1628, Fire Season, Harmony Week
Berra answered Kallyr’s call to come to the palace without even thinking, and is now sulking about it. Session 3.09/.
After the meeting with Kallyr, before Eril’s polite stabbing by letter of the small Humakti, Berra keeps to her room for an hour, and then makes her way to the kitchen, where she argues with a small amphora of wine, glaring at it a lot and drinking much more than she usually does. Irillo might arrive any day in the next four, but probably not until this evening at the earliest, and it might be several days. The Humakti seems personally offended by her wine cup, and is making the staff nervous.1Specialled Intimidate.
One of the servants slips out and a short time later, Varanis comes to join Berra. She holds her favourite wine cup out to her friend. “May I have some too?”
Berra turns a look of venom and murder on Varanis, and then nods. “Sure.” She does not look this threatening even in battle. However, she pours wine smoothly, filling the cup a little too full, and putting the amphora down on its stand without any hint of tremor. Her pink cheeks say she is drunk, though.2Varanis failed Intimidate, but passed Love (Berra) and is sticking this one out.
“I can’t really ask you the things I want to ask,” Varanis murmurs softly, glancing around the kitchen. “Not here. If you want to yell, we should find somewhere without people. If you’d rather just drink yourself senseless, I need you to do that without causing any of the staff to quit.” She sips at the wine and manages not to grimace. “Gah. I’m not sure if I’m happy or gutted that this isn’t the good stuff.”
Berra gets up. “Garden,” she says, the word bitten off short. She brings her cup and the amphora, but she seems to pay little attention to the theoretical outside dangers, for once just barging her way outside without making sure her weight is right for a sudden draw and slice.
Varanis gives the cook a reassuring nod and follows her friend outside. There’s a table with benches in the garden space. They aren’t large, but sturdy enough that even Rajar could sit and drink outside if he wanted to.
Berra sits down on the floor, her shoulders against one of the benches, so she is mostly in the shadow of the table. “I… what do you want to ask?” It’s grudging, but she probably means it.
“Is this about the mission we’ve been given or something else?” Varanis asks. “And is there anything I can do?”
Berra sighs. “I just… I heard she wanted me and didn’t think. Just went up there. I hate that.” She looks like she wants to throw her drink at something, but then notices what she wants and gives the cup a death stare instead.
Varanis nods, then realising that Berra might not see it, says, “I can see how that would be frustrating for you.” She kneels down across from Berra, folding her long legs under her.
Berra continues to glare down at her cup. “I should be better than that. More clear of the world.”
“Some things we don’t get a say in,” Varanis points out. Her expression conveys both sympathy and sadness.3Berra passes Insight despite her sulk.
“Yeah.” Berra finishes what is in her cup, considers, and then hands over the amphora. “But we… I can act better. I just wanted to see her, that’s all – it’s a weakness for a warrior.”
Varanis accepts the amphora with a look of distaste. She sets it down carefully beside her. “Are you punishing yourself with this stuff?”
“No. Yeah… no. But I’m hating myself with it. I’ll get better. I’m just feeling bad and for some reason I think I deserve to feel bad and I don’t understand it but I’m doing this because I don’t want to do something really REALLY stupid. I want to fight a mountain.”
“Let’s not fight mountains. Not even mountains disguised as Storm Bulls.” Varanis rubs her jaw, remembering. “We could run. I haven’t been doing as much of it lately and could use the push and you might burn some of this off.”
“I want to be in for if Irillo arrives,” Berra says. “I gave the guards a drink and a tip. You knew that, didn’t you?”
Varanis nods, glancing around the garden. “We could stab spikes into the ground inside the wall? Stabbing something might help you feel better.”
“I don’t want to do anything. It’s fine. If you take the clay away, I’ll not drink any more. Just send me some water out and I’ll sleep.” She still sounds sulky and angry.
“Ok. I’ll return the cooking wine to the kitchen and bring you water. I’ll be out for a while, but back soon enough.” Varanis rises gracefully. It looks for a moment like she wants to say more, but she doesn’t. She’s back a moment later with a clean cup and a jug of water.
Berra has the grace to nod, but cannot manage a ‘thank you’. For someone not punishing herself, she looks a lot like she is hating being here.
With a shake of her head, Varanis leaves the Humakti to brood.
- 1Specialled Intimidate.
- 2Varanis failed Intimidate, but passed Love (Berra) and is sticking this one out.
- 3Berra passes Insight despite her sulk.