Fragment 2.13 – The Refusal of Honour

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 2 13


Dawn came with fire hidden far beyond Orlanth
Misty and wind-strewn with breath from Magasta
There at the gate of the House of Saiciae
Kesten came calling and bringing the duel-staves

Honour called Berra from left and from right then
Fight for her name or be marked as a coward
Pass up the blood of the Hulta to save it
Walk out with Kesten or run out to Lenta

Word she sent down to the street where he waited
He must wait on for she searched for his cousin
She would not pause lest she fail in his errand
Held him to shame for his eagerness coming

Then with the grimness of Humakt about her
Berra walked on past the Temple of Vinga
Leaving Vareena to question her Goddess
Striding ahead to meet choppy Magasta

Xenofos came back to the chapel, utterly soaked, and fell over. Varanis healed him while Berra shouted for a healer. He was able to report that mermen had helped him and the house guards. While he was resting, Irillo suggested that Berra and Rajar go out to the Merelt Townhouse. Varanis volunteered herself, and Mellia decided she should go because Varanis needed somebody sensible with her.

When they got there, the place was locked up and they could see no external guards. It was very rainy, and stormy. Berra asked for Rajar’s help to get up the wall, and he held her up until she could get some purchase. She climbed up to a window where she thought she was some light. On calling that down, she found Varanis coming up to her as well. Berra climbed higher but Varanis heard someone playing the flute, a tune that she recognised as being about her. She went in through the window. Rajar tried to climb up there with the aid of his dagger-axe, failed, and went to the door while Berra climbed down. He knocked politely, then when nobody answered, knocked impolitely.

Berra asked Mellia for more money to go in, accepting another Bolg – the one that she owed to Mellia already through not having had change. They went into the house, where they encountered an aged servant who tried to defend the house with a sword. Berra tried to push past him, ignoring the cut that he gave her, and patted him on the shoulder. Then Rajar cast fear on him and he ran away. They managed to find Varanis, who said that Garin had been there. She had hit him and he had fled, probably through the window, and probably by casting Lightning then Flight.

They headed back to the House, reported all this, and found that two rather drunken sailors, Vasos and another, had turned up. They hoped to use the two men for water-breathing magic; Vasos was one they had met on the ship to Nochet. Varanis attempted to Sanctify an area so that she could Divine where Lenta was, but failed, and collapsed utterly. Mellia gave her some healing magic and a drink to put her to sleep, and Berra stayed with her.

In the morning, Xenofos was rather better, having been healed and then rested. The sailors turned out not to have water-breathing spells, and to be Dormalite rather than Engizi followers. Nevertheless they were told to come along. However, there was a bigger problem; Lord Kesten Hulta turned up for his duel with Berra. However, she was not prepared to listen to his second, given the situation, and sent to tell him she was more concerned with rescuing Hulta than with duelling. She lost her temper a little and shouted some intemperate things.

The group swept past where the duel could have been, where staves to mark the ground had been left behind, and set off, first for the Temple of Vinga to Divine where Lenta might be, and then to the seashore to talk to Nala’s Duck contact, Tightbeak. He did not like Berra, on the grounds she was Colymar, and her Tribe had taken Bill Money. She pointed out that her Clan had protected Ducks, but this did not seem to go down well. Nevertheless, she and everyone else were taken out where they wanted to go.

“You can, I assure you, sleep when you are dead. It’s a thing.” – Berra
“Practically an expert here.” – Berra

“We’re glad you’re back.” – Berra
“Well, I am. I can’t actually speak for anyone else.” – Berra

“OK, give me Insight Human, everyone who is in the downstairs.” – GM
“Yep, there’s a human there!” – Berra

“You are wearing armour, and he makes a whopping two points of damage.” – GM
“I’m just going to pat him on the shoulder and walk past.” – Berra

“Vinga is the goddess of women in trouble, yes?” – Irillo
“Yes.” – Varanis
“So a woman in trouble is her province, yes?” – Irillo
“Yes.” – Varanis
“He’s asking why you don’t use Divination.” – Berra
“YES!” – Irillo

“Varanis falls apart.” – Varanis
“Berra sits down by Varanis and holds her hand. Very Humakti.” – Berra

“Pretty much, but it’s got to be official and done right. If Xenofos comes back…. sure, but don’t bring trouble. And… it’s a bit awkward because it’s not talked about yet, but I’m likely to spark trouble soon anyhow.” – Berra
“Huzzah. I’ll go find some really trustworthy stormbulls. Like last time” – Rajar
“Not the other one. The dead one. Wait, did I say that?” – Berra
“I won’t bring any dead people.” – Rajar

“Varanis winces at the yelling.” – Varanis
“Berra’s yelling a lot.” – Berra


“So anyhow, Rajar. If I don’t get back, can you fight Kesten on my behalf, and present my apologies?” – Berra
“Oh of course” – Rajar
“How badly do you want him dead?” – Rajar
“I don’t. But for my name…” – Berra
“I mean how many bits and where” – Rajar
“I mean obviously I will kill him but like, how many chunks and who to feed them to?” – Rajar
“No. First blood. But that doesn’t mean not the neck.” – Berra
“First…er sorry no don’t understand.” – Rajar

“You have to stop once someone’s bleeding, if you’re pretending to be me. If you can’t do that, I can find someone else. But this is a small fight, which is why we do it like this. To stop murder-fights spilling out too much.” – Berra
“I will stop once they bleed.” – Rajar
“That’s good enough. And make sure that he knows I’m sorry I can’t do it. And try to buy him a drink afterwards.” – Berra
“After… sure of course” – Rajar
“Alive?” – Rajar
“After?” – Rajar
“Sure” – Rajar
“(( Fails Insight Human ))” – Berra
“Yes. He’s defending his House, even if he’s wrong.” – Berra

“What’ve you got against the Colymar?” – Berra
“Bill money.” – Tightbeak
“My Clan looked after Ducks.” – Berra

( If that bastard had been taking messages, I’d have bothered to tell him where I was. ) o . – Berra