Turenay, Dochein hanre, seventh week of Mizran
Done travelling! Much has happened, and I didn't have time to make
many notes, because I have spent the nights writing a long, long
letter to my beloved lord husband.
Staying with me in our house are Cynla, Khisif, her children Jilan and
Lédu -- and Arvi of course, who is very happy in her own room with her
own things. I have started working again, so I will need to make notes
of cases, and there is a lot of book-keeping to do, also planning.
And I have got a letter from Aidan! Such a sweet letter, I was so
happy! This morning I saw Orian's horse munching oats out of a pail in
front of Raisse's house, so I knew he was back, and I went in to meet
him. I cannot believe it was only the second time I've seen Raisse
since coming back from Selle's village! I must re-instate my custom of
saying good-night to my Raisse, as a daughter should. Orian told me
Ceti's Arin had also returned and that he had a letter from Aidan
with him. I ran away, so fast that I very nearly lost one
And yes, he had a letter! I read it eleven times, and then once
again, before going to doctor Erne to help her out in the
Aidan is so much the very best husband I can imagine! He has
even become friends with the insufferable prince from Solay -- and he
sends all the girls who follow the army and want to sleep with the
Prince to the Prince of Solay, so his presence is good for one thing
at least! And, having spent the afternoon with Erne and learned about
some proclivities of some men that are not even in the lists of
allowed proclivities (like beating a woman -- hard! -- and what
pleasure can there be in that?) I am so happy my Aidan is not
at all like that, but clean and takes his pleasure in proper love.
I miss him! I cuddle up against everyone I know to share a little
warmth and get a caress here and there, but it is not the same.
I have to note this: last night I (and Lyse's apprentice Halla) have
become journeywomen! At the doctor's meeting, Airath was chosen as the
new dean, instead of Rayin. I also told everyone about Raisse's
academy in Valdis.
I now have a beautiful piece of parchment that says in very nice
letters that I am a doctor's journeywoman with a seal and everything.
I will very carefully keep it in the chest with my Iss-Peranian
marriage presents. And my name is in the big book that contains the
names of all the doctors and midwives of Turenay and goes back
two hundred years. It feels like being part of a noble family -- or
maybe something like that. It is hard to explain and I have to get
used to it. I wonder how many years until I will become a full
doctor... Rhanyn says nobody has gone from floor-sweeper in the
hospital to journeywoman in less than a year, but I cannot help it
that I find most things so easy! I must guard against becoming proud
or over-confident, though, since there are still many simple things
that I know nothing about and there are also many spiritual things I
never learned anything about because I left school too early.
- Jerna: Jerna's case is similar to Mernath in that her
spirit is damaged. In her case by an action of Rusla when Jerna
refused to drown Halla soon after her birth. This is something Serla
wants to punish Rusla for, so I am sorry I told her about it: I do not
think punishment makes sense now.
Her spirit is in tatters and leaks power, but if it were healed,
she would be gifted. Leva showed me how to soothe her and prepare her
spirit for healing, but not actually heal it, because it will be
stronger if Jerna does the healing herself, like Mernath.
I am to apply this treatment daily, until I think we can go back
to a weekly treatment. In the meantime, Jerna is very tired and tells
me she wants to sleep all day long. This is good, I think, because at
first she could hardly sleep. Only in the afternoon she goes out with
Halla to bathe. Valyn takes care of Halla when Jerna sleeps, and does
this with all love and care.
- Rovan: Poor Rovan! He did not eat well enough as a child
and now his legs are very bended, and one foot sticks out at a rather
I wanted to make his bones a little more supple, as I had done
with the old woman in Selle's village, and then bind splints to his
legs, progressively less crooked splints, to force them to "set"
straight. And the same with his ankle; I do not want to break
anything, because I don't think that will accomplish anything, even
though Rovan feared I would.
We went to buy the first set of splints at the carpenter who works
for the hospital a lot. I need a lot of strength to fit the splints,
spiritual strength, too. This had unfortunate consequences when I
applied this power, and I needed a clean scarf. I will give him some
time to prepare, next time I will treat him. He seems to like foreign
girls: Ceti told me he had looked at her with wide, almost greedy
eyes, as he does with me.
I will order new splints tomorrow and within a week, I will repeat
the treatment. Unfortunately, he cannot walk at all now, and will very
likely have to stay in the hospital for the duration of the treatment,
instead of with Ruyin and Valyn. And he had just agreed with Arvi's
mother that he could help her out in her workplace, sweeping the
floors and things like that. At least he and Ruyin have had a night
out, eating duck and drinking lots of beer while we had our sewing
- Halla: Halla's unfortunate condition does not allow of any
treatment. However, when we went to the Síthi bath house with all the
girls, we discovered that being in a large tub with warm water makes
her body move almost as it should; Jerna will visit the public bath
next to the Síthi baths with her daily, doctor Jeran strongly advises
- Jerna (with Erne): Jerna had water in her knee. This
produces a very painful swelling. The remedy is to slowly push the
swollen skin upwards, while also forcing the water upwards. Then it
can mingle with the blood of the patient and becomes harmless. Cutting
is not recommended. The cause is standing for too long on too high
Jerna wears these heels to seem taller, which she needs, according
to herself, because she can no longer play the servant girl in her
games with her customers because at twenty she is too old to pull that
- Ranaise (with Erne): she had a large number of bruises on her
back, in some places the flesh was bruised to the bone, though the
skin was not broken. I asked her whether she had reported the man who
did that to Lord Radan, but she told me it was her own fault: she had
not told the man to stop beating her, and he was as much shocked as
she was with the result of his intemperate handiwork, and paid her
twice the price. This is not much, considering that she expected not
to be able to work for some weeks.
I do not understand the desire to beat the woman a man is supposed
to please, nor agreeing to be beaten. I do not believe that it is
possible for women to enjoy being beaten: at least, I did not enjoy
the beatings I received in the palace when I had transgressed or
failed to learn my lessons correctly.
An application with an ointment prepared with arnica, chamomile and sheep fat gave Ranaise relief. I also did for her what I did for
Doryn, which is healing the bruises with my spirit, though that is
very hard and tiring labour. I am not sure whether that was a good
idea, since now she will not have to bear the consequences of her lack
of wisdom and will not learn anything from it.
Money is very complicated now that I am not poor at all anymore. My
ship, in which I invested 190 riders at the cost of 10 for the Temple
has returned me 2100 riders. I
must do the following things:
- Buy the weavery (is that a proper Ilaini word?) near the South
Gate so Jeran (Khahid's husband) and Ruyin can work there. This will cost
about 500 riders, maybe less, if I negotiate like a merchant.
- Pay off the Temple the 200 riders Aidan and I borrowed against the
arrival of Prince Attima's ship.
- Reserve about 200 riders to buy Tylse's house. Tylse wants 150 for
it, Meran thinks it is worth not more than 80, but it is important
that Tylse has enough to buy and furnish a nice house for herself and
her apprentice Aldin (no longer improper, just like Selle!) in our
- Invest another sum in one or two ships, say twice 300 riders.
- Reserve about 100 riders for things like paying Ruyin and Valyn the
board and lodging of Jerna, Halla and Rovan (although he is in the
hospital now). We agreed on a rider a week; they will have to stay for
at least 12 weeks, perhaps even twenty. And there will be similar
expenses now that I am rich and should behave with the liberality of a
princess again, even if it's just a Valdyan princess.
All in all, this should come to about 1600 riders: that will leave
me 500 plus what I still had left (should ask at the temple how much
that is!), which should be enough to get the weavery going, and pay
for unforeseen expenses. For rebuilding the house of Tylse, I will not
reserve money. Either we will be richer still from prince Attima's
ship, or I will sell some more jewelry. Besides, Aidan might come back
from the war laden with gold from Solay, because Solay has always been
famous for its riches, and it will be good for his pride if he can pay
for the building of our, and our children's, house.
I really should pay back Aldin, the Mighty Servant of Essle, the
value of the pendant he gave me when I seduced him, but I will do that
when the money from Prince Attima's ship comes. I'll
treat myself to something special with it. Maybe a new notebook? Or
another pair of shoes, red if Rovan the cobbler has red leather. Or
maybe really bright yellow! I would love that! I would brighten up the
dreary winter, and I can use pattens to avoid getting them all muddy,
I learned how to walk in them before we went to Valdis. We have been
having very dry, sunny weather though, hardly cold, since I came back
(And haven't I changed! I would not have dared accept money when I
came to Valdyas, though I still intend to earn enough from bath house,
weavery and trade so I don't need to ask patients for money. But all
Valdyan journeymen and women receive this pay, so it is fair I should
get it, too.)
Things to do and things done
- I have discussed buying the weavery with Jeran, with Valyn and with
Meran and Serla, the head of the guild of weavers. If I own the
weavery and pay Jeran a regular sum of money out of the profits (or my
own pocket if there are no profits -- maybe I should take him into
partnership, or do that later on), then I do not have to be a member
of the guild, which is a good thing, since I am already in the
doctor's guild. It will mean, though, that I will not be allowed to
weave in the workshop, but I still have the little loom in Raisse's
workshop, only that has Arvi's first work on it now. To do is: visit
the workshop with Jeran, and do the negotiations.
The workshop has been derelict since the owner went
broke because all his girls walked out on him, this is about four
months ago, but all the looms are still present. Also to do: find out
whether there are special looms needed for the very fine linen Jeran has
learned how to make, in the weavery where Selle bought her cloth.
- Having finished my comparative herbary (and marked all recipies
that cannot be trusted in the original books with a red mark), I
should bring it to the Temple of Naigha so they can make two copies,
one for themselves, one for Raisse in Valdis.
- Go to Lord Vurian to tell him about Khahid. Khahid is not my case,
so I will write down my notes here. He was my spymaster in Albetire,
he was given to me on my twelfth birthday, and we have always been
very good friends. He is very clever and knows nearly everything about
Valdyas and Iss-Peran.
During the war, he met a Valdyan man, Jeran, who
is a weaver, and they fell in love. Lady Mehili has given him his
official freedom! I am so happy for him -- but he is very ill, since
the conditions of the war were very filthy and the filth has entered
his body because he needs to use a silver tube to piss.
I want Lord Vurian to employ him, since his talents would be
wasted in the temple.
- Go to Lord Radan and Halla to let them read Aidan's letter --
there is nothing so private in that letter that I cannot let them read
it. Aidan, my love, my dear, my lord husband, is so innocent that he
cannot write down any intimate details, anything about his pleasure in
my body without blushing and he didn't want to blush with his soldiers
Oh, I thank the gods that I have been blessed with this man! I
shudder when I think of the man who beat Ranaise black and blue to satisfy
his lust, or the men who like their improper woman to play the servant
girl to them. Of course, these men cannot but feel the need to be mean
and violent to the girls they buy because outside the improper woman's
bedchamber they are miserable weaklings, and Aidan is always
- Ask Leva whether she will allow me to fill in for Erne when Erne
goes to visit Selle. She wants to join Khisif and Lord Radan, and
stay with Selle for a week or two, three. She only works in the
afternoons, and I can be in the hospital in the mornings and do my
studies in the evenings, so I cannot see a real objection, and Erne
needs to leave the improper woman's square for a while.
- Buy another pair of shoes.
- Finish my winter clothes. We have already started on this: we are
having such fun and learning so much from each other. It's a good
thing I have this big table, since me, Arvi, Khisif, Cynla, Jerna
Valyn-who-lives-next-door and Ceti are all engaged in this endeavor. We
have bought cloth, yarn and needles in the market.
Khisif is teaching me and Ceti how to make a skirt and dress that
will stay fitting even while our bellies are growing, and I am
teaching Cynla and Jerna how to make shirts with sleeves that actually
fit. We are all going to look very smart this winter!
- Talk to Aminasi of the Síthi shop about finding a suitable servant
girl for Lady Aine, Lord Arin's mother.
- Find out somehow whether Lady Khastane's son has received her
letter. I am a bit anxious about that!