Poisoning the Well.   Posted by Segev Stormlord.Group: 0
Merlin
 player, 325 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 5 Jun 2013
at 01:56
Re: Poisoning the Well
Merlin, not one to dwadle heads over to the smith and ask him when the army came though, about how many days ago. He looks on at the kids and examines the 'watery ale' to see if it is glowing or looks strange as well.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 546 posts
Wed 5 Jun 2013
at 13:03
Re: Poisoning the Well
Up close, the kids look actually a bit healthier than from a distance. The blisters are already healing and, where hair was missing, a peach fuzz is coming in. The ale looks, as far as Merlin can tell, perfectly normal.

The smith looks up as the mysterious man enters. He's not sweating, and gratefully accepts the ale. When Merlin asks, he holds up a hand in a "wait" gesture while he chugs the rest of the beverage. Exhaling and breathing heavily when he finishes, he says, "The Duke and his army came through about five hours before the medicine woman arrived. Why?"
Azalea
 player, 114 posts
Wed 5 Jun 2013
at 22:40
Re: Poisoning the Well

Azalea looks at Beatrix.

"Hours, not days. Much easier to follow, no?"

Then she approaches the blacksmith with a worried expression.

"I suggested rest for a reason. You're dehydrated, you shouldn't be working in this heat."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 547 posts
Thu 6 Jun 2013
at 12:52
Re: Poisoning the Well
The blacksmith wipes his brow as the hydration lets him start to sweat a little. "I just..." he shakes his head. "No, you're right, I don't know what I was thinking. Let me get some more ale and I'll lay down after that."

One of the children seems confused. "What happened to us, Miss?" she - at least, the length of the hair that hadn't fallen out is that of a girl - asks of Azalea. "We were gonna help Mr. Smith, 'cause we're feeling better, but is he still sick?"
Azalea
 player, 115 posts
Thu 6 Jun 2013
at 21:49
Re: Poisoning the Well

She lowers to an almost kneeling stance, resting on her heels without letting her knees touch the ground and brushes a fringe behind the girl's ear with a warm smile.


"There was something bad with the water. You're not sick anymore, but my friends and I will have to find out what happened to the water and fix it, so you won't get sick again."


She stands again, and looks at the smith.

"Which reminds me, how was this ale made?"


As an afterthought, she glances at what the smith was making.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 548 posts
Thu 6 Jun 2013
at 23:35
Re: Poisoning the Well
The other child, with more missing hair and thus harder to distinguish a gender for, says, "Dad brews it himself from the stuff the farmers deliver."
Azalea
 player, 116 posts
Fri 7 Jun 2013
at 05:22
Re: Poisoning the Well

She sighs softly, offers an apologetic smile to the rest, and checks the three for renewed infection.
Azalea
 player, 117 posts
Sun 9 Jun 2013
at 01:01
Re: Poisoning the Well

...and promptly proceeds to retreat them.


"We need to find at least some source of clean water for these people until we find the source of the problem. Any ideas?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 339 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Mon 10 Jun 2013
at 16:51
Re: Poisoning the Well
"Well, there is the river, if we can secure pack animals to carry the water for us. Or perhaps carry the people. I will happily forgo my own horse and walk if it means we can save some lives."
With a small frown, she turns to Merlin. "I don't suppose that you, as a sorcerer, can conjure water?"
Merlin
 player, 326 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 12 Jun 2013
at 02:31
Re: Poisoning the Well
Merlin says this in a most matter of fact kind of way.

"Unfortunately I do not count the summoning of water to be amongst my abilities, nor the curing of this kind of poison. I am thinking that boiling the water and removal of the stones might just do the trick."
Azalea
 player, 118 posts
Wed 12 Jun 2013
at 03:30
Re: Poisoning the Well

"Boiling doesn't work. I tried. It's quite clear the source is supernatural, so mundane means of sterilization won't affect it. I can cure such things from patients, but not from..."

She trails off, pondering. Likely of a means to be able to do so in the future.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 549 posts
Thu 13 Jun 2013
at 18:43
Re: Poisoning the Well
The blacksmith stares longingly back at his forge, even as he lets the two young kids lead him back to the inn to lie down once more.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 552 posts
Sun 23 Jun 2013
at 16:39
Re: Poisoning the Well
With the waystation contaminated, the only short-term fix is to label the well water as tainted and leave signs to warn people away. It will slow down travel from Watch Tower to the hinterlands, which is dangerous with the hazard of beastman raids, but is less hazardous than letting armies become poisoned and sick. So for now, Sevastian and Ocean Soul and Fire Soul are taking the less-than-a-dozen citizens of this tiny hilltop back to the capitol of the Duchy for care and cleaner water.

This leaves only Merlin, Beatrix, Azalea, Freverick, and Ned (and Suzy and Billy) to continue on to the Duke's army.

There, Azalea immediately recognizes severe signs of this illness sweeping the camp, with open sores and blistered skin and soldiers losing their hair right and left. Where these ravages have not left individuals bed-ridden, with blood loss through means best left unspoken leading to dehydration and exhaustion, it seems instead to have driven them into frenzied activity. Soldiers polish and sharpen their weapons to mirror shines and razor edges; camp cooks debate and madly concoct over cook pots as if they were cauldrons, and some of the odors coming from them smell more savory than what one normally might find with the highest-quality of foods.

And the Duke's frenzied plans within his tent have only grown more intricate. No longer does he discard ideas as he gets through with them, but Seln and his generals pour over them to find elements to re-incorporate in the newest ones. Maps - dozens of the same map, with more being drafted by a dazed but highly driven (and frighteningly precise) military cartographer (whose feminine sex was nearly unnoticeable with her emaciated body and nearly-bald head where parchment thin layers of scalp sloughed away with her hair) at a constant, nearly mechanical rate.

Seln looks relieved when he sees Merlin arrive with the others. Face red, and eye leaking crimson tears, he strides up boldly and purposefully to say, "Merlin, my father's gotten worse. I have been able to help Linya - the cartographer - with better views from the Tower, but Father is still not happy with his plans. And I know we can do better with our scouting. I just need to..." he breaks into a cough, and quenches it with water taken from a servant almost without looking. "I need to get a better look. The Tower only sees so far. I need you to take me further on your sky-board," he desperately declares.
Azalea
 player, 121 posts
Sun 23 Jun 2013
at 18:30
Re: Poisoning the Well

"...oh dear..."

She looks at Beatrix.


"Will you please let them know I can help? I will go make preparations for such numbers."

She heads off without any hesitation, gathering materials.

"I hope they have access to clean water here..."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 553 posts
Mon 24 Jun 2013
at 05:06
Re: Poisoning the Well
The soldiers who are weak, rather than fervid, are grateful for even the hope of relief. The others are too dedicated to whatever tasks they pursue with energy beyond that which they have to care much.

As for clean water...the barrels, when Azalea checks them, all have those stone flakes resting in the bottom, leeching their poisonous disease into the whole army's supply.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:09, Mon 24 June 2013.

Azalea
 player, 122 posts
Mon 24 Jun 2013
at 12:31
Re: Poisoning the Well

"Well, that's not going to work, unless we're nearer to a river or something like that now..."

She observes a barrel, thoughtful.

"Boiling doesn't work, but I need to find a way to filter the water."

She takes a sample and begins testing various cleansing techniques, such as evaporation and recondensation, dense silk filtering, soil filtering, or anything else she can attempt with what she has available.

Of course, she makes sure the worst cases are stabilized first.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 554 posts
Mon 24 Jun 2013
at 14:26
Re: Poisoning the Well
It's a fair amount of work to unseal even one water barrel to look inside it for the flakes of stone, but fortunately, the spigots on the side make taking samples (for drinking or for experimentation) easy. Filtering and re-storing might be a challenge, even if a filtering method can be found.

As she works, however, she finds some of the patients are getting a little more energetic, even offering to help with Azalea's experiments.
Merlin
 player, 327 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 04:34
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 58):

Merlin lets Azalea know, "The water that I generally see is a black color, when viewed through an essence lens, but this stuff, it's veridian in color. I am baffled as to what his might mean at this point.....I will return."

A thought has come to Merlin. Disease, even supernatural illness will have some kind of spirit. Merlin activates Spirit Detecting Glance and searches the camp for a spirit of illness to somehow kill.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 343 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 05:58
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix helps Azalea get going on her end before she begins looking into things in her own way. Going about and (somewhat awkwardly) helping with preparations, she speaks to the soldiers and their retainers about what has been happening, when the change started, and how everyone feels about the coming engagement and their odds, and even the weather - checking mainly to see who is feverish and whether there's a current of optimism or pessimism among the men.
In this way she seeks opportunities to exploit so that, once a treatment is ready, she can convince people to make use of it. Or, should they seek to head out before then, she may be able to get them to wait for recovery instead.
Azalea
 player, 123 posts
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 10:58
Re: Poisoning the Well

She nods to Merlin.

"It is supernatural, and I suspect demonic in origin."

Delegation is nice. If people wish to help her, she gives them easy legwork to do, especially the straightforward tasks of helping the recuperation of others, and spreading awareness of the water.

Perhaps if it rains sometime soon...
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 555 posts
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 15:04
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix finds that the camp is in general agreement - except for those so delirious that they cannot form coherent responses - that they are sick. The manic ones are doing some truly spectacular work, trying to make up for their illness with preparation, because they know facing the beastmen while ill is a losing proposition.

Azalea meets with a bit more difficulty, as while some are horrified that their water is the source of this, others are so thirsty that they seem not to care, or even to pretend to until she turns her back and then try to sneak drinks. Some are even forming elaborate schemes to secure water undetected, while others really get into the water-purification techniques, inventing new prayers, trying odd thaumaturgical procedures based on little more than old wives' tales, and even attempting to improvise duplicate tools for Azalea's own techniques to run them in parallel.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 344 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 16:56
Re: Poisoning the Well
Beatrix goes back to Azalea with what she has learned. "Well. It would seem that Merlin is certainly following the right trail in this; the men all seem to believe the barrels of water have remained sealed since they left the castle. It is likely they did not fill up at the waypost, and so it would seem that either someone has opened and resealed all the barrels without anyone noticing (and I should think that would make a somewhat noticeable noise, in truth), or something has deposited the hazardous material in the barrels without need of opening them, say perhaps by being in spirit form."
She sighs. "The good news in all of this is that, once you have concocted a treatment, I do not believe they will seek to avoid it."
Azalea
 player, 124 posts
Tue 25 Jun 2013
at 18:24
Re: Poisoning the Well
She nods a little.

"Like a demon."

Small sigh.

"I have no problem in treating someone, but such numbers won't be easy. So I need to find a mundane, easily applicable treatment for a supernatural disease that works more like a poison. And I can't really ask people to just stop drinking water, if we don't find another source. It's... not easy."

That doesn't stop her, of course. Gathering what materials she can use is easier with the supplies of an army, especially from their medics.
When she goes to work, she does so with impressive efficiency.

((
Activating Craftsman Needs No Tools
Azalea has a survival specialty of (herbalism), a craft water specialty of (medicine), and a second excellency in both medicine and craft which she will be using in any relevant rolls.
Of course, with Craftsman Needs No Tools needing 7 motes, that means that she goes to peripheral if she needs to enhance more than one roll with an excellency. No, she won't hesitate.
))

Merlin
 player, 328 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 27 Jun 2013
at 18:27
Re: Poisoning the Well
In reply to Azalea (msg # 66):

Merlin slinks out of the command tend and goes to find the others. He rounds them up with hand signals near Azalea.

"I have discovered a demon, immaterial, in the command tent."

He describes it as a long-limbed bipedal entity with green-flaming hair and four arms - one pair of which is constantly plucking grey slate off of his body and working it in meltingly-hot fires into various tools, which are then discarded and burn up. The creature is obviously immaterial, and dressed in a cross between a smith's or cook's apron and a suit of armor. Where it plucks its slate-flesh away, weeping sores pour a burning puss out until it re-hardens as more stone-skin.

"With charms I can harm the creature even though it is dematerialized. Can anybody else aid in combat? If not then I would like those unable to serve and get everybody out of the tent when I engage the being."
Azalea
 player, 125 posts
Thu 27 Jun 2013
at 21:53
Re: Poisoning the Well


Azalea doesn't stop what she's doing, but she does think over the information.

"Demonic for certain, then. I'm afraid I can't help in combat at all. All I can do is help the injured. Quickly, if necessary."