Mellia — Sweets
????, Earth Season, Season/Disorder Week
1626 Earth Season/Disorder Week/Clayday/early morning at the temple of Chalana Arroy in Boldhome. [[[s01:session-46|Session 46]]]
Mellia is lying in bed in a simple, mostly bare white room at the Temple of Chalana Arroy. Her bed has a thin, simple blanket on it. Someone got her into a white nightgown. When Berra arrives, a gaggle of white-robed young women are being herded out by a statuesque blonde in the white robes of a High Healer.
Berra gives the gaggle a glare that fails to stop them from chattering on the way past, and then knocks on the door frame, without coming in. “S’Berra,” she says, so that nobody will have to move to find out.
“Berra! Come in!” calls Mellia.
Berra does just that, a shining image of a warrior in bronze. She has her sword and shield, but has left her spear elsewhere. “Hello,” she says quietly. “How are you?”
Mellia is pulling down her nightgown at the moment. “Doing pretty well, they tell me. I am the main attraction on morning rounds. I keep expecting someone to draw a picture of my back. How are you?”
“Tired. I still need to report on the Quest to the High Sword and the Wyter Sword.” She takes off her helmet and checks the single black feather in the crest line. “But I suppose, well. You know we met a year ago?”
Mellia settles herself with her pillow so she can sit up a bit. “Has it really been that long? I don’t regret a minute of it.”
“We’ve been busy.” Berra leans over to help pull the pillow into place. “But yes. A tiny bit more, because I invited you back for Earth Season just after the cattle raid. A lot happened since then.”
Mellia nods. “A lot has happened, dear friend. Thanks. You haven’t been resting?”
“I? I’ve been mostly thinking. I was not fully prepared for what I did in Hell – I thought I would be dead Humakt. So then I got things wrong.” Berra pulls up a stool, and sits on it, drawing one leg up and then frowning down at her new greaves and putting her feet back on the floor again.
“I’m not that familiar with what Humakt does in Hell, but I thought you got everything right.”
“I managed it, but I… I didn’t realise I was going to be in charge of it. Of that decision.” She shrugs. “I didn’t come here for that, anyhow. Is there anything you need?”
Mellia considers the question. “Perhaps reassurance that Kallyr is not going to get sneaky on us again. Last time, we all got land. I could also use sweets, Venlar and more visits.” Mellia closes her eyes and smiles.
Berra does not speak for a bit, and then says, “That was not sneaky. That was political. We all knew what it was for. What sort of sweets do you like?”
“All sorts of stuff,” replies Mellia. “I’ll even settle for berries. Well, I fear politics. Last time Kallyr tried to bind us to her service. What will she try this time?”
“Please don’t. She’s my Prince and Leika’s my Tribal Chieftain.” Berra strokes the feather on her helmet with her thumb. “Our tribal chieftain. But I grew up Colymar.”
“I humbly beg your pardon,” apologizes Mellia. “Anyway, I am wondering what the Prince will do.”
Berra stands up, putting the helmet down as if to make it clear she is not leaving, and moves the pouches on her belt a bit, until she can access one and pull it free. “I can’t keep all this here,” she says. “It’s not like wearing leather. It’s weird.” But she offers it over. “Dried fruit. Nuts. Nothing with meat in. Most of the things that are not just plain are from Esrolia, but mind the wrapped bit. It’s honeyed ginger and it bites back.”
Mellia perks up. “Honeyed ginger? Berra, you are a marvel! I will only eat half.”
“No, it’s fine. I got a lot. That’s a week’s for me, and I can visit the market before then. It’s for if I’m out for long runs anyhow. I won’t be for a while.” She shrugs. “I brought back more than I meant to for D’Val.”
Mellia smiles. “He’s a lucky duck. Thank you, Berra.”
“Not a problem.” Berra sighs. “He’s still Acting High Sword. He’s not enjoying that. I wish I could have done more for him, but he’ll probably be relieved of it soon.” She smiles, and strokes the feather again, almost lovingly.
“Probably,” Mellia agrees. “The Emeritus High Sword should be fit to stay up all day soon. He’ll need to get back into shape slowly.”
“He’s not going to be a Priest for a while, I think. Except the Wyter Priest, but that’s different. I don’t know who’s going to be heading the Regiment, to be honest. There’s an obvious choice, but there are others who would be good.” Once the feather is properly smoothed, Berra leaves it alone.
“Hmm. I hope your commanders choose wisely. Oh! My poor robe got rather dirty and has some damage. Should I get it cleaned and repaired, or put it away just the way it is?”
“It’s been to hell. I think it’s probably… well, so’s my armour, and I cleaned that. But I’m going to give this feather back to D’… back to Sword D’Val. It was white when he gave it to me, and that’s a Humakti mystery.”
“I was wondering if it was a new feather. Cleaned and mended, then. I’m not sure I blundered into any mysteries during the quest, except maybe the villages.”
“We all lived through the biggest one, but little things changed. Wear what you wore. If it does nothing else, it will remind you of what you did.” Berra picks at a fingernail with another fingernail, thoughtfully.
“I will do that. I wonder if I should tell the merchant what I did in the robe? It had been meant for her niece, but the niece died in battle.”
“Yes. Let her know she helped, and that Sartar lives.” Berra sounds very determined about that last part.
“I will tell her,” Mellia promises, “just as soon as I get out of here. They tell me that I am healing well, in spite of being stupid enough to go see the Flame relit.”
Berra nods, quietly. “Well done. I didn’t say that. You’re a good Chalana Arroy.”
Mellia blushes. “I try hard. Thank you. You do your god a great deal of honor, Berra.”
“I hope so. I have a Wyter Priest to face.” Berra drums her fingers on her knee as she thinks. “Has Venlar come back yet?”
“No. He had messages to carry to his father, including one from me. I’m not sure when Venlar will be back. I want to write him a letter.”
“I can ask Xenofos to come by, if you like? Or find another scribe.”
“I think I’d rather have Xenofos, if he doesn’t mind.”
“I’ll ask him.” Berra closes her eyes, falling silent for a moment.
“You should rest, Berra. Sleep, even.” Mellia sounds concerned.
“Maaaaybe. I’m still sorting things out in my heart. It’s how I think. I should probably go for a run, not a sleep. Motion helps.”
Mellia says gently, “Then go run. Be careful, Berra. Thank you for visiting me. If you run, I will nap.”
“We can each do what we do best, then. I’ll get you more fruit if you want, or sweets.” She gets up, putting her helmet on carefully. Even with the extra crest feather there is no danger of her striking the top of the doorframe on the way out. She is short enough to walk straight under it.
Mellia smiles. “Sweets. Thanks, Berra.”
Berra grins, and goes out with a mission in mind.
Later, sweets of all sorts are dropped off.