Bathing Beauties

1628, Earth Season, Movement Week, ___ Day


A day which started with nothing much going on ended with the group being thrown into a very familiar Heroquest. Session 3SA.08.


And the Grazelanders wander in. Well, Serala does, at least. She may have lost Finarvi to the Street of Redsmiths…

The Temple Baths are notably good for parties. Of course they are.

And, just as at the best parties, nobody here is fazed by there being bodily fluids everywhere.

Blood is definitely best got out of clothes early, before it has a chance to really set in. Serala takes her time, looking around to judge appropriate clothing – or lack thereof. She probably just followed Varanis’ lead earlier and left to herself she will find a hot bath with lots of steam, settle there and turn into a prune.

Appropriate clothing is exactly as much as people feel comfortable wearing, which in Sartar, in the bathhouse, is usually nothing. Some do plump for towels, thickly woven wool with a nap raised, available at a small extra just-a-donation.

Skin it is. There’s nowhere to keep coins for a donation in a towel anyhow. Sploosh. Serala settles in to wait and see if anyone comes to join her. And if not, she will simply steaaaaaaam.

Lenta walks in and nods to the Grazelander. “Did you leave Finarvi somewhere, Serala?”

Serala smiles up at the Ernaldan, patting the water next to her in invitation. “He’s probably cuddling some armour somewhere. I’m sure he’ll be along in a bit, Finarvi can’t resist a good soaking. When he’s lucky, it’s even in nice places like this rather than cold muddy pools in the Grazelands.”

“I think Varanis decided to get a massage.” she looks at the bath and slides to water opposite Serala.

The Grazelander smiles – or at least quirks her lips up slightly, it’s as close as she usually gets. “I think Varanis deserves it after trying to chase down a Humakti and getting a sword slice for her trouble. That was.. unexpectedly exciting.”

“I would not have expected Berra to cut her.” The short Ernaldan answers. insight||there is mixture of fear and relief in her voice||1pfft to insight, I always fail those rolls! – Serala

“Really? I would.” Serala snorts softly, “Berra, as Eril, in a Heroquest in which they needed to escape? I would absolutely have expected that to go the way it should. I was trying to slow her down but that girl sometimes gets an idea in her head and it just won’t be shifted.”

“I saw only Berra.” Lenta looks at the Grazelander and answers quietly “And even though you talked of heroquest, I did not know she needed to make her getaway at this point.”

“Hey now!” Varanis protests, having apparently slipped into the room. “Why are my ears burning?” She’s wrapped in a simple linen robe, which she discards before stepping into the hot pool with a happy sigh. Her wet hair suggests there’s been a bucket or two of water applied to ensure she’s clean before her soak.

Serala lifts her grey gaze to regard Varanis and shifts around to make sure there is room for everyone. “Because everyone loves to talk about you? Your… impetuous nature… and dedication to duty?” Such innocence. She takes a deep breath, “You weren’t with us at the time, but we’ve been in that particular Heroquest before. I think I was even the same person… a Lunar officer. It felt familiar, so I knew what needed to happen there, for all the good it did. I’m sorry, Varanis, I did try to keep you away.”

“Yeah… all I knew was there was a rebel I needed to stop. Nearly messed that up. Again.” Ruefully, she shrugs. “At least Berra is better with a sword than I am. Also… have i misremembered something? Didn’t she say that Eril told her to wait? This doesn’t look like waiting.”

“Did she said she would wait. Or just that Eril had told him to do so?” Lenta looks at the door “But she also told Maalira that Silor could die and things could happen?”

“Sorry… Silor? Who’s Silor now?” Serala, as usual, is lost quickly, although she can add in, “Potentially Berra did wait… wait until she was separated from us? It’s the truth, it’s our issue if we interpreted incorrectly.”

“Silor is Eril’s brother,” Varanis says.

“And Berra doesn’t usually handle the truth that sort of way.”

“I’m sorry.” Serala apologises. “I do try and remember all these details, but I was probably distracted oiling Pag’s hooves or something?” She looks half abashed and half completely uncaring, all these people doing people things and politics and it just gets so very confusing…”

“I did not know who Silor is, Serala.” Lenta says reassuringly.

“He’s a bear of a man. Good looking despite his age. Well-preserved, I suppose you’d say.” Varanis waggles her eyebrows at both women and then laughs. “I quite like Silor, actually. He’s fun to fight.”

Serala sinks under the water for a moment before coming back up, water now soaked right through her hair. “We could turn old and grey speculating on why Berra went into the quest, and why. I suppose the thing is.. should we be trying to find her and help her now? Can anyone remember all the details after Irillo ran away last time?”

“He went into hiding as Eril and then I think Irillo almost got arrested sneaking out of Eril’s old bolt hole. He looked a mess when he rejoined us at the Grape and said something about how Eril had smuggled things out of the city.” Varanis frowns thoughtfully. “That’s about all I remember from then.”

Serala nods to Varanis. “Well, if we’re needed, we’ll find out, I’m sure. Although I do recall we got into it with Rajar sacrificing a chicken. I suspect we shouldn’t try that again though, it didn’t entirely go to plan last time. It was all about him reclaiming relics, which never resurfaced. Is Berra maybe trying to find them now, on instructions from His Grumpiness?”

“No, we did find them,” Varanis says. “In the marsh near Cinderfox Tula. Or rather, others found them. I was too ill. After you and Finarvi had gone to the Grazelands.”

“Ahhh!” Serala nods to that, and then pauses, confused all over again. “Hang on… so why is Berra doing it all again now?”

“I don’t know,” the Vingan says. “Something to do with his hero cult.”

Serala rolls her eyes, “Okay, yes, Eril wants to be… the Uber Humakt? He’s not just doing this because he has a chip on his shoulder about Berra’s performance on the battlefield with her ‘friend’…? Or do I just have far too little faith in human nature?”

Varanis splashes water at Serala. “He’s a Hero, Serala. He deserves to be worshipped appropriately.”

There is a grin from Serala. She has won, in her mind, apparently. “Yes, Varanis.” she agrees. “Whatever you say, Varanis. But we do still need to figure out what we’re doing next. Did Berra say where she was going to meet us?”

“No.” And now there’s a frown. “I have no idea where she is or where she’s going. Or if she’s ok, even.”

“So that’s our next plan, perhaps? Hunt the Berra?”

“Maybe Grayrock? Berra did suggest Maalira should talk with lady Theynay?” Lenta notes “It might be she is not there, but it would appear Maalira might need that information quicker than Berra anticipated…”

“Our plan is not to talk about private things in public places,” Varanis says, tempering the rebuke with a teasing smile. “And my plan, for right now, is to soak until I shrivel up into a prune!”

Serala colours slightly, but does point out, “No-one can hear us over the sound of water, or see our lips with all the steam. But point taken. Prune-time it is!”2Insight for anyone who passes, maybe with bonuses based on relationships: Varanis is a bit off. She’s more awkward than usual. It’s as though she’s trying to mask something. While she’s slightly closer to Serala than Lenta, she seems to be deliberately maintaining enough distance to avoid coming into contact with either woman.

Lenta raises with a splash. “Enough water time for me. “

“The masseuse is very good,” Varanis tells her. “She finds all the knots.”

“I think I’ll try and see where Maalira is, I thought she would be coming but she seemed a bit upset.” Lenta answers Varanis with a small smile “Enjoy your bath!”3There might be curtness in that voice. Maybe she thinks it would have been Varanis’ job?

Serala looks between the two4Serala seems oddly uncomfortable for a Grazelander who is supposed to be enjoying soaking in a hot bath., she closes her eyes and sinks slowly back under the water. Hopefully she’ll surface before she drowns. She does, before she vanishes, wave to Lenta, “Come drinking with me sometime.”

Varanis is red. It’s probably the heat of the water.

“Thanks for the invitation, Serala.” Lenta says over her shoulder with a polite nod.

Serala eventually resurfaces, after what is hopefully long enough for everyone to settle back down. And then she gives Varanis a lift of her eyebrow. “Anything you want to share?”

Varanis jumps, sloshing the water. “Well, uh… I just don’t know how to be around you both,” she blurts suddenly. She holds up a hand to signal that she has more to say, while she searches for the right words. “Lenta… she thought she was in love with me. And eventually she understood that I don’t reciprocate. But she’s a good woman and I don’t want to hurt her. And…” Flustered, Varanis trails off. “I don’t know…”

Serala takes pity on Varanis, “Finarvi warned me. Just earlier. Which is why I was really trying hard to keep it distant, but I’m no good at subtle, and clearly it didn’t work. Horse crap.” She shakes her head slightly, “I don’t want her hurt either. But I also don’t want to throw away the time I have with you playing around like teenagers; I’m aware this is a lovely intermission in the duties of our respective lives.”

“Let’s go home,” Varanis suggests.

After shopping Varanis went into Praxian house and came back with Lenta on her arm. Lenta was wearing an Esrolian bodice open to navel, multicolored skirts, formal coiffure and makeup – and was painted green ie. dressed up as Ernalda.

  • 1
    pfft to insight, I always fail those rolls! – Serala
  • 2
    Insight for anyone who passes, maybe with bonuses based on relationships: Varanis is a bit off. She’s more awkward than usual. It’s as though she’s trying to mask something. While she’s slightly closer to Serala than Lenta, she seems to be deliberately maintaining enough distance to avoid coming into contact with either woman.
  • 3
    There might be curtness in that voice. Maybe she thinks it would have been Varanis’ job?
  • 4
    Serala seems oddly uncomfortable for a Grazelander who is supposed to be enjoying soaking in a hot bath.