Mellia — Kind Hearts And Crowns
????, Fire Season, Season/Illusion Week
Fire Season/Illusion Week/Windsday/right after dinner, in the Praxian inn in Wilmskirk. [[[s01:session-43|Session 43]]]
Someone knocks on Varanis’ door.
A muffled voice calls, “Come in.”
In comes Mellia, bearing a tray of what’s probably food. “Good evening, Varanis,” she says as she shuts the door behind her. “I brought you a few things to nibble on.”
The Vingan turns a tear-stained gaze on her cousin. “I don’t know if I can.”
“Please try,” Mellia says gently. “You’ll feel better and sleep better if you do.”
“I won’t be sleeping. Tonight is a night for prayer.” She gazes at Mellia forlornly. “She can’t really be gone, can she?”
“She could be,” Mellia says, “but I refuse to believe it. The best healers in Sartar were with the army. I brought you some berries, among other things.”
“I’m sorry, I’m being impolite. Please, sit.” Varanis is on the bed and she shifts to make room. There’s a small table beside it, but little else by way of furniture.
“How is your shoulder?”
Mellia puts the tray on the little table. There are berries, slices of cheese and a roll. Mellia sits beside Varanis before answering, “Just fine, thank you. Thank you for healing it.”
The Vingan picks at the food. “I don’t know what happens next,” she admits.
“We go to Boldhome, give the relics to the Humakti and find out what the truth is.”
“You make it sound simple.” Varanis swipes at her eyes with her sleeve. “Serala would tell me to get ahold of myself.”
“I think that if Kallyr is dead, she deserves some honest mourning. Unfortunately,” Mellia points out, “you need to decide who you want to support in a hurry.”
“Who I want to support?” Stormy eyes turn on Mellia with disbelief.
Mellia is braced for the storm. “Kallyr forgot, last I heard, to name an heir. You are her kin. If you do not want the throne, you really should back someone else for it.” She sighs. “I came to comfort you, not to talk politics.”
“I would make a terrible Prince. I don’t want the throne. I’ve never wanted a throne. I told Kallyr that I would serve her and I’m not really sure what to do without her.” Tears look to be threatening again, but a few deep breaths hold them at bay. “I promised to find the Spark for her and for Sartar. If she is gone, I am still committed to that quest. But if I bring it back, how do I avoid the throne?”
“That’s a question for Berra and Dormal, possibly Irillo too,” Mellia answers. “What I really do not want to see is a civil war over the throne while the Lunars storm the gates.”
Varanis laughs bitterly. “Dormal’s goal is to put me on the throne. Has he not told you?”
“No, but it doesn’t surprise me,” replies Mellia. “Ask Berra and Irillo how to stay off the throne, then.”
Absently, Varanis eats a few berries. “I don’t want to talk about politics either. Tell me about you and Venlar. I could use something to smile about.”
Mellia beams. “Venlar is so sweet,” she begins. “He should have been a Gray Sage, but duty called. He reminds me of home, Varanis. I’ve never met anyone like him. It’s….. I know I should slow down, but I don’t care. Which reminds me, I need Irillo’s advice about a few things.”
“Oh?” A wealth of curiosity in one word.
“Mostly, how to get Mother not to fight this marriage tooth and nail.”
“You are thinking about marriage! That’s wonderful, Mellia. It’ll be challenging and I doubt your mother will be the worst of your challenges. But, Mellia, you are an adult. You have older sisters. Why would she begrudge you joy in a world that is so joyless?”
“Oh, Mother won’t begrudge me joy. I just have this sneaking suspicion she’d rather I marry an Esrolian.”
“But you didn’t fall in love with an Esrolian. I know love and marriage don’t have to go hand in hand,” her eyes take on a bleak look, “but if it’s what you desire then you should have it. If I thought your mother would care about my opinion, I’d tell her.”
“Thank you, Varanis.” Mellia tries to squeeze Varanis’ hands.
Varanis dodges the hands and pulls her cousin in for a hug then sits back so her sincerity can be read clearly. “I love you, Mellia. I want you to be happy. And he is such a beautiful man in so many ways. I like how he brings a smile to your eyes. I can see you growing old with him.”
Mellia hugs back and looks like she is about to cry tears of joy.