What Is Important?

Valseena — 1626 05 100

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Context

The day after Storm Bull’s holy day, in Prax. [[[s02:session-28|Session 28]]]

Events

The morning after the walktapus invaded the camp, Valseena’s bison still needs her attention, and during that time, including while she gathered some of the herbs required, Berra stands guard.

She has a horrible, hacking cough, but is still apparently paying attention to the landscape.

Valseena seems a bit distracted, perhaps her mind is elsewhere, she’s taking care of the bison okay but keeps looking off to the distance

“Sup?” Berra says after a while. “Seeing something I don’t?” So apparently she is watching all directions, not just outwards.

She seems to collect herself. “Nothing. Everything’s fine” – but you see her looking toward the party’s tents.

“Right. Incidentally it would still be truthful to say that you don’t see anything and you’re thinking.” Berra grins. “But we can pretend you did if you like?”

Valseena grins ruefully. “I am a bit distracted. It’s nothing really.”

“Nah, s’cool.” Berra shrugs, and turns away, and changes the subject. “I owe you my life again. You’re not getting a bison this time.”

Valseena considers this for a second. “that’s okay” – she grins – ” I don’t need another bison. This one will be just fine once I’ve taken care of him”

Berra chuckles, splutters, “Oh no,” and keeps smiling despite the next coughing fit hitting her.

“Can I help you? Do you need some more healing?” Valseena looks concerned

Berra puts a hand up, and shakes her head. “Nah. Jus’ clearing yukky stuff.” She manages to wink at Valseena. “Ugh. Gonn hafe to spit. Sorry…” And for that, she steps away. “Yuk.”

Valseena nods. “You don’t always have to be so tough – if I can help, don’t feel it’s weakness to ask. We’ll need you at full strength the next time trouble comes calling.”

Berra nods. “Don’t worry. I know that. If I’m needed, I can fight. But there’s nothing wrong… that you can deal with… I think. S’a stupid idea not to tell your commander how you are.”

Valseena bites her lip as if considering asking Berra something.1Berra fails Insight (Human) meaning she does not notice much subtext in this conversation.

The Humaki adds, “And I’m my commander,” to make it clear.

Valseena smiles and nods. “It’s nice to be the master of your own fate.”

Berra shrugs. “Kiiiinda. I’m my commander until I get back to Boldhome. But yes. True freedom is found in deciding, and if you decide to serve that’s freedom.” She is already bouncing back from the coughing. Her eyes take another trek around the horizon, back and forth, flickering from point to point and then doing a long sweep.

Valseena seems to consider this. “I have always just been at the disposal of my tribe. Others have made my decisions for me. I am finding this experience somewhat…” she pauses searching for the right word. “…liberating”

Berra gives Valseena a genuine, wide smile. Her face is impressively motile, and the smile makes her ears wiggle under her leather helmet. “It’s scary. But you’re you. You’re going to Sartar now. The first god there is Orlanth, and the first thing he thought when he was born was, ‘no-one can make me do anything’.”

Valseena grins. “That sounds like a wonderful mantra”

That gets a shrug from the diminutive warrior. “The part where he killed Yelm was a bit bad,” she admits. “But it’s hard to … oh shit. You’re going to see Boldhome. Have you ever been to a city?”

Valseena looks a bit sheepish. “You have seen all the places I have ever been.”

“Riiiight. Um. A city is big. And it sits inside walls. So you’ve seen a herd of bison… Imagine a herd of buildings. All over the place. And a herd of people that live in them.”

Valseena screws up her nose as if considering this.

“That is hard to imagine. So many people all together in a fixed place.”

“Yeah. It’s noisy and loud and smelly and weird. Has great food, from all different places, but it’s… um. Don’t know the word. You can get lost. Easily. Most people know some trade-talk. Stick with us. But I don’t know where or who… pants. There is going to be a lot of politics.”

“What does politics mean?”2Valseena fails at Tradetalk.

“Uh… When chiefs talk about important things. And try to look good against each other.” Berra seems serious about that last bit; perhaps in Sartar showing off is as important as in Prax.

Valseena nods sagely. “Ah…” the next word is something incomprensibly Praxian.

“From your expression? Yes. We’re going to see the great chief, and I need to see my Lord too. So many people in Boldhome that my lord is served by people with iron, and he serves the greatest, Kallyr.”

As one of the people with iron, Berra probably means those who have more obvious right to carry it; Rune Lords and Priests.

“So tell me more about this great lord Kallyr – is he very handsome?”

“She. -yr can be for men and women. She’s an Orlan… are you looking for a husband?”

Valseena looks faintly uncomfortable. “Not looking so to speak….”

“Oh, well. Sleeping with big lords is probably a bad idea, although there’s a lady at the Earth temple who is really generous. But yeah, she’s an Orlanthi. Vingan. Like Varanis.” Sometimes Berra can be moodily quiet for hours. Other times, like now, words pour out of her limited only by her breathing.

Again Valseena looks like she wants to say something…

“I must try to become an Earth priestess if I am to get my heart’s desire”. She looks a bit pained but determined.

“Well, yeah.” Berra shrugs, and then says almost kindly. “It took me until this year to realise I wanted to be a Rune Lord. Or at least, should be one. Need to work to it.”

“It’s not so much that I want to..” she says haltingly.

She looks uncomfortable

“But it gives you something?” Berra suggests.

“Perhaps. If I can keep the attention of one with such lofty ambitions himself…” She looks back towards the tents.

Berra looks that way, and considers. “Riiiight. So. People who concentrate on Fertility don’t tend to know the tricks of Separation. In what you want, what is ACTUALLY important? Not what you think is. What IS?

She pauses apparently considering this.

“Having his admiration and affection matter more to me than my own ambitions or otherwise.” She blushes.

“Well, that’s fine. If you know that for yourself, you can plan.” Now the mettle of Berra as a warrior becomes plain, for in the middle of giving life advice she turns her attention back to the grasslands and the danger, and then back to Valseena.

Valseena seems to think this over as if trying on a new idea for size

“Yes – I can plan.” She grins. “Thank you for the advice.”

“It’s fine. The sword is not just an object. It’s a separator of all things.” Berra turns back to her task.