If Lotye had had a plan, it would have ended in disaster. Unfortunately, the fact that she did not have one didn’t change the end result one bit. Sure, point one of the agenda was a success. After her tackle Jeneyeru was out of the immediate danger of being eaten alive. That only left being crushed to death by one of the beast’s terrible talons, being showered in acid and being lighted like a bonfire. But, as if Caillech had had some cruel fun planning out the fate of her champion, it was a far more unlikely danger that was to threaten the wizard’s life.
The dagger came out of nowhere, though Lotye knew she had seen one like it before, on board of the Calinda. It could just as well have hit me. She realised in a split-second that things would look very different had she been up that moment in their entangled act of rolling around on the uneven ground. That probably would have been better. It wasn’t that Lotye would have preferred the dagger to stick in her side, but the fact was that both of them were on the ground, still much too close to the dragon, that Jeneyeru was hurt badly and that there was nothing she could do. Or at least there was nothing she could think of right there.
The Captain and the lookout rushed in to help the Lord Magus. It reminded Lotye where she had seen that throwing dagger before, but there was no time to think deeper about it. “Anybody here a medic!?” Well, yes … Still, she found herself looking for someone else to react to the question. She knew a few things, but she was no healer. She had tended to cuts and broken bones before, she had cured a cold with a bit of magic help, but she certainly was no expert in field medicine, much less under these circumstances. But no one reacted. I’ll have to do it, she realised with a sudden, new fear. Not because of the dragon, not because of the danger for her own life, but because she was afraid to make a mistake.
Lotye got up. Weak protests, curses and the sound of bones being adjusted from underneath her answered the unasked question on where Thimble had been during all of the last few moments. A short glance over her shoulder showed Lotye that the Faerie was squished and tattered, but still better off than his master. She crawled over to where Jeneyeru was bleeding out and kneeled down next to Captain Lafitte and Ionas Farseer. With some bewilderment she noticed that the Captain had seemingly poured rum all over the wounded elf.
“Better take a sip of that yourself, looks like you could use it. I’ll try to help and stabilise him.”, she said to the Captain.
She examined the wound, though there wasn’t much to say about it. A dagger in someone’s side is a dagger in someone’s side. Now, if I only knew what to do in a situation like this. Ionas’s comments had been more than correct, at least for the moment. Right now, the lookout’s experience with injuries proved to be far more useful than her limited knowledge of healing magic. One more short look at the bleeding wound and Jeneyeru’s face turning more and more grey every second and then Lotye started to rummage through her bag and through her memories at the same time. Dev Gevyot, the old dwarven healer, hadn’t taught her much and she had learned even less. Still, there were some things she knew. Her hand was the first to find something, though. It emerged from the Bag of Holding with a small pouch of a revitalising powder, made from grounded herbs and minerals. Not really suited to the problem at hand, so she threw it to Thimble, who could probably use a good pinch of it. The next item she found was the vial of purifying potion she had bought on the market in Sesus. That fitted right with the plan she had laid out in her head now.
“Keep the pressure, but give me enough space to tend to the wound.”, she said to Ionas, surprising herself with how calm she sounded, which gave the nervousness just the right moment to attack again. “Let’s hope I learned more than I remember.”
Without a lot of fuss, Lotye poured the potion on the wound. The purifying potion certainly was a better disinfectant than the rum and together with some of the herbs in her bag, it would help to ease the bleeding. Having applied them, her hands were slippery with blood. Unceremoniously, she wiped them off on her clothes. She needed them now. Taking a deep breath, she tried to remember the right words. She had used simple spells like this a hundred times, but never on this scale. She wasn’t sure how much that would change. Running her fingers around the edge of the wound, she began to whisper in Atultaec. The spell was meant to close the wound and to speed up natural healing. Suddenly, Lotye faltered. Her hands began to shake. She began again, this time more loudly. A soft warmth flowed through her fingertips. She tried to focus all of her aura on this one task, closing her eyes and shutting out everything surrounding her. And then it was done.
She opened her eyes again. The wound still looked exactly the same. Because of all the blood around it, she couldn’t tell whether it was still bleeding or not. The dagger was still firmly lodged in the flesh. There was no way to tell whether she was successful without removing it. He’ll bleed out if I screwed up … But they couldn’t just leave it like that, not if they wanted to move Jeneyeru.
Without really taking notice of the basket being lowered behind her and the preparations to lift Jeneyeru out of the forest or the storm, Lotye readied some bandages, pouring a small rest of the purifying potion on the patch that would cover the wound. Then she turned to Ionas again:
“We’ll have to take it out. If you pull out your dagger, I’ll dress the wound. It’ll have to go over quickly and I don’t really know if it is the best course of action. But if we don’t, we’ll probably injure him even more when we’re moving him.”