Mellia — Away With Venlar Xvi
1627, Sea Season, Death Week
Sea Season, Death Week, likely Clayday. [[[s02:session-33|Session 33]]]
The weather is good, with a light rain holding off until mid afternoon, although the chariot would still not be able to get through. Just after the rain begins to fall, they reach Dangerford, and as they ride past the market, Mellia spots a familiar mule, and then by it a familiar silhouette, deep in discussion about the quality of what he is selling, with a woman who is arguing back about the quantity of the money he is asking.
It is a sight she knows well. Her eyes have picked out Irillo and his caravan.1Critical Scan for Mellia.
“Irillo is here!” Mellia will try to stop and at least find out where Irillo is staying.
Venlar, surprised by the name, nevertheless follows after Mellia to go find out about her cousin, thus making everyone else change direction too. Yamia sends the thralls on to try to get room in the same inn as before, and then hangs back on the edge of the conversation, as if hoping someone in the marketplace will breach the peace.
“Irillo! Where are you staying? Can we talk soon?”
The merchant interrupts his haggling to raise a hand in greeting, “I have rooms at the Great Inn, which is big.” And he switches to Esrolian, “Rather than necessarily any other meaning of the word.” Then back into Tradetalk, he sighs, and offers to throw in a bit of salt along with the silk, as if he is hurt at the quality of his wares being impugned.
The woman who is haggling the other way points out that the salt would be useful to re-set some of the dyes, which she is sure are going to come off if she dares take that through the rain…
“We can go to the Great Inn,” says Venlar, “But everywhere was full here a few days ago.” He looks towards the river, and the lands beyond, in explanation.
The merchant chuckles, and gestures to his own un-run silks. “Purest magic, madame, and Fresh from the Holy Country. What could be fitter for one who is surely at least a tribal Queen?”
There is a pleased smile from the woman, who obviously knows a performance when she sees it. “A true Queen could have you held while she examines your wares, maybe over years. But twice as much salt, and I’ll buy the length.”
At the mention of violence, Yamia leans in slightly, but no threats get followed through.
He considers this, and notes, “Salt brought all the way from Sacred Nochet? And you want twice as much? Well, I’m a fool to myself, but in the name of Harmony, for you, I will do this thing!” He gets out a second small bag of it.
“In the name of Ernalda, I will accept your kindness,” she counters. “Southern salt is splendid at the table but so often gritty.”
“Ah, nothing but the finest from Irillo’s Caravan of Wonders! Tell your friends and Priestesses!”
She gives him a friendly smile, and waves a servant forwards to do the carrying for her. Irillo is free to talk a moment later, and make any arrangements he likes with Mellia.
“We’ll try to get rooms at the Great Inn,” Mellia replies. “Right now I want to get out of the rain. Are you going to close for the day, or should we plan to see you after dinner?”
Irillo’s stall, of course, has a cover over it. Nevertheless, with the rain picking up, it might be the day’s trading is done.
He looks speculative at the height of the sun. “A quarter watch will see us done here I think” he starts idly packing things away
“We’re going to get those rooms, then.”
Yelm peers down through clouds.
“We might be on the floor of the common room. How busy was the inn?” Yamia’s voice is precise and cold, looking for information and giving her own in payment.
“It was not too bad. There was a little rush, but I got here in plenty of time. There should be sufficient.”
Yamia looks very interested at that, and Irillo gets a thoughtful glance, like she is not even thinking very hard about how to kill him.
“Oh good. Stay dry, Irillo and I will see you in a bit.”
Later, settled in to an inn which is, at least, large enough to take a whole group of Venlar-thralls and the two women, there is time to talk. Yamia has gone to meditate and come back with her armour on; her look at the people around indicates she hopes they are the trouble-causing sort, but nobody seems to care much.
Mellia asks Irillo, “How have you been? The big news is that the negotiations are finally over and the weddings are getting scheduled.”
Venlar casually moves along the bench to get closer to Mellia, which means that in fact he gets close enough to put an arm around her.
“Oh, good… that is excellent news. I did find some white silk, and some white soft llama wool. I had them put away, but I didn’t know if you would want them spun and woven, or whether you’d want to do it yourself to while away Dark Seasons up here in the frozen North.”
“I’m going to need some slippers,” Venlar says. “I have to quest for them – it can be a short quest, but your Trollkin might be able to help me.” He looks like he is trying his best to remember the name of someone else’s property.
Irillo frowns, “Just to be clear, Salid may take that as a request for his skin”
“I could help?” Yamia suggests. Venlar gives her a confused look. “No. No… joking. I hope you were joking.”
To Irillo at least, the timing of it must have been a jest. She could not have done it by accident, and if she meant it, her voice would have been just a little more relaxed, a little less menacing.
Mellia replies, “I am not very good at spinning and weaving. I hope someone will help me with those, or I will ruin your magnificent gift.”
“I can’t think of a thing that will make mother happier,” Venlar says, back on ground he understands. A Yamia who jokes seems to have alarmed him.
As for the slippers, Mellia does not look worried. “You are invited to both weddings, of course. So are the cousins and my old friends.”
“Clothes for the wedding itself are largely covered in the contract, but personal gifts are not,” Yamia tells Irillo. Gravely.
He nods, seriously, both to Yamia, and then to the others, “Well, something for someone, anyway.”
“I can weave,” Yamia says. “Although people in Esrolia made a lot of jokes about shrouds when I mentioned it. Spinning is largely a matter of still air, and practice. To make it work, Ernalda persuades Orlanth to be silent, at least for a while, and he watches the spinning of a tiny storm.”
The Issarian says, seriously, “A miracle.”
Yamia nods, just a tiny bit, in token acceptance that she knows this secret, and it is.
Venlar draws little circles on the table with his forefinger.
Mellia chuckles. “Let us hope that I will get time to work. People tend to get sick in Dark Season.”
- 1Critical Scan for Mellia.