Food for thought

1629, Sea Season, Death Week, Fireday


Near the Six Sisters, the party have regrouped, made plans, and are briefly resting and eating before heading into what might be trouble. Berra and Varanis catch up. session-s4-9


Berra takes some time to be On Guard, as food cooks to warm them up for the rest of the day’s travel and work. She looks damp, and possibly pensive.

Varanis, equally damp in the Sartarite weather, approaches. “How was Boldhome?”

“Drier than here. A bit of sleet and then warm.” Berra grins. “I was busy. I had a lot to do. Kalis sends her regards.”

Varanis laughs. “She does, does she?” The grin fades as she asks, “Did you speak to Tennebris?”

There’s a head-shake. “No time. I was at worship on the first night, had the afternoon to get around Boldhome, and needed to get to the Library and the Earth Temple, and talk to a Sword of Humakt, and I did a dumb thing that took up time, too.”

Varanis arches a brow at the last bit.

“I’ve got some young Humakti I need to look after. But not yet. It’ll be Temple Duty stuff.” Berra’s smile turns wry. “They need a lot of work. Good kids, but really young.” She is of course still in her early twenties, a neophyte to some. “How were things out here?”

Varanis shrugs. “Lenta and Irillo went off to be political. Maalira and Mellia demanded that I sleep.” The Vingan looks less exhausted than when Berra saw her last.

Berra nods. “Anything I need to know? Anything I should?”

Varanis shrugs. “I’m still dreaming, but only twice in the last handful of nights. I think we are doing what we need to be doing.”

That gets another nod from the Humakti. “Good. I think we are too.”

Varanis adds, “Mellia wants me to go to Uleria, but I think it won’t be needed when we clear out this Chaos.”

“Yeah. If it gets better, I don’t think you’ll have to. That’s a place for peace, anyhow – sometimes you don’t need that much, even if things don’t get better.” Berra rolls out her shoulders.1Insight: Berra doesn’t seem to like the Ulerians much right now, for some reason. V: Fumbled roll. Edited Insight: Berra does not seem to think much of the Ulerians.

“They helped Xenofos when he needed it. But, this is different. I’m not broken and in needing of mending. I’m just being ordered about by the gods. It’s bound to be uncomfortable.”

“Yeah.” Berra looks out at the drizzle to the North. “We’re going to be more like this, in the future. More people we have to look after.”

“More?” Varanis sighs. “Yes. I suppose so.” 2Insight: That sigh sounds a lot like, “we’re already looking after so many.”

“Thanes. You’re a Thane. I’m close to being a Sword, apparently. We’re going to be busy.” Berra wrinkles her nose.

Varanis perks. “A Sword? Excellent.”

Berra shrugs. “Just in terms of responsibilities. I don’t need to get that title, but the Temple… I … well, it’s expanding into how big it should be.”

“Having a Hero is probably good for that.”

“Oh. Yes, that too. But it’s mostly… well, yes. I hadn’t thought of that. But I think it’s not – we’ve not got as many people joining the Hero Cult as are joining the Temple. I think. I should check.” Berra looks confused now.

“Even so… surely it increases the prestige of the Temple overall?” Varanis asks. “That would matter for Orlanthi, anyway.”

“Yeah. Definitely. And I’ll … heck. I represent him. Don’t I?” From confusion Berra switches to nerves.

Varanis glances at Eril’s sword meaningfully.

“Yeah, but…” It seems like something is finally hitting Berra. “I’ve got to carry his authority sometimes.” Maybe that’s light horror.

“You bear his sword, maintain his Wyter, and lead his worship, Berra.” Varanis gives her friend a sympathetic pat on the shoulder. “Sometimes you are him, for all intents and purposes.”

“Well… pants.” Berra blinks a bit.

“If it’s any consolation, sometimes I have to remind myself that I have been, and may need to be, Prince Kallyr’s representative.”

“Yeah. Yes, maybe? But ugh.” Berra shudders a bit. “Let’s talk about something else. D’you… if I can’t command, like I’m wounded or dead, what’s your plan? We got some Humakti, assume I’m out. How do you get out of the Six Sisters?”

Varanis blinks. While she’s used to rapid subject changes, the transition from Berra is Eril to Berra is a corpse is sudden.

Berra waits patiently.

“Um…” She blinks again. “Well, I guess I’ll be in command then. Irillo and Maalira can try to grab you. Mellia couldn’t manage that right now. And the Humakti and I will provide protection as we make a retreat. Then I go back with reinforcements.”

Berra nods. “Who’s on guard? On point?” She seems to think the basic plan is good.

“If I have magic left, I might take an aerial approach. Put the Humakti in a triangle, with the strongest as point. If flying is not an option… I’ll take point and put the strongest on rear guard.”
She frowns, then adds, “And if it’s looking grim, I’ll call on Orlanth.”

Berra nods. “Yeah. All good.” She looks a little more relaxed now. “Oh yeah, and that.”

“They tell me it’ll be easier now,” Varanis says, chewing her lip. “Vinga and Orlanth can hear me better.”

“They care. You’re their representative too.” Berra grins.

Varanis chuckles. “I hope they don’t regret their choice!”

“If you get hit by your own lightning bolt, let me know,” Berra tells her.

The chuckle turns into a laugh, with the barest hint of hysteria. “It would… hahahaha… serve… me right!” she gasps.

Berra loses her serious mien, and then as Varanis starts to laugh too much, gets it back again. “No. You deserve it. They deserve you!”

Varanis breathes through the laughter, trying to get it under control. “You are a good friend, Berra,” she says when she can string words together. “I’m glad you chose to keep me.”

Berra looks like she might pounce, or fight, or hug. What she actually does is say, “We work together. But… we’re nearly done waiting for food. You eat, now. Make sure you’ve got a belly full for marching.”

The Vingan wrinkles her nose. “It’s like I am surrounded by a handful of parental figures. Take a nap, Varanis! Eat your breakfast, Varanis! Be nice to the poor chief, Varanis!” She starts to laugh again, then catches her breath. “Wait… what does that say about me?!”

Berra gives Varanis a flat look. “No, you’re doing well. You answer this one.”

“Maybe I’ll just go eat?” Varanis says meekly.

“Let’s go eat.” Berra gives a searching look around the approach to the camp, and then steps back to go seek out the food. She at least will have no problem chowing down.

Her friend dutifully works her way through her own serving of the food, staring at the bowl thoughtfully.

  • 1
    Insight: Berra doesn’t seem to like the Ulerians much right now, for some reason. V: Fumbled roll. Edited Insight: Berra does not seem to think much of the Ulerians.
  • 2
    Insight: That sigh sounds a lot like, “we’re already looking after so many.”