Fragment 12 – The Grazeland Lunars

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 12

1625


Westward to river and Northward to Grazelands
Long lay their path but stout was the bison
Forcing his way through the undergrowth westward
Finding the river and splashing in shallows1While there is no indication that this is a slight or insult in any way, the clumsiness of the mighty bison Whiliem is noted elsewhere, a touching note of realism

Duck2This mis-spelling appears in most extant manuscripts. Mn Hardraad 19 has what appears to be ‘stet’ in the margin. found the heroes with fire on the skyline
Slaughtered encampment and smoke rising airward
Deep in the slaughter were traces of Lunars
Hidden from view until Berra exposed them

Arrows were made by the way of the horse-folk
Slaughter was done by the way of the soldier
Every head had a victim to sheath it
Every shaft had red life-blood upon it

Under a body and seen in a moment
Berra found evil was held in a death grip
Marked on a javelin signs of the Lunars
Slaughter to turn clan against clan was plotted

Leaving the merchant to rest in the darkness
Guarded by Salid and Dormal the Sniveller3Obiously a transposition of names
Berra’s companions struck out for the hunting
In the red darkness4This poetic allusion to the full moon indicates the strength of anger, and also bravery, of the avengers. While the Red Moon afforded light by which to see, it also afforded much power to the wielders of the Red Goddess’s power. Truly, this was a desperate, furious act. the Lunars they followed

Into the darkness the followed the trail
Down a deep gully that once held bright water
Berra rejoiced for the coming of battle
Blood for the water that once filled the wadi

Sentries were spotted and plans made in earnest
Bows to the foremost and cavalry ready
Swift the attack when it came from the silence
Still was the night and then loud was the crying

Wounded by arrows but not to the slaughter
Lunar cried out before Death5The indication here is that ‘Death’ personified by Berra was apt and able with a bow as well as a sword and spear, and took part in this portion of the attack. could be finished
So rose the mage of the Lunar Encampment
Summoning Power to serve his Red master

Fresh to his lips came the name of disaster
Jar-Eel6The first mention of Jar-Eel in the words of an enemy, directly linked with ‘disaster’; this stanza is suspected of later sophistication. he cried as the fit came upon him
Summoning madness he struck at Serala
Sending her spinning with mind into madness

Koraki stepped from the wind to destroy him
While by the ashes great7Lit: ‘large and mightful’. Rajar drew axes
Leaving his lance in the chest of a villain
He joined with Nala and Berra for killing

Swift was the slaughter of unworthy Lunars
Tiwr ran with Nala to save their mad horse-friend
Biding the Praxian horse-taboo ruling
Nala took pity and touched not her dagger8While Nala would find riding the horse to be taboo, when not in Prax she was not under geas to kill the animal. Her friendship with Serala ensured its survival.

Berra prepared for the Court of the Silence9While we are to understand it is corpses she prepares, there can be no doubt that this phrasing is a reminder of her Humakti philosophy.
Corpses of villains and murdering soldiers
Sending their spirits to pass through the doorway
Easing the pain of her failure in Whitewall

When came the dawn with a cloud cloak of roses
Horses approached from the day and the night-ways10Both East and West, where Yelm would rise and set.
Nala had summoned in night-time a shaman
Clansmen Seralan like vultures were gathered

After a humorous interlude in which Rajar, Billy, and Berra found the river (but in the wrong place, heading the wrong way) the heroes reached the plains of the Grazelands. As dusk fell, they saw smoke on the horizon. Berra was able to make out that it was not campfire sized, and not a wildfire. It was a burning encampment. They set out for it, with Serala and Nala getting there ahead. It was a scene of slaughter, with no survivors. Berra spent some time looking and came to the conclusion that the arrows were Grazelandish, but the accuracy which which they had been used bespoke professional soldiery. She also found a Lunar-marked javelin, and they reached the conclusion that Lunars had been pretending to be Grazelanders, to start trouble.

Irillo preferred not to follow, while the warriors of the group were eager to punish this, and Mellia was resigned to helping them. Dormal and Salid stayed with the caravan.

Tracking was easy enough, as there was a wide trail and Serala had Catseye. Berra had her horse led, rather than fall behind or fall off. After a couple of hours they reached a wadi down which they could ride without being seen, or apparently heard. A group of about ten Lunars, including two sentries, was gathered by a campfire and a double line of horses. After a little discussion, they tried sniping at one of the sentries. He lived long enough to cry out, but most of the sleepers failed to wake, making the fight easier. Everyone charged, with Serala and Koraki going for the second sentry, a mage.

The mage managed to summon a Lunar Elemental before he died, and it briefly sent Serala into catatonic fear. Her horse panicked at that, and ran away with her, and then Koraki managed to kill the mage. Meanwhile, the others had charged and slaughtered the sleepers, wakers, and snorers. Berra prepared the bodies for burial.

“The camera is still not working…” – GM
“Just tell us if you facepalm.” – Berra

“I’m still on mic.” – Rajar
“Poor Mike.” – GM

“Berra likes the middle watch.” – Berra
“It’s quiet. Like the tomb.” – Berra

“I’m already going your way.” – Berra
“I’m going THAT WAY.” – Rajar
“NOW.” – Rajar
“FAST.” – Rajar

“I have also fumbled, but I think following Rajar is a splendid idea!” – Berra

“It’s a small collection of yurts. Correction. It was a small collection of yurts….” – GM

“This was done by Lunars, I believe. Professionals, paid to kill.” – Berra
“*&$£” – Rajar

“This is sloppy work to let the javelin through, but the marks on it are subtle. You might not realise unless you’d checked properly. In the excitement of battle, or approach? Probably not.” – Berra

“Do we stay and bury the dead? Or do we chase them down and kill the Lunars.” – Rajar
“They will probably be sleeping overnight. We should give chase.” – Berra

“No, Berra, now you are confusing me with Rajar. Well done.” – Nala, whose voice Berra cannot reliably hear OOC

“I know this is hard for you, but this is the right thing to do.” – Berra
“Byeeeeee!” – Dormal (paraphrased)

“Is Mellia coming with us?” – Berra
“You’re really going to need me.” – Mellia
“Thank f*ck for that.” – Berra

“So, if I die here… Well, the temple at Alda Chur can have my stuff.” – Berra

“And we think we want to trample the horses over them.” – Berra

“Twaaaaang!” – Berra

“…I’m Runing up my Shield now, using Truth. Phew. 80/80.” – Berra

“Make a LOT of noise !!!!! I’m aiming to sound like a Horde.” – Rajar
“You do, you do, Rajar.” – Berra

“I feel vaguely sorry for him. Oh wait he tortured my people.” – Serala

“And Movement. This is how I fight. 70/95 for inspiration, whenever it’s my turn to do that.” – Berra

“Genus hoc erat pugnae quo se Lunari exercuerant…” – Mr Chips

*GM drops camera, everything does wrong.* – GM
“Are you OK, there?” – Berra
“I mean, I need to know if we should say ‘ha ha’.” – Berra

“I was clicking on things, trying to get Berra, and I think I killed the chat.” – Serala
“At least you came back, UNLIKE OUR DISLOYAL GM.” – Berra

“That thump – I wonder if it was Tom, just very off-camera.” – Berra

“Updates. Now?!?!” – GM
“Well, if you must use Windows.” – Berra
“Pthhpt.” – GM

“I’m heading for the guy who is up, but I’m a bit behind. Although not much as they stopped to twang. AND THEN RAN OFF WITH MOBILITY THE BASTARDS.” – Berra

“Plus Billy’s damage… Which is a d100ish.” – Berra

“Staying back, Mellia, or moving forward?” – GM
“Moving forward.”
*sigh* – Mellia
“This is why we love Mellia.” – Berra

“Kill them all!” – red light guy
“Jar-Eel will know her own.” – Berra

“BAM red moon to the face.” – Dormal
“ALL OF IT.” – Berra
“An entire moon. Damage Bonus of LOTS.” – Rajar

*sneezes*** – Berra
“Bless you.” – Serala
“Bless me sure – but which god?” – Berra
“Because Humakt might be a bit much.” – Berra

“FFS. Leave some for me!” – Berra

“He’s not starting to foam, is he?” – Berra
“There are no trollkin?” – Berra
“No scorpions?” – Berra

“It strikes me that igniting someone’s gambeson under their armour would be a great idea.” – Nala
“Grate idea.” – Berra

“Sorry, Rajar. Meant to set him on fire,” – Nala

“Quick laying-out of corpses under Humakti rules. ‘Dead? Good. Bury him.'” – Berra

“LOOT!” – Berra
“Looty looty loot.” – Berra
“Looooooooooooot.” – Nala

“This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” – Tiwr heals, per Berra

“It’s Weasily done.” – GM
“That’stoatily terrible.” – Berra

“I do wonder why D’Val hasn’t taken advantage of Heal Body over the past years, or if he does in fact have two perfectly functional eyes, and just likes the patched look.” – Berra
“He’s been BUSY!” – GM