Fragment 4 – The Journey to Boldhome

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 4

1625


Time in the heavens stood still in its passing
Time in the hill fort was gone in a heartbeat
Nighttime and daytime had passed while they rested
Watching the landscape and tending their sword-blades

Back at a distance sat Rajar and Bison
Foreground was filled by the Durulz and Sword-child
Onto the plateau rode Nala and Tiwr
As they assembled D’Val spoke in hard tones

Sending the group to the City of Boldhome
The Sword-Lord gave coinage to stand for his ransom
Wheels for swift horses and oaths of his vengeance
Should the bold heroes be left as foot soldiers1The Deed of D—, a fragmentary set of letters, has a copy of what is believed by some to be the short, demanding note of D’Val. The identification is made based on the writing of the sage Llewun, infamous for the monograph ‘People I did on my Holidays’.
“On my word, my people have need of horses.[…]This stands in ransom for my word, which I am sure you will not doubt.”

Berra was humble and wise to seek wisdom
Asking D’Val what he saw on the wide road
Warned against troll-folk and bandits and lunars
Heroes were bolstered in knowing their prowess

Then asked the child of the sword-Lord of Humakt
Where she might find the abode of a blacksmith
Telling the tale of the iron she had plundered
Telling the shape of the sword she had dreamed of

Morning came swiftly and swift was their riding
Farewells were shortened and little was taken
Lightly they passed from high Whitewall that morning
Leaving the fevers and stinks of the city2If there was truly a fever this would have been the Shaking Chills of 1625, given the other names of heroes mentioned. This short-lived fever is occasionally disputed in the historical record.

Resting the night they were wakened by troll-folk
Creeping in blackness to rob and to murder
Thrown back by sunlight and bison and sword-stroke
Unicorn anger and unicorn rider

Routed in heartbeats and with a slain leader3Indicative of the fact that Berra was not a great hero yet, is the understanding that she would have been named as slaying the troll if she had done so. The Daughter of Jarang is notable for keeping much company in her life, unlike many Humakti.
Trollkins were panicked and slain as they routed
Moving away from the ground soaked with trollblood
Each of them slept then or watched the night moving

Morning had passed and the noon was behind them
When they arrived at the City of Boldhome
Finding an audience in the Great Roundhouse
Speaking with Kallyr Starbrow of the death-place

Berra spoke clear of the need of the sword-Lord
Truth in her tones and her back straight and war-proud
Bowed to the Prince when the time came for secrets
Murmured the telling of what was the matter

Called to a council of High Priests and Princes
All the friends listened as Berra spoke swiftly
Tumbled out truths in a tongue made for war-cries4In Garin 16-5, a related saga, A young Humakti is said to have used Berra’s laterly famous words, ‘I volunteer’ at this juncture in a similar situation
Ever defying the lie with her candour

When the talk ended the Priests were in concert
Knowing the temple must be consecrated
Cleansed of the taint of the swamp of Delecti
Thus they decided to go back to Whitewall

Kallyr stood as a shield to her people
Worried by war and unknowing of Whitewall
Said that the secret of doorways held danger
High leapt the heroes to call for their weapons5It is said (Garin 16-6) that the [[[berra:berra-puzzle-of-humakt|Puzzle of Humakt]]] originated in a conversation such as this, when the High Priest told a young Humakti, ‘Humakt chooses the best people’ and left her to ponder upon that statement

Trollkin fumbled stealth, and Tiwr and Nala hit their troll leader really hard. Qidane finished him off, and about one Trollkin out of ten escaped. At Boldhome they delivered their message (and Nala delivered a separate message) and Kallyr swept them aside to avoid causing panic, bringing the High Priests to listen to them later. They all volunteered to accompany the Priests back to Whitewall to cleanse the temples. Berra entirely failed to notice that Eril was not reacting well to the name of D’Val.

( Duck needs sleep. Will not bother duck. ) O o . Berra

( Hmmm… maybe if I bind up this burr into a bit of cloth and put it as a mask, every time I try to speak it will jab me ) O o . Berra
( Ow, the burr jabbed me! ) O o . Berra

*performs Humakti sword drills in lieu of meditation* – Berra

( Mustn’t disturb duck. Mustn’t obviously tiptoe around duck. ) O o . Berra

( What is the duck expression for ‘tiptoe’? ) O o . Berra

( Must not trip over duck while practicing ) O o . Berra

“PS. I am a Humakti Sword Lord. Which eye didn’t you need?” – D’Val

“D’Val asks for help. There is a thing he cannot do.” – Berra
“I beg your pardon?!” – Kallyr