Fragment 11 – Kero Fin

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 11

1625, Dark Season

Cold was the wind as the heroes strode upwards
Chill were the rocks of the mountain of Orlanth
Cool was the hatred of Berra for failure
Warm were the hopes of mankind1It is generally considered that ‘mankind’ here covers both Tiwr the unicorn, and Salid the Troll-kin, as they were both part of the struggle for knowledge at this time. on the mountain

Climbing a day saw the foothills beneath them
Maran Gor’s temple a dot in the distance
Upward they climbed to a cave shrine to Orlanth
Holy to many but not the great Birth-Place2As is well known, this passage and the understanding that the great Sacred Cave may not be the true birthplace has caused more than one holy war. We present it without comment.

Berra with comrades climbed higher and higher
Up past the snow and then into the cloud-line
There she took Death from the vision of Eurmal
Saved her sword Wind-Tooth and saved her own honour3This balance to Berra’s earlier semi-successful Hero Quest is notable for its positioning within a story otherwise dedicated to Orlanth and the Lightbringers, her companions.

Up to the Vulva of sacred Glorantha
Berra climbed upward and tumbled like water
Pacing beside her and climbing about her
Friends and companions all bone-cold and weary

There in the cave of the Birth-Place of Orlanth
Elmal their host was and made a great feasting
Hot roared the fire and warm was the ale
Life to the limbs of the heroes soon flooded

On the high table of Orlanth and Elmal
In the position of honour were scratchings
Written in cat-script on priceless papyrus
Scripted instructions for Lightbringer Questing

Down from the mountain they came in a tumble
Pausing for nightfall and sleep on the down path
Fire and health and the warmth of their winning
Took them to groundward and so to the temple

Berra prayed to Humakt for the strength to keep her calm and show good companionship, and then went to look for more information about what was up above. Nala, who had used Charisma and extension, went to talk to the High Priestess of Maran Gor, and got more. Vestra came to Berra with some Heortling books she had transcribed bits off, for help with translation, and they found there was a higher cave, the true cave of the Birth, up above the shrine to Orlanth’s birth.

With Berra fighting the cold all the way, they climbed for a day until they reached the shrine, where they slept. The next day they went further into the snow, and soon reached a thick layer of cloud. Within that, roped together, each had a vision. Berra was a servant of the young air-god Humakt of the North Wind, the mark on her shoulder a twist of spiraling air instead of the cross of death, and she was set to guard the Temple that was all of Kero Fin. Her axe was…. She fought against the knowledge of the axe, trying to have a sword, and be Humakt instead of a servant, as Humakt had loved swords and made them even before Death came. Then she noticed that her own sword was missing, and she set off to look for it. Soon, she saw Eurmal standing, holding it. He showed her what he had found, and invited her to come and get it, if only she would abandon her friends. Called back to sense by honour, she refused, and taunted him so that he rushed at her. She grappled the sword from him, and he disappeared, and she was back on the path, roped onto her friends. A little later, Serala had a vision that made her shoot Koraki, and Berra stopped to try to find out who the archer was, and then Dormal, from his vision of being in conflict with Humakt, dropped a brick – a rock – on her head. Fortunately her helmet stopped most of the damage.

At about that point, Rajar started to froth at the mouth, and Salid hit him with a pike, knocking him out. Once Mellia had brought him round, they went on upwards, breaking out of the clouds. Salid somehow obtained sunglasses and a parasol. Once they persuaded Nala not to walk out into open air, they saw a double ridge that parted and joined again, with a cave at the top. On Berra’s suggestion they went up the ravine in the middle, not up either side. The cave was, to Berra, a Sartarite Longhouse, and Serala, with her eyes glowing like fire. She greeted them as if they were guests and she was Elmal. Berra was considering what guest gift to give, when Koraki gave a silver and a gold arm ring, which left Berra rather relieved. Vestra found scrolls. Rajar and Berra feasted, as did the others, and then they went back down again.

On the way, Berra was very, very cold. They slept one night in bivouac at the bottom of the ravine, and one night after a shorter day of walking, down at the shrine, where fires and hot food helped. Then they got back to the bottom of the mountain, and the Shaker Temple.

There was a short discussion over whether to take the documents to Argrath, but after a while Berra remembered honour, and pointed out that Kallyr had sent them. Nala noted that it had only been ber Priests, but as Tennebris was then the highest-ranking Orlanthi, the Lightbringer scroll that mentioned such should belong to him. So they decided to go back to Boldhome.

“As mentioned, smooch her from me.” – GM
“Remind me never to get ill.” – Berra

“Well, there’s the cold. And the snow line…” – Lay Member
“Snow line?” – Berra
“Well, even when you get higher, even though it’s not Dark Season, there’s snow on the ground. And if you get higher, you may be blessed with visions.” – Lay Member
“… The main path leads up to the shrine, to the Birth (of Orlanth) and then after that, you’re on your own. It’s up to you what the gods tell you.” – Berra, paraphrasing slightly

“We might want to send the Storm Bull in first as he’s got a lot of wives.” – Berra
“I have no idea what you mean!” – Rajar

“Berra has suggested…” – Nala
“No, you suggested it… I want to be perfectly clear about the blame and the credit here!” – Berra
“I don’t have any particular tie to truth…” – Nala

“We should sacrifice him!” – Berra

“You ain’t having Billy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” – Rajar

“When you go above the shrine supposed to be the place of the birth of Orlanth you may proceed to a higher cave which is in my mind the true one. If you are graced then once you have entered Kero Fin’s vulva you may receive visions. (Small stuff about the making of the shaker temple.)” – Book Vestra found and read out to Berra

“GM, never ever hold your hands like that while wiggling them again PLEASE.” – Berra
*makes very crude ‘accidental’ gesture on purpose, innocently* – GM
“Now you are just trolling us.” – Berra
*happy nod* – GM

“Are you saying I can’t get no satisfaction?” – GM
“I believe that you can’t get no girl reaction.” – Berra

“Rocks fall, everyone dies, yeah yeah.” – Berra
“More, stones roll.” – GM

“Survival, 20.” – Berra
“I’m in the sixties.” – Nala
“That’s the Rolling Stones we were doing earlier.” – Berra

“I do not do survival. I sit around waiting to fight. You keep your expensive jet fighter in a hangar.” – Rajar
“You are not a jet fighter. You are a battleship.” – Berra
“Fair.” – Rajar

*looks innocent* – Berra
*unrelated facepalm* – GM

“Do not want to go next to Dormal.” – Berra
“Somewhere close to Irillo, because I do not trust the psycho not to try and kill him.” – Dormal
“Which psycho is this?” – Serala
“Take a wild stab in the dark.” – Dormal

*fails survival roll 1* – Berra

( DAMN THIS IS COLD ) O o . Berra

*fails survival roll 2* – Berra

“You need the bison fat body rub, then.” – Vestra
“WHICH BISON?” – Berra

“Who’s in the lead?” – GM
“Someone who understands how to find a path in the snow.” – Berra
“Oh shit.” – Nala

“Lankor Mhy will smite her for talking in the library.” – Berra

*pre-rolls religious nutjobbery* – Berra

“Rope gone, fine. SWORD BELT GONE, !!!!” – Berra

“There is a sacred sign known to all of Glorantha…” *gives the bird* – Berra

“Devotion Humakt, 26/60. Honour, 51/70. Defeating Eurmal: Priceless.” – Berra

“What is your POW?” – GM
“Mine? Whyyyyyyyy?” – Berra

“Irillo does have a moment…” – GM
“We’ll tell you later what that is.” – Berra
“It involves being destitute.” – GM
“Shit, that’s worse than I could come up with.” – Berra

“You are charging, but the clinging hands of your two brides are holding you back.” – GM
“Cut the rope man, cut the rope!” – Berra

“Look for archer. No, listen for Twang.” – Berra

“Take the gloves off. Instantly grippy!” – Berra
“I HELPED!” – Berra

“His kick hits the parapet. Then he is reaching down to try to get you.” – GM
“Who is?” – Dormal
“Oh… didn’t I mention that?” – GM
“#TeamHumakt” – Berra

“#TeamArgon – put it out.” – Berra

“Berra has a huge dent in her helmet.” – GM
“I wish I’d been there to see that happen.” – Dormal

“Rajar first defeated a tree, then a mountain.” – Berra

“Let me find the correct table for someone fumbling on a narrow mountain pass in the fog while hallucinating about fighting chaos.” – GM
“That’s a very specific table.” – Berra

“Well done that troll! Bags I not carry him.” – Berra

“It would have been religiously inappropriate to run off that cliff.” – Berra

“That looks a lot like that thing we were trying to pronounce earlier, Vestra.” – Berra

“I’m going to do an anatomical drawing in the snow. We got up /that/ way and wave a lot in the right direction… But not so many times, or nobody’s enjoying themselves.” – Berra
“Have you got the buffalo fat handy?” – Rajar

“Berra. Your mission, should you chose to accept it… Sid in sunglasses.” – Nala

“My hands should work better than this.” – Berra fails a climbing roll

“Carved in the shape of pubic hair. Lots of little spirals. All around the edge of the cave.” – GM
“One has to admire the artistic fortitude for carving at altitude.” – Rajar
“I don’t think the people who carved this worried about air.” – Berra

“Step through into a long house. A sartarite… sorry, it’s not a sartarite longhouse. It’s a beautiful marble-lined Esrolian Villa…. oh wait, it’s a yurt… You each see your home culture.” – GM

“smug GM” – Berra
*looks smug* – GM

“We were told we should meditate upon this place.” – Nala
“Elmal laughs. ‘You are here.'” – GM
“We are living a meditation.” – Berra

“Rajar, hand over the Champion’s Portion, seeing as I’m here… oh god, I have to eat all that.” – Berra

“Funny it looks like a longhouse. I wasn’t sure what to expect.” – Berra

“Koraki pauses, and takes a step into the air – and drifts down.” – GM
“BASTARD.” – Berra

“Are Berra and Rajar covered in blood?” – Nala
“Yes.” – GM
“Nothing new.” – Rajar

“I was oblivious.” – Serala
“That means cold, right?” – Berra

*fails survival roll 3* – Berra

“Although she has the plan of snuggling next to Rajar.” – Berra
“My warmth is your warmth …… er…” – Rajar

“You’re supposed to rub the bison fat over you, not eat it!” – Vestra

*fails survival roll 4* – Berra

“It’s good, I’ve started shivering again!” – Berra

“A verry larege mushroom attacketh the badjer.” – Berra attempting translation of Heortling to Trade Talk

“I did a basic Heortling phrasebook…” – Vestra
“First of all, the word you used for phrasebook was wrong…” – Nala

“I got to sock Eurmal in the jaw.” – Berra
“Which you spent all of last week wanting to do.” – GM
“Yes, but I didn’t know that.” -Berra

“All the Lamias you can eat.” – Berra
“Yay?” – GM

*prays to Humakt* – Berra
( I wonder if I should mention I got down safely. ) O o . Berra
( He can probably tell. ) O o . Berra

“Salid is our mascot. When he dies we might not even put his head on a lance!” – Berra
“Unless Rajar kills him.” – GM
“Well, then we put the leg on.” – Berra

“Eroto-comatose lucidity.” – Berra
“Ahah. Thanks. I’d have had to look it up otherwise…” – GM
“Yeah. Burned into my brain.” – Berra

“Runequesty sex.” – GM
“He dressed as a duck.” – Berra

“Oh? Is there a queue for Koraki?” – Nala
“It turns out you can jump that queue if you shoot him.” – Berra
“Now I’m all conflicted about shooting him.” – Nala
“I don’t think that if you do, he’ll automatically hold it against you.” – Berra

  • 1
    It is generally considered that ‘mankind’ here covers both Tiwr the unicorn, and Salid the Troll-kin, as they were both part of the struggle for knowledge at this time.
  • 2
    As is well known, this passage and the understanding that the great Sacred Cave may not be the true birthplace has caused more than one holy war. We present it without comment.
  • 3
    This balance to Berra’s earlier semi-successful Hero Quest is notable for its positioning within a story otherwise dedicated to Orlanth and the Lightbringers, her companions.