Muddy Goose Chase

Mellia — Mgc

????, Fire Season


Early Fire Season, probably while Varanis was recovering from her visionquest. [[[s01:session-XXX|Session XXX]]]


Mellia enters the common room of the White Grape Inn, looking worried. She looks around the room.

Finarvi jumps up from his seat in clear sight of the door. He stops just short of waving to get Mellia’s attention, but it’s plain he’s been waiting.

Mellia’s expression brightens when she sees Finarvi. She hurries over to him. “Finarvi? Have you seen Varanis, Xenofos or Berra? They’re supposed to be back by now.”

Finarvi looks unhappy. “I haven’t seen any of them today. I came looking for Berra when Varanis didn’t come by the stables last night or this morning. When I could not find her, I came here looking for Xenofos, only to be told they have both left. The girl said Xenofos left you a note.”

Mellia nods. “Xenofos said he and Berra went after Varanis, who was off on some sort of errand. I don’t know if this has anything to do with that meeting at the palace I missed, but I am worried.”

“You should be. That meeting… I have never seen anyone use so many words to say ‘Go away and die.'” He shakes his head. “Do you know where to start looking?”
He adds, “When I couldn’t find Berra, I returned to the stables. Serala had Berra’s horse, which was covered in mud. It came back without her, the guards said.”

Mellia shakes her head too. “I could go ask Storm Voice Tennebris what sort of errand they might be on. I could also ask the White Lady Herself if they are ill or injured. I want nothing to do with High Sword Eril.”

Finarvi purses his lips, trying to decide what would be prudent to say, and abandons subtlety. “My first thought was Berra might have been thrown, though her horse is steady as a table. But… Are we perhaps under attack? Would it be wise to go to those who might…” he bites off the rest of the sentence, deciding discretion might be better after all.

“That,” Mellia replies, “is why I refuse to talk to Eril. Perhaps we should take this conversation elsewhere.”

Finarvi willingly complies with this suggestion.

“Where do you want to talk?”

Finarvi mumbles something under his breath. It sounds like “As far outside this [grazelander expletive] city as possible.”

Mellia concentrates on Finarvi’s words and says, “That’s a good idea, but I will need to ride double behind you or something.”

Finarvi looks surprised. “Anywhere we will not be overheard or observed would do, Lady. My sister has been mocking me for fearing assassins yet waiting in the first place they’ll look.”

Mellia nods. “Let’s go.”

They head out of Boldhome, Finarvi nervously watchful and trying not to appear so. He steers a course that tries to avoid coming within five paces of anyone.

Mellia follows Finarvi, somewhat less nervous than he.

They head towards the stables where the Grazelanders have set up a temporary camp. There are few people around and Finarvi relaxes. He doesn’t stop walking, but his pace eases a little. “Is this quiet enough, do you think? Two people riding off on one horse might draw more attention than we want.”

Mellia looks around. “It may do. We could ride on separate horses out the gates, but I am a poor rider.”

“I’m sure Serala will have Berra’s mount fed and rubbed down by now. You would have to try very hard to fall off that horse.” His eyes crinkle in a good humoured smile. A little open air has restored his calm considerably.

“I’ll ride it, then.”

They arrive at the stables. Finarvi explains the situation to Serala while they ready the horses. In short order, the two of them are heading away from Boldhome at an easy walk. When they are no longer in earshot of any potential spies, Finarvi reins Madryn in to walk alongside Mellia’s mount.
“Do you know what is going on?” he asks.

Mellia says, “Not really. I missed the last few political meetings.”

Finarvi purses his lips thoughtfully. “Varanis has vowed to relight the Flame of Sartar and told Tennebris this. The meeting at the palace was the formal acceptance, I think. Varanis stated her vow to the Prince who accepted her support, and said she believed the Flame was with Sartar in the Underworld. Eril made some suggestions of ways into the Underworld which started with suicide and got worse from there.”
He glances at Mellia to see if she knows this already, and goes on.
“We returned to Rondrick’s inn to work on a plan. Berra said there was another route into the Underworld that might be more attainable than Snakepipe Hollow or the Lunar Heartlands. She suggested the Deed of Indrodar quest, which started to sound like the Lightbringers quest. Xenofos suggested Varanis seek inspiration from her ancestor again. We parted still trying to think of ways to retrieve the Spark without us all dying.”

Mellia, who hadn’t heard any of this, rolls her eyes at the part about Eril. “So those three ran off to perform a heroquest without telling anyone?”

Finarvi considers this. “I do not think so,” he says slowly. “Berra took her horse, but Varanis did not. I don’t think they left together. And if you say Xenofos left a note saying Varanis was running an errand… unless that is some secret craft you know has another meaning…”

“No, I don’t think so. I do think we had better check on them. We should probably get Rajar and your sister, Finarvi. Do you want me to find out if they are ill or injured?”

“Do you have any idea where Xenofos or Berra were going? Or Varanis? Where is this place Varanis spoke of, where the Flame of Sartar should be? Might they have gone there?” He rubs his chin thoughtfully. “If there are no assassins, we’re running around like fools. If there is a threat, then running around like fools is even worse. Am I misreading the intentions of Eril and the others? He makes my back itch, and even Tennebris and Kallyr I fear have zealous supporters who might think getting rid of us will help their cause.”

“I have no idea where they went,” Mellia replies. “I don’t know where the Flame of Sartar is. You probably are not misreading Eril at all. Why don’t we find out how much trouble they are in? Chalana Arroy can’t tell me where they are, but She can tell me how they are.”

Having no better ideas, Finarvi goes along with Mellia’s plan.

Mellia rides back to the temple of Chalana Arroy. There, she will cast Divination. “Are Varanis, Xenofos or Berra ill or injured?”

Mellia says after the divination, “The goddess says they are in perfect health. If they are in trouble, it can’t be too bad.”

Finarvi relaxes slightly at the news. “That’s good. Is there anything else you want to do? If not, we should gather back at the inn, perhaps. Rajar should be back soon, and maybe the others have turned up.”

They went back to the inn.