Mellia — Home With Venlar Ii
1627, Sea Season, Disorder Week
Sea Season, Disorder Week, Waterday to Clayday Eve. [[[s02:session-31|Session 31]]]
Big Spoilers but if you have read the last one you should read this one.
Mellia listens to Venlar sing and falls asleep smiling.
The next morning the weather is drizzly, but travel is possible. Venlar is already up and sitting by the window when Mellia wakes. He is half dressed, but needs to put on a tunic and shoes. “I have sent for breakfast,” he says, after coming over to kiss her. His scarred face shows tiredness. He may not have slept much, although the bedclothes say that he spent time trying, at the very least.
“Thanks,sweetheart.” Mellia snuggles with Venlar for a little while, then helps him dress.
Breakfast is fried flatbread with seeds, slices of pickled vegetables, and for Venlar, a salted fish sauce that comes in a clearly labelled jar so there cannot be mistakes. He eats without spilling anything, a more common occurrence than it used to be. “Hengrast says our strange cat disappeared. He doesn’t know what happened to her.”
“I hope she is well.” Mellia eats a little faster than usual.
“We should not worry about her. It is just fears playing on my spirit.” Venlar concentrates on his food, his brow crinkled. “She…” And he sighs. “My father has always been someone I thought could not fail.”
“He is your father. That’s natural.”
Venlar gives a tiny nod, and falls silent to let Mellia finish her food.
Mellia says,” I am sure all will be well.”
That makes him smile.
There is food packed for them for the road, and spearmen on horses, and some of Venlar’s household, but he barely speaks for most of the day.
Towards evening, Jengharl greets them in the familiar courtyard, between the old and twisted warren that is the main house, and the straight-walled thrall house, with its new thatch. “Welcome to house of the Cinder Fox,” he says. He embraces Venlar, and then offers the same to Mellia.
Mellia hugs him. “Thank you. I should see your father, I think. I know you two need to talk.”
Silor breeds big sons. Jengharl is not as tall as Venlar, but is far more muscular, built like Hengrast is. The hug is a brief, careful one.
“He’s this way,” Jengharl says. “I’ll take you.”
Venlar follows, and his big brother leads the way. Silor’s room is a small one, not far from his great hall. Venlar has twice as much room, and more light.
The big man is seated in a chair, shivering. Jengharl looks at Venlar and says, “Your mother…” and trails off.
Venlar murmurs, “Oh Orlanth save him no…” although it might not have been meant for Mellia to hear.
Mellia walks over to Silor. Mellia kneels beside him and says,”Father?”
Mellia pays attention to Silor’s response.
Silor brightens up on seeing Mellia, and puts out a hand towards her. The shaking stills, reduced to trembles. He looks feverish still, but his hand is neither hot nor sweaty. “Hello,” he whispers, hoarse. “White Lady. Daughter.” He leans forwards to kiss her forehead – again, not hot. Not dehydrated. He just looks feverish and is shaking.
Mellia smiles at Silor. “You look feverish, but you’re not hot. Stick out your tongue and say ah.”
Silor goes that, patiently. He has the smell of someone in a fever, but there is no dryness, and no swelling at his throat or under his arms. Only the shivers.
Mellia looks confused, because she is. “Mind if I examine you thoroughly? I am glad you are not stuck on the Hero Plane.”
“I can have no objection,” says Silor. He sags back into the chair, a big wooden one built for a man his size, and now padded with cushions and blankets.
Venlar and Jengharl look at each other, their glance happening when Mellia looks that way, and Venlar nods as if to say his brother is right.
Whatever is going on, they seem to know already.1Pass on Scan, critical on Insight (Human) for Mellia there.
Mellia goes over Silor carefully. Anything physical wrong with Silor? Mellia would check for poison as well as diseases.
There is a tiny triple line of red on his right arm, like he has been scratched. Beyond that, nothing. His hair is going grey, his muscle tone slowly being lost – exactly as she would expect of a man of fifty years or more. He is healthy other than that.
Nothing in his skin or eyes or breathing or smell indicates he is poisoned, and Chalana Arroy does not tell her that there is disease present.
Mellia inspects that triple line of red. “How did you get scratched?”
“It was one of the enemies. In my crown test.” Silor looks at it, brow furrowing. “A thing that screamed.”
Mellia frowns. “I wish Rajar was here. I’ll bet that was a Chaos creature.” Since Storm Bulls are hard to get, Mellia casts Cure Chaos Wound on the scratches.
Something catches in her throat as she thinks of her love – who is not telling her everything. But nevertheless, love blossoms in her, and she brings forth the White Lady’s magic.2Fail on Love Venlar for inspiration, pass on Fertility anyhow.
Silor stops shivering, and looks at her as his eyes clear, and he nods, as if to say he is there.
Both of his sons start forward in relief, and he stands up, still naked from the examination, and says, “Before you greet me, I want my sword, and my woad. You should greet your chief, not your father.”
Mellia thanks the White Lady under her breath. “He should be well now.”
Some very busy time passes. Venlar kisses Mellia and vanishes. One of his thralls finds her a place to sit, and some food.
An hour later, dressed in magical blue paint, as Yelm dies, Silor stands before the people of his clan, and calls for anyone who thinks they should be chief in his stead to show themselves. Nobody does.
Mellia stays out of the way when people get busy.
Then he begins a dance, which Venlar whispers to Mellia is a magical one. “He is calling the spirit of the fox to him, and the spirit of our founder.”3Pass Inspiration with Air, Special on Dance for Silor. This dance is all about leadership and pride.
Mellia whispers to Venlar, “I am sure they will come.”
The air crackles, and for the second time Mellia sees the grey-black-red fur of the Cinder Fox. This time, though, it leads Silor over towards his gates, and a great boulder of which she can just about see the outline. He dances his way to it and draws his sword, and his blow strikes it in two, down the middle. Spirits pour in, partly visible, and everyone around Mellia cheers. Venlar shouts in joy, as the spirits whirl.4Pass POW x 5 to summon the fox, broadsword and POW x 5 to make the cut…
As the sun sets, Silor talks to his people, telling them that he was beset, but he knows his enemy, that he is with them, that he will protect them. There is no wonder that they love him – his words are gilded and the Wyter of the clan sits by him, and the image of a fox as large as a house is settled on the image of a broken stone behind him. Then he calls on them to recognise Mellia, who released him from his enemy to bring back word.5And yes, pass Oratory.
Mellia blushes and smiles and thanks Silor.
Venlar stands by her, and recites her deeds, which gets many, many cheers, and indeed a round of applause and people throwing linen and gifts to her.6Critical oratory from Venlar.
Mellia thanks the people and tries to catch the gifts. Half will go to the temple building fund.
Finally, Venlar manages to take her for a quiet walk, in the darkness, towards where he first had that consultation over his own health. The fish ponds and the waist-high herb garden that he ordered, which is now planted, and starting to grow.
Mellia smiles. “All is well, thank the gods. Now if we could just get married, this would be a perfect day.”
Venlar holds her. “My chief would not like it,” he says. “But we will. He will want to talk to us in the morning, but for now we could spend the night out…” He pauses as the rain starts. “Ah yes. Sea season. Thanks, Orlanth.”
Mellia sighs. “We had better go inside. Your room or mine?”
“They haven’t given us a separate room,” he says. “But mine is comfortable.” He moves his cloak around the pair of them. “We met in the rain. I like it.” He is warm. “We can go in soon.”
Mellia smiles. “You just want to dry me off,” she teases.
“I don’t mind you being wet,” he says. “Rather like it. But the rain’s not cold. It’s celebrating having father back. You saved him from the worst thing.”
Mellia nods. “My pleasure. I hope your father talks to a priest about that quest.”
“He is a Priest.” Venlar lifts Mellia in his arms to take her back. “But he’ll probably tell Jengharl to talk to him. He said he knows his enemy. I think that means he’ll be striking back.”
Mellia nods. “I wish Rajar was here. We may need him.”
“We have many warriors. We can send for Storm Bulls if need be. But trust in him.” Venlar walks down the paths steadily, with no trace of clumsiness. “And wait for morning. It’s what we do, when Orlanth has a plan.”