Fragment 45 – The Slaying of Orlanth

Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 45

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Deep in the chamber of Death stood the maiden
Bearing the sword that would slay any foeman
Walked in the Darkness where Yelm died forever
Taking her Sword to meet Orlanth in challenge1It is, alas for the poet, clearly recorded that Lord Eril, Wyter Priest of the Regiment at Boldhome, struck the blow that killed Orlanth-Varanis. The presence of Berra is undisputed, but she was not the wielder of the Iron Sword of Death.

Dressed in the armour of Humakt the warlord
Bright was her bronze for she stood not in ambush
Loud she spoke then of the ill he had done her
Orlanth in honour would not have Death wielded

Humakt the Grim spoke to Orlanth in anger
You stole a thing and you used it unwisely.
Gave it untimely to those who were living
Brought up the children of Darkness among us

Will you set right what you did in dishonour?
Orlanth knew Truth as his Champion spoke it
Said he would strive to undo his disaster
Humakt struck swift and brought Death to bold Orlanth

The group were hanging out at the White Grape when a Humakti Initiate arrived in a tearing hurry, to say, “Lord Eril suggests, now.” They set off for the Temple. On the way through the city Berra was one of those who noticed the smell of a pyre drifting from the palace. They arrived at the Temple, where Eril as Humakt confronted Orlanth. Berra spotted that Eril was suffering from the effort of holding his sword, and stood next to him, helping him strike as he killed Orlanth, and meeting – and being judged by – the spirit within his sword.

The next thing Berra knew, she was the ferryman on the River of Swords, negotiating with Issaries. This confused her somewhat, but she did her best to follow the rules of Truth and Death, and after agreeing that no man was passing – they were gods, or in Salid’s case Enlo – she took them across. On the other side, before they had gone far, the group encountered a Troll, one of the Many Enemies. It was Draznk, but Berra found that, as the Ferryman, she did not care. She was prepared to watch the Troll, but some residual devotion to Humakt made her step out to do battle. Before she could strike him, and before he could hurt others, Salid struck with his pike, snapping Draznk out of the Heroquest, and possibly life.

Shortly thereafter, from Berra’s point of view, she was Humakt in her own hall, welcoming Salid, who was dead, but a worthy warrior. As he had a spear with him, and was therefore no doubt of the Fire Tribe, she sat him down next to Yelm, who was sitting there, bleeding.

“Greetings, to you, noble travellers. And to you, lord Orlanth.” – Eril, Champion of Orlanth
“You have broken faith me with me, my Lord.” – Humakt
“I have done as I’ve chosen.” – Orlanth

“He’s holding the broadsword, but… it’s not right. It looks like he’s working at it2Berra specials a Broadsword roll to work out how Eril is doing. Badly..” – GM
“I’m… casually wandering round as if I’m a warrior protecting people but I’m going to be there if he keels over.” – Berra

“You have taken what did not belong to you. Further, you have used it unwisely. Additionally, you have brought my gift untimely to many – and released the servants of Darkness upon the middle world.” – Eril
“Perhaps.” – Orlanth
“Very well. Will you fix this matter?” – Eril
“Yes-” – Orlanth
“As soon as you get to the y… bit, he is lunging.” – GM

@@*@@passes broadsword@@*@@ – Berra
“You’re going to have to bounce his hand up slightly.” – GM
“All swords are one sword.” – Berra

“You touch the sword, and it is well said that when you look into the sword, the sword also looks into you3Failed POW vs 18.. There’s a calculating thought, of control and judgement and inner truth, and you can feel yourself being weighed up, and you’re not quite sure of what the response is, and then you feel a satisfying thunk as the blade impacts.” – GM

“Was this just? Was this necessary?” – Mellia
“Yes. And yes.” – Eril, Champion of Orlanth

“I met many enemies. And at last, they beat me. Such is the way.” – Salid
“This happens. All die. Come, will you sit in my hall?” – Humakt
“I will.” – Salid
“You do not carry a sword, Child of the Darkness.” – Humakt

“Should enemies come, you know how to defend a hall.” – Humakt

“Frankly, I think the Sorting Hat has just put him in the wrong house, but he’s here…” – Humakt