Venlar And Berra

Berra — Venlar And Berra

????, Fire Season, Illusion Week


Fire Season, Illusion Week, Clayday. Venlar wants to find out about his uncle Eril. Venlar and Berra are currently NPCd by the same person. [[[s01:session-42|Session 42]]]


“I speak a bit of Esrolian. Nochet Esrolian.”

“Oh. I’m terribly sorry. Did you pick it up there?”

“Yes, but not the way they say Nochet. So… my High Sword.”

“Yes. Are you always this direct?”

“No, sometimes I’m much more direct than this.”

A pause for eating.

“Well, you probably know you look like him.”

“So I’ve been told.”

“Enough that up close, I get uncomfortable. ‘Who the hell wounded you? May I kill them for you, your Excellency?’ That sort of thing. But you stand all wrong to be him.”

“I’m interested in his personality.”

“Well, I was getting there. Because you’re standing all wrong. You’re being nice about this conversation. You haven’t yet used a word I don’t understand on purpose. In fact, you’ve explained a word to me. I don’t know enough words at all, in all the languages I can speak, to explain how unlike him that is.”

“Ah. Would it help if I had not explained?”

“Yeah. If you’re looking to grow up into your uncle, don’t try to help. Make me help myself. I will – I joined his regiment because he’s a cold, hard, unforgiving aristocrat who would absolutely get the best out of me, because he would accept nothing less, and I am not going to see the old bastard sneering at me. With respect. I don’t like him, but I’d follow him into Hell. He’s a great leader, a swordsman such as I’ve never seen, and a brilliant man. And I really don’t like him.”

“I see. Talented, but… is he generally liked?”

“I think he’s generally admired. He cares more about doing what he does, than about personal feelings. He’s a High Priest of a Regiment that he built himself. He quested for the Wyter, and bound it. I want to be like him, in some ways. Just not how he is to other people. That’s a bit unfair, because he doesn’t much like me – I let him down, I think. But he’s …. correct, in what he does. He wouldn’t do a thing that wasn’t right, or good for the Regiment, or somehow of benefit. He’s … he’s fair, and also very harsh. I didn’t meet his expectations, but he still admitted me to his Temple. I’m a bit puzzled by that frankly, but I guess I was in good standing and that was the rule. And he wouldn’t bend it or break it.”

“Are you happy there?”

“What, in his Regiment? Yes, mostly. But I’ve got too much to do outside it. Like this.” Berra gestures at the bothy. “And looking after Irillo, right now. And then other things. His Excell’ncy is nothing to do with that. I wish I could spend more time there. In contemplation. But I’m bad at contemplation. Anything else you want to say, or can I have seconds?”

“Your employer is –“

“Friend. He’s not paying me to be here.”

“Oh. I had failed to comprehend.”

“And we’re not sleeping together either. But he’s fine. He and Mellia can talk to each other for ages in Esrolian and what you get out of it is there are some pretty people doing negotiations.”

“That is not all I got out of it.”


“Halfway between the House of Saiciae, and the Blue Tree Tula? Half a day from a major trading town? Lord Irillo was not talking only for his cousin’s benefit, I am sure. I do not know if I was meant to overhear, but if I did not understand, then I was less worthy of consideration.”

“Oh. Right. I suppose. Can we get back to the part where I’m direct and hit things?”

“What will you be hitting?”

“Breakfast. Hard.”

“Go have breakfast. Would you like me to guard the–“

“No. Really. This is not a secret for Orlanthi. Not unless you want to wake up and have accidentally killed Yelm. It shouldn’t be where people can see it. It shouldn’t be in the hands of an Initiate for too long, I think.”

“Will your High Sword use it well?”

“He’ll use it right. He knows what it is, and he’ll understand how to deal with it. He’s strong. He’s equal to it. To all of Humakt’s instructions.”

“Orlanth gives me great strength, and great joy.”

“Yeah. I’m glad for you. Humakt gives me… well, service to do. I like succeeding at that. I get satisfaction in different ways. But we’ve stopped talking about my High Sword now. That’s because you’re trying to empathise with him. How Humakt makes you feel and how Orlanth makes you feel are probably quite different.”


There is more pause for Berra eating.

Venlar watches Berra with some curiosity “That was directness again, wasn’t it?”


“There are some who might be offended…”

“Yes, but you brought me breakfast, so I should probably add, I’m not trying to offend you. If I was trying to offend you, you’d know.”

“I am not offended, nor did I think you were, but I wonder how you are on more formal occasions.”

“Oh, right. Choice between telling you details, or pointing out the subject change again. Which I don’t mind. I’m just pointing it out.”

“Or eating more.”

“Well, sometimes I don’t eat much. Then I eat a lot. I’ve always been like that. So. High Sword. He’s probably in Boldhome right now, if he wrote to your father, but he might be in Wilmskirk. I think he’d … I don’t know why he’s not here. But he’ll have thought that through too. He might be sending an escort. Funny he hasn’t sent any of us…. instructions.”

Now there is a pause in eating, for thought.

“Rather, yes. The gist of his letter seemed to be that you should succeed.”

“Well. Right. In that case, he’s not helping and he expects us to get it right. We should probably hire people if your father’s warriors can’t take us all the way. Maybe even then. And ask the Wilmskirk Humakti. Maybe send a … is the Regiment back?”

“I cannot infer that from what I know.”

“Ugh. Send down to Whitewall, maybe. Although they are only a tiny Temple. Rebuilding slowly. Carefully. But … bother. There was a Death Lord around recently. There might be other Trolls. Can you go away now? I need to think.”

“And you can’t do it with me here?”

“No, because you keep on talking. It’s a nice voice – the High Sword can sing like you do. But I need to think about this for Irillo’s sake, and for that I need to be alone. But thank you.”

“No, thank you. It’s been fascinating.”

There’s a scrappy bow. In return, a polite bow, a puzzled look.

A very puzzled look from Berra as Venlar walks away