VS 128 Burning the Candle: Feeling Troubled

Varanis — 1626 0797 Candle5

????, Earth Season, Season/Death Week


Earth Season/Death Week/Wildday [[[s02:session-7|Session 7]]]


Before dawn on Wildday. It’s going to be Varanis’ second day at the Temple of Humakt. She’s awake and getting ready to go.

Berra is mediating by the door, back to it, in the light of a tallow lamp that makes the room smell comforting but a little bacon-ish. She looks entirely peaceful and calm, and also very well armed.

Varanis wrestles herself into her armour, tugging the various straps through their appropriate buckles.

Berra opens her eyes in time to get up and help, the calm look still on her. Her own armour needs only a little tightening and re-strapping, although she does give Varanis a smile and says quietly, “I can’t really meditate in it either. The leather was more forgiving.” Her voice hardly breaks the silence.

“They had me meditating in armour yesterday. I guess I’m used to it – I’ve been wearing this since the Siege.” The Vingan is quiet. Perhaps a little distracted. On the table, there’s a fine wooden bowl full of apples. It wasn’t there yesterday morning.

“I think I move a little, even when I think I am still. Leather lets me do that. This has more straps. Ready to go? Are you eating breakfast before, or at all?” Berra buckles on the sword that she had scabbarded across her knees while she was communing with her spirit.

Varanis snatches an apple from the bowl. “This will do. Let’s go. I don’t want to be late.”

Berra reaches for one, considers, and asks, “That’s not a vegetable, is it? It’s fruit. Can I have one?”

“It’s a fruit, and please do.” The bowl is finely made and has words carved around the inside of the rim. It’s definitely new.

To Berra, of course, it is just furniture. She grabs an apple, says, “I should probably not send fruit to Sword D’Val,” and looks ready to go. “Shall we?”

Varanis nods and makes for the door.

Berra eats the entire apple between the private door and the public one, and is ready to cast the usual spell of detection as she steps out. Humakt is with her – it only takes her two attempts.

Varanis heads in the direction of the Storm Gate. Unless Berra insists otherwise, she’s taking as direct a path as possible. She seems distracted and unusually quiet. There is no scent of violets on way to the temple, but she doesn’t mention this to Berra. After all, why would the absence be noteworthy? She makes note of it anyway.

Berra does not insist on any other path, but a couple of times she says, “Slow down,” or, “No need to hurry.” For once, the Humakti is not surging ahead, or even trying to.

“Someone has sent me notes. Well, poetry. Twice now.” Varanis says out of the blue. “And… this is going to sound very odd… I think Xenofos is jealous. But he wouldn’t be. He’s my kinsman and my sworn man.” She looks confused.

“Protective,” Berra says after a few paces. “He would be protective. That looks a lot the same.” Yelm is not yet risen, of course. Her face is mostly in darkness, but the light of the Sky Dome and the Cold Sun are enough. She looks… unworried. “What makes you think of jealousy?”

“It’s just something in his voice and a look on his face.” She shrugs. “You’re right. He’s probably being protective. But, the poems are strange too. The first was on papyrus and was placed in my palanquin two nights ago. No one noticed anything. The second was the bowl full of apples. The person who delivered said I had ordered it, so one of my servants put it in my room. The inside of the bowl has a poem too.”

“Same person?” Berra asks. “And do you care? Were they named?”

“There’s no name. But think about it Berra,” she sounds dead serious in the low light of pre-dawn. “Someone accessed my palanquin and got something into my room and nobody seems to be worried about it.”

“I know. I’m worried about it. I assume someone bribed somebody in the household, and I don’t like that.” Berra moves for a moment like she’ about to get into a draw and a fighting stance and a sudden fluid attack. “Do you want me to try to keep guard? The House is as big as a Clan, but I could sleep in the palanquin.”

“No, but I should mention it to Serzeen. I’ll do it when I get back tonight. She’ll check in on the guards.” Varanis doesn’t say anything more on the subject and seems to once again become lost in her own head.

“If one of …” Berra stops, and then says, “I have nights free. Escorting you is a Temple Service, so it counts. So does protecting you and keeping harm from you, and you from harm that comes from others.”

“It’s fine. Meet me at the end of the day to escort me home.” Varanis has nothing further to say on the subject at the moment.