1629, Sea Season, Death Week, Waterday
Berra is in the Temple of Humakt for Death of Water day, where she has been sought out by two young Humakti who want to join her. She takes them for a walk. Session SA4.08.
Berra has been guiding the feast, or at least, her table of it. Several of those who worshipped with her are elsewhere now, but there are still about twenty people who might be considered under her protection for this moment. When finally everyone is finished she stands up as if she just ate lightly, and points to the young twins. She turns that into a ‘come here’ gesture.
During the feast, Nayale and Harmakt sit together, in a position where they can easily look towards Berra, which they do. Frequently. They aren’t the only ones casting curious glances at the Wyter Priest though.
When she signals, the two Narri youths leap to obey.1Pass Scan.
Harmakt has sauce on his sleeve.
And over there, at a table behind the siblings, there’s an older warrior watching with narrowed eyes. He’s familiar to Berra. One of the Regiment, but with Black Spear roots. When he sees her glance his way, he holds her gaze just long enough to make it pointed, before turning away and muttering something to his companion.
Berra gives him a tiny nod. To the youths, she gives a small, quick smile.
At first, the older warrior, a veteran of many battles by this point, does not return her gesture. There’s a long pause, before finally he gives her a small nod.2Pass Insight (Human)
By that time, Berra is already in motion – anyone watching will know she is watching him as well as them, for her attention is that of a warrior on a battlefield. As she knows how to do, she is looking around her.
She starts moving towards the youths – they have her attention most.
The Black Spear warrior’s expression is one of someone who is undecided about her. Like he has an idea of her that he’s now measuring her against.
Nayale and Harmakt are oblivious to it. Their attention is on Berra. Nayale puffs up a little, as if she can’t help but be proud that they are worthy of the Wyter Priest’s time.
“Right,” she tells them as she gets close. “We’re going to go out and you’re going to guard me through the city. I want to see how you do this. Ready in the time it takes to boil an egg.” Berra then pauses, and sighs. “I need a better time than that. Anyhow. Meet me at the tip-door.” Not the side gate used by the more senior initiates.
They offer her a salute and fall into place behind her. It would appear they already believe themselves ready to go.
Behind Berra, Nayale whispers to her brother, “Go wash your face, bumpkin!”
Berra side-eyes them. “Right. When I said meet me, that’s what I meant,” she tells them. “I’m not going directly there, and where I’m going, nobody should have to follow.”
“Oh. Um. Right.” Harmakt glares at his sister and the pair of them make themselves scarce. Nayale heads in the direction of the tip-gate, while Harmakt heads back towards the place where most young initiates sleep.
Berra angles towards the older warrior, giving him plenty of time to grab her if he wants a word, but does not speak first. She just walks past with plenty of warning.
His gaze follows her, eyes narrowed. He doesn’t speak as she draws near though. His expression suggests that he is not offering a challenge, but equally he does not offer approval.
Berra does not seem to care, just walks on by. She heads for her rooms.
It does not take Berra long to be ready to go, in a new tunic, and without armour. As is her habit, she has two swords on her. Wind Tooth is nestled comfortably on her left hip. Eril’s bronze sword is on her right. She looks casually bouncy, with hardly any murder to her at all.
Nayale and Harmakt are waiting. They have square cloaks of coarse wool. Nayale’s is in better condition, lacking obvious signs of mending. Beneath the cloaks they are armoured up and wearing their broadswords.
“What formation would you prefer, Lady? I can take point and Harmakt can provide rear guard, or…”
“Or we c’ud follow behind ya an’ guard yer back ‘cause nuthin’s getting past yer swords anyway,” Harmakt says, cutting off his sister. She glares at him.
“No, I told you to be my bodyguards.” Berra gives Harmakt a look. “That means I want to see how you can protect me. If we’re out in… if we’re somewhere else, I can give you orders, because then I’ll be the one with rank, but right now, you’re the ones looking after me. I wanna think. And I wanna watch. Yeah?” She glances from one to another. “I’m also gonna wanna talk, but that comes after I see what you can both do.”
Harmakt shrugs, as though the chastisement slides off his non-existent feathers. They step into place, one in front and one behind.
“May I cast a spell on you before we open the gate, Lady?”
“Yes, but tell me you’re going to. And, if you’re calling on Humakt, let’s just assume you have. I don’t want you wasting it on me, but it’s a good question, and if you’re concerned, you tell me, you don’t ask me.” Berra gives Nayale an approving nod.
Nayale nods. “I was taught it was courteous to ask and I didn’t want to risk it bouncing off shields. I was going to cast Find Enemy so that I know if there are any enemies lurking nearby when I open the gate for us. Harmakt could have done it again later if we needed,” she explains. “If you don’t want us using Humakt’s magic, may I ask you to cast the Find Enemies spell if you have that and tell me if you sense anything? He and I don’t have enemies within Boldhome that we know of and you’re the one we need to worry about anyway.”
Berra nods. “I’ll let you know if I sense trouble. I’m due out to a bit of a… I’m keeping magic for the thing I’m going to do next, but I’ve got the inner sense of assassins.” She draws a Truth Rune in the air in token of casting.
“Where are you planning to go?”
“D’ya have a preferred route ya wanna take?”
“I’m going to the Knowledge Temple.” Berra steps out. “I’m just going to walk there, you get to work out which route I’m taking.” She does her own glancing around, but subtly, checking as much how she is being guarded as the situation around her.
“But, what if we think your chosen route is unsafe?” Nayale counters.
“We might have a better one,” her brother says at the same time.
“You get to guard me anyhow, because I’m the client,” Berra says. “What’s your story? Who taught you?”
“Our da,” they say simultaneously.
Berra nods. “The one who gave you your armour?” She is asking both.
“It’s stuff what he collected,” Harmakt said a bit defensively.
“Uuuh?” Berra perks a little. “Tell me about him. And about you. You heard of me, but I’ve never met you yet, so…”
Harmakt opens his mouth to begin, but Nayale shakes her head. “Not now. We can’t guard properly if we’re story-telling and you need to get to the Truth Temple. We can talk later.”
Berra grins. “Fair enough.” She walks them through a few streets, makes a few sudden turns, pauses to buy a votive of Daka Fal from a spiritual guru who promises it will give her good luck, and then heads for a narrow alleyway.
“No,” Harmakt calls from behind, while Nayale steps between Berra and the alley.
“This is not a good short-cut, Lady Berra,” the young woman says. “Too closed. Not enough room for good sword work. Too easy to get blocked in.”
Berra nods, and says, “Where, then?” It’s a test. Everything is a test.
The siblings glance at each other, Harmakt lifts his chin in one direction, arching a brow. Nayale considers, then nods. They’ve made a decision3A pass on Battle. It’s a decent route..
Nayale describes a route that makes sense. It’ll take longer than cutting through the alley, but it keeps them on public streets and in the open the whole way.
Berra ambles her way along with it. “What do you do if I don’t want to go the way you want to go?” she asks Harmakt.
He eyes her from his position behind. “With you? We do as we’re told after telling why we think yer wrong. If there’s time an’ no one listenin’. Have ta work it out fer the client. They’re not all the same.”
“Uhuh…” Berra nods, and while she might think her face is closed, she looks something close to impressed. “Have you done this before? For people not just testing you?”
“A bit,” he admits. “Mostly learned from da though. And m’sister said now’s not time fer stories. Sorry. Talkin’ comes later.” The young man grins and while his words are an apology, he’s obviously enjoying himself.
“Mhm.” Berra grins. Maybe she even meant to do that. She turns to take the route advised, and after that, there are no great surprises. She goes to the Temple, asks them to wait, and then comes out after finishing her business. “I’m going to come back here tomorrow morning,” she tells them. “But then we part ways. Right. And off-duty. Thank you.” She gives them a bow, one between the pair.
- 1Pass Scan.
- 2Pass Insight (Human)
- 3A pass on Battle. It’s a decent route.