Friends and Loved Ones

OOC: This is the beginning of a three part log, divided for easier readability. The following parts are "Fathers and Daughters" and "Mothers and Sons" to be read in that order.

Healer Hall - Courtyard
This lovely square is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the Hall and simply relax. Benches can be found at regular intervals, nestled beneath leafy shade trees. Statues of distinguished Healers have been placed there along the walkways, each carving, performing his or her notable medical duty. At the center is a large fountain, its bubbling tinkle, adding the soothing sound of water to this sanctuary.

Despite the chill of the season, no snow has yet blanketed this part of the world, leaving the courtyard of the Healers Hall more or less open and inviting. Few parade around its grounds right now, due to the temparature, and only one appears foolish enough to play. A tiny girl, 12, maybe 13 years of age, and small for her age, frolicks in a pile of dead leaves, giggling to herself. Her face is pale, her hair slightly unrily and just a bit unkempt, and her face has turned pink from the lash of the Great White Cold. Anyone who has spent any time at all around the hall will recognize her as Soraiya, the Craftmaster's somewhat mentally compromised assistant, hard at play….

Phylicia's presence was called for, and thus the Xanaduian apprentice has arrived at the hall, atop a mid-sized blue which perfectly matches the hue of this day's pale sky. For a moment it looks like a piece of the sky is falling, but as it nears the ground the shape of a dragon becomes unmistakeable. However, the courtyard is not where the blue lands, but out in the gather fields. A short time later Phy comes trotting up the path from the gather grounds, looking just a touch cold, even wrapped up in her borrowed betweening jacket. Temperature changes. Eugh. Soraiya is recognized from her first last stint at the hall, before being sent to finish up her posting. And so Phy approaches, hands shoved into her pockets. "Hey." Best to make sure she has the girl's attention first.

Overhead, the frost-pale form of a diminutive green dragon can be spotted angling steeply for a landing just outside the hall proper some moments after the blue had done likewise; mere coincidence, if a peculiar one. Three shapes are astride the tiny dragon and all three appear dressed for the weather. Allochkath lands neatly, her passengers quick to dismount while leaving her rider behind. There, the pair waits, watching the world-weathered form of a certain wayward Senior Journeyman and his much, much younger apprentice as they make their way into the courtyard. Ori's muttering something or another in his not-quite-gravel drawl — words muffled by his scarf, naturally — with Galina merely nodding to this, that, or the other with an empty expression on what little can be seen of her face despite the scarf and fur-lined hood. Soraiya and Phylicia are both noted, but neither appears to be of interest to Ori. Galina intones something to the older man, who grunts and proceeds onward, leaving the Apprentice to, for the moment, stand and simply observe the other pair in the courtyard with an impassive look. Perhaps as if waiting her turn?

The little girl's head pops up almost as soon as Phylicia speaks, her expression perplexed. "No," she intones. A little hand holds a leaf up slowly, her eyes wide. "Leaf. Pin-oak." Then, in a disturbing impression of her caretaker, she grumps, "Hay is for runnerbeasts, child. It's not a proper thing to say." And then she giggles, drops the leaf and promptly burrows back into her pile of leaves. From within the pile, another near perfect impression of Fraille can be heard. "You're underfood, child. Go play in the leaves outside or something." And another cherubic little giggle.

Phylicia opens her mouth, maybe in an attempt to correct herself, but she soon shakes her head, clamping it shut again for a moment. The impression of Fraille brings a grin to her lips, the accuracy of it spot on. "It's also an informal greeting." Is all she says to the child, her eyes belatedly noting Galina out of their corner. "Where in the Hall is the Craftmaster?" She asks of the girl-turned-leafpile, not wanting to keep her from her playing too much longer, nor Galina from whatever is she wants.

Whatever it is that she was waiting for ultimately turns out to be something else entirely; Cyanosis snaps out of Between to alight on Galya's shoulder, a message clutched in his claws. It's retrieved gingerly enough and the blue is sent off with a flat, curtly uttered word spoken too low to properly be heard. Her interest is summarily diverted from the girl and the other young woman, the missive unfolded and the contents skimmed with nary a blink of too-pale eyes. There's a slight distortion of her scarf, as of a mouth being drawn to a side, but she is otherwise silent and unmoving for the time being.

"She's in her plant room," The tiny girl offers, head popping back out of the pile like a fallabout. Bits of leaves rain down in front of her field of vision. "It's an arboratory, child," she grumps. Then her face falls a little. "She's not in a good mood right now. She says the mind-healers are killing her son and she can't stop it." Then she beams a smile. "Good for me. Lots of leaves. Go play in the leaves." Then she holds one up for Phylicia. "Not hay," she offers in a grave little voice.

Phylicia turns her attention back to the child as she starts to speak again. But the young girl's words certainly get a reaction from her. She jerks, her body coming to an unnatural stillness at whatever good mood she had came with leaves her. "No, not hay." She softly agrees as she takes the leaf. "Thank you for the leaf, and thank you for your help." And without any further distractions, Phy is leaving the courtyard behind, her strides as long as she can make them. As the girl hurries across the courtyard, all three of the 'lizards that look to her appear from Between, the sunset gold and the red-capped brown taking perches on each shoulder, as a midnight blue glides behind her, keeping watch.

"Of course." It's nothing more than a deadpan intonation without context. The note is methodically refolded, calmly tucked in a pocket, and Galina reaches up to adjust the hang of her hood slightly with a gloved hand. She half-turns, booted footfalls nigh soundless as she proceeds from the courtyard a few moments after Phylicia makes her own departure. While the other one may hurry, her pace is slow and measured … but her steps follow the selfsame path that Phylicia makes. A brown 'lizard is briefly summoned and just as quickly sent away with two words that are offered just under her breath: Lyuba, wait.

Despite the chill out of the out of doors, the private Arboratory of the Healers' Craft Master is a room that still manages to bleed warmth and moisture in the air, a private patch of the woods from all over the world, crammed into a hastily converted laboratory. The late afternoon light does not fall here, and so the almost glaringly bright lights that attempt to replace the sun wash the room in brilliant, white light.

None of it appears to be reaching the face of the ancient woman that works within, her lips set in a thin line and hre gnarled hands gently working a small pair of shears around a tabletop plant's root system. When the door opens, she never bothers to look up. "Don't come in here with your shoes on child," she grumbles tiredly. "And if you've been outside in the leaves, have one of the aides help you to the baths. I don't want any plants in here that I didn't bring myself." And then she's quiet again.

The leaf obtained from Fraille's assistant has since been either crushed or let go, because it's no longer in Phylicia's possession as she stands in the door, for a moment debating if Fraille was being serious about the shoes. "Why don't you just have a person strip to come see you then, Craftmaster?" Right. Because she didn't learn oh-so long ago that sassing Fraille isn't a good idea. "Are you barefoot yourself?" Amazingly, she has kept the question that's putting her in this mood restrained, though Fraille - should she look up - might recognize that line of both stubbornness/irritation that sets her mouth into a slightly downward curved line. Her more sedate follower has not been noted on her walk here.

"CraftMaster." Such a bland intonation suffices only for announcing her presence and, perhaps, garner some small measure of attention from the other woman. Galina slips in like a ghost just behind Phylicia, easing off to a side to remove her gloves and put them in their respective pockets. The hood is eventually withdrawn to reveal the severe braided bun of her hair and the scarf is twitched down to reveal the equally severe line of her mouth. But her features are empty, a well-constructed mask of seeming indifference. While Phylicia might seem willing to venture along other conversational routes, she is much more direct with a flat, "Where have the MindHealers seen fit to sequester him?"

Fraille looks up with only a blink of one eye to attest to any surprise that she might feel. "It is absolutely impossible for the Fetch to be involved in -anything- without these strange little people coming out from under the floorboards," se mutters to herself. Then she blinks again, and who Galina actually is registers to her. "He's…" The shears in her hand are roughly set down on the table, shaking a few of the pots nearby. "He lives in a cave, in the deeps outside of Xanadu! On the bloody south continent! What in the name of every low-hung bronze is he doing at ISTA?" she roars, frustration marring her already unpleasant features. Fraille levels a finger at Galina, eyeing Phylicia in the process. "Is she one of yours? She's got an ego the size of the sun, if she is." Then she takes a steadying breath, her face starting to turn a little red. She slowly plods out from around the lab table, revealing slippers on her feet, rather than shoes. "I am, in fact…not…wearing boots right now…" Galina's questions unanswered, though it's her that Fraille's dangerously narrowed eyes come to rest on when she finishe speaking.

"As if I'm unexpected, Craftmaster." Phylicia's tone grows a bit more curt. "Someone requested me here, to supposedly approve me for candidacy at Xanadu." Her chocolate eyes fume at the ancient woman. The one she's supposed to pay respects to, not yell at. But raise her voice against the Craftmaster is exactly what Phylicia does. "One of mine? One of…?" The girl spares a long look for Galina. "Threadscore it, Fraille! I've never SEEN her before. How could she be one of my anything?" By now if anyone is paying attention, the midnight blue of her trio has gone missing, and the brown and younger gold are crooning, trying to calm her down as her body tenses. "Answer. Please. Where did they seclude him?" Its a shakey control that Phylicia has on her temper right now.

"If he is currently at Ista, I would not know," is her deadpan response. But, there is a moment's distancing of her gaze, some unspoken command being sent to one of her beasts before clarity returns. "I have been working with Senior Journeyman Grigoriy," Gory Ori the wandering surgeon, for those with an ear for gossip pertaining to fifty-something turn-old men, "for the past few sevendays." The explosive response from Fraille seems to do nothing more than to set her mien further into that empty mask, her eyes looking for all the world like a pair of coins glinting at the bottom of some deep, cold well. She is, in two words, dead calm. No tension pulls at her frame, nor distorts her features; indeed, as she was in the courtyard, she's unmoving. Patient. Flatly, "I am here only to find the answer to my question, CraftMaster." Pause. "As is she, it would appear." An appraising, sidelong look is briefly spared for Phylicia, but her eyes are soon fixed unblinkingly on the CraftMaster once again.

"You know," the old woman rumbles, a hand snaking out to fetch her staff from a nearby stool, "When…little boys yell at things, it amuses me. Ultimately, when you get down to it, it's because they want you to think they're tough…strong…and it's more about convincing themselves of that fact than you, so I tend to give them at least one more inch of ground before I have them … disciplined." Her advance stops some few feet from Phylicia. "But when…the little girls scream at you, it's because somewhere, in their little, idiot mind, they've gotten the notion that they -can- do that. And that they have every right to do it…and so I frequently take the little girls to task harder for their impudence." She raises a bony finger. "Your request to stand on the sands at Xanadu is denied, Senior Apprentice Phylicia, and you caon consider yourself recalled from active duty until you get your mouth under control." That finger slowly moves towards Galina. "You. Out. He's in one of the exam rooms that the mind-healers use. It's the one with the hissing army of fire lizards out in front of it. Good luck." Then, to Phylicia, "You stay right here…"

"Understood." There's the barest inclination of her head to the Master in what might be either mute acknowledgement or some weird species of appreciation and then Galina's ghosting right on out with nary a sound nor a backward look to the other, much more unfortunate, Senior Apprentice. This time, her steps are purposeful and quick, though no less measured than before. Gloves are tugged on, hood drawn up and scarf pulled into place with brisk, efficient motions; unseen and unheard, a certain blue and brown are dispatched ahead, sent in search of a familiar trio of 'lizards. Their presence alone will speak volumes more than any image sent with them.

Fraille waits until Galina leaves and the door closes before turning back to Phylicia. "You…have spent entirely too much time around the Fetch, and he's rubbing off on you in the worst ways. He has both the rank and what passes for my personal affections to stand on after I have kicked both of his legs out from under him," she starts, her voice raising in a cracklingly dangerous manner. "And you do NOT." The gap between the two is closed with a disturbing amount of speed, given the old woman's apparant lack of mobility, and in mere breaths, black, sizzling eyes are less than a foot away from hers. "I have buried children for lesser offenses than disrespecting a master in public company, but you are now an elite member of a group of those stupid enough to do it to a craft master. Get out of my sight."

Phylicia's day really doesn't seem to be going well at all anymore. Her glare is turning less dark and merely stubborn now as she continues to look at Fraille for a moment she shifts like she's going to drop the woman's gaze, but then Fraille is less than a foot away from her, and she starts again. It's not a good taste in her mouth, considering the circumstances, but it still needs to be said as her eyes drop contact. "I'm sorry, Craftmaster." Phy mumbles as she takes a backwards step, her hand reaching for the doorknob. And pauses before she turns it. It looks like she wants to say something a little more scathing, but her head droops instead, only her eyes looking up, any fight taken from them. "May I still go see him at least?"

It's a mark of the absolute, untainted fury that's rolling around in the old woman that her eyes take almost a full minute to leave Phylicia's face, so full of dark promises. "I think you'll find that a more challenging task than you realize," she growls, moving both hands to her staff and leaning over on it. "But go. Be mindful of the obstacles in your path. They are no more forgiving than I am, though you may find yourself more gracious in their eyes than young Galina…you have an advantage, after all." Whatever that is, she doesn't say, and apparantly she's done talking all together, waving a hand sharply at the door.

Phylicia lifts her eyes for just a moment to give Fraille a slightly more speculative glance before she nods silently, opening the door and taking a step out quickly before too much of the heat can escape the room. However, she doesn't make it much farther than that, her back rests against the door as for nearly five minutes she struggles to get a hold of herself again. This time pulling herself back from the brink of tears. Oh, she botched it this time. Only after she gets herself mostly under control do her foot steps echo away, towards that exam room.

OOC: To continue this log, please go ahead to Fathers and Daughters.

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