King's Medical Conference
Sept. 11, 2016, 3 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room
Comments and Log
Calain steps into the dining room where all those interested in the King's Medical Conference have gathered, he steps over to the dining table and raps his knuckles against the top to gain the attention of the group. "Welcome my lords and ladies and others, I think it is about time we get started, I'm Calain Grayson, please have a seat and feel free to enjoy the refreshments." He states as he takes his own seat, servants in the livery of House Grayson moving amongst the guests with drinks and snacks.
Calain has joined the Dining Table.
Bejamin arrives on an unhurried stride, his head tipped back and his eye roaming to take in the various fine things about the mansion, tipping it now and again to whatever Acacia might say to him along the way. When they make the dining room, however, he locates Anastasio and redirects his feet to find a spot near the apothecary, just in time to catch Calain's introduction.
The Dominus of the Faith, Voice of the Pantheon in the world, seldom travels without fanfare, but it is fully in abeyance today. He slips wordlessly into the room, moving with the austere dignity of his office and contents himself to a nod of his head in silent greeting towards the nobility. He stands stiffly towards the side, making no move towards the refreshments.
One does not simply walk away from a Grayson invitation. Anastasio certainly didn't, and he brought a copy of said invitation with him, just in case there were any question that he belonged in the dining room. He even put on his good tunic for the event! There are little nods and bows given to recognized faces, as appropriate, while waiting for the official kick off. Even a, "Thank you, Prince Calain," from the far end of the room before refreshments and seating are taken.
Dawn follows in Calain's wake, her hands folded at her waist, her gown simple grey silk and her manner that of someone who is here simply to observe. There are marks of lack of sleep in her appearance-- a paleness around the eyes, a somberness of expression-- but the smile she gives to those she recognizes is as warm as any that might be expected of Grayson's Voice. When Prince Calain moves to take his seat, she steps to claim the chair opposite of his, across the table.
Dawn has joined the Dining Table.
Acacia's own entrance is muted, uncharacteristically reserved and likely under escort. She's fallen, perhaps deliberately, a half-step behind Benjamin, though she brushes her hand against the back of his shoulder and further seeks to separate a little bit to stand particularly to the side rather than take a direct seat. Anastasio is secreted a small smile and should it be appropriate, she'd likely furnish a formal bow to comprehensively include the hosts. The ornate dining chair is observed from afar for a lengthy amount of time, but her hand deftly steals one of the glasses of wine for holding purposes.
Rainier's is a subdued presence; he slides into the room quietly and wastes little time greeting anyone present but instead keeps the left shoulder close to the wall to transverse across the hall once the voices of those there begin to rise and the commotion builds. The man is dressed very simply this day, in a sturdy pair of leggings whose belt bears an bronze eagle at its center and from which a single long knife's sheath hangs, the weapon itself as understated as the one who bears it. His tunic is a step up from what a peasant would work; it's well worked to fit his physique well but there is nothing about it that'd identify him as a nobleman, and he does nothing to dispel the notion as he finds a place to stand.
Olivia is hanging about on the sidelines, assessing the situation before hopping in it seems. Acknowledging those she knows just with a node, after Calain takes his seat, she moves to take a seat as well, nearer to Dawn, but certainly not one anyone else wishes to claim. She's happy enough just to be at the table, without insisting on a place of prestige or anything of the sort! She's dressed simply, and has a satchel with her, which is placed carefully on the table in front of her once she's seated.
Looking much like a fish out of water, Jessamine smiles serenely despite the small and reserved way she enters the room, moving as if making an effort take up as little room as possible. Upon spying such important dignitaries, she dips into a low and polite curtsey before scurrying off to find a seat to sink into.
Perhaps it may be odd for a Mirrormask to join a discussion on healing, but Isolde does, in fact, walk into through the doors, followed by her guard, ever present, ever faithful. He takes a stance near the edge, as Isolde, herself, looks over that gathering for a quiet moment, sharp eyes taking in the attendants. She offers a warm smile to Dawn, dipping her head toward her, and then a respectful curtsey to Fawkuhl, showing more deference and humility than those here who know the woman would think possible. She gives a quiet nod to Acacia, before moving to boldly take a seat at the discussion table.
Anastasio has joined the Dining Table.
Benjamin has joined the Dining Table.
Sudara's arrival is also rather understated - though her gown is decidedly Lycene in cut, it is in mourning black, and she arrives without fanfare or escort, swiftly seeking a seat from which she might observe both proceedings and her fellow attendees.
Isolde has joined the Dining Table.
Olivia has joined the Dining Table.
Sudara has joined the Dining Table.
Rainier has joined the Dining Table.
Jessamine has joined the Dining Table.
Lydia is standing in a small knot of of northern noblewoman. Like many others, she seems to be here just to observe and she stays unobtrusively off to the side of the room, although she is careful to position herself in such a way so that she has a good view of what is occuring and can hear well also. Like many others, she's dressed simply and somberly, with her typical bright pastels exchanged for shades of ivory. In one hand she has a silk fan, with which she fans herself slowly as she watches the proceedings.
As everyone filters in and takes their seats Calain raises a hand and some of the servant start to distribute plain leather folders, each with a single sheet of parchment inside. "As you would all know, our King, Alaric Grayson the Fourth has been struck by a terrible malady. It is my hope that working together we may be able to make some progress on diagnosing or treating this condition. The folders before you contain a report from previous examinations, please do familiarise yourself with the contents, then feel free to ask any questions or raise any comments you might have." He instructs before busying himself with a glass of whiskey as he waits for everyone to do their assigned reading.
The King is suffering from a form of catatonia, he eats the food put before him until satiation, but shows no preference for meals that were previously his favourite.
He seems to sleep slightly longer than normal, but remains in bed unless encouraged to leave it.
He shys away from discomfort and bright lights, but will not exert much effort to avoid them.
Pupil response is normal.
Reflexes are normal.
He has a slight pallor.
He has lost a small amount of weight.
There was a small bite on the back of his hand consistent with a spider.
Hair and nail growth are normal.
Vocal chords appear healthy despite their lack of use.
He gives no response when spoken to, and does not seem to respond to his name but starts slightly at loud noises.
He may have previously been exposed to narcotics.
He was a regular drinker.
Bone density and strength seem normal.
Benjamin slouched into his chair and propped his knee against the table's edge, and frowns down at his empty hands. He turns an eye to Anastasio, considering his robes and whether he might have room in there to hide a quill and inks. "Did you chance to bring something to take notes?" Benjamin asks half-whispered when he leans more to Anastasio, then cranes his neck back to peer at Acacia. "Got anything tucked in your cloak, lovie?" only to snap back to attention when the folders are offered around. Well. Then. "Never you mind," he mumbles to Acacia for what he'd just asked for, taking up the notes instead to study.
One of the heralds is kind enough to show, Prince Edain into the dining room where this conference is being help. He is holding an armful of of books, all with words he doesn't really understand but pretends he does. Just as he arrives Prince Calain is begining so one of the servants show's him to a seat. He sets down the books and starts to peruse the files that the Grayson Prince has pepared.
Edain has joined the Dining Table.
Edain leans over and whispers something to Jessamine, who seems to be sitting next to him as he settles into his seat.
Reading through the report, Anastasio says, "Some of this is consistent with a catatonic patient. Some of it is hard to determine relevance or causality. Based on his return to Arx, it is safe to say he witnessed a deeply traumatic event. It could be that he has retreated deep within himself to seek solace while trying to cope with whatever happened. It could, perhaps, be some form of injury. The more theological may even claim that the cause is supernatural." He does not sound like he's ruling that out, really, and nods to the Dominus as if to get the man's opinion on the matter. "The first step in solving the problem seems to be in determing cause: is it purely of the psyche, is it of the body, or is it of the soul? I do not know how much of this can be answered without a thorough examination."
Rainier finally does search in the crowd to spot Olivia standing there, and once he does it's a curious - perhaps inquisitive - glance that he gives her once Calain has the health report distributed. It's after that though, once the noise of ruffled paper and sliding folders are passed around to be scrutinized, that he poses an open question although. "What does it mean?" he asks those gathered. "I appreciate the report but what does it point to? What are the indications? I know little of what nail growth means, as in my experience people tended to fall or rise before they had to clip them." His lips twitch at a corner, perhaps it was intended as a joke although from the rest of this sober's man expression it's difficult to tell whether that's the case.
Dawn offers nods to those who arrange themselves nearby. Olivia, foremost. Pale eyes linger on Fawkuhl and Isolde as well, but no matter the smile given to her by the Mirrormask, her own smile is not offered in return. That somberness remains throughout her level regard of those two. Then she stirs to remove a pouch from her belt and from it produces a trimmed quill and small inkpot. These she arranges beside her portfolio, the sheet of symptoms there turned over to provide a clean writing surface. Let the note taking begin, as her focus shifts to those who speak after Calain's invitation.
Isolde looks over the document with a critical eye, her jaw setting and a hint of steel entering her eyes as they take in one or more words within. She doesn't affect her normal licentious posture, her focus unusually intent for the mirrormask. "Prince Calain, Lady Dawn, has a list been compiled of previously attempted methods to revive him, or medications, teas, or other solutions administered? It might be helpful to rule out any basic efforts and waste no time in coming up with.. unorthodox solutions." She glances to Fawkuhl for a moment, then looks back at the two Graysons. "The Dominus has also mentioned that there was possibly some response to his presence when he visited the King. Have there been any... formal religious evaluations done, and if so, do we have those reports as well?"
Jessamine shrugs uncertainly to Edain, her voice low and soft as she gives a hushed reply. Fingers lift to wiggle in a friendly manner at Anastasio, and then she begins reading the paperwork with furrowed brows of deep concentration.
Fawkuhl gestures towards Isolde and then Anastasio, "The King, as we all know, has shown no improvement or signs of recovery. Save one, of course. In my presence, for but a moment, he seemed to look at me with eyes pleading for salvation. It was a clear sign that the Faith may be able to help his majesty, and we would humbly request that his family consider placing him in our care."
"The Dominus' claims have not been witnessed by anyone other than the Dominus," Dawn says, and though her voice is quiet her tone is such that it hearkens back to the old King and his easy way of drawing attention through command. "I had asked him to repeat the experiment in my presence. He has not yet done so."
Olivia's gaze scans the paper quickly, nodding to herself. Her lips move a bit as she reads, and she's mumbling to herself. She's not paying much attention to the others in the room now, she may have missed the nod from Dawn and the glance from Rainier. For Olivia, all that's important right now is the puzzle in front of her. She does look up at Isolde's query, nodding slowly at the question before turning to wait for an answer from Prince Calain. A glance at Fawkuh, then back to Dawn, a slight nod at her explanation.
Silas steps into the dining room of the mansion as quietly as he could manage, careful not to disturb the proceedings going on inside. He holds the door open so Prince Laric may pass unhindered behind him, before moving to take a seat some distance away from the meeting itself but at the same table.
Acacia's position had placed her, intentionally and demurely, somewhere between the chairs of Anastasio and Benjamin. It wasn't at the question asked that she delved within her cloak, but some time later, unfurling a plain black feathered writing utensil and a small journal bound of parchment. Her given demeanor is unobtrusive otherwise, though her focus was divided attentively between Fawkuhl and Dawn.
Lydia may not attempt to take notes, and neither does she sit with the physicians or educated, perhaps considering herself neither, but her lazy fanning does pause as she steps forth and swipes one of the folders that seems to have been left unclaimed. With documentation in hand she glides back to the side of the room where she lazily leafs through the pages and then snaps the folder shut and slides it away.
Benjamin makes some vague dismissive wave to nothing in particular and screws his mouth to the side while he contemplates the list. He held his tongue while questions fly around, thoughts, suppositions. For his part he only remarks, "This bit here, about the bite - Did he come back with that? I'd think by now it would have healed, yea? Or progressed to rot and puss if it refused healing." He closes up the folder and leaves it just resting against his thigh while he waits for his question's place in the flury of conversation that had kicked up.
Reese enters without fuss; her eyes scan those present, a frown etching itself into her expression. She moves to select a seat somewhere where she can see, and be seen, without the necessity to interject her own thoughts.
Edain bows his head to Fawkuhl and says, "That makes me glad to hear, Dominus. I was under the impression that the Faith was already heavily participating in the King's Care. Has not the Palace Seraph Ailith, been one of his primary caregivers?"
Anastasio inclines his head to Jessamine, returning her greeting quietly. He regards the report once more, then then Dominus. "Agreed, Master Carver. Thus my question on causality. It could have happened at any time before or after the event and may, or may not, be related to the current condition." He may normally be hesitant to speak around the nobility, but this is medicine! That's a different matter.
Fawkuhl holds a hand up apologetically, "The Faith understands your concerns, Miss Dawn Baseborn. One cannot but fear for the safety of her half brother, but miracles cannot be called upon demand. I would be happy to examine his majesty in your presence, but will the king react or not? Only the gods can say, and I can but tell you what transpired in the past and note that we alone have seen improvement." He shakes his head at Edain, "She has not. The King's Own is quite strict at present for access to his majesty."
Rainier doesn't seem the subtle type at the best of times and here, in the presence of both his peers and superiors, he does nothing to contradict such notions. "Is it fair to say there has been no change, then?" he asks, turning to pose the question to Dawn. "Other than for wishful thinking and hopes for a recovery is there an indication we ought to act as if the condition may be stable but unsatisfactory for the time being?" For a few seconds he probably seemed like there was more he was prepared to say; a fresh breath had been drawn and his lips moved even though no sound came out, and in the end whatever it was he suppressed must be bitten back because he adds nothing more to it.
Laric folds his arms across his chest as he takes a seat near Silas, tilting his hunter's hat with his thumb up a little so he can see everyone tossing ideas around the room a little more clearly. He himself kept a strict silence - an Apothecary he was not, even if it was strange to see your own cousin being talked about in such a clinical manner. He rests his cheek on his knuckles, seeming rather nonplussed about the whole thing. Yes, like he was a hunk of meat there. His lips thin a little.
"It is safe to say all conventional treatments have been attempted." Calain says, "None have shown any sign of helping, I'm afraid that religious treatments are rather beyond my realm of expertise but I do not think a change in his circumstances would be ideal. I think pure a mind based condition is unlikely, in my experience we would've seen more signs of his preferences exerting themselves in subtle ways." He states before nodding at Benjamin. "The bite has now healed, it was simply noted when he returned. I know there are wasps whose venom causes a type of walking catatonia in insects, so it is possible the spider bite is responsible, but if so it must be a different type of spider to any I'm familiar with, it is also possible the bite is mere coincidence, really anything could be coincidence, nothing should be taken for granted."
Sudara rather diffidently clears her throat, then speaks up. "Did any of our liege's unfortunate companions also show evidence of bites, out of curiosity?"
"Lady Dawn, we know the King was a great friend and patron to the Faith. He was an inspiration to us all, in our paths to the gods. I have no doube believing the symbol of our faith, manifest, in the form of the Dominus would bring him some comfort." Isolde speaks, holding up a gentle hand. "In fact, we have an Invocation planned, to bring glory to the gods in the name of the King, and it is my sincere hope that, reflected and magnified, that connection may do a great deal of good." She looks to Calain as the report is given and she shakes her head slightly. "I am.. perfectly convinced that the spider bite may be our best bet in discovering treatment. Whatever befell the party involved the insects in some way." While her tone remains smooth and warm, she very clearly tenses, looking at Sudara. "Yes." But that is all the answer she gives, before returning her gaze to the Grayson pair.
Dawn sets the quill down beside the parchment and folds her hands atop the blank document. Her eyes do not move away from the Dominus. She doesn't reply, because there is a great deal of talk going on about her, but nothing more is said to Fawkuhl. Instead, when Isolde addresses her, she shifts that steady gaze to the woman in question. "So I have heard, your highness," is more substantial an answer than Fawkuhl receives, but still simply spoken.
Olivia's gaze is drawn more sharply towards Fawkuhl as Dawn is spoken to, her mouth pursing a little at the title given to her. But she doesn't say anything, just turns towards Dawn for a moment, then back to Calain as he speaks. Then back to her paper. It seems almost deliberate, for her to re-immerse herself in the health report, trying to tune out the rest of the conversation not pertinent to those facts.
A brow arches. "I do not wish to be indelicate, but if conventional treatments have failed... Do we have a sample of the creature or creatures that did the biting?" Anastasio asks. "Or might we take samples from the other victims and see if a trace of the venom can be found, as a basis of finding an agent to fight it?"
Benjamin nods briefly to Calain at the clarification on the state of the spider bite, setting it aside. "Right, right," he agrees. He taps a fingertip against the folder when he starts to say something, then furrows his brow a little to look sideways at Isolde. "Physically speaking, he is well, yea? He responds to what he should, light and sound. He has reflexes. He eats. He digests. I can only assume he shits for no note of distended abdomen and vomiting." He shakes his head and taps the temple of his head. "I don't know a natural venom that picks and chooses to only shut down the higher intellect of a brain."
Silas begins to hone in on the conversation, attempting to piece together an image in his head with what he was overhearing. Being late to the conversation meant he didn't know where they began, but he could still make deductions. For one, he could already sense the tension in the air between certain parties. He leans over to the Grayson at his side, whispering.
Rainier uses his fingers to count as he speaks this time. "Only three things matter and all else is but wishful thinking and speculation; the medical opinions of the physicians, any actions that must be taken to improve the patient's condition, and all plans which must be made under the assumption that there will be no swift recovery." Having state that he peers around the table. "Does anyone disagree and if so, state the reason." He lays himself back into the chair he recovered in the last few minutes, sounding rather resigned for some reason.
Reese's frown does not disappear as the conversation progresses. If anything, in fact, it deepens somewhat. There may be signs of a furrow in her brow appearing, as well. Her gaze tends to dart back and forth between those present on the basis of who might be speaking at the moment, although it returns regularly to Dawn whether she might have spoken or not.
Fawkuhl keeps a carefully neutral expression as he explains to Sudara, "My lady, every one of his majesty's companions were decaptitated and only their heads were delivered, found on a cart outside the city. We know not where his majesty's part went, why they went, or who they encountered that were responsible for the decapitations." He is silent for a moment, "It seems unlikely that it was merely poor luck in being bitten by happenstance when the rest of his party were massacred." He then gestures towards Rainier, "And I agree, where standard approaches fail, perhaps faith might succeed."
Isolde looks at Anastasio with that hard look, but she forces herself to take a moment and soften her demeanor. "I do not believe it is possible, but I will ask my sister if... anything like that exists. I was not there when... when she was returned to us. Do not hold out hope, but I will reach out to Archduchess Esera and Prince Darren to determine if the possibility exists." She folds her hands, turning her attention back to Fawkuhl, nodding in agreement. "Faith can change lives, we all can accept that. Perhaps what we need is that devotion, and willingness to try this change."
Anastasio tips his head as if to hear Acacia speak quietly. "Thank you, my lady," he says to Isolde. "It is not an easy thing I ask, I know." He pulls a charcoal pencil out of a pocket and begins to scribble on the copy of hte report he has. "I would also not rule out the matter of Faith," he puts back in. There's also nodded agreement for Ranier's summation of priorities.
Laric commiserates with Silas with a sour look on his face.
"There are some mild physical symptoms, but they seem most likely to be secondary." Calain explains, as the rest of the King's party were... dismemb-" He starts before Fawkuhl fills in for him and he nods. "It seems probable the King if he was bitten, was bitten deliberately after his party were slain." He studies the Dominus for a moment, "Dominus, I can see wisdom in what you are saying, perhaps it would be a good idea to include one of the faith in the King's care team, and I'm glad to see you wish to help, I'm sure we would also appreciate your help in obtaining permission to search for relevant knowledge about this condition in the Nihil Obstat collections below the Great Archive. If this affliction is spiritual as you say then it is likely it was encountered by members of the faith before and the record of such is sealed away."
Dawn appears to have nothing to add. She does, however, dip her head in acknowledgement to Rainier before giving Fawkhul another of those long, level looks. Then her quill is taken up again and she dips it into ink, before beginning to make notes on the parchment before her. It might be a relief to some that those keen eyes are focused on what she writes. Then, finally, she says, "It is a sound idea to involve the emissaries of certain gods in his care. I will invites Lagoma's Mercies to put forward one of their own."
Edain looks to Dawn and says, "Lady Dawn Grayson." Edain says more forrmally here, "If the King's Own are, and quite rightly, policing who is allowed to spend much time with the king, perhaps, the Dominus could put together a team of caretakers from the Faith that could be thoroughly screened by the King's own to assist with his care. Asside from t heir spiritual knowledge, I do believe they would not only beable to at least help sooth him spiritually, as well as have medical knowledge to assist in his daily care. The more trust worth souls to help him the better." He looks then to Fawkuhl, "Dominus, do you think you would be able with work Lady Dawn Grayson on this matter, as well as attempt to show her that the King has reacted to your prescence?"
Olivia glances up at the comment about poisons, stating simply, "Poisons can do many things, there is no reason to believe this is not one of them. A poison from an insect could easily do this, and if administered in high enough concentrations or doses, it would be quite possible. Smaller snakes or scorpions have more potent venom. Humans can concentrate venom. This should not be ruled out." Her head shakes slightly as she glances back at the paper in her hand, lips moving to herself as if trying to work through the puzzle still.
Rainier really doesn't sound like much of a diplomat because his words, softly spoken as they are, are then directed to Fawkuhl with a curious expression on his face. "Faith can do a lot but beans are easier counted than prayers." I am certain the standard approaches we may engage in can be executed in parallel with... what you have in mind." He glances around briefly in one of the rare instances he actually takes the time to spot others' reactions, although Edain's timing in bringing up the King's Own may have been what actually triggered it. "I have rarely seen men recover faster for having more eyes and noses in the room with them, but again I am no physician; the opposite, perhaps."
After looking through the folder, Lydia's observations appear to be done quietly and without much reaction to what she's listening to, after all, for her these are mostly just words. This changes when mention is made of getting samples from other victims, for a brief moment the northern noblewoman's fanning becomes fierce and is accompanied by a brief frown, but both of these actions soon fade away.
Laric, for his part, clenches his fist a little with the talk of Alaric's companions being decapitated and as such. It was no secret his own parents, some of Alaric's cousins, were also slain in that brutal exchange. The whine of tightening leather is audible in his hand.
"The truth of it is the mind is an easy thing to break, and doesn't mend in any kind of predictable way. A massacre at the hands of who knows what or where or how, yea? None of us know the horrors seen. Not a one. So none can say how quick he ought come back to senses or for what. Might see more response for re-intra-duction of elements of the happening," Benjamin supposes, no longer propsing ideas for anyone else but a musing for himself outloud in a half-mumbled tone. "Deprive him of his senses, or application of certain drugs to loosen the mind, something that might shake the hold of shock."
The calm expression of serenity on the Dominus' face becomes ever so slightly strained at the mention of the Nihil Obstat, his lips thinning as he nods his face once towards Calain, "Of course, your highness. I will speak to the Archscholar and see what might be done. Such matters are dangerous, and we will have to tread carefully indeed." He then gestures a hand towards Edain, "As you say, your Grace. I would be pleased to work with Miss Dawn and set her mind at ease."
Reese's attention lingers somewhat on the Valardin High Lord after he finishes speaking. Something that he said (or, perhaps, how he said it) would seem to have caused her expression to become a little less troubled, even though, alas, it still has a long way to go to become /un/troubled.
Silas seems to lean away from Laric at the sound of leather tightening. His cerulean eyes dim with slight concern, but he turns his head back to the conversing nobles and physicians. His gaze drifts to observe each, but his attention doesn't linger.
A thought strikes Isolde and she visibly straightens, though she bites her lip a little bit. "Prince Calain, Lady Dawn, if the possibility of a religious contingent exists, I would very much like to be a part of it, even for one meeting." She smiles, a knowing thing, dipping her head slightly, respectfully, "With as many King's Own and Iron Guard around as one might feel necessary to keep a watch over me. I have... perhaps, a more religious thought to his affliction, but it would not be... practical to speak of it openly, I think. The tension is such that I would feel more comfortable with a private chat to discuss it." She glances at Laric's reaction, with a slight, knowing nod, as if understanding him. She looks curious at the discussion around the archives, but only that, no more attention paid to it.
"You speak true, your Grace," Dawn says to Edain. "But I will say that I have found that the King's Own and the palace staff have been diligent in ensuring that my brother receives only the best of care. They have, for the most part, seen to it that those who do look after him should indeed be there." Then those cool eyes return to Fawkuhl. "With your permission, Dominus, I will engage Lagoma's servants as appropriate memebers of the team who care for my brother. I believe, given the circumstances, it is better we appeal to the goddess of healing over all others." And here her head turns to bring Isolde into focus. "With no offense meant, your highness, I do not think that the Thirteenth is the appropriate deity to appeal to in this instance."
Sudara nods her thanks to Calain for his expansion upon Fawkuhl's blunt commentary... then falls back into listening attentively, and observing the somewhat-restrained squabbles and conflicts.
The last sound likely to come from Rainier's lips at any time must be the quick laughter bursting from him but there it is. "Ladies and good sirs, are we here to be updated on a report or to speak out of our... or to offer amateurs' ideas on what conditions of the mind or body are or are not best treated with? I do not get this." He seems frustrated but it's the kind of outburst that runs its course quickly enough before he forces a soft sigh to chase it away. "A war council is populated by soldiers; a patient's care must be kept with physicians. What is this, where we each offer an *opinion* with no consequence for our words or care for who hears them? It makes no sense, none at all."
Edain looks at the Dominus and says, "Cousin, I expect better conduct from the Dominus of the Faith. I would appreciate if you apologize to the High Lord of House Grayson for failing to use her proper title."
Quiet as a dormouse, Jessamine just listens intently, eyes wide as she glances from speaker to speaker in a rapid fashion. Her hands remain folded primly in her lap while she blinks owlishly at the Dominus.
Rainier's words draw a slight smile, quickly schooled and hidden behind prataking refreshment, from Anastasio. He adds no other comment while the nobles have their say, though.
Calain inclines his head to Fawkuhl. "So it seems we have a few thoughts, to search the archives for useful knowledge, to examine any remains of spiders found with the party and to involve those of the Faith in caring for the King." He glances over at Anastasio. "Master Anastasio, it was you that suggested examining any parts of the spiders found, is that within your realm of expertise to carry out? You may of course call upon us for any assistance you might require."
The elderly palace minister, Haramus, had waddled unobtrusively into the meeting, but takes the opportunity to noisily clear his throat at Rainier's words, "If I may, my lords, there exists some great precedent for, ah, I must say, a very strong precedent, for ministrations by members of the Faith over members of the royal family. Of course," he continues, taking a moment to clear his throat again as he warms to the topic, "the last such example was several centuries ago, when the Palace Seraph was creditted for removing a curse placed by a sorcerer upon Prince Alarin Grayson, who then succeeded to the throne upon his recovery. Many suspected the cause was far more mundane than..." he abruptly stops his rambling, noisily clearing his throat again, "Of course, that may not be relevant here. Perhaps Princess Isolde Velenosa could be entrusted with such a task, being both of the nobility and the Faith. After a fashion, of course. If the Thirteenth is in some way responsible for His Majesty's current state, harumph, then it is surely appropriate to have a Mirrormask intercede on his behalf."
And that appears to be the final straw for Dawn. She stands, suddenly. "My lords and ladies, if I may please have your attention." The rattle of her chair's legs on the stone beneath them is nothing compared to the ringing tone of command that demands all pay heed. This is, after all, Grayson Mansion and she is their Voice.
Isolde smiles warmly to Dawn and she lifts her chin oh so slightly. "The King is worthy of the entire Pantheon, Lady Dawn, and the Thirteenth is misunderstood, I think. I would be honored for you to come to the Invocation, so action may prove to you what my words will not. I appreciate your protectiveness, darling, but let us speak later of such things. I am, after all, a healer myself, though no Mercy, truth be told. Prince Laric can attest to that, if my efforts at the tournament do not suit you?" She nods to Harasmus, giving the old man a warm smile and a respectful dip of her head. "Your confidence in me is encouraging, Lord Minister. I wish nothing more for the King to be returned to us, and to have the answers the Velenosa and the Redrain, as well as all affected, so desperately seek." She looks to Dawn, lifting an eyebrow.
Edain is watching Fawkuhl, to see if he will offer his apology, but when Lady Dawn stands and speaks he turns to regard her, and waits.
Fawkuhl looks like he was about to respond to Edain but then quickly silences himself as he turns to regard Dawn.
Acacia remained silent aside for those few sparse whispers exchanged between Benjamin and Anastasio, but her gaze slid with purpose towards Dawn.
So much for Reese's momentary feeling of relief. Abruptly, she's looking troubled again -- or, well, by now sliding into the vicinity of worried. Of course, Reese is an inveterate worrier, so perhaps that's not so unusual.
Benjamin snaps out of his thinking process at the scrape of chair legs and raises a brow, hunkering down a little while he glances around not to Dawn, but to everyone else.
When the Voice demands your attention, you give it. Silas abruptly lifts his head, denoting his sudden attentiveness. His expression isn't neutral; he's wearing a frown.
Dawn's eyes sweep the gathering. "You are here at the invitation of Prince Calain, invited in good faith to discuss His Majesty's condition. I will ask you to respect that invitation. This was not a forum intended for lone voices to drown out the contribution of all others. We are here to invite the opinions of Arx's /physicians/ on His Majesty's condition, as my lord Ashford has reminded us. We have among us healers of great skill and ability, whose breadth of knowledge risks going unheard as others freely speak their mind about things unrelated to matters of medicine. You are our guests in this House and while we extend you guest right, I ask you also to remain courteous of this conference's stated purpose."
She draws her shoulders back and lets her eyes rest on the physicians in their midst. "We have heard the opinion of the Faith and it will be considered. Now, I would like to hear the opinions of those versed in the care of body and mind, rather than spirit. Please, good physicians. Don't be afraid to raise your voices in this company. Thank you."
And then she lowers herself into her chair again, her nod of apology aimed at Prince Calain as she settles.
Once Dawn is done Rainier sits back, saying no more; she appears to have covered what he meant to say, although a small frown on his face still lingers on as he considers those seated at the table. Now and then the man's hand travels toward his hip seeking the reassurance of something that's surely not there as his fingers claw at and clench nothing but air, yet despite the absent-minded distraction that prop's absence is causing him all one has to do is wait for a few moments to see the palm twitch once again in the same endless pattern.
Having not dared speak to even answer Prince Calain until the Voice of Grayson has had her moment, Anastasio allows even a few more moments after Dawn seating herself before speaking again. "It is within my skillset, Prince Calain, but not my capability without assistance. Most of my laboratory equipment and supplies were destroyed a few weeks ago. If others offer such space and equipment then I will be pleased to explore that track among the others we might come up with."
Like everyone else, Lydia's slight fluttering stops when Dawn calls for attenton. Her green eyes turn towards the noblewoman and she listens, wide-eyed. When Dawn sits again, Lydia nods once and then resumes her slow, silent fanning.
Haramus nods on cue with Dawn's words, adding unnecessarily, "Harumph. The Voice of Grayson speaks most sagaciously, my lords. This is clearly a matter best left to physicians, and those of great skill." He nods gravely for emphasis, as if he had not proposed exactly the opposite moments before.
Calain falls silent as Dawn gives her speech and then gives her a small smile as she sits before turning back to the table. "Does someone here wish to partner with Master Anastasio on this matter?"
"Lady Dawn." Isolde looks at her with an even look. "It has been stated that all known conventional treatments have been administered, tried, and literally none of them had an effect. Logic, then, implies, the malady is not one for conventional physicians. What answers do you expect us to spirit from the ether? A sudden undiscovered plant? A method of refinement into an elixir that wonderously changes everything? If the discussions into the unconventional are... unhelpful to your intended purpose, then why set up the city for defeat, when you know, very well, the answers will not come." She motions to Anastasio. "The idea of exploring to see if any specimens remain is a start, but we do not even know -where the party went-. Unless knowledge is being withheld." Her tone doesn't change but she leans just slightly forward, placing her hands on the table. "Your lack of faith disturbs me greatly, but I can accept that. But denying natural discussion will only prevent us from inspiration to find an answer where you do not wish it to be." She stands from her seat, expectantly.
Fawkuhl gestures towards Haramus, "Of course, well stated. The Faith understands the position of House Grayson and only seeks to help." As he acknowledges the minister parroting the voice, rather than the Voice herself.
"We have physicians here who have traveled in places our palace physicians have not, Princess Isolde, who have not yet had the opportunity to speak their suggestions. We have given the Faith a voice and heard what they have to say. If you do not wish to hear what those who tend bodies have to say in turn, you are welcome to leave," Dawn says as she takes up her quill again and dabs it ever so delicately in the pot of ink.
"Good. Well said, the both of you. Perhaps the Inquisition can lend some assistance to this particular predicament, should the physicians gathered here be interested in their support. I can assemble a team to both research the maps and records of their expedition, then ride to the general area to gather living samples of these selfsame creatures, and whatever else those gathered here might be interested in studying and using for the purpose of understanding the King's condition. I assure you, my agents are thorough and will spare no effort bringing you back what you would prefer to examine," Laric says, raising his voice above the throng but still managing to sound bored. Still, though, his lip is pulled and his expression might actually read as 'annoyed'.
Rainier shakes his head, resisting the temptation this time to bring his hand up to his brows. "Not all of us here have been blessed with the Gods' fortune, milady, and we do not all know what it is for our attempts - struggles and all - to result in immediate success or instant failure that we would know what is wasted and what is not." he points out with a soft sigh at Isolde. "In fact for the most part we try something out for as long as we can and hope such endeavors are less of a failure than they could be, and if we are graced with positive results even then they are rarely all good or bad. Now" he murmurs with a nod toward Dawn, "as the Lady just said we are not all physicians here, but I have seen men inert from wounds until they no longer were. Should we have put them all down for good measure after a few days, lest they never recover on their own?"
Acacia draws in a quiet breath, before putting forth, "Forgive me for interjecting. Duke Niccolo Velenosa has currently extended the concept of support on a shop for Master Anastasio and Master Benjamin Carver's partnership in such a task. Given the current grave circumstances and the opportunity provided to study the spiders, whatever they cannot complete once this week is up for their given room, I will find those who can assist them to furnish an appropriate area."
"I have some space to work in," Jessamine offers up, speaking up for the first time thus far. Her voice is gentle, but not too quiet to be heard. "It's not much, but I'd be happy to help. I'm-- still learning," she says carefully, then sinks down a little further in her seat.
Benjamin lifts the folder in his hand, giving it a small flap, when he begins, "This list gives us ability to rule out, and ponder on, but everything is going to go to needing to study the subject directly. If it's as unnatural as supposed, if the orthodox won't work, if there's nothing more than 'he seems to' to go off..." He shrugs and drops the folder to his lap again. "Can't have a painter paint a canvas they can't reach." He drops his knee and leans forward in his seat, looking to be preparing to get up from it.
"If I might further suggest... As all -conventional- treatments have been tried, we must look to the less conventional. In this, more than one physician attending to the King would be of use, as you get different view points. I suggest, Prince Calain, that a rotational shift be started to attend the King at all times consisting of, at least, a sworn Scribe of Vellichor and a healer. Ensure that his symptoms, his activity level, and any changes are recorded swiftly and made available for analysis by the other healers involved. What details one might overlook, others might find." Anastasio nods gratefully to Acacia. "Thank you, and the Duke, for the support." And then a nod of agreement with Benjamin. "Each of us come to you with different backgrounds. What one finds to be a conventional treatment in Arx may not be the case from other places."
Olivia blinks at Dawn's words, nodding her head. As Laric speaks, she murmurs to him, "Perhaps we could go with you. There is something to be said for immediate examination. With the proper protection of course?" Her head tilts as Rainier speaks, but she just smiles.
"Good." Calain nods, "So Miss Jessamine will work with Master Anastasio on this, with hopefully the support of the good Duke." He states, "It takes some effort for the King's Own to properly vet and approve someone for visiting the King, for common things it is best simply to relay what you wish to be examined to Lady Dawn or myself, if you think it may be important for you to examine him directly, send me a letter outlining what you want to do and why and I will see what I can do to get you approved."
"And Prince Calain has made it clear that all manner of physical remedies have been tried. I doubt even the Palace physicians think so highly of themselves that they have not reached out for more localized advice." Isolde shakes her head, looking over the gathered, to Anastasio, then, "Master Anastasio, I will look into the matter we discussed. And please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist. I have no small skill in the healing arts, even if they pale in comparison to some." She looks over the others again, nodding slightly. "It is clear to me that my presense here is... more contentious than is practical for such a matter of importance. I serve the Crown in whatever capacity is required, be it research, or ideas filtered through another to more receptive ears." She moves toward the door, touching Acacia's shoulder. "Darling, please let me know what other developments may occur?" She pats her arm, then breezes toward the door, clearly intending to leave.
Silas continues to listen to the rush of voices. He looks approvingly at Acacia and Laric when they chime their interjections. "I think... I will read a book."
Dawn nods to Jessamine and finally, a smile breaks free of her somber mask, offered with full warmth to the young woman. A note is made on the parchment, with those already recorded by her quill. But having said what she had to say, Grayson's Voice is now silent. A glance follows Isolde but no move is made to stay her departure. Another goes towards Laric but doesn't linger there before she bows her head to write again.
Acacia inclines her head lightly towards Isolde, studying her for a moment and then offering in a lower voice, both greeting and farewell, "Your Highness." She eyes Silas for a brief moment, an assessment followed by acknowledgement, and then returns to visually examining the table.
Jessamine bows her head respectfully to Calain and then Dawn, her expression remarkably grave and somber despite how fidgety she is in her seat. She has nothing further to say at this time, it would seem, with her lips as pressed together as they are.
Edain has grown quiet for some time. Truth be told, none of this is his area of expertise. He vastly prefers problems you can solve either be sticking a sword in them, or being really really polite to them. He starts patting himself down until he finds a little piece of sketching charcoal in a belt pouch and preceeds to start making some notes in the margins of the copy of the report that was at his seat. A moment later Edain worries that maybe Calain ment to collect this when he is done, but at the point of no return continues jotting down notes.
"Well I think we have a way forward." Calain notes, "I'm sure we will need to gather again soon to discuss the matter further however, I do thank you all for coming and for sharing your thoughts with us. I'm sure Lady Dawn would agree with me when I say it is much appreciated. Please do feel free to stay and enjoy the refreshments if you like, but I think the formal part of this conference has run it's course, thank you all again."
Isolde is leaving Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room, heading for Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Queenspeace Hall.
Isolde has left the Dining Table.
"Thank you, Mistress Jessamine," Anastasio adds as well. His head inclines to Calain. "And thank you, Prince Calain, for getting this started, even if the outcome is perhaps not what you hoped." He looks over his shoulder to make sure he won't smash Acacia's toes and then scoots his chair back, ready to depart.
"Very much appreciated. Through your minds, with the gods' blessings, we will find a way to cure my brother," Dawn says in the wake of Calain's statement. "Thank you all for coming. If there is anything you need in your investigations, you have only to ask."
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