Looking Ahead

1629, Sea Season, Disorder Week, Probably Fireday


Session S4.3.


As the group rides back from Battle Valley towards Beasts Gather, Berra has a talk with Varanis. The Vingan ends up riding inside the circle of protection made by others, for once.

A little later in the ride, Berra drops in beside Mellia. Her mare, softly golden-sheened, is a little taller than the last horse she had, but the combo of the two is still short. “Hey,” she tells the healer.

“Hello, Berra. How are you?” Mellia replied. Mellia is being as sensible as possible and is sitting in her donkey cart.

“The usual,” Berra says. “Also kind of tired out, but that’s pretty usual right now. So you know, Varanis needs sleep this afternoon so we can worship tonight. Don’t have any emergencies that need a Rune Lord.” She grins. “How are you?”

Mellia smiles. “I’m doing well, although I should have Lenta help me with a check up. I hope I do well with Trollsbane.”

“What kind of… oh right yes, Ernaldan. What’s your plan? I mean, for the next coupla days, not for the birth and stuff.”

“I think holding out the possibility of trade for rare goods would help. Irillo is much better than I am at that. The trolls wishing to worship at their shrines should help also.”

“Worship… why is the name ‘Trollbane’? That worries me. I didn’t catch all of the details back at the start, I’m afraid.” Berra looks rueful.

“I remember the troll chief saying that he earned that name. None of us pressed him for details. I suspect the two settlements were fighting.” Mellia frowns. “I am not good at spreading harmony.”

“We should find out more just in case. How long do feuds go down, all of that stuff. If we have a current problem, that’s different from an old problem.” Berra shrugs. “Maybe I am thinking too much like a campaigner.”

“It’s a good way to think, Berra. I can point out that the trolls have different ways of healing and have midwives. How that will go down depends on how much they want healing.”

“Depends a bit who we’re negotiating with. I got the idea it was people from Beasts Gather who could tell us more, rather than them having the …. is that right? Do they have control over the area or do they just have information? I was thinking mostly defensively in that place.” Now Berra looks apologetic.

“I got the impression that the people of Beasts Gather want to stay out of this. Remember, we couldn’t even get a guide.”

Berra wrinkles her little nose. “Yeah. But they’re … well, they gave us information. So we can get that at least. Stories of the Six Sisters, stuff like that.”

Mellia agrees, “Every little bit helps.”

“I’ve got about a week and then I have to head back to Boldhome for a few days. I can come back after that if you need me again, but Sea Season’s pretty full. I need to travel.”

“Oh my! Where do you need to go? After this, I want to stay in either Blue Tree or Boldhome until the birth. I would prefer Blue Tree.”

“Boldhome. Oh, right. I see what you mean. Between this holy day and the next one, I want to visit Nochet.” Berra says it just like a rural Orlanthi. Not-chit.

Mellia looks thoughtful. “Why Nochet?” Mellia pronounces the name correctly.

“I want to speak to Kesten Hulta. Lord Kesten.” Berrra scratches her ear, chasing away a bright insect that alighted there for a moment. It seems to have interrupted her caravan of thought.

“Good luck with that,” Mellia replied. “The Hultas are a stubborn bunch.”

“Oh, no worries. So are most people to be honest. It depends what’s on the line, and I think he likes me. Probably? Or at least respects what I am.” Berra smiles. “Anyhow. We got a week, and then you’ll probably be fine anyhow. I won’t abandon you if you’re not. Blue Tree’s not far from here, I think. Although I was pretty lost when I found the Nunnery.”

Mellia chuckles at that. “We’d have to get word to Venlar if we go straight home from here.”

“I’ll be going that way, but yeah. Although I thought he was escorting Yehna back, so he might be up there.” Berra counts on her fingers. “Eh. Probably not by now. And I won’t know when I go that way, unless I do know. Do you think Maalira’s alright?” The change in subject is exactly the sort of thing she does.

“I hope so. I forget where she’s going. Maalira should be fine unless Xenofos has nightmares again.”

“Yehna’s going back to the Blue Tree,” Berra says with a touch of confusion. “Unless you mean Maalira. She was probably going to be at Beasts Gather, waiting for us, unless she stayed at the Nunnery.”

“I meant Maalira. Sorry. I would have stayed at the Nunnery and picked their brains.”

Berra nods, absently. “I should probably get back up front, but I… yeah. Ask Irillo what he thinks of Trollbane.” She rolls out her shoulders, getting ready to go be alert again.

“I will try,” Mellia rashly promises.

Berra grins. “List assets, possibilities, problems. If you can’t, put not knowing among the problems, and deal with it first.” She steers her horse away from the donkey cart, slowly.

Mellia carefully waves to her.

Berra grins, tries to stand up in the saddle, and has to make a very sudden dismount. Apparently her horse is not trained for that.