Berra — Varanis And The Box 01
There has been wrestling. Berra told Varanis to act like a noble, not like a drunk. Resentment was had, and possibly swallowed. [[[s01:session-25|Session 25]]]
Late in the evening, at the village feast.
“I wasn’t drunk, you know.”
“No. I heard Irillo say something about madness. But what happened?”
“I’m…. not entirely sure, to be honest.” Varanis shakes her head. “I just had to have it. And I had to know what was in it. It was mine.”
Berra narrows her eyes. “Mm. So, that worries me a little. It makes me think of magic. Why you, not the rest of us?”
“I don’t know.” Varanis shrugs. “I’d just like to forget it.”
Berra sighs. “Sooo… I believe you. But I think you need to forget it the right way. We’ll probably never know, but if you’re tempted like that, can you tell someone? Or understand if we are all around you? We all have to do this – the world is strange and usually the group is more right than any individual.”
Varanis glances at Berra’s face, then looks away. She sighs as well. Finally she nods her head.
“Well done. Now… Nala. Did you see her face?”
Varanis thinks about it. “Not really. First I saw Serala’s horse. Then Serala. Then you, followed by my own feet. And a lot of mud.”
Berra tries not to look proud.
“It did seem that she had been crying again. She’s a tearful creature when she’s not lighting people on fire. Frankly, the way she coos at Tiwr all the time is a bit … weird. And what is she but a singing and dancing savage with a taste for burning Lunars?”
“Tiwr is her best friend. He’s a living, intelligent, person. Think of someone like us, but with hooves. They’ve been in the world with nobody but each other for a very long time. I don’t think you knew that. Together they are cavalry, but they are also one person, divided by skin.”
“Tiwr is an arrogant, self-centred beast. I think I like him.” Varanis grins a little wickedly. “And yes, he is definitely intelligent and I can see that he’s a person. I’d argue that he’s his own person, or he wouldn’t have let me past. He knew what I wanted and why, and he agreed to it.”
“Well, yes. But you made someone’s best friend into a person they couldn’t rely on. And sometimes she’s had to rely on him for her life.” Berra sounds a little angry now.
“I didn’t make him anything. I offered him a choice. He made the choice.” Varanis sounds frustrated.
“Yes. You bribed him. You knew his weakness, and you hurt Nala. One half of two things. Like… if I took your armour away, because it needed cleaning – at a time you needed it, maybe.” The anger’s no longer in her voice.
“My armour is not a person. You can’t tell me that Tiwr is a person and then expect me not to treat him like one. Rajar seems to be your friend. Should I ask you for permission before I talk to him?” Varanis raises her eyebrow at Berra. “Or,” and her voice has an edge to it, “would you have an issue with me asking Lanasha to help me with something I need?”
Berra narrows her eyes. There is a flush on her face, and then she smiles, and for a moment she is beautiful, and she’s calm again, the smile carrying her. “Nala and Tiwr are… should be… a team. She thinks he betrayed her trust.”
“Fine. I will think on your words.” Varanis’ voice is curt. Every line of her body radiates tension and frustration. She turns on her heel and stalks away.
Berra bows as Varanis turns. “Young Orlanth is easy,” she notes, loud enough to be heard. “Lightbringer Orlanth hurts.”
Varanis hesitates a half step at the words. Her shoulders stiffen (even more?) and she strides away.