An Adventure to the West

Nathchi

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Lora started to get excited when hearing of Ysanne's proposal and made a nod to her request.
-"That is a brilliant idea, Ysanne!" Lora said with clasping hands and then turned her head towards Dunmil who didn't look as overjoyed as Lora. The old man only made a faint smile.
-"I thank you for your kindness but that was now several years ago. Some in the village do know of our efforts but since it is related to magic. No one would expect no less than a wizard to deal with such matters. But I do hope that Dheorin the wizard may be able to push forward for a cure from the help of our research." Dunmil said but Lora was not convinced of his ways.
-"But there are so much more left to learn. I am sure that if you could work toge-"
-"I will have to stop you there young lady." Dunmil said with his hand raised. Lora sat down on her chair and a bit sour she closed her lips and listened. Dunmil looked at them both.
-"I'm happy that you want to forward our reseach, I really do. As an alchemist.. that would be a great feat and a much greater one to find the cure. But I do believe that Dheorin now, with orders from your father, the village chief. That Dheorin is to solve this matter with his knowledge in magic and not, may I point it out, from an alchemist. Besides..." Dunmil started to smile.
-"This old body is not getting younger. I am but a simple farmer now and I do like it here. I can together with the help from my wife help the village in our own way with our crops." Dunmil then got up from his chair.
-"If there is nothing more you need to know, I wish you two a good day."
 

Zarko Straadi

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Distress swept across Ysanne's face as Dunmil made to bring their meeting to an end. "I am truly sorry for what my master did to you. If there is anything I can do to make it up to you, I will. I do not want to be a trouble and a bother to you, but...but I have many questions. Do you still have your laboratory notes? Even the things you did that had no effect at all are priceless knowledge, as they are things that will not have to be repeated. Do you have any samples of the substance? Do you know what Master Finniger was trying to find out at Heirnhie? I am friend to Gurn the Artificer, and he might be able to go there and make sure that Master Finniger's death was not in vain. I have already learned that the Dwarves are having great difficulty finding metals and fear that 'the Mountain is dying,' and that this may be related to the Sickness somehow. Were you here fifty years ago? Do you know of anything that could have happened then, perhaps related to magic?

"I am sorry. But I do not even know that magic is the answer and not alchemy, or some combination of the two. All these years that Magister Dheorin never came to you have been lost to us all! I don't even know if he would allow me to come back here..."
 

Nathchi

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Dunmil looked at Ysanne and then outside the windows out at the fields. He then started to scratch his head on the back and looked to be in a sort of pickle within his inner self.
-"After Finniger's death I decided that the notes should be left in the general library in the chief's house for safekeeping. There it should include Finniger's journal since he was at the time charge of the whole operation if ya' would call it that." Dunmil said as he continued to scratch his head.
-"Uhm.. About Finniger's journal. The two notes we found, are they a part of that?" Lora then interrupted.
-"Those notes you showed me earlier? Yes, what of it?" Dunmil asked.
-"You see, we found those notes seperated and not in a journal itself." Lora stated and as she did, Dunmil looked suprised.
-"So you did?" He asked and Lora nodded. Dunmil then thought for a moment.
-"Finniger did like to pull out some paper and put it on the table as seperate notes so he could have checkmarks of the progress throughout the different months. So that may explain why there are some notes that are seperated."
-"Then what about your own progress?" Lora asked.
-"I did do some notes and reports but they should be gathered in Finniger's journal after I left my post to Dheorin the wizard."
-"And what of the substance?" Lora asked once more but Dunmil shook his head.
-"Long gone. Blood can't survive out for long and will coagulate fast. We often looked at fresh samples from the sickness victims since it was much more clear to find the dark blue spots. But I did make a report of it. It should, together with the other notes be in Finniger's journal." Dunmil then sat down on the chair again.
-"And as for why he went to the mountain.. it should be written in one of the notes. After the finds with magic in the blood Finniger have heard of magical stones being found in the mountain since awhile back. One of the theories was if those could be a part in which have brought the autumn sickness upon us."
-"How far back did the dwarves found magical stones?"
-"That was what Finniger wanted to know." Dunmil said with a shrug.
-"As for fifty years ago... I am assuming you refer to the year in which Dunswile had a blooming year." Suddenly, Dunmil started to reminiscence of his past and his eyes looked to be in another place entirely.
-"I was only around 20 years old back then. I had already at that time sought to become an alchemist and to work under a master from Freia. I didn't get a position to work under him until I was 23 years old however since he had other matters to attend to. He didn't have the time to take care of a young snotty follower like me at the time." Dunmil said with a laugh.
-"Anyway, fifty years ago was indeed blooming. All in Dur.. no, all in Dunswile believed it to be a new future for our lands to grow. No one had any suspicions of it coming from magic from what I can recall. We only saw it as a flourishing year of trading. A sign from the gods of nature that they have listened to the people's prayers." After Dunmil was done reminiscence of his past he looked at the two young ladies again.
-"So you believe the cause to be from fifty years ago from when the autumn sickness began?" Dunmil then asked as he looked towards Ysanne.
-"It sure could be seen as an odd coincidence and Finniger and I did look into the matter. That is what started the whole discussion regarding the magical stones said to be found within Heinrhie mountain, after all. However, it was a very risky matter when talking to the chief back then as he saw it harmful for the reputation between Wohltung and Dur. And since we didn't have any definitive truth to it other than it coming from rumors... Finniger's request to go to the mountain was quickly denied as you know from the papers."
 

Zarko Straadi

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"Well, I don't 'believe' that the prosperous year is necessarily related to the cause of the Sickness, but it is a possibility that should be investigated," Ysanne said. "Were you ever able to isolate the substance from the blood? Do you know if it is a solid or a fluid? Or if it responds to the pull of a lodestone? I wonder if the Ambaric energies that Uncle Gurn--" Ysanne cut herself off in mid-muse, realizing that it would be best not to mention Gurn's work, what with the unspecified danger he seemed to be worried about. But in examining his steam-chariot, she had seen a few elements of devices he had invented for gathering, storing, and manipulating an energy that could, among other things, create what looked like tiny lightning bolts. Her mind was already alight with ideas for testing out how the substance responded to its forces.

"Oh! I spoke to a Dwarven merchant earlier, who told me a bit about the troubles in the Mountain. He also said that there was a war in which Wohltung had to fight against outside forces. Do you know anything about when that was, who the enemies were, and what happened to them? Or if they used magic?"

Once again, Ysanne caught herself and came down from her excitement. "Sorry. I know I am pestering you with questions, and I do not want to be a trouble for you. But...I do not even know who else to ask..."
 

Nathchi

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Dunmil raised an eyebrow upon Ysanne's abrupt silence when discussing about Gurn but just as quickly, he ignored it.
-"Well..." The old man started while leaning back with a grunt against the noisy chair supporting his weight.
-"Sadly the substance was too small to be separated from the blood and since it was fluid, it made the process even harder."
-"Is that why it took so long? From what I remember from one of the notes, the theory started around in October but you didn't reach a conclusion until December." Lora asked and Dunmil nodded.
-"Because it was fluid it made it difficult to see if only the spots affected the black stone or if the blood all around affected it as well. It didn't respond to the lodestone but from my research I have found that where the fluid was, it got stronger reactions from the Dúr sarn stone. But it also reacted from parts of the blood not affected."
-"But how is that possible?" Lora started to look more and more confused as the conversation went on.
-"I believe that these spots are a form of magical fluid that have gathered and through a chemical reaction in our bloodstream formed these blue fluid spots. However since there are also small reactions from not affected areas as well..." Dunmil went quiet for a second.
-"The only conclusion I could get at the time is that whatever magic that is making these spots in the blood, is affecting the body everywhere in different quantities. From my investigation, I found that the spots don't have a special place where they appear, at times I have found the spots around the bloodstream in the arm, another time I found some near the internal carotid artery and another time a very small amount in the leg area." By this time Lora started to somewhat follow what the old man spoke of.
-"So... from what I can gather is that these blue spots you speak of have stronger magical affect, yet is also in the whole body?"
-"Correct." Dunmil said. When Dunmil heard of Ysanne speaking of the dwarfen wars he only shook his head.
-"Sorry." He said.
-"I don't know much about their history. The dwarfs are a secret bunch I tell ya'. If ya' want to know more about 'em you will have to speak with them yourself."
 

Zarko Straadi

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"Thank you. Did you try to evaporate and distill the magical fluid? Or dissolve and reconstitute it? Did it stop being active magically when the blood dried?" Ysanne asked, then gave a sigh. "Sorry...if I could be sure that Finneger's journal could be found at the Chief's library, I would just go find it with Lora's permission and help, and read it. But it sounds like the prior Chief was not very supportive of your work," she said to Dunmil before turning to Lora. "Would that have been your grandfather?" she asked, blushing at her ignorance of local history. What if he made a palimpsest out of it? she thought. Parchment wasn't cheap, so it was not uncommon for someone to scrape off or paint over the writing of an unwanted document and re-use its parchment for something else. If this, rather than Finniger's quirks, was the explanation for the loose notes, then the journal's pages could be scattered amongst the village records, difficult if not impossible to find and restore. Maybe the Chief turned it over to Dheorin when he came. If Lora can't find it in her father's library, I'll have to ask Torin to look for it.

Suddenly, Ysanne sucked in a breath, eyes going wide with excitement. A hypothesis, and an experiment to test it. But how? she thought, feeling tension and frustration return. Even if I could persuade Torin, could he persuade Master Dheorin to allow him to do it? And what if he makes a mistake and I don't even know? What if it's dangerous?
 

Nathchi

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Gunmil started to pull on his facial growth and started to think back.
-"It was a long time ago now but yes I did try to dissolve it. But no luck with reconstructing it. It was at the time very few quantities to work with and it wasn't easy finding these spotted marks I tell ya'. Even with the help of the Dúr Sarn stone it was not easy. But from what I remember, with the help of my wife assisting me at the time; is that the magic faded away very quickly."
-"Faded away quickly? Reconstructing?" Lora said with a confused look.
-"Ah, yes. Humm... how do I explain this?" Dunmil started to mumble as he tried to find the right words in order to explain the process in a simple way to understand.
-"Alchemy is the very old study and a philosophy of how to change basic substances. We use different techniques in order to bring change to the substances and also, at times, recreate them or make new recipes."
-"Oh! Like cooking then?" Lora said with a glint in her eye and Dunmil nodded.
-"Yes.. you could say that alchemy is identical to cooking, however the main difference lies in the recipes themselves. And in this case I tried to get some sort of response from this magical reaction, albeit, it faded very quickly. It could only hold on for less than 1 minute before the magic died. From what I could gather is that these spots can survive a longer time after death inside the body. But as soon as it reacts to the outside air, it quickly fades. It made it very difficult to even try to distill it and since blood coagulates after awhile, it makes the process even more difficult." After his explanation Lora started to, in small parts, understand what he was talking about but was still very visibly confused. When Ysanne started to speak regarding Finniger's journal and about the previous chief Lora then nodded.
-"Yes, it was indeed my grandfather that were chief at the time. Of course I would be more than happy to help in order to find Mr. Finniger's journal if it might help us in finding the solution to a cure... but if someone would know more of the records at the time, it would be my father." Lora said with a sigh.
-"..And like my grandfather I do not think that my father would agree to go through too much from our older records since he had promised grandfather a worthy representation and upholding as the future chief. Even me as my father's secretary, can see that like my grandfather, my father would also not like to disturb Dur's and Wolhtung's economical relationship." Lora started to look more like an adult when she spoke while bringing forth her secretary spirit; straight back, head held high and a more clear voice. Dunmil on the other hand started to grumble more.
-"If all of your work where put into Finniger's journal Mr. Dunmil then if it is all lost then all of your research is gone in history. But I do not see any benifit from my grandfather to alter it, let alone destroy it. Even if the economical relationship would be changed, it's still obvious that he wanted a cure to be found. Just like in the notes, it did say that he wanted you to go through another method, isn't that right Mr. dunmil? If all of Dur is gone, then what is the point to uphold the relationship to begin with?" She said as Dunmil went quiet. For Lora and Dunmil it was obvious for all of the villagers of Dur that a need of a wizard was not something to take lightly, especially not in a case where the coin pocket's from a regular old farmer would be altered to fit a wizard's needs.
-"Ya' might say that but that doesn't change the fact that he stopped us from going to Heinrhie mountain now, did he?" Dunmil then said.
-"Not trying to be rude little miss. I do appreciate your overall profound confidence and hope, but if he did care for the cure more than the relationship with Wolhtung, then he would have helped us." Dunmil being more realistic in his thinking pattern made Lora more nervous. She could feel a small needle being put into her heart, yet she didn't want to go down yet.
-"That is true... but..." Lora then turned to Ysanne.
-"I am sure that it must either be in the library or with Dheorin the wizard. I do not believe that my grandfather would cast away something so valuable as this only for selfish profitable gain." Lora said with optimism and hope inside her.
 

Zarko Straadi

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Ysanne continued to take careful notes, tensing a little as Dunmil and Lora started to enter into disagreement, but thankfully neither of them became angry. "I will do my best to find it in Magister Dheorin's library, and Lora can..." Images of some of the inventions Gurn had showed Ysanne flashed in her mind. In particular, the tubes and hoses that transported fluids or air from place to place within the device. "WAHAHAAA!" she exclaimed, jumping with excitement--then just as suddenly blushed and withdrew into herself. "Master Dunmil, what you said, about the magic dying--it could be the basis for a treatment! If by some artifice, blood could be carefully withdrawn from a patient's body, and the magic allowed to die, then the blood could be returned to the body, perhaps the magic could be purged from the blood altogether! Or if the magic regenerates itself somehow, it might at least be possible to retard the progress of the Sickness." Gurn could make such a device, I know it! But there would have to be experiments to make sure that it is safe, she thought.

"Were you ever able to examine the tissues of a cadaver, to see if there was any magic there, or if it was only in the blood? Oh--were you able to compare how rapidly the magic faded from the blood in a darkened room with how it faded when in sunlight? If we could know if it was sunlight or air that kills the magic, that could also help."
 

Nathchi

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Both Lora and Dunmil were taken aback by Ysanne's sudden uncharacteristic loud demeanor but then when she started to speak of purging blood from magic Dunmil's eyes widen. Struck by a sudden thought, he started to look down at the table and began to mumble to himself with hand under his chin. On the other side of the table Lora sat and curiously watched the two.
-"Sadly many of the bodies were burned to the ground and buried. At the time with what we could work with were only a small portion. But the magic in the blood did stay awhile after its separation from the body with the dúr sarn stone reacting to it. Sadly I cannot tell about the sunlight or air. From what I could tell was that the air affected the magic to die out together with the reaction and coagulation of the blood. It would take a lot of experimentation to purge the blood from the magic." Dunmil said as he started to think to himself again.
-"To purge a humans blood is not an easy feat, my dear. It could mean that to purge a human body from magic, we need to take away all of the blood." A voice suddenly told. Behind them by the back door stood Loggunda Rumblewing with a small basket resting on her left arm.
-"Have you already forgotten that the magic is not only affecting the blue spots? We found that it affected the blood overall but were stronger quantities emerged as these spots. Therefore, even if we wanted to take out these spots and clean it from the magic, it will always erupt new spots in other places of the body since the whole system is corrupted. Sure it may halt it by some small hours but it will only prolong the horrible sickness." Loggunda said as she put down her basket by a table nearby. Dunmil was a bit suprised but expected no less from his wife to interfere.
-"There's no telling of a set point where we can find these spots as well." Dunmil then said.
-"We can't poke holes into the body and expect to find these spots. As small as they are, it's impossible to see them through human skin."
-"Uhm... excuse me but..." Lora then said in her low voice.
-"If the spots reacts more strongly to this stone of yours. Isn't it possible to put it directly to the skin and see a reaction?" As soon as Lora spoke Dunmil's eyes widen even more and he put his hand against the side of his head.
-"Why didn't I think of that?!" He said indignantly. The old man then sighed and started to shake his head.
-"No..., either way, even if I wanted to try it out right now, I can not." Dunmil sighed. Lora looked puzzled.
-"And why is that?" Lora asked.
-"I don't have it anymore. The dúr sarn stone... I gave it away when I lost my post as an alchemist."
 

Zarko Straadi

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Ysanne shrank back a little from the intensity of Loggunda's reply. "Well yes, all of the blood..." she said softly, "...but I...was thinking of a device that could draw out some of the blood, let its magic die, then return it to the body while continuing to draw out more, in a continuous process...so that in time the blood could be purified without ever draining the body entirely. And even if it could only retard the Sickness' progress it could give us more time to find a cure... But...if the magic not localized to the blood, then it could also be in the tissues and organs, and maybe that's even where it does the most damage.

"I suppose if the stone could be used to map out where the magic gathers in the body, perhaps it could be used to channel the right sort of magic to counter it..." She let out a sigh. "But if Master Dheorin hasn't found a way in all these years then..." ...what can I do in the one day when I don't have to work?! she completed in her thoughts.

"Oh...there's one other thing," Ysanne said, getting out her chart of Sickness years and "halting" years. "When Lora and I were checking the village archives, we found out that there was a pattern of years when the Sickness strikes, and years where it does not. Starting at fifty years ago, it struck for six years, then there was a year without Sickness, then five sick years before the next halting year, then three, then seven, then nine, then fourteen, up to this year, and we don't know yet if this will be another Sickness year or a halting year. But when it halts, it only does so for one year, never more than one in a row.

"I told Master Dheorin about it, and he and Torin have been working with astrological charts, but...do you know anything about why there might be a pattern like this?"

 

Nathchi

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Loggunda snorted at Ysanne.
-"Hmph, and what kind of machine would be able to take out a whole grown man's blood out from his body and put it back in clean? Even the strongest wizard in the world would scoff at such a thought. Not even the strongest magic could do such effort so why believe a machine can do it? It would take far too much from the patient as well." Loggunda said in a loud booming voice from the kitchen area as she took off the stewpot from the warm plate.
-"Even with the stone to help map out the spotted areas, it would take far too much time and patience. The sick would probably fall over by the time you try to find it all. Madness I tell ya'".
-"It is a very complicated process." Dunmil then added.
-"My wife is right, it would take far too much and there is no knowing whether it could be of positive help." Dunmil then sighed. Then Ysanne took forward her chart of the sickness years and Dunmil, very curiously, started to read it.
-"What's this..?" He mumbled as he started to read and listened to Ysanne speaking at the same time.
-"Very curious indeed." He said as he studied the chart one more time.
-"For something to halt every once a year... perhaps if the flu comes with the wind, maybe the direction in those year changes?" Dunmil said more to himself, thinking out loud. Loggunda then put a bowl of the stew on the table and took a look at the chart as well and shook her head.
-"The wind is changing all the time dear. If it would change because of the wind, it wouldn't be so recurrent as to halt one year. It would be even more chaotic I tell ya'. No... If the wizard Dheorin is suspecting an astrological change. Perhaps it would be more logical if there was a change because of the sun or from the earth itself." Loggunda then told and Dunmil, still looking down at the paper, started to rub his chin. Lora on the other side of the table was now really lost once again and tried to keep up with the conversation.
-"Hmm... Astrology, you say?" Dunmil repeated.
-"Yes.. if there are changes in the weather because of the sun's movement. Perhaps it could cause a change with warmer autumn than regular, resulting in less affected by the sickness. Autumn is rather cold in these areas after all." Now Dunmil's eyes started to flicker. By how excited the old man appeared, Lora started to see some hope and began to get excited as well.
-"But such a big change seems awfully uncertain." Loggunda then said as she sat down at the table with her bowl of stew.
-"If we go by that theory, that you say that the sun and the temperature of the weather affects the sickness. Then I say that if that would be the case, then the sickness should go through all throughout the winter. But it doesn't. And it doesn't really explain these halting years." By that time Lora's smile wavered.
-"That's true. Most patients start in the middle of the autumn and hold only for about the beginning of winter. Then it fades." Lora added with a sigh.
 

Zarko Straadi

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Ysanne inwardly braced herself against the vehemence of Loggunda's reaction. But she hasn't seen Gurn's steam-chariot. If it can change its speed from a standstill to whatever speed it goes at its fastest, there must be mechanisms for controlling how fast fluids flow through the hoses and pipes that I saw. If blood could be drawn into something like a glass reservoir or tube to let the magic die, then be injected into another vein as fast as it is being drawn...unless we find something better, we should at least try to find out if it is sunlight or the air that kills the magic, and I could ask Gurn to build an apparatus...

She listened to their discussion of the halting years. "It could be related to the nature of the magic itself. Some spells involve astrological correspondences, and need to be cast at certain times, or under the light of a certain Moon, or at a solstice or equinox, or when a certain constellation is rising or setting. At least when it comes to human spells. If the Sickness is caused by a curse, then maybe halting years could happen when some correspondence it's based on is not present in the sky.

"Or it could be something more mundane, like if the Sickness is somehow related to the Dwarves digging up the magic stones, the halting years could happen when they don't find any of the stones, or if they pause in their mining for a year from time to time for some reason. I don't know...but if we find something that matches the pattern, maybe it could lead us to the cause of the Sickness, and even a way to stop it.

"But I'm sure you would like to enjoy your dinner in peace, and...I had better be getting back so I can make dinner for Master Dheorin and Torin." Master Dheorin may want to subject Torin to my life for a day, but that doesn't mean he wants to eat his cooking! "Thank you very much for all that you have shared with us. You have been very helpful, and I truly appreciate it. May we come back another time if we have any more questions?"
 

Nathchi

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Loggunda started to smile from ear to ear by the young girls very courteous behaviour as she cleaned her hands with a piece of cloth.
-"And thank you two young ladies for coming to our little home. Being a bit outside the central space it tends to be a bit lonely over here. We do not get many visitors y'know." Loggunda said and then looked over at her husband chewing down his food. She took the cloth from her hand and started to smack it lighty on her husband's arm. He rose his sight from the bowl up to the two.
-"H-urm.. Yes. It was fun talking to ya'. Was a long time since I talked alchemy with someone else than my wife." He laughed and Loggunda rolled her eyes with a small smile. Lora couldn't help herself but snicker a bit as well with her hand over her mouth. It appeared that Dunmil had been lost in his own thoughts.
-"I hope that you will find Finniger's journal and if you have any more questions be sure to come to us again." Dunmil said.
-"I don't know what the cause is but I still believe that the dwarves might have something to do with it. With how they got ahold of all those magical stones and sold to the market. It was from them that I got my Dúr sarn stone from after all." Dunmil added as a last note. Loggunda then escorted the two ladies out to the front door.
-"Thanks again an' do come by again, ya' hear?" Loggunda said and then waved when the two started to leave. Once again outside the two walked on the graveled path and as they started to walk back towards the center of town Lora sighed.
-"I'm sorry... I couldn't be of much help at all." She said with a frown. Lora was obviously very disappointed towards herself.
-"I really didn't know what to do or say.." Lora then sighed again.
-"But what will we do now? I can try to look after Finniger's journal but I doubt that I will be able to find it in the library. And I really doubt that my father will be of help."
 

Zarko Straadi

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"Thank you again for all your help," Ysanne said to the two Alchemists. "I do hope I will get to see you again sometime," she said, waving goodbye. As they walked away, Lora sighed and gave an apology. "Oh no, Lora, you have been a tremendous help! We've already found knowledge that's been lost for decades, and that wouldn't have happened without you! Besides, Dunmil and Loggunda know you--if I had somehow found out about them by myself and tried to go there without you, they might not have been so welcoming.

"Even if the Journal isn't in your father's library, there might still be more loose pages, and those might be just as invaluable as the ones you've already found. Oh, and if you do find more, try to make a note of what book they were found in, and what page. If Finniger put them there as bookmarks, then what's in the book might be helpful too.

"I will see if Torin and I can find the Journal in Magister Dheorin's library. Even apart from the Journal, there could still be other books in your father's library that could be helpful. Surely your grandfather and other people must have written things about the Sickness when it first began to strike. Or about the 'fructuous year' before it all began. I'm sure there would have been others tasked with finding a cure over the years, physicians and herbalists and the like. Even things that didn't work will be things we won't have to try again.

"So, I really can't overstate how helpful you have been, and will be. And..." Ysanne bit her lip, shyly looking down at her feet, "I've...really enjoyed being able to go on this little adventure with you. I hope we will get to have more days like this," she said, feeling dread at the thought of being plunged back into her life of chores, participating in the quest only vicariously through Torin.
 

Nathchi

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-"Really?" Lora said smiling from ear to ear.
-"You really think so?" She said again, now a little bit embarrassed from all the praise.
-"I'll help however I can. I will have a look around in the library again and as father's secretary it won't be odd if I stay there for a long time." Now Lora was up and running again with positivity but then she got quiet. It was only for a small moment but felt like to continued for a longer time, the birds could be heard chippering, the crackling sound from walking on the graveled path and the wind blowing softly on the ear. At lunch time there were not much activity as people in the village settled down to eat in order to work again for the rest of the day. The weather starting to reach its end of summer warmth and heading for the colder autumn was now within reach.
-"You know..." Lora then suddenly said, breaking the silence.
-"I have also enjoyed our little adventure." She giggled when saying the word adventure, a grand word for searching new continents or slaying formidable foes but for them it was paper work.
"...and I do hope we can do more of this. Being the daughter of the village's chief I... I don't get the opportunity to have that many friends. The others... they... well... they get scared of my father and only put up with an outward appearence when in actuality they don't want to be with me at all." Lora started to look a bit hurt but she continued.
-"They will only be my friend in order to get something in return, thinking of me as some sort of walking coin pouch instead of a person with feelings." Lora then looked at Ysanne.
-"I'm happy I got to meet you Ysanne." She said smiling.
Now the two had reached the center of Dur and was standing beside the chief's house. Before they would split apart Lora urged Ysanne to talk one more time in order to fill in any gaps on what they would do and where to meet up later. Lora looked at the house from the side and towards the window where the library would be on the far left.
-"I will have a look at the library and see what I can find. I'll write down anything of notice and I can meet you up at Master Dheorin's place later, if that is acceptable for you?"
 

Zarko Straadi

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Sci-fi, fantasy, magical, modern, Steampunk
Ysanne's heart leaped when Lora mentioned the idea of being friends. Her eyes lit with sympathy when Lora told of her plight. "I...I know how you feel. Most people see me as just an animated tool of Dheorin's." Especially Dheorin, she added in her thoughts. "It is rare for me to get a day like this, when I can do as I like," she said. "I do not know when I would get to spend time with you even on our quest, much less apart from it. But...if I could, I would like to spend time with you...just doing...whatever friends do." Though Ysanne feared she might be overstepping the bounds of her station, she at least wanted Lora to know that she didn't just see her as a way to get hold of missing Journal pages or whatever.

"I will have a look at the library and see what I can find. I'll write down anything of notice and I can meet you up at Master Dheorin's place later, if that is acceptable for you?" Lora said.

"Yes, I would like that very much!" Though it will probably be Torin she meets instead of me, Ysanne thought. Then she remembered Lora's blushing and fidgeting when she'd mentioned Torin at the time of their first meeting. Her heart pounded in her chest at the thought of the risk she was going to take. Did friends even do this sort of thing? "Um...if it's alright to ask...do you, uh...fancy Torin by any chance?" she stammered, doing some fidgeting of her own. "It's alright if you don't want to answer that!" she added hurriedly. "But...if you like...I could, uh, try to turn his attention your way..." Ysanne braced herself for Lora's reaction, hoping she would be building their budding friendship rather than demolishing it altogether.
 

Nathchi

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When Ysanne spoke of their start of friendship Lora continued to smile from ear to ear. She started to fidget again, touching her hands together from a feeling Lora couldn't really describe. A mix of happiness, flusteredness and a warm feeling inside her heart was all coming together but then, As Ysanne started to talk about him, Lora froze up. With a blank face and stiff body, Lora looked at Ysanne. Lora started to laugh nervously.
-"Ha ha... I... ehm..." She stuttered as she took a bit of her hair from the side to the back of her ear. Now for the first time Lora had a friend to speak with but with such rashness, asking with whom she fancy, was not something Lora was expecting so soon.
-"Weell...." Lora said, now fidgeting more than ever and looking away for Ysanne's sight. She stood there for a moment, being deep in thought about how to handle this situation.
-"Ok, I'll tell you! As my first best friend." Lora giggled.
-"Oh, but don't tell anybody of this, I beg of you." She whispered to Ysanne. Then after looking around the surroundings, left then right, then left again she spoke:
-"Would it be... If... you know... Would it be trouble if I did have some sort of, ahem, that I h-have affection towards him?" Now even more flustered she started to cover her face with her hands.
-"Oh! I said it! I said it!" Lora spoke out loud repeatedly. Then when she registered a possible meeting between the two, she shook her head violently.
-"Oh, no no no no! It's fine I tell you! I can not fathom how I should behave around him if I would meet him."
 

Zarko Straadi

Edgenoble
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Female
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Sci-fi, fantasy, magical, modern, Steampunk
Ysanne tensed when Lora froze. Had she overstepped? But then Lora started talking, and it was Ysanne's turn to flush when Lora called her her first best friend. "I won't tell anyone, I promise! I don't know about any 'trouble'..." She thought she recalled Lora saying something about her father wanting to marry her off to someone from another village, but at the moment she couldn't remember if there was a specific someone, or if it was just a vague notion on the Chief's part. In any case, it didn't seem like something Ysanne would be able to help her with.

"...But as for how you should behave around him...well, I don't know anything about...courtship either...but...I think that you should not try to 'behave' in some different way. If he is to fall in love with you, it should be with you and not anything else."

"Ysanne, there you are!" Torin said, then froze when he saw she was with Lora. He was looking rather more disheveled than usual, and made a futile attempt to smooth out the wrinkles in his Apprentice's robe. "What?" Both girls were acting oddly, with Ysanne stepping forward almost protectively, and Lora...well he didn't quite dare look at Lora, since he was far from at his best after a day of doing Ysanne's chores.
 

Nathchi

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Sci-fi, fantasy, magic, slice of life, supernatural, steampunk
-"With me and nothing else? Got it!" Lora said with a firm nod, showing off an aura of certitude. However with how empty her eyes were, it was quite apparent that she had no idea of what Ysanne had told her. If it was her confession which clouded her mind, or the excitement of having a new friend affecting her mind, made it difficult to know what was going on inside her head.

Trying to appear as if she had control of the situation, she tried to act seriously which broke as fast as a thin layered ice on a sunny day when Torin's voice could be heard from the distance. In a panicked state Lora tried to find a 'natural' stance and started to straighten her back and shoulders, holding her hands together to that of a refined young lady and turned her feet a bit inward. What was going around in her head were probably a turmoil of different thoughts growing and shaping like a hurricane. When Torin appeared, Lora did not make eye contact with him and was, unnaturally so, stiff as a log. Now the two of them did not even look at each other in the eye and the atmosphere had changed. Realising this, Lora dared not to look at the man in the eye to which she had, just a few minutes ago to her very new friend, told her that she indeed fancied him. Instead she continued to look down not saying a word.