Completed Herblore 2

Gemma learns different kinds of poultices from her dad

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Herblore 2

Postby Gemma Parker on February 27th, 2019, 12:46 am

Summer 50th, 512 AV

Gemma was at the kitchen table by the time her dad got home. She had been working with her mom on first aid training and was ready to spend some quality time learning about herbs with her dad. He was surprised to see her. Usually he had to call her out of her room to get some training in.

"Hey, Gems, what's up?" He asked. "Didn't expect to see you here." He said.

"Ready for some herblore!" She exclaimed, trying to cover up her bad mood. She didn't want her dad to know how she was feeling. She just wanted to forget and get lost in his little quirky lessons.

"Oh, sure. Let me put my stuff away and I'll be out in a second. While I'm getting ready, why don't you go pick some plantain leaf and when you get back I'll be ready. We can work on making poultices today!" Her dad had been a bit surprised, but now he was back and ready to go.

"Sounds good." She said.

She went out to the garden and looked for plantain. Plantain. Plantain! She found the large leaf and cut two off at the base of the leaf, bringing them inside. Her dad was already waiting for her with the kitchen table now transformed into a workbench for herbalism.

"Ready." She said.

"All right good, so a poultice has a lot of uses. You can put one on your chest to help with congestion, on joints to help injuries feel better, lots of stuff. They're super simple and very useful!"

"So a poultice is just a way of applying herbs directly to the skin. Take this plantain leaf for example." He said, taking one from Gemma.

"If I were to just put this on a wound, it wouldn't really have any effect, because by itself the herb doesn't release what's inside which helps you heal. Instead, I need to process it in some way. Usually we do this with tinctures and salves and such. But a poultice is super simple and you can use it with just one ingredient, which is the fresh herb you'll be using. Or if you have the dried herb, you can add some hot water to re-hydrate the herb and you're ready to go!" He said.

"So take your leaf and put it into the mortar and grind it into a pulp or paste." He said, doing the same with his leaf. Gemma did as she was told, folding the big leaf into the small bowl of her mortar and grinding until she had a paste.

"Good, so now that we have the paste, we just apply it to a wound. So let's say I have a cut on my forearm." He said, putting his bowl to the side and holding out his forearm.

"Put about an inch of the paste over the whole wound." He said, gesturing for her to do so. She did as she was told, scooping the thick pulp with her fingers and slathering it onto her dad's forearm.

"So that's the medicinal part. Now all you have to do is keep it in place and you have the full benefit of the poultice. And how long did that take? Like two minutes. It's super fast." He said with a smile.

"The only downside is that you have to make it fresh every time, kind of like infusions and decoctions. You can't just let it sit in the cellar for seasons on end." He said.

Gemma bound the fake wound with cloth and her dad nodded in approval. She had made a poultice!
Last edited by Gemma Parker on March 4th, 2019, 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Herblore 2

Postby Gemma Parker on February 27th, 2019, 12:47 am

"Ok, cool, so what else can you make into a poultice?" She asked, not satisfied with just one poultice recipe. She needed more of a distraction.

"You want more, eh?" Her dad asked.

"All right, out to the garden we go. There's plenty of simple things we can do here." He said. They both walked out to the garden and surveyed the plants they had.

"So we already did plantain leaves. Next we can work on Chickweed leaves and stems." He said, pointing to the plant in the corner of the garden. "Go ahead and harvest them carefully and we'll make a poultice out of them." He said. "But just grab enough for you. I'll talk you through it so we don't waste." That was her dad, always doing his best to conserve nature. It was inspiring, really.

She took her knife to the base of the stems and leaves of the chickweed and brought the plant inside to work on.

"Ready." She said.

"Ok, so the process is very similar, but the properties are different. I'll walk you through the uses later, but for now watch those stems. Make sure the pulp is uniform and juicy." He said.

"Will do." She said, putting the stems and leaves into her mortar and grinding them maybe harder than she needed to. She was still trying to hide her frustration from her dad, and she was hoping it was working. She didn't need him to ask her how she was doing.

"Good. It doesn't need to be a puree, but it needs to be uniform. If you see the stems and leaves as different colors and parts, that's fine. But now the application is the same, so go ahead and put the herb on the "wound."" He said, offering his now clean arm again. She smeared on the paste once more and put got to readying the bandage to hold it on.

"That's good enough for now. We don't want to waste bandages either. You'll just have to wash them." He said.

"So do you have any questions about this one?" He asked.

"I assume you'll walk me through what they're each used for after we're done with the practical part?" She asked.

"That's right. Then you can write in your notebook with clean fingers since you're scooping herbs with your hands." He teased.

"Ok, so what herb is next?" She asked.

"Well before we move on to the next one, I want to do something that I saw your mom doing." He said. "I know it's kind of gross and strange, but I want to try the whole "cut and heal to feel the real deal" thing that she did with you earlier."

"What? But that will hurt!" She said. "It's totally not needed. Our training works just fine!" She said.

"Yes, and I trust that my daughter can heal any wound I inflict." He said. "And besides, like you said, your mother will be home eventually, so you just need to keep me alive until then!"
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Herblore 2

Postby Gemma Parker on February 27th, 2019, 12:49 am

"Dad, this is a dumb idea. Like, super dumb." She said. Her dad was getting his knife and cleaning it.

"Why can't we just train like normal?" She asked, pleading with him to reason.

"Because your mother is right. One day you'll need to use all these skills under pressure and I don't know if you can do that right now. It's better to make sure." He said, putting the knife in place on his arm.

"Yeah, but mom's not home. What if-"

"That's what I have you for, pumpkin! Don't worry. I think I have more faith in you than you have in yourself. You'll do fine." He said. "Ready?"

"No!" She tried to reach for the knife but he slashed it across his arm, grunting as he did. He was not like her mother. He could show pain.

"Immediately Gemma reached for the wound and started to heal it with her gnosis, but her faith was faltering.

"Start with the herbs." Her dad said. "Don't worry about the healing just yet. That can come later. Do what you practiced." He gripped the stool with white knuckles.

"Ugh, this is so stupid!" She complained as she took the herb and shoved it in the bowl. "You could have waited for me to prep the poultice first!"

"That won't happen in the field and you know it." He said, looking out the window to distract himself from the pain. "Go on. I believe in you. You can do this."

She scrambled to mash the leaves into paste, but in her haste the mortar tipped over. Thankfully, the paste did not fall out, just some of the leaves. She scooped them up and threw them back in the bowl, missed, and tried again, screaming in frustration. The blood was rushing to her face and her heart was palpitating. It was one thing to just wrap a bleeding wound while applying pressure. It was another to have to mix up a freaking herbal remedy while her dad was bleeding out in the kitchen.

"At least mom did this outside so it was easier to clean up." She said, finally getting her whits about her.

"Oh yeah, we should do that next time." Her dad said, now getting used to the pain and moving his arm away from the table so at least the blood dripped on the floor.

"There won't be a next time!" She scolded.

"Sure there will be!" He grinned, wincing.

"This is too much!" She said, scooping the paste out of the mortar and slamming it onto the bleeding cut.

"This isn't even real. Normally I would put pressure on the wound first." She said.

"Yes, but then you would only have one hand to mix the herbs." He said.

"I could sit on your arm. Or have you apply pressure." She said.

"I would prefer you not go sitting on patients. It would probably be frowned upon." He said back as she collected the bandages and wrapped him up, praying all the while. The wound was closing slowly, but it was closing. Her mom's gnosis was much more effective. Or maybe her mom was much more effective.

"See? That wasn't so hard." Her dad said.
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Herblore 2

Postby Gemma Parker on February 27th, 2019, 12:52 am

"You are not doing that again!" She complained. "Just teach me about the herbs like normal. You don't have to be like mom!" She came here trying to get away from thinking about her mom, and now her mom's methods were bleeding all over the floor.

"Yeah, but it was fun and look! I'm totally healed already." He said, removing the bandage to show his still bloody but otherwise clear skin.

"That doesn't make it ok. You still lost blood, and I can't replace that for you." She said.

"Yeah, but that's what herbs are for! Don't worry so much. It'll be fine. But if it bothers you so much, we don't need to use blood this time." He said.

"So the next herb is Calendula, and we've worked with this one already in making that salve, do you remember?" He asked, changing the subject.

"I remember." She said.

"Do you remember what it's good for?" He asked.

Gemma couldn't remember. That's what her notes were for. But she knew she should have been studying her notes, and she wasn't.

"I'll study my notes more after this." She said, admiting defeat.

"I'm sure you will. But do you remember what it looks like?" That she did. She was able to go out into the garden and collect several flowers from the Calendula plant. She brought them inside and they continued their practice.

"Good. So in addition to being good for infused oils and salves, we can also use this herb in a poultice form." He said, holding up the flower and sniffing it before tossing it into the mortar.

"So the process is the same as before. This time try not to drop your mortar." He said with a grin.

"That was because you cut yourself, maniac! I don't normally do that." She complained while taking the freshly cut flowers and stuffing them into the mortar, grinding away at them with the pestle. She knew her parents only wanted the best for her, but it was sometimes hard to put up with their idea of "the best."

"All right, so once you have the paste like that- yup, that's good." He said, checking her work. "The process is the same to apply the herb to the wound. So go ahead and slather that on there. Just use the same spot." He said.

Gemma put the paste onto her dad's arm, being sure to spread it evenly with about an inch of thickness all over the red spot on his arm.

"Is there an herb to clean up blood stains on the skin table and floor?" She asked as she applied the medicine.

"There is, actually!" He said. "But that's for another day. You don't need to add more herbs to memorize before you've memorized what you have in your notebook." He said.

"Is that why you're not telling me what these are for?" She asked.

"Well that wasn't the reason, to be honest, but I guess it's an unintentional benefit." He said.
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Herblore 2

Postby Gemma Parker on February 27th, 2019, 12:53 am

"All right, we're on to an easy one, dandelion. And we actually don't even need to go all the way to the garden, because this one is a weed that grows in the grass!" He beamed. "Quite convenient." He said. "I trust you can find yourself a few dandelion leaves?" He teased her.

She rolled her eyes, her mood ruined. "I think I'll manage." She said, trudging out the door.

She walked out to the back of the house and brought looked for just a second before finding what she was looking for. The dandelions had not begun to sprout their flowers yet, but there were patches of the broad head leaves all over the yard. She grabbed a whole plant, held it vertically, and sawed through the base, taking all of it but the roots with her. She went back in the house and put the plant on the table.

"Ready. Same deal?" She asked.

"That's right. And while you prepare this one, I'll tell you a little more about poultices, but I want you to remember this the next time I ask, ok? In the field you won't have time to grab your notebook and look for the answers." He said. She didn't reply.

"Now some variations exist on how to make the poultices. Normally if you're in a shop or something you can cut up the pieces or even rip them up to make mashing them easier."

She set down the pestle and looked at him. "So why am I doing it like this?" She asked.

"Because it's not always possible to do it the easy way. Sometimes you have to put some elbow grease in there." He smiled.

"I'm not familiar with that type of grease. You'll have to teach me about its medicinal properties later." She monotoned.

"Oh, there are loads of benefits! Improved mood, better energy..." Thankfully he stopped the joke before it went further.

"Now I mentioned that this can be made with dried herbs, too. This is important for when you're in the winter and you don't have fresh herbs laying around. It's a good idea to have some bottles of dried herbs in your satchel at all times just in case you need to make a quick poultice." He said.

"But you said it needs hot water. You're not going to get hot water in the field without a cook stove, which takes too long." She said, still mashing.

"Correct! You were listening! And here's the great thing about the answer. You can use spit!" She looked at him, grossed out.

"I'm not going to spit on my patient, not even in the field." She said.

"Well then your patient will die." He said, stone faced.

"Dad!" She scolded him.

"Just kidding! Honestly, poultices are not going to save lives in the short term, but they will help to save people from infection, and I know that you can clean wounds initially with your gnosis mark, but what if you have to tend to other patients? Will you spend all your time walking the rows of fallen soldiers sterilizing their wounds when you could be doing greater good?" He shook his head wistfully. "Anyway, it doesn't matter. The point is, carry some dried herbs with you so you can treat someone in a pinch." He said.

She decided to let the comment go.
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Herblore 2

Postby Madeira Craven on March 13th, 2019, 7:11 pm

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Gemma Parker

Skills
  • Herbalism: 5xp
  • Medicine: 1xp
  • Observation: 3xp
  • Rhetoric: 1xp

Lores
  • Lore of the uses of a poultice
  • Poultice: a way of applying herbs directly to the skin
  • Herbalism: medical uses of plantain leaf
  • Herbalism: how to make a poultice
  • Poultice: use fresh
  • Lore of chickpea poultice
  • Lore of bandaging a wound in a crisis
  • Miles Parker: unconventional teaching methods
  • Calendula: good in infused oils salves and poultice\
  • Lore of dandelion poultice
  • Lore of using a mortar and pestle
  • Herbalism: spit can replace hot water in an emergency

Awards & Retribution


Notes
I'm going to pop in with an unsolicited writing opinion, don't mind me! But I noticed you use dialogue tags every time a character speaks, and you don't need to! You can break up the dialogue with descriptions of the character to update the reader on the scene instead. But really, especially if there are only two characters in a scene, it’s easy for the reader to keep track without either. Try letting the dialogue flow without bookending it, it'll make for a cleaner read. :nod:
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