Mellia — Sfd
????, Fire Season
Fire Season/Week/Clayday/very early morning, in the Cinder Fox village. [[[s01:session-42|Session 42]]]
Note that everything in the second typeface is in Esrolian.
Some time just after dawn, when Yelm is rising and Orlanth is rebelling and vortex clouds are dancing in front of the Emperor, Venlar and Mellia come out towards the bothy. Behind them are a couple of people carrying food and drink. Out there already are Irillo and Berra, as well as a sprinkling of guards from the household, at a discreet distance.
“We might be interrupting something,” Mellia tells Venlar. “Let’s find out.”
“It’s fine. They have their clothes back on.” He is almost certainly joking.
Mellia raises her voice. “Hello you two! Want some breakfast?”
Berra looks over, and says, “Food?” in a hopeful voice.
“Food,” Mellia promises. “May I introduce Venlar Silor’s son?”
Berra steps away from Irillo with a nod, leaving him looking thoughtful. “Pleased to meet you, finally,” she says, staring openly at the young man. “The honour is mine, on this day of Earth,” he replies formally. “Berra Jarangsdottir.”
Irillo raises his hand in greeting, “And to you. I’m Irillo Saiciae.”
Mellia beams. “I think you have much to talk about. We brought you breakfast, Irillo, but I do want to talk to you at some point.”
“Goldentongue. At least part of your reputation precedes you.” Venlar smiles like someone who did not briefly meet Irillo in his room the night before, and swirls his hand in a sign of Air.
Berra stays in a formal, almost protective position by Irillo.
Venlar even has a slight, but polite, bow. The smile stays, apparently genuine.
“Well, I follow Goldentongue, yes.”
“Then the most beautiful of spies led me wrong,” he says, reaching for Mellia’s hand. “I have forgiven her. She spoke well of you.”
Mellia takes Venlar’s hand and smiles at Venlar. “Irillo’s modest, too.”
There’s a little twitch of the Issarian’s lips. “So, shall I expect this place to feature on my travels often, cousin?”
Venlar manages an innocent look that Eril could never pull off.
“I think so, cousin,” Mellia replies, “just as soon as I learn to read and write.”
Venlar continues to radiate proud innocence.
He adds, in rapid Nochet accented Esrolian, "Would you rather Grandmother didn't know of this, or that I should enter negotiations on her behalf?"
Berra very professionally fails to laugh out loud.
In rapid Esrolian, "Don't tell Grandmother yet, please.
Venlar blushes. “Please be aware that ‘grandmother’ and ‘negotiation’ are both easy words to pick out,” he suggests, and adds. “Perhaps some sort of code?”
"Who am I to deny you a pleasing amusement cousin. And amusement is pretty easy too."
Mellia blushes, beams at Irillo and tries to give Irillo a cousinly peck on the cheek.
“That is better,” Venlar says carefully. “Now I have no idea if you are talking about me or my future.” He releases Mellia so she can hen-peck her cousin.
“Of course. Just a sacred discussion from our strange foreign ways.”
“I don’t mind you calling me easy,” Venlar says carefully, “But pretty might not work. Notable, perhaps. After all, the lady is about to learn noting.” He seems, for the love of Orlanth, totally serious.
Berra looks like she is waiting for someone to attack Irillo so she can kill them, but her heart is obviously not really in it.
Mellia just seems full of smiles today. “Berra, Venlar has some questions about the High Sword. Irillo, perhaps we should hold these sacred discussions elsewhere and let these two chat?”
Berra gives Irillo a sudden look, and then looks at Venlar in confusion, and back to Irillo. “Do you … uh…?”
“Need you to save me from being eaten by were-rubble runners? No.”
“I wasn’t going to be leaving here. I just wondered if you had anything to add.” Berra shrugs. “Don’t forget to take some food with you. I’m eating for most of the day right now, I think.” She glances over at the bothy and then down to the table that the thralls have left.
Mellia waits, all smiles.
Venlar says, “More can be arranged, if you like,” to the Humakti. Berra shrugs and replies, “I already ate breakfast once, so this will probably be enough.”
Irillo offers his arm to his cousin, and ambles away. There may drift the odd word of Esrolian, "What will you do if you're with child?"
Venlar explains to Berra in the background what ‘encenturi’ would be in Heortling, as she helps herself to food.
Mellia takes Irillo’s arm and ambles with him, speaking strictly in Esrolian. “Retire to Blue Tree Tula for at least a few years. If it's a boy, I may send him here. Venlar is his father's heir if anything happens to his older brother.”
"As long as you have a plan. Either way, I'll be swinging here in my loops, I think. As well as the Blue Tree."
"I would be glad of that, Irillo. I need to learn how to read and write in the language here."
"It's the same as at home. You just write Heortling words, rather than real ones."
"I will keep that in mind. Would you teach me? I think I am not Xenofos' favorite person right now."
"I'm not very good with a stylus, but I have the basics, and I can teach those. I'm better with my numbers.
"Thank you. Speaking of Xenofos, he has a very serious problem. "
"Mmm. I had surmised as much. Was it from the Chaos fields?"
"He refused to tell me. He's been mixing poppy seeds with wine for about a year."
"Well... it's not uncommon back home. But it makes men weak, and foolish."
"He's a hollow shell of the man he once was, Irillo. Is there any way to cut off his drug supplies?"
"Not easily. I can find his suppliers, maybe, but there will always be someone selling. I think this battle is yours, to make him resist it."
Mellia slumps. "He won't let me help him, Irillo. He takes drugs to escape his nightmares. He won't talk about the nightmares, won't believe his life is in danger."
"Work out his history, perhaps? Work out what has given him the nightmares?"
"For that, I might have to go home to Nochet."
Mellia adds, "Although Dormal had an idea, which I need to discuss with Nala."
"I think it's probably better I not ask. Maybe talk to him? Compare notes. We know it won't have been something back home, because we would have heard. Maybe at the siege, or after? The battle?"
"I will try, but he is so stubborn, Irillo."
"Do you want me to try to get him to talk?"
"Please, Irillo. Maybe he'll talk to you."
"Very well, I shall try."
Mellia looks relieved. "Thank you. How have you been? Have your eyes been hurting?"
"More flashes of places I haven't been, and people I don't know how I think I do. It is exhausting. And horrible. He does things that need doing, but that I couldn't and wouldn't. And he suffers, but he knows it is necessary, so he does it anyway."
"The High Sword is one dedicated man, then. I hope his reason for doing all those horrible things is worth the price he'll pay."
"That's the terrifying thing. I think he feels that way. And when I'm being him, sometimes I know it too."
"That is terrifying. Do you want to talk about this now?"
He shakes his head, "No. No, when he is out of my head, perhaps."
"I hope that will be soon. Do you know where we need to go next?"
Another shake of the head. “Boldhome, maybe?”
Mellia says, “That’s the logical place to go.”
“Maybe.. I just… I can’t help feeling there’s something. Whether it’s revealing the things…. or finding the treasury. Speaking with our host, perhaps.”
“I need to do that anyway; shall I go with you?”