Mellia — Bells And Wax
????, Earth Season, Season/Disorder Week
1626 Earth Season/Disorder Week/Fireday/early morning, at the White Grape Inn. [[[s02:session-1|Session 1]]]
Berra sleeps in the common room, as always, and is to be found outside in the courtyard practicing, as soon as Yelm has greeted the sky.
Mellia comes out to the courtyard, looking sleepy. She stays a safe distance back from Berra’s practice and watches it for a bit.
Wind Tooth greets the sun for a few minutes after Berra has spotted Mellia, although there is a wave from the middle of the form she is in, and then Berra turns towards the Palace, salutes, and does the same towards the Humakti Temple. Then, after a brief smile, she does the same for Mellia too. “Morning,” she says brightly, as Wind Tooth is re-homed.
“Good morning, Berra! Do you have time to help me with something? Have you eaten breakfast?”
“Yes, and no. I was going to just now, but I’m happy to skip it, or eat and walk.” Berra looks bouncy, bright-eyed, and ready to go.
“We get to eat and sit down,” Mellia explains. “I need to get Blue Tree to send a negotiator to Nochet.”
“Oh. Right. Do you want me to go there?” Berra makes for the door to the inn.
Mellia walks with Berra. “Do you feel able to negotiate for the village? I was going to write a letter to them and send money for travel expenses.”
“Uh, for the village, no.” Berra makes sure the door is open for Mellia, looking around at the inside with the usual habit of a warrior. “But I could go to the Blue Tree to take the message. If you don’t think you’ll need me on the way to Wilmskirk, I can do that.”
“I’d feel safer with you with us,” Mellia admits. “The message needs to be sent, though.”
Berra nods. “Then I should come. But if you’re not sure that it can be read, and you want speed, send a scribe, or a herald.” She leans in behind Rondrik’s counter, and picks up some bread, cheese, and beer from under there, all wrapped in a cloth. There is also a bowlful of slightly sad nuts, almost a year old now, and a pot of very new apple butter. “You want to be sure the message gets there.”
Mellia nods. She helps carry breakfast to a table. “Indeed I do. I woke up this morning remembering that once I become a priestess, I will need to live in Blue Tree. Isn’t it customary to pay spouses to move?”
“Ohh, right. Yes. Who’s the wife, in this case? Blue Tree Mellia? Or Saiciae Mellia? I think those would be different, but I don’t know how different. It’s not a usual situation at all.” Berra briefly tries to balance everything she is carrying left-handed, before her thinking catches up with her actions and she uses both hands. She sits on a stool, all perched grace.
Mellia helps get breakfast settled, then sits on another stool. “Venlar and I are planning on an equal partnership. So it would be Venlar moving to Blue Tree.”
“If it’s an equal partnership, it might be that your current Clans pay each other, and then you move. That’s probably easiest, but almost certainly not what is going to happen.” She pours beer for both of them, and starts crumbling cheese onto bread spread with apple sauce.
Mellia eats her bread with just apple butter, but gobbles some nuts. “I was afraid of that.”
Berra nods. “How much say are you going to try to have in it? I don’t know how Noble weddings work. Do you have any?”
“Usually not. The negotiators normally do all the work. I want as much say as possible, of course. Otherwise we may end up moving to Nochet.”
“Well, if that gets negotiated, you can always leave afterwards, so make sure they know what will happen.” Berra cuts her food apart and starts to eat it in neat, polite bites, quickly. “If it is to be an equal marriage, you might have to think about how Orlanth is portrayed in Esrolia, and let Venlar know about that. He’ll be shocked, probably.”
Mellia laughs. “I’ll tell him.” She eats some breakfast. “He may already know about Orlanth being the first of Ernalda’s husbands.”
Berra scoops up another delicate bite. “You’ll want at least three people. A law-giver, an negotiator, and a bodyguard. Maybe more guards, depending on the situation there. Dangerford got pretty bloody, and the roads are never good after a battle.”
“Ow, I may not be able to pay for that many people to come to Nochet,” laments Mellia.
“They will travel as free people, not nobles,” Berra points out. “A wheel would be more than enough. If you don’t have one, I can lend it to you. Pay me back when you’re safely married.”
“Oh, I’ve got that many lunars,” Mellia says. “That’s a relief.”
Berra nods. “Let the messenger know, or let the message say, as much about Venlar as possible. They will learn more in Wilmskirk, but they need to decide who they should send, so if you know how much he owns, Make sure they know. They might not realise he’s the second son of a Chief, for example. Or that he’s got unmarried siblings. Hides, followers. Thralls, I suppose. And what you know that his Clan can bring.”
“I have no idea how rich his Clan is,” Mellia says, ” but I can mention the rest.”
“Rich enough to throw a feast without notice, martial, and his father is well respected in the Confederacy.” Berra takes a petite sip of beer.
Mellia nods, taking mental notes.
Berra stares off into the air, thinking. “Mention the names of his sister and his brother if he’s married. I didn’t find out. There might be songs about the prices paid there, although Habela lives at home so she might have married in-Clan.” Then it’s back to eating delicately, carefully, and fast.
“I don’t know the name of his eldest brother,” Mellia points out.
“Jengharl. He went to Dangerford. I don’t know if he’s come back.” Berra considers that. “If the vanguard’s getting back here… we might meet him him Wilmsk… there will be an army going the same way as us.”
“Which might not be a bad thing.”
Berra shrugs. “Yes, but many of them will know the Clan. They won’t know… it’ll be complicated. We’ll need to work out how to deal with that. It’s not a thing I’ve fully thought through yet. So anyway, we might meet Jengharl at Wilmskirk. But put that we know he went off to the battle.”
“I will,” says Mellia between bites of bread and apple butter.
“Uh… his father’s a notable warrior? I think he fought against the Lunars, but I don’t know. Yamia wasn’t speaking to me so much as telling me things. It was strange.”
“Yamia is strange,” Mellia agrees.
“That might come up.”
Berra thinks while eating, and finally says, “I don’t know of anything more I should add. Make sure they know your status too.”
“Oh. I never told them.”
“The Wyter might have let them know, and they’ll have asked. And we’re famous. So they might know, but set it out for them anyhow. And they’ll never have seen Nochet.” She pronounces it the Heortling way. “So when we’re there, you might need them to be guided around a lot. A set time before they start talking, just to get them used to the place.”
Mellia nods. “I hope they like Nochet.”
“It might be best to find them a place out of town to stay in, at least at first. But that’s up to your House, and they’ll probably want every advantage possible.” Berra has finished food and beer, and more food.
“Oh, they will,” Mellia predicts. “Besides, we have plenty of room for guests.”
Berra nods to that. “I know. I don’t really want to stay there, but I should.”
“You really should,” Mellia says. “I’d miss you if you didn’t.”
Berra grins, briefly touched. “Maybe on the roof. I like the rooflines.”
“You and Varanis.” Mellia sounds exasperated, but she’s smiling.
“Bouncy.” Berra boings her forefinger over the plates and bowls and the amphora of beer. “The views are good. Not as good as Boldhome, of course.”
“No, but there are many more gardens. I just hope I won’t be needed at Blue Tree while we’re gone.”
“We can’t really… well, I think we could go there. It’s peaceful and out of the way. But I’d really hate to be wrong. And… there will be hotheads even there. People who decide we should have…” Berra takes a breath before saying in a smaller voice, “Supported the Colymar.”
Mellia tries to hug Berra. “It will all come out in the wash, as my mother’s servants used to say. They will understand. It will be fine.”
Berra hangs onto the hug for a bit. “Maybe,” she says. “But we might have to help.”
“We will find a way,” Mellia promises. “Want me to set Irillo and Dormal the problem?”
At Dormal’s name, Berra’s expression freezes. “No.”
“Just Irillo, then? He’s good at this sort of thing.”
“It’s a Tribe thing. So thank you, but no. It’ll help to have time pass, so I know what is happening.” Berra pours herself more beer. “Right now, there’s nothing really to do.”
Mellia nods. “I’m sorry I upset you.”
“Not you,” Berra says quietly. “Things. I’ll move past it. That’s what I do.”
Mellia nods. “I suppose,” she says, “I had better go find a scribe, or a herald.”
“And maybe a … well, I’d be happier with a herald than a scribe, if they don’t go in a group that way.” Berra holds her beer carefully, still sitting politely.
“A herald, then. I’ll go find Varanis; I think she wants to visit a certain merchant with me. Thanks, Berra.”
Berra nods briefly, and gets up, grabbing the bowl of nuts. “I’ll tidy up. Rondrik went out to go shopping, I think. He’ll be opening to other customers soon.”
Mellia nods and goes upstairs in search of Varanis.