Serala — Road To Wilmskirk
????, Fire Season
Fire Season/Statis Week/Fireday
On the road to Wilmskirk with Berra
Berra is walking to Wilmskirk, as Road was left there. She is taking short but frequent breaks on Billy, and it is notable that every time she gets off, she clears her expression, and stretches out her legs before she does. Rather harder to notice1Scan: Critical, but visible from time to time, is that she sometimes winces as her feet touch the ground. But, every time, it seems to get easier. To most people it would just seem like fidgeting, but she is definitely resting instead of merely lazing.
Serala is keeping quiet.. what a shock. However Pag is often to be found at Billy’s side when Berra is there, and after a few repeats of the ground-wincing, reliably in the area, as though to hide Berra from inquisitive eyes as she dismounts. However, the Grazelander is unsure how to approach her friend after being pushed away in the cave. Try again and risk overstepping bounds? Stay far away and give Berra her space? Uncertain of herself, she opts for the middle ground; simply being there, should Berra feel like speaking.
After a few hours, as the familiar King’s Road unwinds before them, Berra makes up her mind about something, and hops off, forgetting to brace herself first, and swears quietly. But then she gets on with what she was doing, in this case approaching Serala. She veers in that way, glances up, and then walks a little out of the path of the bison-unicorn-cavalcade.
Pagliacci moves after Berra with no apparent urging from his rider, shadowing the Humakti. Serala opens her mouth as though to speak, then closes it abruptly again, apparently more afraid of saying the wrong thing than she is of silence. She offers a tentative smile, then wipes that off her face as well, in case smiling is inappropriate after what Berra has been through.
Berra gives a tiny smile herself, maybe in answer to Serala’s. It is a good attempt for someone rescued only yesterday.
“I talked to Dormal, and thanked him. What you said made it easier.” It sounds almost like her, but she is a little too light, too offhanded.
Serala tilts her head to one side. “Did the crow not go down easily?” she asks, echoing the offhand manner. “If he made it difficult for you, tell me. I have no specific axe to grind.. or broadsword to polish.. but I will cheerfully have Pag leave a pile of gifted dung outside his tent every morning from now to eternity if he tried to make anything of the situation.”
“Oh no, not at all!” Berra looked surprised. “He and I knew what had happened, that was it. I don’t think he wants to feel I owe him anything, I guess. But it’s done. It was hard because I didn’t want to speak to him, not because of him.” Berra avoids a tuft of grass by stepping over it with a fluid motion, and hardly winces at all once her foot lands.
Serala inclines her head, “No-one owes anyone anything now.” she smiles. “I saved his life, he saved yours and you and I? We are family.” She brushes her hand against the tattoo that she acquired while with your clan. “So the circle is complete.”
Berra grins, rubbing her left wrist over her abdomen, the tattoo safe under her armour. “Yes. But on that subject, you said about giving me salt? I don’t need it, you know?”
“We appear to have an abundance of salt.” Serala notes, almost cheerfully. “Some is useful. Too much is an imposition. But I would give you what you need, Berra. You are family. I … do not know … what happened in that cave. I do not need to know, unless you need someone to speak to. But I would help you, if I can. But you have withdrawn, battling your own demons. I don’t know what to offer.”
“It was pretty bad,” Berra admits, looking away. Then she apparently shrugs it off. “But not anything I am going to think about right now. Sell your salt. Buy horses. You have about a horse-worth of goods there, maybe more. Or you could give it to your Temple, or Mellia, or use it to buy wisdom.” She rolls out her shoulders as she walks, easing her muscles.
“You think I need wisdom?” Serala tosses her head in fake-haughtiness. “I think you’ll find it’s not me that keeps running off alone without telling people where. I could point in other directions for that.” She sighs, “Perhaps my temple. It might pay for some training. I need training.” She isn’t going to push about what happened to Berra-the-Private. The offer has been made, it’s out there, and can be left as such. “So today you walk. Tomorrow, what are your plans?”
“I walked off,” Berra says coldly. “I did not run.” For a moment her expression is at war, and then it is peaceful. “I’ve been looking at magic. I need to condition my body. I need to do a lot of things at the Temple. But first, find out at Wilmskirk if my failure has touched everyone, and how to deal with it. Maybe send you all to the Underworld. Then Humakt probably has things to do. I can’t tell you most of those, but he fights in the Great Darkness. That might help support the Lightbringers.”
Serala just shrugs, “I’m sure they will all enjoy their glorious roles as Lightbringers.” Is that some serious discontent there for a moment? “Perhaps I should go home to Grandfather and seek his wisdom in where Yelmalio can be of use to the Epic Questors.” She shrugs suddenly, looking down at you. “You walked. Yes. And there are always things for Humakti to do. I shall leave you in peace to do them.” A nudge of her feet and Pagliacci moves away, shifting gears to a canter as she goes to take up her position at the front of the cavalcade, launching Mouse into the air to wheel overhead.
Berra lifts a hand in farewell, and keeps on walking for a while. Then she gets back onto Billy and watches the sky.
- 1Scan: Critical