Blank Stairs

1628, Fire Season, Movement Week


Context

The group has returned to Boldhome. Berra has not forgiven Xenofos for the impromptu wrestling match in the Heroquest. Session 3.21

Events

Xenofos walks the stairs up towards his room when he spots Berra sitting outside her room.

The little Humakti is sharpening her sword. Wind Tooth gleams, as if newly finished, or at least newly repaired. The grind of the stone is louder than it should be – she is putting a new edge on.

“Good evening, Berra. It has beem a while.” After greeting her Xenofos looks at the curtain of her room and tilts his head with a questioning look.

“It’s hot in there, even with the windows open,” Berra says. At least, her voice says that. Her expression says she wants him to go away.

“I thought breeze would reach your own room better.” He tugs his beard.

“There are four people in there. Haran’s small, but a lot of people.” She scoots over to make sure it is obvious he has room to get past. Back straight against the wall, sword held lovingly, legs curled out of the way in a fashion that should only work for statues and snake daughters, she looks very, very human.

“Yehna and others are here? ” He tilts his head toward the room with a smile. Xenofos is not walking anywhere. Annoyingly enough, he is standing at top of the stairs at speaking distance but not trying to pass her.

From the room comes the sound of laughter – Haran is in giggles at something. In time with Xenofos’ smile there is a thump as the child falls over. “Oh. Ow. Heheheheeeee!” Still giggling.

Berra’s answer is, “Yep,” and no more.

Xenofos nods. Again he tugs his beard. “I have been writing my report to the Library… I don’t wish to annoy you, but there is a thing I would need to ask you.”

Berra sighs. “Do you really need to give all the details, or just the ones you know, when you come out of the Heroquest?”

“Ideally all, but that is a tall order in best of cases.” He looks at the place were wall and ceiling join together. “And this is not strictly speaking of the quest though it is bound to it… Have you needed to use Rune of Truth to reach out to Humakt since we came out from the quest?”

Berra replies, “I haven’t been able to,” but in a way that says she is not alarmed. “I need to go to Temple this evening, in fact.” She nods to the sword, and runs a caressing finger down the hilt.

He twirls his moustache and sighs. “I will write that down… Do you know why?”

“Because what I didn’t use in changing into a wolf, I used in Divination later.”

“Divination? Would you not use Truth for that?” He looks puzzled “I did not mean after coming to Boldhome, I meant after returning from the Quest?”

“I didn’t think to,” Berra says. “I wasn’t really at my best.” She scowls at him. “I answered your question exactly as you asked it. I’m not going to be able to find out unless I go to Temple.”

“I thank you for your answer. Trust me, I would not try your patience if I did not think the answer is really important. ” His voice is sad but thoughtful as he tugs his beard. “I am still trying to figure out what, if any consequences moving that relic may have had.”

Berra sighs. “Truth is always the same, no matter where you put it, no matter what you do with it. Why does it matter that it’s in a different place? It’s the same.”1Special on Truth. Ommmm…

He shrugs. “Humakt was rather insistent on getting Death back, in Prax last year. Yet pople and beasts died all the same while she was looking for it. It might be you are right. Or it might not. And to gauge what is just one must first know what is True…”

“Don’t try to use my actions against my arguments, Xenofos. Dormal was better at it than you are, and even he just made me stronger in the end.” Berra looks down at Wind Tooth again, and concentrates on her blade.

He looks quietly for a while. “I would appreciate, if you tell me if… when your connection to Truth returns.”

Berra looks up, expression close to irritated, and then looks down again, and gets on with doing whatever bevelling work she was doing when he arrived. She stays curled up, so he can get past. A single error would have her falling down the blade, but she makes no mistakes of movement.

Xenofos continues past her, walks a few steps and stops without turning. “I was really afraid you had been cursed by the curse of Telmori. It is a relief to hear that was from Humakt.”

Berra nods in reply, no more, and unfolds back into a comfortable position. She does not look at him.

Scribe does not turn either but continues to his room.

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    Special on Truth. Ommmm…