The Price of Peace 2

Mellia — Peace 2



Season/Week/Day/Time and Notable Context. [[[s01:session-XXX|Session XXX]]]


The party has stopped to camp on the way to Clearwine Fort. Mellia seems to be making rounds. Varanis is off by herself, staring into the darkness. Dormal is quietly drinking. Mellia leaves Dormal and looks around the camp. Where’s Nala?

Nala’s skinning whatever is for dinner/breakfast.

Mellia wanders over and sits down, out of range of spatters. “Hello, Nala. Is this a good time to talk?”

“Sure. Just don’t get spattered.”

Mellia squirms a little farther away. “I have a tricky question for you. What will it take for Varanis to earn your respect?”

Nala is quite calm. “To stop having designs on what isn’t hers. First the box, then Tiwr. I have never met someone so entitled, so sure of what is her due. When it isn’t.”

Mellia’s response to that is, “Hmm. I hope she’ll grow out of that. The box could have ended very badly.”

“Exactly. It was really, really stupid. Giving Tiwr wine was stupid. Giving ANY mount caught between two approaching armies is just plain stupid.”
Nala sticks her knife in the leg joint of a rabbit and pops it neatly.

“I didn’t remember to tell her how Tiwr acts around wine,” Mellia admits.

“It’s not just Tiwr. Any of us, in that situation, drinking copious quantities of wine, between two opposing forces, is jackass stupid.
“I did check. As far as I can tell, it wasn’t the monolith’s enchantment that got hold of her. I think. It wasn’t exactly human and I don’t know enough about Aldryana. But I had Kalis check her out for malign influences and at least when we arrived at Boldhome she wasn’t under the influence of anything. So it was just base stupidity and greed and entitlement.”
“I still think it is a device they can track, but I can’t prove it.” She shrugs.

Mellia sighs. “I hope not, but there must be some reason for all that carving on the box. Have you and Tiwr forgiven each other yet?”

Nala lowers her voice and looks sad. “I’m hoping to strike a deal whereby we don’t drink anything but small ale unless it is a celebration of something significant . I won’t either, because fair’s fair. It will take some working up to to have the conversation, because his ego is so fragile. I have to dent it without breaking it.
“I don’t think, sadly, that the situation with Varanis’ vanity is going to improve when she walks into a country, and is given land and the mastery rune, and when her cousins are swearing fealty.” She sighs. “No survival instinct at ALL outside a city.”
“I understand some of it is Air. But, Mellia, even Koraki isn’t that flaky.”

Mellia comments, “Orlanth wasn’t born the Lightbringer. He grew to the stature of a hero who could save the world. We cousins were all raised in Nochet. I am not sure what training Varanis got. My mother tried to raise all her daughters to be good, responsible nobles. I’m third and youngest and I didn’t entirely escape that.”

Nala nods. “I have all the respect in the world for Grandmother. But then, she has some idea of practicality and…reality, I guess. “
She grins a bit. “Earth.”

Mellia chuckles. “Grandmother serves Ernalda, the Mother of us all. I am beginning to think the thing to do is to send you, Tiwr, Varanis and a horse out to camp for a week. You’d have plenty of time to learn to appreciate each other.”

“Just what I need,” says Nala drily, ” to have to guard her from every nettle and tell her which water is wet.”

“She’d learn to appreciate you in a hurry,” Mellia points out. “Perhaps at closer range, you would see her good points.”

“Oh, it was nice of her to give me the crystal, and she did a good job talking, except for hurting Sid’s feelings rather badly. But then she attacked Tiwr again, and I had already nearly lost to that ghost.”

“Varanis,” Mellia says softly, “knows she is not yet ready for the role she has been given. Why not see this as an opportunity to teach?”

” I am not going to be civil if she is going to attack Tiwr, I’m afraid. You will note I didn’t snipe at her whilst she was talking to her … damn… chutters? and kerns.” She looks sideways with again, a rare grin. “Mostly coz I had no clue what she was saying, I’ll admit, though it was easy to see when she hurt Sid. But it seemed to work. Someone even came up to Sid afterwards.” She immediately goes sad again. “Poor Sid. He is so very eager to be liked and represent his …um. Enlo aren’t a separate race, are they? No. I’m not sure what the term is. Sorry. Family is wrong because he doesn’t understand the term.”
Nala says something that sounds like a cross between gravel and a grunt. “That might be it.”

“I know next to nothing about the Uz. I’m sorry.” Mellia sighs again. “You, Tiwr and Varanis need to stop attacking each other. That camping trip is sounding better and better.”

“Tiwr hasn’t gone on the offensive at all. You can tell by the lack of perforations in your cousin.”

Mellia says, “I’ll thank him later. What else does peace require, other than an apology and learning about boundaries?”

“Leaving us alone and stopping being a survival risk. I can teach her to gut and joint easily enough. Her learning an adjective besides “MINE” would be a good first step.”

Mellia nods, but says, “I’m a survival risk.”

Nala smiles and briefly inhabits the charisma she usually wears a defense. “You are a white lady. You place yourself knowingly at risk. That’s different. You aren’t an entitled–um, you don’t wear entitlement as if it is a medal.”

“Thank you. One of the things the Great Hospital teaches is humility.”

“You do good work. All of you. I hope I wasn’t too much of an embarrassment to you when I tried to help you get some sleep. I know I was badly unhappy in Nochet and not at my best.”

“I was very grateful for the help. Perhaps that’s part of the problem. I don’t think Varanis has left Nochet before.”

“I hadn’t been to a city that large ever, yet I knew that going to the tower would have made me a liability. Maybe that’s just earth. ‘Just.'”

“Then it was wise of you to stay away.”

“I’m very earthy. Survival risks don’t survive long in Prax. The world isn’t designed to be kind to people who don’t know their limitations.”

Mellia says sadly, “No, it is not.”