Secret Healing Pt:1-A Tale from the Past

(OOC-A Joint Post with Rosmary, LSP, and Thaen)

112 years ago

Shade carried Draken over his shoulder, trying his best to keep his master alive, only being able to stabilize him. The attack of the witch had taken a toll on Draken, causing him to have dreams about ruling the kingdom.Of course her attack allowed the dark mage to get an opening to escape. Once they were out of the dungeons, Shade used his magic to teleport them up on a nearby rooftop in the capital, but they somehow ended up in the middle of a vast garden.

"This should be a good spot, masking our magic will make it nearly impossible to find us." Shade carefully laid down Draken. He began to think of a plan, and what to do.

Above the two fugitives, violet blossoms hung from a leafy locust tree amid fluffy, golden-yellow catkins from a poplar that dangled over their heads like caterpillars. The garden was a wilderness of the most beautiful of flowers and trees that had been coaxed with passion, loving care, and magic into lush bloom even in this waning season of the year. The plant life ran the gamut from large bushy shrubs bearing edible fruits and berries to variegated flowers from all across the Two Kingdoms. There were towering hibiscus and geraniums to beds of pure white lilies, pink orchids, and riotous pansies whose complimentary hues and tones blended together in pleasing, if chaotic juxtaposition.

Orla's favourite part of the garden was a small but stunning forestscape that served as a little piece of home away from her faerie glen in Verden, containing the same distinctive variety of vegetation and rich soil as the Skeldergate Forest there. Between the trees was a hidden fountain constructed to look like a natural spring. She knelt to fill a clay watering pot and then strode a pathway down to a row of blue roses whose bulbs she had purchased at Horo's Curios shop some months ago. As she absently cupped their cerulean petals and leaned down to inhale their exotic fragrance, her mystical psionic senses detected an intrusion... the presence of unnanounced strangers.

Setting the watering pot down, she followed the winding path toward her mysterious visitors. She showed no hesitation or fear. Dalen could be an exceedingly dangerous place, and despite her long life span she was as mortal as any other person, but she knew it would really take some doing for anyone to harm her here in her place of power; she could feel the pulsations of divine magic emanating from the surrounding trees and plants, feel Fernoia's strength flowing through her like a river, able to be harnessed at her will or whim.

When Orla rounded a bend on the path she spied a pair of unusual figures, a dark and ghostly fellow supporting another shorter man who boasted a head of snowy white hair despite his youthful face. Taking a breath, she enacted her Faerie sight and discerned they were both men of demonic heritage. She knew very little about the infernal world but could tell they were both of a different breed to each other and that the younger, injured one was only half-demon; though the demon half was quite potent, she noted from his aura, as if he had been sired by a great lord of the nine hells. Strangely, Orla felt no threat from them at all, and she was reminded that not all demons, or those with demon blood, were necessarily evil.

Shade couldn't sense anything besides the potent magic of the gardens. He looked over the plants, "Let's see, where is wolfsbane?" The shadow demon looked around the gardens until he found what he was looking for, using his magic he crushed the flower into a black power. Walking back to his Lord he sprinkled the dust over the magical wound, which let out a sizzling noise upon touching the magical wound. Draken groaned in pain and the wound seemed to worsen. Shade touched Draken's forehead,

"This is bad, that witch's magic can't be healed by my power. There is no one who will be willing to heal him in time." However his senses finally kicked in when he sensed another's presence, masked by the garden. Shade created two sickles made of shadows. He got on the defensive, looking for anything that would be an attacker.

For a few moments Orla looked on, taking in the entire scene, then stepped out from the cover of the leafy foliage, knowing she hardly presented a threatening aspect. She had a very slight build, small-boned and delicate. In height she probably barely reached five feet two inches. A light sleeveless frock hung to her knees; dainty heel-less satin sandals covered her almost freakishly tiny feet.

“You might want to try dittany or perhaps a pinch of lavender,” she said with her hands raised, showing she meant no harm. “The former is good at counteracting poisons, the latter is better at relieving burns and inflammations; both herbs are even more effective if they're enchanted with magic to make their healing properties stronger. But choosing the right herb to heal your friend all depends on what ails him. May I take a look?”

Shade raised his sickles, "Why should I allow you to do so?" He kept himself calm as he looked at the woman before him. After seeing what she was he lowered his sickles, "You are Orla, a faerie elf. Why in the world would you help us?" Shade might have not been well known in this world but he knew her. When he was a mortal man, before his descent of demon hood. However it was a long time, something that was forgotten by many, not for Shade. During his time as a member of the assassin guild of Verden for it's darker practices.

Draken slowly opened his eyes, "Shade, allow her to look. Looking hasn't harmed me before."

Shade looked at his master, "You're awake?"
Draken gave a slight groan. "Barely, you panicking woke me up. Damn that witch."

Shade looked at Orla before finally putting his sickles away, grudgingly.

Orla had made a modest name for herself in the Dalen capital selling long-lasting flowers at reasonable prices and performing occasional landscaping work at the homes of the nobility, but she was surprised that Shade not only knew her name but that she was a faerie elf. Faerie elves were a relatively obscure race that lived mainly in the forests in Verden. Curiously, she wondered if they had met somewhere before, but she could not recall meeting anyone that looked like him.

She saw Shade's wariness, and smiled at him reassuringly. “You don't know me as well as you think you do if you believe I would harm your friend. Besides, I'm a gardener, and we're caregivers by nature. I would never turn away someone in need of help.” She stepped past him and knelt down beside Draken to examine his wounds. She frowned with concern, quickly recognising that they were serious and life-threatening.

Orla turned to Shade, her eyes wide with worry. “What happened? Who did this?”

Draken's wound was much like a burn mark, however around the burn was a clear signature of dark magic, with inky veins coming from the wound and slowly growing on him. Draken looked at Shade then at Orla, "A witch attacked me after I called her out for her lies and maybe insulted her."

Shade looked directly at Draken, "You called her a filthy rat faced swine."

Draken couldn't help but smile, "She was one, I wasn't lying."

Shade looked around the area, "Think you can heal him?" He didn't trust Orla, he knew what her race was capable of, but he never trusted anyone any more, except Draken. Only because the boy had so much potential and could become something terrifying in time. Like father like son.

Orla first smiled at their banter, not realising who exactly they were referring to, but then she quieted, her expression turning grave. The wounds inflicted on Draken were all-too mortal and the infection needed to be treated swiftly and appropriately lest he soon die.

“I think I can,” she answered. “But a herbal remedy might not be strong enough, not even with my added enchantments. Only a powerful healing spell has any hope of countering something this dreadful.”

She had one spell stored in her mind for extreme emergencies, and without further thought she began the high-level incantation, calling upon her deity, Fernoia, the Goddess of the Wilds, of Life, Nature, and Chaos. Her musical voice rose and fell as she recited the words. The divine power came forth at once, flowing like a torrent out of her small hands and fingers into Draken's stricken body, enveloping it in a haze of blue-white radiance that left him calmed and benumbed. Shade saw the inky black veins visible along the wounds start to slowly fade, the dark magic dispelled in wisps of smoke, and then the wounds themselves began to close over and heal very rapidly until the skin finally became smooth and unmarked with no sign of ever being injured.

Orla drew in a steadying breath as the magical light finally died away, carrying away with it the electrifying presence of her deity that withdrew into the surrounding ether of the garden. It was rare she wielded such mighty magicks and for a moment a tingled daze filled her mind and body, the indescribable exhilarating rush of being her goddess’s divine instrument. Then she came back to herself and looked down at Draken and saw the healing had worked; she was pleased and a little relieved, since she had never healed anyone of infernal blood and could not be sure if Fernoia would bestow her grace on the young man who was not one of her own children or followers.

Draken sat up and patted the healed wound, "Good as new!"

Shade walked over to them. "Thank you Orla for healing him."

Draken smiled at her, "Much appreciated." The young man attempted to sit up, but almost fell, his warden catching him.

"Seems like we both need to rest, our magic has been used up."

Draken gave a nod, "So looks like we will be staying in the gardens until our magic recovers?"

Shade gave a small nod. "We need rest my Lord, I used the last of my magic to get us to safety, I also don't think we want to run into Archer or Kalena again."

“Archer Craine and Kalena Valade?” Orla's eyes opened in alarm. “They are some very dangerous people. Why are they after you?”

The two looked at Orla, Draken gave a tired smile. "We know that. And it's a long story how we ran into them."

Shade sighed, "My Lord came here to help with a murdered baron problem, however due to his record in Verden we were thrown into the dungeon. We waited to speak with them again but it seemed like they wanted us to rot."

Draken cleared his throat, "Or they just didn't realize that the witch could use her blasted magic."

Shade gave a nod. "That is a possibility."

“You're most fortunate you found your way here to me,” Orla said, still wondering who they were exactly. The younger one was addressed as a superior possibly by virtue of his lineage that suggested he was the progeny of a great demon lord of the Abyss. “You can both stay and rest, but you must keep out of sight in case any of my customers should see you and report me for harbouring fugitives. I would let you sleep downstairs in my flat, but I think it would be best if you remained up here in the garden. Its magicks will shield you from any scrying or location spells, save perhaps those cast by Enanth Stormcrow.”

Draken gave her a charming smile, "Thank you for your kindness, Orla."

Orla smiled back. “Of course. You're most welcome."

Shade gave her a nod before placing Draken under a tree to rest. Shade looked at her, "I might have not known you truly in my past life Orla, but I knew enough when we last met."

“What do you mean?” Orla looked at Shade curiously, having no recollection of ever meeting him before. She propped a hand under her chin and studied his face, searching for any familiar characteristic.

Draken slowly drifted to sleep, Shade however, ignoring Orla's question, knelt down to a black rose, "A rarity, there was a time I would have killed anyone to get one of these, now I see it as a simple plant, that's all it is. Humans might see it as gold, but it's no different than any other rose, just a different color." He lightly flicked it in boredom.

“No different to you, perhaps, but most things have meaning, and many flowers and plants have secret meanings known only to the initiated. Sometimes, like life though, you can choose what meaning you want to give something, depending on how it makes you feel,” Orla remarked vaguely, still wondering where he knew her from. She was torn between wanting to try to figure it out on her own and simply asking him, straight out, when they met previously. She was growing more and more curious about that.


Seeing the lightshow a short distance away, Archer Craine, the Queen's Champion, motioned with his head to Kalena to look, giving her the ‘follow me’ with his hands, then he moved quickly through the narrow alley until they reached the origin of the flash.

“Interesting,” Archer thought aloud before raising his ear to listen for sound. Though he heard nothing. He glanced at his companion who had volunteered to help capture the two fugitives. "Now, Kalena, I don't want you bursting in and scaring everyone like you did at that inn..."

Kalena shook her head in exasperation. "That is one story that has very much grown in the telling..."

Rapping on the wooden door with the back of his knuckles, Archer called out “Ms Carling,” loud enough that Orla would hear him on the roof or inside. “Is everything alright? We have a few questions we need to ask you. It’s for your safety and the safety of others. I’m sorry we are bothering you so late, but it is important. Your life could be in danger...”

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