VS 062 The Rumour Mill

Varanis — 1626 0709 Rumourmill

????, Fire Season, Season/Movement Week


Fire Season/Movement Week/Waterday/Morning [[[s01:session-39|Session 39]]]

At the White Grape Inn


Mellia is eating breakfast at the White Grape Inn. Varanis slides into a seat next to her, as much as anyone can slide in bronze armour. “Good morning, White Lady,” she says respectfully, her words at odds with the way that she approached.

Mellia smiles at her cousin. “Good morning, Thane.” Mellia appears to be a bit sleepy.

Varanis blinks in astonishment. That’s not a title usually used by her cousins. “I…” she fumbles for words a moment. “Oh, cursed Chaos, Mellia, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make things worse with the High Healer for you. I was so convinced she was deliberately keeping the truth from you and that she was doing it to hold her power over your head. I lost my temper.”

Mellia nods. “Jaldis and I haven’t seen eye to eye since I found out there were undead in upper Whitewall and Jaldis was just sitting in her temple waiting for them to fall apart. That being said, I would avoid Jaldis for the rest of my life in your position.”

Varanis snorts. “I rather suspect the rest of my life would be short were I in her company.” At Mellia’s look, she quickly adds, “Not because I think she would actively do me harm, but the ice in her words would probably be enough to stop my heart.”

Mellia nods. “Seriously, if you need healing while we’re here, get me. Jaldis is correct in pointing out that accusing a priestess of lying is very serious and doing it in front of an audience is worse.”

“I will,” Varanis promises.

“Good,” Mellia says with a smile. “Jaldis did have a private talk with me last night. She asked that it be kept private. I suspect that the Red Lady’s story ends very, very badly.”

“I saw her there… Jaldis. When I was in the HeroQuest, I followed Eril into the hidden place of healing. There were so many who needed help. I couldn’t resist them and spent some time patching people up. I was working alongside the healers and that’s how I knew that Jaldis was there with the Red Lady. I saw her.” The Vingan’s eyes look stormy as she speaks of the vision, but the storm is one of mixed emotions.

“Hmm,” Mellia muses. “I thought so. As long as we’re discussing Eril’s past, something horrible was in that cart that was leaving the city. Something that radiated death and barrenness. Something so bad that it made my usual reaction to visiting the Temple of Humakt look mild.”

“What cart?”

“Oh. A bit of Eril’s quest took part at the city gates. It involved getting a cart out of the city. You should probably save your questions for Irillo.”

“What did you sense, though?” Her cousin presses for more information.

“The very opposite of life and fertility. I can’t put it more clearly than that. It was much worse than any Humakti temple I’ve ever set foot in.”

Varanis looks perplexed. “What could that have been? Was it the relics?”

“It might have been,” Mellia answers after a moment. “If it was the relics, one of them would have to have been the great Death Rune.”

Varanis looks both intrigued and repelled.

“Oh, before I forget – Jaldis has been having a lot of visitors lately. Some of them were from the palace. The rumor mill says all kinds of quests were discussed.”

Varanis raises an eyebrow at that. “Our quests?”

“Almost certainly.”

“Do we have any idea of the nature of the discussions? People gossip and in a city, even one as small as this, it was bound to get out. Perhaps all they discuss is that the quests are happening…” Varanis sounds hopeful.

Mellia shakes her head. “I was lucky to learn that much. Dormal can advise you better, Varanis, but I think we should leave here as soon as the quests let us. Otherwise Onjur-Eel might just turn up.”

“Onjur is a coward who needs others to do his dirty work and who fled from us before. We will keep you safe, Mellia.” Sometimes, the Vingan’s arrogance is breathtaking. “But yes, I think our quests are starting to pull us from Boldhome anyway. It’s just a question of which one pulls us where. We need to get the spark, but somehow we’ve been distracted by relics. And I still don’t understand this business of a vampire. We should be dealing with that before we leave, as Boldhome is mostly unprotected right now.”

Mellia nods. “Nothing strange happened last night, I think. I took the late shift at the temple just to find out.”

“I wonder if Berra and her Sword learned anything,” the Vingan says thoughtfully.

“Ask them. I should probably let you be about your business.”

Varanis nods her thanks and leaves Mellia to finish her meal in peace.