Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 28
1626, Sea Season
Berra ran fast with the horses of Clan-mark
Never run down by Jemal known as swift-foot
Leaving Matila and Nastur behind her
Leading the horses to pasture in Sea-time
Jenath Minar spread his waves as wide ripples
Greeting the homecoming hero he softened1This dates the arrival in the Clan, making it mid to late Sea season, when the Blue Tree river became less actively dangerous each year.
Settling down to a path in the valley
Giving up ploughland in wide swathes of dry-land
Faster than ever she ran with the horses
Faster than Heri and swift as the arrow
Straight as the blade of her woad-painted broadsword2Wind Tooth had the Truth Rune painted and engraved upon her blade.
Deadly as Humakt the Champion of Orlanth
Wise in her words as the Sage of the Truth-road
Berra spoke long with the Carls of the Blue-Tree
Finding the name of the ghost on her ploughland
Finding the deeds that had brought him to haunting
Walked then with Nala and Tiwr of the horn-folk
Mellia followed to bring peace and healing
Onto the land of old Farnan the Miser
He came to meet them in ghost-form he greeted
You are the one who will pay all my debt then
Said he to Berra who offered him bargain
Loudly proclaiming that Death should be peaceful
Countered with sums that would give satisfaction
Farnan attacked with a generous fury
Anger is cheap and he spent it like water
Smote upon Berra who struck back against him
Aided by Nala the friend of the Dagger
Mighty was Berra but great was the Miser
Driven by lust for the silver he needed
Driven by fear he would lose all his Lunars
Down on one knee Berra fell as he twice smote
Rising again with the mind of another
Berra was trapped in her body by Farnan
Mellia spoke then the sweet words of deep sleeping
Berra fell down and the ghost was defeated
Torn up by Nala and cleansed of the life-taint
Farnon was sent from this world to another
Berra slept on in the arms of the Bison
Guarded by one who knew rituals for waking3“And it involves beer!”
When she awoke to the friendship of Rajar
Berra drank deep of the drink of her people4Almost undoubtedly perry.
Sharing with Rajar and Xenefos gladly
Berra returned to thank Nala for life-blood
Then to the Wyter went Berra the warrior
Leading her friends to be joined with her clanfolk
Air-proud Varanis and Rajar all hair-clad
Finarvi, Mellia, horse-born Serala
Mysteries passed as the night turns to morning
Rajar gave out his loud war-cry and vanished
Straight-gone to deal with Chaos he saw there
Gift of the Wyter its wide sight was given
What Really Happened
Berra spent time getting to meet all of her friends and family, and was instantly besotted with her new nephew Haran. She found out she was probably the fastest runner in her clan, and introduced Finarvi and Serala to the horse herds.
In trying to find out how her new land was haunted, Berra asked around the community, finding out that it had belonged to old Farnan, a miserly man, who as a ghost was going around and demanding debts from people, at least some of which were definitely not owed. She went to tell this to Nala, who had been talking to the ghost, and had much the same understanding. Berra’s suggestion that the villagers take the dead man to court fell on deaf ears.
They caught up with Mellia, who agreed to go along and help. Berra’s plan was to buy the debt off the old man so he could sleep peacefully, rather than fighting someone who might have had a legal right to debts. Nala suggested bargaining, rather than just handing over cash, to give Farnan satisfaction as he died. As soon as they got to his house, the ghost manifested, to ask Berra for payment. She suggested twenty-five Lunars, as an opening, and he attacked her immediately. Berra did him some damage, and Nala did him more, but Berra was quickly battered down, and the ghost took possession of her body.
Mellia cast sleep on Berra, and the ghost left her, to be torn to bits by Nala. Xenefos and Rajar arrived just in time to see Berra draw her sword and be pointed at by Mellia, then fall. Rajar recognised this as the result of Berra being a mighty warrior, and carried her to the temple to wake her with perry, as beer was not available. Berra went to talk to Nala and thank her, and then they went to the Wyter ceremony.
Rajar, Mellia, Varanis, Finarvi and Serala joined Berra’s community, and Berra was introduced to the community properly. When each adventurer stepped away from the tree, they found that thorns had somehow tattooed them even through their clothes. Varanis had leaves set on her head like a crown, which Berra noticed. Rajar’s experience with the Tree showed him a place that Chaos was, and he drew his axe… and ended up naked on the hillside in question.
The rest of the adventurers worked out where Rajar was by asking the Wyter and the Priest, and went to find him. They forgot to bring him armour or clothes, but when they got to him they found a hillside was touched by Chaos, and they would have time to send for his armour and not immediately charge in.
The Wyter Experience
We go backwards. Yelm dances from West to East, West to East repeatedly. Then he stands in centre sky. A voice says, “Since the time of sunstop, I have guarded here. Come in now and be my children.” I feel myself running across the land from root system as far as its roots spread, and they spread a long way, a looong long way. I can see how horse paths have been shaped by roots changing angles, Then I’m stepping back and I feel an arm patting my back as I pull back.
“Have you considered taking Farnan to court, to have these cases adjudicated on?” – Berra
“No… BECAUSE HE’S DEAD!” – Villager
“That wasn’t Berra. You can tell because nobody is dead.” – Berra