A Cure For Ardry - Part 1
Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
          Hall of Seasons  


A Cure For Ardry 



Chapter 1 

By: Lisa


It was March again. Rain spattered against the windows of the study as Father Michael Dhugal McLain studied the scroll in his hands. It was written in a crabbed, archaic hand, and the dim light was not helping matters. The parchment was cracked and crumbling in places, and the spelling -- Well, no matter. He had the main of the document, and Deacon Allin MacAthan would be able to correct spelling errors when he copied it over. In the meantime, just holding it in his hands was sufficient. The work existed. His father and grandfather would be pleased -- and relieved. 

With a sigh, Michael set the scroll down and palmed his hands across his eyes, preparing to run a quick fatigue-banishing spell. It was far too late for him to be up, but the contents of the scroll were too interesting and compelling to be put aside for long. He did have the early Mass the next day, and he knew he needed to be asleep soon, but his father needed to know about this. After a moment's consideration, he completed the spell, picked up the scroll, and went to the prie-dieu in the corner. Fingering the stud hidden inside, he revealed a small compartment behind the wall, just large enough for a man to stand in. He stepped inside and pressed another stud to close the opening thus revealed, feeling the Portal prickling on the edge of his awareness as he was plunged into darkness. A moment more to link with the Portal in his father's castle in Cassan, and Father Michael McLain was no longer in his study at Rhemuth.

Dhugal McLain, Duke of Cassan and Earl of Transha, was finishing dinner with his son, Kevin, Earl of Kierney, and his daughters Vera and Margaret, when Michael arrived.

 "Michael!" Margaret squealed, jumping up to hug her older brother. "What are you doing here?" 

Michael returned her embrace, smiling as she tousled his reddish hair. "I decided to come and see my family tonight. I don't often get to anymore, what with one thing and another."

 Dhugal stood to greet his son as well, clapping him on the back in a man-to-man gesture. "What news from the capital, son?"

Michael took his accustomed seat at the foot of the table, thanking the servant who arrived with a cup of good ale. "We found it, Da. The scroll we've been looking for." 

Dhugal's square teeth flashed in a bushy red beard, grinning. "I can't believe it. The Healer's protocol?" "Aye, indeed," 

Michael said. A murmur of excitement traveled around the table as the others caught his mental message. "I've been reading it all evening. It's fascinating." "Is it complete?" 

Kevin leaned forward, his eyes lighting with excitement. 

"Mostly," Michael admitted. "There was some damage to the scroll itself, but for the most part it's intact. I have it here." He pulled the scroll out, encased in a long leather tube. "Here, Da. You should be the first to see it, since your money financed the search."

Dhugal held the tube almost reverently. "Do you realize what we have here? This is the teaching tool we have been needing ever since your grandfather and cousin Alaric rediscovered the Healing talent, almost fifty years ago. Where did you find it?" 

Michael shook his head. "I was told that it came from highly secret archives in Dhassa, but I'm not sure. I know that it cost a great deal." 

Dhugal nodded. "I expected that." 

There was silence around the table for a moment, each of them contemplating what the discovery of the scroll meant. Then Vera cleared her throat. "I must go see to the children, Da. Margaret, will you come with me?" 

Margaret nodded, but looked reluctant to leave. "Promise you'll tell me about it later?" she asked Michael. "I promise," 

Michael grinned, as she and her sister took their leave. 

The three men sat quietly for a moment. 

"How is Ardry doing?" Michael asked quietly. 

"Not well," Dhugal admitted. "Vera is worried. Poor thing. To have a son and have to watch him dying is not an easy thing. And to lose his twin at birth..." 

They all knew. Losing little Alaric had been very hard on Vera, and even now, six years later, she had still not recovered from her loss. Now, her other son, Ardry, was dying of a wasting disease that no physician or Healer had been able to cure. This scroll Michael had found might well help them find that cure.



~ Kelson Era Index ~                                                                 ~ Next ~ 



This story may not be copied or used in any way from this site without permission.

  Sunday Chats, Filks, The Carthmoor Clarion, The Mearan Sunday Herald,  Essays on the Deryni Stories of the XI Kingdoms Deryni Archives - The Zine, Deryni Links Administravia, Author's Biographies, Author Index, Character Index, Story by Era Index, Codex Index, Site Policies  

Hall of Seasons