Fragment 34 – The Vision of Varanis

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 34

1626, Fire Season

Up to the Flame climbed the Vingan Vareena
Followed behind by the stoutest of Sages1Presumably Xenofos, noted for courage rather than strength or size.
Heralded only by Yelm in his rising
Guarded by Berra who leapt to her service

Three days by Yelm-light they stood to the watching
Three nights they guarded and slept on the Flame-ledge
Keeping the place as Elmal in the darkness
Watching as Rigsdal for enemies creeping

When she awoke Berra carried her armour
Doing the honour that Humakt could do her
Leaving Varanis to lean on her cousin
Never the warrior pressed down by mercy

Then in the war-ring she spoke of the Questing
Laid out her plan to the Sword of the Duck-folk
Asked then his wisdom and listened in silence2The respect in which Berra held her master compared to others in the Temple is still sometimes known as the ‘Aristeon of Deveval’.
Said she would search for the Lightbringing heroes

Into the chaparral guided by Rajar
Berra went seeking for Nala the maiden
Into the heat with D’Val on the bison
Walking by Rhyngos3‘Bill-y’. she gave the Sword comfort4A line hardly touched at all by the Sage Llewun, who cites it as a target so easy even he would find it immoral. It is more generally understood to mean that Berra gave up her usual place on Billy so that D’Val could ride as a passenger.

After Varanis recovered from her self-administered vision, Berra invited D’Val along to their planning session for the Heroquest. He pointed out that they were short some Lightbringers. Berra suggested asking Kallyr if she could fill in the spares, and Varanis went to put that question to Tennebris. He said he had divined on this question, and the people they needed were in Rhigos and the paps, respectively. The party split up slightly more briefly, to go collect the missing members. Berra got to walk across part of Prax so that D’Val, whom she had invited along, could ride most of the time. There was a short interlude in which two large bison-riders under-easimated D’Val, but one of them spotted in time that his sword was made of iron, and nobody died.

On the trip, Rajar bought another bison. They met Nala, who came back with them, and told them the story of Razig Tanarau, Stormkhan.

“Is D’Val here?” – Berra
“Ith he invited?” – GM
“Yeth.” – Berra
“But without lisping when I do.” – Berra

“It seems to me that you’re a little short.” – D’Val

“I’ll book into the Temple for more meditation.” – Berra

“I’m not sure Prax is known for its Duck Population…” – GM
“It’s about to be.” – Berra

“Berra has no clue about Ducks and Prax. Berra’s player wants to see this VERY MUCH.” – Berra

“WooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooT!” – Rajar

“We should get D’Val a Bison.” – Berra
“Because he can climb onto them.” – Berra

“That little thing is good at fighting?” – Bison 1
“Yes, Rajar’s saying so, and that’s a professional opinion, and it’s the Humakti telling you, and the other Humakti…” – Berra
“D’Val just pushes his sword a couple of inches out of the scabbard. One of them completely fails to notice.” – GM
“So, you think I’m impressed, little man?” – Bison 1
“Shut up! It’s Iron!” – Bison 2

“D’Val lets his sword slide back with a little ‘click’.” – GM

“And then when Calamity gives milk we can have K’Vas, and it’ll take Sartar by storm!” – Rajar
“K’Vas is … not a thing I really like. Most Sartarites won’t. But you should have your drink.” – Berra

“Nala says nothing, pointedly. but she says it in Praxian.” – Nala

“Find Irillo, you find Sid.” – Nala
“Well, yes. And we’re not in Esrolia, as you may have noticed.” – Berra

Berra tries her best not to bother her swordmaster with questions, as they travel halfway across Prax.


. o O ( Well, at least D’Val got a bison ride. )
. o O ( I pulled him away from the Regiment in Fire Season. )
. o O ( They might be fighting now. )
. o O ( Which he knows. )
. o O ( And we could have been fighting. )
. o O ( But still… )

. o O ( His shoulders are sunburned. )
. o O ( Not like mine are. )
. o O ( But … his feathers are not. )
. o O ( He is going to meditate again when we stop. )
. o O ( And I should too. )

. o O ( The Sky is big here. )
. o O ( Yelm is more powerful. )
. o O ( Maybe because he has not been wounded yet, when he goes over Prax. )
. o O ( I like being able to see. )
. o O ( I miss the rain. )

. o O ( I could run a long way here. )
. o O ( But D’Val could not. )
. o O ( Billy could. )
. o O ( I think Rajar could. Maybe further than I can. It’s hot. )
. o O ( I’m fast. )
. o O ( He’s unstoppable. )

. o O ( I’m still too hot. )
. o O ( Maybe I should heal my sunburn. )
. o O ( But it’s getting cold. I could just put clothes on over it. )
. o O ( I almost wish I had feathers. )
. o O ( But not. )
. o O ( I wonder if they keep him warm or keep him cold. Or both. Or not. )

. o O ( Would it be bad to ask Rajar about his chest hair? I guess it’s the same. )
. o O ( … )
. o O ( … )
. o O ( … )
. o O ( I think I am glad I just forgot what I was thinking about. )


Does iron get as hot as bronze does?
Have you been to Prax before?
Do your feet get sunburned?

1) Hotter.
2) Yesz.
3) No.

Why does the water bottle breathe like that when I pull the stopper?
Did you go to Pavis?
Was that thump Billy falling over again?

1) Becauze it callsz to Yelm.
2) Yesz.
3) No. Ernalda cuddled him.

Is today hotter than yesterday?
When were you in Pavis?
Have you met Salid?

1) Yes.
2) Yearsz ago.
3) Briefly.

I wonder if he used the word ‘cuddled’ just to mess with me. I must not ask.
I could ask the God. How did D’Val come to have his sense of humour, oh Chief of Champions? Maybe I could Hero Quest for it. So everyone could enjoy it.
Is that a bit silly? Maybe I should bring Billy along. But I might end up with a bison with his sense of humour. And arms. Why am I thinking these things? I feel a bit strange. I probably need to drink more. But my water bottle might shout. And he doesn’t like Yelmic things. In the same way as the High Sword not liking Ducks.

Why would water call out to Yelm?
Did the Temple of Humakt still have a statue on the pedestal outside, when you were there?
Is the sky really pulsing?

1) It ith not a tale I know but the water goess to Yelm. Loversz perhaps.
2) Yes.
3) No. Retht in shade.

Is ginger a vegetable? Are you going to be walking tomorrow? Have you seen cloud-that-is-Urox? Did you use my blade oil? Is it prayer time yet? Shall I Sanctify this area for the service? If I can’t find all the rocks for the Sword Cross, can I use six? It’s fine to use coins for the Sword Cross, isn’t it? Are we doing this in travel form? Did you see how far I kicked that rock? Why does the battle form have so many pauses? Is Fireblade forbidden under first blood duelling rules? What does ‘Fraternal’ mean?

1) Yes.
2) Yes.
3) Yesz.
4) No.
5) Alwayth
6) If you like
7) Yesz. Think of it as a sword
8) Yesz. It’th a sword croth
9) Yesz.
10 No.
11) Mm?
12) No.
13) Brothersz.

Wiggly little tail feathers.
Never ever tell him.

The battle form of the prayers has those pauses in. But I should think more about what they mean. There are lots of meanings.
So if you try to keep things fraternal, that’s about avoiding strife, yes?

1) Theoretically.

… What does theoretically mean?

1) In theory.

I must remember not to swear at my swordmaster.

The… orry… when you think it’ll happen but you don’t know?

1) Yeth. Or it should happen but you’re not sure it will

Do you think our plan will work, to start us off?

1) Perhapth

Any better ideas? Sorry, Lord. Ideas you think are better.

1) No.

Well, that makes that easier. Perhaps is better than no. Did you kill the thunder lizard you got your sharpening stone from?

1) Yesz.

Why did the High Sword release you if we’re not going to one of the dangerous places he listed?

1) Becauthe thisz might work and we’re going to a dangerous place he didn’t liszt

I thought so. He didn’t think it would work before. And then he did. I think. Is there anything else we can do to improve our chances?

1) I don’t know

Are you hungry?

1) No.

Maybe I should tell him I thought small size was a weakness the first time I saw him. Maybe I should cut my own tongue out first. He knows. Maybe not about me, but he knows.
But should I apologise? Is it untruthful to hide it from him? Am I hiding it from him? Not really. He wouldn’t care. But I would.
So I’d only be telling him for my own ease. So I should shut up.

Are you thirsty?

1) Yeth. Of courth. But I merely want to drink. I do not yet need to.

Well, that was my next question, so now I should probably not ask that. … We always see a Rune cast flat on a surface. If you’re inside the surface would it be the other way around, or is it just the Rune?

1) I don’t know. Athk a bound thpirit

Ooooh. Um, not yours, right?

1) No.

Asking what his spirit is like is probably really rude.
Like asking about feathers?
Shut up, Berra.
I need to get my own. I wonder if he’ll ask his spirit now. But he told me to ask, so I must not ask him again. So now I need to survive until I’m a Rune Lord. Maybe I’ll get a spirit that talks a lot. Thinks a lot.
And I’ll have to tell it no more than once an hour please. Which he has never actually said. But I can’t just talk whenever I feel like it. If I ask him he’ll probably get me to meditate more. … I should meditate more.
My turn to ride on Billy today! I can sunburn the other ear.

How can it always be prayer time?
I think I might know.
Thank you, Sword Lord.

Time. God Time. Always prayer time. Auuugh. He meditates on this sort of question. Like it’s not already hard enough to stay still.

  • 1
    Presumably Xenofos, noted for courage rather than strength or size.
  • 2
    The respect in which Berra held her master compared to others in the Temple is still sometimes known as the ‘Aristeon of Deveval’.
  • 3
  • 4
    A line hardly touched at all by the Sage Llewun, who cites it as a target so easy even he would find it immoral. It is more generally understood to mean that Berra gave up her usual place on Billy so that D’Val could ride as a passenger.