1628, Storm Season, Death Week, Fireday
After a Heroquest, it is required to ensure a Hero is not a danger to the temple, and to learn from them any secrets or mysteries that have been hitherto unrevealed. Jarangsdottir being unable to report in a timely fashion following her return Sartar, and having given an unsatisfactory report previously, now makes good on this.
~ Fireday of Death Week, Orlanth’s Season. Swords in attendance Lord Eril, Lord D’Val. Witnessed by initiate Athanu. Report on the Heroquest on Grizzly Peak revisited. This report replaces the first report given, which is inconclusive and is to be destroyed. Initiate, speak again of these things, from when you began your visions.
~ I heard a call, Lord, and I knew who and what it was. Death in a bearskin, and it was irrisis… I could not resist it.
One can almost admire how she tries for the correct word despite knowing she cannot reach it.
~ I started walking that way, and then Maalira was in my way and I was back awake, and I had been really walking. I was going towards the Post in the South-West of the Grazelands, Lord, from the North-East.
~ After that we talked about Varanis and her vision, and Finarvi’s. We travelled to Grizzly Peak, and talked to her ancestor there.
~ That ain’t a Heroquest thing, Lord. So no. Then because Varanis had killed some people and the omens for their sending away were bad, the shaman who had given us the first vision sent us on a proper Heroquest. He chose Issaries Walks the Last Path. We din’t have many worshippers, but I think he had been related to a lot of the dead, so maybe they helped.
Note she is correct in knowing she may refuse further information here.
Questioned signals for time. ~ It felt a bit strange at first. I had to adjust because there were just so many dead people, in the spirit world. I reckon about a Battalion there, all put together. Six Regiments of a thousand each. Some were walking, some just standing. A lot lying where they fell, or crawling like in their last wounds. Some knew Varanis, though, and one accused her of murder. She was being very Vinga. A lot Vinga. She was lost in it.
Tell me, Athanu, is she more incoherent than usual?
Initiate Berra is previously noted to have periods of ill-thought speech with high redundancy
So this is my fate. Very well.
~ Once all the group we had killed knew they were dead, Vinga an’ the soldier agreed to go find Daka Fal for judgement because he had authority over both. Then I asked her to help me bring the rest, too.
Interference with the order of the Heroquest?
We do not reward the correct, only the exemplary.
~ She called them. Then we set off down the dark path. I scouted, although Issaries knew the way. We fought what I think was the spirit of a Lune. My memory’s not clear for a bit there.
I shall be charitable, Athanu…
~ I put the Lunars and the Tarshite allies who were Humakti on different sides of me, and marched them, and used them to keep the path and show how to go through the darkness, so the others would know they could. There were about as many on either side, Lord. And the rest behind. Vinga and maybe the others persuaded them forward. Then pretty soon we were at the Hall of Daka Fal.
~ Pretty soon?
~ I don’t know about how much time it took, Lord, but it seems that passing through the darkness was what was required.
~ Is this a belief, or do you know it for certain?
~ There was nothing else in the story, Lord, and it felt like there was nothing else to do, and we just got to the doors, and went in. The hall held us all, but Varanis and her case were judged first.
~ What was the result?
~ Daka Fal told the dead soldiers they had already been dead, just didn’t know it. That them bleeding when their corpses was touched was because they thought they had the murderer but they were wrong. He sent them to their rest. I gave one a dagger to go with him. Then Daka Fal sent us out so he could judge the rest of the dead. We went out a door and I saw a way back to somewhere else that I knew I should not go through, but I didn’t know why. Varanis wanted to but I was sure not to. It looked like it might go back to Daka Fal but it really really didn’t. That was all I knew. And then we walked and climbed a lot. We could all see. Sometimes there were torches that burned in the shape of the Fire-Sky Rune. There were a few more doors. I led the way, and I knew I was carrying a new thing up and out.
~ You spoke of using Death in a new way, initiate.
~ I couldn’t reach all the holds, to help the others, or find the way. I used the sword as a grapnel, with my belt around the hilt.
~ Questioner signals a pause. Questioned is silent in this time.
Athanu, did she just say ‘grapnel’?
Is there any precedent for that in myth? Ah, yes. Before finding out what Death was, Humakt tried a few things with it. Still, causing it to be a tool is more alarming than intriguing. Note this.
~ We rejoined with Maalira who had been a long way behind us because she had been looking after our bodies, and came up out of the ground at Six Stones. Once we saw her, we were out of the Heroquest, and underground, but I saw a difference in the grey and we went that way. There’s a cave at Six Stones that leads up and maybe down as well, but it’s a long way.
~ This is known to us. Do you have anything further to add?
~ No, Lord.
~ Report is closed.