Away With Venlar I

Mellia — Away With Venlar I

1627, Sea Season, Harmony Week


Context

Sea Season, Harmony Week, Waterday [[[s02:session-32|Session 32]]]

Events

That party that arrives in Boldhome is Venlar, Mellia, and a dozen people plus Yamia, who is definitely a person. Venlar looks disappointed in her when she turns her stare on a gate guard who had the bad luck to ask her business.

“Death,” she says. “But I can put it off for the moment.”1Yamia passes Intimidate.

“Business with the Prince’s household,” Venlar says, and looks to Mellia, perhaps for good sense.

“Business with the Prince’s household and the temple of Chalana Arroy. Please forgive my companion; she is very devoted to Humakt.”

They are admitted, and Venlar suggests, “The White Grape, or is that too obvious? We can have room at the Sambari Mansion.”

“The White Grape, maybe Rondrik will tell us something.”

Venlar looks content with that, and tells Yamia the way. The horses clop onwards, and he asks, “So, as a new question… whom are we asking, and what, exactly? Father says he does not know if Irillo talked to Kallyr or to another.”

Mellia says, “We are asking Rondrik how long ago my cousins left.”

“And the question of Prince Kallyr and the marriage?” Venlar glances to Yamia only briefly.

“We should probably consult Tenebris before seeking an appointment with Kallyr.”

“Indeed. He might tell us that we need not see her, or it might be very official and complicated. And we have two different reasons for seeing him – Yamia will want to look at dates, times, omens. We want to find out exactly what was promised. But I’ll send a note to the Air Temple.” He digs into his saddle bags, pulling out a wax tablet, but after a few moments he sighs. “Yamia, my hands?”

She takes over, and writes to his dictation, a note asking if the Chief Priest has a moment for a talk about the Prince’s valuable time, as they are unsure who might know about a sensitive subject. Then he sends one of his thralls off with that message, and urges his horse up into a walk again.

Mellia asks,”Still having problems? Maybe it is just new growth.”

Venlar gives Mellia a wide smile, while Yamia scowls at the whole world as if she intends to help it towards Death. “It is so much better,” he says. “You have no idea what it means to me not to have dropped the pen. However, I learned that I should take pride in my sister’s abilities as well as my own. With Yamia’s aid I have no need for pride, in such a thing.”

Mellia smiles at Venlar. “Let’s get to the White Grape before it rains.”

Yamia shows a little discomfort on dismounting, no more, but she might have been hiding more than she showed. It was only a little awkward, and nobody but Mellia was looking.

As soon as they are settled in, she asks permission of her Lord to seek out her Temple. Venlar sighs, glances to Mellia, and then back to Yamia, and nods. “Go.”

Yamia looks pleased, and maybe a little satisfied, as she turns to go, checking her sword hangs well and her cloak keeps her dress protected. She calls for a shieldbearer, and walks out into a light spring shower.

“May Humakt smile on her,” Mellia comments. “Do we want to rest, talk to Rondrik, go to our temples, see someone?”

Tennebris will be able to squeeze you in. You get the impression he’s… kind of busy but making time.2Venlar fumbles Intrigue and thinks he is very important. In fact, making time for them is a major compliment. Mellia simply fails hers.

Mellia is delighted and dresses up.

Venlar is already well dressed, and stays as he is. He is definitely up for getting one of his people to do his make-up and hers, however. Standards must be kept. And they should ride to the Temple with an entourage, naturally.

Mellia will agree to this if it’s quick.

That hurries Venlar up, getting him ready faster. The journey to be there on the timing Tennebris wishes is then leisurely, and they arrive an hour before sundown, as asked.3Love for Mellia manages to stop Venlar from being late despite his fumble.

Tennebris is busy when they arrive, but he extricates himself from it with remarkable speed, considering. “Good thane. White Lady. How may Orlanth aid you?” (( Insight Human rolls please))

Venlar: the Chief Priest is relaxed, attentive.

Mellia: He has a deep underlying grief, which he is trying not to show. Oh, and he seems to think he has something to surprise you.4Venlar passes Insight Human. Mellia gets a critical.

“Orlanth may aid us with truth, hospitality, and details,” Venlar replies, after hitting the ritual greeting so perfectly he could not be taken for anything but a chief’s son. “My sister has been busy with marriage arrangements, and my love has a question on them – one which should pass her lips and not mine.”5Special on Orate.

Mellia says, “Thank you for seeing us, Chief Priest. Some seasons ago, the prince offered me a boon. At the time, I asked her to preside at my wedding.”

“Via an intermediary,” Venlar notes. “Such that we cannot be sure if she put her own voice to the words.”

“Very well. That is something I am sure the Prince will be able to perform.”

“There’s an alternate boon, if the prince would prefer. I learned that my cousin Varanis needs the prince’s permission to wed. Do you think the prince would prefer to grant that?”

A brow lifts, “Ah… this would be the… ” A pause, “Thane of Apple Lane?”

“I don’t know; Varanis didn’t mention names.”

He gives a little nod, “That would be something I could mention. From a dynastic point of view, however, it does leave something to be desired.”

“Probably, but I think she truly loves whoever it is.”

“It is the Prince’s duty to be sure of both the current happiness and the future weal of her kin,” Venlar says. “Is it too much to ask whether the Prince directly agreed to perform our rites? For me, that would make it a simpler matter.”

“Do you suppose they might agree to a Year Marriage?” He sighs, “I can enquire. And yes, Her Highness did indicate her willingness.”

“I don’t know,” says Mellia. “I will have to ask Varanis that.”

“If it has been done I would not wish to go against what she has said,” Venlar says, as if he is in his own conversation.6Venlar is trying to put a message across to Tennebris, who is taking Mellia’s message instead.

Tennebris waves a hand, “Her Highness understands that people are changeable. Especially young people.”

“Generous,” Venlar says with a smile. “We can ask about the year marriage, of course, should we see her first.”

“Naturally, until her Highness weds, and produces an heir, the line of Sartar is…. a fragile flower.”

Mellia nods. “May Ernalda bless Her Highness soon.”

“And Orlanth too, one hopes,” Venlar muses. “Beyond that, do you happen to have any notion of where Varanis might be, that you can share?” He searches in his cloak for something.

Tennebris smiles but it doesn’t reach his eyes, “Wooing the Feathered Horse Queen. But that is to go no further.”

“That is what, my Lord, rather than where. And… this may be indelicate to mention, but my father guesses at it.” Venlar looks an odd mix of sorry and proud. “He sent us here, rather than have us ask in public and spread the word. He is unusually well connected with Boldhome for a… provincial chief. But still, he could at the very least guess. He was not certain, but sure enough to have us tell nobody.”

“Where’s difficult. The Queen wanders around,” Mellia says.

Tennebris agrees, “Precisely so.”

Venlar shrugs that off, and holds out the packet he has brought with him. “My sister wishes me to give you her best regards, but does not feel taking up your time would be a good use of hers. She has annotated a copy of the contract of marriage, which she felt might be appropriate to present. The notes on order of ceremonies and who need be present are complicated but if Prince Kallyr is to preside they are also necessary. Otherwise, things become simpler.”

Tennebris takes it, “Either she will, or I shall.” He clears his throat, and reaches into his robe, producing a clay tablet. “Also this is for you.”

Venlar looks to Mellia, of course, rather than taking it for her.

Mellia thanks Tenebris, accepts the clay tablet and looks at it. Does it say anything?

There are marks on it, certainly. Even bits of words she recognises. However, it is beyond her skill.

Venlar looks enquiringly at her, glances at the tablet…

Dearest Grand-daughter.

I trust negotiations are finally moving to a close. I anticipate that you will bring a lifetime of bliss and wisdom to your new husband, and that you will be able to give guidance and succour to your new Clan, Tribe, and Kingdom, as I would anticipate of my grand-daughter.

your affectionate Grandmother.

… and recites the words upon it.7Pass read/write, critical on Esrolian from Venlar.

Mellia smiles. She asks Tenebris, “Did you see Grandmother?”

Venlar looks fond.

Mellia comments with a smile, “Someone wants the wedding date set. I was thinking of sometime in Fire Season.”

“For a double date – it will have to be the Ernaldan marriage first given my behaviour and my father’s,” Venlar looks to Tennebris and glances to the packet, “Either early Fire Season there or just after the harvest. Your grandmother is also telling you to keep your hand around my wrist, be a credit to her and me, and to remember that she can write to a Chief Priest so he can agree with her.”

Mellia says, “It’s hot in Esrolia at both times. Early Fire Season would be cooler but might be too soon for proper arrangements.”

Postscriptum: Your Cousin Varanis’ sister is missing since early Sacred Time. I suspect Sartar politics.8GM fails ‘remember to tell the players what is in the letter’ roll and adds this bit.

As Mellia holds the letter, Venlar leans over to look at it, and adds, “Aah.” And reads that last bit.

Mellia wonders aloud, “Did she run off? I didn’t see her in Prax.”

“And hence, she writes to a Chief Priest to get the message. Sartarite Politics?” Venlar narrows his eyes. “This might be Pelorian also. But why would she say Sartarite unless to warn us of an arrival, or of a new pretender being set… is the lady going to be used as a marriage pawn? For whom?” He gives Tennebris a glance, and it is a thoughtful one, like he is running down the possibilities.

Mellia suggests, “Leika of Colymar?”

“Certainly on the list. Or blackmail when Vareena… Varanis… is too Sartarite. It’s a warning from the honoured old one, not a commiseration.”

Mellia says, “Varanis should be informed, blackmail or not.”

Tennebris coughs softly, “There was a separate tablet for her, which she has received. I would infer it was mentioned “

“The question is how best to support her, then,” Venlar says smoothly, “As we can take her knowing as read.”

“To do that, I must at least know where to send letters. It would be far better to pay Varanis a discreet visit.”

“We’ll have to travel,” Venlar says, and then adds to the Chief Priest, “As you may be able to tell from the letter, we’re going to the Blue Tree to see what will be my new lands and be sure I can be supported on them. From there we may well be able to get to Alda Chur without issue.”

“This is going to be interesting. I was planning to establish a temple there, not get married. Anyway, I know the way to Alda-Chur. I still have a cousin there.”

“Is there aught else we can do for you, Great One?” Venlar asks. “We are not in the city for long, but I know my little sister will want to spend at least a day here. We may have to send her back with others, so if you need any messenger to Wilmskirk, a word commands it.”

“Or should we take a message north for you?”

“I do not think so, as yet.”

“Then my thanks.” Venlar bows, and steps back in a way that suggests if Mellia has anything private to say, he’ll lurk where he can’t hear.

Mellia murmured to Tenebris,”Is there anything I can do to ease your mind?”

He shakes his head slightly. “Thank you, White Lady.”

“Then I thank you for your valuable time. Be well, Chief Priest.”

Venlar hovers politely until it is time to step in at Mellia’s side.

Mellia thanks Tennebris and goes away?

Outside the Temple, Venlar tells his attendants to take half a day and do what they like, and asks Mellia, “What was it you wanted to do at the market?”

“Talk to the woman who gave me that nice robe. I want her to do my wedding dress.”

“Oh, how lovely! You will look… do you wear green, for a wedding? Or will you be in white?” Venlar looks a little confused by the notion of not wearing green, but seems game for it.

“I don’t know. I hope she does know.”

“It’ll be in the contract,” Venlar says. “Along with what sort of cloak and slippers I provide, and the value of the scabbard you give me. But nobody will object to you ordering one, even if you don’t pay for it. Perhaps we should find Yamia and check?”

“That’s a good idea. I still want to talk to her.”

Venlar nods. “We have a day or so, or else Fera will be very upset, and Yamia wants to meet Lord Eril properly, I think. Perhaps the market now, and then we can be more sure of finding her?”