Varanis — 1626 0763a Erilencouragement
????, Earth Season, Season/Disorder Week
1626 Earth Season/Disorder Week/Fireday/early in the morning [[[s02:session-1|Session 1]]]
Varanis hasn’t slept much, but she wanted to visit Emeritus High Sword Eril before the party leaves Boldhome. Takes place after [http:journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/varanis:1626-0761-wyterwelcome Wyter’s Welcome] and at the same time as [http:journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/mellia:bells-and-robes Wedding Bells and Robe Repairs]
Early, just after Yelm’s rise, Varanis comes back down the stairs. She’s in her armour again, hair neatly plaited, face freshly washed. In spite of the short night’s rest, she looks peaceful.
Berra, despite the lack of rest, looks like she is ready to take on the world. That is, belligerent, scowling, standing with her sword in hand almost as she wakes… it is like any morning, in fact. She buckles on Wind Tooth, considers for a moment, and then instead of picking up a shield, takes her other sword, fastened to her right hip. A glug of water, a bite of bread, and she is ready to go.
Varanis smiles at her friend and nods toward the door. “Shall we?”
“Mhm.” Berra does the usual spells at the door, and then leads the way out. “I ran up the steps yesterday,” she says. “I beat the sunset up them. I really hurt today, though. Much more than yesterday.”
“Going up them again today will be good for the muscles,” Varanis tells her with a smile.
“I did it twice yesterday. But half of the steps might feel slighted because I didn’t use them.” Berra grins inside her helmet, facing towards Varanis for a moment. “I hadn’t been for a run in a while. Not a proper one. But we probably shouldn’t race. It would attract attention.”
“Maybe on the way back, Berra. I don’t want to meet Lord Eril sweaty and out of breath.” In addition to the rather unusual calm, Varanis has wrapped herself in dignity. It’s subtly different from the pride she typically wears like a shield.
“Yeah. Fortunately, I’d had an hour to wait before he was free. Also, we shouldn’t race because it might alarm people, but when we’re in Nochet, or on the way down, we’ll have more time. Space.” Berra still bounces a bit on her toes.
“What was his mood last night?” Varanis asks.
Berra sighs, and walks for a little. “He’s changed, since the Heroquest that involved him,” she says. “He’s still brilliant, but he’s been consistently kind. I just don’t understand it. So I think you’ll find he’s very easy to talk to, and helpful as far as he can be.” She sounds genuinely puzzled, verging on aggrieved.
“Any advice for speaking with him?” Grey eyes seek out brown, giving away some of the Vingan’s nervousness.
“What do you want to get out of the conversation? Focus on that, and then at the end ask for general advice. So what do you want?”
“You know I don’t want to rule, but I want to be ready to rule if the time comes when I have no choice. I want to be not only worthy of the people under my care, but capable of leading them.” There’s no hesitation in her reply. She’s been thinking hard about this. “I would like to ask the Sword specifically for advice on what skills he believes I need to work on and how best to do so. I’ve been drifting since Dragonrise. I have purpose now, but I need direction.”
“Then tell him that, like you told me. Think about your weaknesses and strengths, and ask what you could do that will prepare you best. Not what will prepare you.”
Varanis nods. “Preparation is not something that will happen to me. It is something I must do. I know that. But, I had to accept my path first. You once warned me that I had a decision to make. I’ve not forgotten. It’s just taken a long time to understand.”
Berra grin inside her helmet. “It is a bit weird, I have to admit. He’ll advise you better on politics than on yourself, I think, but your approach is not bad. I think it misses out a step, though. Ask yourself what is important.”
“What is weird?” Varanis asks.
“The whole thing. Being here with you. This conversation. Thinking about who and what we are.” Berra shrugs. “I can’t put it better than that.”
Varanis chuckles softly. “Indeed. Do you want to know what is important to me?”
“If you want to tell me. But I get to use it to make you a better Prince, later.” Berra’s smile is faintly tyrannical. She is enjoying this.
Varanis laughs at Berra’s reply. “So be it. I want Sartar stable and Kallyr securely on the throne. I want an end to the Lunar threat. I want peace and prosperity for our people. And I want to be part of making that happen.”
“Big. But I think you also want other things that pull against that. You need to keep that in mind.” Berra clears an alleyways as safe with a glance. “You want to look after your friends, and you want small, personal things. You’re going to find those in conflict, and maybe that is a thing you should ask Lord Eril about. How to deal with that. How to remember what is important.”
Varanis – Ivalla11/07/2019
The Vingan smiles. “There’s not a lot of room for personal wants in a leader’s life, Berra. But yes, I want to care for and protect those I love. I want to serve my goddess. I want to refine my skills with my sword. Those things bring me joy. The political challenge that concerns me most is how to evade those who might wish to use me as a pawn in political games, without causing further political strife. How can I work towards Sartar’s stability in the face of those who might try to manipulate me or those around me for their own ends. That is something that I hope Lord Eril can advise on.”
“Oh, that will definitely be the right thing to ask. He might even smile.” Berra scurries ahead to check a corner, and drops back. “We should take the steps slowly, if you don’t want to get sweaty. You can’t stop the personal wants. Learning how to deal with them is maybe a thing he won’t understand. I think he doesn’t see much difference between seeing that a thing needs to be done, and doing it.”
Varanis nods. “He found his own way to stop the personal wants. We witnessed it.” There’s a note of pity in her statement. “It’s not something I can ever forget.”
“It’s… I think he made himself then. I didn’t dare ask him about it. I mean, he’s beyond that. But yeah, he likely doesn’t know how to help. But he did tell me yesterday he understood one of mine. I sort of wish I could help him. But if he needed help, he’d ask for it, or get it. So anything I could do would be wrong.” Berra goes from awed to concerned to disturbed, in a few sentences.
Varanis stares up the staircase. “Why one thousand? It seems… short-sighted.” She laughs wryly.
“No, you need pretty good eyesight to see all the way up there.” Berra sighs, and sets off up them. “So, working down from your high strategy… you want to support becoming good enough to be Prince, or at least fill in the shortcomings that will make you bad at it, or stop it from happening. And you also want those things to support a strong, united Sartar, under Kallyr. And that should be while not becoming a threat, or being seen as one, but that’s a secondary target, not a main one, because fear should not stop you from doing what you need to do. Is that everything?”
The Vingan nods. “Yes,” she replies then laughs. “I don’t ask for much, do I?”
“Uh, that’s not much. Really. It’s about what I’d expect as a start. If you didn’t know what you wanted, you wouldn’t get as much out of talking. But with that in mind, you can tell him all at once, or you can tell him in bits, but you know which bank you’re holding.” Berra times her speaking so she can walk up the stairs without puffing too much.
Varanis looks about as they take the stairs. There’s not a lot of traffic on them this early, but still some as people go about the business of Boldhome. “When we get up there, I’d like to speak with him alone, if he’ll have it that way.” She flashes an apologetic look at Berra for the exclusion. It is a statement however, rather than permission seeking.
“Oh, of course. I wasn’t entirely sure I was invited, to be honest. But I can stand outside and look threatening. I haven’t done that for a while. Over a week.” There might be other things she was going to say, but she does not, just sets herself to the stairs with a wry grin.
Most of the way up, Berra stops for a breather, and the chance to let sweat dry off. Then she tells the guards that Thegn Varena is here to see Lord Eril.
A few minutes later they are being guided through the Palace, with Berra looking careful and polite. She settles into position beside the door they are shown, without knocking on it or calling out.
Varanis stands in front of the door, closing her eyes and drawing in air. Calm descends and she knocks on the door.
“You may enter.”
Show conversation with Eril
Varanis enters Humakt’s shrine, closing the door firmly behind her. She glances about for Lord Eril and studies him closely.
He looks calm. Composed. “Greetings, Thane Vareena.”
“Greetings Sword Eril.” Her manner is respectful. “Thank you for seeing me.”
“I live only to serve, Thane.”
“As do I, which is why I am here. Initiate Berra told you that I seek advice?”
“She did. But might I hear it in your own words?” He looks at her, expression giving little away.
The Vingan nods. “I do not seek to rule, but it may be that one day Sartar or the gods demand it of me. I wish to be ready and worthy if that occasion arises. As I work towards that, I must evade those who might wish to use me in their political games, without causing further political strife. How can I work towards Sartar’s stability in the face of those who might try to manipulate me for their own purposes?”
He ponders, “Everyone serves others political games. It is merely to pick the right fights, the right sides. There is no magic formula, no gift of the Gods which will teach it to you. For now I would advise service to Sartar in other places.” He adds, “In the longer term that will not do, but you begin small. You are no great Tribal Queen, merely a comet that has crashed into others’ orbits. None yet know if you are a season’s wonder, or a change to the heavens’ dance.”
She looks thoughtful as she listens. “If I were your pupil,” she asks at last, “what would you demand of me to make me more worthy for my path?” Though not stated explicitly, her question invites brutal honesty, should he wish to offer it. She looks as though she has steeled herself for a cutting reply.
“My pupil would be giving up their link to their community. That is not your path. You are of it.” He considers, “Serve in small ways, as well as great ones. You have shown you can fight a demon. Now fight a gnat.”
“Thank you, my Lord. I shall think on your advice.” She offers him an appreciative smile. “We leave for Nochet soon. Before I depart, do you require anything?”
There is just the play of a smile, “Can you arrange for the Red Emperor to leave Sartar alone, or Queen Leika not to have placed herself in the position she has?”
Varanis laughs. She has a generous laugh, when it’s honest like this. One that invites others to join. “If I could, my lord, I would. I’ve promised not to make rash vows,” she admits, still chuckling. “But if I knew how to do those things, I promise you I would do so.”
“Then no, thank you. I require nothing you can give, Thane.”
She bows and let’s herself out.
Berra is standing in an attitude of thoughtful threat of everyone who might come along. Nobody is dead and there is no blood in the corridor or on her.
There’s the sound of Varanis’ laughter from behind the door. It sounds like honest, rich laughter, not nervousness. Minutes later, the door opens and she emerges, a thoughtful smile on her lips.
Berra is not in the habit of standing to attention, but she does do a decent impression of someone ready for battle.
“Shall we?” the Vingan asks, indicating the way forward.
Berra glances at the door, and then breaks into a walk. It is a few minutes of walking through the Palace, which she does grim-faced, a short threat of Death.
Varanis, on the other hand, is calm, thoughtful. She has a smile in her eyes and a friendly nod for any they meet en route.
On the way down the stairs, Berra asks, “How did it go?”
“He’s an intriguing person, this High Sword of yours.” Varanis answers. “He has depths I didn’t see before.”
“He terrifies me, to be frank. I got a glimpse of his power yesterday. I never really knew.” Berra looks like there is a lot more she is not saying.
“But he turns that power to Sartar’s benefit,” Varanis replies. “As that is a shared goal, there is nothing to fear.”
“Not… well, yes, mostly. Did you get what you wanted?”
“I think I got what I needed. Want and need don’t always coincide.” Despite her words, Varanis appears content.
Berra gives a swift, amused chuckle. “That was going to be my next question, and my follow-up. I’d play ‘and what else’ but you should do that yourself. What now? And what else? Answer in your heart, not outside to me.”
Varanis’ attention shifts inward, considering. She trusts Berra to keep her safe.