Uncanny

Finarvi — Uncanny

????, Sea Season


Context

Early Sea Season, directly after the last log. [[[s02:session-32|Session 32]]]

Events

Mellia leads the way to Venlar. “Who knows? We may go to Apple Lane for a wedding.”

“It can’t come soon enough,” Finarvi confides. “I’m just glad Serala actually listened to me for once. Although it might be Varanis I should thank.”

Venlar is in the longhouse, but he stands on seeing Mellia. Tall, slim, he… looks amazingly familiar, and yet wrong. He is a perfect image of Lord Eril of Boldhome, in face and frame. Too young, of course, and a scar over his right eye mars the likeness, but the resemblence is uncanny. When he moves, he does so with confidence, but without the world-challenging tread of a highly skilled killer.

Finarvi goes perfectly still at the sight of him, and then the moment of surprise passes and his expression is once more friendly and open.

Venlar ignores Finarvi, and sweeps Mellia into a brief but passionate hug.

Finarvi gives them room in case any swinging, leaping, flying or carrying off occurs.

There is a little bit of making sure that Mellia cannot escape by hugging her more.

Mellia hugs Venlar back. “Hello, sweetheart. This is Finarvi, an old friend of mine.”

“I’m very pleased to meet you,” he says, disentangling enough to offer to clasp an arm. He’s tall. Mellia can rest her head on his chest.

Finarvi takes the offered arm and clasps it, trying not to look intimidated by Venlar’s height. “Likewise,” he manages, and “congratulations on your forthcoming wedding. You have won the heart of a very fine woman.”

“I mean by autumn to have won the rest of her,” he says, his deep voice wistful.

Mellia just gives Venlar a melting look.

Venlar manages to pull his attention away from Mellia, turning it back to Finarvi. “Well met.” He even bows a little, casually formal.

Finarvi returns the bow, a little more deeply. “It is good to meet you both,” he adds. “Are you here to check the holdings?”

“I am here to meet the clan I will be marrying into, and see what will be mine and where it is. My sister Yamia is the negotiator, but the ultimate decision on acceptance is mine.” Venlar’s smile slips into an orator’s trained posture of explanation. It looks like he is happy to be saying this to the Grazer in particular.

The redsmith bows again, and steals a glance at Mellia. He holds a nomad’s opinions about the owning of land. “I am hoping to establish a workshop in the village. Blue Tree has been too long without a redsmith of its own.”

Venlar smiles wider, spontaneous and genuine. “What a splendid idea. Well done. Do you have bronze sources?”

“We have been establishing a new trading route to bring wealth to the region,” Finarvi answers, warming to Venlar. “I and my associates. We have agreements that will bring bronze and salt from Greyrock.”1Finarvi fails an INT roll and does not recall Greyrock is a Sambari clan

“I hope that’s not from the sacred cave,” Mellia says. “Greyrocks could use more trade. They’re starving.”

“All bronze comes from sacred caves, one way or another,” Venlar says. “The gods give up their bounty, and we live.” Mellia gets her hand squeezed. “I know the Greyrocks a little. Ernakt is a good chief, and a fine warrior.”

Finarvi nods gravely. “The salt from Greyrock preserves food from Crabtown. The trolls have ample food. I will make certain that Greyrock gets its fair share.”

There is a little bit of ticking over behind Venlar’s eyes, and then he says, “Perhaps we should talk about the imports, then. Have you walked around this Tula lately?”

“I have not,” Finarvi concedes, though his last visit had been only weeks earlier.

“That would be a good chance to get to learn of each other. I confess to more information than you might expect, for I spent some time with the House of Saiciae last year, and there were winter stories. I expect bright things from you now, of course.” His smile is gently amused this time. He smiles easily.

Finarvi looks surprised. “Who has been telling you tall tales?”

Mildly, Venlar suggests, “Everyone?”

“I see I am at a disadvantage,” Finarvi says with an embarrassed smile. “I spent the winter up to my ears in scraps of leather, being distracted by a bored alynx.”

“Oh. I had politics…” Venlar looks delicately sombre. “But there were bad points too.”

“Nothing too bad, I trust?” Finarvi glances at him quickly.

“Chiefly boredom and waiting. A negotiation of such a type is slow, and…” He sighs a little. “My father insisted on everything being done properly. He is right, of course, but such a burden chafes the shoulders and the heart.”

Finarvi looks at Mellia. “At least you are together. That’s the most important thing.”

“A lot of the people who tell us that are happily married, of course,” Venlar notes. “Strange that people of a generation ago have such insight into us.”

“Were things so different a generation ago? I am thinking they fought and loved just as we do now. Some might even remember what it was like to be young.”

Venlar keeps a straight face. “We’ll be married. I love her. That’s what matters. But the clan should not suffer through my impatience.”

Finarvi makes a gesture of acceptance at this. “Where do you intend to live, once you are married?”

“I’ll be part of this clan. I’ll move here. But I don’t want to keep Mellia tied down.” Venlar’s look is half awed, emotions out in the open.

“Will you look to build a new house?” He uses the same word Yehna used, which seems to apply to both grand and humble dwellings here.

“That is up for discussion, depending on what the land is and does. I probably need one for my household, but I might be invited to live here.” He looks around the longhouse. “I suspect that I and the household would need more space.” The wince he does not give indicates he is used to more luxury than this.2Finarvi passes Evaluate

Venlar wears good clothes, but little jewellery, which is an odd combination. However, what he has on is obviously expensive, even in his more casual, hanging around gear. His undertunic is dyed as well as embroidered, his clothes are as much linen as wool, and the paint on his belt is bright but not new, for it has not worn off on the clothes. So, it was expensive when it was put on, and has been well cared for. No plain black robes here.3Black is, of course, an exceedingly expensive dye, and therefore an excellent way for Lord Eril to show off while showing humility.

“We shall see how things go,” Mellia says. “His clan is also giving us land.”

“Yamia is the expert on the contract. She negotiated it. My father bought land-rights here, to give us something extra, and I believe she sighed pointedly at him.” Venlar has a good politician’s look to him suddenly.

“Have you visited them yet?” Finarvi casts a glance at the longhouse’s door.

“I’m not entirely sure. It really is up to her to visit them first, and not let me get in the way. Later I’m sure I’ll have to bless them.” Venlar looks at Mellia for a moment and then asks Fin, “Would you like to go?”

Finarvi looks to Mellia for permission. “I have not yet had a chance to ride the Tula.”

“Then let’s all go. Just try not to laugh at the way I ride, Finarvi.”

Finarvi laughs. “You are ever more graceful in the saddle than Berra, Lady. Besides, I only laugh when Serala falls off her horse. It is more satisfying that way.”

Mellia smiles. “Good, then that’s settled.”

“Berra looks tolerable on a bison,” Venlar says as he offers Mellia an arm, “Perhaps not truly elegant, but she knows which way is forwards.” It might be a defense, were he talking about horses.

Mellia takes Venlar’s arm. “Berra is a better rider than I am. I have never ridden a bison.”

“She looks more comfortable on a bison than she ever did on that pony,” Finarvi agrees. “But she will always be happier on her own feet, I think.”

“Hmm,” Mellia agrees.