hand hovering above the spot he'd puncture first. Once he went silent, his hands went to work again, making quick work of the remaining slashes faster than before -obviously to make sure Brandon would have been able to watch carefully. Micquel's movements were precise, fast and the stitches looked neat; Brandon knew he wouldn't be able to do the same thing as neatly as the medic had just done, even if he worked at half the older man's pace. The bat wasn't all that good at sewing in the first place either.

To top things off, a dek came bringing some bandages and a bowl of green goo at Micquel's request, and a good measure of the green paste was applied on the now clean, closed slashes. “To prevent inflammation and infection,” the medic explained, “It's perhaps not really necessary, but I think you're better safe than sorry.” And with that he smeared the stuff all over his handiwork. Next came the bandages, meticulously applied all around the huntress's waist, to protect the injuries even more. After a couple days, so Micquel said, they would remove the bandages permanently. “And now comes the follow-up, which is as important as the actual treatment;” spoke the medic, the laughing lines on his face being put to good use, “Rest. You wouldn't believe how important it really is to rest when you're injured or ill. Heck! To prevent getting ill in the first place you need a lot of rest too!”


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Two Ways To End Suffering

Postby Brandon Blackwing on October 22nd, 2015, 7:56 pm

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As the awe melted away, Brandon felt a little disappointed at not having been asked to try his hand at stitching one of the slashes. Though he could come up with a couple reasons as to why; first of all his lack of skill, and second -arguably the main reason- the patient was an avora. In truth the bat couldn't care less about the caste of whomever he met -or rather as long as they were not endal- but that was not the case for the Inarta themselves. And Micquel was still one of them. However, that would mean Brandon would not get any practice at all, having to settle with theories he didn't care about, and just gawking at the expertise of others. After all, the only injured that every managed to get treatment here were avora and endal.

It occurred to the bat that, despite his relative excitement upon having found out he'd be assisting at the Infirmary and the possibility to improve certain skills he might find himself in need of, the days of his temporary apprenticeship might just be as boring as the time he'd been stationed with the glassblowers. He let out a disgruntled sigh, and took to scanning the room while Micquel busied himself with chirping at some more dek. One of them held out a bucket with water, offering it to him while at the same time appearing a bit too nervous to come close. Another handed him a set of clean looking rags, and Brandon frowned ever so slightly. A glance in the old medic's direction gave him no real clues either, as the man was now conversing in Nari with some chiet assistants.

Brandon watched a frown ripple over the older gentleman's brow, and he glanced briefly in the bat's direction, never ceasing to chirp. Eventually though, the chiet strode off, and Micquel scratched his head, beckoning the Kelvic to come over. “It seems there's an endal here with serious injuries, and they've requested to be helped by the most skilled medic currently present.” He sighed. “Keah's still busy, and while I don't think inventorying will take much longer, I can't really let the endal wait.” He gave the bat some sort of apologetic look. “I'm sorry, but could you take care of cleaning the wounds of that man right there?” he pointed, “All you have to do is remove the bandages, wash the wound, and apply fresh ones.” And with that he left, pacing to the endal's bed as fast as his legs could carry him without running.

Shrugging, the Kelvic walked over to where his charge was waiting, placing his tools on the low table next to the bed. Some air was blown out of his nose -a sigh of sorts- and he started unwrapping the bandages that had been swathed around the man's head. Brandon wasn't too sure what this guy had tried to do, or what had to collide with a skull for it to end up like that, and he wasn't even sure if he actually wanted to know. Despite what the medical staff had done to treat the avora as good as they could, it still looked like an ugly mess.

Just as the bat was about to sop one of the rags in the bucket to start washing the wound, Keah stepped up, stopping the Kelvic with a quick command. Brandon frowned as he turned in the young woman's direction, not really certain what she wanted. “Did you wash your hands?” She received a somewhat sheepish expression in return, accompanied by a confused “what?” Keah's gaze darted from his face to his hands and back. “Your hands. Did you wash them?” Brandon shook his head slowly; was that sort of thing even necessary? “No?” He got a stare of 'I figured as much' and a gruff, and Keah plucked the rag out of his hand. “Hygiene is important in a medical facility!” she breathed, proceeding to grab his wrist and drag him off, though she froze upon seeing the palm of his hand -and the mark in specific- the tension her fingers applied on the thief's wrist increasing.

It was just for an instant though, and the healer behaved normal again, continuing what she had been doing before, as nothing had happened. Nevertheless, she still dragged Brandon outside and made him wash his hands, her gaze burning in his flesh. He squinted ever so slightly at the subtle change in her stare, though didn't comment on it. When he was done though, Keah's hand shot out and grabbed his marked hand, palm up and pushing his fingers away. “What is this?” she practically hissed, yet another frown creasing the Kelvic's brow.


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Brandon Blackwing
The master thief Incognito
 
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Two Ways To End Suffering

Postby Brandon Blackwing on October 25th, 2015, 7:54 pm

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The bat hesitated for a moment, the healer obviously staring at his mark. Her voice not giving off any good vibes, the bat wasn't quite sure of what to say. “Just a tattoo,” he tried, but Keah did not let go of his hand, and her eyes shot daggers. “No it isn't!” she hissed again, catching the bat's gaze with an intense stare. One filled with negative emotions, such as repulsion, and loathing. “This,” she spoke, a finger running over the blade of the scythe, “is a gnosis mark.” It had a name? It wasn't one the Kelvic had ever heard of until now; Dira hadn't really explained a thing when she'd gifted it to him with her kiss. “So I ask again. What is this? Or rather, whose is this?”

It didn't take too long for the Kelvic to figure out how she'd known he was lying. She'd been feeling his -what had she called it again?- gnosis mark with her fingers, something Brandon had done many times too. The mark didn't look all that special, it could pass for a tattoo easily, but when one caressed it, they could feel it wasn't just a flat image. It was much like the seal that was created by pressing a signet ring in wax, only it wasn't that clear to see. However, the slight elevation of some parts were hard not to notice when stroking it with a fingertip. It was almost too obvious.

But, for someone to know how to recognize the marks... it would mean someone she knew had one, one she had touched before, and that someone had also told her about being marked. Or... His eyes flitted to the swirling lines on her face, and a hand quickly traced them, retracting instantly as his suspicions were confirmed. Keah was marked herself; that was how she knew. “Well?!” she frowned, her grip growing tighter. “Dira,” he spoke finally, and as by magic his hand was released, the healer having an expression of disgust on her face. “I knew it!” she cried victoriously, though she didn't seem all that happy with the assessment. “And what business do you have here, Agent of Death? Have you come to steal the life of my patients?”

Brandon frowned, not really knowing where this had come from. “I'm here on the Valintar's orders...” he spoke, “To assist you for a couple days.” Hadn't the man told her? Or sent word? That seemed strange... in a city like this surely communication was not unheard of? “Of course you were,” keah snorted, “But that does not mean the Valintar's goals are yours. Tell me, why did your Mistress send you to the Infirmary?” Brandon sighed. “I'm telling you she didn't. The Valintar-”
“So you came here out of your own volition. And what do you hope to gain with this? Send some people to Dira?” Her tone steadily grew louder and harsher, and reason seemed foreign to her.

A deep breath was taken, and the Kelvic gave up on trying to convince her there was no other reason for his presence than Valintar having sent him. Keah wouldn't listen anyway. “To end their suffering, I would, yes.” He retorted instead, crossing his arms. For his own safety he wouldn't do it in plain sight of course, but still, if they asked for it. As expected though, Keah wasn't all too happy with it. “To end their suffering!” she mocked, throwing her hands in the air. “To end their suffering he says! Death is not the only way you know. How shortsighted can you be. 'They are suffering, I will kill them to set them free'?” Brandon frowned heavily, not liking the tone of voice she was using. “That's like a doctor seeing a bruised leg and saying it will have to be amputated!”


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Two Ways To End Suffering

Postby Brandon Blackwing on October 26th, 2015, 9:13 pm

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The Kelvic snorted loudly. “Right. But you seem to be forgetting that suffering is not necessarily an ailment from the body.” Keah scowled at him as he made that remark, placing her hands on her hips. “Perhaps, but even the mind can be healed. So your argument doesn’t hold water.” Again, the bat crossed his arms, the medic’s retort just as leaky as she claimed his own to be. “Not all minds,” he spoke, “Some wounds are too deep, or have already started festering, disease having spread to every single part of it.” No matter how skilled you were, sometimes it was not enough, sometimes it was just futile.

“So what do you propose, eh?” Keah steamed, “Kill off all those that cannot be cured? Line them up and push them into the heart of Mount Skyinarta, one by one?”
“No!” Brandon interjected, fiercer than expected, surprising not only the healer, but also himself. “Some people want to live on despite their conditions, or ailments! Who am I to deny them that right?” His words seemed to reach the woman in front of him, taking her off guard if nothing else. “However, others who have given up on life, those that do not wish to remain alive any longer, those I would indeed lend my assistance, if they need it.”

For a moment, Keah kept silent, continuing in mumbled whispers, perhaps not intended for the bat to hear. “It is my duty to heal everyone I can. Everyone who needs healing and who I know needs it, I must help… ” She raised her head then, staring Brandon in the eye, unwavering. “I cannot accept that. It is my purpose to make it so people can live on just that little longer-” The bat shook his head, not breaking the locked gazes, but intensifying his own stare a tad bit. “Even if said people would rather pass on? If your help only serves to lengthen their pain, their anguish?”
“It won’t!” she countered resolutely, but Brandon gave her a skeptical look, causing her to avert her eyes. “That’s impossible…” she voiced weakly.

“I can assure you it is not. Perhaps you can keep a dying man alive; amputate the limbs taken by frostbite, get him back in good health. Some would be happy to be alive, but others won’t… They’ll feel trapped in their body. Anguish will break their mind, and they will die from the inside. Their soul will rot away. Sure, physically they are fine –disregarding their handicap, of course- but a person is not just his body. ” Brandon himself would fit in that category, to him such a fate was far more terrifying than death. “What about people that need constant medical attention? People who are too weak to do anything? That need almost non-stop treatment to stay barely alive? You cannot cure that can you? How can you say I am shortsighted while you would be destroying people instead of ending their suffering? You just have to accept that there is no one right way to help people. To deliver them from their anguish.”

Keah shook her head wildly, her hair whipping back and forth. “Lady Rak’keli can cure everything! I might not be powerful enough to do those things you mentioned, but Lady Rak’keli can! Even if all I can do is just barely keep them alive, Rak’keli will send someone more experienced, someone more powerful than me to handle it. I have faith in my Goddess! I have faith in Her followers and their strength! Someone like you cannot make my faith waver! It’s despicable for you to even try!” She shot him an utterly hate filled glance, and then stomped off, leaving Brandon alone. The bat shook his head and sighed deeply. “If Dira was only interested in assembling souls, she wouldn’t have saved my life,” he muttered, semi-realization setting in. Not even a moment was wasted on hesitation, he just called out the retreating healer. “Life and Death are sides of the same coin! Death is about balance! Not mindless killing!” Keah didn’t even bother to stop or look over her shoulder though, instead turning a corner and disappearing out of sight.

“And I will strive to maintain the balance…” Kill to sustain life, trade one life for another. Destroy the mockeries of life made by animators. Destroy those that sought to escape Dira’s scythe. And deliver those who suffered too much for them to bear.

Perhaps next time they spoke he could try and explain better than his sorry attempt from a chime ago… Sadly though, Keah hadn’t looked as if she was willing to even consider what he had said, or would say in the future. If she even listened at all. He sighed again. These three days would be a pain in the butt.


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User avatar
Brandon Blackwing
The master thief Incognito
 
Posts: 1305
Words: 1496963
Joined roleplay: September 8th, 2013, 3:24 pm
Location: Lhavit
Race: Kelvic
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Medals: 5
Featured Character (1) Overlored (1)
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Two Ways To End Suffering

Postby Dove Brown on December 5th, 2015, 3:59 pm

Your Grades!
Brought to you on the wings of a Dove!


Please remember to edit your grading request. If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding your grade, please do not hesitate to send me a PM.


Name: Brandon Blackwing
XP Award:
  • Philosophy 3
  • Socialisation 2
  • Medicine 3
  • Rhetoric 1
  • Cleaning 1
Lore:
  • Marked by Dira, now responsible to her?
  • Location: The Infirmary
  • Jasse: a mute dek
  • Keah: in charge of the infirmary
  • Knowing what caused a wound makes it easier to treat
  • Medicine: use clean water
  • Medicine: stitching wounds closed
  • Medicine: alcohol to sterilise
  • Willowbark: eases pain
  • Wash hands before anything else
  • Gnosis marks look like tattoos but don't feel like them
  • Philosophy: death is about balance
Notes: Enjoy your grades
Very busy at work. May not be around much for a while.
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Dove Brown
Keeping my head, my backbone, and my heart
 
Posts: 509
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Joined roleplay: July 30th, 2015, 9:36 pm
Location: Mithryn (Syliras)
Race: Human
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