1626, Sea Season, Godday
Varanis is soaking in the hottest pool. Sunk up to her neck with her hair floating around. She groans a little. “Why does it always seem to hurt more a couple days after fighting?”
Perhaps it was a rhetorical question. Perhaps Varanis already knew someone had come in. Serala’s soft voice replies “Because it reminds us that we must work harder, and be better prepared next time.” She stalks, prowling like a cat, across to the baths and perches on the side for a moment, acclimatising to the water temperature, before smoothly sliding in. She doesn’t speak again, she could, after all, be interrupting, simply relaxing into the water. Her expression slowly relaxing, setting aside vigilance to enjoy a few moments of quiet luxury.
Varanis’ eyes drift open to look at Serala a moment. She smiles in greeting. “You are right, of course, Grazelander. I have spent too long enjoying the luxuries of home and let my training lapse more than is wise.” Her voice is warm and welcoming. “It seems like you enjoy the baths as much as I do.”
Grey-blue eyes open for a moment and flick in your direction, before she inclines her head in a brief nod. “Discipline.” she agrees. “It is a hard rule to live by. There are no options on the Grazelands for heated baths . Or silks. Well. Unfair. Perhaps in Queens Post, but I never have been a city dweller.” She pauses in her speech – perhaps the longest Varanis has yet heard her make – to duck her head under the water, long raven hair unravelling from its braid and floating loose before she surfaces with a contented sigh. “You have much training.” It’s a statement, not a question.
“I’ve been training with the Vingans since my 14th year. But my grandfather gave me my first sword years before. He was a warrior and believed strongly that I needed to know how to defend myself early.” Varanis’ expression clouds briefly, then clears almost as quickly as she changes the subject. “That dress…. you should keep it. You looked wonderful.” Her tone is sincere and appreciative.
Serala blushes. The normally impassive Grazelander actually blushes. “I… liked it.” The three words spoken, there is swiftly more dunking of her head under water. Perhaps drowning is better than embarrassment. She does surface before bubbles happen though. “I, also, trained early. But being … feminine? That is something I am less prepared for. Nochet, I will admit, has been something of an education.”
“It’s good to experience new things.” Varanis is struggling not to grin, not wanting to add to Serala’s embarrassment. “What was it like, growing up in the Grazelands?” Her voice is curious.
“Wild. Controlled. Beautiful. Desolate. Lonely.” Interesting, perhaps, that only the final of her group of contrasts has no pairing. “The Pure Horse people live in moving locations, other than a few small cities, which I tended to avoid. And there was battle, early and often. The Lunars have plagued my life for too long to ever let luxury be a thing that drew me.” She actually quirks her lips into a brief smile. “Although I won’t admit that Nochet turns out to have some fascinating options amongst its strange customs.” She frowns at Varanis suddenly, as though it’s her fault. “Rooms by the hour? Really??”
Varanis lets out a low chuckle. “Some people find them useful. There are times when discretion is valuable.”
Varanis dunks suddenly under the surface and then rises, water streaming from her. Her body is fit, bearing a handful of beautiful multi-coloured tattoos. Her long red hair hangs dripping down her back. “I’m turning into a prune. It’s time for the discipline you mentioned earlier.” She grins wickedly at Serala. “I’m going to jump into the cold pool. Care to join me? They say it’s good for the constitution.”