1628, Earth Season
On the Grazelands, Berra has bad dreams. Kindly sent by Varanis. Session SA3.04.
When Berra opens her eyes, the moon is bright overhead. The fire has long gone cold, but she can make out the faces of her friends in the gleaming light cast by the dancer in the skies. They sleep.
Maalira’s expression is grief-stricken and tear-stained. She whimpers softly, but shows no signs of waking.
Finarvi’s skin is blistered and weeping. He thrashes in agony, but his eyes remain tightly closed.
Varanis’ golden Grazelander, Serala lies face down in the mud.
Nearby, the Vingan sits, her back against a rock. Her head lolls to the side and blood drips from a gash in her scalp. Her armour gapes where the bear’s claws cut deep.
There are others too. Rajar, curled on his side, evidence of too much drink poisoning his body.
Xenofos lies broken. His head is at an odd angle to his body and he looks as though he was shaken like a rag doll.
Irillo, Suuraki, Valseena, Mellia, Venlar…. The bodies are strewn all around. Even Dormal.
There, just beyond the others, the familiar form of Yehna. Berra’s sister sobs, awake and alone.
In a different dream, she sees an immense figure that can only be Harrek, locked into combat with the lean, elegant form of Lord Eril. The Bear is brutal and vicious. His sweeping claws rake the Humakti repeatedly. Eril staggers, but his sword blade strikes home, the keen edge sliding into Harrek’s chest. Harrek doesn’t notice. His maw gapes and Eril can’t evade the teeth. There is a horrible pop and crunch. The body doesn’t even twitch.
In the sky above, the red moon gleams.
When Berra wakes next, the world is new and bright. The sun shines down on the crystalline snow and she has to squint against the light. The bear roars behind her.
She is curled under the sleeping hides, snuggled next to her sister. Their mother sings softly. Tiny Berra is warm and safe and very loved.
When she awakes this time, she can still hear the old lullaby. Yelm has begun his ascent and Varanis and her sword dance their greeting in the cool morning air.