1628, Earth Season, Fertility Week, Windsday
The day after seeing battle. Session 3SA.03.
Cold light has been provided through the night as a duty of Yelmalio. The different waves of patients have come and gone, some onward to their final reward, but most to be looked after by their friends. Nevertheless, the huge tent and its subdivisions are full. Sindnos the surgeon is asleep under a table, his arms still red with blood, and his hands clean. Even the tent that had Berra in it now has half a dozen people lying there neatly. Berra, Varanis, and the Grazelanders are gone. Yamia is feeding Tamakt and her brother, treating both roughly the same. Exhausted women and men sit around, finally having time for breakfast as the sun beats down outside.
Maalira can’t see anything else that urgently needs doing, but she is too wide awake for rest.
“Did you see where Berra went?” she asks Yamia.
“The group left together,” Yamia says absently. “I have Tamakt back because they were leaving, but I was not informed where. I infer that Berra was called for, from the fact of her being upright at all.”
Maalira bites her lip. “They can’t have gone far. They wouldn’t have left without me.”
Tamakt offers his uncle a bit of bread. “All the command structure will be in the same place,” Yamia tells Maalira, in her talking-to-toddler voice. It’s one full of love and joy. “Nobody but Prince Kallyr or Lord Eril is likely to have summoned her.” There is a beat-pause. “Of course, Prince Kallyr is unlikely to be around the command structure.”
Maalira doesn’t pull on that thread, but just nods. “I’m going to go and find them,” she says. “Be well, Yamia.”
Yamia nods. “Remember you can send runners,” she says. “Tamakt, if you do not eat that, it will go to waste.”
Tamakt looks down at his bread, and eats obediently.
“Oh, I wouldn’t want to pester anyone,” Maalira says. “Runners are for important things. I’ll just go looking.” She puts a few things away and heads towards the tent flap.
Yamia looks very surprised, but nods in acquiescence. Outside, the sun is climbing.1Maalira fumbles Scan.
There, across the field, is a tiny body in brown – it looks a lot like Berra slumped over a horse.
Maalira blinks, then takes off at a run across the field
A white lady in motion takes precedence over a lot of people, but it is still potentially surprising that two people on foot, one on horseback, and one on an impala follow her. The Impala rider gets to her first. “White Healer, the Khan of Khans offers his help.” Praxian.
Maalira skids to a halt. “Oh, ahh… I’m alright… I’m looking for Berra.”
“We seek to protect the small warrior,” he says. “Are you helping to find him?” Berra gets gendered male, because of her role in life, at least by this Praxian.
And then there’s the man on horseback. “White Lady. King Koraki asks if you will call on him at the earliest possible time.” Heortling, then tradetalk when that produces no sign of comprehension.
Maalira looks up at him, then glances at the figure across the field. Frowning, she looks back at the rider. “Would you take me to his majesty?” she asks.
“Of course.” The man, a richly-dressed Orlanthi, bows in the saddle. “Are you allowed to ride a horse?” Technically they are not in Prax, but it is still a horse.
“Yes, I am not forbidden from horses,” Maalira says vaguely.
The man reaches down. “Up behind me, then.” Around them, there are bodies, and bits of armour, but no wounded. The hardest of the work is over, at least for the day.
The two on foot turn away, in conversation. One looks like a Humakti, one … also Humakti.
Maalira swings inelegantly onto the horse.
They go off at a trot, which is an odd amount of bounce, but it could be worse. The impala goes with them, at a polite distance, and they are – of course – going in the direction that the Humakti chose. The command tents are all up there, although living quarters are not. It is a matter of about a minute before the horse pulls up, and – rather incredibly – kneels down. Getting off is easy. They are just outside the big open area with the big important tents. The impala rider is doing a good impression of a man who is not impressed, and the Humakti are somewhere behind.
Ahead are people lounging casually in iron armour, people with gold spearheads and helmets, a mallard duck eating an apple with a knife… Lord D’Val there is managing to be the most casual of all.
Maalira approaches awkwardly, scanning the faces.
The Orlanthi rider says, “Big tent, straight ahead. There will be a crowd. We can avoid that but only by waiting.”
Maalira walks towards the big tent and eases open the flap.
No need to do that – guards pull it aside as she approaches. Men in iron are on guard here. Some look like they have been awake all night. There are Praxians, pale Orlanthi, and… odd mixes here and there. Cultures she cannot entirely recognise are represented.
And then there’s the inside. Koraki is standing by a low table, which has a map on it, a bit of magic that Lhankor Mhy and Issaries made between them, which is useful to everyone. To his left is a Praxian Storm Khan, a woman playing lightly with an axe that she holds. A dozen other people are arranged around the table.
It would be easier to get everyone around the table, but then there would be back to the door, and Koraki would not be so easily seen and admired.
… Praxian. Praxian Storm Khan. In Koraki’s presence… that must be Venna, said to be the Right Hand – and sometimes the brains – of Great Khan Argrath. A co-commander of this battle. They have met before – she and Varanis do not get along.
Koraki is apparently deep in conversation, although a couple of people look at Maalira without a great deal of interest. Khan Venna has not apparently seen her either.
Maalira looks around, hoping for a clue, and clears her throat a little.
After a moment, Koraki looks up. “Yes, alright, Dremast. I see you waving… oh, yes. White Lady. You have a patient in the back.” Beat-pause. “Side.” He points to a side door off the main area.
There is a flash of irritation from Venna, quickly suppressed, and it’s not just about Koraki’s personality.2Maalira passed Insight (Human).
“Of course,” Maalira says. “I’ll just… go through…?”
Koraki waves her onward. “Now, back to the money,” he says to Venna. “I can of course provide the fodder…” There is some kind of negotiation happening there.
Maalira heads through to the side-area of the tent.
- 1Maalira fumbles Scan.
- 2Maalira passed Insight (Human).