Berra — The Peace Of Death
Berra has gone to Tourney Altar, alone, to ensure she is present for the High Holy Day of the year. [[[s02:session-26|Session 26]]]
It approaches Death Day. Berra is at the Temple, spending the days in meditation. The rather loud, troublesome rooster she bought for sacrifice has been silenced with the aid of a cage and a cover – it thinks it is night. She has a small area set out with charcoal drawn on the ground, in a cross shape, and she is living in very little more than that, only going out to let the rooster have a sight of the sky and feed it every now and then, and to see to ablutions, ritual or otherwise, which should not pollute the area.
Sleep happens on the floor, although she is permitted, or has permitted herself, a blanket and a hide. Her iron sword stays at the top of the cross, and Wind Tooth, familiar in her hand, sleeps with her. Her armour is outside the ‘temple’, piled in the corner, and she is wearing a long tunic of undyed wool, slit to allow movement.
This is Berra. She sleeps with her boots on.
At first, there is just darkness, deep and restful. She drifts.
An exhausted Berra sleeps deep and hard. Days have been full of meditation and the chants of sacred words. Night is brief, long enough only to give her the will to go on. Already she has settled into this new routine.
Within the darkness, there emerges a murmur. Soft. Gentle.
In the Temple, Berra does not even twitch.1A failed Listen roll.
It comes from everywhere and nowhere, but so soft that it may only be the memory of a song. It fades away and the silence grows again.
In the Temple, Berra whimpers, unusually for her, and her hand tightens, then loosens. Wind Tooth’s hilt soothes her.
There’s a break in the darkness. The tiniest glimmer of light.2A Special result on Scan.
Berra pads that way, incuriously curious. It is her duty to find out, and to deal with the matter.
The light beckons, a lone ember in the heart of a hearth, either just before the fire’s birth, or in the last moments before its death.
It is habit in her to look around, and she does that, as she closes in on the light. Little, even the darkness at the start of forever, will stop her from being a scout. She looks, and she walks, as she always has.
The air grows heavy.3A pass on Death to help the GM decide on direction.
The Air smells familiar. Musty and metallic. Sweat and fire.
Berra, who has a few times slept outside the blacksmith’s forge, and sometimes meditated within, inhales softly, and smiles with a touch of satisfaction, as if a task is finished.
Memories of the hammer and anvil stir in the back of her head. The sensation of being broken and reforged.
‘I was a wolf’, it occurs to her to think. ‘And a sword.’
It is eerily quiet. No bellows work. The fire doesn’t crackle. The great hammer sits silently on the familiar anvil.
Berra blows onto the embers in a sacrifice of Air, and then folds herself into a polite pose of meditation to wait for a blacksmith, or just for nothing.
The embers fade into darkness. Her sacrifice was not enough. The forge grows cold as the darkness wears on. No sound. No light. Slowly even the scent of the forge fades to nothing.
Berra keeps her eyes closed, lets the darkness claim everything. Her left hand is held in the position ‘Death is my Shield’ and her right makes the sign of the Torch. The only stir within or without is her breathing, as she listens to nothingness and is not disturbed.4Critical INT check: Obviously this means that the things she worries about in life are all small and petty.
She wakes to find herself seated as she was in the dream.
Berra blinks her eyes open, bows to her iron sword, and lies down to go to sleep properly. She blows over the top of Wind Tooth in the dimness of the Temple, bidding her bronze sword goodnight.