1627, Earth Season
After Alda-Chur fell. Session 2.54: Climactic Explosion
Before leaving Alda-Chur the Esrolian corps burns its dead north of the city walls. Their names are called out one by one and deeds recounted.
Dertand the Baker – one of the Wild ones, Axeman of the second rank, run through by a lance.
Darniskis Fararlsson – slinger. Took arrow to the throat when covering Varanis and the Vingans.
Sorala – the Vingan commander, who was commanding the spearwall at the gate. Took a lance to chest and was taken by Vinga to her halls.
Jarstaropos. A loud boorish trooper of the Golden Racers. Wrestled one of the opposing cavalry from his saddle at the edge of the chasm created by Nala.
Samasteva. One of the more quiet Vingans. Tried to follow Varanis to the battlements. Fell of when hit by dispelling magic and cracked her neck. Was not found before noon.
Kalsar Shortneck. During the storming in the speartroop of Varaneva. At other times tending the wagons of the quartermaster. Caught an arrow hit to stomach on the way in and bled to death.
Irillo Norinel. Of the Golden Racers. A rock falling from the sky crushed his head.
Harunelda Brightaxe – of house Hulta. Fell off the wall when the mine exploded.
Haraldes Fine-Horses. Spearman on the shieldwall. Trampled by the awakened companion of the Yelmalian runelord at the gate.
Jarste the butcher. The coarse man who was responsible for feeding the whole troop as long as their was cattle to butcher and cut. Killed in the press at the gate when the opposing horsemen broke in.
Varanis participates in the proceedings. She knows something of each of those lost and as their names are called out, she repeats them softly. She lights the pyres for the Vingans herself.
Before the corps disbands, she speaks to them as a unit one last time. She praises them for what they have accomplished together and exhorts them to look after each other always. They are siblings now and this kinship is important. She tells them to find her for a drink and to share stories in the years to come, if they wish.
After witnessing this they unfurl their banner. The bulk of them start arduous march towards Nochet and home. A few join Argrath and new king of Alda-Chur. Some choose to travel first to Boldhome.
The officers meet for one final meal together. It’s a solemn affair marked by the absence of Sorala the Vingan and Irillo the Quartermaster. Varanis gives them each rings and tells them to call on her if they need her. If it is within her power, she will aid them.
There is a new quartermaster, who is helping see to the supplies and who will return to Nochet with most of the troops. He and those officers travelling with him will ensure that the little army is fed.
The officers are each paid bonuses and there are small bonuses for those who did particularly well amongst the troops. The quartermaster takes charge of the pay, ensuring that it is distributed amongst the troops and allowing any of those who wish it, to bank it with him until they return to Nochet.
Berra takes a little extra time to say goodbye to Irillo, and pours him a drink.
One evening, before they leave Alda Chur, Varanis calls the party together. She has wine and beer and a rich meal waiting for them. Lenta is with her.
Berra has shiny armour, with her scales all back in good order, and is carrying two swords again.
Rajar is dressed as normal. There’s a gravy stain on his armour
Xenofos is dressed in his civilian garb, the sword on hip only accomodation to military fashion.
Berra has smiles for them both, and for everyone, and for Varanis again just to be sure. Also for her own hands when she gets carried away comparing them.
They have an excellent meal in good company. But when the food is done and before the storytelling shifts into enthusiastic singing, Varanis asks for their attention.
“I have gifts for each of you,” she tells them. One by one, Lenta hands her fabric wrapped packages.
For Rajar there is a bronze spike and the promise of the services of an armourer to mount it on his shield. 1 This does damage a bit differently from a shield bash
Berra looks amused by something, and then pleased.
For Nala there are lampworked glass beads with copper spacers, strung together as a necklace, with a few left separate for Tiwr’s mane.
Rajar smiles and happily accepts the spike. (he doesn’t use a shield much but it looks great)
For Xenofos there is a ring with a matrix carved into it. Varanis tells him to wear it on the hand he uses to throw javelins and his javelins will hit harder. Xenofos thanks Varanis politely.2 Speedart matrix. Insight: He is polite and smiles but does not look delighted.
Varanis tells Rajar that she thought he might have fun with it. He could charge like a rhino!
For Suuraki she has a quiver of arrows and a ceramic bottle. “Be careful with this,” she warns him when she passes over the bottle. “The arrows have a receptacle. Pour some of the liquid into the receptacle and the arrow will supposedly explode when it strikes.”3 He has a dozen of these arrows. I presume single use. Talk to Tom to work out damage, I think
For Valseena there’s a silver necklace and a ring to match. The necklace has a pendant containing a crystal and is marked with Eiritha’s runes.
Varanis tells her that the crystal will store some of her magic, so that she can call on it in times of need.
For Maalira , there is a bronze necklace with a similar crystal and Chalana Arroy’s runes. A gift of thanks for saving her arm.4 How many points these can store Tom should tell
Berra’s gift comes in two parts. There is a stone bracelet shaped like a serpent. Varanis tells her that if she wears it when she sleeps, the bracelet should wake her if someone approaches her. The second gift is a hollowed bone with a thin sheet of something bound round one end. “Blow into the open end and it makes noise,” Varanis says with a grin.
Berra, of course, immediately does that.
The buzzy sound delights her, and she spends a few moments speechless before thanking Varanis for her great gifts, in a speech that is obviously prepared, but trips off well. Then she sits back down to eat and drink and sing through the buzzy bone not-flute.
The journey back to Boldhome has a lot of buzzy squeaking from Berra.
There are times when Varanis looks vaguely like she might be questioning her life choices.
Reveille each morning becomes squeaky. Sometimes it has giggling too. Calls to food are accompanied by a fluting, buzzing sound. A couple of times the buzzing even says goodnight, sleepily, from under her sleeping hide. Brrrr-ummmph.
BleysRex: After leaving Alda Chur, as the group makes its way back towards Dangerford, Berra looks around and then asks Xenofos, “Scribe, would you write for me?”
Question startles Xenofos a bit. He puts down his kithara “What would you have written, little cousin?”
Berra kicks her bison successfully over towards the scribe. “I’m going to be going past Dangerford, and I want to send a letter to my sister. To say I lived, and I’ll try to come and visit in Earth Season, and if I can’t does she want to come to Boldhome after the harvest. And I’ll probably be busy in Dark Season but she’s welcome to stay and we’ll find her somewhere. And is she married yet… maybe not that bit, and to kiss Haran for me.”
Xenofos is quiet for a while and nods. “I can do that. I could carry it too, I think. I wish to have a word with Mellia and it is not that big a detour.”
“That’d be good of you, although if you’re… nah, write it anyhow, because then if I did she knows what I was thinking.” Berra gives him a smile.5 It could be a cute smile, but it’s not. There’s too much tooth, too much wildness, not enough happiness in the eyes.
After Dangerford Xenofos bids his farewell before riding to Blue Tree tula. He is joined by Lenta, who wishes to see a bit more of Sartar before the Dark Season sets in. This seems to come as a surprise to him, but he accepts that politely.
Berra seems a little surprised as well, but adds to Xenofos to tell Yehna she can’t eat vegetables, and asks Lenta, “You know if you want to stay there, you can ask my sister? Just ask and say I said so.”
Lenta tells her she will remember that kind offer.
After consideration, Berra plays them away with the buzz-flute. It’s not entirely terrible – but it’s not good.
Xenofos and Lenta arrive in Boldhome day after the others.
How the corps remembered its dead and disbanded, how Varanis gave gifts to her retinue and how they travelled towards Boldhome.
- 1This does damage a bit differently from a shield bash
- 2Speedart matrix. Insight: He is polite and smiles but does not look delighted.
- 3He has a dozen of these arrows. I presume single use. Talk to Tom to work out damage, I think
- 4How many points these can store Tom should tell
- 5It could be a cute smile, but it’s not. There’s too much tooth, too much wildness, not enough happiness in the eyes.