Mellia — Problems At Home
????, Storm Season
The start of Storm Season. Mellia is in Wilmskirk following Silor’s return. [[[s02:session-18|Session 18]]]
Jengharl sees Mellia in the morning, once Venlar has gazed at her happily for a while and then got up and then sighed happily and volunteered to get her breakfast.
“Things have been interesting here,” is how he starts. “Like when two dancers meet, and they circle, showing off.”
Mellia slowly nods. “I hope Kallyr and Leika have forgiven each other.”1Narrator: “They had not, in fact, forgiven each other.”
“They are the dancers. Leika says the failed Lightbringers’ Quest damaged Sartar. That the herds and the crops of anyone allied with Kallyr did badly this year. It’s a powerful call, and it was a terrible omen. It has settled down at the lower levels but Kallyr has pride as much as Leika. Leika could never back down, and Kallyr pushed her. It… is divisive. Fortunately that is what father is good at, but I don’t think he will be able to heal the big rift. Just small ones.”
“The Flame of Sartar should help heal these things. I don’t understand why the crops and herds didn’t prosper. I wonder if I should go on pilgrimage or just avoid Boldhome.”
“Because it was bound to the HeroQuest. She brought much of Sartar together, and then failed, Mellia. The community of Sartar – those that believed in her – are most affected. Maybe it is different in Esrolia, but I think if your Queen called others together and failed, she might be replaced. That is what happened here.”
“Aha. Other than asking for Ernalda’s mercy, what’s to be done?”
“This Sacred Time will have to go well, and that means doing our best for her. Father is going to be talking to a lot of people. Venlar might be needed here for a while, you know? He is a chief’s son, and being so well served by you and your friends, he can say that he is sure you are powerful and well-meaning. I do not think there will be trouble for you, but I believe there is tension. It is important you make your own decisions, though. If the other Lightbringers were here it might be harder, but you are a White Lady – you heal.”
Mellia is thoughtful. “Should I remain with you a while? It may be just as well the others are in Prax.”
“I don’t know. It would probably be helpful, but you would be healing a land, not people. My lord and father may have more to say once he gets to know the situation.”
“I will gladly stay a while, if I won’t be a bother.”
“Never. And you’ll make Venlar very happy. He flew half of yesterday, to try to catch up with you.” Jengharl’s smile is like his father’s, although he looks like his mother too. He has a wave in his hair and a lighter beard than Silor. “His step-mother might be arriving soon. Silor sent her a message two days ago, so today is likely.”
“I will make Venlar happy, then. Thanks again for your hospitality.” Mellia wonders if she should go on a quest, or if that’s been overdone.
“My father’s, now. I am glad he is back.” Jengharl nods to Venlar who comes in with breakfast.
“I hope the negotiations will be done soon.”
“Yamia was doing pretty well when I set off,” Venlar says, blushing a bit. “And I love you. And we’re here. Together. The snow will let us get to the Blue Tree in a few days, but Dangerford will be high.”
“I love you too. Perhaps we should wait a bit.”
“I’m home. I can wait as long as you like.” He manages to put down the serving plank – a thin bit of wood with edges – without it falling over or pushing the table sideways. Jengharl relaxes fractionally.
“I’ll leave you to it,” he tells Venlar, “But father may have suggestions for you later.”
“I know. He’s father.” Venlar smiles. “I’ve been watching him for weeks. He’s glad to be back too.”
“I don’t blame him. Let’s have breakfast before he thinks of something for us to do.”
Venlar waves to Jengharl to dismiss him, without looking.
A few hours into the day, Silor asks Mellia to come for a walk with him. “I am going to the Council to let them know of my atonement,” he explains.
Mellia nods. “Should I wear something better?”
“No, the idea is that you should be seen. Once I leave you to go in, do what you like – come back here, or go to find others to help, or go buy something for your man. Just… walk with me so that we are seen together.”
“I am glad to.”
Mellia will buy Venlar a present after she drops Silor off.
Venlar always needs new crockery, and he broke a wine bowl or two in Esrolia. Everything gets repaired, but some of his things are starting to get fragile just from repeated mending.
Mellia will buy Venlar a set of wine bowls.
It takes a little time to select them, but the ceramicist has a boy to help carry them. Wilmskirk being a market town, there are several available, but the nicest are the white-ware with tiny brown and green flecks in, a bit like the colours of his eyes. Or there is the red clay set with the painted scenes of dancing and athletics. Or the solid, chunky, rough ones that are somehow amazingly comforting to hold, fitted to hands and not eyes. They would scratch all his furniture, though.
The white ones are the nicest, and the potter’s boy has a basket with plenty of straw to carry them.
Mellia would buy Venlar the white ones. She would look at dark slippers (for wedding props) too. And then she needs to send Jenn’s letter to the Greyrock Tula…
There are plenty of dark slippers, none of them finished so that every pair can be made for a person. Mostly, they just need a couple of stitches to finish them.
There are plenty of Sambari around, although it takes a while to spot a crowd where someone has the stasis-based Greyrock tattoo. She does not know his name.
“Excuse me, would you be going to Greyrocks?”
“I’m of the Greyrock, yes,” he says. “I’ll be heading back tomorrow morn.” He looks at the clothes she is wearing, and adds, “White Lady.”
“Would you be willing to do two White Ladies a favor?”
“I’d love to.” He stands taller. “What can I do?”
“We need this letter delivered.” Mellia takes out Jenn’s letter. I
“It’s from Jenn.”
“From Jenn of which village?” He’s obviously not from Greyrock Rise – now Greyrock Cave.
“Greyrock Cave. It was Greyrock Rise.”
He nods. “I know the place,” he says proudly. “There will be someone there who can read it.” Karlag Kanargson’s name is on it, although he could not tell.
“Thanks. Is there anything I can do for you in return?”
“No, of course not! But… if you are going that way and want to check on us?”
He looks almost embarrassed to be inviting a White Lady in.
“I will talk to my betrothed about it. We just arrived from Nochet, so we were thinking of resting.”
“Any time would be good. Just to host you. We’re just outside Greyrock Fall, where the new salt is coming from. I’m a salt worker!”
Mellia smiles. “Then I will come, with or without my betrothed.”
“We’d be delighted. And I’ll guard this letter from her with my life.” He looks proud and happy.
Mellia thanks the nice man again, hands over the letter and returns to Silor’s house.
- 1Narrator: “They had not, in fact, forgiven each other.”