After the Reward

Berra — Aftermath 02

????, Earth Season, Disorder Week


Earth Season, Disorder Week, Windsday [[[s02:session-1|Session 1]]]


After Varanis has been upstairs for a while, maybe after her packing is finished, she comes down to where Berra is, by her gear. It is a little before dusk now.

Quietly, Varanis tells Berra everything that D’Val said on the steps.1Session 2.1, in which D’Val warns Varanis that she should leave town for a while. It’s not that she’s hiding anything by keeping it quiet. She’s just suddenly drained.

Berra, about to head out, pauses to listen. She is good at listening, and when Varanis is done, she nods. “I went to see Lord Eril.”

Varanis looks at her with quiet curiosity.

Berra looks down at her neatly packed gear. “I think I disappointed him. Twice. In a few minutes. And what I’m going to tell you, you should not say further. It’s only because it was about you, that I’m telling it, and because I think it will relieve your thoughts a little.”

Varanis nods.

Berra looks up into the middle distance, to recite events. “I asked his advice on what to ask for. If Kallyr would as well as recommending you to the Council of Kings, say who had asked that, and why. He said she could do that without it being asked, but I didn’t really get the hint fast enough. I said you were my friend, and… um… well, that’s not really a Humakti thing. But he had to know why I was asking too.” She looks around for a drink, and picks up her beer, half stale, left nearby earlier. It will do.

Varanis smiles faintly at the reference to their friendship. “I’m sorry he doesn’t approve of our friendship, but I’m glad you call me friend, Berra.” Her grey eyes study the Humakti woman. “What else?”

“It felt important. But…um, now that I think about it, probably for the wrong reasons.” Berra sips at her beer, one hand held up to stop more questions, and then goes on. “I asked him to speak to Kallyr on my behalf, after that, bearing in mind my wishes. He agreed to. As far as I can guess, and I can’t guess as well as he can think, he’ll find something appropriate but small to ask for, that will help Sartar. I hope. And he’ll also make sure she knows to do the thing he’d probably know anyhow. But I left it with him.”

Varanis nods thoughtfully. “He’s not a kind man, but he’s smart. He’ll come up with something.” She gazes at Berra for a long moment. “I appreciate you speaking to him. But, and please don’t argue with me on this, on some level, Dormal is right. It’s a long shot that I could ever end up on this throne, but it is a possibility. And I should think about how to prepare myself for that possibility.” She sighs.

“Of course you should. And he was still a dick-head.” Berra shrugs.

“You know I don’t want it. And I definitely don’t want to be a pawn in my Grandmother’s game. But, if Kallyr were to ask it of me… honour would require me to serve her and Sartar. And because that’s the case, honour also requires me to prepare for it.”

“I know. I know all of these things. But he’s wrong. You shouldn’t be heir. For one thing, Sartar doesn’t do that. For another, it’s a stupid idea. I guess he was doing it so he could be the one who made it happen, and report that to your grandmother. I’m going to go see Lord Eril again tonight. There’s a religious matter. Oh, and he also said that it would likely be a while before the Council of Kings could meet anyhow. For one thing, the Colymar are not going to be present for a while. He thought weeks at least, as far as I could tell. I think he finds it hard to talk down to my level politically. But if you want me to take him any message, I can.”

“Yes, actually. Please tell him that I am open to his advice in this matter. I can come to him, or he can pass a message through you. But, if he has any suggestions on what I ought to do over the coming seasons, beyond our immediate excursions, I’d be very interested to hear them.”

Berra nods. “I’ll do that. He gives good advice, and I know that you know how hard he’ll push you. As hard as he pushes himself.” She looks into her beer, briefly lost in swirling it around.

Varanis looks grateful. “Go speak with him. Will you be gone for very long?”

“I don’t know. I need to find him, and if he stays in the Palace late, it could be a while. If he’s about to start down the steps I will still need time inside the Temple with him, for the matter of Humakt. If there is anything important I will wake you. I can happily run messages tonight and still be fit tomorrow.” Berra swigs at her beer, and does not bother grimacing.

Varanis rises, lightly rests her hand on Berra’s shoulder, then heads upstairs.

  • 1
    Session 2.1, in which D’Val warns Varanis that she should leave town for a while.