1628, Fire Season
After the events of Jar-eel’s Heroquest, Berra feels she owes an apology to Irillo. Session 3.22.
As Yelm gets halfway up the sky, Berra rides closer to Irillo. “I really like this horse,” she says. “It’s the first one I’ve ever liked for riding. Thank you.”
“Last night…” Berra looks him up and down.
“Sorry. I always have a come down from trying to be brave. It doesn’t come naturally the way it does for you or Rani.”
“No, I wanted to check on you. Because you don’t ever do that. I mean, you’re the one that I think about sometimes as a good example. Well, an example. I’m not going to grow a beard.” Berra makes a joke, pauses, and blanches.
He laughs, and then frowns, “Are you alright, Berra?”
Berra takes a moment to answer. “No. It’s… But I didn’t come here to check on me. Anything I can do for you?”
“I don’t think so. I mean, when I’m brave, it tends to be a momentary thing- you know, when Grey Rock happened, or Serzeen was attacked, or when I’m really angry. I don’t like deliberately being brave! And look, Berra, take a moment to share. It’ll increase Harmony, I feel.”
Berra looks away for a moment, and then back. “Right now, I can’t really. But I did have a couple of things to say. One I’m sure of. The other I’m thinking about. Do you think you’re a warrior?”
He laughs, “No. No, of course not. Militia at best. That’s why I try and avoid putting my armour on, in case someone gets ideas!”
Berra nods. “Militia, though – you’d muster? But maybe not? I think you’d be with the caravan. You see, I made a decision for you, and put you in danger, and I’m wondering if that was wrong of me.”
It looks like that is not all that is worrying her, but it is still heavy on her brow.
He shakes his head, “No. You’re the professional. If you make a safety decision, I respect your expertise. I more meant, my fighting is at best of militia quality. They might muster me if things got bad, like another civil war – Issaries forbid – but in general, no. Not a warrior. Armour paints a target on you.”
Berra nods, taking that in. “Then I’m sorry. When I asked Jar-eel to stop the Heroquest, that was taking a risk for you.”
He shrugs a bit, “Yeah. Yeah, it was. But… did you think it was necessary? Or even likely?”
Not likely. But yeah, I needed to resist her. But because you were not there … because you’re not a warrior, and Maalira and Valseena were there, I shouldn’t have. Unh’monious, right?” She gives him a look of sorrow and apology.
He raises a hand, “It’s alright. We all survived.”
That gets a tiny smile. “And I learned I couldn’t trust her. For all she sounds reasonable. That’s the thing I noticed.”
There’s a waver of a hand. “Lots of them do sound reasonable. Some of them can be trusted. Some can’t.” He shrugs. “It’s not so simple. “
“Yeah, but I mean it more than that. It’s like a Eurmali can mean what they say. So she’s reasonable because she believes it – but it’s not what you can trust because it’s not related to what’s really going on.” Berra looks a little cut up, but mostly looks like she wants to be certain Irillo got her point.
He shrugs, “Not sure I get you, but that’s okay. I’m pretty sure She sees the world in ways I can’t fathom. Also, can we make absolutely clear in any songs that I resisted her wiles, just in case they get back to Esrolia?”
Whatever he meant by it, that makes Berra look away and take a moment to think. “It’s something that’s helping me not think like she does,” the warrior says finally. “She got interested in me, and talked to me a lot. Too much.”
He winces. “Those the Gods take an interest in achieve great, or terrible things, and then die horribly, on the whole. Lets try and avoid that, shall we?”
There’s a pause, and then Berra says, “No. It would be wrong to back down.” It would be out of character for her to look afraid, so that determination must cover something else, surely?
Berra looks away, and stares between the ears of her horse. “We’re in a different time now to when we could be free and that be alright. We have to decide what to do with it, not how to walk away. If you get me?”
“I do, but you know, maybe I’ve been hanging around with too many Earth cultists. There’s got to be another way.”
“Your favourite Earth cultist cuts heads off people,” Berra replies, after thinking that through. “Sometimes, even if there’s another way, that’s horrible too. We’re in the Hero Wars, Irillo. You and me both.”
He sighs and runs a hand through his hair, “Yes. But doesn’t mean I have to like it.”
“Is there any myths about how Issaries felt?”
“Not really. But Wars are the opposite of Harmony.”
“It’s when we need you most,” Berra tells him. “You know that. So anything I can do for you, let me know.”
He nods. “For now, I’m…. well, not good, but…”
“Yeah. I getcha. I’ll have a bit more I can say once we’re further away, anyhow. And I am sorry I disturbed your sleep. I was a bit surprised, and so was Maalira.”
“I think that…. well, if what I heard is right, then it’s understandable.”
“I tore my sleeping clothes, and my neck hurts.” Berra has mild bruising there. It looks almost like a distorted script. It is clear, though, that the apology is off her conscience now, and she is working hard on distracting herself. It is also clear that she is fragile. Not the obsidian to which he has compared her, but eggshell.
He gives a cheery smile. “A blessing, then.”
It takes a moment for her to try to smile, and she fails. “I paid you for the horse, right?”
“You did, yes. Thank you.”
After that, the Humakti falls silent, and that seems to be that.1Hooray! Apologised to Irillo without any screaming.
He’s harmonious, so it’s easier
- 1Hooray! Apologised to Irillo without any screaming.
He’s harmonious, so it’s easier