The Cure

The Cure

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
"

Queen Eioldth and Siris look for Zeatt.

"

41.

The Cure

 

Aeric and Alis were not the only ones seeking the Priestess of Yesh, for Queen Eioldth and Siris had witnessed the spell and were told by several guards that the Reverend Mother had cast the spell from the roof of the Ducal Keep, before ordering everyone on the roof with her to leave.  The two pregnant women climbed the four levels of stairs; Siris without much effort due to her Orc stamina and extremely active lifestyle, but the Queen matched her respectfully, only slightly out of breath as they prepared to open the trap door to the roof.

“I hope she’s okay.”  Siris told the Queen, “She has seemed rather ‘strained’ the past few days, if you know what I mean.”

“Well, she has been through a lot the past few weeks; perhaps that is all it is.   Either way, shall we go and see if she’s up there?”

“Sure.”

The Elf and Orc ladies pushed the heavy trap door upwards together, the cold blast of wintery air assaulting them, along with a hint of a strange smell.   It seemed much like coffee beans, but stronger yet still pleasant.   The two women looked at each other puzzled, and popped their heads out to look around the roof.

***

Zeatt heard the trap door open, for the seventh time in the hour and a half that she had sat up there, smoking the Dart’loxinchu cigarettes one after another, as she stared off into the snowy darkness, feeling helpless, shameful and sinful.   

“Go away, please!”  She said rather crossly without turning around to see who had come onto the roof.   “I told the last guards that came up here that I’ll keep watch for anything.   I’m a Drow, for Yesh’s sake, I can see at night better than any of you, so it will be alright; trust me.   Just leave me alone, please.”

“Matron Zeatt?”   Eioldth asked, surprised to see the Priestess of Yesh seated on the edge of the parapet, smoking what she believed was called either a cigar or cigarette by the humans in the southern lands that grew the noxious pipeweed.

Upon hearing the Queen’s voice, Zeatt very limberly jumped to her feet, holding the Dart’loxinchu out over the Parapet as if was a dangerous snake.

“Your Majesty, Siris, please stay where you are.”

“Zeatt, what’s wrong?”   Eioldth asked, noting the panicked look on her face.

“Nothing… it’s just that I-I’m smoking… I’m sorry, I know it’s awful, but this is Dart’loxinchu and it is highly addictive to women, especially Elven women, but Orcs as well.   And it could endanger your pregnancies, so please don’t come up here; I don’t want to cause either one of you any harm.”

“Dart’loxinchu…” Siris said, trying to remember what she had heard years ago about it.

“Yes” Zeatt stood with her head slightly hanging in shame and for an instant she seemed ready to throw the tube of the drug off the edge of the parapet, but she hesitated, not wanting a townsperson or even worse, a child, finding the drug.

“Dart’loxinchu?”  Queen Eioldth asked, climbing up onto the roof, “Do you mean ‘Mother’s Touch’?   It is the bark from the Faesidhe tree!”

“Yes”, Zeatt seemed very frustrated, “I know this, Your Majesty; it is a Drow drug, inhaled and very addictive.   Women who smoke it cannot bear male children, and I do not know what the effect is on a woman who is already pregnant.   So please, do not get too near.”

Eioldth just smiled and walked toward her, “Zeatt, you have nothing to worry about.   Before my people separated from the Faesidhe, I and my mother often aided Faesidhe ladies in childbirth.   My mother was the chief midwife of the Elves.   They would burn the bark in the birthing chambers as it aided childbirth.”

“It’s addictive, Your Majesty, trust me, I know!   My people found the tree’s base in the Underdark and harvested the bark.   Thousands of Drow women are hopelessly addicted to it right now, not to mention tens of thousands of slave women of the Drow; all because of my family’s peddling the drug!”   Zeatt swallowed away tears, “Please, Your Majesty, I know what exposure to the smoke does; I-I’m addicted to it.”

Eioldth came up to her, still smiling gently, and took the hand not holding the Dart’loxinchu.

“Zeatt, the midwives and the mother in the birthing chamber were usually exposed to very concentrated amounts of the smoke if the labor went long.   We would leave, only to have withdrawal symptoms a few hours later.   But we found a cure.”

Zeatt’s mouth fell open, “A cure?!   Do you mean for the addiction?”

“Yes.   The Faesidhe are not fond of drugs of any sort, you see.   The midwives found that a tea brewed from water soaked in leaves from the branches of the Faesidhe tree, that bore the red fruit each summer, would cure the addiction if drank for several days.   It is a bitter tasting tea, not pleasant to drink at all, but it works.”

 

For a very long moment, Zeatt just stared at the Queen, taking it all in.

“But you don’t have access now to the Faesidhe tree.”  She finally said.

The Queen grinned and raised her eyebrows, “Don’t be so sure.   Oh, I can’t get access to the fruit - the Keepers of the Fruit keep too close of a watch on that.   But several of my mother’s friends stayed with the Faesidhe and still serve as midwives.   Last summer when King Haroldris and I visited them, I was allowed to take 200 leaves from the tree for medicinal potions.   I have a handful of them with me in our quarters.   I’ll brew you some tea.”

“But I’ve been addicted for over 100 years.”  Zeatt protested.

Eioldth shrugged, “It would take one leaf to cure the addiction of a midwife; we’ll add more leaves - as many as you need to end your addiction.   If you truly want to end it.”

“Yes!”  Zeatt said excitedly, her mind racing at the thought of finally being free of the drug, “I can’t believe it is possible.   All these years…”

“You should have mentioned it when we corresponded back and forth; I could have arranged to have some sent to you in Aeropolis.”

“I never knew.  All those years of embarrassment and guilt.   I drove myself crazy hiding it from almost everyone; I felt so weak and hypocritical, but I was so hooked.”  Zeatt shook her head, still dumbfounded at the revelation.

“You should have not tried to hide it from everyone " there is usually a way to combat most addictions, and you’d be surprised how sympathetic most people are to those battling addictions.”

Zeatt just nodded and threw down the remainder of the Dart’loxinchu cigarette onto the roof and crushed it into the snow, feeling for the first time in a long time a sense of hope.  

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


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Added on December 6, 2013
Last Updated on May 27, 2014
Tags: Elf, Drow, Cleric, Fantasy, Adventure, magic, undead, wizards

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 2: The Knights of Northmarch


Author

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO



About
I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

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