VS 080 Dormal at the Bothy

Varanis — 1626 0733 Bothy 02

????, Fire Season, Season/Illusion Week


Context

Fire Season/Illusion Week/Clayday/Evening. [[[s01:session-42|Session 42]]]

Varanis is standing guard over Berra, the bothy, and the dire relic contained within.

This continues on from [http:journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/varanis:1626-0732-bothy-01 Berra at the Bothy]

It continues in [http:journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/varanis:1626-0734-bothy-03 Xenofos at the Bothy]

Events

Late in the evening, Varanis is standing guard by the bothy while Berra sleeps. Dormal approaches from the main hall. “So. Feeling better?”

“I’m fine,” she replies. There’s a hesitation, then she adds, “Honestly. There may be moments here or there, but the worst has passed. What about you? I heard you were wounded in the Marsh.”

“A few more scars, probably. Didn’t lose any limbs.”

Varanis nods.

“I see Xenofos is here. I guess he paid his fines then,” he observes casually.

“His fines were paid, yes.” She’s being polite, but there’s something different in her responses to Dormal compared to before.1He attempts an insight roll, but fails.

“Is it done then? Or is he still in trouble in Wilmskirk over it?”

“Why would that matter to you?” she asks.

“He’s part of your little band, isn’t he? Unless you’re casting him out, how the people here react to him matters.”

Varanis responds, “It’s dealt with. But why would you care how people react to him or to me? You’ve made things pretty clear about your feelings.”

“Tch. You may have severed that link with me, but I still support the Clan,” he says. “And you are too valuable to Grandmother to be cast aside lightly.”

“Dormal, I was so desperate to win you back. I would have done virtually anything except betray who I am. That wasn’t enough for you.” A week ago, she’d have looked sad if she’d spoken such words. Now she just look neutral. “I give up.”

“No doubt your new mistress Berra will be pleased. But It’s not important. Success or failure, that is important,” Dormal replies.

Varanis raises an eyebrow. “I do not serve Berra. I serve Vinga, Kallyr, and Grandmother.” She turns away. But, as though she can’t help herself, she turns back. “Success or failure in what? I know what I seek to do, but I don’t know what you do. What is success for you here?”

“Please, you run to her for approval and advice all the time, especially after you’ve spoken to me. You lope after her like a dog seeking affection. And success is what Grandmother wants – Sartar strong and no clan resources wasted. Which I take to mean neither you nor any other cousins dead, imprisoned or significantly unwelcome in Sartar. Don’t worry, I don’t expect any gratitude or understanding,” he says dismissively. “Although if you could prevail on your followers not to get caught taking large quantities of very illegal drugs, it would make my life easier.”

As he speaks, Varanis’ face flushes with rage. “How dare you? You asshole,” she growls. “You judgmental little asshole.”

“How dare I what?” he hisses at her. “Drag him out of a poison filled room? Try to stop you from cutting your own runes out?”

“Imply that I chase after Berra like a dog.” The fury is building in her.

“Pft. Tell me you don’t run to her for a bunch of comforting lies about me after our every conversation. Tell me you haven’t told her about every conversation we’ve had,” Dormal accuses.

“I haven’t. Not everything,” she denies. “But you have left me such a tangled mess so many times that I needed another way to think about it. She provides a perspective so different to yours that I can balance the two and find my own path.”

“And naturally you’ve told me what she said, and I’ve simply forgotten.” The sarcasm is blatant.

“Because you relish our conversations so much.” She retorts, glaring at him.

Dormal ignores her look. “By the way, just so you know who you’re taking advice from… The first night I spent in her company after we’d taken some bandits prisoner, she openly discussed ways to wriggle out of her obligations having accepted ransom. How to get the prisoner killed. And nearly struck me for saying this wasn’t honourable.” He continues, “She does not understand the difference between her unwarranted prejudices about people and the truth. And she absolutely does not know anything about how or what I think.”

“Why should I trust what you say? Even Irillo talks about how you try to get into my head.” She shakes her head. “I’m done seeking approval from you, Dormal. I have wanted to trust you, but I can’t.”

He rolls his eyes. “Don’t then.” He walks off.

Varanis almost chases after him. “Dormal…” She stops herself and turns back to the bothy, shoulders slumping. She takes a deep breath, straightens her spine, and gets back to guarding.

In the growing darkness, Dormal passes Xenofos, but neither man acknowledges the other.

Continues in [http:journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/varanis:1626-0734-bothy-03 Xenofos at the Bothy]//