Mellia — Private Meeting
????, Storm Season, Disorder Week
Storm Season, Disorder Week, Fireday. [[[s02:session-24|Session 24]]]
Around dawn there is a knock on the doorframe and Venlar makes sure Mellia is awake. He came to bed late last night, and is up early. “Mistress, Lord Eril says if you wish to have that moment of his time, he suggests now would be ideal.” The thrall who knocked delivers the message.
Mellia thanks the thrall. Mellia dresses in a hurry, kisses Venlar, who can join her if he wants to, and goes to talk to Eril.
Venlar dresses just as fast, and walks with her.
Eril is in the courtyard, his horse standing ready for a journey, although it seems he has only just arrived – as they came out of the door he was just dismissing the groom.
“A good morning to you and a good journey, Sword Lord. I wanted to ask how affairs stand in Boldhome.”
“Likely much changed in the past two days, White Lady,” he says with a nod of greeting. “And tense. Queen Leika is not welcome there, not the Prince in Colymar lands. However, we have so far avoided open conflict.”
“It’s not as bad as it could be,” Mellia replies. “Should I find another way to Blue Tree? Is this a good time for a pilgrimage?”
“You will be as safe as you can be, in the mantle of mercy.” Eril’s gaze flicks briefly to Venlar, and back to her. “It is possible assassins may try for your intended husband, but not likely. His father and uncle are the better targets.”
“That is a comforting thought. Thank you. Do you have any general advice for us?”1Also known as bid for plot hook.
“Advice to the young is often an attempt to change one’s own younger self,” Eril says. With maybe the darkest amusement Mellia has ever seen, he lets his gaze slide to Venlar’s face and then back to her. When a Sword Lord becomes deadly serious, he means it. “If you wish to help, do not go to the Blue Tree Clan. They are too far for your efforts to have input. Every day in which the Colymar do not strike against Sartar is another day of war averted. Find ways they can be persuaded, and use them. You are a White Lady. You can go anywhere in Sartar and be welcome.”
Venlar holds himself steady under the brief look his uncle gives him, but only just.
Mellia says, “Thank you, Lord Eril. I am not a skilled diplomat, but I will try.”
Mellia turns to Venlar. “We may need to rely on your silver tongue.”
“I know,” he says quietly. “Now I need to find out where to buy one.” Then he looks at the horse and the saddlebags and at Eril.
Eril gives him a look which must have meaning to them both.
“You are better at this than you think,” Mellia says to Venlar. “Look at the poetry you wrote.”
Venlar blushes, and then looks to Eril and says, “I have a confession to make. I used some of your music for a song for Mellia. Although then it wasn’t a song when I wrote it, just the words. Rejoice Ploughman. It… felt like what I needed to listen to when I was writing.” He winds his arm around Mellia, carefully, like he would protect her from the Sword of Humakt if he had to.
Eril thinks briefly. “I do recall the composition. I no longer feel the need to record music, however. Do with it as you will.” He and Venlar match gazes for a moment. It is Eril who looks away first, as if what he sees is not a thing he wants to look at for too long.
Venlar holds Mellia a little tighter.
Mellia holds Venlar. “Thank you, both of you! Anyway, we will give every consideration to your wisdom, Sword Lord.”
“It is seldom an error to be where you are most needed in a crisis.” Eril looks towards the house, as the door opens again. “Ah, my chief.”
Silor looks tired, but leans against the door’s frame at a polite distance. Eril just looks back to the pair, as if to check whether they have anything more to say.
Mellia thanks Eril again and wishes him a good day.
- 1Also known as bid for plot hook.