Mellia — Home With Venlar
1627, Sea Season, Disorder Week
1627 Sea Season, Disorder Week, Freezeday to Waterday. [[[s02:session-31|Session 31]]]
Contains MAJOR Spoilers
Just after Sacred Time, Venlar gets a message that makes him stop dead as he reads it, and then check carefully where everything is, lest he knock it all over. “My father calls me home,” he says in a confused voice.
The feast that Rajar is ordering is tonight, but he suddenly looks like he has no wish to go.
“Then we should go home. Can we go to Rajar’s feast?”
“I’m not going to. I should set off today. You could stay.” He tries for brightness, and yet there is something under the happy look that says he is deeply worried.1He passed Act, Mellia passed Insight (Human). And she already knew he was worried.
Mellia says, “Rajar will understand. Darn, I wanted to talk to someone about my wedding gown.”
Venlar gives her a sorrowful look. “It is good of you to come with me. I will write a few messages, but we should travel.” He shows her the letter, but the writing is too florid and the words give her little clue.2Failed Read Theyalan.
“I can’t make it out. Well, I travel light.”
Mellia gets the children to help pack.
“It’s a call from father, but Jengharl wrote it. Something is very wrong.” Venlar gets into motion, sending the various notes of apology that will later be delivered.
And then they travel, and then they reach Wilmskirk, where the house is open to them, and Hengrast is present. An hour younger than Venlar, he somehow manages to give the impression he is still growing up, in the way he rushes to his brother even as they arrive, and then gets himself under control, and says, “Welcome, brother. White Lady.”
Venlar looks puzzled and then pleased to see his brother. “Thank you, my Lord Host,” he replies.
“Thanks for your gracious welcome. May I be of aid?”
“Perhaps,” Hengrast says. “Come in. Father is back at the Tula.” He looks at his brother and then goes on. “He was hurt in the Sacred Time questing. We do not know yet what ails him.”
Mellia purses her lips. “I should go see him tomorrow, or even tonight.”
“Our horses are tired,” Venlar says. “And the night is long.” He looks at the air, and adds, “The rain will keep up for at least the next hour.”
“It’s a day’s ride to the Fox’s Nest,” Hengrast adds. He has never heard of Mellia walking through the night for patients.
Mellia sighs. “I hope the rain ends soon. Do you know what quest your father was attempting?”
Hengrast gestures them inside. Venlar holds Mellia’s hand on the way.
“It was a version of The Making of the Storm Tribe. One that the Greyrocks use …” Hengrast trails off.
“Oh crap,” Venlar says weakly. “We don’t have a Chief.”
“Oh no. If I need to do Chalana Arroy Rescues Voria, we’re going to need all kinds of help.”
Venlar puts his arm around her. “My apologies. I should not have sworn in front of a White Lady. We’re in a lot of trouble. As a clan. It’s our chieftain test that he failed at. So he’s probably not Chief right now.” He looks to his brother. “Jengharl?”
“Preparing, but he’s not… he’s not father.”
Mellia says,”How much hero questing has Jengharl done?”
“He’s a chief’s son,” Venlar says, “And his likely heir. He can pass the test.” He seems troubled, though.
“About what you’d expect, I think?” Hengrast says. “He aids father, and is a good Orlanthi.” That probably means that he has experience within Sacred Time and Initiation, and perhaps is an advanced initiate for his age.
“Then he won’t need help from me. I should rest and go to the Tula as soon as the rain stops.”
“Tomorrow morning,” Hengrast says.
“Let’s see to food?” Venlar suggests. “We ate on the road, in a hurry. Maybe something before we retire to our room.” Our room, not my room. Mellia is a part of his life.
Mellia nods. “We should eat,if you don’t mind, Lord Host.”
Hengrast bows, and goes to see to it.
Venlar enfolds Mellia in an embrace that is the sort a man gives when he really needs to be held.
Mellia holds Venlar tight. “I will do the best I can.”
“He’s strong. He’s father.”
“Of course he is.”
Food arrives, simple stuff fit for healers and worried young men. Venlar eats without joy, but he eats. The vegetarian cat is nowhere to be seen, although he looks for her.
Mellia thanks the people and eats. She is quiet, thinking about quests she has been on.
Venlar sings evening songs to Mellia as he likes to do, when they are in their room. It used to be his room, but now there is evidence it has been moved around so that two people can fit in it more easily, and still have room to be served by his many thralls.