Mellia — Brother
????, Storm Season, Disorder Week
Storm Season, Disorder Week, Clayday. [[[s02:session-24|Session 24]]]
Contains some political spoilers
Thenaya has a little room up in the roof, which is already crowded with people. Venlar and Thenaya are there, and Hengrast, Venlar’s slightly younger brother. Both tower over their mother as they stand to let Mellia in. The brothers are playing a board game of some sort, with Thenaya sewing by the light of a couple of oil lamps. Venlar is winning, but says, “Come bring me luck? Mama is making you a baby sling, I think.”
Thenaya manages a smile. “It’s a shoulder sling bag, and you don’t put babies in it. It’s not even for Mellia unless she needs another. I just like spares.”
Venlar manages to sit beside his stool so that Mellia can have it. He doesn’t even tip the board over.
“How was your day?” Thenaya asks.
“I like spares too. Thanks, Mother.” Mellia tries to give her a peck on the cheek. Then she would sit next to Venlar.
“The shrine was good and good for me.”
Thenaya gets up for the kiss. “Oh, are you married now?” Hengrast asks.
“I wish. My clan is stubborn.”
“She is part of my family, but her family might not agree,” Thenaya says with a smile. Venlar says, “My sweet green woman is with me; do bonds matter?”
Hengast smiles, just like Silor does. “I know that poem! You’re trying not to say you stole her!”
Venlar looks at Mellia, eyes bright. “I nearly got her home.”
Mellia beams. “It was at a rather boring party. Maybe we should have gone home.”
“I was at a Heroquest. And then another one. Ernalda was very pretty.” Venlar takes Mellia’s hand. “But let’s get on with the game?” He keeps looking at her.
Mellia squeezes Venlar’s hand. “I think you should finish the game, my love. Then we can go to our room and ask about dinner.”
“Oh, dinner is easy enough,” Hengrast says. “It’ll be done soon and the great hall will fill.”
Venlar says after a moment, “I might have food brought out. I have not seen my family in so long.” He makes a move that puzzles Hengrast, who nearly speaks a few times, and then doesn’t.
“Company would be a fine thing,” Thenaya says, which puzzles Hengrast even more.
“Then let’s have food brought here.”
Venlar gives Mellia a happy look. “That’s a wonderful idea! And I can teach you how to play… are you allowed to play Swords and Shields? We probably have other games we can find.”
“I think I am allowed to play. I just won’t be any good.”
“It’s about fighting, I suppose, but also about politics. We can play with four with a different set of rules, but let me just finish this up…”
Within a few minutes he has swept the board of Hengrast’s pieces. “You have to defend and keep alive as many of your important pieces as you can. This set is easy to learn on. The bigger the piece, the more important. Hengrast, could you do us a favour and order food for up here? Mellia, you probably want to play the inner shape. They start as defenders.”
Mellia nods and tries to learn the game.
Venlar teaches her the basic moves, and then sits down opposite her for a game or two, but he does tend to stop playing because he is reciting poetry in her honour, which makes for a nice time but a terrible teacher.
Mellia kisses Venlar a lot. That is what he gets for the poetry.
Venlar gets lots on that, but Mellia notices that Thenaya is smiling through tears, like her heart is too full.
Mellia will tone it down then and just promise Venlar rewards later. Which he would get in spades.
“I’m happy to see you as you are,” Thenaya tells them. “Just let … just let me think of you instead of anyone else and I realise how lucky I am.”
Thenaya gets another hug.
Thenaya keeps Mellia for a bit, and helps her make the moves. Venlar’s swords slowly form a circle to surround the shield pieces, and then he brings the circle inwards.
Mellia loses gracefully.
Rather than Hengrast coming back, Silor himself comes up to the room, along with a thrall to bring the food. “There you all are.” He waits until the serving woman has gone before he says, “Eril will be rejoining the clan tomorrow. Thenaya, you don’t need to be there, and if you want, Hengrast will take you home.”
Thenaya smiles at him. “I don’t need to hide from him. I’d like to see.” She holds Mellia’s hand though.
Mellia squeezes Thenaya’s hand.
Thenaya gives Mellia a pat on the hand. “Lord Silor, we should celebrate our daughter being here, too.”
“Well. More easily done here than in Esrolia, but there’s the small detail that the marriage isn’t yet complete. Nevertheless, I’m pleased to have you here, Mellia.”
“Thank you, future father-in-law. I am glad to be here.”
Silor smiles, and looks to Thenaya and back to Mellia. “Are you planning something?”
Venlar looks confused, and looks at them too.
Mellia shakes her head and looks innocent.
“No, although I could.” Thenaya smiles. “But we won’t. How are you faring this evening, Lord?”
“Well enough. Watching the alynxes amongst the griffins, as people realise who is back in town. I’ve been taking messengers almost solidly this hour, and wanted to look on something better. Aelna’s handling them for a bit.”
Venlar sets out the pieces on the game board again. “Father’s happy,” he says. “You can tell, because people are trying to find out what he’s doing.”
“I am glad he is happy. I just hope that no one comes looking for me,” Mellia says.
Mellia will give Swords and Shields another try.
With Silor gone, Venlar settles down to play the game. Nobody comes looking for Mellia. All is peaceful; Venlar and Thenaya talk about his estate and which of his hides need a visit – all of them, they decide.
Finally, the evening is late enough that Thenaya sends them away, and Venlar and Mellia both get the same kiss on the cheek from her – that of a mother.