1627, Dark Season…
In Boldhome, Varanis talks with Lenta at the White Grape, revealing her latest secret. Sometime after Wolf at the Door (Session 2.55).
There’s a knock on Lenta’s door, interrupting her singing.
“Yes, it is open.” comes the answer in a pleasant voice.
Varanis pokes her head through the door. “Hello, Lenta. I thought that was your voice I was hearing.”
The smaller woman turns her head towards the door, “Oh, it was you Varanis, come on in.”
The Vingan slips into the small room and glances around.
On the small table there is a piece of parchment open. The window shutters are not on, leaving only a single layer of pig bladder between the cold outside and the room. Various pieces of feminine attire are in evidence but in neat order. There is a faint smell of violets.
Lenta stands up and reaches for the hands of the Vingan.
Varanis allows it. “It’s not what you’re used to, but you have what you need for the moment?”
“Thanks for asking, Varanis.” She looks her with those green eyes “I do. Your hands are cold.” She sinks her gaze to look at the said hands.
She puts her hand over the Vingan’s to warm them. “Yes?”
Varanis flounders for the right words, then blurts, “I’m pregnant.”
Smaller woman’s head jerks upwards as she looks at Varanis with eyes wide open. She shakes her head looking at the Vingan before the words “Ernalda be praised!” come out in a stunned voice.1 Lenta does come from a rival clan… and Varanis knows and might even remember that.
“I’m not certain I feel particularly blessed just now,” Varanis admits.
“Oh, but it is a blessing.” Lenta looks puzzled. “But, but… I don’t understand.”
“Which part don’t you understand? You’re Ernaldan, you know how these things work,” Varanis points out.2Yes, but Lenta is here and it won’t be long before this can’t be hidden any more.
“I thought Vinga… ” her brow wrinkles in thought. “But grandmother was Vingan, so obviously not always. So – who is the father? Do I know him? Or is that a secret?”
“I’m not sure…” Varanis shrugs. “Kalis suggests the baby will come next Season. That makes it likely it’s father is Praxian.”
Lenta nods slowly. “Another branch to tree of Sartar… Who know?”3Lenta’s player: Specialled her intrigue, I think Varanis’ status as kinswoman of Kallyr and Sartar is no longer a secret. Varanis’ player: Given Kallyr publicly acknowledged the relationship a year ago or more, I think a lot of people know these days.
“Thus far? King Kallyr, Kalis, and a few of my closest companions. But, it won’t be something I can hide much longer and I wanted you to hear from me.”
She nods thoughtfully. “And you wish to keep this hidden as long as possible?”
“I did. I needed to keep it quiet until I could tell the King. Now? I suppose it doesn’t matter as much now, though it means I’ll need to be on my guard more.” Varanis sounds resigned. “I need to get some clothes to carry me through the next two seasons. And Kallyr reminded me that I’ll need things for it…”
“Do you need help? I am not much of a seamstress though. And what I know of babies and their needs has seemed rather distant.” she blushes slightly.
“Yehna is here and will help. Mellia wishes to go to the market to buy some warmer clothing and I’ll keep my eyes open for other things then. I’m not sure what I’ll do. I’m not exactly made to be a mother.” Varanis pulls her hand free and flops into a seated position on Lenta’s bed. “I’m really not Ernaldan.”
Lenta folds her legs under her and sits crosslegged opposite Varanis. “No, you are a Vingan and a warrior. So was my grandmother Deravinda and she mothered five children. Those things do not rule each other out.”4Varanis might have heard of her, I rolled 38, but probably not – a seasoned veteran from Great Vingan temple of Monros but no superhero.
“My grandmother had one too, but she died before I was born, so I have no idea how she handled it all.” Varanis chews her lip. “Kallyr doesn’t want it. I don’t want Grandmother Saiciae to have it. Maybe I’ll give it to the Temple.” The Vingan seems to have forgotten that Lenta is a Hulta and that these are family matters.
“Blood will out. You can not save that child from her or his destiny by turning away from it. But you will find what is best for you two…” Lenta tilts her head. “You have hard decisions to make, Varanis. I don’t have the experience to offer you advice.”
“For now, I will focus on finding a place for us all to live.” Varanis clambers to her feet. “My apologies for disturbing you, Lenta. I just needed you to hear from me.”
“Thank you for your thoughtfulness.” She looks up at Varanis with her hands at her sides “Would you accept a hug and congratulations?”
Varanis allows herself to be hugged and returns the gesture without enthusiasm. She is very ambivalent about this whole baby thing.
“I wish I could help.” Lenta looks at Varanis “We are taught this is a blessing even when we don’t understand why. But I don’t think saying that out loud makes it any easier…” She looks around “Yehna seems very capable… I am sure she’ll be able to help you with what is needed.”
The Vingan nods. “I need to… I don’t know what I need right now. I think I’ll go lie down. I’ve taken a room here for the night. I don’t want to head up those stairs in the snow again today.”
“That is probably wise” smaller woman steals a glance at Vingans stomach and then looks at her eyes “I mean the stairs could be pretty slippery with the snow…”
“Not you too!”
“It was slippery outside… And windy.” Lenta looks at Varanis. “Stupid and risky climb for anyone, that is all.”
Varanis makes an inarticulate sound and flees the room.
Lenta follows to the door to check where the Vingan disappears.
Varanis slips through the door to her room, closing it firmly behind her.
Lenta nods and walks back into her room. She removes the frame with a skin on her window and peers out. After that she closes the shutters and the leather covering and looks at the parchment that held the words of the song she was practising…
- 1Lenta does come from a rival clan… and Varanis knows and might even remember that.
- 2Yes, but Lenta is here and it won’t be long before this can’t be hidden any more.
- 3Lenta’s player: Specialled her intrigue, I think Varanis’ status as kinswoman of Kallyr and Sartar is no longer a secret. Varanis’ player: Given Kallyr publicly acknowledged the relationship a year ago or more, I think a lot of people know these days.
- 4Varanis might have heard of her, I rolled 38, but probably not – a seasoned veteran from Great Vingan temple of Monros but no superhero.