Berra doesn’t want to talk about it

Serala — St3 Berra



Season/Week/Day/Time and Notable Context. PCs (and horses) involved. session 26


It’s an ordinary stretch of road, and Berra is walking along it rather than riding, probably for pleasure rather than religious reasons. She’s got a little, half-secret smile on her face and she is scanning the landscape with her usual intensity, but less of the expression it is so easy to mistake for fury.

“Should I even ask?” Serala has come up beside and – shock of shocks – actually swings herself down from her horse, looping the reins over the pommel of the saddle to let him follow at his own pace.

“Mm?” Berra smiles wider. “I’m going home. I can’t really believe it. I’m going to see my cousins and my Tula, and I’m going to have land there.” The smile has reached her eyes, and it’s infectious, and she dances a couple of steps in the road, gracefully. Road, beside her, clops on with his reins in her hand.

Serala grins, “Maybe I should’ve given my land to you.” she notes. “But it felt right to offer it to Mellia. She is always there for us, and unlike you, my family is far from here.” She hesitates to risk spoiling the mood, but this is Serala, so she can’t help herself, when it comes to someone she considers a friend. “That wasn’t the expression I saw on your face yesterday though, when Kallyr was making her little pronouncement?”

“No, not at all – Mellia’s the right choice,” says Berra, in reply to the first, and then the second question hits her, and she stares at Serala for a moment, and then shrugs. “No, probably not.” The mood is still there, just compacted a little. Crushed, might be the word. The sweeping change of emotion that goes over Berra is pretty much what would be expected, and then she grins, and throws it off, and gives Serala a smile with only a touch of sadness in it at all. Ebullient Berra won out.

Serala takes her life in her hands, and moves a step nearer, reaching to put her arm around Berra’s shoulders. Ready to drop it if the Humakti moves away, ready to defend herself if it provokes a killing rage… “Can I help?” she asks. “And ‘no’ is fine and then we can go back to you telling me about your family, so I will be able to guess who is who.”

Berra looks at the hand as if to say ‘please do not land that on me’, and keeps on walking, but she does it with a sigh, a finger to her lips, and a gesture to pause, rather than to stop. It takes a little while for her to speak, and she says, “It concerns Humakti secrets,” carefully.

The hand is duly retracted, having never reached Berra, Serala lifting her hands in a gesture of submission. She nods to the comment, “Onto which I would not dream of intruding. I just.. you are my friend, I think. I hope. And in my mind, that means if there is something I can do to aid you, then I should offer.”

“Mm. I don’t think there is, but let me try to explain what I can. Being Humakti means that I understand Death should be final. If that ritual had been to bring someone back from Hell, no Humakti could have done it – it would be like asking Yelm not to shine at noon. As it was, the matter was not religiously forbidden, but it still affected me. I allowed Voria back to life. And now I’m seeing her living.” She shudders slightly.

“I think I understand.” Serala admits, having walked on in silence for a while to dwell on the worlds. “A sense of not-rightness?”

“Mmmm….” Berra shrugs. “I’d prefer not to explain,” she says. “But think of it as discomfort. The problem is that she got sung back into the world, so the error in the song has to be in me. The part of me that thought she was dead. I’m holding on to the effects. Really, I just need to live with it.” Another, subtly different shrug.

Serala sighs softly. “Yours really is not an easy party, is it, Berra.” More a statement than a question. “So. Have you any plans for your land? Riding school, perhaps..?!”

“It’s worth it. People don’t have to die in pain, because I take a little of the burden. I’m proud of that.” She answers the question that is not there anyway, and then answers the other one with a blort of laughter. “I’m going to turn over to my sister to manage. She will want a herd, but I can probably help her to buy that too. Then she’ll be rich in the village, and I’ll be able to spend money on things that are needed outside it. You know we have horses, right?”

“Really? Why no, Berra, I assumed you thought they were four legged demons that had never darkened your for before, truth be told!”

“They’re…. short. And funny. And my mother had a herd. But they’re mostly too short for riding. Amazingly tough – you can see them wandering the snow cliffs and kicking trees down. And they’re really furry most of the year. And one year we had a golden-maned stallion on the cliff, and the foals were amazing. But mostly, the younger people of the village run with them. They’re driving and food animals, unless they are really big, but you can apparently use them to make other lines tougher, or hardier, or maybe hairier. And like I said, short.” She indicates the rough height of a moorland pony.