Mellia — Seeing Berra Again
????, Storm Season
Storm Season, late in 1626. [[[s02:session-29|Session 29]]]
Venlar has gone off to pay his respects at the Temple, he says. As he did that yesterday as well, either he is having a very sudden affair, or he is going to the Temple of Humakt, to see his uncle.
About half an hour after he left, the door bursts open and Berra bursts in, all smiles and searching and, “MELLIA!” And then she sobers completely and does her best to look serious. “Aheh. Hi.”
Mellia beams, yells “BERRA!” and tries to give Berra a hug.
Berra hugs back briefly, although she is obviously still exhausted from the run here. “Missed you.” Even in her armour she can pick Mellia up.
“I missed you too. How have you been? Are the others here? “
“Yes, if you haven’t seen them yet you have just been unlucky. Varanis might be at Temple or the Palace. Everyone is here including the Praxians. We all got back fine.” Berra flags down Rondrik and orders beer and a plate of bread and cheese, indicating Mellia as well as herself.
“Wonderful, then I can see them.. I am glad you are all well. I did get the blessing of Ernalda for Venlar.” Mellia smiles warmly at Rondrik.
Berra’s warm smile is for Mellia. “I’m glad. I… you deserve good.” She accepts an amphora of beer and a couple of cups as Rondrik brings them over, and pours carefully. “For you, yeah? S’not the strong stuff.” Her words are Esrolian, but closer to the gutter than the stars. Her accent is distinct no matter which language she speaks.
“Not the strong stuff,” Mellia says. She begins to eat and drink. “Your Esrolian is getting better. The blessing is for Venlar. It’s a lot like medicine.”
“I remembered how to speak it when I was there, but there were the Praxians as well, and the Cinder Foxes, so I was mostly using Trade Talk. Easiest.” Berra cuts a lump of bread for herself. “Oh. But Esrolian. We got in a couple of days ago. If you didn’t see Varanis she might be at the Temple of Uleria – Xenofos is there. They’re helping him.”
“Thank the gods,” Mellia says between bites of cheese. “If the priestess of Uleria can rid Xenofos of those dreams, I will make a thank offering.”
Berra nods. “To get back for the holy day, we had to push past the dragon. It was pretty bad. And we fought a thing called a Walktapus which breathed bad air at us. And a Storm Bull challenged me but it was just a small thing. And we… well, it was all very full. I didn’t really get to speak with you in Prax but it was still good to see you.” Words tumble from Berra until she remembers to breathe.
“A what? A thing that breathed bad air? I knew you would need me. I am glad you survived.”
“We had someone called Valseena. She’s amazing – she sort of reminds me of you. I think you’ll like her – she is staying here too.” Berra beams, an usual sight for anyone but Mellia. “Yeah. Bad green air. It had a body like a man but its head was an actual octopus, can you believe it? And it didn’t die. I had to use serious magic to kill it.”
“I would like to meet Valseena. That thing must have been a chaos monster.”
“Very much, yes.” Berra pauses in building a tower of cheese to slice it from the top and eat tiny fragments. “It was near the block.” As if she has just remembered something she puts her hand to her sword for a moment, and then gets on with food.1Mellia passes Scan.
Mellia says,”Near the Chaos Swamp. Figures. Do I want to know about that sword?”
“Eh?” Berra looks down at it. “It’s not a problem,” she says. “Although it’s a Death thing. It’s going to be mine, when I get things right. Until then I’m carrying it – looking after it. It’s part of a myth.” Her left hand rests briefly once more on the pommel, which is split to make the hilt into a Truth Rune.
Insight: Berra likes this sword, and cares for it. The way she touches it is like someone stroking a child’s hair, or playing with an Alynx’s ears. She seems wary of it, and respectful, and in awe, but she also loves it.
“Congratulations. I am glad for you. Although I think sometimes that everyone has done too many quests.”
“I…” Berra considers while making a pile of cheese to eat. “I don’t think so. I … times have changed. We’ve got to change too. We can’t rest as much as we used to, any more.” She gives Mellia an awkward look as she lifts up the pile held in a clump of bread. “We’re getting to a time when we can change things. How can I not?”
Mellia nods, then eats some bread. “I wish you luck, Berra. That reminds me, wedding negotiations are still going on. Blue Tree weighs on my mind. I should go there soon.”
“Two seasons isn’t a huge-long time for that sort of thing. I guess it’s going alright if there are no problems yet.” Berra gives Mellia a look of sympathy. “I want to as well. See Yehna and Haran and the rest. He’ll be bigger now. He might be crawling, and need to be tied to a post.”
Mellia snickers. “I want to see that.”
“Oh, I guess you don’t do that at all in Nochet! When you don’t want to carry them and they’d otherwise get everywhere and eat too much dirt, you bang a peg into the ground and put a cord around them to keep them there, and then they can crawl into a big circle but not in the way of the horses.” Berra grins, nostalgic. “Apparently I took off one day before mum realised I could crawl. Turned up on a rock looking confused.”
Mellia chuckles. “I will have to remember that trick.”
“Something to gnaw on that they can’t swallow all at once is good too. But beware if they start making toilet noises.” Berra winces. “Bad timing can be bad.”
“I hope my timing won’t be bad. I still don’t know if Venlar can sire children. We will see what the gods send.”
Berra gives Mellia another sympathetic look. “Surely… I mean…” she trails off and thinks. “Oh. Because of the way he was born?”
Mellia nods. “I have a cure for him, but I forgot to ask about children. I don’t want to ask Ernalda for another favor.”
“Maybe just the magic to do it? You can probably buy that?” As a Humakti, it is likely Berra has not been up to date with what Ernaldan can do for many years.
Mellia nods. “There’s magic to do that. Some of my relatives have used it. I don’t know if I want children that badly. There’s no rush.”
“You’ll have a lot of time and people to look after. Do you have any idea who your household will be?”
“Not really,” Mellia admits. “I am keeping the children for the moment. They want to remain together and the boy is too young for a temple.”
Berra nods. “Venlar has a lot of thralls. And there’s Yamia, of course. And anyone you hire at the Temple, but he can probably supply you with someone.”