When Bellad had approached him for assistance Tora had been somewhat surprised. They had rarely interacted with each other, shared no friends as far as he knew and were presumably interested in different subjects. As far as he knew the Songthorn didn't spend his days looking for people to hurt and wasn't a violent alcoholic but who knew? Perhaps he had hidden depths.

In any case Tora had agreed to be of service. A carpenter he was and carpentry he'd do, especially for a good cause. There was no legitimate reason to not fix up the Realm's medical supplies as far as he could tell. Really he was grateful for the chance to work with his hands. But when the High Lord of Dusk arrived to the storehouse and began doing the once-over he couldn't help but be a little concerned. 

The debris blocking off a chunk of the space was a nonissue, that just took a little elbow grease and some heavy lifting. The hole in the floor however would take some time to fix properly. The roof however? The roof was totally a bust. What few struts it had left were termite nests, worn through and weathered so badly that just looking at them for too long would probably bring the whole structure down. Moreover, the roof had a gaping hole in it. As Tora stared up at the sky through a spot where there should have been wood he scratched at his arm, considering the scale of the job ahead of him. 

"This uh, this is gonna take me some time. It's kinda a tall ask." 
Quote:Healer III: You may require a place for your patients. Establish and maintain an area where you can reliably give rest to at least three patients simultaneously.

ooc [+1363]
In recent days, trials lined up and loomed over his head like century-old trees. Their canopies were far too tall to discern the leaves, and for this ambiguity he only knew so much of the preparations that would be required of him in the days to come. Being forced to dealing in abstracts was frustrating and upon asking himself just what it was that he could do for the good of his home, the only answer he could give was a gluttonous, bottomless “More”.

At least he was far past futile attempts at shouldering this entire abstract multitude of preparations on his own. The Circle would find its members instructed with more insistence and he, for once, would be caught using the gravity induced by his high standing among those of New Caledonia to attract helping hands. More gatherers, more protectors, more tinkerers, more of those who could shield the Circle with iron and with claw that it may live to embrace the wounded and suffering and nurture them back to health. Whether he would owe their cooperation to rank or to fresh memory of his contributions – this he would not know, but was swiftly running short on the luxury of making the distinction.

Granted the one he was expecting on this day was in many ways his equal, so most likely it could not have been rank that called on him this time. Both of them were High Lords, albeit split across Dusk and Dawn. Not that he would expect such a thing to drive a wedge between them. If anything it was the propensity towards conflict that could create the greater rift. But with conflict looming, could Bellad truly continue to defend a firmly reactionary stance? The Songthorn hadn’t pried into Tanaka, whether directly or through his occasional encounter with Councilor Savoy.

They had agreed upon the day if not the hour, and regardless of their agreement it was not as though Bellad had elsewhere to be. Rather, he had, and he would have, but could not for the time being. High Lord Songthorn reached for the well-used water skin and took a gulp of water from it, before tracing the patterns with the tip of his thumb. Fennore’s gift to an orphaned healer years ago. He would have been with her, but for now had a task and a place that could not be ignored.

Quenching a thirst for water and for wistful thought, he got up from his chair, leaving behind a desk of scattered flattened samples of flora and sheets of paper, some with images and scrawled text on them – a journal unbound. Its completion was among the many things that could well be forced to wait. Even while he was here on his own, Bellad had things that he could do.

Already prior to the arrival of his noble guest he’d begun the process. The Circle prided itself on welcoming its visitors with open arms, but newly roused suspicions made it evident certain things had to be amended. Among others was the shelf with their supplies. The lofty thing was much too close to the entrance, letting one observe it by simply moving just that slight bit deeper into the spacious main hall of the building. He’d spent quite a bit of time already moving the items underneath the stairs accessible through a side-hall. It pleased him that it could not be seen from the main entrance any more, though he pondered the proverb of putting one’s eggs into a single basket and sought more places in which to make additional better hidden caches. If there weren’t so many rooms that remained an outright hazard to reach, he would have had finer results. Last thing he wanted was for himself or indeed someone else to be injured while searching for supplies.

A touch of more nuanced planning with similarly more pleasing results, the beds had been at the back from the start. As of recent renovation, curtains now hid them out of sight, both from the entrance and from one another. All so that the ill in the Circle’s care would not be disturbed by the sudden appearance of guests, and nor could the visitors be unsettled by the potential sight of injury. They were flimsy barriers of worn cloth, but they served the purpose. In a corner where there was once vacant space now crude straw bedding took up the floor. A better resting place for one in Lupus or Secui, if not as outwardly inviting as the actual beds.

A lasting issue remained with the other rooms. A small bedroom had been delegated to Heartwards, representing for the moment more so a place for isolation with those in their care rather than actual spots of comfort. Luckily many Circle members of this profession would still take visitors at their homes, but in an ideal world the Songthorn would have had more room at their disposal so as to make the Circle more welcoming to its members and not just those coming to them with requests. This, perhaps, was a task best relegated to one with finer sensibilities than the frequently austere healer. A task for later. If there would be time for later.

The most that’s been done with the second floor was determining that it was much too precarious for the moment to be in active use. Not that one could not still sneak upstairs using the staircase to provide for some hushed conversation. The strangest use by far was by Bellad, using the attic for the occasional commune with what crows had learned that he could be found there. The consequence of Woodsmoke’s teachings, luckily handled discreetly enough that the patients would not be disturbed by crowing. Not to mention success had been mixed. The Songthorn was not quite a prodigious tamer of wildlife.

It was in the process of distributing more of the Circle’s stock throughout the mixed bag that was the Circle of Athelas’ building that Torabera arrived. “Sastimos. Please, enter.” Bellad greeted, using the foreign word that Inara had gradually introduced the entire Guild to. She said it was a wish of good health. A fitting blessing upon any who would come to their doors. “Thank you for coming, High Lord Tanaka. I have been doing some… preliminary work, but there is only so much I am capable of without outside help.”

He gestured inward and spent a few minutes assisting Torabera in the survey of the domain of the pack’s Healers and Heartwards. Bellad did not show his embarrassment at some of the aspects of the building’s disrepair, though perhaps there should have been some. Even if the healer’s own habits revolved more around finding a way to occupy a space rather than refurbish it and increase its quality for the good of any task in particular.

“Yes, well, there is reason the second floor is not in use by members of the Guild. The area you see before you here is one most frequently occupied. We have done our utmost to keep it clean and stocked.” And presentable, for that matter. Even the floors had been swept, not for lack of a certain pack mate’s efforts to interrupt Bellad’s cleaning of the infirmary. The two men stood side-by-side now, Bellad craning his neck so that the both of them could see the blanket of clouds drifting on through the sizable hole in the roof.

“It is as you say “a tall ask”, but if it is not started then this height will remain forever out of our reach. Our Guild has no woodwrights or restorers of structures of The Gone. It is my hope that with your survey we could at least lay down some groundwork.” The healer lowered his head to look over at the other High Lord. It pleased him that he was not the only occupant of so high a station willing to work with his hands, and so he offered his own. “I am at your disposal. Let me help do what I can to prepare the Circle.” He pledged. At least to the extent that a Soul who rarely used any tools could.
Preliminary work.

It was the sort of thing that made a contractor nervous. Bellad was no doubt a wise and capable man, a master of fixing broken bodies. But wood was a lot different than flesh and bone. So different in fact that Bellad messing with it when he didn't know the first thing about carpentry could have conceivably fucked it up more. It was very conceivable in fact. 

He eyed the aforementioned second floor distrustfully, an eyebrow raised as he looked from the rickety ramshackle to his fellow Lord. "I'm going to be totally honest with you here: for as long you've been using this place you've had the sword of Damocles hanging over your head." The reference to his mother's religion came easily but was likely useless with the backwater-born but strangely wordy Songthorn. "I mean that this whole thing could have collapsed on your doctors, your patients and your-...counselors."

Caledonia liked to play with euphemisms, it was best he do the same. 

"I have no clue what the foundations are like, those could be eaten away by now. Would've been better to just shack up in the Fort but we can't change the past. Right then, first step. We're clearing all the crap out. Dump it outside so we can dig through for salvage later but it all needs to go. Untidy workspaces make for shoddy work and I'm sure that we don't want that when the work is lifesaving in nature." 

It didn't take a "restorer of the Gone" to heave trash out a window.

"After that, your floor. Honestly that's hardly of vital importance, I'll probably just lay some new planks and caulk the gaps. It'll look rough but it'll do." 
Quote:Healer III: You may require a place for your patients. Establish and maintain an area where you can reliably give rest to at least three patients simultaneously.

ooc [+277]
A small part of Bellad hoped that Torabera was being overzealous. Surely the building they’ve been using hadn’t been chosen so much in error that it had been a danger lurking underneath their feet. A frown found its way onto the Songthorn’s features, though not to the point of uttering anything in protest or interrupting. The sword of Damocles was a troubling expression to hear. Who was this Damocles? Did High Lord Tanaka actually assume sabotage to the Circle’s clinic?

“Then you know precisely why Circle members have decided against making full use of every room in the building.” He answered simply in an even tone. It was a good thing that the two of them were alone for the moment. Bellad would have hated to have anyone who’d seek help with New Caledonia’s Healers’ Guild to hear of the supposed perils of the Circle.

Nonetheless, the suggestion to make use of him had not been withdrawn, and as Tora offered a plan of action, the Songthorn High Lord nodded. He was scarcely afraid of getting blisters while getting rid of debris, and so the more hands-on part of their shared work had begun.

Simple, tedious, and leaving little room for stray thought. A sequence of lifting, pulling, pushing, tossing out onto the snow. Perhaps some of what they were getting rid of could later be marked up and given away. Perhaps more of it was simply more elaborate firewood rather than the future handcraft project of anyone in particular. For a time, Bellad was working closely with Torabera, exposing him to all sorts of conversation he wouldn’t be able to escape, were the Tanaka so inclined.
"Yeah I guess I do."

It unsettled Tora to think that the man in charge of healing the Realm's sick and wounded hadn't thought to check whether or not the building he use was actually safe to inhabit. Like, he knew that Bellad wasn't a carpenter and that was fair. Obviously Tora didn't expect the Songthorn to go around refitting every loose board and shingle but still! It didn't take a genius to look at the rickety structure and go 'hmm, perhaps that ancient build that hasn't seen any upkeep since the days of the long dead civilization that built it isn't one hundred percent safe? Maybe the hole in the ceiling in a bad sign.' But the carpenter wasn't getting paid for his sarcasm.

Come to think of it, he wasn't getting paid at all. He'd let his inner monologue be as sarcastic as it damn well pleased then.

The dignified Lord did have to give his primitive counterpart some credit however for taking the critique in stride. There was shock and dismay but no whining or reacting harshly to the accusation of negligence. Bellad just took in the information and quietly went about dealing with it as best as he could. Simple work for a simple but sturdy beast, like a donkey hauling lumber. Tora hauled right alongside him him, scooping up old timbers and other bits of refuse before carting them over and out of the open door. 

"This thing with the eyes, the kidnappings...what do you make of it all?"

It paid to be aware of what the other Lords were thinking. After all, Tora had to work with them.

OOC: Wordcount 285

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