1628 Year, Sacred Time, Fate Week, Godday
Boldhome, at the Praxian house. Varanis still does not know that Mirava and Fazzur have a gift for her (see Back2Life, Back2Reality – Session 3.23). Venlar gives her a heads up in the home that she won’t lose her temper over it. Takes place after The Wedding of Mellia and Venlar (Session Sartar Arc 15).
It is the very tail end of Sacred Time. As Varanis comes back from the Temple, Venlar is enjoying the rays of the returned sun outside the house. He gives her a smile, and looks at her, every inch the proud Wind Lord on foot, and asks, “Would you like me to help rub down your horse?” He seems highly amused.1Venlar’s offering, even though you are on foot. Roll Insight (Human) if you want. Varanis passes. Insight: Venlar was waiting here, but his excuse is no longer any good. Nevertheless, he has used it.
Varanis arches a brow at him. She has to look up, which might ruin the effect somewhat.
“If you are feeling particularly brave,” she suggests, “we could go look in on them. Doqeia is unlikely to bite you.”
The tall man steers down the side route, towards the back of the courtyard. “I have a general question,” he says. “Your advisors – they should bring you information, yes?”
“Well, yes,” Varanis replies. “If they believe it is of value to me, I would hope so.” She lets him lead her towards the stable, despite her current finery.
“And you would prefer to keep this ad hoc, so that anyone can approach anyone?” He gives her a slight smile, as if to say he is just checking something they already both understand.
She nods, her eyes narrowing.
“I understand that you are to have a gift from your sister Mirava soon,” he drops casually. From his height, that’s a big thing to drop.
Her nostrils flare as she sucks in a sharp breath. Several heartbeats pass before she exhales, slowly. She had gone rigid with tension at Mirava’s name and the release of air did little to ease that. “I see.”
“All I know about it is that, according to my love, and therefore Dormal, for the good of everyone, you must accept it, and this will take some space and time. I regret this is all I know, but at least you may have that space and time to think before, not after.”
She nods curtly. “Warning me was wise,” she admits. “If it came directly from Dormal and without warning, I might have lashed out before thinking. You would never betray me, nor ask me to betray that which matters to me…” There’s a little shudder, but she continues. “What I’m trying to say is thank you. With this warning, I can try to respond to whatever trap or insult my sister is sending in a way that will not embarrass my Prince or my household.” She puts her hand on his shoulder. “Thank you.”
Venlar bows his head. “As thanks, you should come see what I did in the stables. As I was not needed after the morning’s ceremonies, I continued with the mucking out. The horses, at least, will start the year refreshed.”
She wrinkles her nose, but consents to going in. “I can’t have Serala think I am shirking my duties.” As they step through the door, she adds, “If it’s possible, will you be present when Dormal presents this gift? Perhaps you can help me work out why it is essential that I don’t send it and my cousin back to Tarsh on the back of a donkey.”
“I would be getting between my wife and my family, if I gave advice,” he says in a lower than ordinary voice.
There is a heck of a lot of clean straw around. Some might say Venlar has wasted it, but he has also cleaned each stall, even the ones at the end in need of repair as soon as the weather is dry enough. He looks on his work and flexes his shoulders; he is not only tall, but strong. He is also obviously feeling the work.
“Even if it were just to determine what the gift means?”
“Come to me afterwards?” he suggests. “Do not ask me again to be in that room. Of course, you could cut out the middle-man and much of the angst, and ask my father?” There is light amusement there, a step short of devilish.
Varanis chuckles, then grows serious again. “I will not subject you to any further strain on your loyalties.”
“Thank you.” Venlar gives Manasa a sidelong look. “It will be sundown soon, and all will be done. Shall we say that this is done?” He gestures around at the stable. He may even mean the inspection of the building.
“You have done magnificent work, Lord Venlar.”
“The muck-heap has grown, but I am told that is a problem for tomorrow. It, or part of it, gets spread on the gardens. I intend to sleep through that process.” His smile quirks, a lot like Silor’s but for the twist that his scar gives it.
She pats his shoulder again and then suggests heading indoors to get comfortable by the hearth.
- 1Venlar’s offering, even though you are on foot. Roll Insight (Human) if you want. Varanis passes. Insight: Venlar was waiting here, but his excuse is no longer any good. Nevertheless, he has used it.