1628, Dark Season, Disorder Week, Waterday
“Morning.” Serala has apparently calmed down in the walk down the stairs. Or at least is past caring. “Did someone say it was duck stew for breakfast?”
Finarvi arches an eyebrow at her. “I thought you were putting your armour on, the time you took. And here was I expecting to find the kitchen full of angry wolves.”
“I’m going to take a nap,” Varanis announces, then proceeds to do so. On the floor.
Finarvi looks at his cousin. “We should probably get her back into bed. That door looks like it hits hard.”
Ore gives Finarvi a fervent nod.
She has flour all over her apron and her dress.
Serala looks to Finarvi, then down at Varanis, then back to Finarvi. “She had a long day yesterday.” she agrees. She turns and looks to Devolin for long moments, “So. A truce. While under Varanis’s roof, I offer a truce to you. She doesn’t need the stress. And there’s always tomorrow for us to pick up our… ongoing discussions.”
A cardboard Devolin falls over1Devolin had in fact, fled, but Serala’s player was busy while that happened. Other GM intervenes. BerraGM decides that this is a Heroquest power – a Devolin that is convincing for just one moment..
Maalira wakes, upstairs. “Where is everyone?” she asks plaintively. She spots Mouse. “Present company excepted.”
Through the wall, in Berra’s room, she can hear the pleasant-ish sound of someone singing a toddler out of a tantrum, with added giggling. Everyone else? Gone save for the feathers.
There may, however, be the sound of two Grazelanders trying to pick up an unconscious Vingan. “She’s not half heavy when she’s dozing.” Serala grumbles. “Maybe we should get Maalira to take a look at that bump on her head…”
“What the,” Maalira mutters. She hauls herself out of the bed and goes to the top of the stairs. “What happened?”
Yehna, heavily pregnant now, chooses that moment to come out of Berra’s room, and makes her way downstairs towards the fuss.
Haran is climbing on his mother’s dress.
Serala manages to grab a cushion and get it under her lover’s head just before dropping her back to the floor. “Fight with the door. The door won.” she offers cheerfully. “She has a hard head though, I’m sure she’ll be fine.” She looks up at Yehna, pregnant and bothered by children and pales a little, her hand going to her own stomach. “Please, let that not be my future.” she mutters under her breath in Pure Horse Tongue.
“There are more hands to help back home,” Finarvi answers in the same tongue, and goes to offer to take Haran off Yehna, if they’re both agreeable.
Yehna says happily, “Haran would like something to eat, no Haran, Varanis might be ill so do not greet her. Let us go to the kitchen and help make breakfast.”2Insight: Yehna is tired, and working on habit. Critical for Finarvi: She is tired because she is scared. Haran is not what exhausts her.
Haran pauses in the act of launching himself downwards, and clings to his mother again.
Serala lets Finarvi handle Haran. There is a look on her face that suggests she thinks she should go to help, but looks a little helpless in the face of Small People, so she concentrates on checking on Varanis. Very important work here, see. No time to spare for learning to speak in TeenyBabble.
There’s groan, then Varanis opens her eyes. “Did someone hit me again?”
“You hit yourself, dear heart.” – Serala replies, with a gentle pat to Varanis’s cheek. “We were thinking though, that we should be putting you back to bed. You definitely seem to be somewhat the worse for wear..”
“I’m drank too much,” Varanis admits. “I haven’t had that much wine since… I don’t know.”
Finarvi wanders past, hungry toddler in his arms, asking in his best Heortling, “What do you want for breakfast, Haran?”
“Hullo Haran,” Varanis mumbles. “Morning, Finarvi. I’m going back to bed.”
Serala wraps her arm around Varanis’ shoulder, helping her to sit up. “Water?” she asks, before smiling fondly at Finarvi with the youngster. “How do you do that?” she asks curiously. “Is it just your face? Is it just lopsided enough to be entertaining?”
“I AM HUNGRY,” Haran announces. Yehna is already in the kitchen, explaining to Ore that she can cook, and knows what the fussy little one likes, and can they share?
“Water,” Varanis agrees. “Wait. Berra. How is Berra? Yehna was here, wasn’t she? She saw Berra.” The Vingan is looking around in confusion. “Yehna was here, right?”
Finarvi waits until the grown ups’ backs are turned before pulling a very silly face at Serala.
“Yehna just passed through.” – Serala agrees, going to fetch water. “I believe the news is that Initiate Berra is fine. I suspect she’s stuck at the Humakti Temple until… well. Until. You’re the only one amongst us all that might stand a chance of getting to see her, although I am up for trying to storm the Temple to find her if you are.” On the way back, she accidentally tips some of the water down Finarvi’s back, before squatting to offer the rest of the cup to the Vingan.
There is an impressive shudder of surprise from her poor cousin, but he manages not to react otherwise. He certainly doesn’t drop the squirmy Haran.
Varanis accepts the cup and drains it. “I suspect I might need a bath before I brave the temple of Humakt. What day is it? And are you definitely alive? You’re not allowed to die again. I won’t have it.” It’s ever so slightly possible that Varanis is still a little drunk.
“Splastch,” Haran tells Finarvi, with an evil smile.
“Shhh, later. We’ll get her later, won’t we?” – Finarvi stage-whispers with a look that would do an Eurmali proud.
He also says it in Tradetalk, for his audience’s benefit.
Haran thinks, and then presents his hand. He looks more like he wants to be paid than a small child who is shaking on a deal.
Finarvi adjusts his hold and then passes a free hand over Haran’s like he’s laying down a bribe.
Serala cackles. Yes, cackling is the only way to describe the sound she’s making. “I don’t care.” she says to Varanis. “Well, I care about you, and Fin, and, well, everyone, but Sanra is gone, and I’m me again, and I’m sorry you were scared, but it was all so very worth it.”
Haran looks at his hand to check it.
Varanis scowls at the I don’t care bit, but relaxes as Serala continues. “You know, the Ulerian temple is just around the corner. We could go for a good soak in the baths today. I think I need that. The kitchen basin isn’t going to cut it.”
The dark haired Grazelander comes to her feet, holding out her hand to Varanis. “Coming, Fin?” she asks. “We can bring Haran, if his mother allows it, keep him out from under her feet for a while?” Apparently she feels she should be getting used to children? “I think a long soak is just what the healer ordered.”
Finarvi looks alarmed. “Before breakfast? Did you hit your head too?”
“BREAKFAST,” Haran shouts, his hand forgotten.
Finarvi turns to Ore and Yehna, to see if anyone has a free hand for toddler-wrangling.
Thanks to Serala’s ‘help’, he’s looking extra-draggled and in need of a bath. A full one this time, not just half a cup.
“If I wait for you to decide you’ve had enough breakfast, second breakfast, pre-lunch, lunch and are replete… we’d have to float you in the baths like a whale by the time we actually get there.” – Serala counters. “Far better to distract you before you plant face first into whatever delights are created.”
Finarvi looks baffled, then slowly frowns. “Too many words. Need tea. And bath.”
“Decided then. Baths.” Varanis carefully unfolds herself from the floor and takes some wobbly steps towards the door. Still half dressed. Still barefoot.
Yehna takes Haran expertly and hands him a bit of twisted bread to chew on while she makes food one-handed.
Ore gets on with being at the other end of the kitchen, competently mixing up something to go on or with lunch.
Serala clears her throat. “Varanis… dear one… Unless you’d like the next songs to be about the fine ivory skin of the beautiful Vingan Varanis, and how it glows burnished bronze under the rays of the rising sun…. GET SOME CLOTHES!”
Finarvi, torn between helping and admitting he’s in no state to help, wavers before heading for the stairs. “I’ll get them. My legs are steadier.”
“Oh, right.” Varanis also turns to the stairs, managing to only collide with Finarvi a little bit.
He staggers a bit but that was happening anyway. Luckily there are walls to catch the unsteady.
Varanis manages to get onto the stairs ahead of him, laughs, and yells, “Race you!”
“Children.” – Serala murmurs, quirking up an eyebrow to Haran. “When I learn to understand them, maybe I will understand you.” She smiles to Yehna, “What’s it like?” she asks curiously. “Motherhood, I mean.” She could ask Varanis, of course, but Yehna seems rather more hands on…
Yehna says, “Tricky, but I love them. Normally I have a dozen people to help and a dozen children around. I like helping them do things.”
Serala remains curious, “Normally you have more people? But…?” She gestures around, at the house, often empty of people other than Yehna and Ore, as far as Serala is aware. “This isn’t normal for you?”
“I usually feed Haran and look after him and then spin and keep an eye on the toddlers,” Yehna says. “I wouldn’t be here with just him – my husband and my cousin are upstairs. I’ll likely winter in… in the Blue Tree. If Berra is well. Haran’s age just now is known to be difficult.”
“Berra’s tough as old hide.” – Serala replies calmly. “Whatever… changes… may have touched her, I have faith that she will still be findable. She is too essentially Berra to ever be completely changed.” Something of a cackhanded compliment there, but she seems to mean it. “I have not paid attention enough to the challenges of raising children at Apple Lane. I’m sure someone will have it in hand though.” Frown lines cross her face as she realises she’s not being a good Thane, ignoring the parts of the job that don’t interest her. “Probably the twins.”
Meanwhile, upstairs Varanis has fallen into bed and is taking a nap. She has somehow tricked Finarvi into falling into the bed again and it has swallowed him up. He has no choice but to sleep too.3Because everyone needs sleep OOC.
“Women are good at organising that,” Yehna suggests. “Ask your Ernaldans.”
- 1Devolin had in fact, fled, but Serala’s player was busy while that happened. Other GM intervenes. BerraGM decides that this is a Heroquest power – a Devolin that is convincing for just one moment.
- 2Insight: Yehna is tired, and working on habit. Critical for Finarvi: She is tired because she is scared. Haran is not what exhausts her.
- 3Because everyone needs sleep OOC.