Letters of Jonas Vol. 1 (text)

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Dearest Allyssa,

I'm writing to you to say that I am well. I have reached Halas and met the locale medicine man (or 'Shaman' as he refers to himself). He's a rough sort, but has a good nature, and his manner with those who are brought to him is as fine and caring as I would hope for from any of my students.

Convincing him to allow me to study his use of herbs and potions has been difficult in the extreme. To his people, he is as much a member of the clergyas any Priest of Mithaniel Marr is to us, and his treatments are deeply held as mysteries. We spent a full night of eating and drinking (these barbarians are a rough lot) without success, although he seemed impressed that a "city man"could match his pace at imbibing.

Indeed, I had almost despaired of doing so until the next morning. Waking with a severe headache from my excesses the night before, I blearily made my way from my hut to meet him. Initially amused at my state, he threw some  sticklewort, a single sage leaf, and three leaves I recognized as nightshade (a general folk remedy chewed for aches in these parts) into a medicine bag and proceeded to pulp the leaves to a liquid. Pouring the noisome concoction into a vial, he handed it to me. Not wishing to appear effete, I drank readily (if without enthusiasm) and a more disgusting flavor is hard to imagine. However, my pains left me entirely within seconds, as did any remaining intoxication. 

He told me that he had developed this antidote so that he could recover his sobriety quickly in order to treat unexpected patients on feast nights, when young bravos are prone to fighting. With a wink, he also confided that those same young men were quite fond of his "Elixir of the Serpentine", an unlikely combination of bugbane, three maidenhair fern and a duskglow vine, which aided them in impressing the ladies of the village.

Please write and tell me you are well.

Your Jonas