Berra was unable to leave Boldhome at the same time as the others to go to the Cave of Salt and Teeth. She has caught up. Sea Season, Session 8.
On the way back to Boldhome, after tidying up things in the Greyrock area, Varanis rides alongside Berra. “What kept you, by the way? I’ve been meaning to ask.”
Berra sighs slightly. “Lord Eril wanted me to brief some people.” She glances around, checks who is there. “On Onjur.” Big emotions move under the surface. “I wasn’t sure until I got there quite what I was doing, so I couldn’t say, anyhow. Until now.”
“Has there been any word?”
“On that? No. He…” She considers how to put it. “He hasn’t talked about the Bat, since I told him about it, but he’s … I realised halfway through talking to him that Onjur must be of pretty high rank, and is probably messing with Sartar, or someone else like that is. Probably him and maybe some others as well. But that’s an extra danger he’s looking at.”
Varanis frowns, chewing her lip. “You don’t think he is just being honourable, as he implied? I mean, his sense of honour is twisted, as would be expected from a Lunar. But, he’s right that the use of the Bat is despicable.”
Followed complains about having to go in a straight line, by veering away a little. Berra replies by sitting sideways on the bison so she can face Varanis. “Oh, I think he’s telling the truth that the Bat is finished in the heartlands, whatever that means. But I also think he’s interfering in Sartar, and he’s powerful and he worries me. So I added two things for Lord Eril to think about. One of them’s realising that the man who planned against him the Sacred Time before we met is still planning. The other’s all the things about the Bat, which I haven’t really thought of. That’s not something we can deal with as us, unless they tell us how, and I don’t know they’ve got a plan yet.”
“So we are stuck in a waiting game, for now. Bah. I hate waiting. Maybe Kallyr will have some task or another for us when we get back. I need to get my armour looked at properly. Nala repaired what she could on my breastplate, but the vambrace needs a professional. And it would be wise to have a redsmith look at the breastplate too. But other than that, I hope we can do something.” The Vingan’s irritation is carried through to her mount. Manasa tries to sidestep towards Followed, her ears flicking back. Varanis turns the mare’s head away. “No.”
Berra nods. “Yeah. I’m going to be doing a thing, but I’m not sure if I can tell you about it. It’s a weird thing.”
“You’re going to be too busy for me?” For the barest moment, there’s a flicker of something… hurt? Irritation? But it vanishes quickly. “Of course, you must serve your temple, especially when we are in Boldhome. I understand.”
Berra blinks, and then says, “Think that if you want to,” which isn’t a polite way of putting things. “Just… a weird thing.”
“No, it’s fine. I’m just a bit on edge.” Varanis gestures as if she’s brushing away her words of a moment before. “Just a little tired and worried.”
Berra takes a while before she says anything else, just riding quietly, facing sideways, with half a dozen expressions fighting for dominance, none clearly winning.
“The people you were describing Onjur to… you figure they understood just how devious he can be? Did they take you seriously enough?” Varanis asks, clearly trying to return to safer territory.
“Yeah. Otherwise they wouldn’t have been there. I’ve never spoken to just Rune Lords before. But it’s not a thing to mention to people. If someone’s in prayer and tells what happened, I’m worried about what people could find out.”
Varanis nods. “I’ve not mentioned it to Vinga. If she cares, she knows.”
“Yeah…” Berra looks curious for a moment, then subsides, then thinks a little. “Anyhow, if you have any thoughts about what Onjur might be looking at, the big strategic stuff, let me know?”
“Yeah. I’ll think about it.” Varanis offers nothing more, turning her attention to the space between Manasa’s ears.
“After Sea Season, we should go see the Dwarf,” Berra says. “About walls.”
“For Blue Tree?”
“Yeah. We don’t have to go there. We can still ask him. And the houses.”
Varanis nods. “As long as King Kallyr or Lord Tennebris don’t have any orders for me that would interfere, that seems like a reasonable plan.”
15 March 2022
“Yep. And my Temple only gets a week of my time anyhow, and sometimes that’s out with you anyhow.” Berra faces backwards, begins wriggling down the back of her bison, then apparently remembers she is not on Vengeance with Rajar leading. Her body flexes, she twists as she goes, and ends up still holding onto the hump, and able to climb back upwards. Followed takes that as an order to trot for a few steps, but Berra manages to stay on and get the reins back.
Varanis watches the acrobatics wordlessly.
“I wanted a nap,” Berra says in explanation. “And Billy used to be really good for it.”
“Billy was quite the beast,” Varanis acknowledges. “I like Nala’s Billy dance. It’s a good reminder of him.”
“Yeah.” Berra grins at memory, or amusement. “Ss’good.”
They ride on, sharing memories of Billy and other mounts, managing to evade more fraught topics.