Doa Or Die

Berra — Doa Or Die

1627, Earth Season, Movement Week


Context

Earth Season, Probably Movement Week, a day after the main group including Varanis and Berra got to Boldhome. After session 54 (Climactic Explosion).

Events

It is past noon when two riders enter Boldhome.

Out of habit Xenofos rides to White Grape to leave their horses there before starting to hunt down after Varanis (and the little Humakti.)

The little Humakti is wrapping herself around food (with Varanis). It looks like Berra has ordered a small amount of everything and tried to eat it, and pushed things over at Varanis as well.

“Greetings! Good we found you here without taking the stairs in vain,” Xenofos says. Lenta nods politely.

“There are a thousand,” Berra tells Lenta. A moment later she adds, “You might have been told that already.”

She nods with a polite smile.

Varanis leaps up to greet them warmly. There are hugs for both. “The journey went well?”

Berra looks a little tense, gives Lenta a smile, turns her attention casually to Xenofos.

“No surprises on the journey. I met Mellia. She sends her greetings.” Xenofos says “Took your message to Yehna and Haran, little cousin. The boy has grown…”He smiles warmly.

For Xenofos it is obvious that Berra wants to hear all the news, and is nervous about some of it.1Varanis fails Insight (Human)

“I will tell everything on better time, though.” He turns to Varanis.

She invites them to sit at the table. “Let’s order more food for you. Lenta, Rondrik makes an excellent stew, if you wish something hot. Or we can add more little plates of things and you can just sample whatever inspires you.” As she’s speaking, she signals the innkeeper.

Berra says, “I can personally tell you that it’s all good, but if I have to stand up I’m not going to want to sit down again.” She looks proud of the pile of tiny plates.

“It is probably good thing if you do eat something before you continue, Lenta” Xenofos tells to the young woman. “She should meet with Kalis, and probably you should be there too Varanis.”

The Vingan nods. “I do need to visit the High Priestess anyway. I’m sure she already knows I’m in Boldhome, but she’ll be expecting me to come by to see her sooner rather than later.”

Berra pushes out a stool with her foot.

Lenta and Xenofos eat and grab some plates. After making sign of Earth and breaking a piece of bread Xenofos continues. “As a thane this time. Lenta has letters from Doa and message from Dogva to Kalis.”

Berra entirely fails to help people to food in a polite fashion. She simply stretches in her seat, slowly and painfully.

“They will need someone after the harvest if I understood correctly. And preparations should be made for a more permanent solution before the Sacred time.” the scholar explains as he puts slices of cold ham on his bread.

“Um, need someone who? How?” Berra sways a bit, trying out this concept of ‘moving’.

“I am not fully understanding what you are telling me, Xenofos. A fuller explanation, please.” Varanis pours wine for the Esrolians, then offers the flask in Berra’s direction.

“I think he means that in Sartar he expects men to have to take women around. Or else it’s because you’re a Thane of the Blue Tree.” Berra makes a ‘tiny bit please’ pinching motion to the wine.

“Since you are thane of the village you are suitable representative to plead the matter to Kalis, that was the opinion of Gis.” Xenofos nods towards Lenta “And since she is initiate of Ernalda she is taking Doa’s letters to the High priestess after Dogva asked.”

“What matter?” Varanis asks impatiently.

“They need someone to take care of the rites after harvest. And a new priestess at Sacred time. Since they do not have one now.”

Berra counts on her fingers. “Doa?” She looks confused.

Varanis looks she was about to ask the same question, glancing at Berra and then back at the others.

Lenta nods. “She has left. She did not say where.”

“The… did the river… no. Because she left letters.” Berra nods, thinking along.

“Wasn’t she Dogva’s wife?” the Vingan asks, confused. “Isn’t she?”

After a pause, Varanis says, “Of course I’ll present the petition.”

Berra looks to Lenta and back to Xenofos. “What, she just up-an’-left?”

“She did leave messages, Berra.” Xenofos rubs his temple. “Dogva said the Ring did discuss if he was a threat and should be killed for the safety of the clan. She left with him.”

“He who?” Varanis is more than impatient now.

“I am sorry Berra. Danaril.” Scribe looks at the little Humakti.

Berra stares, confused. Not putting it together until Xenofos says the name. “Right. And did my clan let my cousin know that, or did they just talk and leave him alone to run?” There is sudden danger there, over-fed or not.

“They took him to live at the edge of the village, but did not know what they should make of him.” He looks around the table “You two saw him, he did not really know what to make of himself either.”

“That doesn’t mean they should kill him!” Varanis protests, looking suddenly angry.

“I’m glad he’s happy,” Berra says quietly. “Now.”

Xenofos nods to Berra. “Gis said they would have come to same conclusion, Varanis. Doa was quite outraged that they even considered it. Long story short, next morning the two were gone.”

“Wait. So this all happened in one night? For a scribe you sometimes give really backwards reports.” Berra reaches for her thimble of wine.

“The final discussion happened in2Was ‘in early’ before some discussion of dates Earth season. He had lived there for some time before that.” He shrugs “If I write it down one day I’ll start from time he lived at Blue Tree for the first time.”

“Did they search at all? Or just abandon the two of them to exile as Storm Season approaches?” Perhaps her frustration is now leading Varanis to not listen as closely as she ought to.

“Search and bring them back by force perhaps? ” Lenta asks.

“No, there was no search.” Xenofos answers. “Some mourning and shame said Dogva.”

“Of course not,” the Vingan snaps. “But make sure they know that he has a place in his own village!”

“Well, if she’s made a decision, then there should not be shame,” Berra says flatly.

“And if they didn’t feel safe returning, they make sure they are well supplied for wherever they are headed,” Varanis adds.

“Shame for discussing kin-killing, Berra” scribe says quietly.

Berra subsides a little. “Good.” She has a good glower on.

“There will be more to come when I get there and speak my mind to the Ring.” Her brows are lowered in an angry glower and her voice is full of warning.

“Was planning on going that way,” Berra says, rolling her shoulders.

“They do need a godtalker or priestess for the proper rituals at end of harvest time first. Lest children go hungry again.” Lenta notes sombrely. “Dealing out justice is secondary to that, I think and perhaps better left to Earth itself. So we should probably talk to Kalis. Do you think you can arrange it for today Varanis?”

“Are you thinking you could step in?” Berra asks Lenta with mild interest.

“Don’t be a fool, Berra.” she says “I have not had a child. And it should eventually be someone local who knows the ways of this land.”3Berra and Varanis pass Scan. Blushing earlobes do spoil her adult impression.

“Oh yeah.” Berra looks up at the ceiling. “I’d forgotten you weren’t a mother. You’ve got the knack. I mean, of talking to people.”

“I’ll make the arrangements for us,” Varanis says, rising from the table. She makes her way to Rondrik for a quiet word. He gives her a nod, she passes some coins over, and he summons a child of about 8 or 9 from the kitchens, who listens, then tears off through the doors. Varanis rejoins the others.

“His nephew,” she says by way of explanation. “He carries messages as fast as those little legs of his can carry him, which is surprisingly fast.”

Berra spends that moment explaining to Lenta, “I think you’re a pretty good Ernaldan, you see,” and trying not to fall off her stool backwards.

Catching that last bit, Varanis nods her agreement. “She’s right Lenta. If you decide that’s what you want in life, you would make an excellent priestess one day.”

Lenta looks as if she does not quite know how to take the compliment and hides herself behind her food.

“S’good. Eat. Put on curves.” Berra nods happily. “I ordered too much.”

A moment later, Berra does remember to ask, “Wait, where are you staying, Lenta? You got a place yet?”

“Xenofos told this inn is quite decent” she answers.

“Yeah, but for the whole of the two seasons? We can pay, but I was thinking of buying a house, anyhow. And if my sister comes and visits she’ll need a place. I mean, to stay in. And someone to be with.” Berra talks a lot.

Varanis perks up at this. “It would be nice not to have to climb those stairs sometimes.”

“That is a thought. But that can be arranged later.” Lenta answers to Berra.

Berra nods, already obviously planning.

====
Berra hears that Danaril and Doa have run away after the Clan Ring discussed killing him.