Diaries The Saga Of Berra — Fragment 5
On the next morning soon after the worship
Berra set off with her magic death-strengthened1Indications of a short worship ceremony here give a hint that Berra was at some point touched by Humakt’s favour. Rather than spending a full day in the process of communion, Berra (and potentially her companions) were entirely refreshed.
Pushing the ride through the day until evening
Driving off bandits and riding through darkness
Berra had words with the High Sword Priest Eril2Given the other details of the story, Eril may or may not be used as a generic name here, but those interested in the historical Eril will find citations easily. See further notes below.
He would go slowly exhibiting caution
Berra appealed to Eril’s good nature
Telling him how D’Val sat ever-wakeful
Nala soon added a blow to his ego3‘ego’ is a substitution word. No surviving manuscript contains this word, which has been reconstructed from context
Noted the fame and the glory of waiting
Said that the Durulz would have all the honour
Eril considered and so they pressed onward4If this is indeed the Eril who was High Sword of the Humakti Temple of Boldhome, then this is, alas, in character. Knowing that a brother of Humakt was waiting alone, facing the undead, Eril seems to have chosen to let him fail, hoping to see D’Val fail. The High Sword of Humakt at that time was talented, gifted in war, strong in his runes, and a defiant proponent of the notion that Man should have primacy in Sartar.
Rajar the Storm Bull took stock of the air then
Finding the Chaos that grew in an old tree
Hacked it to splinters as it splintered at him
Slept they in safety behind eyes all watchful
Coming the next day to Whitewall they entered
Rode past the city and into the hill fort
Greeted D’Val as he sat meditating
Saw the Durulz sat exhausted yet upright
Greeting the Sword Lord who sat in the temple
Eril and Berra saw dust on the flagstones
Remnants of dead things that walked in the darkness
Dropped to the ground by the Sword of the Durulz
Temples were healed by the High Priests of Boldhome5The Orlanthi Priest in question would of course have been the Chief Priest
Closing the rift in the air of the Death Lord
Eril and D’Val had calm words of greeting
D’Val slept then on the floor of the temple
Watching the sleeper the young sword child Berra
Thought of the runes of the Truth god and Death god
Wrestled with demons who twisted the truth then
Paced in the temple as night turned the star-dome
When Yelm returned to the land of the living
Berra was summoned to speak with her comrades
Finding the print of the body of Nala
Held in the temple of earth-bound Ernalda
Tennebris spoke of the Quest of Lightbringers
Asking the heroes to go to the Mountain
Birthplace of Orlanth and haunt of wind-spirits
Swift were the heroes to answer his calling
Berra returned to the temple of Humakt
Spoke with D’Val of the cult and its secrets
Took all the knowledge that Humakt had with him
Spoke with the Durulz of how to be Humakt
What really happened
Berra suggested that they all push on as far as possible, as D’Val was likely to have been awake for a long time. Again she failed to notice Eril’s reaction, but Serala later approached her to explain it. When Nala hinted that D’Val would get glory, Eril decided to hurry up after all. They got to the temple in a day and a half, with a short break along the way for Rajar to fail at Sense Chaos and attack a tree.
The temples were healed In the order Orlanth, Ernalda, Chalana Aroy, Humakt. Berra failed to meditate on truth while attempting worship, but the Sword Lords both managed to worship correctly. D’Val went to sleep and Berra watched over him while the others talked, deciding that the massacre had changed the local spiritscape, and they had to solve this. The heroes volunteered (or were volunteered) to go to Kero Fin, birthplace of Orlanth, to look for solutions. Berra remained ignorant of most of the conversation, having come in only briefly.
In a private conversation with Berra, D’Val noted that Eril did not like ducks, or people who associated with them. Berra declared that she wanted to associate with him anyhow. He explained to her about what she was likely to meet on her journey, and how the politics might stop them.
* Duck point had a major lunar garrison. It’s changed under them; D’Val finds it distasteful. There are likely to be a lot of Lunar Deserters.
* Dragon-Newts also travel in the Northern area. They are strange.
* Be cautious of revealing to Dwarves that you have iron.
* Kero Fin is odd. It might just be Orlanth getting thin as you go to the sky dome, but people get light-headed and there are wind spirits there. Don’t try to fly with them
* Near to the base of Kero Fin there are temples. There are shrines up above, tended by travellers.
* There is almost certainly politics involved. We might start the quest but not finish it. Don’t get overconfident. It may be taken off us when it’s know what quest needs to be done, by anyone more powerful than us, up to and including the Queen. For the good of the Kingdom.
“Oh. How does one address the High Sword of Humakt?” – Berra
“Other than ‘carefully’?” – Berra
“Damn. Beaten to the punchline.” – GM
“Clearly an enemy of truth.” – Eril
*vibrates with barely-restrained death* – Berra
“Truth. Truth is two things coming into one thing. The false is elimina— damnit, he is snoring!” – Berra
“Drawn the other way, truth is a stable support for all other things. How in hell does he get his head under his wing, but still sleep with his hand on his sword. Why do I care about …. oh. The difference between him and the other duck. Interested me.” – Berra
“Maybe I should tell him I didn’t believe in his strength at first. Is that a truth that matters? Does all truth matter?” – Berra
“Sometimes I don’t tell the truth, but hiding a thing can be good. I don’t tell cult secrets. But the secrets are always there, and always true, and I don’t tell lies.” – Berra
*sigh* “Right. Clear the mind.” – Berra
“Clear the mind more…” – Berra
“D’Val tells you to join the others. He can’t use the word ‘friends’.” – GM
“Go to the temple. Later we must talk, but join your… comrades.” – D’Val
“The High Ssword is very powerful. He… does not like ducks.” – D’Val
“Oh.” – Berra
“Or those who associate with them.” – D’Val
“So now you’re going to tell me that if I want to do well in that temple, I shouldn’t associate with you.” – Berra
“Yess.” – D’Val
“I want to associate with you.” – Berra (Picks up Loyalty D’Val)
“They don’t like iron in the hands of others.” – D’Val
*looks at iron helmet and iron sword of D’Val* – Berra
*little quacking chuckle* – D’Val
That was what I rolled for whether I’d tell D’Val, but it might … DAMNIT I SHOULD HAVE ROLLED TRUTH AND BLURTED IT OUT! – Berra
“Be careful. You’re good, but you’re not a Sword Lord yet.” – D’Val
“I wondered why I am going.” – Berra
“Because you’re not a Sword Lord.” – D’Val
“I’m not the only other Sword Lord present…” – Berra
(Yaaaay, D’Val thinks I am good!) O o . Berra
“It may be best if you don’t let yourself get sidetracked.” – D’Val
“Sorry, Sside-trackedt.” – GM
“I should admit it’s easier for a duck to cross a river than it is for me.” – Berra
“Oh yess.” – D’Val
“I want to go the shorter way. It’s faster.” – Berra
“Probably faster.” – Berra
“Possibly fastder.” – D’Val