Love Letter2

Serala — Love Letter2

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Context

At Trueford in the Grazelands [[[g01:session-XXX|Session XXX]]]

Events

Everyone is still milling around at Trueford, trying to work out boring political stuff. This particular moment catches Serala approaching Jorrim as soon as he emerges from his tent one morning, whether that be early or late. She has apparently been sitting there on Pag, half dozing, so Jorrim may be a little startled to find a Grazelander dismounting and all but appearing in front of him with no warning.

Jorrim is more than usually surprised because he hates camping, and often spends time complaining about it. Were it not for the need to put up extra people, and venerated old ones at that, he would be inside warm and snug. Still, at least his tent is oversized as he has requisitioned some of the Order of the Manticore’s battle train. So he walks out rather than crawling. He finds Pag and Serala in his way, and blinks.

“Jorrim.” Serala’s expression is slightly odd. The usually distant Grazelander looks almost excited as she holds out a letter towards you. “What will it cost me to have you read this to me?” She shifts her weight slightly from foot to foot. “I have some rugs that you could lay on your tent floor so your feet stay warm? Or I can make you some.. arrowheads? ” She pauses for a beat as she thinks that through. “Or get Finarvi to make you something useful? I can give the arrows to him..”

Jorrim considers briefly and answers at length. “I want to move back inside as soon as I can,” he says. “Fortunately several people have already made it clear they prefer to sleep under the stars, but I suspect that rugs would not work. We so often… sleep without cover.” He hates that. “Considering, a new javelin would be a fine thing, but might be overpayment. A Lunar is generally sufficient for a letter, and another for a reply.” Only then does he put his hands out, now that Serala has been given her options.

Serala tilts her head up, looking at the clouds scudding across the sky for a long moment. “Perhaps if you were to allow the wilds to embrace you, you could learn to appreciate them?” she suggests, almost smiling for a moment. “I don’t suppose you would accept a week riding the Grazelands and sleeping under the stars as payment so…” She digs in her pouch and pulls out two Lunars, looking at them in near surprise. “Had to learn to carry coins. I still don’t understand why you put so much store in them.” With the words, she drops them into Jorrim’s outstretched hand.

“Perhaps if I were to allow the wilds to embrace me, I would get grass-fleas.” He accepts the Lunars, and breaks the seal once he has put them away. He looks at the inner part for a moment. “It is in Heortling, or similar. I can read it. The writing is good and the scribe is professional and well educated. It is written at the command of another. The parchment is well chosen and holds ink correctly.”

Serala meets Jorrim’s eyes, then deliberately scratches at her hair, digging her fingers into the braid, “The fleas do bite.” she agrees, before winking slowly. She lets it go though, getting enthused at Jorrim’s words. “I only get letters from one person, usually… Varanis?” She wants you to skip to the end? The woman has no sense of responsibility with words.

When he is singing, Jorrim stands tall to perform. When he is reading, he holds himself in a subtly different way. He looks like an older man, careful.

“To Serala, from Varanis,” Jorrim begins. “I miss you. When I stare into the sky at night, I wonder where you are and if you are well. I made Xenofos write this down for me, so the words would be right.”

The Grazelander smiles, sighing softly. “Varanis.” she echoes, leaning back against Pag’s ever-reliable shoulder. “And Xenofos.” She opens her mouth to say something further, then thinks better of it, letting Jorrim speak uninterrupted.

Jorrim recites as if there is someone in love telling him things, although he is speaking in Heortling, and sometimes Esrolian.

“Golden Grazelander, dear to my heart,
Sure is your hand upon the bow,
Fierce lioness, dear to my heart,
Fearsome your fury upon the field of battle.”

His Pure Horse Tongue translation of that is not good, but the tone carries over.

Serala’s eyes are wide, and she actually blushes like a youngster at the words. “I miss that woman.”

Jorrim is entirely unembarrassed as he reads on.

“You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you.
Golden Grazelander, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber,
You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you.
Keen-eyed hawk, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber.”

Perhaps he is just a little in love as he reads, his voice distant and touched by imagination.

Grey eyes open wide, and for a moment it seems Serala might reach out to stop Jorrim… but she doesn’t. She wants to hear these words, reaching out to her across half a continent, forcing memories of the Esrolian and sweet stolen moments. She is beyond a golden flush though, fiery crimson starting to creep across cheek and collarbone.

Jorrim’s voice is not just pleasant, but soothing, half yearning. He has left reading behind and begun performing once more.

“Golden Grazelander, let me caress you,
My precious caress is sweeter than honey,
In the bedchamber, honey-filled,
Let me enjoy your goodly beauty,
Agile alynx, let me caress you,
My precious caress is sweeter than honey.”

At the last, an offer and a cry of unmistakable desire, Jorrim closes the letter and offers it with a smooth movement, not to Serala, but to some imaginary holder, meaning that he has finished his task but Serala may take as much time as she wishes to acknowledge it.

Serala’s eyes are closed, her breathing a little ragged, her teeth teasing at her lower lip. After long moments of silence, she reaches out and accepts the letter back from Jorrim’s hand, holding it as something precious. “That will need… more than words.. in response.” She clears her throat, attempting to banish the softened tones, and retrieve something like command in her voice. “Thank you, Jorrim. That was beautifully delivered. I shall think upon an appropriate response.”

Jorrim bows. “I have your second coin,” he says, “And my time is bought.” Again he looks subtly different, now more like a courtier waiting for a call.

“I shall investigate the availability of lodgings within the village for you.” Serala acknowledges, for all the world like the lady of the manor bestowing a favour. “As you say, some families may be able to return to their homes soon.” And with that, she leaps up onto Pag’s back, in a completely unnecessarily flashy manner, as though performing for someone who is not there, and gallops away, right through the middle of the encampment, with a loud warcry, waking up anyone not already alert to the daybreak.

To Serala, from Varanis.

I miss you. When I stare into the sky at night, I wonder where you are and if you are well. I made Xenofos write this down for me, so the words would be right.

Golden Grazelander, dear to my heart,
Sure is your hand upon the bow,
Fierce lioness, dear to my heart,
Fearsome your fury upon the field of battle.

You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you.
Golden Grazelander, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber,
You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you.
Keen-eyed hawk, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber.

Golden Grazelander, let me caress you,
My precious caress is sweeter than honey,
In the bedchamber, honey-filled,
Let me enjoy your goodly beauty,
Agile alynx, let me caress you,
My precious caress is sweeter than honey.1Shamelessly plagiarised from the Istanbul #2461 tablet