1627, Earth Season
At Glasswall after the chase for Lunar cavalry. Takes place after Session 2.49: Drinking Song.
Varanis was criticised by Xenofos because Berra appears to have contradicted something the Vingan said. Now she’s annoyed. Followed by Words Of Admonishment.
En route to Glasswell, hours after Xenofos rode away from her, Varanis finally seeks out Berra.
By now, they are almost back at the road, which Berra has decided to hit and move along, rather than going straight to the city. As it turns out that there is nobody waiting to intercept them, she has relaxed a little, and so turns a brief smile on Varanis. “Hey.” She gives a swift, easy salute, a general to a lord, in the field – or a captain to a thane.
“I need a word. Privately.” The words are clipped. Irritated.
Berra gives a look around, and says, “Once we’re on the road, I’ll drop back. Get…” Then she looks at Varanis, looks ahead, and says, “Now is good.” Her strong arms pull Followed to a slower walk, and she waves on those who pass by.
When Varanis is satisfied that they won’t be overheard, she glares in Berra’s general direction. She can’t hold the look, because Manasa seems to be as irritated as her rider. “You decided to explain my decision to Xenofos?”
“No, I told him that he was being rested. I explained MY… Uh… wait what? Yes, of course I told him. And why.” Berra just looks confused.
“He seems to be of the opinion that you explained my reasons and my reasons are different from yours. He believes that one of us is lying or at least, not being fully honest with him. He suggested that I chastise you for contradicting me and insinuated that this kind of break down in communication would be bad for troop morale.” There is rage in her eyes, but the Vingan is keeping her volume down. “I don’t know if I’m angry with him for distrusting me or with you for asking me to speak with him and then doing it yourself or with the whole fucking world for not being as it should!”
“Uh, yeah?” Berra continues to look confused. “I told him he was being rested. But …” She still looks confused after saying that.
“I didn’t mention him being rested, because my other reason was that I wanted to train others to command. Nearly losing him meant we nearly lost our cavalry commander without someone else primed to take his place. This is a thing I have been worrying about. It also gave me a graceful way to give Xenofos a break without him being punished.”
Berra thinks for a long moment. “Right. So yeah, I can see that could hurt.” She winces. “We should probably talk to him together. Because it was two bits of Truth. Our own reasons.”
“I tried to explain that. He has it in his head that neither of us are telling him the truth and that it’s really about him being afraid. I couldn’t speak to him further or I’d have said things I regretted.”
“Uhuh. Want me to try?” Berra looks around for Xenofos. “I should. But it might make things worse. But I should.”
“I think we should do it together, but maybe when I am less likely to yell.”
“Yeah.” Berra looks ahead. “I think the road will be good, ahead, but I want to be careful moving in. Not before tonight, and probably… well, we still need to talk about food at Glasswall, but that doesn’t have to be us.”
Varanis nods. “I’m going to ride on my own for a while. I’m not fit company for anyone.”
Berra nods. “Uhuh. Look, sorry. I didn’t realise… sorry.” She looks more wry than subdued – the sorrow is of a sort that does not bring her down on the outside. However, to someone who knows her, it seems she is putting on that outside, and underneath she is … thinking hard? Angry at herself? Probably both of those things.1B: I rolled Insight for you. V: I can tell. 😛
“Look… don’t feel b… well, feel whatever you need to. This is on me though. Now that the words are out, I know where the blame falls. I’ll ride it off and do better later.”
“Uh, ye-ye-yeh-no. This is not you. This is an… this is an us thing.” Berra might not have the words for the more complicated descriptions of human relationships.
“As you wish.” Whatever arguments Varanis might have, she appears to be holding them in.2B: If Berra did a thing where she actually initiated human contact, would Varanis let that happen? I rolled HumaktiHug. V: Yes, but we are both riding and Manasa is irritable. A thing to bear in mind. B:Getting off the bison is included. Want to roll me Ride and see if you fumble? V: Shockingly, not only do I not fumble, I actually pass.
Berra gives Varanis a brief look, then slips off Followed, towards the Vingan. She walks alongside for a few moments, looking up, and then reaches out for a hand squeeze. Strong fingers, a warrior’s calluses, and a face that has too much care in it for a servant of Humakt.
Varanis looks down at her friend in surprise, then gratitude.
“You’re doing alright,” Berra says. “It’s just really hard. But you’re doing alright.”
“Thank you,” Varanis says, blinking rapidly. There’s no sign of the anger that had been bubbling below the surface only moments ago. “It is hard. I still don’t know if…” She shakes her head. “No time for doubt.” The dark circles beneath her eyes suggest that she has been doubting a lot.
“Yeah. We’re doing fine. One bit at a time.” Berra gives one last squeeze and then scrambles back onto Followed. “Get back to Glasswall. Get food. All of it’s simple alone.”
“Negotiate with Argrath for Kallyr… simple.”
“Yeah. Kinda. But they’re all different things. And it’s all one bit at a time and you’re doing well.”
Varanis nods, without arguing further.
- 1B: I rolled Insight for you. V: I can tell. 😛
- 2B: If Berra did a thing where she actually initiated human contact, would Varanis let that happen? I rolled HumaktiHug. V: Yes, but we are both riding and Manasa is irritable. A thing to bear in mind. B:Getting off the bison is included. Want to roll me Ride and see if you fumble? V: Shockingly, not only do I not fumble, I actually pass.