Fragment 2.14 – The Loan of Honour

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 2 14

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Over the water with Ducks as companions
Colymar Berra went hunting for Lenta
Leaving her anger behind her with Kesten
Taking the chill of the battlefield1Contextually, the patience of Darkness, indicating that Berra would be cool and collected once action was upon her. with her

Over the sands and the mud of the fore-shore
Berra led on as a scout for a war-band
Seeking with spear for the safe path before her
Seeking with sword to bring danger beside her

As they found ground growing firmer beneath them
Berra turned not to the Scribe2In general, Berra asked this service of Xenofos. Whether she was unwilling to approach her abused duelling second, or there had been some argument, we cannot tell. but the Merchant
Asking Irillo for spells cast upon her
Magic to seek out the enemies hiding

Swift her advance when she found a foe lurking
Swifter was Rajar who stepped in before her
Splitting the shell of a crab of Magasta3The largest shell recovered from this period was 4.3m in length.
Sundering foe-meat and blue blood wide spraying

Berra complained not that Rajar was mighty
Slapping his shoulder she called him her brother
So to the grasses they took for the village
Finding a path that was built on the <lost word>4This section seems to have been re-written at some point, from a damaged manuscript. ‘Patched’ alliterative verses and kennings appear.

Sinking in sand Berra reached out her wound-wood
Finding the strength of Varanis and Rajar
Losing her own as the spearshaft slipped from her
Into the death-sand came Rajar in armour

Hauling her out with the might of the bison
Rajar depended on help from the heroes
Hauling himself by the length of a great-axe
Up to Irillo who lay on a shieldbridge

Soon came the place where their foes lurked in hiding
Waiting as traps in the wreck of a village
Five in a longhouse were gathered against them
Berra burst in with Irillo behind her

There stood the troll that had shattered his lover
Berra struck out and it clawed at her sword-edge
Into the guts of the sea-troll went Wind Tooth
Hungrily seeking for blood and for killing

Crying his rage at the killer of Serzeen
True-heart Irillo stabbed down at the sea-troll
Seeing that wounds closed as soon as they opened
Berra gave over the partner she lived with

Lending her sword with its magic upon it
Berra so gifted her friend stout Irillo
Giving him Humakt’s great Rune for the using
Offering vengeance in Sword-shape and Death-guise

Hard she stood by and was watching him use her
Berra’s dark eyes were all kept for Irillo
Watching in Darkness as Harmony slaughtered
Scattered the Darkness and Water with magic

Then through the house Berra searched with Irillo
Rajar made slaughter his own in a doorway
Others escaped using magic of Orlanth
Called on their god for his help in escaping

After landing on the mudflats at the edge of the island, the group had to make their way inland. Berra went first as a scout, using her spear to help her find the way in water, and at one point making a surprisingly agile move up onto a rock she had failed to notice with her spear.5DEX checks and Berra are fun. On the shore she had Irillo cast an extended Find Enemies on her, and asked Xenofos to cast it on Varanis or Rajar. They were near to a shack at that point, and could sense something they could not see between the group and the building. They advanced, with Rajar eagerly ahead as Berra struggled to put spirit magic up. By the time anyone else could get there, Rajar had been attacked by a giant crab and pretty much cut it straight in two.

They found nothing of interest in the shack, which seemed to have been abandoned for a while, but as it was on stilts they could make out a path through the thick, tall grass there. They followed it for a while, including into some quicksand, which Berra sank into before she could get away. She held out her spear to her friends to pull her back, but she was not strong enough to keep hold, so Rajar walked in to grab her, dragged her back and threw her to safety, then had his friends pull him out with an axe handle to where Irillo had laid down shields. They then made a track through the grass for a bit, with Varanis leading and getting lost, and Berra noticing because she was a scout. In the middle of the grass they were attacked by a very large snake, which the others killed before Berra could get to it. With Berra taking the lead she quickly became lost, but she got onto Rajar’s shoulders, so she could see over the grass and guide them.

They reached a large rock onto which Varanis climbed after a brief lesson on skylining from Berra, and that let them get their bearings and go towards the forest, and keep heading South despite the lack of sun. They came to the edge of a village where Irillo re-cast the Find Enemies spell, and they advanced onto the beach, putting on their magic as they came. Irillo sent their two sailor followers to grab the boat and take it offshore.

The village was in ruins, with a strange statue like a giant bird fallen in the middle of it, and five enemies in a longhouse with two doors. Berra and Irillo went through the door which turned out to have a familiar sea-troll behind it. After a bit of back-and-forth in which the troll’s hands came off worse than Wind Tooth, Berra sliced open its belly, going past it as it fell over. She was beaten to the next door by Irillo, who kicked it open. Within there was a room which was used for storage and perhaps living. There were people there who meant them harm, but hiding behind barrels. However, as Berra got into the room and onto the barrels to attack, the troll began to get up again, so she and Irillo ran back to deal with that. Meanwhile the room began to fill with smoke, so rapidly it seemed it must be magical. Berra hacked the troll back down again, and stepped back to let Irillo kill it. However, it wounds were closing up, save for one long slash on its leg that she had not inflicted. However, Wind Tooth was leaving some cuts there, thanks to the Bladesharp spell on it.

Berra lent Wind Tooth to Irillo, so he could have his vengeance.

During this time, the sensation of people wishing to harm them vanished. By the time Berra got outside to look in the direction of the boat, she could see the two sailors there, injured or dead, and the boat being rowed away by two people in black leather armour, with a blonde woman and a thing that might have been a long bag with a human in it.

They raced to the seashore to try to catch it. At that point, Nala manifested in the real world from the spirit world where she had been, and ignited the oars, then attacked the woman there, fighting in spirit combat until the blonde passed out. Berra managed to get an arrow on target for one of the remaining people, at ultra long range, but could not see what the result was.

“IT’S NOT TO THE WAIST! IT’S JUST MID-THIGH, OK!” – Berra

“Huzzah. What are we here for again?” – Rajar
“We’re trying to rescue Lenta Hulta. But she might be under illusion spells that make her look like an enemy, or someone might be pretending to be her.” – Berra

“Don’t eat the thing you don’t know isn’t poisoned.” – Berra
“But but but but but.” – Rajar

“What is Berra’s size again?” – GM
“Shut up.” – Berra
“What is it?” – GM
mutters “11.” – Berra

“I’m trying to grasp Berra in the mud.” – Rajar

“It will take some cursing and some pulling but it will be done. It will just take some time.” – GM
“You couldn’t have got the sandal too?” – Berra

“Is this a turn to get off the path? Because there are a lot of us here.” – Berra
“No.” – GM
“Well, there are plenty of other people up front who can ask important questions like ‘are we lost?’ so I’m going to trust the Scout up front.” – Berra

“Wait, this grass is taller than Rajar?” – Berra
“Yes.” – GM
“But not taller than Rajar AND Berra?” – Berra
“I see where you’re going. Get on my shoulders!” – Rajar

“So, instead of coming from the path to the upper right-hand side of the sketch…” – GM, despairingly

“Let’s go and find out if there are enemies there. Fortunately, we’ll find out at about extreme bowshot.” – Berra

“Go in and kill someone.” – Berra

“I have armour there.” – Varanis
“Ou… 16 points.” – GM
“I don’t have that much armour there.” – Varanis

“I’ll kick the next door open then.” – Irillo
“Do you want me to do-” – Berra
“No.” – Irillo

“OK… stripping a troll.” – GM
“I’ll help him if I have to.” – Berra

“Irillo is there, and I understand vengeance, and if he wants to borrow Wind Tooth, I’m OK with that.” – Berra rolls Darkness
“Oh, and bits of it that are getting cut off are getting pulled away.” – Berra