1628, Earth Season, Fertility Week, Windsday?
The group is riding through the Grazelands, towards Grizzly Peak and the armour that may be buried there, with Giland and a dozen riders as companions. Session SA3.04.
In the early afternoon of their second day on the Grazelands, and thus the second day of the worst hangover of her little life, Berra finally starts drinking water again, and tells Maalira, “My belly hurts.”
“I’m not surprised,” Maalira says. “Your belly has been badly mistreated. I have some lozenges that might help?”
“I like your lozenges,” Berra tells her staunchly. “Yes please.”
Maalira rummages and hands over a small waxed packet.1Maalira passes insight: There is no embarrassment at all in Berra. She’s looking happy to be there. She probably doesn’t remember all of the everything she did while drunk.
The Humakti takes the packet, and opens it up, and then pauses and thinks, and then asks, “Do you keep a supply of these for me now?”
Maalira grins widely. “Well, I keep a supply of them for everyone, but somehow it’s you who needs them the most.”
“Are they different ones, or do you just feed me sweet-lumps and do magic secretly?” Berra looks mock-suspicious.
“Mostly it’s about which seeds or fruits are ground up into them, but sometimes there’s a little magic too. Of course, it is all the blessings of the Goddess.” The last perhaps sounds excessively pious.
Berra nods, accepting that. “Thank you for coming with us.”
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Maalira says. “Broadly speaking.”
“There’s a lot of anywhere else,” Berra notes. “But up ahead, I don’t know if you caught what we were all talking about? To be honest I wasn’t really keeping track of language.” She plumps out her cheeks with lozenges to suck on slowly, like a deadly little desert rat.
“I understood enough. Walking into possible danger again?”
“It’s an interesting sort of… yes. But I think it’s not just all up on the mountain.” Berra looks down at her horse’s ears, and reaches forward to scritch them, which is probably not the best way of communicating with a mount, but at least it does not result in being dismounted.
“What else do you see as a danger?” Maalira is fidgeting with the strap of her scrip, a little nervously.
“Once Varanis finds what’s there, people will be a lot more interested in her,” Berra says. “But… probably only a few people, to be honest. Only she looks more threatening, if she’s picking up… I mean, I’m guessing that there might be something bronze because of Finarvi, but… well, her armour’s old.”
Maalira blinks rapidly a few times. “I… could you explain more?”
Berra says, “Her armour’s kind of famous. It’s in sagas. I mean, her forebears, in the armour, and all that. Berra Colymar … well, it’s a bit complicated because there were likely two of them, but one was at Grizzly Peak. The armour – the rest of it – might be there. But something gave her visions. And Finarvi.”
“Ah.” Maalira considers this for a moment. “But Varanis has the right to the armour… right? No one is going to try to take it off her?”
“Yeah – but when she wears it. I mean, if that’s…” Berra glances across at Finarvi. “It’ll be there. When she wears it, what does it mean? What will Prince Kallyr make of it, and Khan Argrath, and the Lunar Empire?”2GM: And Queen Leika
Maalira grins. “Probably a mess.”
“Mmhm.” Berra nods. “There are a lot of people who would think it’s messy even when it’s not, and it will be messy. Suddenly there’s this old armour around, and the saga’s got a lot about her putting it on, so that’s basically saying the armour’s important. And then she’s a descendant. That’s the danger I’m worried about.”
“The danger of being a descendant?” Maalira is not following very well.
“And of … well, what if she tries to do all the things that her name-g…. that her armour-giver did? What if she succeeds? Berra Colymar fought hard against the Lunars.”
“So does Varanis, already,” Maalira points out reasonably.
“Yeah. The Lunar Empire assassinates people a lot.” Berra frowns in the direction they are going.
“It will make her more of a target?”
“I think magically as well. I think the armour’s going to make her more into her.”
Maalira considers this. “That seems risky.”
Berra looks down. “Didn’t say I liked it.”
“If Varanis is determined, there’s not much we can do about it,” Maalira says consolingly. “Other than make sure there’s enough bandages.”
“I’m determined too,” Berra says to whatever she is looking at. Fluff, in her horse’s mane, apparently. She picks a bit out. “There’s a lot we can do. We just don’t know all of what it is yet.”3Maalira passes Insight again.. Berra is a bit like Irillo was before the Heroquest began – low, and apparently resigned to things. The same sort of weary determination is there.
Maalira leans out from her saddle and manages to give Berra a squeeze on the shoulder with her fingertips. “You’ll figure it out.”
A little after the squeeze, Berra remembers she is not wearing her armour, and goes to put some on.
- 1Maalira passes insight: There is no embarrassment at all in Berra. She’s looking happy to be there. She probably doesn’t remember all of the everything she did while drunk.
- 2GM: And Queen Leika
- 3Maalira passes Insight again.. Berra is a bit like Irillo was before the Heroquest began – low, and apparently resigned to things. The same sort of weary determination is there.