Berra — Eril Makes Berra Nervous
????, Fire Season, Illusion Week
Fire Season, Illusion Week, Fireday. After speaking to Varanis about who should take the part of Humakt if Eril should not ([[[varanis:1626-0741-facing-humakt|Facing Humakt]]]) and seeing Irillo ([[[varanis:1626-0743-grapes|Peel me a Grape]]]) Berra goes to see Lord Eril again, and finds out he has other ideas about who should. [[[s01:session-44|Session 44]]]
Contains spoilers about Eril.
Question to Duck
“Is Sword Eril being the same to you as you’d expect? He’s being scarily kind to me. And he hasn’t used any words I … well, he used some words I didn’t understand but it wasn’t like he was pointing out I didn’t. I’m worried about him.”
Again Berra claps outside Eril’s door. This time she listens carefully to exactly how she is told to come in.
(Was that an instruction? I think it wasn’t, but it was close. He’s disguising that he can’t give them.)
In she goes, and gives him a quick once-over.
Eril is up and seated at a writing table
Berra attempts not to look either impressed or terrified, and bows to him. “My Lord, I have a message from Thegn Varanis.”
“Divination says that the Prince is on the Hero Path. The best way to follow the lead is the Lightbringers’ Quest, she feels. She wants Lord Irillo to be able to move first, but as soon as he can, it should happen.”
“That appears appropriate.”
Berra bows, and then rather than retreating, changes the subject somewhat. “Lord, is it possible for an initiate to go further into the mysteries of the altar, without being a Rune Sword?”
“Further than you have? Certainly. I understand you have been learning other important skills.”
“Yes, Lord, but there is something only Humakt can teach me.” Berra’s face is open, readable, determined.
“And what is that?”
“The inner sense of threat, Lord, of assassins.”
“Ahhh. I thought you meant the ceremonies. It is possible, although rare.”
There is a hesitation obviously filled with Berra arranging her thoughts, and then she changes subject again. “Will I be able to be present for the Death of Orlanth, my Lord?”
“Yes. You may be required.”
Berra looks surprised, and then gives him an appraising look, obviously trying to work out how he is.1Special on First Aid.
He’s pushing himself harder than Irillo, and taking the consequences.
Of course he is. He’s a hero.
Berra thinks briefly. A suspicious man might wonder if her stance, hands behind her back, were allowing her to check her own pulse against Eril’s. She would need sharp eyesight, but that slightly unfocused look could be an attempt to see skin movement and not details. Or, she could just be thinking while considering taking out his carotid artery. “How so, my Lord?” she asks almost lightly.
“If I lack strength to strike smoothly. Or if the God requires a presence. It might kill me at present.”
Berra’s nod has no pity in it, just an acknowledgement. Her body language is perfectly calm. A downward twitch of the lips is mastered almost but not quite instantly2Passed Loyalty (Temple) as a proxy for personal loyalty to Eril.. Another pause, while she prepares the next question for the bowstring, takes aim, and looses. “Not the Black-Sword?” The title of the Iron Lord is an official one.
“He has not wielded a sword in a long time. I am not sure what he would cut.”
“And the Acting High Sword, whoever that is by th… we don’t know, so that’s not a plan, that’s a hope. We don’t know if the Regiment will be back. But not Lord D’Val?” And she watches him.3And passed Insight (own species).
A slight shake of the head, “We have business here.” He’s still showing dislike but that seems honest calculation
Berra nods. “I was wrong earlier, then. I told Thegn Varanis that I did not know enough. I should have told her I would learn. But Separation and the myths of Death were not my study in Esrolia, Sword of Humakt.”
“You were busy then. We all were.”
Pride entirely fails to make Berra mention what she did. “I will need instruction… well, I assume I will. If the God’s presence is enough then I will need purity.”
“Both. But enough for today.”
Berra bows, and on the way out says, “Thegn Varanis will need a time and place.” If she has mercy in her, it is in delivering that part of the message so he can write the answer later.4Failed Darkness Rune. Although Berra wants to be cruel to someone she thinks she dislikes immensely, she cannot bring herself to.
Outside, Berra waits quietly, rather than leaving immediately. If Lord Eril is about to pass out, she wants to be able to go back and help him. However, he seems fine. She leaves.