Quest Of Eril: Asking Xenofos

Berra — Quest Of Eril 01

1627, Sea Season, Disorder Week


Context

Sea Season, Disorder Week, Probably Windsday. [[[s02:session-32|Session 32]]]

Spoilers, mostly about reaction.

Events

Morning after Varanis had nightmares she woke Xenofos up.1Berra criticals a Scan roll

Xenofos seemed to have something to ask Varanis. And while he does steal glances frequently he is usually a bit less wide-eyed.

Berra gets on with watching the world, and all the parts of it, and the landscape around them. She does not go over to the pair, but lets them get on with what they are saying while she gets up, eats, drinks, swears a bit about some bastard having brought down the edge of the earth pit overnight…

New beast gets saddled, breakfast gets eaten. Weapons checked and armour strapped on. Lots of headshaking and long enquiring gazes accompany scholars morning routines. He seems lost in a way, trying to make sense of his surroundings.

After about half an hour of riding, in which the flat plains seem to hold no challenge, Berra signals Xenofos up to the front with her, accompanying the signal with a long look to be sure he gets it.

Signal is noted, he shakes his head and rides up. “What is it, little cousin?”

“I got a thing to… well, a couple of things to ask.” She sticks to Heortling, of course. “‘Sup? I mean, how are you? Good morning.”

“Good morgen to you too…” He nods. “A bit disoriented… But I think that will pass with some time.” He nods again like confirming his words, maybe more convincing himself than Berra.

On her bison she does not have to look up at him, so there is less appealing tilt to her features. Instead, there is a brusque nod, and a, “Sure. Let me know if you have any problems. I’ve got a small favour and a big favour to ask.”

“And what would these favours be, Berra?”

“We haven’t practiced the sword-taking from Eurmal for a while. Can we do that again?” Berra does not worry about being certain that he understands, simply assumes it.

“Hmmm. If we have leisure, maybe…” He looks at her “Do I assaa…. Guess right that would be the small favour?”

“Yeah. The evenings should be good enough. It’s better to find a secure campsite than to press on, so we’ll have wait-time.” She looks across at him, and adds, “Thanks.”

“And the big favour?” He asks.

“I’d like your support in a Heroquest.”

Then, being her, Berra adds, “And you should listen before you agree. It’s probably not going to be nice for you.”

He shrugs. “Warning heard, tell me more.”

Berra nods to that. “Lord Eril is very vulnerable right now. In a lot of danger – he’s a Hero but he doesn’t have the things he needs. Like a Wyter. He’s not even told anyone back in Boldhome. If the Lunar Empire hears of it, they’ll probably try to get rid of him. And they’ll be able to, if they really try.”

“I understand…. Can you tell rest in Esrolian. This is something I wish to understand fully and with as little chance of misundrrstanding as possible….”

“Uhh…. Lemme just get the right words.” Berra switches language, after moving her hands a bit as if trying to pack something away into the air in front of her. “I think that the only Wyter he could use – the one that’s worthy of him, and right – is the part of him that’s Darkness. That was torn out by Ikadz.”

“Hmmmm. I hear you.” He does not sound convinced.

“To summon that, I’m going to have to… Well, I think I have to relive his deeds. The part you have is where he leaves people he loves.” Casually, just like that.

“Hmmm. You did say it would not be pleasant. Is it enough to leave people who love you?” Scribe sounds calm and logical.

“The rest’s for me to worry about. But you’ll be in that position. As far as I know, he loved …. this is weird because I have to think of him young. But he left Thenaya. And ended up cut off from her. It might end with you being changed about how I am.” She seems far more concerned about the fact her High Sword was once young and in love, than about the potential outcomes of such a Heroquest.

“I think you are out of your mind if you have anything to do with dark side of Eril” scholar says after a short pause. ” But I have said I will not try to limit your freedom with words and I will not. “

Scholar is scanning the horizon as he speaks.2And therefore fails Insight (Human).

“He’s a Hero. He’s worthy of my worship. And I can help him to live, and to protect Sartar.” She sounds set on doing this thing.

He shrugs. “I said I will not try to bind you with words and what I say I keep.”

“Um, I don’t know how you would be, but thanks. Anyhow, think about that. I’d like you to do it, because it’s most likely to work if you’re there, but it’s not nice. So say no if it would hurt you.”

“I don’t think it works unless it is someone you love.” Xenofos says a bit sadly.

“Probably not. But I might be able to skip that part, or I might be able to find someone else who feels right. Or have just the powers around me do it.” Berra shrugs a bit. “I’m still putting it together, and I need to know a few more things.”

“My word to Varanis holds precedence… I will not be leaving her any time soon. Are you planning of travelling separately or do you think physical separation is not required.”

“I think it can all be done in Boldhome. Probably. Once I know enough that might change, but we’ve got all the bits we need there, because the relics came back there.” Berra shrugs. “Probably,” she repeats.

“I still think it would need to be someone you love.” Xenofos looks thoughtful. “I understand you used to love Lanasha, but also separated from her already so she would not count either…”3Another Insight called for, as the situation has changed. A pass from Xenofos.

He glances sideways at her.

“Look, you don’t need to help me plan this,” Berra says after a moment’s pause in which her expression is amused, and only a touch distant. It is not quite nostalgia, although she might have been thinking about the past. Someone, certainly. “I know enough what’s needed. And I can plan around what can be done without, once I know it.”

Another shrug. “I have known that even if I don’t have you, I will lose you to Death. I had hoped it would not happen so soon. But I knew it would happen.”

There’s a small shrug from Berra. “I don’t know how it’ll work. I’m still putting it together and my Lord will have to agree.”

“Well you tell me, how and when things proceed. I do think it will hurt.”

Berra nods. “Thank you. You get to walk away from this when I find out.”

“I thought you are the one that does the walking out. And I have promised not to bind your freedom so you are quite free to go.”

“Uhh… we may be talking about different things, then. What I mean is you don’t have to take part, and you not taking part isn’t a bind on me.” Berra looks confused. “That would be what we call in Heortling ‘a decision’.”

“If you want to “separate” from me for a reason you seem good you can. I am not telling you not to. But that is your decision, not mine.”

“I don’t know if that will happen, though. That’s not even part of the plan, just something that might work. But you’re talking like you have to do it just because I asked. And that isn’t a thing you should do.” Berra scowls at him.

“Not just because you asked. Because I promised already in Nochet that I would not try to limit your freedom.” He looks at her. “And it was Eril who was severed from clan not the other way round. Thenaya was not the one who lost her love. Just her loved one.”

“No, limiting my freedom would be telling me …” Berra stops. “Yeah. Told you it wouldn’t be nice. But limiting my freedom would be if you said I could not do the quest, not if you decide not to help me.”

“I must ponder that.” He looks at horizon. ” There is some logic in what you say. I must try to figure out if that means it is true, or if I just can not bear idea of losing you and deceive myself.”

“I wouldn’t lie to you. If you try to stop me, that is bad. You don’t owe me help to do it, though. I think you’re just scared of failing your promise so you have to be generous. Like, I’m saying you don’t have to do me this favour. It’s a favour, not a thing that has my freedom at stake.”

He smiles a bit. “I am a proud man Berra. I pride myself of never having told a lie and never broken a promise. And I try to hold fast to that.”

“Yeah. You gotta be the judge of what your promise meant to you, but if what you said was that you wouldn’t hold me back, if doesn’t mean honour binds you to pull me forwards.” Berra gives him a look that might be sympathetic.

He rides quietly for a while. ” You are asking quite a lot, like you said… I must think. Both what honour demands and what love dictates.”

“Yeah. Take time. It ain’… it isn’t an easy call.” She turns all of her attention back to watching for trouble,

He spurs his horse abruptly to canter and rides to a vantage point ahead.
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Berra asks Xenofos to help her in a heroquest