1627, Sea Season, Illusion Week
After the conversation with Venlar and well before geting to Boldhome. After session 39: Foxed Condition
The party has stopped for yet another rest. Varanis is irritated at the delay, but acknowledges the needs of others. Leaving Fish with the other mounts, she makes for Berra, who is lingering watchfully near Danaril, as she has been since they found him.
The little Humakti is engrossed in trying to make Danaril eat and drink, to the point that she only notices Varanis when her cousin pulls himself together to nod his head to the Thane. Berra’s reaction is slow startlement, and then relaxation.
The Vingan offers Danaril a smile.1Insight if either Danaril or Berra passes: It’s polite, but distant. She sees him, but isn’t really paying attention to who he is right now. “Berra, do you have a moment?”
Berra stands straight, steps away, head high. “Of course.” Her glance back at Danaril says she has not forgotten him, even as she gives Varanis her attention.
The Esrolian woman doesn’t immediately launch into speech. Instead, she surveys the party as they stretch and talk and find snacks and do all the other things travellers do when given a moment’s pause. Her gaze lingers on Venlar and Mellia, watching as he solicitously offers her some morsel of food. Finally she turns to Berra. “How is he?” She jerks her chin in the direction of the freed slave.
“Pretty bad. I mean, as far as being a person goes. He’s stronger than he was, but he’s taken so much that it’s hard to tell where the cringing stops and the person starts.” Berra shrugs, awkwardly out of words.
“I hope he can find peace,” and with that, she moves on. “Venlar spoke to me. He wants to ask for your assistance, but hoped I might smooth the way.” There’s a little snort of amusement. “You can be hard to talk to sometimes. I forgot what it was like when we first met. It’s been over a year, but it feels like you’ve been in my life much longer.”
“Eheuh?” Berra looks suddenly, instantly attentive. Intensely so, in fact. Then she grins. “I remember pointing out I could reach my sword while I was at worship. In the corridor.” A beat pause passes before she adds, “I was still a bit aggressive after the tower.”
Varanis snorts again. “I remember that moment too. And you were. And I was still unhappy with my Grandmother and Queen Samastina for putting me in the position I was in.” She shakes her, but whether it’s at the memory or at herself is hard to say. “Venlar. The thane is worried about his sister and her baby. He wants to know how to support her. He’s not seeking cult secrets, but was hoping to speak to you for perspective.” Finally, she gets to the point.
Berra nods. “And you said you’d make sure I didn’t just happen to him and vanish?”
At this, Varanis actually laughs. “Not quite. Though I suppose if he was worried about that I’d have reassured him. After all, you wouldn’t want Mellia to be upset with you.”
Berra grins at the laughter, wry. “He tries to solve me. He… asks all sorts of questions like he’s staying a bit ahead, so I just go sideways. It’s really tough not feeling I want to just bounce around.”
“I won’t ask you to be kind, but could you see if you have answers to his questions? And share them in such a way that I don’t need to appease Mellia.”
“If she’s not answering his questions, will I be ab…” Berra trails off halfway through a word. “Yamia isn’t?”
“Isn’t telling him. Things. I guess.” Berra shrugs in question.
Varanis answers with a shrug of her own. She adds, “Apparently not, or he wouldn’t be seeking advice.”
Berra growls something, possibly just a growl. “Right. Well. Basically he should be listening to her. But I can make him understand that from me, too.”
“Just… don’t upset Mellia in the process, ok? And yes, he should listen to his sister, but I get the impression she’s not sharing much.”
“Yeah, it’s fine. I’ll be nice to him. I can do that.” Berra looks confused. “I mean, it shouldn’t be too hard, right?”
Varanis just laughs.
Berra blushes, giggles, drops her head. Her ears have gone red.
The Vingan reaches out to give Berra’s shoulder a squeeze.2Insight: She’s attempting to communicate affection and maybe even appreciation in the gesture. “Time to get people moving again,” she announces, letting her hand drop back to her side.
Berra dashes off, back to her cousin without a look back.
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