VS 145 Shattered Songstrel

Varanis — 1626 0819 Shattered

????, Earth Season, Fertility Week


Context

Earth Season, Fertility Week, late morning on Godday [[[s02:session-9|Session 9]]]

Events

Late in the morning, hours after Xenofos has disappeared, Varanis and Berra leave the Vingan’s rooms with a caged bird. Berra is leading the way and Varanis is right behind her with the wicker cage in hand.

Berra goes to find Yamia, and asks formally for a guard. The other Sartarite Humakti bows, and fetches her weapons and armour, changing quickly with the help of one of Venlar’s thralls.

Berra goes to the courtyard to meet Varanis, and there she waits. The Blue Tree Humakti has eschewed a shield, and has two swords. Yamia arrives with a shield borrowed from the house; it was one of the things that was not packed for her. She is dressed in what is obviously Berra’s leather armour, which is a little short, but workable.

Varanis, for her part, has not bothered with armour, but her rapier is visible amongst the layers of skirt. “We’re going to House Yelendar. Berra, do you know the way?”

“Afraid not,” Berra replies. “We’ll have to ask. Are you going to drape the cage?”

Yamia looks politely professional, but is smiling just a little too much.

“I know the way.” She looks thoughtful. “I hadn’t thought about that. It’s probably better, isn’t it?” She calls a servant over who returns with a linen towel to wrap the cage. Varanis fidgets and fusses, torn between her worry over the bird and her desire to be moving. When she’s at last satisfied, she heads for the Saiciae gate, trusting Berra and Yamia to keep up.

Yamia holds up a hand, closes her eyes, and thinks for a moment. “I sense no harm,” she says, but she still looks to Berra, who casts a spell to check, while looking impressed. After that, Yamia walks a little ahead, when she can, and otherwise trails by not very far at all, with the look of someone listening to a sound only they can hear.1GM, Yamia is using Sense Assassin. She’s not likely to go off the rails if she senses anything, but if you want me to roll it, I can.

The gates to House Yelendar are open during daytime, but of course there are guards who look at the party questioningly. Varanis approaches and asks to speak to Lord Vahnfar. Berra is not far behind, while Yamia is scowling at the street. The guards look at each other. “A moment my lady,” and one scurries inside. Yamia takes that moment to begin concentrating once more.2She passes sense assassin. There are none.

A lady clad in green linothorax and carrying a wicked looking mace approaches the gate. “You would see Lord Vahnfar? Who are you?” Berra looks the woman up and down, casually, like a visitor more than a guard.3Commander type. Maybe Babeester gori. Mace is swagger stick with loads of attitude.

“I’m Varanis Saiciae. I need to speak with him fairly urgently, please.” The please is a matter of courtesy, not entreaty. She fully expects to be shown in.

Berra does her level best to look peaceful, managing surprisingly well.4Passed charm.

There is a small pause. During which the lady makes no sign of showing anyone in. Then she nods, slowly. She is a bit startled, but covers it well. “Welcome to House Yelendar, Varanis of Saiciae, Lightbringer. Please enter with your companions”

“Thank you,” Varanis says. She carries the cage gingerly.

“Your guards may wait here,” she says, gesturing with her mace.

She leads Varanis through corridors she remembers filled with people during a reception. She is left in a antechamber for some time, with refreshments and a scared looking servant girl.

Varanis waits, attempting to be patient. She takes the opportunity to check on the little yellow songstrel, a worried expression on her face. Then she hears the hobnailed sandals returning. “My Lady will see you now.”

The Vingan raises an eyebrow. She had asked for Vahnfar. But she nods and rises to follow. She is led to reception chamber, not quite like the on Grandmother would see you in. But Kirse maybe. A tall lady, aged about 45, with serene expression acknowledges your approach. “Thank you, Erinra. Welcome Varanis daughter of Serzeen.”5Varanis passes INT x 5 roll: You have seen her, she is Soialya of Yelendar. Not Grandmother of this house, but one of the matrons.

Varanis bows respectfully, cage still in hand. “Good day, Lady Soialya.”

“You wished to talk with my son?”

“Yes, ma’am. I believe he gave me a gift I cannot accept. And, well, frankly I’m worried about him.”

“I am afraid you may have good reason to be worried, child. Our golden oriole is not with us.”

Varanis looks confused. “Are you referring to the little songbird?” she asks holding up the cage.

“No, the other songbird, Vahnfar.” She glances at Varanis sideways: “Who is at care of the White Ladies still.”

Varanis looks concerned. “What happened?”

“We don’t quite know yet, child.”6Varanis passes insight with 002. She sees that Soialya is not telling everything she knows. She is also gauging Varanis’ reaction quite coolly. Soialya passes insight with a crit: V is totally sincere in her worry. There’s no dissembling going on. She might be trying to hide some confusion though.

“I’d heard a rumour… but I wasn’t sure if it was him.”

“He was brought to Hospital on Windsday evening and healers have kept him in sleep ever since.” There are some chinks in Soialya’s serenity as she blinks couple of times.7Varanis passes insight: She is worried sick and sad and not going to show it.

Varanis looks shocked. “The bird I believe he sent me,” she indicates the cage again, “it stopped singing on Windsday evening.” Varanis carefully pulls the cover off the cage.

Soialya inhales sharply. “His spirit bird!? That thoughtless, romantic youth…”

“I didn’t know what it was and I wasn’t certain who it came from. It’s taken me a few days to piece it together. I’m sorry, my lady. If I’d fully understood, I would have returned it immediately. There was another, blue with a little red cap. Would you know if it too should be brought back here?”

“I will not accept either bird, child.” She is gathering her serenity around her like a cloak. “My son was foolish to gift it, but it was his to give and not mine to take back.”

Varanis looks slightly panicked. “But…” This was not the answer she was expecting.

“You must talk with him yourself. When he wakes up…If he wakes.” Varanis looks into her eyes that resemble deep wells reflecting a starlit night sky, hiding her sorrow deep. Soialya rises, indicating the reception is over.

“Is there anyone who can advise me on the care of the bird?” Varanis asks desperately.

“Vahnfar,” says Soialya, and does not move. She is waiting for Varanis to leave.

The Vingan covers the cage reluctantly and turns to leave. Before she steps through the door, she turns back. “I hope he heals soon, Lady Soialya. He seems like a sweet boy.”

Soialya stays statue-still, standing. Varanis bows and leaves, taking the covered cage with her.

Outside, Berra is waiting impatiently, and Yamia is waiting impassively. With the leather armour on, she is still totally different from the previous wearer, to the point it is almost jarring. Both short, both dark-haired, and there the similarity ends.

Varanis says, “Great Hospital. That’s where I want to go next. Do you have time?”

They both look at each other, before Berra nods slightly puzzled, and Yamia says, “Of course. I am with you until we return to the House.”

“I didn’t want to assume. Berra, do you know the way from here, or shall I lead?”

“I do,” Berra says. “You can almost see it.” She goes out with the usual muttered ceremony, while Yamia briefly concentrates. By now it is just past noon, on the last day of the Holy Week, and there are crowds and pickpockets out in force…

Just after the little groups leaves the Yelandar palazzo there comes a sound like coughing from the cage.

Berra taps Varanis on the arm and points to the cage. She then looks around to see if they are being watch; apparently not, but they are in a busy street. Yamia, just behind them, stops to give them room and glare at everyone trying to push onward.8Berra gets a special on listen, and Yamia passes intimidate. Humakti!

Varanis has already heard the noise and is looking to get clear of the busy foot traffic so that she can peek into the cage. As soon as she’s closer to a wall than the road, she lifts just enough of the linen to look inside.

The bird looks like it is in pain. Like it is trying to get something from its throat. Varanis mutters a curse. “We need to get to the hospital now.”

Berra looks at Yamia, and signals her forward. Then both fall in in front of Varanis, pushing and shoving a way through the crowd. Notably, Yamia’s attention is ahead, but Berra remembers to look around at the various potential problems.

Varanis’ attention is entirely focused on preventing the cage from being jostled, a job made much easier by the way the two Humakti are clearing the path.

There are several infuriated people, but none are willing to argue the case. A couple of times, Berra has to point the way for Yamia, but mostly they work in silence, a team formed by necessity. Soon the hospital looms by them.

They reach the hospital and who else but Janina greets them, friendly as always.

“I’m looking for Vahnfar Telendar. Now, please.”

“Wait here please. He is being treated right now and I must check from the healer in charge if you can see him.”

Berra rolls out her shoulders, obviously preparing for battle through the medium of being rude to Janina, when she turns out to be not a challenge at all. The Humakti looks slightly disappointed.

Janina sends a lay healer and beams at you.

Berra leans over to Yamia and says in a quiet voice, “Throw your knucklebones right and she’ll give you a free handkerchief.” Yamia gives her a confused look.

Varanis ignores the healer to check on the caged spirit bird. It looks like it is still trying to clear its throat. She glances up at Janina imploringly. “I need to see him now.”

Berra says, “I don’t think the bird being there will do anything. If he’s being looked after, we should stay out of the way. Unless you think there’s something we can do, but I don’t.”

Varanis frowns. “You are probably right. I don’t understand how the two of them are connected. Being together won’t necessarily help?”

Just then, the lay healer comes back and whispers something to Janina. She nods and tells the healer will allow a very brief visit, for the patient is quite weak.


They are lead to a room where they see a pale, blond Vahnfar looking wistfully at the door. And Mellia looking very sternly at it.

Continues in:[http://journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/mellia:seeds-doubt Seeds of Doubt]