All Fall Down

1629, Sea Season, Truth Week, Fireday


Varanis has been worshipping in Wilmskirk, on her way back from Nochet. Before Session S-5S-01.


It is Fireday evening, not yet Wildday Eve. As Varanis gets into her house, she is greeted by the smell of Sartarite cooking, and Berra’s voice. “Varanis! Do you have any clue where I left my woad?” She is leaning down the stairs, hanging on with her feet higher than her head.

The Vingan snorts. “If you land on your head, you won’t remember where you left anything! You sure it’s not up at the Temple?” To Varanis, all temples are up, even when they aren’t.

“I… I haven’t used it since Dark Season. I thought I knew where it was. I… alright. New question. Where would Haran put my woad?” The little Humakti slides down the stairs under good control, on her side, and ends up in a soft, thoughtful pile on the floor as she considers that. No armour, no swords, just a puddle of Berra.

“Ah… now you ask the harder questions. Berra wasn’t climbing enough on her own yet for him to have had her hide it. Look closer to the ground?”

Larger Berra nods. “Yeah.” She rolls herself up and over so that she is on hands and knees facing the stairs, and before launching asks, “If I can’t find it, can I use yours?”

“Sure. I really ought to learn how to bless it.” She waves a hand vaguely in the direction of her room upstairs. “It’ll be next to my jewellery box. The big one. I travelled light, so it didn’t come.”

Berra scamper-thunders up the stairs, and first of all there is the sound of her going into her room. There is a short burst of song – something about hunting a little thief, to a tune that approximates a popular song of last year, and then a muffled, “You were right!” Berra makes more wriggling sounds, and then her feet creak at the top of the stairs, and then she comes down them.

Thumping her helmet down onto a low table, Varanis runs a hand through her hair. Plaits that were already dishevelled now look like they fell victim to an alynx kitten.

“You’re in a good mood,” she observes.

“I showed Kesten around Boldhome today. We did a lot of walking. Either he’s gone to sleep it off, or he’s just hiding.” Berra considers that, and adds, “Or something else.” A gesture to the small room next to the door indicates where she has put her guest. “I need to take him to the Temple tomorrow.” Her good mood may be growing. “We didn’t see the Dragonewts, but we did go to the Argan Argar Temple to see the beetle patterns.”

Perhaps they took horses. No doubt they took horses. They must have taken horses.

“You walked that poor man’s feet off, didn’t you?”

Berra winces slightly. “He’s not infantry,” she admits. “And he’d managed the thousand steps well enough. And there’s a lot to see.” Yes. Yes she did.

There’s a snort of laughter from her friend. “Maybe you should see about a foot soak for him this evening? Or take him to the baths. So he can arrive at the temple fresh, of course.”

“Let’s think of it as a pre-Temple ordeal. He said yes. I’m going to have to paint him.” Berra looks down at the woad pot in her hand. “Haran has a stash under my bed.”

“Oh? Anything else interesting in it?” Anything Varanis might be missing, that is.

“Lots of kitchen bowls, mostly. I didn’t look in them. A bit of silk that I think’s Lenta’s? Lots of aunty-Yehna’s cosmetics1Berra has decided momentarily that Haran is hers.. I’ve left it there, and I’ll put the woad back a… yeah, it’ll probably be a week from now for me. And then I’ll let Yehna know.” Berra is hardly tumbling over words at all.

“Cosmetics and silks? He’s got good taste, then.”

“Yeah. He’s going to be an expensive boyfriend. Um. I need you to help me think about a thingk. Thing.”

“Can I maybe get my armour off first, or is it urgent?”

“Uh, not urgent. And it’s just thinking. Have you eaten?” Berra switches into Infantry Chief mode, smoothly. Woad still in hand, she goes towards the

Varanis’ reply to the negative follows Berra. Her footsteps on the stairs can be heard as she heads for her room to armour down.

Berra does not cook well, but she can warm up food, and even better, can find the cook and get someone competent to warm up food. Berra’s part is therefore getting some watered perry for herself, and bread, water and salt for Varanis.

There is muffled thumping from upstairs and the sound of a string of curses.

Berra listens, considering.2Failed listen – does not pick up on some of the subtle bits. She might be trying to work out if she should go help.

More thumping and swearing. “Why????” Varanis yells.

The cook pokes her head out of the kitchen looking uncertain.

Berra gets up. “Just get the food. Maybe Devolin’s visited.” She shrugs, and goes to face whatever disaster is occurring.

Varanis’ door is wide open. Spilling into the hall are several very round, very smooth pebbles. A look inside the room would reveal its occupant attempting to get up from a floor covered in more of the same. Hundreds of polished pebbles.

“That duck!” Varanis bellows as her foot starts to slide again.

“… yeah, Devolin. Stay down.” Berra kicks a couple of pebbles aside. “What the hell?”3Varanis: I rolled Disorder for him for the hell of it and got 19. I rolled on POW*5 for V and got 000.

“I am going to throttle him again!” Varanis yells, trying to use a wooden chest to pull herself to her feet.

“Don’t try to get back up in there,” Berra advises from her safe position by the door. “You’re fighting against the floor. Push out towards me?”

“I won’t crawl to escape my own room,” Varanis roars.

“Well, you could try sliding.” Berra grins. “Or flying. But you… you look like a beetle on its back.”

Her friend grabs a few of the pebbles and half-heartedly flings them in Berra’s direction.

Berra winces, and kicks a few more escapees back into the room. “So, how are you going to close your door?”

Varanis manages to roll to face the floor and then starts using her hands to clear some space.

Berra watches. “I could get a broom? Maybe a… how the hell did…. WHY the hell did he?”

“Because he’s a pain in my arse?!” Then Varanis adds, “Please get a broom. And maybe some buckets?”

“Shovel. Yeah.” Berra goes to the top of the stairs, and then remembers herself and runs down them almost noiselessly. She is back swiftly with a big wooden broom that Taralest uses in the courtyard. “I’ve told them to get some skins, too, and then we can pick them up… they can pick them up. And pour them in. Wow.”

By that point, Varanis has managed to get to her hands and knees and has cleared enough space that she should be able to set her feet down safely. “How did he do this with no one noticing?!”

“Yeah. I’m really impressed. And also, check your shutters close properly.” Berra uses the back of the broom to clear enough of a path through the door that she can step there.

“So… what did you want to discuss?” Varanis asks, trying to look as if she wasn’t just contemplating violence against Devolin. She shuffles carefully towards her bed and starts to work the buckles on her armour.

“Come to the door… never mind. You’ve got flatbreads with spices warming. I’m going to need something to send with Lord Kesten as a votive or a thing to concentrate on, in prayer. We talked a bit about this, right?”

“How about some lovely rocks?”

“Mmm. Maybe not.” Berra smiles. “Too Illusion Rune-ish-y.”

The vambraces drop to the bed with a muffled thump. The cuirass follows, bronze clashing against bronze.

“I still think,” Varanis says as she sits safely on the bed to unbuckle her cuisse, “you need small statues in his likeness. He’s good looking in a grouchy sort of way.”

“Ye… wait, who is?” Berra stops in confusion.

“Eril. You know, the Hero?” She waves vaguely in the direction of the Humakti temple. “Black hair, permanent scowl, lives over that way.”

“Um, yeah, but good-looking?” Still confused.

“Ok… elegant?”

“Maybe. Too damned tall? Um, so you reckon the outer shape, not something carved with the Runes and his mark? No, seriously, are you telling me that you’ve been checking out my High Sword?” Berra drops her voice to a horrified whisper.

Varanis laughs. “He’s a bit old for my tastes, but I did consider it. His brother too, but well, he’s also old and was married at the time. I know that Kalis is of the same age, but… she’s different.” There’s a knowing smile. “For one thing, she wouldn’t consider sending me back to hell just for thinking it.”

“Kalis is younger. Uh, right. Fine. Good. Statues. He wouldn’t send you to hell. Just look down at you. Clay? Bronze? Clay’s probably easiest. But maybe wood. It’ll need to be something I can order and have ready in a week, and I’m going to be spending a lot of that time busy.”

“The relics we brought back were wood, right? I think the votives should be wood. Maybe with a small amount of the cloth?”

“Um. That cloth is… yeah, not that. But you’re right, the wood’s a good call.” Berra seems nervous just at the thought of the banner.

“I’d like one for me too, please. I won’t always be with you for worship.”

“Yeah. S’why I’m asking you, too. It’s got to be something robust for travel, for you. Worth setting up somewhere right, for him. I mean, for the new initiate. He’s going to have to find a place for it, and he’s rich enough it’ll have to look good. I’m gonna ask the Hero too, or at least the mortal part of him.”

Varanis nods. “I will accept whatever form Lord Eril prefers. The statuette of him is simply my first choice.”

“D’you want me to brush you a path from here to the bed?” Berra holds up the broom. “Y’dinner’ll be ready soon.”

“Toss the broom here and I’ll brush my way out? You can see if the buckets and hides are still coming?”

Berra does that, and turns to go without falling over.

  • 1
    Berra has decided momentarily that Haran is hers.
  • 2
    Failed listen – does not pick up on some of the subtle bits.
  • 3
    Varanis: I rolled Disorder for him for the hell of it and got 19. I rolled on POW*5 for V and got 000.