Waiting for the news

1628 Year, Earth Season, Fertility Week


Lenta helping at the Temple of Ernalda in Boldhome during the Sacred fertility week of Earth Season Between Session 3.25 to Season 3 Sartar .


The Ceremonies of Holy Week are mostly about the aging of crops, but the entire story must be told. A young god sees a beautiful goddess as she sings of her bounty; he pursues her only to find that she does not run. Instead, she – in mime, behind a gauze curtain where they both dance – sets him many tasks. A young man in woad makes a fine match for her, and then when they go aside their paces are taken by Kalis and Tennebris, now revealed to the people, and Ernalda teaches Orlanth what his love gives to the Earth, and now he understands all the tasks. 1((fail cult lore, special both dance and sing))

There is evident relief on the face of the Mistress of the Ritual when Kalis gets safely on stage.

Then the work begins. It’s all about bringing in and storing, about the threshing of wheat and the winnowing of barley, and even the ritualised forms in the Temple are hard, and then rumours start to fly, towards the end of Fertility Week. 2(( Intrigue, if you wish. Devotion (Ernalda) if you are ritualing instead. )) (failed dev E, passed love V – so it is intrigue…., pass intrigue… and feel guilty on not concentrating with pure detachment…))

Rumour, personified by Glimpna the Lame, who has the best spindle collection that Lenta has ever seen, and can draw out silk beautifully, says that there has been a battle already. Kallyr and her friends were victorious! And of course the Colymar disgraced themselves. 3Lenta passes battle

The position where the battle is, out by Alda Chur, indicates an impressively fast march by the army. That, or the rumour is false.

Alda Chur… That is a place with lot of memories. And a king with debt to Kallyr, Argrath… and Varanis. Although he might not see being raised as king it as a favor.

Glimpna says that she has it from her cousin, who works at the gate. “They say Lord Eril called on magic to make everyone move faster, and he summoned Harrek the Berserk. Of course, they say a lot of things, but Cousin Darlanth swears he spoke to a man at the battle, who saw the White Bear.”

“May the part about of victory be true, Glimpna. And may your thread flow as true as your words.” Lenta praises the woman, but it seems evident the haughty Esrolian does not believe everything she hears and her words can be either a blessing or curse. 4(fumbled charm…)

Glimpna smiles stiffly, and bows her head, and limps away. Lenta is left in the palace of Ernalda, briefly alone amidst the bustle.

It is Godday. Rumour that travelled from Alda Chur could have done so in two days, if it had spare horses. It is Fertility Week. Rumour probably raced past empty fields in Tarsh.

Lenta continues with her work but at the evening takes the stairs to the roof and looks long over the mountains towards setting Yelm and Tarsh.

She catches sight of a man dropping down from the sky at the speed of the wind, to the palace. Perhaps there is news there. By now, the Temple has been abuzz for hours. The Red Empire is on the run. Harrek is coming to Sartar. Argrath exiled a Colymar warrior. A jealous husband struck King Koraki, and he will never strike another. Kallyr called up a thousand spirits, and kept the sun in the sky overnight with the help of Polaris, the star she loves.

What truth is in any of that is debatable.

Lenta feels the coldness of the shadow of the mountain as Yelm dips below the ridge line of mountain. She shivers a bit and hugs herself. She walks down the stairs and inquires her immediate superior if she is needed at the temple right now.

Godday is over. She is free to go, with thanks.

She asks if Kalis is in the temple and if she would see her?

The High Priestess would be delighted to have lady Lenta’s company on a walk.

Lenta rushes to the lodgings of the priestess. As she approaches the rooms her steps are getting slower.

Kalis meets her in the corridor, and thus sees the rush. “Hello, dear. It’s a warm evening, but you might want a shawl. I can have one called for.” Despite the elegant walk, Kalis is not moving slowly either.

Lenta is a bit out of breath. “I just realized my hair is a mess, and my eyes don’t have kohl either…”

“It’s fine. You’ll be accompanying me, but not coming in. I can leave you near the top of the steps.” Kalis walks on. “The real news has finally arrived, and Tennebris is not going to have it all for himself.” She smiles, certain.

Lenta nods. “A shawl will suffice, then. Thank you.”

As they enter a large hall, Kalis simply moves her hands, and they tell a story. “My dear companion is cold! Oh for a coverlet!” And as they walk out of the door someone runs with a light cloak. Kalis walks a little away from the Temple before she says, “I have heard a few things. I am told that all of your friends are alive.” 5(( Insight Human, I think… ))(dice be crazy tonight 01)(( Oooh! ))

Underneath, Kalis is Very Very Irritated, as well as relieved. VERY irritated. It’s in the tiny dimples and the extra precision in her accent. There is relief, annoyance, and a lot more – but those are the main parts.

Lenta walks quietly for a long while before answering “Ernalda be praised.” Kalis can tell relief for someone is stronger than – in itself real – thankfulness to the goddess.

“Varanis was in the air, at one point, and certainly did well, but I have few reports. Her… close personal friend, Serala Gold-lance, was invited to see King Koraki. Only two Colymar went, from the Colymar, and they were foreign-born.” That is not the irritation. That is just one of the many frustrations of the day.

“Not Berra?” Lenta covers her hand with her hand. “Sorry my lady I should listen to everything before asking things…”

“She went from the Temple of Humakt,” Kalis replies. “And many Colymar did go – but as volunteers to support Argrath.” Still not the part that irritates her.

“Varanis? Exiled by Leika, did she go as Colymar?” Lenta asks her hand seeking the arm of the high priestess.

“Serala and her companion, Finarvi – the Thane of Apple Lane, and an advisor. Varanis could not go as a Colymar without being sent. Leika sent only two.” In accepting the arm, Kalis steadies herself somehow. “Several rather important things happened, however. We know, at least for the moment, where Harrek the Berserk is…” She leans lovingly towards Lenta, only to whisper, “Keep a straight face.”

Lenta smiles as one does when hearing Kalis whispering pleasant things to your ear.

“We will have to secure a few matters. Jar-eel is dead. We have to be the best and most generous support we can be for the Feathered Horse Queen.”

Lenta almost tripples but manages to make it look like she is leaning closer to the priestess. “That, that is huge…”

“As big as Orlanth on his wedding night. We’ll probably have feasting here as well, and the harvest not in. And that … highly respected Sword of Humakt, Lord Eril, is, it turns out, a Hero.” And there’s the annoyance, right there. “And didn’t tell me.”

“We have a lot of the harvest in already. Wine and beer of the harvest are not ready, but even warriors should understand that it takes weeks of preparation before such feasts can be arranged.” Lenta says mechanically.

Pressing at Kalis’ arm and looking up she pleads. “Could you take me with you to hear the news? No one would pay attention to an attendant anyway, would they?” Her eyes are green and big6. (and she passes charm)

“No dear. You have already been noticed, and I have a task for you. Get the brewers – I’ll get a list to you – to get moving.” Kalis gives a flirtatious giggle and steers Lenta mechanically away from the kerb and some people walking along in the road. “Half a dozen should do, and if they are confident, others will follow. But this is not the sort of meeting where things are announced. This is the sort of meeting where things are decided.”

Kalis, of course, has had big, wise, gentle eyes for longer than Lenta has had grown-up clothes.

“As you say, mistress. I just saw the messenger dropping in the the palace and hoped to hear the news…” Lenta accepts the verdict of Kalis with no argument.

“That wasn’t the messenger, dear.” Her voice is low, and there is iron in her eyes. “That was the message.” Then there’s the flash of a smile. “Everyone could see that. Now I am walking to the Palace in a hurry. We are the message as well. But no matter what he says, it was his arrival that will change things. Walk up the steps with me, and then wait at the top, and I’ll send you the brewers, the … oh. Let’s commission some victory jewellery. The news of that always spreads before anything else. Do you think you can be very discreet, but still be noticed talking to a goldsmith?”

“I never spoke to the goldsmith, but the word will be out if that is what you want, lady Kalis.”

“Oh, you’ll talk to one, after the brewers, and then you’ll be known as my useful little friend for a while, but at least people will know to prepare for a victory, without me telling anyone what’s said atop the steps.” Kalis looks amused. “I’ve got a lot to do, but stepping around Tennebris before he steps around me is always fun.”

“I can do that, Lady Kalis, it sounds like it would be for glory of Ernalda”

“Exactly. We’ll be prepared for the moment the Orlanthi decide to have a sudden celebration and give us a few hours of warning.” Kalis loosens her arm in Lenta’s. “I think perhaps we should cover the points I know, although of course you are to reveal nothing. The Red Emperor was on the field. Glossing that over…” There is a moment of thought before she goes on. “Kallyr called on Polaris. The goldsmith needs to make something that has opals or pale stones as the focus. But Jar-eel took the field, and then Lord Eril demonstrated himself to be a Hero, and is apparently… associated with Harrek, at least for that day. They say Eril faced her and lived, which I don’t believe. I am also told that Harrek tore her in half, and that is a thing I can absolutely imagine. During all of that, your friend was not particularly heroic, and was in fact wounded badly, but lived. Then her band, probably under her, took and held the Emperor’s camp. That, I am not yet prepared to call true or false. I don’t know anything of what happened to them afterwards, but they were joined by allies there, so they did not die, or I would have heard it.”

Lenta looks thoughtful. “It can not be a tiara, a necklace maybe. Are you ordering it to wear or as a gift? Not that it changes that choice. Rings or armrings to deal out?”

It seems it takes time for the rest of Kalis’ talk to reach her. She quiets down slowly…

“Whatever Kallyr wants. I think take a thousand Lunars to him as an offer. He’ll have most of it in gold to convert, and the rest in food and cattle. The gems will have to be new – you’ll ask him… oh, you think now. I shall write a few notes for you.”

“Him, the goldsmith?” Lenta shakes her head “I was thinking of Varanis and others, sorry, I try to concentrate…”

“Yes. I know whom I shall be using now. A little man I like very much. Cute beard. Annoyingly immune to women’s charms.” Kalis shrugs. “We win some, lose some… you are to tell him the gold will be provided, and there will be a hundred and eighty Lunars for him to provide gems, and twenty for himself, but this is a priority. A set of rings for her companions – three there – and arm-rings to show Polaris. A Torc, the heaviest item, with opal one side and something Orlanthi the other – anything he has that balances. And have you ever talked to brewers before?”

Lenta smiles “I have tasted both beer and ale. But no. I have not made an order to servants of Minlister before.”

“Then just tell them from me that Lady Kalis bids them prepare their best for a feast, and to tell nobody.” Kalis has a look of pure joy. “And I’ll give orders to drive some cattle in. That should do it.”

“It will be as you said, lady Kalis.” Lenta looks at the older Ernaldan and the stairs looming ahead. “Time to ascend, my lady.”

Kalis walks up without stopping. It’s a party trick. Lenta accompanies her lightfooted as ever. Kalis almost certainly has magical help at one point, but nothing she casts.

  • 1
    ((fail cult lore, special both dance and sing))
  • 2
    (( Intrigue, if you wish. Devotion (Ernalda) if you are ritualing instead. )) (failed dev E, passed love V – so it is intrigue…., pass intrigue… and feel guilty on not concentrating with pure detachment…))
  • 3
    Lenta passes battle
  • 4
    (fumbled charm…)
  • 5
    (( Insight Human, I think… ))(dice be crazy tonight 01)(( Oooh! ))
  • 6
    . (and she passes charm)