WARNING: Other players should not read this until Chapter 1 is complete.
Toria spent the next sevenday or two after the Search intermittently worrying about Kebrin and wondering what would happen with his new Master. She bought a whimsical looking sculpture of a firefly with a spot to place a glow in the abdomen at the Hold. She brought it with her to her next practice session with him and followed him to his apartment to see where he lived. Toria hoped it would bring him some cheer. She didn’t have too much time to dwell on it, because her classes were, unsurprisingly, getting more difficult and time consuming now that she was a Junior Journeyman.
Then there was her job with Master Zemel, where she was trying to make the most of things by asking questions and sticking around past when her duties were done to watch others at work on different projects. Her eagerness to learn it all earned her some scorn, at least from one the Junior Journeyman working for Zemel.
Brolla was an average student, a bit older thanks to taking a Turn longer to be promoted to Journeyman rank. She had taken a dislike to Toria and seemed to make an extra effort to badmouth her to her classmates and even to Master Zemel. Brolla once told Zemel that Toria hadn’t put away lab materials safely, earning her a stern talking to. Toria defended herself, almost certain she had done no such thing, but said would take better care in the future. She documented her work afterwords in case Brolla got the same idea twice.
She pressed herself hard because she knew the time she had to find a Master was getting ever shorter. Before she knew it, it was the Autumn break and she was being offered a full time job with Master Zemel. It was when Toria was excitedly sharing her news with Madi and Cassiya that Madi made an offhand comment about her always being too busy for her friends. When she thought about it, she had to admit it was true. She had to make room for friends and relaxation or else all her life would be work. After that, she made more of an effort to be there for her friends, which was helped by Madi insisting on meeting at least once a sevenday for a meal or some fun activity, even if it was after a study session.
As Autumn was making way for Winter, Toria had one more chance to visit Spearstone and refresh the lessons she had given before, as well as look in on a few people fighting off illness and a sprained ankle. The people she taught followed her around, helped make some teas and tinctures to treat the ailments, and wrapped the sprain. She also brought with her many of the clothes she had outgrown. Either the young ones in Spearstone could wear them, or they could be broken down to use for bandages. It was a long but good day. It was also the calm before the storm that she didn’t know was coming her way.
When ground beneath her shook, it was chaos. She wished Madi luck as she sped off to her destination. Emotions of fear and confusion were eventually pushed aside, once she found a seat in the Assembly Hall. As she carefully listened to Masterhealer Sarantis speak, Toria started to realize that things were more serious and far reaching than she had initially assumed. As she looked around the gathered crowd of Masters and Journeyman Healers, a sense of purpose swelled in her – this is what she had been training for all those Turns.
Once Sarantis got to the end of his speech, Toria found herself with many questions. What had happened? Had anything like this happened before? How did the firelizards know what was going to happen before it did? Going between all at once like that was no accident, she was sure. What could cause the earth beneath her to shake so violently that rocks fell down and there was flooding? And over such a large area! The fact that most able bodied Healers, minus the bare minimum to keep the Hall operational, were being sent out and dragons were being brought in as transportation spoke to how bad things must be.
When Master Zemel told her he’d sponsor her if she kept her head through this, she couldn’t muster up much excitement at finally getting what she’d wanted. All she had time for was a quick “Yes, sir” before following him to his workshop to pack medicine and supplies for between. Before she knew it, the task was done and she was sent off to her dorm to pack up her things for her imminent dragon ride. She did feel a sense of pride that he picked her to ride with him to an affected area instead of arriving later via wagon. Hopefully she could impress him enough that he would sponsor her afterwards.
Toria barreled into her dorm, which was in a state of controlled chaos. She saw Sersha and Roshena in various states of packing as she made her way purposefully to her room. She grabbed the wool lined jacket Master Valora had gifted her when she left Katz Field. It was a bit smaller on her than it used to be, but still fit well enough. Tossing it on her cot, she got out the satchel she kept ready with all sorts of supplies, taking out anything unnecessary that would weigh her down.
Toria quickly stripped down and dressed herself in layers that could be added or removed as needed, buckling on her belt with the knife in its sheath. She got her most durable winter boots and socks, putting on two layers of socks for warmth and in case the outer layer got wet. On went her favorite scarf she had made, which was one big fluffy circle, and then her jacket. She braided her hair so it was out of her face and grabbed a change of clothes and tossed them in her satchel, along with a few other essentials for grooming. Firmly buckling her satchel closed, pulling each to ensure they wouldn’t come lose while adragonback, she looked around her room and sighed. She hopefully wouldn’t be away too long.
Striding out of her room, she shouldered her satchel and called out a farewell to the others. Sersha stopped her packing and gave Toria a big hug.
“I’m begging the Egg this isn’t as bad as the Masters are making it seem,” she said.
“Me too,” chimed in Roshena, coming out of her room. “Hopefully it’s just the kinds of injuries we saw around the Hall and Hold, just… across a larger area.”
Toria shrugged, “We’ll see. Best of luck, I have to meet Master Zemel. See you all…” Toria paused, uncertain how long she might be gone, “in a few days or so. Tell the others I said goodbye if you see them!”
With a wave, she was out of her room and swiftly making her way back to where she had parted ways with Master Zemel. She wouldn’t let him down. She could do this.