A Fern, a Fern, My Kingdom for a Fern!

Xanadu Weyr - Infirmary


The infirmary here is intended for human care. It is spotless and smells of disinfectant, cots are lined up against one wall, a curtain can be pulled to give some privacy to the occupants of the cots if they so desire. A cabinet stands off against another wall, instruments and medications stored against when they will be needed. A couple of curtained off beds are used for examinations of patients and the treatment of minor injuries which won't require long term care. A desk with chair is just off of the doorway for the healer to sit and catch up on record keeping after a long days work.

It's still fairly early, but not crack-of-dawn anymore, when Moria returns to the infirmary to see if this mysterious journeyman she's been directed to has had a chance to stop by. The infirmary has picked up activity and Moria threads her way through the normal flow of people with winter colds and other complaints to visit the On Duty desk. To the healer there she says, "I'm looking for journeyman Tenebrous? Is he available?"

The On Duty glances up from her paperwork, eyes almost instinctively scanning over Moria's body for injuries before the rest of her brain picks up on human speech. "He actually arrived several minutes ago." She gestures to the store-room entrance with her pen before going back to her paperwork. The steady flow of patient in and out of the room has made it a busy day indeed.

Further back in the room, as far from the crowd as possibile, a man stands. On his shoulder, that tiny gold flit rests, carefully cleaning one of her paws with a forked tongue.

Moria nods her thanks to the On Duty and moves in the indicated direction, slipping carefully through the crowd. She notices and recognizes the gold flit, and angles toward Tenebrous, ducking her head shyly as she gets close. "Ah, journeyman Tenebrous?" she inquires when within comfortable speaking distance, given the… not loud, but constant, noise level in the infirmary. "I take it you received my note from Thea?"

Tenebrous mms quietly at the voice, and the gold on his shoulder peers around his neck, tongue darting out. "Mind your manners, miss," comes the dry voice. To this, the little queen simply snorts and readjusts herself on his shoulder, settling her wings more comfortably. Hood pulled low agaist the bright infirmary lights, Tenebrous turns slightly, nodding to the glasscrafter in kind. "Just a Fetch, ma'am…no need for titles." He pulls a bit of paper from his pocket, glancing at it once. "I'm afraid the Weyrwoman's note wasn't specific about why you wished to see me."

Moria blinks, suprised at Tenebrous' response. "Really? I thought I wrote out what I needed. Maybe she had to write a new note - I know she was on her way to breakfast, so it may have gotten wet or something." Realizing she's rambling, the apprentice blushes and glances away again, a shyness that she has only partly overcome rearing its head. "Ah, I am, as you said, a glasscrafter, and I need to find a kind of fern to create white glass pigment from," she says, scuffing a foot on the floor.

Tenebrous smiles slightly. "Ahh. The missing link." Then he's still for a moment, lost in thought. "I'm afraid there are several species of fern that grow around this area, being so close to the Azov. Are you looking for a specific type of fern, or simply the composition of the plant itself?"

Moria shakes her head and nods in turn, raising her head again. "It needs to dry well, be easy to grind, and when burned form a fine white ash. We use the ash to create the pigment," she explains. "There are other ways of making white pigment, but my mentor insisted I learn this one, since plantlife is so abundant here, and the minerals used in the other method are less common."

Tenebrous mms. "Your master is wise…" His voice trails off and he purses his lips a moment. "None of the medicinal plants will work. Their leaves are too waxy to pulverise under any kind of duress…" The hide of a glove creaks as he begins to count off fingers. "Redleaf is out, Sprawl is out, Mecchis is out…I might have a few samples of Pillarwood that would work, but it will take me a bit of time to retrieve them." He smiles a bit ruefully. "I'm afraid I don't carry my garden with me."

Moria shakes her head slightly at the 'carry my garden' comment, stating, "I have to know where to get it on my own, since I am going to have to do the project in several stages and have to have fresh ashes each time. Would you be able to guide me to the… what was it, pillarwood?" She pauses, and then adds, "If it isn't convenient right now, that's fine, I can wait a few days, but not much more than that. The Weyrwoman commissioned a wedding present for Lady Ryeira, so it needs to be completed fairly quickly."

Tenebrous coughs once. "Ma'am, it's the dead of Winter, and ferns don't grow regularly during this season. Not many plants do. I have a sample of the Pillarwood back in the place I reside, and I'd be happy to fetch it for you. If it turns out that it works, I can check with the Senior Weyrwoman about checking the botanical stores here at the Weyr. But I'm afraid it'll be some few monts before I can get you any fresh samples."

Moria wilts, looking dejected for a few moments as Tenebrous starts explaining the reason for not being able to find the plant -right now-. But the mention of the stores has her brightening. "Oh, that's a good idea. If you could get me that sample when it's convenient, I'd appreciate it. I imagine if there isn't anything suitable I can probably convince my mentor to let me use the mineral pigment," she finishes, voice firm as if she's trying to convince herself of this possibility.

Tenebrous mms. "The trip to my place of residence will take some time. I don't really live within the boundaries of the Weyr itself, for several reasons. Return here tomorrow, at this time. If I cannot be here, I will have my apprentice stand in my stead to provide you the sample."

Moria nods her understanding and dips a shallow bow of respect to the journeyman. "Thank you for taking the time to do this for me. I appreciate your help. If there is anything I can do to help with anything in return, please let me know," she responds.

Tenebrous nods once in response, a curt bow of his own hooded head. "To be honest, I'd love to observe the process. My own Master has tasked me with continuing to learn about the applications of the plants I study. I confess, this is one area that I know little about. That would be more than an even trade."

Moria smiles as Tenebrous dips his head, a little nervously at first but it becomes more relaxed as he speaks. "Well, I can certaily show you the process. There are a very small number of other plants that are used as pigments in staining glass, but a lot are used for paints and the ceramic glazes. I'd be happy to show you some of them when you have time." Her voice is much more confident when speaking about familiar material.

Tenebrous bobs his head once more. "So it shall be then." He settles himself a little. "If you'll excuse me then. The trip is long, and I have preparations to make for transporting the sample."

Moria nods, murmuring, "Of course. Again, thank you. Safe journey and return." She ducks her head and retraces her weaving path through the constant winter-spawned bustle to depart the infirmary.

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