Mellia — Away With Venlar Viii
1627, Sea Season, Harmony Week
Sea Season, Harmony Week, Probably Godday. [[[s02:session-32|Session 32]]]
Mellia is quiet on the way back. “Does the wyter wish to see me?”
Haralis walks beside her for a few moments while he considers that. “Do you have a thing you wish to ask the Tree? It has not called for anyone, although now you have greeted the river, it may.”
“Mostly I want to apologize for not being here.”
“It understands,” he says, “But I believe you are right. It is appropriate to say such a thing.”
Mellia nods. “I hope the wyter won’t be too angry when I go find my cousins and tell them of the wedding ceremonies.”
“It is old, and patient,” Haralis says. “Of all things here, save perhaps the rocks, it knows best that the young go out and the old come back.”
Mellia says, “I am glad to hear that. You are all invited to both ceremonies. I think the second one, in Boldhome, might be more convenient.”
“Of course,” Haralis says. “Young Yamia told us about the details this morning. It depends on the harvests, of course, but many of us would like to come, and help you bring your young man back.”
Mellia beams and blushes. “I will be very happy to have you come.”
“Perhaps we should hold some sort of competition,” he says. “And invite the Mal… the Alynxfish clan to send a few of their bravehearts.”
Mellia laughs! “It’s a great idea! What sort of competition should we hold? “
“Oh, something to bring us together, but I will have to put it to the Ring. Horse-riding, perhaps, or singing, or wrestling. Something with a few different rounds.” Haralis seems to be warming to his own idea.
“Definitely singing, maybe wrestling and one more thing,” Mellia says.
“Perhaps a simple race, horses allowed or not?” he suggests.
“That sounds good. If the Ring asks, this has my support.”
“As soon as we are certain of the dates, then. Your young man… does he have any prohibitions on tattoos?”
“I don’t think so, but you should ask him .”
“He is not of my clan, so in this case, I cannot. The Wyter forbids me to ask directly, as I may be forced to listen to things it may not hear.”
“Am I permitted to ask Venlar?”
“Of course. We must get this right, but if I hear a truth from him that the Tree will not accept, all could be ruin. If I hear it from you there can be negotiation.”
“I will ask him as soon as we’re alone.”
Haralis thanks her and drifts away. The woman with the baby comes up to Mellia just as Venlar drops in on the other side. The woman’s name – Matila – occurs to her just as she speaks. “Welcome back Mellia. We missed you.”
“I missed you, Matila. How have you been?”
“Very well. This is Antoril. He’s never met the river before.” Matila pulls aside the cloth that keeps sun and wind from the small boy’s head. A baby of a few weeks old stares out at the world. He is lighter than his mother, with blond hair and tanned skin, unlike her North-Sartar brown, and he has the confused look of all small children who have just had the blanket taken off them.
Mellia smiles at the baby. “May you live a healthy life,” she says to him. To Matila, she says, “He’s precious.”
“He is. He’s going to be a great rider, like his father. He’s Finarvi’s.”
“I have not seen Finarvi in so long. Does he know?”
“Not yet.1After a bit of finger counting, it was decided that Finarvi did not know because of some in-character error. Matila is in denial about Finarvi having apparently rejected her. However, she is correct in the denial – he did not, at least, not on purpose. He wasn’t there for the naming, so we’ll make sure we have enough to show him.” Matila looks down at the baby, wide-eyes. “He was small when he was born, but he’ll grow into some clothes by the time his father is here.”
Mellia just beams at the baby. “If I see Finarvi, do you want me to tell him?”
“I don’t mind,” Matila says with a shy smile. She seems nervous of him finding out, or the result of it.2She is hoping the message went wrong and someone going directly will deal with it.
“I am sure everything will work out.”
“It already has. I could not love Antoril more.” Matila steps up over a rock, and down carefully. Venlar takes Mellia’s hand.
Mellia squeezes Venlar’s hand and walks carefully. “I am glad for you.”
It is a long walk up to the village, because the elders chose a path that was easy to walk. At the top, Venlar says, “Yamia didn’t come…” He looks a bit puzzled.
“I am sure Yamia had her reasons, but that is odd.”
“My thralls, I’d understand…” He pauses to let Matila and Gis walk in front of them. “She’s going to join the clan too…”
“Maybe Yamia doesn’t want to join the clan.”
Venlar replies, “But she’s my bodyguard…” He sounds puzzled, unsure.
“The thing to do is ask Yamia why she didn’t come. I am sure she had a good reason and everything will be fine.”
“Yes,” he says. “Yes. I’ll do that.” He glances at Mellia. “Do you want to come?” He does not seem worried, at least.
“Yes. I need to ask the two of you something in private.”
Venlar flags down one of his thralls and asks where Yamia is, and is told, “Practising with the sword.” He smiles, and goes with Mellia towards the sound of wood on wood.
Mellia follows along. “I bet she just lost track of time.”
There are half a dozen Malani and Colymar warriors at practice. Yamia is watching them with a careful eye, and she holds a spear rather than a sword. The space they have chosen is a big one with rocks all over the place, making movement hard, but sight easy. It seems that Yamia is coaching the Blue Tree fyrd.
Mellia smiles, but lets Venlar interrupt the practice.
Venlar watches for a bit, and then stops just as he was about to step forward. Yamia has stepped in to show someone how to do it, taking their wooden sword from them. There is a quick, rather furious bout, which ends with the Malani warrior she was facing managing to get past her guard and touch his sword to her throat. Venlar whistles. Yamia nods, but with as much Air as she can muster, goes on giving the lesson on stance.
It seems Venlar has forgotten what they came for.