Fragment 2.25 – The Killing of the Drum

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 2 25


Guarding the body she took from the battle
Yellow Storm Shaman of Storm Bull the Raging
Berra kept wakeful in service to Gallaf
Washed by the rain of the anger of Storm Bull

Taking the body with all its belongings
Berra rode out to the Hill of the Ravens
Built there the platform to honour the body
Calling the crows and the ravens of Humakt1Notably, the Raven of Prax is a trickster, sometimes associated with Eurmal, not like the more austere and dependable Sartarite Raven.

Then in the pride of the Sword-god within her
Berra took blade to the drum of the shaman
Drawing the Air-rage of Storm Bull upon her
Bringing the Battle Eternal in anger

Skeletons came of the past and the present
Ghosts of the dead and the spirits of anger
Striking at Berra and all her companions
Swift to bring battle and swift to the slaughter

Unto the sword that was made in the furnace
Berra gave up all the power of Humakt
Filling the iron with the Deathliest magic
Fit now to cut at the ghosts brought by battle

Struck on the instant a ghost fled before her
Yet others came who were many in number
Powerful all and they broke down bold Berra
Leaving her body all shattered and twisted

Then from Valseena was life brought to save her
Deep in the battle with bone-hooves about her
Brave as a warrior safe in the shield-wall2No doubt written by someone who had never seen a shield-wall.
Knelt by young Berra as life caught within her3The moment before the death rattle, in which the spirit leaves the body, was known sometimes as the life-catch.

Into the fray came a friend to the Bisons
Toras the Rhino who trampled beneath him
Boneshards of Stormbull and boneshards of bull-foe
Making the way for the Deathsword of Humakt

When she was risen she ran back to battle
Smiting a minotaur skull into pieces
Striking a ghost as it clung to Suuraki
Cleaving her way through the spine of a dragon

After having it pointed out to her that having the body of a shaman in (or even at the edges of) the camp was a bad thing, Berra agreed to guard it, which she did, getting very cold and wet overnight. In the morning, after some discussion, it was decided Nala should not touch the body in laying it out, and Berra was therefore the best-qualified to deal with it, being an initiate of a Death god and also having touched it already. Suuraki knew how to do it, a platform built in a lonely place.

Berra went out with much of the group and did a day-long ritual to build up the magic within her, sending the spirit on its way. Then she ritually killed the shaman’s items. Unfortunately his drum was a magical relic of Storm Bull, who sent the Eternal Battle down, a whirlwind that brought skeletons and spirits. Berra used the last of her Rune points to cast True Sword, enabling her to hit the ghost that came at her, but then she was overwhelmed by three skeletons, including one of a High Llama, and in her haste she managed to twist her own ankle and fall.4Fumbles are BAD. She was hacked and stamped on, but Valseena, Rajar’s sister-in-law, applied some nick-of-time healing, and Toras5A rhino rider who had joined them as they ‘looked interesting’ but later proved to have been sent by Venna to see what was going on with them. charged and trampled on her opponents. She got up and ran back to the fight, healing herself further, and managing to strike down a skeleton and a ghost, and cut a dragon’s skeleton in half, before everything else was killed. The unnatural Storm departed.