In The Pale Yelm Light

1628, Fire Season, Stasis Week.


On the way back to Boldhome after the Heroquest. Xenofos wrestled Berra down and would not let her go, during the final struggles. Session 3.20.


Pre-dawn is slowly being chased by first rays of Yelm. A figure huddled into green cloak strides silently towards the guardpost.

Berra is watching the world, and for her that includes putting eyes over the camp as well. She catches the figure clad in fertility, and after fixing it in her gaze for a moment, ignores it in favour of the outside.

Slowly Xenofos walks towards the guard. When he is roughly at distance of ten paces he stops.

Berra gives him a level look. It has no heat in it, no coldness, just the look of someone waiting to hear another out.

Xenofos looks at her quietly, observing.1Xenofos passes Insight (Human).

Insight: Under the surface, Berra mostly just wants this over with. Everything else is lesser to just being done.

Scribe nods, quietly before speaking up “I am sorry for the pain I caused you, little cousin.”

There is a long pause before Berra speaks. “I guessed you would be. It makes little difference.”

“I know how important freedom is to you. I felt your anger and fear. I have no excuse of not knowing.” He continues quietly.

Now there’s just a shrug. Berra does not turn away, but she does not say anything either.

Scribe is quiet for a while. “I could explain why, but doubt you want to hear that.”

“I should probably know the truth,” Berra says, pronouncing it in a way that says she has already thought about Truth and this conversation.

Scribe tilts his head and looks a her. “Very well. Several reasons intermingled. To protect you. To stop you from continuing attacks on Orlanth for stopping the quest. To be the one that gets stabbed if I fail to restrain you and you decide to to hinder the quest with sharp bronze.”

Berra nods. “Yeah,” she says. “And I figure you’d do it again, if you thought you should.”

There is a touch of question there. The Humakti is not sure.

Scribe is silent for a while.

“I… I don’t know. “

Berra gives him time in which to say nothing, and then nods when he does answer. “You’ve already told me,” she says quietly, and quotes, “‘Some of us have made oaths.’ You would not trust me not to use my sword. You can’t know what I am thinking. So you’ll never be someone I can trust not to get it wrong again.”

“I have seen you kill Varanis… Blade is not the main thing though. Helping Varanis fulfill the wow she shared with us was, but I don’t know if I would have resolve to fulfil my oath by hurting you again.”

Berra nods, curtly.

Before Berra has time to answer he continues “Maybe you should have used your blade…”

“I thought about it, but Jar-eel was there. I had a different plan. A couple, maybe. But it does not matter. You do not get to have me help you out of your decision by Death, Xenofos. You were bound to her long ago and that means you are bound to her mistakes.”

Scribe nods.

Sometimes, when Berra is very calm, she loses the gutter Esrolian twist, and some of the rural Sartar lilt. Her voice is calm, plain, softly foreign. “Maybe you have suffered least this time. Irillo was bad-tempered last night. Dormal I will not trust with these things. Your lady needs you to tell her things that cheer her. Whatever you can find, let her know. She is the weakest part of this group right now.”

“There is no much cheer in me right now, Berra.” He strokes his beard. “But I’ll do what I can.”

“She needs to hold together. And we need to get home.” Berra nods, and this seems to be a dismissal.

Scribe nods. As he turns he stops and looks at her “We will not forget. And what you spoke of trust is probably true. Can you forgive?”

“Probably not, to be honest. I know why you did it, but you chose the wrong how. So maybe I just can’t ever trust.” The kindest use a knife…

He nods again slowly.

Berra asks, “Anything else?”

“It might require trust…” he shakes his head and smiles wistfully “If there are ways I can ease pain I caused, please tell me. But I’ll try to do what you asked with Varanis.” He turns to walk away.

Berra nods shortly, in farewell and not agreement, and turns back to the dawning sky.

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    Xenofos passes Insight (Human).