Fragment 2.7 – The Duel of Xenofos

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 2 7

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Holding the honour of Xenofos with her
Berra walked out to the Orlanthi Tree-copse1Traditional area for duelists and their seconds to prepare themselves out of the view of watchers.
Told that her Principal sought satisfaction2Not the usual Berran lexicon. This indicates patched verses.
Sent off to Deleaos seeking penition

There too to Xenofos she asked the question
Would his apology forestall the violence
Out to the place of the duel they advanced then
Berra and Alyara circling the sword-ground

While Hofhrai fought Berra watched all around her
Seeking with sight to keep Xenofos guarded
Watching for slips that would give cause for ending
Watching for blood that might fall at each moment

Hofhrai struck hard after Xenofos smote him
Sword set to shield and their armour all ringing
Blood sprang from Xenofos ending the fighting
Then from the hill there came Uroxi drunkards

Berra stood forth to protect all the duelists
Laughing as Xenofos ran to do likewise
Chasing downhill to be first to defend them
Showing Lord Hofhrai their bravery bloody

Swift to the rear of the Storm Bulls was Rajar
Roaring his anger that friends were endangered
Thus he and Berra soon met in the middle
Standing by bodies that groaned with their dying

Swift too was Mellia running to save them
Into the fighting she plunged as a river
Finding the course of its bed down the cliffside
Clasping at Xenofos even in battle

Berra acted as a second for Xenofos in a duel, going out to check the ground and take the traditional message between seconds that an apology would not come too late. She and Alyara Deleaos then observed the duel. After some back and forth in which Xenofos did very well, Hofhrai drew blood from his thigh. There was a short discussion over the actual terms of the duel, as Hofhrai had thought an apology would happen afterwards, and nearly began again. However, honour convinced him that his opponent thought otherwise, and so he stopped.

At that point some Uroxi that Rajar had brought along to watch let their excitement boil over, and ran up to keep fighting. They did not look like they were going to put their weapons away, so Berra stepped forward to protect the duelists. Xenofos stepped forward to be beside her, Berra moved to try to get ahead of him – and they ended up racing downhill to the three Storm Bulls coming up. Mellia ran to heal Xenofos, Varanis distracted one of the Uroxi, Berra wounded one and Rajar killed one with a loving application of his dagger-axe. Varanis tried to get her enthralled Storm Bull to fight the others, but only Rajar was left, and so this one got hit by Berra AND Rajar, and then sat on by Rajar and punched a lot. She still managed to survive.

Berra walked Xenofos back to the house, with the others.