Notes from a Room

1628, Dark Season, Disorder Week, Waterday


Berra has been badly wounded, and in her room at the Humakti Temple, she sees several visitors. Session SA3.13.

These conversations are largely to get the correct voice for the Wyter, and to sort out relationships in the early days. They are therefore both spoilery and prolix.


“What are you doing? Stay resting, lady Berra!”

“My High Sword’s coming. I bow to greet him. It’s what I should do.”

“No. I shall bow on your behalf and you will stay down.”


“Good morning, High Sword.”

A nod of the head. “How is she?”

“As one would expect. The second wound was a surprise, but I have dealt with it. It touched the bone.”

Athanu. Second wound?

Unknown, Lord.

“Mm. Thank you for your service. The Temple will be gifted in thanks.”

“Thank you for calling us, High Sword. I know the way out.”

“Report, then. Tell me of my Wyter, and then introduce us.”

“What do you want to know, Lord?”

Something is wrong, Athanu. Mark everything, for my later examination.

It shall be done.

“Start with your first understanding of it – no matter how limited. Go on from there, chronologically.”

“Sorry. I don’t know what konologicully means.”

Athanu, compared to previous moments of ign … no, never mind. I know this one.

“… In order of time. Start at the beginning and go on.”

“After you as Ikadz had left, Lord, the room was still dark and misty.”

Athanu, note lack of fear. She should be feeling it.


“It drew together and formed into a man, like you but with Venlar’s scar. I was still tied down. I couldn’t reach him. I talked to him, and told him his duty and what he was.”

“Go on.”

“He thought for a bit, just a few heartbeats, and then he smiled, and said he was grateful, but he had things to do, and he bowed his head and walked out.”

“You should have called the god’s bindings on him then.”

Athanu, is this the first example of silence from Berra Jarangsdottir after an explicit or implied reprimand?

Including changes of posture as answer, no. Addendum: it is rare.

Hmmm… She needs to say something, and cannot… bring herself to argue?


“The quest was not ended yet. I had said I’d finish it. It needed to be done, Lord. I’m sorry.”

She uses the Esrolian form of apology to command, Athanu, not this style of grovelling. Instances of… no, ignore that. I know what is happening.

“Then what?”

“After I called on you, that was it and the Heroquest was done. I went out into the street and Varanis was walking back up the road that led to the gate, with a man made of darkness and fire. I used the magic then, and I fought him. But he didn’t really want to fight, Lord. He started, but he was crying. And he gave up, and I had to help him over to the Iron Lord.”

The sword and the Sword-elect are going to need some work, Athanu.

Order her to bring it?

She cannot walk without damage, and should not be ordered to give him up. They must come to trust each other as swiftly as may be managed.

“Then what?”

“I carried the sword here, Lord, and presented it and then I woke up and he was in my hand. He’s upset. I can feel that.”

“What does he say?”

“Surely you have communicated with him?”

“I don’t know how.”

Not that I need it, Athanu, but note that she seems currently devoid of curiosity.

“He may need help. Swords have emotions more than they need words. Give him some of the magic that fills your spirit.”

Remiss in duties?

Exceptional circumstances. I know what the second wound is. Particular attention to her expressions.

“Yes Lord.”

I resent this.

“Name yourself, Spirit of my Community.”

Screw yourself, my Lord. I am Raven and as noted, resent the-


Athanu, no need to record that gesture. Simply note that the Wyter is capable of disrespect.

“Priest Berra. You are to educate Lord Raven in his duties, including appropriate communication and comport.”

Priest Berra is not known for good manners, or understanding of-

Not the time, Athanu.

“Yes, Lord. Raven, I got a lot of talking to do. It’s gonna take me a bit of time to put the words together, though.”

Believe me, I have learned a great deal of patience lately.

Then exercise it.

“Priest Berra, report to me when your charge is more capable of civilised conversation. Lord Raven, do not try me.”

“Yes, Lord.”

I hate him.1When not underlined, Lord Raven is speaking only to Berra.

“You get used to it.”

“So, first off, just because I am a peasant doesn’t mean I don’t have experience. It means we had different lives.”

For example, I learned how to write, and you learned how to wallow in mud, with pigs.2Fortunately for all concerned, Raven is not speaking to Lord Eril as well.

“You’re insulting me, Lord Raven.”

And how long, pray, did it take you to notice?

“What I mean is that you are insulting me while I don’t have the strength to challenge you. Say it to my face when I can stand.”

“I ain’t gonna try to teach you things. I’m gonna tell you why I do them. It’s all because I chose to be a Humakti. The High Sword says Humakt chooses the best people, but I don’t know about that. I think sometimes really good people choose him, and he sharpens them.”

And if you never have a choice?

“I think everyone does. Most people are afraid to make it, but it’s there. Most people are afraid of Death or change.”

I’m not.

“Yeah, that’s good.”

I had done everything I had to do. Sartar was free. I was a Hero. And then you happened.

“You know that without me there wouldn’t be a you, right? And without Irillo, and without Lord Eril. You can hate us all you like but you’re around to do that.”

Then I hate you too. Because I choose to.

“I hate me a bit too, right now. I din’t mean to hurt you. But I think I know why you’ll always have a problem with Lord Eril.”

Because he is the parts of me that are anathema to me?

“And because you choose to. And also he is a nob, in the way that peasants mean it, a lot of the time.”

Why don’t you tell him that? I’ll help you stand.

“Because he’s never asked me. He knows how I feel, and I’d say it to his face if I felt I had to, but to… to change him instead of angering him, I felt I needed not to. At least, not if he didn’t ask. I wouldn’t lie.”

Felt? Have you given up?

“I’ve done two great things in my life. Jar-eel, and you. It’s enough. I need to rest.”

Naturally I am flattered. But did you say Jar-eel?

“Yeah. Long story. It kind of hollowed me out too.”

She is the young hope of the Empire. Did you meet her?

“I kind of helped kill her. You ever heard of Harrek?”

I am highly educated. Please do not insult me.

“Alright. Sorry. But I need some water.”

I need a little more from your spirit to take a physical form.

“Can you do… sorry. How?”

Just like…This.

“That’s pretty good…”

Water, you say?

“Just pour it, about half full, and hand me the cup. No need to help me.”

So, Jar-eel.

“To be honest you’re a lot more interesting. You’re not as up yourself as she was. I mean, she believed in herself as a goddess. You just believe in yourself as a Lord.”

Was that another peasant insult?

“I’m too tired to know what I really meant. Thanks for the water.”

Tell me about Jar-eel.

“Sure. And Harrek. It all goes together.”

“I ain’t got anything more left in me, so you have to sleep for a bit. Or can you hear me and I just can’t hear you? I could just talk.”

Much though it pains me. I can hear y-“

“That was very strange. So, I’m gonna keep saying stuff and just kick out if you don’t want to hear it. I knew that the Sky Bear was coming, so the next thing I tried to do was not tame it. There’s some reasons why I knew it that I’m pretty sure I shoul’n’t say.”

“Hey, it’s morning. Ow.”

“Alright. I need to call an initiate for the next bit.”

“Just try not to listen, right?”

“Or think.”

distant scornful irritation

~ Priest Berra. Speak of those things you recall, of this latest Heroquest.

~ Note her Wyter forbids it.

~ Um.

~ We shall revisit this after Death’s Day.

  • 1
    When not underlined, Lord Raven is speaking only to Berra.
  • 2
    Fortunately for all concerned, Raven is not speaking to Lord Eril as well.