Fragment 2.31 – The First Command

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 2 31


Into the North of the Pass of the Dragon
Berra walked on with her bison companion1Any of Valseena, Rajar, or Followed. The walking is particularly important in the context of Berra the infanteer, of course.
Acting as guard for the train of Irillo
Gifts to the Grazelands from Kallyr the Starbrow

Given command by the words of Vareena
Berra divided her thoughts as a captain
Stood as a soldier to face to the battle
Crept as a scout in the forest of bandits

Trying to keep her command brought disorder
Berra was chastened by the words of Vareena2A notable repetition, possibly the first hint that by now Berra is sworn to Vareena, at least in private. The authority that is given is also used to chastise.
Bowed to the justice of Truth that was given
Vowed to do better with words kept within her

The group left Boldhome to try to chase down the Feathered Horse Queen with gifts from Kallyr, and a proposal of marriage. They had last heard of her being in Alda Chur, so they headed that way, but once they were north of Dangerford, they were ambushed by peasantry who thought they were all Praxians. Berra dealt with it by calling the charge and shouting in Heortling that she was important, thus persuading them they had the wrong people.3“DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM BOLLOCKS?” After that, Berra talked to Irillo and they decided to press on. Irillo sold some dye to Varanis for her zebra, but Xenofos refused to disguise what he was riding.

A little later on, scouting ahead, she found evidence of a camp – it turned out that Devolin was there, but despite her hopes she did not attack him. He said that the people of the area had gone mad, but she was not willing to take information from him. She did however go back to the group and tell them that.

Berra had the group proceed carefully, because it was her understanding that things were bad. Things got worse; they smelled burning, probably vegetables or thatch. Berra sent scouts up; Xenofos went off eagerly, just as Varanis told Berra she thought she had seen a dragon. Berra tried to recall Xenofos, and failed her Listen check, so thought he was looking back and calling her just a scout, instead of saying ‘let’s scout’. This did not go down well.

Berra got the caravan turned around, and when the scouts returned to say there was a destroyed village, sent Irillo back – he was eager not to go onwards. Then they went on to find out what the problem was. They got to a destroyed village with an obvious Praxian javelin in one of the dead people. Berra’s mind went to Onjur, but she tried to be open-minded.

There were not many dead people – it was a small place. At least three were killed once they had already fallen. There were horse or zebra prints all around. Berra suddenly realised that someone was trying to kill members of her group, and they were hiding in a haystack. She ran to get her body into the way and spotted just how the end of a projectile weapon was wobbling, so she shoulder-charged the haystack, knocking a chunk aside. A small boy tried to shoot *someone* but was well wide, and then she lifted him from the hay.

He was *terrified* of Xenofos, although Berra did not understand that at first. Zebra riders had come and wiped everyone out. Nala and Tiwr took the boy, Grath, to catch up with Irillo. Berra scooped up his crossbow to look after it.4Yes, genuinely to look after it. And to make sure that someone who had no idea how to use a missile weapon didn’t try. They followed the tracks.

On the way they found a group of bandits – previously local farmers and hunters – who did not like Xenofos and his zebra AT ALL, but who were rather comforted by Berra, her Sartarite speech, and knowing who she was when she introduced herself. They said that Praxians had driven people off looking for places to camp, and killed a lot. Argrath had moved into Alone.

After a couple of days of tracking the group met a troll who decided not to attack on finding out they were well armed but would trade food for informations. He said he had seen the people they were after, skirting Snakepipe Hollow to the North. Berra asked if any had been wearing iron. One had been. And he and his breastplate answered Onjur’s description. Knowing they could not catch up, the group turned back to Dangerford, meeting Nala on the way.

“I’ll wave at them as I go past [my clan].” – Berra
“In fact, according to my rolls, I don’t.” – Berra

“Tighten up the caravan. Everyone in close.” – Berra

“Rajar, do you remember when there was Onjur? And he did something just like this?” – Berra
“I want to keep the option it’s something like that, but it’s not really a thing.” – Berra

“What is this ‘crossbow’ thing? Have I ever seen one before?” – Berra
“Rare, but not unheard of” – GM
“Right. As we’re having this discussion here, I’ll scoop that up. And the bolt.” – Berra
“The kid is not allowed a missile weapon back, but it probably belongs to his family.” – Berra

“Over the past day, Berra has been coolly polite.” – Berra
“She’s concentrating very much on the area around them, apparently.” – Berra

“Berra is calm when not actually shouting.” – Berra
“Like she’s putting on the angry Heortling when it happens.” – Berra

“Special on Track.” – Xenofos
“Berra looks very grudgingly impressed.” – Berra

“I know what peasants are like. I’ve been a peasant.” – Berra
“You still are.” – GM

“At some point, to Berra and Xenofos, Varanis will say, ‘I want to talk to both of you later. I don’t have the time or patience for you to not be working well together.'” – Varanis
“Berra nods. ‘Yep.'” – Berra