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Visiting a Grieving Mother (Ellowyn, Ka'Ri, Sithani)

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She blinks at the offered food, then shakes her head. "Thank you. I am not hungry at the moment. But please, feel free."
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"Thank you."

Sithani takes the opportunity to eat the muffin - and seriously, I need to find out where Ka'Ri got these - before saying, "If there's anything we can do for you besides the actual mission..."
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Laerdya looks up sharply at this. "The mission. Yes. I am... refining my approach." She runs a fingernail along her narrow jawline, looking troubled. "Luther doesn't like my plan with the griffons. He's careful not to say so, but I can tell. He thinks an ambush will be suspected. I'm sure I can make it work if I just get the disguises right..." Her voice trails away, lost in thought.
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Sithani nods. "I can see the risk. But we've been thinking, and if they do suspect an ambush, well, we're trying to work out a way to figure out where they're holding your daughter. You mentioned she's sickly - does she take medicines regularly? Would her captors need to keep her supplied?"
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"Oh!" Laerdya frowns and looks stricken. "Yes. Yes, she is. She's always been a frail child. Here, come with me, dear."

She leads them over to Gwynnestri's vanity and pulls out a drawer which is almost overflowing with little bottles. "Balsam bark for digestion," she explains, setting out the bottle on the table. "Sweth for urine. Clary seed for inflammation and bile. Hart's Tongue--the root, not the leaves--for bloody flux. Actious..." She frowns and digs through the drawer, her already frantic nerves making her delicate hands shake. "I can't find her Actious. That one is very important. The servants must have moved it. Orpine, that's for stomach ulcers. Water-nuts. Blue-bottle. Comfrey. And, oh, several of these are for daily vitamins and such, you understand." Her voice trails away, pained. "She must be in so much pain."
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Ellowyn takes out a pencil and small pad of paper they carry for when blueprint inspiration hits and begins writing in their personal notation style something part technical jargon part gnomish part common and part halfling. Indesipherable to anyone who didn't have the time to crack it.

They then stop and ask gently " ma'am can we go over a timeline of when she would need each of these pills through the day and what exactly actious is for?"
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Ka'Ri compiles a mental list of the various medications. It was clear that Actious was taken with them, so that was the only one they felt couldn't be easy to replace, a good start for when her and Thimb hit the market stalls.

She also felt a bit uneasy. She was expecting the others to be more focused on comfort and it was clear from her shaking hands that Laerdya was in desperate need of some. That wasn't exactly her strong suit, or at least she didn't believe it was her strong suit, nonetheless, she saw a lot of familiarity in that panicked overwork and anxiety.

She offered her hand to Laerdya in case she wanted something to hold.
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Laerdya doesn't seem to notice Ka'Ri's offered hand, distracted by Ellowyn's question and the bottles spread out before them. "Actious? It's... she has to take it daily or she gets so thin. And we get ants in the lavatories. She can survive without it, but not long; it's one reason why I'm so frantic to get her back as soon as possible... The balsam is daily at night; sweth is twice daily, morning and night; clary is after eating," she rattles off slowly, her finger brushing each bottle. "Umm. Hart's Tongue is as needed. Orpine is daily, in the mornings. The rest of them are daily in the morning or as needed."

Medicine 10:
Actious is an unusual herb which can be prepared in a variety of ways to treat various mental and physical conditions, but the 'ants in the lavatories' is a vital clue that Gwynnestri has a honey-urine disease (diabetes) which must be managed with medication. Without it, she will die.

Basalm bark and Orpine are probably legitimate needs and point to stomach ulcers, which might or might not be a matter of stress. If she has stomach ulcers, Clary and Hart's Tongue would manage digestion symptoms when the stomach is irritated. Uncomfortable, but not lethal.

Sweth, Blue-bottle, Comfrey, Water-nuts, and the rest of the drawer are probably a collection of things which make the girl (or her mother) feel better for trying rather than being actually beneficial in their own virtue (placebos). Laerdya is renowned for curing plagues, so she may well be aware that these 'vitamins' are of limited use, but employing them anyway out of hope.
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(medicine check was 18+5 = 23)

At this Ellowyn pales at their realisation. Now they understood the urgency in Laerdyas voice the stress and the pain.

Ellowyn can't help themselves when they hug Laerdya fiercely. "I'll make sure I have some of all her medications for when we find her okay."
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"Thank you," she replies limply, boneless under the impulsive hug. "I just don't want her to suffer."
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Medicine check:
4. Sithani knows people can get ill.

If this actious is so important, then its absence might suggest Korogur took it along with Gwynnestri. If these others are common - well, Ellowyn seems to know what Laerdya's talking about, so they can bring it up at the meeting.

She places her hand on Laerdya's shoulder in comfort. "Her captors will need her alive; I'm sure they'll try and get your daughter what she needs." Or they've killed her already, but I'm sure professional crime families need a reputation for keeping hostages alive, right? "And they'll have to be getting this stuff from somewhere."
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(Medicine check: 17 + 2 = 19)

Ka'Ri nodded and backed off from Laerdya. It made sense to her that she would rather accept the comfort of a friend of a friend than some dirty pirate.

She had suspected ever since the Actious comment, but the ants in the lavatory sealed it. So Gwynn had the same honey urine problem Karl did.

They always had such bother making sure they always had enough stocked on ship, even if they ran into uncooperative ports.

"Ma'am," Ka'Ri interrupted. "I understand your fears. I have a dear friend with that malady. I know it's not my place, but I know that he often requires certain snacks when he feels tired and lethargic. Does your daughter have any particular treats she prefers for those moments?"
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Laerdya blinks and looks up, her eyes clearing a little at Ka'Ri's past experience with her daughter's malady. "Oh! Well, she loves the little honey-cakes they sell in the market," she explains, softening. "Luther brings them sometimes so she'll have one at dinner. And she has an allowance to buy sweets when she visits the temple of Yondalla every week. She's supposed to snack on nuts and eggs and such things which won't set off her delicate temperament, but she detests nuts unless they're those roasted dark pine-nuts you can only get from Darkwater. Those she'll eat. There's a merchant in the marketplace, I think."
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Ellowyn let's go of Laerdya after their impulsive hug.

They return to writing everything down. Making sure to note about the snacks letting their brain work through the options.

(Medicine check to see if Ellowyn knows any other alternatives besides snacks and actious can be used to help manage gwyns conditions 6+5=11)
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Ka'Ri makes another mental note. That was definitely an import to keep her eye on.

She balked for a moment before her next question. "Um... did Gwynn have a particular way of checking her... uh levels?"

She knew Karl had his own method and really struggled to figure out how to phrase it to the posh wizard in front of her. It's not really easy to ask hey, does your daughter taste her own piss or does she have another method of checking that stuff?

"Like is there some sort of posh thing for that or does she... uh... do the method for the... you know what, forget I said anything."

Ka'Ri blushed violently and averted her eyes. She knew she was no damn good at this tactiful stuff.
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Laerdya turns to dig through the drawer and pulls out a paper envelope containing dozens of little white paper strips. "She has test strips, but hasn't had to use them very often since we got her dose set to the right levels," she explains weakly, looking weary again. "Once every day or so has been fine. When we get her back, she'll probably have to go to seven times a day until her system levels out. She'll hate that, but..." Her voice trails away.

Ellowyn doesn't recall anything extra or unusual; actious, when prepared properly, does a good job of managing the illness effectively.
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Oh thank you, Osprem! She silently prayed for herself, taking the strips in hand.

"Do you have a favored supplier for these," she asked. She knew with Actious, there was a marked decrease in the amount of times one had to test, but also knew from days when a promising port failed to pay out, where Karl had to be a bit more... fastidious. If something went wrong in the supply, then they might have had to raid old suppliers.

"Does she have a favored form of exercise?" She knew that Karl liked to swim outside the boat sometimes at a leisurely pace just to aid with everything.
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"There's a woman in the marketplace," she explains weakly. "Um. I don't remember her name. I don't deal directly with vendors."

At the question of exercise, she looks confused bordering on appalled. "She is delicate," she repeats.
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Very gently to take the heat off of ka'ri because Ellowyn could see that Laerdya was upset they ask Laerdya "do you have a list of the ingredients in Gwyn's actious? It might be that the scoundrels that took her could be manufacturing their own so as not to draw suspicions. And would Luther know the names of the relevant vendors? Also ma'am one last thing but did Gwyn have any friends or peers someone she may have confided in?"
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"And do you know who sells the nuts?" Sithani asks.
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Ka'Ri opened her mouth as if to protest. Of course she didn't mean some intense contact sport like {INSERT LOCAL TEAM-BASED SPORT HERE}, she meant more like walking, light jogging, or swimming. Karl always said it was necessary to make sure it didn't spread to his leg like it did his grandfather.

But then a thought stopped her. She remembered the diary entries, Laerdya's continued comments on Gwynn, and the drawer filled with remedies that sounded more like snake oils she had learned to steer clear of than actual medicines.

Holy shit on a sealion, she treats Gwynn as if she's an incapable child, one who will shatter if you were to touch her. She's... overly protective.

The notion was baffling. Her own parents were the opposite of invested and protective and by the time she had joined the crew, she had well-learned the sort of love that allowed the greatest degree of freedom. Someone who smothered another out of concern was way out of her daily experiences, but it reminded her of Toph, the blind ropes expert who had escaped onto their ship a few years ago.

How much of this room was Gwynn's and how much was Laerdya's desperation to avoid accepting her growing up. No wonder she was so willing to up and leave with a pirate in the middle of the night.

Okay, she thought, a different approach then.

"My apologies, your ladyship, I meant no harm or offense. Perhaps a better question is did she have some type of comfort object or type of desired item. Something that always made her feel better during long days in her room?"

Besides the books that gave her a taste of freedom whenever she could sneak out.
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Laerdya looks overwhelmed by this battery of questions. "I... I told you, I don't deal with vendors," she explains to a spot on the far wall, her gaze faraway. "I hardly leave the tower; people crowd me when I visit the marketplace, asking for cures I don't have on me. I don't distribute them, I just invent them. Luther will know the man's name, probably? He handles our finances, Gwynnestri's and mine. Parcels out her allowances for temple days, pays for medicine and snacks, that sort of thing. As for ingredients..." She pauses and jots down several herbal names on Ellowyn's pad of paper, her hand-writing fluid and beautiful elvish.

Ka'Ri's question seems to confuse her. "All her things here," she says, gesturing around the pink frilly room. "She loved this room. And, well, Yondalla, I suppose. She visits every week, like a good grateful child should."
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"thank you ma'am I think we can take it from here with the information you've provided us unless anyone else has other questions. If not ma'am the final thing is do you know where Luther is likely to be right now?"

Ellwoyn gently sidles up to sithani "I'm hoping you can read elvish, I don't want to make any assumptions"

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"He's... around," she says, old anger flickering in her eyes as she's forced to consider the location of the man. "I'm sure you'll find him."
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Gods, what a miserable life that must be. No, that's unfair; I suppose for her, magic research is like philosophy. Gwynnestri, though... Sithani has heard a lot about how children should be grateful.

To Ellowyn, she responds, "Fully fluent in it. And thank you for not making assumptions."
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