Berra — Nochet To Boldhome 01
????, Disorder Week
Early in Disorder week, riding up from Nochet to Boldhome after trying to find a way to cure Prince Kallyr. [[[s01:session-24|Session 24]]]-ish
Berra is obviously frustrated on the road, trying to get ahead and having to travel at the speed of the party. However, she is doing her best to be a good travelling companion, and after a couple of days drops in beside Xenofos, on her placid, reliable horse. She has already learned to keep clear of Manasa, who is slowly destroying Varanis’ will to ride.
After initial polite talk, she says, “Anyhow. I came to ask what you are good at. Anything we should know about you. What we need to take care of. I am asking as a Humakti, so if there is a secret you want me to keep about how you fight, I’ll just take it into account. I know you have skills we don’t, and I want to protect those.”
Talking in his usual friendly, slightly too excited voice Xenofos answers the Humakti.
”Well gosh, no big secrets here, though trying to figure out Truth of oneself is not a trivial pursuit.
It is no secret that war is neither my profession nor my passion. If I could avoid killing alltogether that would not make me sad. But I am of noble house so if the call comes I will answer. I’ve trained with sword and shield and can with some luck poke holes into the other guy and parry their strikes most of the time. And as You know Esrolia is no real horse country – far too many people and many small farms so it falls to nobles to have and train horses. I can ride and not fall of my horse too often. If I chuck javelins I can hit man size targets with about every other. On the palestra I am not too bad in wrestling, but I am not skilled or strong enough to overcome the best, those who make the sport their only concern. I have killed and been badly wounded in battle – I like neither. Well that is thought, and not too jolly one.”
Berra takes that all in, and grins. “It’s not much of a secret,” she admits. “I’m an infanteer. I’d prefer to be walking, but that we need to hurry back. So you have seen most of us in action. Serala is the best rider among us, unless Nala has Tiwr. Rajar is mighty and strong, and has holy rage in him, and for that reason among many others we are all grateful that Mellia travels with us. But you’ve left aside a serious skill. I’m not interested only in battle. You can write. And read. That’s important. Anything else you thought I might not be thinking of?” Her face goes through several expressions, emotions flitting here and there as she speaks. Apparently she is trying to think at the same time.
”Other skills? Well I can spoil a serenade both with kithara and my singing. I have basic understanding what to say stablemasters, reeves or rentfarmers. As You said I can write and write – neither a great feat from someone who has had Lhankor Mhy tutors. I’ve dabbled in history of my country and The Red Empire.”
It takes a few minutes for Berra to work that through, but then she says, “I spoil sticks sometimes, with knives. I used to make flowers out of them for my cousins and my sister. And you’re noble, so you know how to talk to people, although it’ll be different up here. But you’re male. You might find yourself thrust forward much more than you realised you would. But you wouldn’t be offended if I commanded you in battle, would you? Only with Ving… that is, Varanis here, I don’t know if that will happen.”
” We are here to help. If You command I am not offended and will do my best. But Varanis is of clan – to me her commands carry more weight. But I don’t see where this would be a problem.” says Xenofos innocently.
“If she’s commanding, that’s fine. I just want to know what’ll happen so I can work with it. I’m Humakti, not Orlanthi. I’m representative of a Champion.” Berra seems unworried by the potential for conflict. But then again, she is Humakti, and they often go into conflict joyfully. “And a change of subject. What relationship do Ducks have to Yelm?”
Berra’s Esrolian is better than her Trade talk. She’s got some colloquialisms that mark her down as having spent time in Nochet, and some terrible constructions that mark her down as not having spent nearly enough time there.
Berra looks to Xenofos with the unwavering stare of someone who believes in Libraries.
”Durulz? Not really my topic of study. Birds would have been of realm of Yelm, but as far as I know those mean little webfeet are Orlanthi to a beak.”
Berra gives a sigh. “Fair enough.” If she has a comment on his understanding of the personality of Durulz she does not mention it. “Do you know the story of how Polaris’ wife was rescued from the palace of Yelm, then? It’s the only other Hero Quest I can think of that involves rescue, although it might not be the right fit for a Vingan being rescued.”
”I am not a sage nor priest, I can find stuff when in library but myths are not really my forte. To be brutally honest I probably know more of Fazzurius Widereads Praxian campaign than more obscure myths of Lhankor Mhy.”
“Right. There is a temple of Lhankor Mhy in Boldhome, so you’ll have enough books to look at, although it’s not as big as Nochet, obviously. I’ll show you where if nobody else does. It’s just downhill of my temple.” The flitting emotions have settled to yearning looks Northward once more.
Berra seldom takes off her armour at all, when they are outside. It gets loosened enough to sleep in, and sometimes the breastplate and backplate come off for sleeping, but she’s basically always ready for a fight.
Xenofos seems content to ride on. Berra may notice that he pauses at most vantage points and looks long at the surroundings – sometimes letting others to pass him before following.
Berra will make sure never to leave him alone and isolated, but she’ll start to make a point of asking locals what things are called, to report it to him. She is obviously under a lot of stress, but obviously trying to be a good travel companion. The only person she does not make the effort with is Dormal. Almost by accident, they never seem to be around each other for long.
Xenofos seems rather carefree. But he is inquisitve of local geography and people if given encouragement. Berra does not catch him leaving secret signs… X is not actively trying to mingle but if engaged to conversation he is not actively avoiding anyone.
When she drops to the back towards him, Berra does not seem to be watching Xenofos. Rather, she is watching the landscape, and sometimes even the sky. Always, ever, alert. It might be why she is under stress.
Ladies get respect though not excessive humility. Rajar is humored, though beer is avoided. Nala and Grazelander seem to puzzle Xenofos.
Berra is at her most relaxed around Rajar, or at least her most boisterous. That still does not lead her to get drunk. She spends a lot of her time pacing up and down, and one day a week walking.
When reaching roughly Wilmskirk Xenofos seems get more quiet, scans the eastern horizon… or is it the sky? Also his carefree speech is sometimes interrupted by weird pauses.