Fragment 42 – The Upland Marsh

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 42


Into the Marsh with Irillo the Merchant
Berra strode forth with her hand on her sword-hilt
Wading through shallows and walking in water
Keeping her station to guard fragile reed-rafts

Under the water were ghouls set by murder
Sliver of Marshland created by Firebulls
Ravaged by hand of unholy Delecti
Opened by Eril the High Sword of Humakt

Swift to her hand came the bronze made for slaughter
Swift to her lips were the words of her shield spell
Onto Irillo she laid her right hand then
Passing protection to him from her sword-god

Then to her sword came the fire she had summoned
Then to her feet came the swiftness of magic
Danced in the mud and the slime of the Uplands
Dancer of Death bringing Death to the Dancers

Ever advising but never commanding
Berra instructed Irillo in battle
Biding him flee as his Enlo were slaughtered
Urging him on to the hill of the haven

There on the mound where band stopped for mourning1The Enlo were particularly upset, as they had not been able to bring the bodies of their fallen comrades for a quick snack.
Berra gave prayer to the Death-God of Honour
Finding the Iron that was touched with his power
Finding the Cross and the Ravenwing Banner

Into the night she kept watch as at Temple
Guarding the cross from the impure and worldly
Guarding the living from Death held within it
Keeping the doorway as D’Val did at Whitewall

Then in the night she gave thanks to her Sword-lord
When meditation felt easy upon her
Slept in the Tula in front of its Temple
Keeping the way with her body next evening

After a feast at which Berra met Silor’s freaky daughter Yamia, and out-Humaktid her, there was some discussion of the quest to come, and then they set off for the tiny fragment of the Upland Marsh hidden in what had been Firebull lands and now belonged to the Enstalos. On the way they spotted what looked like a raiding party, which Berra thought she saw fade out and disappear. They send Nala back to the Cinder Fox Tula to warn Silor. Some time later she came back with the news he was bringing some of his friends – a war party of forty armed and mounted warriors. Four of them brought Mellia in to the group.

In the morning Berra performed a ritual of Morale, based around Irillo, and then they went into the Marsh, making rafts of reeds once they were into shallow water. Berra put her shield on Irillo, not herself.

They were ambushed by a pair of ghouls who had a never-ending stream of bodies to re-use when they were killed, but one was driven off by Irillo using Eril’s Rune Magic, making him even closer to the High Sword. Berra advised Irillo to flee, and they did, battling their way through the swamps. Several people were wounded, and a boat containing Enlo was capsized when they all ran to one side of it at once. Half of the Enlo were killed and over half of the rest of the party took a serious wound before they reached a hill and a decrepit barn atop it.

The relics had been made into part of the barn, in the case of the cross, holding some of it up. An iron bar and the standard had been put into beams that had been carved out and then repaired. All of them were recovered, with the help of Silor’s well-timed war party. Only Berra and Yamia Silorsdottir touched the relics, which they took back by chariot to the Tula, the next day. Berra saw them installed in a bothy, which she slept outside. Yamia kept on attempting to out-Humakti Berra, who got rather nervous about it in the end.

“If you want, I could take the trollkin scouting.” – Berra

“Should I put magic on your sword to make it more like Death, or save it for a defense?” – Berra
“Defense, I think.” – Irillo
“‘Very well’. And she casts Shield. On you.” – Berra

“Hmmmmmmmmmm were we not meant to lose that [fight]?” – Rajar
“We did. We ran away. And now we’re here.” – Berra

“Berra runs her hands along the bit of iron and her expression is one of almost pure happiness.” – Berra

“Berra Jarangsdottir, good day.” – Silor

“The High Sword’s written to you, hasn’t he?” – Berra Jarang’s Daughter

  • 1
    The Enlo were particularly upset, as they had not been able to bring the bodies of their fallen comrades for a quick snack.