Mellia — Homecoming
????, Storm Season, Disorder Week
Storm Season, Disorder Week, Windsday in the hall of Silor Cracks-Rock. [[[s02:session-24|Session 24]]]
Then there is wine and more music, and Mellia notices a black-clad figure on the other side of the hall. Silor is looking at his brother, who is looking back at him.
Mellia wonders why no one is seating Eril. She guesses that Eril is waiting for a formal invitation. Mellia hopes Effinya won’t be too offended if Eril gets some of the gifts.
Silor stands to call for silence, and announces to the room, “The clan has an apology to make, and a restitution. Many years ago, at the start of the Lunar terror, my brother committed a secret act of heroism – one that hid great power from the invader, at great cost to himself. Unable to explain and unwilling to lie, he was cast from our clan by my father, who saw only the effects, and not the reasons. This was done, and unjustly, and I now stand here to undo it. Thank you, friends, for coming here this day.”
Eril has walked forwards, and as attention on him grows, he spends a moment waiting for the silence to grow. His own attention is for Silor, but with a noble’s habit of checking elsewhere. For a moment he makes eye contact with Venlar, and Venlar reaches out a hand to Mellia to steady himself. A few others are looking at the pair, although most have not put together just how similar they look; some are merely puzzled as if Eril is familiar.
Mellia squeezes Venlar’s hand under the table. She just smiles at Eril.
Venlar is subtle about how he reaches for comfort but he looks like whatever he is seeing is affecting him.
Eril gives Mellia the tiniest of nods, maybe even just her imagination. Then Silor is speaking again.
“Lord Eril, the clan calls you home, to be one of us once more. The thanks of all of Sartar are due you. Your lands and holdings are returned, and to this we will add more.” Silor’s expansive gestures take in the Saiciae lady at the high table, as if by accident, as he looks around at everyone in the room. “Your ransom’s worth was the damage done, but it has grown since you left us, and the damage remained, therefore this shall be given too.”
Whatever Effinya is thinking, she gives no hint of it.
Venlar is watching Eril closely, his hand trembling.
Mellia squeezes Venlar’s hand again. Mellia is interested in Eril’s reaction.
Having been given the room by Silor, Eril speaks, and as always his voice is clear and the crowd listens. “I accept this recompense, as due and just, and note that what is given is more than could ever be required. I am pleased to accept not only what is mine, but also what is given, freely, by a Lord I could never emulate. The generosity of Lord Cracks-rock over many years is a fact well known to all here, and it is a fine thing to stand as part of the clan once more.”
As he speaks, the thralls at the main door, and then those nearby, bow to something that comes in. Eril falls silent as a grey and brown fox walks boldly past him, up towards Silor’s throne, and yelps. Silor makes room on the bearskin, and the fox hops up, and then onto his knee. Venlar’s hand relaxes, and he smiles at the fox and then her.
Mellia thinks that fox is the wyter. Mellia is happy that the wyter seems to approve of everything.
Eril bows formally, left hand on his sword hilt, to the fox. It looks at him, and then jumps from the throne, padding away deeper into the house. Venlar gets the cute brow-wrinkle he does when puzzled.
Eril looks at Silor, who stands up to say, “If the fox calls you to follow, brother…”
“Indeed, my Lord.” Eril’s bow to the throne is much more a deep nod than the formal thing it was to the fox, and he makes it while stepping away. Then he turns, walking with an unhurried but long pace in the same direction. That takes him past Mellia, and Venlar. He looks more interested in where he is going than in looking around the room, and yet he still manages to walk like he knows all eyes are on him.
Venlar leans over to kiss Mellia on the forehead, and then pretends he is behaving politely and did not do that.
Mellia gives Venlar a kiss on the cheek. Mellia whispers, “I hope the wyter is leading him to your mother.”
Venlar stares after him. “I hope not,” he says quietly. “I … I think he just doesn’t care any more.” His hand squeezes hers again. “But you’re right – she isn’t here.”
“I think the demon, when he died, took a few memories with him. I hope the wyter can restore them.”
“Nothing to do but be here where we can be seen, then. Father has neatly arranged for a homecoming and a mysterious disappearance, and… mm. Now he doesn’t have to compete with gifts. So maybe they planned that?” Venlar gives his father a glance; Silor is just stepping down into the room to start greeting people, as discussion begins.
“It’s possible. We should stay put and be quiet,or I should.”
“Quiet? Why?” Venlar pushes his plate from him, and one of his thralls clears it away instantly. “We’re here to be seen.”