Fetching Berra

1628, Sacred Time, Fate Week, Godday


Varanis is in her room at the Praxian house when Yehna comes with a question. It takes Varanis up to the Humakti Temple. (Continues in Bickering about Berra)


It is after dark, and that makes it the eve of Sea Season.  Temple duties are over, and it is time for the relaxation and sense of relief that comes with being at home together.

Yehna comes to Varanis’ room to ask almost casually, “Is Berra here?”

Varanis looks up from where she’s been meticulously etching something into a strip of gold. She has probably lost track of time, as she’s working by candlelight. “No,” she says, blinking to bring her focus to the younger woman. “Should she be?”

“I haven’t seen her since the wedding.  I’m sure she’s fine.”  Yehna is bad at lying.  “Only I know she said that Lord Raven wanted to come to the feast the day after, and they were not there.”

Varanis sets her tool down. “Since the wedding?”

Yehna says, “The Temple would let us know if something had happened to her,” which is a different answer to ‘yes’.

“Two days… yes, I’m sure they would, but,” the tall Vingan stands up and stretches. She creaks a little. “I’ve been sitting for too long and need to clear my head or I’ll keep dreaming of this piece anyway. Why don’t I go for a brisk walk in the direction of the Humakti Temple and see what I can learn?”

Yehna smiles.  “I’m making dumpling soup,” she says.  “See if she wants some?”

“That sounds wonderful.” Varanis is already reaching for a clean tunic to throw on. Her cloak and boots are by the front door or the hearth… they are always abandoned in one of those areas.

Cloak and boots are neatly by the front door, hung up if not cleaned.

Yehna gets back to her work, making soup for someone who cannot eat one of the main ingredients of soup.

Varanis makes her way to the Humakti Temple keeping an eye open for assassins and other threats along the way. It seems that last season’s experiences with the Telmori and at the Air Temple have renewed her desire for caution.

The gate guards know her by now, at least enough to nod her into the compound.  It is that, or the iron at her hip that gives her authority to go in.

She strides in, heading directly for the main building where Berra has stayed before, and keeping her eyes open for someone suitable to flag down.

The place is almost deserted, for many Humakti still have families, and others are resting.  Still, there are a couple of men apparently on sweeping duty in the hall of lay members where Varanis can enter for practice.

She heads for one of them. “I need an audience with the Wyter Priest, Berra Jarang’s Daughter.”

He just bows, and says, “As you will.  Wind Lord…”  He is fishing for a name.

“Vareena,” she tells him.

Without another word he turns to go, handing the broom to his friend.  The man left behind rolls his eyes and goes to stack it away.

The room here is hardly lit at all today, with just a lamp by each of the doors, and vast darkness elsewhere.  The men were clearing by the light of a lantern that is on the ground, but nevertheless there are no accidents while the Humakti cleans up. It is cold, and damp, and joyless here.

Varanis looks around, sighing a little at the misery of the place. By contrast, the Air Temple is loud and bright, with much of it open to the elements.

It takes several of Yelm’s long heartbeats before the messenger returns, this time with a torch.  “Follow me, if you please?”

She does. By now she knows the way to Berra’s rooms, and the altar of Lord Raven.  They take the path that leads up the right-hand side of the Temple, to where the Rune Lords and Wyter Priest live, and at the familiar door the man claps.  “Just go straight in,” he tells Varanis.