Varanis — 1626 0712 Scholar
????, Fire Season, Movement Week
Fire Season, Movement Week, Clayday, in the evening. [[[s01:session-40|Session 40]]]
Wilmskirk, at an inn. Possible spoilers re: Eril
It’s evening in Wilmskirk. Varanis enters the inn where Irillo’s party is staying, looking calm. The long red hair is in a tidy plait, her face is clean, and while her armour doesn’t gleam, it’s at least not splattered in blood and sap any more. She looks around the room, clearly seeking someone. She looks disappointed after scanning the room, but makes her way to the innkeeper to ask if he knows the location of a certain Esrolian scholar.
“Scholar? The thin one? I would not have guessed, my lady. He has the small room next to attic and is probably in there.”
“Thank you. Has he taken any food or drink?” she asks.
“I think he ate supper with the merchant and the others,” the ruddy-faced innkeeper replies.
Varanis nods, thanks him, and goes up the stairs. Finding what she thinks is the right room, she calls out quietly, “Xenofos?”
After a small wait door opens. Xenofos is silhouetted against light of a small lamp on the table. His kit is neatly packed and cleaned against the wall. On the table his rapier and dagger gleam. They have obviously been maintained, although there is a piece of vellum on the table now, propped open by the dagger. He nods and lets Varanis in.
She enters the room, nods in the direction of his chair, and then seats herself on the bed, where she can see him and keep an eye on the door. “I’ve just returned from the Orlanthi temple,” she says. “What have you been up to today? How’s the head?”
“Pretty normal I guess, under the circumstances. We found our fox from Humakti records. He seems to hail from Cinder Fox tribe. Disturbingly erudite man. Litigant by heart and quite diligent.” There is faint smell of incense from a small brass container on the table giving out fragrance of lemonwood.
Varanis nods as she listens. “He seems to be a man of depth.” After a moment, she asks, “Do you think we are doing the right thing, following his path? Potentially undoing what he wrought…”
“I would have nothing to do with Death he was carrying were it my choice. But in wrong hands it would be even worse…” There is a pause while Xenofos rubs his temples. “I don’t believe in exposing secrets wantonly, that is not the way of Lhankor Mhy. But this man,” he avoids naming names, “has strayed from path of Truth. Misused it. Maybe for a noble course, but so doing he has tarnished his honor. He is a murderer.”
Varanis shudders. “How can he be Humakt’s High Priest if he has betrayed Truth?”
“I don’t think he has lied. Just killed those who could have spoken.”
“Have you spoken to Irillo? When last we spoke, back in Boldhome, he seemed to almost admire the man. How could that be if he knows him to have committed murder?” The Vingan is confused and frustrated by her own lack of understanding.
“He spoke of the dead redsmith after that, when Berra and Salid were hit by Darkness. So maybe he did not know yet.”
“You are right, of course. I should speak to him again and make sure he is alright. Berra said to protect him, and while we did that on the road, how do we do that in his mind?” She chews absently on the end of her plait. “I don’t like feeling useless,” she admits. “There’s little I can do for him.”
“Keep an eye on Dormal – after all it was his actions that set this into motion. Talk with Berra and talk with Irillo himself,” her cousin suggests.
Varanis nods. “Do you need anything, Xenofos?” she asks softly. “You look like you have a headache…”
“I am fine. … I don’t like Wilmskirk, that’s all.”
Varanis raises an eyebrow at that.
“Long hours with dusty records, too much Sartarite handwriting, too many legal cases and unpleasant author. I am fine. Really.” He is insistent.
The red-haired woman rises gracefully to her feet, armour creaking. “I’ll leave you in peace, cousin, but my room isn’t far. Look for me there or in the common room if you need me. Barring any surprises, I don’t expect to leave the inn tonight.” She rests her hand lightly on his shoulder.
“Thanks” for a fleeting moment Xenofos’ hand covers his cousin’s hand lightly while he stares the floor.
“Rest well,” she says softly. She scoops her helmet from the floor and strides out of the little room without a backward glance.