Plebeian

Berra — Plebeian

1627, Sea Season, Harmony Week


Context

Sea Season Harmony Week, probably Windsday. [[[s02:session-32|Session 32]]]

Events

The night after Varanis takes her dip, with the clouds scudding over early, Berra puts herself on the first watch with Xenofos, citing the weather and a need to keep a look-out for trolls. The rain comes down quietly at first, as Berra walks the boundaries of the camp, and then she comes to their meeting point and grunts in greeting. “M-m.”

She is greeted by a nod and a cough. “Berra.”

“Y’alright?” Berra does not look at him, but directs her gaze over the area. Cold. Professional. Alert.

Again answer is a nod. It may be Xenofos is not watching the whole perimeter.

Or anything else but Berra…1Berra rolls a 08 on Charm, but this is superfluous as Xenofos has rolled 03 on Love (Berra).

Water runs down her face, and the little light there is forms the anti-silhouette of her features. She is in her bronze helmet, unusually, after an unfortunate spill of skullbush oil into the leather, which is still packed with bison hair to try to get some out. The cheek pieces do not hide the earnest expression, the readiness for battle, the willingness to move at a moment’s notice. Then she turns to Xenofos, and he gets all of the benefit of that intensity. “Scribe, I have a question.”

“Yes, Berra?”

“Does Xenofobic mean being afraid of you?” She pronounces the word too much like his name, the stresses all wrong for poetry. Her blink as water falls into her eyes is punctuation.

“Wha? No. No it does not. It means someone afraid of strangers. But I guess in Sartar I could be included…”

Berra takes that in, and turns her attention away from the man who had it at least for a moment. “Oh.” She gives a tiny nod.

Such a cute profile.

Something about the way her lips meet that says she is thinking. It gives her that little dimple on her chin.

The rain briefly stops, and in the silence there is a whimper from behind, them. Varanis is fighting a bad dream from the sound of it.

Xenofos wrenches his attention from Berra towards his cousin.

Berra continues watching out, after a brief glance. Varanis is fighting in more than just her dreams – she starts thrashing against some unknown enemy.

He looks at Varanis for a while. After some minutes he asks quietly. “Will you manage alone for a moment, if I check what is ailing her.”

“Yeah. If she gets any louder she needs to be shut up.” But at that point the rain comes back. Berra does not tell Xenofos not to leave just because the noise is covered.

He looks alternatively at Berra and listens to Varanis. Since he can not hear Varanis he hesitates. “She sounded… I’ll go and check anyway, little cousin.”

“Yeah.” Berra looks outward still. Her face is calm, patient, maybe even distant. Maybe even cold.

“Are you sure you manage?”

“You’ve been looking at me more than the out-land. I’ll manage. Don’t be long.”

It may be he blushed. Hard to tell in the semi dark.

But he vanishes without further explanations or questions.

Varanis, meanwhile, has calmed down. Her breathing is still too fast, her expression troubled, but she is no longer crying out. Just wet and worried and asleep. The rain looks like it pooled in the cover she was sleeping under, and when she turned over, soaked her suddenly.

He looks at her, rearranges her cover as well as he is able and listens for a while. Since she is calmer he will return to the post, making a small tour by the animals.

Varanis, no longer being rained on, seems at least a little happier.2Berra passes Listen.

Someone is walking in front of guardpost.

“Who?” Berra asks, and steps sideways to try to get a better look.

“Oh, you were on that side. I strayed a bit wider than I thought in going round the perimeter.”

Berra gives Xenofos a nod. “Yeah. Easily done. All well?”

He shrugs. “She is calmer. And she was wet, from rainwater in the ground.”

Berra’s answer to that is a nod. “Scribe, what’s a pleb?”

“Why, increasing your vocabulary swordswoman?” He sounds a bit amused “Comoner? I think would be closest in heortling.”

“Peasant, maybe. But I was wondering what you said, Lord.” Berra shrugs. “We would say that ‘commoner’ if you mean all the people who are not nobles or outlawed.”

“Yes, that would almost cover the meaning. Not slaves. But other non-nobles. Common women and men of the people.”

“Right. What’s a word that means you’re not afraid of strangers, then?” Berra takes a moment to ask that, being concerned with looking at the surroundings. A face like hers should have freckles. What it has is double scars going jaggedly down to her temples, and a declaration that she follows Truth.

He shrugs looking into the rain. “Cosmopolitan says you are used to seeing strangers, and suggests you are comfortable with being around them. But I do not think that is quite what you are after, little cousin?”

“Nah. Just not caring when they are around, maybe. Should I just leave the word off?” She holds up a hand for a moment for silence, and an animal call she was talking over is repeated. A fox, probably. A natural night sound.

Weird instrument for holding and wielding Death… Yet it becomes her, like… like… quite unlike anything else I could think of right now.

(Her ears stick out a bit. So endearing.)

Right, the perimeter. Concentrate Xenofos. You are on guard now.

After listening for a moment, Berra looks back to Xenofos, but does not break the silence. Her expression is not intense now, but enquiring, curious. She is looking to an expert. But he is already looking away, so the glance is only a brief one and she looks to the perimeter and the danger.

(The danger that is not her.)

With effort scribe manages to mainly look to the darkness of the perimeter only occasionally glancing at the Humakti.

She does much the same, but with fewer glances at him. The rest of the watch passes, damply.
====
Berra asks Xenofos what some words mean – words he used about Sartarites