Fragment 10 – The Temple at Alda Chur

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 10

1625


Into the Far Place the caravan settled
Alda Chur held them within walls of safety
Berra made haste to the temple of Humakt
There to debate on the Sword with the Priesthood

Gallem of Humakt the High Sword asked questions
Saying he knew of the daughter of Jarang
Asking for truth of the Scorpion Battle1 This passage is used to justify the inclusion of the disputed Scorpion Folk fragment.
Berra replied with her voice loud and forthright

Loudly she spoke to declaim the heroics
Rajar she named and the Grazeland Serala
Dormal behind2It is unclear from context if Dormal was behind the scorpions or the battle line, and no text so far discovered makes this clear. It is to be hoped this translation lacks clarity appropriately and her place in the battle
Five of the Sting-Folk and Merchant Irillo

Told too the tale of the Bandits of Boldhome
Four against one and the capture for ransom
Said she was equal to mortals not heroes
Spoke of the temple that slew her3As an initiate, Berra would have been considered ritually dead, in that she would have begun the severing of ties to the loyalties of life in Nochet

Then in the Death-Hall the High Sword of Humakt
Took up the sword that was won from a death-grip
Hung up the Death of the Bandit to Humakt
There on the wall as a Votary’s Offer

Evening brought worship but morning brought meeting
Koraki Windlord quaffed wine in the tavern
Nala and Berra both greeted him warmly
Laughing to hear all his Fate-talk and Gods-words

Then the Humakti protected Grey Vestra4This is a departure from the standardised text, or indeed expanded text, of any Lightbringer Quest. Whether the Humakti was present for other reasons, or in another attempt at bolstering her reputation by the bard, we cannot tell.
Followed her path to the Issaries Merchant
Lhankor Mhy asked and Issaries must answer
Humakt stood by with the silence of graveyards5Another passage indicative of the strong, strange friendship group in which Berra, the Humakti who spent much of her life denying loyalties and attempting justice, was so often found

Out on the road rich Irillo directed
All of the comrades in concert to Westward
Berra put honour before her own anger
Taking the moonroad and comrades cajoling

Over the Glow Line the caravan wended
Deep in the Grazelands marched Berra Humakti
Walking on foot in the land of swift horses
Sending out scouts to the four winds and upward

Riding on horses descended of Elmal’s
Kin of Serala rode flank-guard beside them
Offering help with the ease of a noble
Warrior Prince of the high-mounted horse-folk

Southward they turned for the Needle of Needles
Spire of Spires and Spike of the Ancients
Kero Fin rose like a spear-point above them
Spear of a giant the size of Glorantha

Onto the foothills they followed in convoy
Berra commanding the guards of the merchant
Paid off the spear-folk who would not continue
Smiled to see Salid6The story of a troll-kin able and willing to make such a decision has lead to multiple interpretations of his role and in fact his species look stalwart through trembling

On reaching Alda Chur, everyone split up to go their different ways, agreeing to meet at an inn. Berra made her way to the Temple of Humakt, where she asked permission to hang a Votive Offering – the rather cheap, but now well cared for, sword of the Bandit she had slain with a single blow. The High Priest knew of her already, having apparently heard of the fight with scorpion folk. He wanted to know the details, and she told him it had been a small battle, and she did not think it ballad-worthy. However, he was prepared to hang the sword, although they both had to pretend politely that it was not an inferior weapon.

That evening (and really, much of the way from Jonstown) they talked about the route they would be taking, and whether they should go with the Merchant or strike out alone, faster. Berra also told the others of what she could recall of the politics, and how she had been guessing others had a plan. She thought that Tennebris had a plan that involved them and the quest would be used to spark something much larger, but that was all she could say. She could not guess whether it would be better to make no noise about it at all, or some noise.

At breakfast, Berra and Nala saw the Wind Lord Koraki, who span a good line about the fates or the gods being responsible for their paths crossing, and asked which way they were travelling. By a curious coincidence, that was the way he was going too! Over the course of the morning, others came in. Dormal needled Berra, until she snapped and challenged him, but he refused to fight. Perplexed, she decided to ignore him. Koraki opined that an Issaries was needed, although Berra said she would prefer to set off and leave behind the person causing arguments. Nevertheless, she accompanied Vestra to see the Merchant, who was part of Vestra’s Saicaie clan. Irillo was dismayed that this call to Quest had happened, but agreed to follow it. They set off the next morning.

Berra put herself in charge of the now-smaller bodyguard, and they journey was largely uneventful. However, Dormal kept annoying her, and eventually she made for him, stopped only by Serala intervening with a horse, and pinning Berra down before talking her down.

They cut through the Grazelands, going deeper into Lunar territory for a slightly safer route, and rode up to the Shaker Temple. The baboons were paid off, but Salid was proud to volunteer to follow and protect Irillo.

[[[berra:berra-calm-01|A Meditation on Calm]]]

“We don’t need an Orlanthi. She’d only make us sensible.” – Berra
“By dint of great effort, I should add.” – Berra
“No. Really, she wouldn’t.” – GM

“Hey, we could RP!” – Berra

“Before we all split up, we should find a place to meet.” – Berra
“Wait, I’m the sensible one!” – ??? Probably Nala
“… Sorry. I’ve been in charge of a unit for several days. Habits creep in.” – Berra

“PUB????!?!?!?!??!” – Rajar

“So there is a Storm Bull temple, possibly in the pub…” – Rajar

“I will go down to the pub tomorrow. Assuming I remember when tomorrow is.” – Rajar

“Is he the silver-handed wind lord?” – Berra
“Funny you should say that…” – GM
“…This is not a coincidence.” – Berra

*o/ waves* – Rajar
“That’s a bit of a Nazi wave, TBH.” – Berra

“There are carvings, picked out in paint. Bits of gilt work.” – GM
“Gilt, not Guilt.” – Berra

“Dormal, I think you were trying to find out what worrying anchors of the physical world are holding back the spiritual…” – GM
“There is indeed a Street of the Silversmiths and Goldsmiths.” – GM
“And a street of the executioners.” – Berra
“That’s the Humakt and StormBull temples.” – Rajar

“WE ARE DEATH. Also, drunk.” – Berra
“The sacred chant of ‘TOGA TOGA ….er? <whispers> TOGA'” – Rajar
“And the traditional drinking song ‘Come and have a go…'” – Berra

“You are… not from here. And an initiate.” – Gallem
“Indeed, I’m from several hundred leagues away!” – Berra

“Five. And that was worth a ballad?” – Gallem
“I don’t think so, but the ballad writer did.” – Berra

“It’s not the sword that is the value, it’s what it means.” – Berra

“D’Val swims extremely well.” – GM
“Both ways?” – Nala
“SWIMS.” – GM

“Wine for him, beer for me, and waiting while watching the door.” – Berra

“No, you do not fry the barmaids.” – GM
“Oh, Fry, not Try.” – Berra

*<this appears to be a private fight> drinks* – Rajar
“Berra looks perfectly prepared to sit down and drink beer again.” – Berra
“It’s like I hadn’t left the Storm Bull temple.” – Rajar
“Berra also looks perfectly prepared to kill someone, and these two states seem to be about the same to her.” – Berra

“Oh dear. Looks like you can’t hold your beer.” – Dormal
“Your beer.” – Berra
“Rajar this is my beer.” – Dormal imitating Berra

*stares at Dormal* – Berra

“I am not scratching the GM’s belly, no matter how good his big brown eyes are.” – Berra

“Doing the Quiet Humakti Swagger.” – Berra

“I just have to kill Orlanth.” – Berra
“Every head turns to look at you.” – GM
“I have to send him to the Underworld. In some stories, I kill him. But I suppose I could also just tell him to go.” – Berra

“PSYCHO.” – Dormal
“YEP.” – Berra

“Humakt doesn’t drink on duty.” – Berra
“Storm Bull really does.” – Rajar
“It is Storm Bull’s Duty to drink.” – Berra
“True….” – Rajar

“Clam McIllan.” – Berra
“Fishy.” – Dormal
“Clan, not Clam.” – Berra
“McIllan, that well known group of bivalves.” – Dormal

“Cut n shut job.” – Dormal
“Two half horses.” – Berra
“That accident was /terrible/.” – Berra
“THAT’S how unicorns reproduce!!!!!!” – Rajar

“Berra’s doing the whole professional thing, organising people who are under orders, but she’s going to check it Koraki wants to be in charge of the guards. She says that like someone who expects to command Orlanth’s bodyguard.” – Berra
“Koraki waves a hand. The flesh one.” – GM
“Oh, do carry on, that chap.” – Koraki
( Anticipating your orders… ) o . Berra

“You’ll be pleased to know nobody attacks you during the night.” – GM
“No I’m not!” – Berra

“Ancestors say, ‘this is hairless ape business’.” – Baboon
“RACISM” – Tiwr per Berra

“Glowline?” – Berra steals Dormal’s glory.

“Berra continues to be in charge of people, while being thoughtful.” – Berra
“With a lot of sizing up Rajar.” – Berra

“Storm Bull says not to kill your colleagues unless it’s a special occasion.” – Rajar
“He’s not my colleague.” – Berra

“Yes, the road goes the Lunar territory.” – GM
“This would have been good to know in advance.” – Berra

Serala looks at Dormal. “She’s managing the entire train right now. Don’t poke the stressed Humakti, it’s not clever. And it might not be pretty, if you keep it up.”

“I’ll spend time trying to persuade Salid to get a shorter spear he can control better.” – Berra
“Not. Happening.” – GM

“It will not be a forest by the time we are done, if we take Rajar.” – Tiwr, per Berra

“Bison is going to have /such/ flatulence.” – Berra
“Yes, Rajar, you may have a rocket-propelled Bison by the end of the day.” – GM

“Berra asks a good question – a) does Serala have any clue and b) farsight.” – Serala

“NOT YET RAJAR!” – Berra

<<<<looks really puzzled, looks up at lance tip speculatively>>>> – Rajar
“No, Rajar. We know them, it seems.” – Berra

“Now my thighs are chocolatey.” – Nala
delicate wince and freeze – GM
“I’m going to leave that image alone.” – GM
“That’s because he’s already used it.” – Berra

“Check spam for prettiest chocolate croissant you have ever seen.” – Nala
“’tis very pretty.” – Rajar
“Check it for Chaos, Rajar.” – Berra
“Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm chaos flavoured.” – Rajar

“Zorack Zoran is actually an allied cult to Storm Bull.” – Rajar
“BASTARDS.” – Berra

“I ff-freely choose! To protect my employer!” – Salid
“I’m going to pat the Trollkin on the back. ‘Well said.'” – Berra