Mellia — Home With Venlar Vii
1627, Sea Season, Disorder Week
Sea Season, Disorder Week, Windsday to Godday. [[[s02:session-31|Session 31]]]
Farm roll for Mellia, to understand the fields: There a some patches out here that are in bad trouble. Hengrast’s people would be starving but for him buying in food. Yamia’s, and the hides that Thenaya now manages for Eril, can be seen as well, and they seem to be doing well, with cattle out in the fields, eating the stubble and putting down a layer of manure. Venlar’s lands are not in bad trouble, but there will be no big feasts this year.
The evening that Yamia declares herself ready to go at any time is a good time to set off to see Silor, and the journey is a dry one, as the wintery rain gives way to spring sunshine and the wind lessens. Venlar sings on the journey, sometimes love songs, sometimes songs of warriors at war, sometimes of places he has been. Then the palisade comes in sight, and he signals his group to close up a bit. He has several thralls with him, as usual. Yamia has just herself and an arming squire.
Mellia has herself and the children. She closes formation.
The group comes in to a greeting from half a dozen people, and Yamia makes a small noise of interest and rides up to one to talk. Venlar looks that way, puzzled – it is an older warrior, who looks pleased to be talked to by the Humakti.
“Well, we’re here,” Venlar says. “And father should be about, or he’d likely have sent a message. And Wilmskirk will be on our way anyhow, and… well.” He smiles a bit. “I want to see the Blue Tree. I hope it is on our way.”
“Blue Tree is past Boldhome, but we can go see it anyway.” Mellia is looking around for Silor.
“If that’s the right way.” Venlar dismounts to bow, only landing a little clumsily, and without apparent danger of falling. Silor is just coming out of the house, wearing an arming jacket and looking like he has been hard at work.
Mellia dismounts to curtsy.
Silor comes forward, and says, “Welcome, son. You have been missed. Let’s take a walk before we go in, and get some of the journey’s stiffness from you. Yamia? Come keep guard… no, stay on the horse. You’re short.”
He leads the way not out of the palisade, but down past the fish ponds, casting a pebble in, which makes Venlar look briefly sad.
Mellia comes along. “I love these ponds,” she says.
“I’m rather fond of them myself,” Venlar says. As if his father has asked, he adds, “This is where we first met, properly. I was feeding the fish.”
“Ah,” Silor says, and looks politely interested.
“And we don’t need to take up my lord’s valuable time with that,” Venlar goes on.
“Right. I need a rock to sit on. One that isn’t the one that broke, last time. Yamia, all clear that way?”
“Yes, Lord.” The Humakti stays on horseback, as instructed.
“Good.” Silor turns to the other two, tucks his thumbs into his belt, and says, “Yet another thing for you to keep behind your teeth. Thane Vareena was seen leaving Boldhome with a mule train, and going to the North. She is likely with her cousin Irillo, heading towards Dangerford and Alda Chur. News from there is patchy, however. I do not know the situation at all. And I should.”
Mellia thinks about that. “I find that disturbing. They could have gone to Blue Tree, but I don’t think so. Not on Kallyr’s orders.”
“It will be bigger than that. Unless I am wrong, they take a message to the Feathered Horse Queen.” Silor looks to all three, seems amused to find Yamia is on guard on horseback, and then hides the amusement.
“I should have known. Kallyr has wanted to be King of Dragon Pass for ages. How quiet do you think we need to be while searching for Varanis?”
“She needs Ernalda for her Orlanth, to make Sartar whole,” Silor says. “I think that a White Lady and her household should not get into too much trouble up towards Dangerford. Beyond that…” He glances at Yamia.
“I know why you kept me mounted,” she says. “I will send back word of all I see.”
Mellia asks, “How bad are things north of Dangerford? A lone healer might be safer than a noble household.”
“I am unsure,” Silor replies carefully.
He looks like he is going to go on, but Yamia says, “That means no messages have come through to him. So… bad.”
Mellia looks thoughtful. “We were going to go to Blue Tree anyway. Dangerford is on the way. “
“Boldhome, Blue Tree,” Yamia says.
Her father replies, “I’ll be delighted to hear from you. Do you need aught else from me, or should we go for food?”
“Thank you, Father-in-law. Let’s eat.”
“Yamia, a moment if you would? Venlar can take Mellia in.” Just as Yamia would have to commit to dismounting, Silor stops her. He knows.
Mellia takes Venlar’s arm and tries to get Venlar back to the courtyard.
He wanders back, waving to the fish ponds but not stopping. Even if he is not in on the secret, he can take a hint from his father.
Silor asks Venlar, Mellia and Yamia to see what is happening around Dangerford