Ioreth leaned against the doorframe, arms folded across her chest. When it came to preparing poultices or gathering herbs, her darling apprentices could not be found; for the most part they were just passing time until they could catch some unfortunate soldier's eye and were wedded and bedded. But today the captain-general was their guest, and bath-time drew near.
The old healer smiled smugly. "Rest you well, liebling, Ioreth stands guard." Any simpering maid must cross her to get at her boy -- and in those Houses all knew the simple truth, that Smaug's breath could never compare to Ioreth's fire.
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