Berra — Berra Scouting 01
During Sacred Time in 1625, Nala had a vision and Eril, High Sword of Humakt, sent Berra out scouting. While he did not care if she survived, some other people did, including a surprise Duck, and many of her usual travelling companions. [[[s01:session-17|Session 17]]]
“Are you hurt, and when did you last eat?” Berra also asks, “Is there anything you would have done another way? Did I use your skills right?” She even addresses the same questions to Tiwr. “Is there a better way you could have been used?”
“I was hurt, but Tiwr fixed it before I really realised.” Nala scritches Tiwr between the ears. As for the food question, the nomad used to living at starvation level just shrugs.
Tiwr would like to point out that he is more use than Billy in battle, as he has horns that attack, and because he doesn’t fall over. Also, he prefers battle to telling people Rajar has fallen down another well.
Nala says, “If we we going to be doing night recon, it might be an idea for more of us to learn either Sunbright or Cat’s Eyes. I’m pretty sure I don’t have the right runes.”
Nala and Tiwr get into a discussion about how far and how fast they can go if they spend all their magic and Tiwr goes full out.
During these few minutes they forget anyone else exists and both look slightly embarrassed when they clock Berra again.
Berra also reaches out to offer Tiwr a slightly clumsy stroke on the nose, but doesn’t force it on him. She listens, and takes a deep breath. “I don’t know about Cat’s Eyes either. I’ll ask Serala about it.” She seems to have been thinking while they were discussing. “I don’t much like ni… no, that’s not right. I like night recon on my own. But Billy is part of the group, so spells to silence us would be good. Tiwr is… um, sorry, Tiwr. I was speaking about you, not to you. Tiwr, you’re good in battle, but you’re still both on galloper duty if any force big enough to destroy us comes down the road. Serala is first to that, so if you can give her a headstart with mobility, and then prepare to give her time, that is ideal. We might be here for two weeks, but I’m hoping for relief so we can go to at least a few days at our Temples.”
Tiwr throws his head a bit so his nose is out of reach, but neither glares nor makes a snarky comment. Berra does not push the attempt.
Nala again: “Could Serala train birds to home to Boldhome?”
“Not within Sacred Time, but it’s a very good idea. Mention it to her? Anything else to add?” Berra takes a small sip from her water skin and gives a wide scowl northward.
Nala fills in the bit about there being a red glowing shaman addition, but only after the battle.
Berra nods to that, and says, “Mm. I should have asked what you saw that might be useful. Do you think it was the one in robes?”
“I don’t think so, because…well, I THINK I came back before he did, and the sorcerer was already on the field.”
After a brief time, Berra comes back from making preparations for the next move – probably a swift look into the Longhouse – to ask, “Do you know if the Shaman came from around here? Could it have been doing what you were doing, but for other people?”
“It was glowing red. I doubt it. I think it was waiting for another attack to start first.”
Berra checks all things with Serala, and lets her rest a while.
When the skirmish is over, and after the clean-up has started, and after Mellia gets to rest from healing, Berra asks how she is, and when she last ate and drank, and all of those questions. Everyone else seems to be getting a slightly longer debrief, with more questions about the battle, but Mellia just gets a smile that has a touch of adoration or love in it.
Rajar will get greeted with beer and a, “You live, warrior. Well done. Drink.” And once he can sit up, a sort of apology. “Three of them lived, and escaped on horses. I’m sorry about that. We killed seven, including their foul leader. I do believe that was more than if we had advanced on them. And you still live, which I count as a good thing.”
“Good morning. I regret some lived. But day dawns. How is Billy?”
“He has a new scar. You were hit pretty hard by arrows, and still moving. They tried to bring him down, and then you fell off, and then you got back up again, and he stopped because he was limping, so he was behind the battle line then. He’s whole again now, but he’s been blooded if he hadn’t been before.”
“It’s good that he lives. I would be sad. And our companions?”
“No deaths, or I would have lead with that. Hardly any blood shed on our side, save for your sacrifices to the fertility of the ground. We ran out behind Billy, and then behind you. D’Val beheaded a horse with one strike.” A heartbeat’s pause, and then she adds, “I think Serala may be annoyed by that.”
“We have either dealt with a forward group, or with a small group that works alone – either way, we need to explore the farmhouse, probably bury bodies there, and hold this part. Orders to scout had no end point to them, but I’ll have to send back a report. Serala can manage that once she has eaten. I haven’t told her that part yet. I’ll probably get D’Val to write it, and she can say it too. Then we likely hang on here for a while. While we do, can you think about a thing? Is there a better way I could have handled this? A way I could have used your strengths or Billy’s better?” Berra hands over some jerky and beer, presumably to soothe the pain of being asked for mental input.
“No I think we were suited to lead the charge. For that there’s always a price.”
“Yes.” A Berra shrug, as the subject changes slightly. “I’m glad the others arrived. It’s pleasant to keep feeling the air, no matter how glorious our death could have been.”
“Yes… I wonder how the southern group and those in the city fared.”
“Are faring. This is a day since orders. We have two weeks. Whatever happened here, or whatever the plan is, I do not think it will turn on us. It might crush us, of course.” Berra’s quick smile comes and goes, as she looks to the future.
“Such is the warrior’s life. They can come try.”
“Well, yes.” And onto other things. Berra warns Rajar of road-blocking duty when it is light.
“Stakes And we should get caltrops made in future.”
“Serala will have to be warned, and then calmed down.”
Questions to D’Val (hiding behind a wall edition):
Spaced out while checking on others, and making sure not to show anyone too much attention even if they are her natural superior officer pretending not to be in charge, Berra asks the usual wall of questions.
We have dried apples and beer. Would you like some? What assets can you bring to this field? What magic is available to your commander? What would you have done here? How would you have fought? What better things could I have done? What could I be doing now?
2) My sword. The uzhual gifts of Humaktt
3) Stay behindt cover. Let them come to us. Countercharge with Bison
4) Nothing. Waiting. Checking with the fortt.
A bit later: I sent Nala back with a situation that would need re-inforcements, if we were to deal with this. But you came back with Serala. How were you free to join us? Carefully pronounced: Do you think Eril cares he pronounces my name wrong? Do you know if Serala’s message got through? Nala’s?
1) I wath expectding you to gett into trouble. And the other Humaktti rode outd. I can’tt ride.
3) Yeth. And probably Yeth.
And later still, after thinking for a little too long about what to do next, but before giving those orders, one last conversation:
“I appreciate that using Cats-Eye on all of us would have been a waste, but I think putting Serala in command would also have been wrong. She’s a galloper. She needed to be free to ride back at any moment.” Berra keeps an eye on the duck as she says that, rather than looking away.
He smiles. “A command decision includes deputing to someone else. But she has her fate too.”
“You were the one to depute to….” There’s a pause, and then things catch up with Berra. “What do you mean too?”
The duck just smiles.
“Alright. Question for later. What do you mean by ‘fate’?” But Berra gets up to go do things that are needed.
And after talking to Nala:
“Sword of Humakt. What was the red light thing? One of those attacked Serala and made her afraid. Terrified. Would it be possible for someone who can do that to travel in the spirit world? Likely?”
“An elemental of the Red Moon. And why not? Nala can.”
A tiny nod. “Thought so. There may be a shaman unaccounted for. I can’t be certain that was him. Can’t be sure it wasn’t.” Berra gives the Duck a quick flash of a smile, as if to reassure him she does not plan to do anything stupid.
. o O ( HOW THE HELL CAN YOU SMILE WITH A BEAK? )