Mara’s Message

(OOC: Set shortly before the Gathering 1112, written by Russ Phillips and Dorian Grey)

Elrood smiled at Fionnuala as he sat down at the table, lunch in one hand, message in the other. As he chewed on his food, he opened the message and started to read. Fionnuala didn’t pay much attention to the frown on his face, knowing that he sometimes found reading difficult.

“Fucking hell, does no-one ever actually listen to me?” said Elrood quietly.

“What?” asked Fionnuala.

Elrood indicated the message. “It’s from Mara, our current master healer. Apparently she’s never heard me swear before. Evidently she’s never heard me speak. Or maybe she just blocks it out like Lenia does.”

Fionnuala blinked. “Did she send you a message just to say that?”

“No,” said Elrood, concentrating, “I’m still reading the rest.” Then, after a pause, “Fuck me. The University of Fucking Fuckwits turned someone into a vampire. In the middle of a battle.”

“Bugger.” Fionnuala considered this some more. “How?”

“Sounds like they have some sort of curse. Mara reckons it normally takes a year to complete, but they sped it up with a rite. It’s curable, as long as we get to it before it completes, but it’s not easy.” Elrood read a little more. “Bloody hell, Mara, I know you spend a lot of time at the guild, but do you really have to be as bloody incompetent as them?”

“My goodness,” Fionnuala said mildly. “Whatever has she done?”

“Apparently the cure is six total heal spells, or six cure fatal spells. But she’s not bothered to tell me where to cast the cure fatals. Typical bloody healers’ guild – they just assume everyone has high bloody healing, so they don’t worry about little things like where to cast a chuffing spell.”

“Possibly a simple ‘detect pattern effects’ would tell you.”

Elrood took a drink and a deep breath. “Probably, yes.”

“In fact,” she added thoughtfully, “there’s a good chance it depends on where they cast the curse on the victim in the first place.”

“Maybe. I must admit, I know nothing about curses.” Elrood read a little more, then, “Hell’s teeth. The guild’s Grandmaster is trapped on the plane of unlife. He’s an incompetent idiot, but still, that’s not something I’d wish on anyone.”

“Goodness, no. How on earth did he even get there? And why?”

“Apparently the Fuckwits have allied with Satuun, and Stalik is in Satuun’s crown box, whatever the hell that is. I assume they grabbed him and took him off.”

“Ohhh-kay. Well, I daresay that will keep the guild occupied for the next while.” Fionnuala picked up her coffee and made a face. “Yuck. It’s gone lukewarm and horrible.”

Elrood picked up both mugs. “I’ll get us some more. And then I’d better make some notes, so that I know what to tell the healers when we get to Orkneyjar. I don’t want anyone getting this one wrong.”

“Okay. And I need to go back to work too…” She paused, looking at him worriedly.

He grinned. “Yes, I know. I promise not to get cursed. To be honest, I’ve no idea what would happen if I did – I’m dedicated to Celestial. Maybe I’d just die instead. I know, I know. I’m not allowed to die if you’re not there.”

“And don’t you forget it.”