Fragment 2.18 – The Journey to Pavis

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 2 18

1626


Into the Hulta Palazzo in mourning1Lit: an early visit to the grave, so also ‘morning’
Berra walked firm to meet Kesten Humakti
Speaking to him of a libel upon them
Meeting his eyes without fear without favour

He in his turn told of death and of endings
Young Samastina the Pride of the Hulta
Taken in youth by her hand as it seemed so
Grandmother’s words were to let them2This indicates either a death-pact, or the love-lorn Samastina going to join another in death. rest easy

Thus did they part in the city of Nochet
Berra with words of the coming of Harrek3Either surprisingly prescient, or a later addition
Kesten with calm of the death-mask upon him
Then the young Dagger took ship out to Pavis

After visiting Kesten, Berra went to the docks to wait for her ship. Xenofos joined them, and then a little later Varanis and Rajar committed to the journey. This was fortunate as Rajar could help get her bison on board. Once it had been explained to Xenofos that horses would not be welcome, he sent his home. Berra ‘helped’ get Tiwr on board by asking if he had learned to walk on water yet.

The journey across the Mirrorsea Bay was calm and uneventful, but the waves came up to meet them when they came into the Sea of Storms. Berra was miserable for much of the journey, until they got to Corflu. She cheered up a bit on dry land and helped Rajar and Xenofos bargain for some riding zebras, doing surprisingly well given her rather straightforward approach to bargaining. She even tried to get money off on the grounds that Xenofos had fallen off what was obviously a half-trained animal.

They set off to ride upriver to Pavis. The journey was uneventful. They broke it at a marble-walled house which had some very interesting earthworks4Special on Battle to understand what they meant and features, including buried walls inside big ditches, rather than standing up. It belonged to someone Berra had never heard of, called Lord Raus. Nala, Rajar, and Xenofos knew who he was, but by the time the group found out he was a Lunar they were his guests.

Lord Raus was away, but his captain, Daine, greeted them. He was a Humakti who sized Berra up and got sized up in turn. Her understanding was that she could not take him, but would try anyhow. She offered, as she was his guest and a Humakti, to stand watch, but said she would understand if the guards preferred not. She was told her hosts would be poor ones if they could not protect their guests.

There was food put on for them all, with various sorts of meat, some of it even fresh. Xenofos got into a talk with a knowledgeable man, and Berra caught what they were saying and excitedly explained to him what the earthworks would do. Daine asked her, in mildly sardonic tones, to explain, and she did that, pausing to check partway through that he had in fact designed them. He said his lord had ordered it and he had filled in some details. Berra let him know just how impressed she was.

After drinking for a while with Rajar, Berra got up to take a break, and came back to find him talking with a Praxian. She went to bed, and in the morning found out that this was a High Llama rider called Suuraki. He had filled in Rajar’s knowledge of all the tribal bickering nearby, and the group hired him on to go to Pavis, as he knew the route well.

Daine sat down beside Berra at breakfast and asked if she was for hire. She was not, but offered to help her host if she could Daine said there was nothing currently the matter but to come back to the house when they passed that way – she said she would, if they passed that way. Then it was on to Pavis.

They made for the encampment where Venna was in charge, as apparently Suuraki knew her well enough to speak to her. The cavalry pickets were a White Sable and a High Llama. As they cantered off Berra got to ride her own bison fast for the first time and enjoyed it very much.5Critical on Ride (Bison). Berra is officially better on a bison than on a horse. Xenofos was rather distracted, by that or something else, and managed to fall off his zebra.

They saw Venna, who was just as irritable and overworked as last time, and offered their help for the next time she was free to give them something to do. Argrath, Venna said, was busy and it would not be a good time to disturb him. After that, getting her alone for a moment, Berra took up some of her time to ask why Lord Raus was still there, and was roundly told to get lost.[[/footnote]]


“Rajar, how do we get a bison on board? If we practice with Followed, then maybe Billy will be easier?” – Berra

“I want beer but I also want never to eat or drink anything again.” – Berra
“How does Storm Bull deal with this, Rajar?” – Berra

“Why does the flat bit look like it’s going up and down? It should be flat.” – Berra

“I’m bored with this. You! How much for those!” – Berra

“Are you sure that’s a riding zebra?” – Berra
“Well, he’s foreign. No offence.” – Zebra Merchant
“None taken.” – Berra

“Well, we’re under his hospitality now, so we should go in anyhow.” – Berra

“Looking for hire?” – Daine
“I think I wouldn’t do well in this household.” – Berra
“My lord often has uses for people to deal with troubles.” – Daine
“I usually find trouble and then deal with it.” – Berra

“Work it out for yourself, if you want to be a Strategos!” – Venna
“I don’t want to be a Strategos. I don’t even really want to be a captain, but people keep making me one!” – Berra

“You barely notice the axe embedding in the door on the way out.” – GM
“She likes me! She waited until I was gone!” – Berra