Fragment 2.24 – The Charge in Error

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 2 24

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Riding the plain with the following bison1This may or may not refer to the name of her personal riding beast, and has thus become a kenning meaning an unknown number of others of Rajar’s clan, at an unknown distance.
Berra supported his presence in parley
Angered by words the Impala was speaking
Rajar called charge and his bison was wounded

Berra beside him was shouting her war-cry
Riding to glory with arrows around her
Piercing the forelegs of Followed the Bison
Felling Suuraki who landed before her

Berra was cunning and kept to her arrows
Piercing two of the foemen before her
Mindful of Nala and swift to defend her
Keeping her magic for when it was needful

Then fell the mount of the pride of the Bisons2Generally considered a later addition, but kept for context, as later, attested stanzas refer to it.
Striking the ground with an arrow within him
Striking the knell of sly Rushes to Battle3The Death of Rajar refers to Rushes to battle on several occasions after this.
Bringing the anger of Rajar upon him

Riding out with Nala to follow a shaman’s missing clothes, Berra was further accompanied by Rajar, Suuraki, Varanis, and Rajar’s sister-in-law Valseena. They had been there some time with Nala meditating in the snow when Impala riders approached. Rajar and Berra went to see them. She noticed that the incoming leader had an arrow nocked and his bow was held ready, but so it could not be seen easily. She told Rajar that. Whatever the talk was about, Rajar charged. Berra charged with him. The Impalas scattered, using their light cavalry tactics. Billy was wounded and fell, and Berra pulled her mount short, and got off to take cover and shoot back.

Suuraki charged in from the flank but was shot pretty comprehensively – the Impalas were using Multimissile and Speedart. Valseena dashed to heal first Billy and then, when Tiwr got there, Suuraki. Varanis ran to cover her, and Berra covered the area with arrows, running forwards a little way to do it, then taking cover again to keep close to Nala. She saw Rajar trying to herd Impala riders towards her, and then saw Billy fall. Rajar instantly went berserk in anger, running on foot after the Impala riders, many of whom split off to lead him away. Varanis rode after him.

Berra stayed with Nala and Valseena as cover, trying to get Tiwr – under attack by a spirit – over to her so she could call Humakt’s power into her sword and get the spirit killed. However, the spirits vanished as someone fell off his Impala. She assumed Nala had killed them. She made sure that Nala was awake, then tried to give chase to Rajar, but encountered Varanis on the way back, with him now charging after her. Berra went back to pick up the shaman and his equipment, and took them back to the camp, making sure people knew to take Billy’s body back. Rajar also ended up on her bison for a while, as he had passed out while chasing Varanis.