Fragment 2.16 – The Return to Nochet

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 2 16


Taking the path of the Duck1Not a kenning. into Nochet
Berra commanded and guarded the pris’ner
Up he rose then in the boat of the reed
Struggled to kill her and not for his freedom

Striking with bronze and with fists he attacked her
She in her turn would not draw blade against him
Would not endanger the boat of the Durulz
Fought at close quarters to keep him from fleeing

As she knelt on him and brought her fist downward
So he struck up with the force of his anger
Held in his fist was a vial of Yelm-fire
When it broke on her she burned as the Sun did

Fleeing from Yelm she found solace in water2The sage Llewun puts this verse after the Rescue of Kallyr-Yelm, citing the water as her changing, turbulent personality, and her friends as a steadying influence. A Humakti opposed to Resurrection could well flee the one she had released from Hell, dead or not.
Solace with friends who stood danger to find her
As in the Darkness from which they had brought her
So from the water they gave succor3The sage Llewun makes much of this, naturally. to her

Guiding the group to the Hospital swiftly
Berra brought Lenta to safety in Nochet
Then she would rest in the safety of Matrons
Berra could leave her and thus left her contract4Understood to be with Mellia Saiciae, and not the House.

When the Queen summoned Varanis to see her
Berra lay sleeping but rose to the calling
Silent in court she remained for the ruling
Silent in deference sweet to the Matron5Given the unlikelihood of Berra being silent before a Queen, this may be the first reference to Varanis as a Matron.

Then was the judgement of dueling for Kesten
Angered the Queen was and she gave her ruling
Kesten had taken a part of her city
Set it aside for the blood-shed of Humakt

Cold Samastina spoke patiently waiting
She gave the matter to Humakt’s Battalion
Berra spoke up to know Kesten would hear her
Asking his mercy and pleading her error

With Lenta potentially poisoned, the group set off for Nochet in a hurry, going by boat to avoid the choke point at the Harst gate. They saw spears where Nala had left Tiwr and Zinat. Nala went ashore anyhow, and the rest made their way around towards the Fish Market, and then made their way to the hospital by back ways, with Agri carrying Lenta. As soon as they came round people started to question her, and Lenta said she had thought she was talking to Varanis who had been wearing a scarf. It was not established whether she had EVER seen Varanis’ face before a Priestess threw out everyone who was not a patient. Berra decided to make herself into a patient so she could stay, drawing a knife down her cheek. She was put to sleep, and bundled into a room with Varanis and Xenofos.

When they awoke it was to a message from Irillo saying the Queen wished to speak with them. Escorted by Zorak Zorani guards, they went to the Palace. Along the way, the guards tried to gloat over Berra, who told them about the Death Lord who had run away from her friends. Irillo corrected her vocabulary so she could repeat the story.

In the Palace they were taken to a room of justice, where on the way in, Kesten told Berra it ‘was not my intention to harm your reknown this way’, warning her that there was going to be a problem, probably about the dueling. Then the Queen listened to the Hulta side, and to Varanis, and noted that Lenta had been rescued by Varanis, and ruled there would be no feud. Hulta had had reason to believe Varanis had done what they said. Irillo broke into to Kesten’s statement of events to point out he hadn’t been complete in what he was saying, and was thrown out of the room. Dormal, a surprise hostage, was allowed to leave the Hulta ranks. Surprising everyone, Berra managed to remain calm even when the Queen mentioned the Duel, and how there were now songs about a ‘craven raven’ refusing to fight. Varanis spoke up in defense of Berra, and was told to be silent. Samastina said that the Duel had not been in the city, and she was leaving it to the Humakti Battalion to deal with it.

Berra spoke up out of turn to apologise to Kesten, saying she had spoken in haste and error. She was asked why she was speaking out of turn and said she wanted to make sure it was heard, and make her apology loud. Astoundingly, she was not thrown out of the room but everyone was allowed to leave. The Hulta took Lenta and the rest went back towards the House of Saiciae.

“Berra’s looking with interest at her leg now. “Oh. That’s not good.”” – Berra

“Little bastard like that shouldn’t get a pyre.” – Berra

“Berra sags a little, shuts up for a moment, and then looks at Irillo. ‘I owe you a wheel.'” – Berra
“She still looks dangerously alert.” – Berra

“Not leaving.” – Berra
“But I’ll try to keep my temper under control.” – Berra

“Escort out anyone who is not a patient.” – Priestess
“Berra pulls a dagger along her face. ‘I am a patient now.'”

“It is the same with the Lord of Murder and Hate. What he promises, he delivers.” – Zorak Zorani Royal Guard
“Except when he lies!” – Berra
“Oh, a Humakti… <some sort of boast Berra did not listen to>” – Guard
“I’ve beaten better than you.” – Berra

(Yes, but when Issaries delivers, he expects to get PAID.) o . Irillo

Berra hands over a wheel to Irillo. “Thanks. You saved me a lot of money.” It comes from a pouch that is inside her armour.
“My pleasure. A wheel for you, and one for the armour seemed cheap. But rich to poor fisherducks.”
“Oh, for me as well? Uhhh…” Berra grins. “Subtly done.” There’s more digging in the pouch, and another wheel.

“He waves it away, ‘That’s on me.'” – Irillo
“I owe you a … something. Drink.” – Berra

*discussion of the correct form of words for the Death Lord that ran away from the group in front of the Zorak Zorani guards* – Irillo and Berra
“That’s two I owe you.” – Berra

“Berra, no.” – Varanis
“Yeah, I know. Thanks.” – Berra

“Hey, is Kesten there?” – Berra
“AWESOME.” – Berra
“I’ll give him a bow.” – Berra
“And a smile.” – Berra

“Berra wanders in, and takes a deep breath, and becomes calm.” – Berra

( I know her. ) o . Berra
( Last time I was here I managed to stay mostly quiet. ) o . Berra
( Tum ti tum. ) o . Berra

“Berra manages a politeish bow.” – Berra
“Definitely polite if you’re in Sartar.” – Berra

( She owes us. And that’s nothing to do with now. ) o . Berra

“She was seen getting into the palanquin with Lenta.” – Kesten
( No she wasn’t. Except by stupid people. o . Berra
“But that was by servants.” – Kesten
( Hey, I wonder if they have Lhankor Mytes trying to read our thoughts. ) o . Berra
( Can they do that? ) o . Berra

“tries to keep a straight face” – Berra
“. o ( MOCKINGly? )” – Berra

“This is when Berra looks at Kesten with only a touch of pity.” – Berra

“Berra gives Kesten a sympathetic glance.” – Berra

“And then there’s a bit of smirking.” – Berra

“Berra’s definitely trying not to smile.” – Berra

“Your Majesty, my Humakti kinswoman is neither craven nor dishonourable.” – Varanis

“Berra puts her hand over her face and is obviously trying not to laugh.” – Berra
“But she does give Varanis some frantic shut-up motions, lips compressed.” – Berra

“Berra gets outside the room before she laughs a LOT.” – Berra

“There had been threats from a Humakti… ” – GM/Xenofos
“That wasn’t a threat. That was basically flirting with Kesten.” – Berra