Varanis — 1626 0697 Be The Sword
????, Fire Season, Season/Movement Week
Fire Season/Movement Week/Freezeday/Afternoon [[[s01:session-38|Session 38]]]
After the events of the second Lunar quest, most of the group is sitting in the common room of the White Grape, drinking Rondrik’s alcohol and pondering recent events.
Not too long after most of the group settles into the common room of the White Grape, Varanis sits beside Irillo. He’s looking thoughtful. “I sacrificed my new armour pieces for my god. Or maybe Eril’s god. I’m not sure. Either way, it was a good offering to the gods.”
“Are you alright? Unharmed this time? Healed from last time?” She looks him over carefully.
Irillo nods, “Yes. But I’m conflicted. He’s such an… inflexible… person. He’s everything I am not.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” she offers.
“I’m not sure how much there is to talk about. He’s… not a likeable mind to be in the head of. But he is very admirable. Brave, resourceful, intelligent and determined. He’s rooted in self sacrifice, and perhaps holds others to the same standards”
Varanis looks thoughtful. “That does sound admirable. What makes him unlikeable then?”
“Stern. Unyielding. Keen to send us into danger.”
“Does he mean us harm?” she asks. “Dormal thinks that Kallyr and Tennebris need me to fail or die. And that the rest of you will be collateral damage. Is that in keeping with how Eril thinks?” There’s no obvious fear. She seems to be thinking carefully about the situation instead of reacting.
“I don’t think so. If he meant us harm, we’d be dead. I just don’t think he cares if we die, incidental to doing what needs doing. And I don’t think Dormal’s idea is right. I think it’s more that if we relight the flame, they will claim credit- you are the sword, and Kallyr the hand. And you’re a spare, of course.”
“Given that I don’t want a throne, I’m perfectly fine with being the sword. Do you believe that Grandmother expects more?”
He waggles a hand, “Expects? Probably not. But if Kallyr dies and you DO end up as a tribal or Sartar’s Queen? Well, that wouldn’t hurt Granny’s position, would it? And even if you don’t, and they have to keep you on side to prevent you being a trouble to someone else’s reign? Well, how better than by playing nicely with Saiciae?”
Varanis looks thoughtful. “What you say makes sense. I wish I’d spoken to you sooner.” She falls silent a moment. “Irillo, how can I do better by you?” she asks finally.
He smiles faintly, “You mean you don’t think you do well already?” He gives a little shrug, “I have no desire to be more than a Goldentongued Priest. But it seems that my god has more in mind, and Issaries answers the call. I am the god’s servant.”
“I have not done well by anyone, I don’t think. But I am keen to address that,” she says seriously. “And you haven’t really answered my question. You’ve deflected it.”
He smiles once more, “You’ve done well by me. Perhaps don’t assume my skills. Berra’s sword is sharp, but my tongue is sometimes stronger.”
Varanis considers. “Where I might win their hearts, you might win their minds?”
“Exactly. And I did pay attention to my lessons back at the House.” A dry smile, “So I could be a useful working husband to some lucky lady back home.”
Varanis blushes. “I tried to pay attention. You will be an excellent husband to someone, I’m certain of it.” There’s a pause and she suddenly blurts out, “oh Vinga. Things could be much worse. Grandmother could be arranging a marriage for me. I’d rather take my chances here.”
“Exactly. And Serzeen isn’t pushing things”
“I think we need to play things out with this mystery about Eril and the Household of Death relics before we return to seeking the spark,” Varanis says, changing the subject. “Do you have any advice for me on how I should proceed as we move forward? I feel like I have been thrust into leadership that I am not ready for. And that everyone knows it, and some resent it. I have been struggling so much to be the leader I am not, that I’ve widened the gap. It’s time I stop flailing about and try to do better by people. I want to help with the search for the relics, and in a way that makes us more successful rather than less.”
“For this? Step back. Watch how others behave. You only need to lead when you are being Orlanth. Show you can cede leadership to whoever is best suited at any given moment.” A beat. “Except Dormal.”
“You too?” she asks sadly. “He’s doing his best, within his nature.”
“Oh, I agree. He’s being helpful. I just wouldn’t let him lead us. Not enough people trust him.”
Varanis nods. “It would create more conflict, I agree. I’m glad you are well, cousin. Thank you for your time and words.” She’s polite, but there’s also affection in her smile.