Dreaming beneath the walls of Alda Chur

1627, Earth Season, Death Week

Yelm has risen despite the attempts of the Vingans to bring it down. The corps has been fed and there is a portion waiting for Varanis in the tent. When Varanis arrives with Berra in tow, Lenta makes room for the two, casting a glance at the covered plate and disappears quietly. They hardly notice, engaged as they are in a short, intense conversation. Finally, Varanis lies down for a rest and Berra slips out.

Varanis has fallen asleep still wearing her climbing clothes and covered in dried woad. She is covered by one of her sleeping hides, not because she thought of it, but because the Humakti covered her before leaving. After a while Lenta returns. She looks at the plate and sighs. The hide does maybe not require adjustment but it gets pulled a bit more securely over Varanis’ shoulder.1Would you like to give me rolls on  loyalty White Bull, Air, loyalty Kallyr, and maybe hate Lunars and any others you might feel relevant? White Bull 92/70, Air 82/84, Kallyr 11/72, Lunars 60/70, Devotion Vinga 07/88.

A sparrow flies in and lands on your shoulder. It tilts its small head from side to side and looks at you.

I look back at it, moving slowly, so as not to frighten it.

It pecks you lightly on the cheek, looks around and spreads its wings.

I can feel a bemused smile on my face as I watch it.

Lenta listens to Varanis breathe for a while and then goes about her business. She leaves the plate in the tent.

The small bird takes to flight in outward spreading spiral, like an Air rune reversed. It should get smaller as it gets further but it does not. Your body feels light, like it did not weight anything.

I feel like flying. I want to fly.

You raise your hands and push off.  Earth is left behind.

I don’t look down, but up. I want to go as high as I can.

On the sky a red bison is on pasture with a high llama. A black rhino snorts at you angrily as you glide past with the bouncy steps of your soft paws.

I briefly contemplate pouncing on the rhino to show it that I am a predator, but the sky calls and I’d rather go higher still.

Lightning greets you as you ascend with the wind in your eartufts. A small yellow bird flies past, circles you silently and is left behind as you rise higher and higher.

Lightning! I’d like to catch that. I might just chase it.

You pounce at the lightning, which irritatingly vanishes and appears again over there.

The chase is on! Must catch lightning!

With a great roar clouds accept your challenge and throw thunderbolt after another for you to follow.

My tail swishes violently from side to side as I pounce and chase through the Air.

It takes time and many rapid turns but you do catch one. The bronze feels cold under your blue fingers.2It is one of those things with three prongs to both ends and a handle in between Orlanth has as a weapon.

Glee! Mine! I shall carry it with me as I return to my climb ever upwards.

With light jumps from cloud to cloud you climb higher grasping the thunderbolt in your hand.

I’m searching the sky for the Pole star. I want it! Or maybe I want it for the Prince. But she has one already… I think I’m confused.

Polestar is right there. Between that bison frolicking on the clouds and ominously glowing crescent of the Moon.

I shall take it then. I will give it to Vinga; present it like a juicy mouse on her sleeping hides. Vinga will love me if I serve her well.

You twitch your ears to seal that decision and hear the gentle jingling of your earrings. You feel a certain lack of eartufts.

I disregard it. Fetching the star for Vinga is what matters most.

Quite. Your sandaled feet strike resolutely at the stones of the long stairs as you go ever higher.

I concentrate on the matrices that encircle my sword arm. Uttering a prayer to Vinga, I try to make myself faster.

You almost fly upwards despite your gleaming panoply.

I must reach the star.

At top of the stairs you see the guards of the palace, two durulz. But despite almost flying upwards you fail to reach them. Other one is even calling you by name.

There is a puddle of water that has crept in under the wall of the tent and you have rolled into it. Some of the mud has washed off, but woad is more resolute.

Varanis sits up, startled. She swears. Sleep is over for the moment and her responsibilities call.