1628, Dark Season, probably the end of Disorder Week
Lenta returns from Clearwine. Session SA3.13.
Mehrim talks with someone on the door of the hall, there are footsteps and faint silvery tingling.
Lenta walks into the Praxian room carrying a saddlebag on her shoulder.
Mellia is in the Praxian room, helping Venlar turn two workbenches into a bed. When she sees Lenta, she blinks. “Lenta? I thought you would have gone home by now.”
Lenta looks a bit startled. “Oh. Hello lady Mellia, lord Venlar. I just arrived from Clearwine…” She walks past the couple and adds a piece of wood into the hearth. Looking over her shoulder she says with a wary smile “Varanis told me I could regard this place as home. And that is what I have done, Mellia.”
Venlar says, “We’ll be in the small room, I think,” with the smile of someone rich and confident. “It seems Lady Berra was there until now.”
Insight: perhaps Lenta was startled from seeing people she did not expect. After Mellia’s comment her smile almost vanished and she seemed to need time for gathering herself.
“Ah. Any news about Leika, Lenta? I’m glad to see you well. You must be frozen.” Mellia will put a chair near the hearth for Lenta, unless someone beats her to it.
Lenta glances at the chair, the door of the little room and the stair and sits down, letting her saddlebags fall to the floor.”Thank you lady Mellia… but her room is upstairs?”
“Berra’s? Yes. She was wounded.” Venlar was too late to help Lenta to a chair, as he was carrying benches.
“Was there? Was wounded? She has not met her god last time, has she?” Lenta looks worried.
“I think that might have come out earlier in the conversation,” he says with his easy smile. “Oh, I suppose you have been away?”
“In Clearwine temple for weeks…” she responds mechanically and looking at Mellia “Varanis?”
“Varanis asked me to come,” Mellia told Lenta. “As far as I know, Varanis is fine. Berra is alive but not well. I need to hear what happened to her.”
There is visible relief on Lenta’s face “Ernalda be thanked… The news I got was so scattered and came in as rumours.”
“Her sister may know more,” Venlar says, “Could one of you manage to talk her into talking? I’ll get Mehrim to help me with the bed.” He is strong enough to carry everything easily.
“I’ll try,” Mellia says. “Speaking of thanking Ernalda, I’m pregnant.”
Lenta blinks “That is wonderful news, Mellia. Matter with Berra… I do not know. She hinted she might get involved in following at footsteps of Eril to quest for something. And then things started happening fast and she was in Boldhome and cut Varanis.”
Venlar beams, scar wrinkling up.
“Thanks, Lenta. Varanis would have mentioned that cut if it was bad. I hope. We heard something about a quest that didn’t go well, wraiths attacking and a vampire.” Mellia frowns.
“My father sent me a letter or two,” Venlar explains lightly.
“I think she could stop the bleeding with her own spells before coming to the baths but there had been a lot of blood.” Lenta looks at Mellia seriously “And it was hearsay, but there was talk of a duel between the two later.”
Mellia’s jaw dropped. “Those two… the only thing less likely is me dueling Berra. Whatever their quarrel was, I think it has blown over.”
“It was hearsay. But I saw Varanis in Boldhome after she had been cut by Berra…” Lenta looks at her hands “I think that was part of a quest. Maybe also the other time. If it happened and the rumours were not too inaccurate. But either Varanis or Berra can tell.”
Mellia nods. “We’re going to have to get all the story out of them somehow. If I hadn’t been traveling all day, I’d go to the temple of Humakt and talk to Berra now.”
“She’ll be busy, anyhow.” Venlar puts things down and goes to, presumably, find Mehrim.
“The fink made priestess and didn’t tell me,” Mellia comments.
“Is Berra at temple of Humakt now, is that what you are saying M… Lady Mellia.” Lenta asks.
“Yehna said that Berra’s at the temple of Humakt right now.”
“And Varanis?” Lenta looks at Mellia “Is she here?”
Yehna comes in from the kitchen. Although Venlar has failed to find Mehrim there, he has at least released yehna from Haran, who can be heard demanding, “Venler fee mee!”
The Ernaldan has a pitcher of something, and three cups held carefully in the other hand, but she does not interrupt the conversation.
“I don’t know where Varanis is,” Mellia says. “She is somewhere in Boldhome.”
“Varanis went with my sister,” Yehna says. “Lenta, are you completely frozen? It’s going to be cold tonight. Mellia came in from the high lands and the North Gate!”
Lenta lets out a breath she held while listening to Mellia and Yehna “Ernalda’s blessing to you and yours Yehna. I am fine. Riding and a good cloak kept me warm. ” She looks at the Sartarite woman and smiles warmly “I think I see Ernalda has already given some blessing.”
“Forgive me for not congratulating you earlier, Yehna! Should I take that pitcher?”
Yehna smiles. “Due in Storm Season,” she says. “Early. Mehrim works fast.” She has been married less than a year, and the baby is due in a season. “Oh, it’s still the same baby as it’s been for a while, Mellia – I’m sure everyone here’s said well done by now.” She shows little discomfort as she bends to put the cups on the hearth. “If you have a hot drink, everything seems better. This is an experiment, though. Be warned. It’s got baked grains as a base.”
“Thank you, Yehna! I will try it just as soon as it warms up,” promised Mellia.
“It’s hot! Yehna looks almost affronted. “Do you think I would bring out a cold drink on a cold night?” She pours. The smell of baked wheat is delicious.
“I’m sorry!” Mellia tries her drink and smiles.
Lenta wraps her fingers around the cup, sips from it, coughs a bit and nods “Very nice.”
Yehna makes sure both of her guests have a drink, and then tries her own. Gamely, she says, “Your taste is better than mine then, sister,” to Lenta.
Mellia silently wondered what to add to it that wouldn’t cost a fortune. Maybe mint?
“Nice and warming” Lenta continues a bit uncertainly. “Sister…””It’s warming. And it’s a nice touch of flavour, but it’s not really much by way of taste. Still.” Yehna shrugs. “I’m here and it’s hot. You don’t have to finish it. I gave both of you plenty.”1Yehna has failed cooking, and knows.
Insight: Lenta was touched by Yehna’s familiarity/friendliness.
Mellia slowly sips her drink, obviously planning to finish it.
Lenta mainly just warms her fingers on the cup. “I thought of riding past Blue Tree so I could tell Varanis how everyone is doing, but it would have been such a detour it made no sense. How is little Berra?”
“Very well. Up at the Palace, right now. She is visiting and that gives me a chance to just look after Haran.” Yehna stares into her drink, and sinks onto a stool. “Berra has not been herself.”
Mellia asks,” How so?”
Lenta sighs and squeezes Yehna’s elbow.
Yehna gives Lenta a grateful look. “Since that Heroquest, it’s like the part of her that makes her into Berra is asleep. She was wounded, and she didn’t even try to get out of bed. She didn’t really even think about getting healed.” Yehna sighs. “And then the Wyter has been hanging around the place and he’s very well spoken but it can’t be good for her to have a Death Spirit so close right now.”
Mellia frowns. “This isn’t good news, but I am glad you told me, Yehna. I need to know everything if I am to heal Berra.”
Yehna says, “I don’t know everything. Varanis will. I knew – Thenaya and Venlar told me separately – that the Heroquest was happening. I came here to be here. I think she was doing it to make herself into the Wyter Priest, but Venlar said his father said it started by accident, or at least, she did not start it.” She sags a little. “I am glad I came here, but I have not asked too many questions. She seems to have forgotten who Varanis is, and Serala and Finarvi.”
Mellia is clearly alarmed by that last statement. “I don’t know whether to blame the quest, the wraiths or the vampire. Vampires can consume souls.”
Yehna shudders, and takes a sip of her hot water. “This would be nice if it had more flavour,” she says.2Insight: She is trying to change the subject.
“I hope the harvest was good?” Lenta comments. “At Blue Tree, I mean. It was around here and in Clearwine.”
Mellia shakes her head. “The harvest wasn’t good. I’m wondering how we offended Ernalda.”
Yehna smiles. “Much better than we feared,” she says, giving Mellia a smile. “It could have been bad, and the granaries ended up full enough. Next year will depend on how the river moves. “It was last year that was really bad.”
“We could use a really good year,” said Mellia.
“We certainly could. But we will get through to Sea Season, and the spring harvest.” Yehna looks relieved.
“From your lips to Ernalda’s ears.” Lenta agrees.
Lenta rises and leaves the cup on the table. “Is there any hot water in the kitchen, Yehna?”
“So anyhow. Mellia. I’m told you’re going to be a mother.” Yehna looks delighted. “Are you going to decide if you want a boy or a girl? Yes, Lenta, but there is also a Haran so if you feel you need to step outside please do.”
Lenta smiles at Yehna “I think I can manage. I just want to wash a bit of the dust off my face.”
“I would like an heir, ” Mellia admits, “but Venlar wants a son. I don’t dare hope for twins. One child is blessing enough.”
“Some magic can make that more likely,” Yehna says, “But by now it will be too late. You know in Sartar men are heirs as much as women, though?”
Lenta exits to the kitchen. There is some exited yelling and discussion on cleanliness or lack thereof of some peoples ears.
Haran is enough for both Venlar and Lenta, it seems.
“So they are, but a son can’t follow me into healing. Gods grant that I won’t be like my mother.”
“Men can be White Ladies too,” Yehna says. “They don’t all follow Arroin. Plenty learn magic.”
“It will be up to him, or her. Right now I will settle for a healthy, happy child.” Mellia smiles and drinks some more.
Lenta comes back, her face showing she has scrubbed it and her skirt showing Haran wanted to participate. “Right, I think I’ll go to sleep. I had a long ride today and my horse was unusually restless.” She stops at Yehna’s side. “Can I hug you?”
Yehna nods to Mellia as she stands up. “We chose, but I already had a boy to bring to the family.” Lenta gets offered a warm, curvy hug. “Good night, my dear. I hope Haran’s ears were satisfactory, and you sleep well.”
“Good night, Yehna.” Warmth is returned. It appears Lenta was thinking of saying something, but then decided to just hug. “Good night Lady Mellia.”
Mellia finishes her drink and tries to squeeze Yehna’s hands. “Good night, Lady Lenta. Yehna, I will do my very best for your sister, I promise you.” Mellia gets up too.
“Let me see where Mehrim is. Your husband seems to have stopped in the kitchen.” Yehna picks up the cups, empty and full, and the pitcher. She moves them out to the kitchen.
- 1Yehna has failed cooking, and knows.
- 2Insight: She is trying to change the subject.