A low crow

1629, Sea Season, Harmony Week, Godday 21/12/2023


Chaos amid the Six Sisters waits and will have to wait longer. As the party sorts out plans, Mellia tries to work out what’s wrong with Varanis. The Windlord is cranky and uncooperative. Takes place during or shortly after Tempers Fugit (session 4.08).


Mellia spots Varanis, who looks like disease demons may be preparing to attack her. Mellia walks up to Varanis and gets to the point: “You don’t look well, Cousin. What is wrong with you?”

The evening routine goes on around the area. Berra is eating while standing, but she takes a few steps away from the discussion, as a demonstration of giving them privacy.

Mellia waves to Berra.

Berra is just nodding when with a flurry of black feathers, a crow hits the ground not far from Mellia. It squawks loudly, making more than the usual noises that a crow would make.

Berra jumps. For all that she was keeping an eye on things around her, that was unexpected.

Lenta looks up from a cylinder of clay she was writing on, startled.

Mellia looks at the crow. “Are you well, Crow? Does someone need my help?”

There is a croak, a caw, and a flutter of one wing. The other has feathers at odd angles. While the bird does not talk, the answer is plain; there is an injured being who has come to a White Lady.

Mellia nods and tries to set the injured wing back before casting Heal 2 on it.

The bird jumps back a little as she approaches, skittish.1Mellia fails Animal Lore.

Whatever the reason that it is so nervous, the bird is playing hard to get. It hops away, rather than letting the White Lady near.

Mellia looks around for leftovers she can feed the crow.

“Um, I think it’s afraid of your clothes flapping?” Berra suggests. “They don’t like quick movements.” She has food in a bowl and is still eating.

“Oh. Berra, may I feed a bit of your dinner to the crow ?”

“Sure.” Berra arcs around the bird rather than walking straight to Mellia. “I guess you don’t want to touch the meat bits, so…” She offers over the bowl, and goes back to looking off towards the Sisters, with a few glances at the crow.

The wind picks up a little, again. Loose clothes are indeed likely to flap around.

Mellia tries to wrap up her sleeves. If the crow begins to eat, Mellia will immediately cast Heal 2.

The crow does not eat, but it does examine the food and stay nearby, and permit the touch. The bone is not broken; it could not have flown with that much damage. Something sharp-toothed has taken a bite at it, and nearly crippled it, but here it is, not dead, and… healing. Under Mellia’s touch glossy feathers form back into perfect order.

Varanis follows the proceedings, bemused. She was about to be berated and then a crow came out of the sky like a sign from the gods.

“There you go,” Mellia says as the crow heals. “I wish you could tell me who did this to you.”

The crow caws, hops away a little, and then nonchalantly marches up to the bowl that has Berra’s dinner, and sticks its beak in.

“Something sharp toothed and fast,” Mellia mused aloud.

Berra glances back, looks at her food, and looks back towards her targets with an expression of being rained on and being hungry.

Realising her reprieve may not last, Varanis gets her feet under her and eases into a standing position.

Mellia has spotted Varanis getting to her feet. “Not so fast, Varanis. You look like a prime target for disease demons. What is bothering you?”

The crow sneaks off with one last bit of something edible in its beak. Berra’s bowl is now getting rained on, and in. The Humakti either does not care, or is pretending not to. She is on guard.

“Just a poor night’s sleep,” Varanis replies. “I’m fine.”2Varanis fails Truth.

“You don’t look fine. Just how many poor nights have you had?”

The look the Vingan directs at her cousin is cagey. “Some, I suppose. I haven’t bothered to count.”

Berra comes over to get her bowl, and gives Varanis a thoughtful look. She says nothing, although she pauses there.

Lenta raises her eyes from her writing again looking at both Mellia and Varanis.3Scan: They do look kind of red under a freshly laid kohl.

“That bad. Varanis, you can’t fight well on bad sleep. Do you want to try something at bedtime, or should I just send you to the Temple of Uleria?”

Varanis blinks, considers, then shrugs. “Um… well, if you’re offering… some lumiviiva or something similar would be helpful.”

“No lumiviiva! You can’t continue to cheat yourself of proper sleep.”

Berra takes her bowl and goes back to being on watch. She does stand where she can listen, though.

“I just need to get to the other side of these broo,” Varanis protests loudly. “I can sleep later. I’ll even go see the Ulerians if that will make you happy. But I can’t stop now to deal with a few bad dreams. Besides…” She lets her voice drop to just above a murmur. “Maybe dealing with this Chaos will deal with my dreams too.”

Berra scowls at the louring outlines of the nearby hills.

“A few more days,” the Vingan tries, giving the healer a charming smile. “A week at most. Give me something to help me stay awake, we’ll deal with this trouble, and then I’ll sleep as long as you want me to.”

Berra scratches at an ear, thoughtfully, and then gets on with eating.

“I wish I knew how to interpret dreams properly,” said Mellia. “If you don’t start sleeping, you might not make it to Boldhome.”

“I’m fine, Mellia! I’ve made it this far, haven’t I?”

Berra glances over her shoulder, and seems to be deciding not to say anything.

“Your judgment and reflexes are both going to be impaired, Varanis!”

Varanis scowls, irritation creeping into her expression. “Look, if you won’t help, maybe just leave me be? In fact, surely your judgement and reflexes are impaired,” the Vingan waves towards Mellia’s very pregnant belly. “It would be safer for you to return to the Nunnery until this is all over.”

“Right.” Berra seems to be talking to the hills, but her back goes straight and she seems suddenly ready for a fight.

“It would indeed,” Mellia says, “but the bunch of you need me. I am offering you help you apparently don’t want, Varanis.”

“It’s just…” The scowl deepens. “Sleep has been poor. It will be better eventually. And it’s not something we can fix while Chaos lurks behind the next hill. And…” Varanis runs her hand through her hair, tangling on the plaits. “And I am worried about you.”

Berra steps back a little, giving the hills one last searching look, and then walks towards Varanis. Definitely towards Varanis, not towards Mellia.

“Thanks, Varanis. I am worried about me too . I worry about you because I love you. “

“Then let me have something to keep me awake! I love you too and if I need to protect you, I need to be awake to do it.” Varanis does not seem to have noticed the stalking Humakti.

“No, Varanis,” Berra says. “Listen to your healer.” She punctuates that by taking a bite of her cooling, mushy food.

Berra earns herself a scowl too. “But…”

“Berra, I trust your judgment. Would it be more helpful if I returned to the Nunnery? You do have Maalira.”

Berra says, “All of you should go back to the Nunnery. I’m going to be away for five days. Some of those are Godsday, so you can all rest, heal, think. Worship. But I’d never tell someone not to volunteer if they’ve already done it. Mellia’s conscience ‘as chosen already. She’s more helpful out here than behind walls, and we look after her. S’what we’re here for.”

“I think that is very true, Berra. We will see fighting and will need you. I will return to the Nunnery if everyone else does.”

“Fine. You’re an adult and there’s no Grandmother here to gainsay you. Stay, but do as Berra and the senior Humakti tell you, so that you can be protected as best we can. I do love you and just want to keep you safe, dear one.” The decision having been made, Varanis turns away to pack her bowl and eating utensils.

Lenta looks at Berra thoughtfully.

“Tonight, try to get some shut-eye,” Berra says quietly as Varanis passes her. “S’Godsday Eve, so tomorrow, move out early. Hustle to get there.”

She receives a surly nod in reply.4Insight if anyone passes: Varanis looks the tiniest bit smug.

The Humakti stays where she is for a moment, digging into dinner with her spoon.

“I always listen to Berra. I will heed the Humakti in battle.”

That freezes Berra up. She stares down at her food like it only just occurred to her to look at it.

Berra’s expression is blank.5Insight: She seems to have been brought up short by what Mellia says, and it worries her.

Varanis is distracted just long enough to give Berra a worried glance, but then goes back to avoiding further conversation with Mellia by offering to clean the healer’s bowl for her too.

  • 1
    Mellia fails Animal Lore.
  • 2
    Varanis fails Truth.
  • 3
    Scan: They do look kind of red under a freshly laid kohl.
  • 4
    Insight if anyone passes: Varanis looks the tiniest bit smug.
  • 5
    Insight: She seems to have been brought up short by what Mellia says, and it worries her.