Present Company

Mellia — Present Company

????, Storm Season, Disorder Week


Storm Season, Disorder Week, Fireday onwards. [[[s02:session-24|Session 24]]]


Mellia will try to steer Venlar towards breakfast after he is finished talking.

Venlar steers Mellia in as Mellia is steering Venlar in. This means meeting in the doorway for some kissing, because once he gets close he gets ideas.

Mellia is happy that Venlar gets ideas.

After a while there are hoofbeats as Eril leaves and then Silor coughs. “If you are going to keep the door against me, at least bring me a meal.”

Mellia comes up for air and tells Venlar, “Let’s go inside and send food out.”

With eyes only for her, Venlar almost trips over the threshold, but he manages to get his feet under him. “It’s fine. He’ll raid or something.” He gets out of his father’s way, and Silor goes in. Venlar looks as the big man makes his way over to his slightly more comfortable seat by the throne, and the table where food is being put out. “My uncle’s gone. It feels strange to say that.”

“You will get used to it.”

“You’re wise. I’m glad you came out to look at the fish ponds, and me, and I met you.” He offers his hand to take her over to where food waits for them.

“I am glad I met you.”

Mellia takes Venlar’s hand and goes to eat with him.

Over the next few hours, people drift around and talk and sing and work. Thenaya comes down for breakfast late, looking pale and tired, but she eats well. The vegetable-loving cat prowls, as if guarding or searching for something.

Mellia talks to Venlar about her plans. “I think we should spend a little time here, go to Greyrocks, come back and then go to Leika’s court. What do you think?”

Venlar thinks about that for a few minutes, turning it over in his mind as he works it through, and then says, “I like that. Is there anything or anyone we should bring back with us?”

“I don’t know. We should see what happens.”

In the immediate future, Venlar sticks to teaching Mellia more about reading and writing, now that he has cheaper parchment available and can concentrate on the style that uses ink, instead of writing on clay. Whenever she is out on her rounds of the city, he keeps his mother company, or helps his father deal with the dozens of matters Jengharl could not easily rule on alone, mostly by making sure visitors are assured of a friendly ear.

Thenaya seems well, although there is sadness underlying her mood.

The vegetable-loving cat keeps on calling for whatever it has lost; a cabbage, perhaps.

Venlar asks on the evening after Godsday, “You had mentioned the Greyrock Clan…?”

“Yes. We should go see them soon. Did I tell you the story of what went on when I went there with my friends?”

“I’ve had it sung to me,” he admits. “You touched on it. Tell me again?”

“I remember red flowers there. Disease spirits lurked near the flowers. I had to summon a healing spirit to fight them. I think we found the murder victims by digging under the flowers.”

“It took a while to find out what happened. I don’t think we knew everything until we talked to the new shaman .”

“The clan chief had wrongly murdered his wife and child in secret. He murdered the old shaman too. The shaman cursed the village.”

“Once the truth was known, the bodies were correctly buried and the spirits driven off, everything was fine.”

“I think the old chief of warriors is dead. I know he escaped and turned outlaw.”

“Your friends met him on the road, I think,” Venlar says carefully. “It did not go well for him. There was a case in Wilmskirk – he attacked Lord Irillo when … just before you came to my Tula that lucky day. The case did not mention you. I think you were a little behind.”

“I think so too.”

“I asked about it all, when you had gone. In case I didn’t see you again. I mean, I wanted to and I meant to, but you seemed too fine. And you were going into danger. So I wanted to know all about you so I did not just follow.”

Mellia gives Venlar a melting look. “That reminds me. Can we go to the Paps from here without going to Nochet?”

“Yes. We go past Day’s Rest and the Block. There are tiny paths out through our lands if we really work at it, but the best road is a bit North from here. It’s a lot of travel through Prax, but we could go with a caravan, or take our own guards. I don’t know the way exactly, but we start north of here, not south.”

Venlar melts a little, staring happily.

“I think we should go with a caravan. Your father will need his guards. I want to avoid the Block, but I can cure Chaos wounds.”

“If you want to go. I know it would make Mama happy if I was a father but I want you … I don’t want to make you rush and I don’t … I’m nervous when I think of being a father. Does it worry you?” Venlar seems unruffled, but he has brought this up before, and been less calm on the surface.

“Curiously, it doesn’t worry me. It should; I am usually very busy. I suppose it will be as the gods choose.”

Mellia adds, “Perhaps I am just trying to avoid Leika.”

“I was wondering. We have reasons to go and reasons to stay. But we could divine the best path to take, or even where your friends are.”

“You would need to do the divination. Chalana Arroy will only tell me if my friends are healthy.”

“I might be able to, if they are under Air. Orlanth’s voice is loud to me, but I am more capable of standing in that storm since I met you.” Venlar smiles a little. “I would like to know if they are healthy, though. So that you know.”

“Well then let’s do it. When do you want to do the divination?”

“I could do it today. The Temple will take me. But I’ll need to take hours to be as sure as I can be.” By which he means that his spirit will not reach out properly to hear answers.

Mellia smiles. “We don’t need to do it today, especially if there’s a better day.”

“I can try, and if I fail ask father. He will know.” Venlar glances towards the door, as if to reassure himself Silor still exists in the world.

Mellia says, “Then let’s go try.”