Back and Back Again

1629, Sea Season, Harmony Week, Godsday


Camping out in the wilds, after a day spent scouting near the Six Sisters Session SA4.08.


“You are going to Boldhome, Berra?” Lenta asks the little Humakti.

“Yeah. Lord Eril’s … well, you know him.” She gives a quick grin, briefly nervous-looking. “You want me to try to grab you anything?”

Lenta nods. “Yes I would need you to do something for me, please.”

“Slightly different. Whaddyawant?” Berra rubs at her eyes, tiredly. It happens to wipe away her expression, but is probably not done on purpose.

“Could you take this tablet to Kalis?” Lenta shows a clay talet scratched full of writing.

“Sure.” Berra thinks a moment. “I might have to pass it to someone, though. Depends how busy I am.”

“Oh.” Lenta twirls her plait. “Passing it through someone is probably not a problem, I think if that someone is reliable. I just thought… Well I wrote her what we are going to do and asked to borrow the same item I had when Varanis retrieved that armour. And also that there is a real risk of that item getting lost if something goes awry. And thought you could give her your evaluation of the risk if she asked. But I understand you are very busy at that journey.”

“Alright. I’ll give it a go – if I can see her in person, I will. I was… yeah. I was thinking of going to the Library there. But you know you’ll probably have time to go visit Jonstown?” That looks like it has just occurred to her.

Lenta shakes her head. “I thought I, we might need to visit Aranwyth…”

Berra shrugs. “You might, but you could also split up. I mean, only one of you’s a Wind Lord.” She does not seem up to arguing the point, though, having suggested it.

“And I suppose I could purchase a dagger in either place. I thought of asking you if you could choose a proper one, but I guess the redsmith can advise me.”

“Redsmiths in the Aranwyth might not have something to hand. In Jonstown, they might not have something right for you. D’you want to stab, or parry?” Berra switches over to business she understands, maybe gratefully.

“I don’t. But stab if I must?” Lenta says. “If it is needed things are going wrong.”

“Yeah. So, you’re small. If something’s going wrong, you don’t have a shield. Go for something triangular down to a point, convex diamond cross-section, heavy at the base. A crosspiece. Make that square section if you can, so that it has the heaviness of Earth when it’s protecting you. That’ll hold up against a sword or let you deflect a spear if you’re desperate, and it’ll also let you strike back.” Berra, also small, has no compunctions about giving such advice.

Lenta nods. “But you don’t think one like that would necessarily be available at Jonstown or Aranwyth?”

“It might. Jonstown’s more likely – it’s a city. The Aranwyth’ll have a village. They’d might have to make a thing for you, but they probably won’t have one unless it’s already owned.” Berra shrugs. “I can pick you one up, but I can’t shape the scales for your … that is, the bit you hold, for your hand, until I get back with it. Your choice.”

“That is probably a better bet. If you have time. I trust you will not let that get into way of anything more important.” Lenta gives Berra a little polite bow.

“That, I can send for easy enough. Hold your hand up?” Berra puts her right hand into the air. Short and stubby, her fingers are also strong.

Lenta shows her hand, graceful and agile, but not without strength.

Berra tilts her head, looking, and puts her own left hand up to compare. Even that one has sword calluses on. “Yeah. I can get about the right size. I can probably borrow a few, see which balance is best for you. You ever used a heavy knife for cooking? The sort that’s got a tall blade?”

Lenta nods. “Yes, but it is impractical for most tasks.”

“So you know the weight of it. Do you prefer to rock it with the front down on the block, or kind of lift it up and drop?”

“Depends on the task. For fighting I guess it would be up to the gut or armpits or to the throat.” She crosses her arms and shudders a bit. “if the opponent does not hinder me.”

“You want to know what the weak points are before they get to you, and go for the closest one you can.” Berra shrugs. “Your footwork’ll be solid, at least. Cut through, not at the surface?” It sounds like she is offering help cautiously.

Lenta glances at Berra and shrugs in return. After a moment of silence she answers “Listen, I don’t want to step on your toes, but I need to say this.”

Berra waits with a quirked expression of Humakti pausing.

“Mellia… If she is not already your top priority for protection you should make her that… Please?” Ernaldan looks at the Humakti.

Berra takes a moment to consider that. “Kinda. It wouldn’t be right to protect her where she needs me not to be in the way? But she already said she wouldn’t be diving in. So I know what I need to do. But yeah, I get she’s slow and heavy right now, and there’s a difference between me being Humakt and me being Berra that knows her. I can live in that.”

“She carries others now, Humakti.” Lenta looks at the healer. “I promise I will try to not make your task harder.”

“I know, Lenta. But people get to make their own decisions. Of course as a friend I’ll look after her. As a commander I’ll balance things to take that intuh’account. I’ll look after ev…” Then she pauses to think. “Alright. I’ll use some of the attention I had for you, on her. Because you get to make decisions too, and that’s a thing you’re asking me. But take care, yeah? Try to stay close to her.”

“Thank you Berra” Lenta looks at Berra “I don’t try to tell you what to do, but my opinion of what you should… I don’t know if that makes sense. I will listen to your opinions too, I promise you that.”

“Mmhm.” Berra looks briefly glum. “Maybe it’ll… who knows. You’re weird. I can’t fix you in my head. That’s probably good.”

Lenta shrugs. “You would not be the first one to say that or try to make me conform to a form.”

“Yeah….” Berra draws out the word as she thinks. “I don’t try to, but if… look, I’ll get you the dagger. I’ll try not to push you. But try not to make Varanis sweat more.”

“Thank you. Letter to Kalis is probably more important if you have to choose.” Green eyes glance at the Vingan “And I try to not add to her burdens, Berra.”

“I know. Sometimes you manage that.” Berra’s mood turns irritable, or maybe dismissive, or maybe just really tired. “You can’t help being from Esrolia, though.”

“No. I was born and raised there. Disciple of Ernalda, daughter of my clan despite my wayward ways…” she shrugs again. ” I do try to listen and learn, but that will not make me a Sartarite.”

Berra nods. “And I listen in rural Heortling. Anything else you need from the city?”

Lenta shakes her head. “I don’t think so. If Yehna and family are still there tell her I miss them. And thank you.”

Berra nods, and turns to go.