Chapter 3e: Chasing a Tale

On a sunny morning of early September, Konrad hitches up a small pack on his shoulder and takes a small trail out Meden town, heading north towards Oster Church and ultimately Uceste. The trail he is taking doesn't seem to see heavy traffic, although it is clear that some people follow it once in a while. But for the moment, at least, he seems to be the only one heading out on it. A few peasants seem to be heading into town, and a crosses a few of them on the trail. Most of them seem to be carrying large and heavily-ladden baskets on their back. These seem to be loaded with vegetables for the market. A few are pushing small hand carts, also filled with foodstuff destined for the market.

The trip is uneventful, even a bit boring. The young Bonisagus starts moving down from the rockier ground around Meden, about half an hour out of town. From this vantage point he can already see the church of the village he was told is called -- appropriatedly enough -- Oster Church. There are fields and small patches of wood scattered around the village, where you can see peasants working. The village itself has about a score of houses. It only takes Konrand one more hour to get there.

(The man you are looking for is called Heike.)

Konrad walks into town, giving a pleasant greeting to anyone he sees along the way. Once in town, he tries to find someone who might have a moment to talk—a person walking along the street, a woman hanging her wash, a boy playing in the street. Once he finds someone he says hello.

"Good morning," he begins. "As you can probably tell, I'm new around here. I wonder if you could tell me who the local healer is in these parts."

The old woman who is washing clothing by the side of the small stream going though the village, says, "Well, sir, you shou' go see the priest or one of thee' monks. They be the learned ones and they do tend to thee sick. Praise be tho God." Her wrinkled face seems serene, but filled with concern for your well being. She gets up, "Do you need help, sir? Are you sick or wounded?"

"No, thank the Lord," Konrad replies. "I'm new to the island and am a bit of a healer myself. I wanted to introduce myself to the other healers to let them know that I was here to help in time of need. I live just outside of Meden, but it's not that great a distance. should there be trouble."

"I thank you for your time and for your concern, mother. May God bless you and keep you safe. I"ll find the priest at the church and the monks at the monastery, I expect?"

"Ah, well, then all is well. Yes, sir, you will find at least one at the church. Have a good day." The woman goes back to her laundry as Konrad leaves.

When he gets to the church, he only finds an older warden who is busy replacing the candles that light the apse. "The healer? Ah, that would be brother Bernard. You will probably find him in his garden, behind the cemetary."

As he makes his way there, Konrad notices a dozen monks working the fields around the church. He finally locates the herbs garden, where a surprisingly young monk is gathering herbs in bundles, his shaven pate glistening in the sun.

"Good day," says Konrad. "Would you be Brother Bernard? My name is Konrad. I'm new to the island and was looking to meet the others on the island trained in the healing arts. I'm still young and have much to learn. But I have been trained in both chirurgery and medicine to some degree."

"A fellow healer? How nice!" says the monk. "Yes, yes, I am indeed brother Bernard. So nice of you to visit! Where did you study?" The monk ties off the bundle of herb he's been harvesting and puts it into the small basket with the other.

"I studied with a teacher in England," Konrad replies. "Where I lived until recently. My family is in the ship trade, and it took me there. I still have much to learn, of course. But my old master in medicine gave me a book on the subject as a gift when we parted. If it's of interest to you, I could bring it here sometime to let you see it. I haven't had the time to study it carefully myself since I received it, though I hope to have the opportunity to do so soon."

"May I ask, who was it that taught you? Is there a teacher on the island? As I said, I know there is much for me to still learn about the arts of healing."

"Oh, what a coincidence! My noviciate took place in England as well, at Shrewsbury Abbey. It was a monk there who took me under his wing and taught me to use herbs to treat the sick and wounded." The young monk whispers, "I think he was a former soldier, though he seldom spoke of his past." Then the monk blushed and signs himself, before reciting a quick prayer asking forgiveness for gossiping.

"I have a few books, that I copied from the library of Shrewbury, to help me whenever I am faced with something new. But there isn't too much going on around here, thank God, so I've managed well enough since being assigned to Oster Church. Knowing that you are there in Meden will be a blessing, should the need come." The monk smiles, as if your mere presence was a gift from God.

"I'm headed across the island," Konrad adds. "I thought to speak to the monks at the monastery in the fens to see what healers they have. I was also interested in finding out who else might have such skills. As I say, I'm aware of how much there is for me to learn on the subject and am always on the lookout for someone I might be able to learn from. Perhaps you know who might be willing to let me accompany them while they heal the sick and tend to injuries."

OOC: Always on the lookout for someone who would be willing to teach or train me. :slight_smile:

"The fens?" The young monk frowns as he thinks about your question, then his face clears up, "Oh! You mean Buïs Monastery? Well, I don't know who is there, really. It is a cloistered monastery, who set itself up on a more remote place to live a quiet life of prayers. They probably have someone with training as a healer, but I believe most of them have taken a vow of silence."

"Silence, eh?" Konrad replies. "I hadn't realized that. Perhaps I need not bother them. But do you know of any other healers outside of the faith community? I'm always on the lookout for who might be able to help with a difficult situation or who might have something to teach me."

Bernard looks at you as if the idea of a non-clergy healer running around the island was strange, "Well, not that I know of. I've heard that there is a medica serving lord Knud, but I am pretty sure he is his confessor as well."

"Well, I thank you for your time," Konrad says at last. "I was going to continue my circuit of the island to get a better feel for my new home. If you should need my help in any way, you can usually find me with the new colony of natural philosophers near the town of Meden."

"Good day sir, and my the Lord accompany you in your journey."

"God be with you as well," Konrad replies.

OOC: Make a circuit through the village, asking for the best way to get to Uceste.

OOC: Konrad is told to just follow the river. There's a small footpath.

OOC: Then that's what he'll do. Following the path he'll take a piece of bread from his pack and munch on that as he walks down the river path.

After two more hours of walking, Konrad notices another village, but this one is on the other side of the river. There are people working in the small fields along the north bank, as well as a few more throwing nets into the river, then dragging them back to collect the small fishes who get caught in them. Farther north, there is a line of smallish tree growing along and on the rockier ground. On the tip of the rocky ground, there is a wooden watchtower, tall but rather flimsy-looking.

There is little activity on your side of the river, where it is mostly brush and wild plants that grow. The ground is rather sandy and poor. There's no bridge that crosses the river. From what you remember, this is probably the village of Sellum. The river has been turning westward and Uceste should be about another hour away.

Konrad offers greetings to whomever he meets, acting friendly and courteous, and identifying himself as a healer new to the island. But he doesn't stop in Sellum unless one of the locals offers to take him across the river.