The Answer To The Question On Your Mind

1629, Sea Season, Truth Week, Around Fireday


Berra has brought Kesten Hulta back from Nochet, so he can meet Eril and make up his mind about worshipping the Hero. Session SA4.16.


Berra has checked with Lord Raven where the High Sword is, and proudly walks Lord Kesten up the thousand steps to the Palace. She does not stop, although she does look exceedingly determined at a few points, and admits to having lost count yet again. Going up the steps does not seem to be a test, but it does seem to amuse her.

“We should see him in public as well as in private. There’s a big court-moot on.” Berra explains her name and errand to the guards, and adds, “No need to tell him. I will.” It’s court. She’s allowed in, and she takes Kesten into the big hall.

Kesten merely nods, and adjusts a small chest he’s carried up the steps.1Later this will turn out to be various gifts.

Berra points out the various important people – Kalis of Esrolia being one of them. She waits to see if she is noticed by the High Sword, and lets her hand rest casually on the Wyter sword as she does her best to let Lord Raven know the details. In this particular case her mind is clear, and hardly running on three things at once at all.

There is a little nod between Kalis and Kesten. Some pre-knowledge, perhaps? Hard to be sure. He’s maintaining his best Royal Game face.

Berra says to Lord Raven, I think he’s ignoring me. Tell him from me that ‘I want him to meet this man, and he’s to play nice.’ Don’t try to make it polite except on the outside. Use those words from me.

Time passes. There is no sign the message has been received. Then you are beckoned forward.

“Damnit. I was hoping we’d be out of here by now, and there’s a shrine up-back… well, come on.” Berra manages to grin instead of wincing, and if wry, the amusement still looks genuine.

The Esrolian is polite, and deferential. He bows at the relevant moment, and is drawn into the High Sword’s orbit.

Berra bows head and shoulders to the tall man, and says, “Great one, this is Kesten Hulta. You’ve written to him. He wanted to meet you. Lord Kesten, s’my honour to bring you before Lord Eril.” She switches from Heortling to Esrolian, with a clashing of accents but no crossover of vocabulary or unfortunate errors.

Neither man winces. There is just the slightest narrowing of Eril’s eyes, but no more than that. His Esrolian is, naturally flawless, albeit with a Heortling accent very faintly present. “You are welcome, Lord Kesten. Your feats and adamant honour and commitment to Truth precede you, and I had thought the Initiate had exagerated.”

Berra considers jumping in, and then just steps instead. “Not that I thought I was.” She looks like she has a lot more to add, and does not.

Kesten considers this a long moment, “I think it best to judge for oneself, Honoured One, but I trust the Initiate has spoken Truth. She understands its value.”

“If it helps, if he’d needed a letter of introduction, I’d’ve just put my sign on the bottom of a tablet for him.” Berra seems to think she has to fill silence, or at least stop people talking about her, and then her fingers tap on her sword hilt and she shuts up.


Eril is the one to pause now, “She tells me you wanted to meet me. To … judge me. Is this true?”

That is one that Berra does not fill in. Her look at Eril is both filled with awe, and challenging. Proud, and in her own self judgemental. He’s good enough, but she’s not going to leave it at that.

That is finally enough to make Kesten laugh, a result that Eril might not have been expecting. “Judge you, sir? No. I have no right to do so. Evaluate, perhaps? Or weigh in the balance. I think you meet my expectations.”

Berra’s face shows that she wonders what that means, with a little distraction in there as she speaks to her sword. Alright, later you can have snacks and I’ll describe this again. I’m sweating and I wouldn’t give this up for Onjur’s balls and a nuthammer.

The High Sword merely nods serenely, “I hope that is a good thing. Because I believe you will be able to do the world good…. and the other Hero you follow. I have always thought him neglected.”

Berra twists her head, tells Lord Raven, I din’t let him know much about that. But expectations… This is definitely a two-bowls-of-stew discussion… no, that’s a real phrase, I’m not making it up… alright, lemme listen.

Kesten considers. “I am choosing to believe that those are unrelated. I am not for sale.” The words are mild. No great challenge. A statement of fact.

Berra is an untrained peasant, and no doubt that is why she chooses to rub at her cheek as if it itches. Surely she is not hiding her expression.

Emollient is perhaps the best word for the High Sword, “Only a fool would assume so, and nobody here is that. No, I believe we can achieve much together. A sword wielded fairly… no justly, in defence of Dragon Pass, from the dangers without. Unrelatedly, however, I do believe that our brightest and best Initiates would benefit from your insights into the Cult of the Revealed Death. Perhaps an altar here would be a centre for sending out people to deal with issues across the kingdom. This would be a great service to us. But how could I reward such generosity?”

Oooh, too much. S’not him. Berra might think she has managed a blank face, but she has not. Not so much a saga written over her face as a palimpsest, available to experts only. Such as everyone here except her.

Kesten stiffens a bit. “No reward would be needed. It would be my duty and pleasure to establish such a squad.” The Esrolian leans forward, and says softly, “You’re trying too hard. I’m a nobody. Why does it matter what I think of you?”2GM: Take THAT for a blurt.

Yeah. That was my line. Berra shrugs. “Just say the truth, Lord,” she tells Eril. “For once, don’t be a politician.”

Now it is Eril’s turn to laugh. Actual genuine amusement. “Because you matter to my Wyter Priest. Because you are clearly a better man than I! Now, take wine, and tell me of the court of the Green Queen. And you can indeed judge me.” There are a few odd looks at someone managing to crack Eril’s stony demeanor. But nobody is quite close enough to make out the words. But there will be gossip today.

Berra relaxes a little, in that she is no longer getting ready to drag a fellow Humakti back a step or tell her High Sword to shut up.

Wine is brought, and Kesten provides a brief rundown at the city. Eril nods along, occasionally needling in a polite fashion at some minor detail, for clarity

Berra stands by, looking like a guard except when she briefly eyes the wine and then dismisses it. It looks like that’s what she’s judging, of all the things here. Looks like.

The end result of the talk is that Kesten is prepared to swear to Eril. He will also be staying a season here when the Regiment is not away, teaching the Cult of the Revealed Death.

  • 1
    Later this will turn out to be various gifts.
  • 2
    GM: Take THAT for a blurt.