VS 113 Matters Of Cloth

Varanis — 1626 0777 Matters Of Cloth

????, Earth Season, Death Week


Earth Season, Death Week, Waterday [[[s02:session-4|Session 4]]]

Midmorning, after the party evening in Nochet Xenofos knocks on Varanis’ door in House Saiciae

Continues in [http://journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/berra:up-on-the-roof Up on the Roof]


A servant answers the door. “Yes?” She is middle-aged, with a stern look to her. She’s dressed well for someone of her class, in good quality linen with lines of trim in colour. The look she gives Xenofos is courteous, but not particularly deferential.

“Varanis in?”

“Yes,” comes the cool reply.

“Oh, Marta, just let him in. Xenofos is my cousin, he means no harm.” Varanis sounds impatient.

“My lady, you have many cousins.” With a look of irritation, woman mutters under her breath, “And with your attitude, I’m sure at least a few of them would wish you harm.” She then says to Xenofos, “My Lord may come in.”

Varanis is inside, sitting on a stool. She’s wearing a beautiful silk gown, gold jewellery, and an unhappy expression. From the looks of things, the servant was in the process of doing the Vingan’s hair they were interrupted.

Xenofos nods to the servant as he walks in, sweaty and dusty, bringing in smell of sun and outdoors. “Am I interrupting? I can come later if you wish?”

“Not at all! Please take a seat and have some wine if you will.” The look the servant directs towards Xenofos suggests that he is indeed interrupting, but his cousin appears almost grateful for his presence.

Marta pours wine into a palm cup made of cobalt blue glass and offers it to Xenofos. While her eyes hold sparks of irritation, she doesn’t let it show in her manners.

“Thank you. Got any water here? I am parched.”

An urn of water and a clay cup are placed on the table beside the scholar. The implication seems to be that if he’s parched, he can probably work out how to manage the water by himself. Marta has more important things to do.

She returns to take up position behind Varanis, deft fingers immediately back to plaiting and coiling the unruly red hair.

There’s a wince, then Varanis says, “What brings you my way this morning, Xenofos?”

Spoilers Berra – don’t read this

Varanis laughs. “I did mention that last night. I’ve heard rumours about gifts?”

“Not my choice of clothing.” He shrugs. “Yes, Grandmother mentioned gifts, apparently from various sources.”

“I heard there was even some sort of perfume. You clearly made an impression, cousin.” He gets a teasing wink.

“Perfume?” His eyebrow shoots up. “Weird, the only person I really talked with apart from you was Elanka and Grandmother implied stuff was coming from several places…”

Varanis shrugs. “You were watched by many. And why weren’t you talking with more people? That’s what we were there to do, Xenofos. Maybe you created a mystery around yourself by seeming aloof…” She looks thoughtful as she considers this.

“Grandmother told me I would probably be asked by males about Mellia’s situation. But then Elanka appeared and after she left we were not really approached by anyone. Weird that, even with Berra with her charming smile most of the time”

“Elanka? Is that the blond woman I saw you with last night?”

“Yes. That’s her. Do your female rumour networks know something of her?”

Varanis shakes her head. “I’ve not seen her before. I can learn more, if you’d like,” she offers.

“I was wondering what the price would be if I asked her to hold my arm to scare middle aged matrons.” He gives her a sideways grin. “I think she was hinting she might be interested, but whether she would deem couple of days too long or too short I don’t know.”

He continues, “Besides with Berra pointing out that having a girl on my arm with aim on using her as deterrent to matrons would be by nature be deception, a lie, I can’t really do that. Even if said girl would be willing to do that and price mutually acceptable. But going directly against Grandmother’s uncharacteristically plainly stated wishes does not appeal to me either….” Xenofos stands. “I guess I need to freshen up a bit before heading for the Library. That history and politics stuff is still relatively simple compared to this marriage and romance intrigue and haggling. Might clear my head a bit.”

Varanis smiles. “Don’t fret about it too much, cousin. Just, next time, perhaps launch into a boring lecture on an obscure bit of history instead of singing? And why would you choose to sing about me, of all things? If you must sing, sing about Mellia. The White Lady has plenty of songs these days, it seems.”

He smiles. “I did not write those so I don’t know them that well.”

“Learn one,” she suggests firmly. “It will make Grandmother happy.”

“Maybe… I wonder if she has similar surprises in store for you?”

“What do you mean?”

“I told Grandmother I am not wishing for marriage at this time and yet I was presented to the Market…”

“But she also said that you should deter interested ladies,” Varanis observes. “And no, I don’t think she intends to marry me off to someone in Nochet. When she decides to put me on the block, I’m sorry to say it will likely be to some Sartarite family.” The tiniest hint of resentment can be heard in those words.

“That is what she said today… And I have no clue of her evaluations on matchmaking. What you say makes sense.” Xenofos looks distant “You know, after Venlar started talking of Grandmother trying to raise Mellia’s value I kind of wondered how your ‘value’ has soared on the Market.”

Varanis shudders. “Please don’t speak of it. But now, perhaps you know why I’d rather you not sing of me?”

“No. You fulfilled a great oath, went to Hell and brought back your Prince from hands of Death. That is the Truth plain and simple and that should be known, not hidden.”

“What will that mean to people here?” she counters. “Either they won’t believe it and assume our House is making some kind of play for social power, or they will believe it and I will become a thing to be collected by the richest matron for her chosen son.”

“That is too complicated for me, cousin.” Xenofos smiles apologetically. “Truth must be told. To not tell some Truths is tantamount to lying.”

“You must do as you believe right. But please, learn some of Mellia’s songs.” The look she gives him is resigned.

“I am sorry if I embarrass you with my amateur dabbling. I know you are by nature modest and don’t wish the attention.”2Hmmm. Wonder if that is a white lie from x, or if he really thinks that. It might be partially true with new adult Varanis but maybe not quite for child Varanis.

She searches his face, trying to decide if he’s teasing her. Uncertain, she turns away to refill her glass. “Go to the library, Xenofos,” she says. “I have work to do.”

Xenofos looks slowly from gilded toenails to elegant hairdo and nods. “As do I, at the library. I will have a guard with me on the street.”3Xenofos is not teasing. Part blind, part reflective of Varanis’ latest behaviour.

“Thank you,” she says. “For the guard. It relieves me of one worry, at least.”

Xenofos looks like he was seeking words for something, but in the end he just nods again and strides out of the room.

  • 1
    Varanis makes a successful roll on insight human. He has gathered himself quite well, but she did get him totally confused/ flustered/ thinking something new and his ears are a bit red. Dress.
  • 2
    Hmmm. Wonder if that is a white lie from x, or if he really thinks that. It might be partially true with new adult Varanis but maybe not quite for child Varanis.
  • 3
    Xenofos is not teasing. Part blind, part reflective of Varanis’ latest behaviour.