Mellia — In Nochet Vi
1627, Sea Season
Sea Season, just after Mellia has invited the High Healer to her wedding. [[[s02:session-40|Session 40]]]
At home, there is another letter waiting for Mellia, this one with Venlar’s name scraped into the wax. There is also the matter of choosing who will do the reading for her.
Mellia wishes Xenophos was here. Perhaps one of the scribes doing the invitations would like a change?1A failed intrigue roll says this seems like a perfectly good idea.
Zilbria was, until a few days ago, in charge of sending out the invitations. She is a short woman with tattoos in many coloured inks, and she has been in the house’s service for years.
“Zilbria, would you please read this note from the Chief High Healer to me.”
Zilbria says, “Of course.” She takes it, and notes, “Secretarial hand. It was written on her command.” There is even a sniff. “The perfume is…. oh. Of course, suitable for a young woman. The dried herb, so she does not expect it to be needed immediately.” Only then does she look at the writing itself. “The secretary over-flourishes, but then, this is a wedding note.” She has to hold it at arm’s length to read it, until she mutters a spell – probably Farsee. “High Healer Tenriya is delighted to accept the fullness of the invitation, in all parts, and looks forward to a happy day. She must be excused between breaking fast and the ceremony, for a religious matter. Signed by Fenest, for her Eminence.”
Mellia is overjoyed!
“We must tell the planners at once!” Mellia runs off to do that, taking Venlar’s letter and the note with her.
Zilbria is left behind. People are told. The house seems pleased. Kirse, after half an hour, asks why she was not told in person.
Mellia explains that she expected a polite refusal. No doubt Mother is still angry. Mellia will ask Kirse, in private, if Mellia is pregnant.
Kirse looks at Mellia and replies, “You don’t look pregnant to me, or not very much if you are. You’d know best, though. But still, it is fine to have people knowing the High Healer is coming. Let us not have any more announcements, hmm? Some women will not be at home with others knowing there they will arrive and when.” Her expression gives no indication of which women those might be.
Mellia nods. “Yes, Mother. Thank you.”
“Best to delay any pregnancy hair-styles if you are. We want to be concentrating on the nuptials, not the outcome.” She might or might not be placated.
Mellia says, “I don’t think I am, but the High Healer gave me a remedy for morning sickness.”
“Mm. Still, don’t put your hair up to say that you are, unless you are certain. Your young man’s fertility does not need to be proved yet. Your political strength does.” Kirse sits down, rubbing briefly at a temple with her forefinger. Today her nails are green and gold. She must have been having a tough meeting.
“Yes, Mother. Do you want a headache remedy?”
“Oh, no, not at all. I want to win this.” She smiles, suddenly. “And we will. You are part of our dance, but not the only dancer. You have many supporters.”
Mellia smiles. “I am glad of each one. Is there any thing I can do for you?”
“Just be safe. You will do well, and we want you to be happy. And of course, keep your young man comfortable and well warmed.” Kirse relaxes a little.
Mellia smiles again and goes to her room to read the letter from Venlar.
This, at least, is written in clear, simple characters.
I have your slippers. My father arranged for the ritual, and Orlanth’s brothers were played by my family. Yamia is a terrifying Humakt, even when she is an Air God. Jengharl was Vadrus, which was a relief. He argued with his wife and stormed out of the tula afterwards, but he was back with us the day after next, and had brought her a bard to sing her praises. Hengrast was Storm Bull. I wonder if he has not found his calling, for he was marvellous and so loud and enthusiastic.
I stole them successfully, although my father’s trickster interfered. I will explain when I see you, and put them on your feet, but meanwhile they are here, on a stand by my bed, with your cloak. I am using mine – the one awarded me at the Blue Tree – to keep them comfortable, because the weather is finally warming here. It is a weight from me to know I have this. Yamia says there is still the loom to be lifted, which is one of my mother’s sayings. She sends her best wishes and asks if you like sheep milk. I do not know why. Perhaps she is taking up cheese-making. It could be a woman’s code, but I shall not be so rude as to ask.
I will follow this letter soon. You might as well know that Jengharl will be coming to ensure my good behaviour. I have told him I only tried to steal you twice, and once, father stopped me. His wife tells him not to be away for long, so I hope I can bring you back soon after we are joined.
I love you. I have your Runes on a plaque by your slippers.
Mellia writes back!
My dearest love,
I miss you and look forward to seeing you and hearing about the cloak and the slippers.
I do like sheep’s milk, but I haven’t had much of it. If Yamia is taking up cheese making, I will cheerfully try the results.
All should be ready soon. The High Healer is coming! I also had a very interesting conversation with Grandmother. My friend Erna is dying to meet you.
The cousins may not make it.
Mellia deals with two letters, in different ways