Foreboding Whispers

Recorded: April 18, 2014
Characters: Beta Ray Bill, Dorna (NPC), Loki, Zerinda (NPC)
Location: Asgard - Road to the Palace
Summary: Loki and Beta Ray happen upon some matron healers discussing an odd trend they've started to notice.

There is constant foot traffic along the road to the palace, mostly from guards, servants and nobles that have business there. Today, a pair of healers joins that procession though they seem distracted by their own conversation. Dorna and Zerinda, head healers of their facilities, aren't normally seen on the same side of town. They practically look like twins in their matching robes of pale blue that denote their authority in the healing arts. It is midday in Asgard and the weather is as perfect as it is expected to be.

Loki is heading back toward the palace, an open book in one hand, an apple in the other. He deftly avoids the healers with some fancy footwork, but then watches them as they continue down their path. What are they doing over here together?" With a shrug, he spins around again and continues on his way.

There is a crack of thunder, and Beta Ray Bill can be seen flying overhead. Though Thor has reclaimed his place as the God of Thunder, Bill did receive his geld in the form of Stormbreaker, which he now holds. Spotting Loki down below, and the healers he's approaching, the Korbinite alters his course, descending towards the group gradually.

The healers continue towards the palace, pausing only to make polite acknowledgement of the Prince as he wanders by. "I think we won't really know for sure until we test the water," Dorna says, trying to keep her voice low but gaining volume in her thoughtfulness. The healers are obviously perplexed by something but don't intend to share it too loudly. No need to cause a panic if there isn't anything to be panicked by.

Loki's sharp hearing picks up the comment about the water and he accidentally inhales a piece of his apple, coughing and choking for a few moments. Regaining his composure, he jogs after them. "Pardon me, ladies. Could you perchance repeat that? What is wrong with the water?"

Bill straightens from his flight, and lands near to Loki, overhearing the last statement, "What, there's something wrong with the water?" He glances between Loki and the healers, blinking in surprise.

Dorna and Zerinda stop in their tracks, surprised at first by the sudden interrogation, then alarmed at the two so freely repeating their words. They look around to make sure no one else has stopped — only a few glance in their direction because of Bill's out-of-place appearance, but otherwise the various processions continue — then the healing matrons step aside so that their conversation is not so easily picked up by passerbys. "Prince Loki. … Ally of Asgard. We were just on our way to seek counsel with the Royal Healer," Zerinda explains. "It is nothing of too great a concern… Just a noticeable trend we wished to report."

"With Eir?" Loki asks, a troubled frown crossing his features. "She's been far too busy for me lately. Perhaps you could tell her I said hello and that I miss her?" He covers his mouth with a fist to cough once more as a scrap of apple peel sticks to his throat. "What sort of trend? And keep your voice down, Bill, it is bad enough you arrive like a stampede." He blinks when he realizes what he said could be taken the wrong way. "You know what I mean."

Bill hmphs, but apparently isn't as quick to offend as others as he lowers his voice, "What seems to be the problem, ladies?" He does a pretty good job of just ignoring Loki for the moment, which might be for the best.

The healing matrons eye Loki when he makes his odd request… But shrug it off as other questions are asked. "It was Zerinda who noticed it first," Dorna admits. "Nobles and guards come to her for their ailments and many have come lately with complaints of fatigue."

"That much is not unusual," Zerinda adds, "but Dorna has also experienced similar requests in great frequency from the shopkeeps and farmhands. We went to check with Matron Jessna at her station, but she too has come down with a similar case of fatigue. We wonder if perhaps the food and water should be examined for foul play." The healers of Asgard are used to physical ailments commonly associated with their warrior culture: Battle injuries, work injuries, hangovers, poisons and the like. For so many to become afflicted in such a way could only mean poison or bad produce.

"Strange," Loki says, falling quiet. He listens to the women, then nods. "I assume you have spoken to the Allmother about this already. I hope you sort it out soon. I have confidence in our healers that you will figure it out."

Bill nods, "When did this begin? Approximately, the reports of fatigue and the like?" He narrows his gaze, looking thoughtful.

Dorna shakes her head at Loki's statement. "We dare not bring this before the queen without solid evidence. That is why we seek the Royal Healer for guidance."

Zerinda replies to Bill. "Not long. Days, perhaps? Though it grows in frequency. That is why we believe the food and water must be tested. Surely if there is a bad harvest or well somewhere, it should be taken care of sooner rather than later."

"I will send word to Vidar to contact you. He would have more information about the farms. Good day, ladies, Bill." looking at his apple, which has suddenly become unappetizing, he tosses it into the air and makes it vanish, retrieving his book and moves on to let Bill speak to them.

Bill considers, "Is there a primary focus of where the people are getting… fatigued? I am no healer, but it seems that if there is a common source, it would have a central geographic location."

The Matron Healers look at each other, then shake their heads. "We are unsure. It is why we did not wish to draw attention to our theory," Dorna admits. "I am sorry, Ally of Asgard, if we do not seem forthcoming with answers. But we should truly be on our way."

Bill nods, "By all means, I do not wish to distract you from your task." He ahems, "And you may, of course, call me Bill." With that, he twirls Stormbreaker and launches himself into the sky, resuming his patrol as he does give off a sense of restlessness.

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