Varanis — 1626 0894 Roadtrip
????, Earth Season
End of Earth Season, as Nala, Berra, and Xenofos prepare to leave for Prax [[[s02:session-18|Session 18]]]
Waterday has rain, and a wind from the sea that means boats must beat out against the weather, and most ships simply stay snug in harbour, letting their oarsmen rest. The weather is not bad, nor has it turned for winter yet, but it is not conducive to leaving by sea-going vessel.
Varanis, having failed to gain an audience with her [http://journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/varanis:1626-0893-pavisbound Grandmother], decides to change into her armour and head for her temple. Irritable and flustered, she neglects to inform anyone of her departure, nor does she takes guards. Both of these facts are likely noted by the guard at the palazzo gate, though he does not comment.
Having come out of the Palazzo and being pretty sure that she is not being followed, it is therefore almost obvious that she should check in front of her and up on the roofs as well. So as she does that she hears a, “Me?” from just behind. A woman’s voice. It sounds quiet, but like quietness is unusual.
Varanis glances back over her shoulder, caught by the noise.1Failed scan allowed her to be caught off guard.
Lanasha is there, and gives Varanis a little smile. “You were in your own thoughts,” she says. “Is this a bad time?”
Show surprise Vingan
“I don’t know if it’s a bad time or not, if I’m honest,” comes the reply. “I’m going to the Temple. Join me?”
Lanasha nods, and heaves a deep sigh. “I came by to see iff…” She trails off, slurring the last word as she definitely does not suppress a jolt in her breathing. Definitely.
Varanis stops moving suddenly, turning to study the other Vingan. “Are you alright?”
Lanasha tries to smile, but it comes off badly. “I heard a song about Berra. I came to see her, but she moved out.” To someone who knows warriors, this is out of place. She is trying to be brave in a way you usually find among people about to face their first battle.
“Oh… I’m sorry, Lanasha. She’s leaving for Prax today.” Varanis looks truly sorry to break this news, but does nothing to cushion it either.
Lanasha nods. “She was only ever here to go,” she says, just about managing a light tone. “But… does she know? It’s about her and a man.”
“Kesten Hulta? She knows. She’s warned him. It’s nonsense, of course, but she seems to be frequently a target of such attacks.” Varanis shrugs and starts walking again.
Lanasha breaks into a walk. “Anyhow. Yes. I came to make sure she knew. And see how she was. I want to be her friend, no matter what.”
“I think she’s at the docks, waiting for her ship.”
Lanasha looks briefly torn, but says, “Temple. I’ll walk with you there. How are you keeping?”
Varanis shrugs. “I don’t know, to be honest. I am so sick of Nochet, I just want to escape. But, I am so bound up by promises and duty that I can’t. When I was away, I missed the city viciously, but suddenly I can’t stand it. Sometimes, I just want to burn the place to the ground.” She stops, a look of shock on her face at having spoken these words out loud. She shakes her head, and starts walking again. “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I said that.”
Lanasha is quiet for a little while and then offers, “I miss the Necropolis, still. But I’ve never been back. I couldn’t have.”
“No?” Varanis glances at her. “Why not?”
“Because I’m not going to be a Priestess of Ty Kora Tek.” Lanasha gestures down at herself. “I don’t look the part.”2Insight: Lanasha is trying very hard not to think about something else. This conversation has become Very Important to her.
Varanis shrugs. “You don’t have to look the part to fill it.” She doesn’t seem to notice the irony of this statement coming from someone who was clearly born to be Vingan.
“I have to want to fill it, though. I’m not going to, so I didn’t go back. I… what I’m saying is that you can love a place and also hate it.” The other Vingan strides confidently, filling her own shape, her own life. “My family shelter the dead. I want to fight for the living.”
Varanis nods thoughtfully. “I sort of envy you. You know what you want to do and, from the outside at least, you seem to be striding that path with confidence. I feel torn in so many directions.”
Lanasha sighs. “I have everything I want except the thing I want,” she admits. “But… I do know that you have to take what you want and then work to keep it. That much I’ve learned. And it hurts to be torn apart. It took me so long to decide I had to leave. And then I had to go, and that was hard as well, because then I was GONE.”
“I know that some people see me as a selfish child who takes what I want…” Varanis has a distant look for a moment, as though she’s thinking back on something. “But, little things are different from the things that matter. Duty matters. Responsibility matters. Loyalty matters. There’s no room for what I want in all of that. I want to serve Kallyr and drive the Lunars from our lands. I can’t do that in Nochet. I can’t do it in Prax either though. Maybe it’s time I return to Sartar.”
“Then do the biggest, best thing you can?” Lanasha suggests. “We fought together against the Lunars once. If you call on me I’ll do it again.” Her smile is lovely when she is looking shy. “But Prax just threw out the Lunars, you know?”
Varanis smiles at her. “Thank you. If I need you, I’ll call on you. And I know they threw out the Lunars. That’s why it makes no sense to go there to fight. I suppose it makes little sense to seek a battlefield in Dark Season, mind you. Even the Lunars aren’t that stupid.” Her smile fades. “I thought maybe I had my answer, but I still don’t.”
“We don’t war in Dark Season. We wait with our friends, and see what Storm Season brings, and prepare for Sacred Time.” Lanasha manages a fragile smile. “I don’t think Berra would take kindly to me trying to come with her, though. But I have other people to eat warm food with. And then Fire Season. But what I meant really was that there are probably a lot of soldiers in Prax right now, and their commanders, who don’t have anyone to fight right now, and to get to Prax you sort of have to go through Sartar. That Bison rider that Berra likes is from Prax.”
Varanis nods thoughtfully. “I was thinking… if Kallyr has no use for me… well, maybe Argrath does.3And a 002 on loyalty White Bull finally brings an answer. I should speak to Rajar. He’s sworn to the White Bull…” She hesitates, taking her bearings. “I’m going to the Storm Bull Temple. I’m likely to find him there. You are welcome to continue walking with me, if you choose, but I understand if you need to go in a different direction.”
Lanasha agonises for only a moment. “I… if you’re not going to the Hill, then I’ll go to the docks. I want to say goodbye to her.”
Varanis nods. “I may see you there. It depends on how quickly I can move.” She clasps Lanasha’s shoulder briefly. “Thank you. You’ve helped me find the answer I needed. May Vinga’s hand bring joy to your heart in the seasons to come, Sister.”
Lanasha gives a sort of smile, and her fist hits on Varanis’ arm in farewell. “And you.”
With that, Varanis takes off at a run, heading for the Storm Bull Temple.
Lanasha watches and smiles, and then goes on with her day, which may or may not end with tears in the rain.
Having come to a plan at last, Varanis goes in search of Rajar.
Show Conversation with Rajar
Varanis reaches the Storm Bull Temple at a dead run. “Looking for the Praxian bison rider – Rajar,” she puffs at the large man standing guard.
Rajar is standing with a group of warriors, talking enthusiastically. “…..and so I told him the duck was on fire. Oh hello, Varanis.”
“I’m going to Prax. If I stay in Nochet… well, I just can’t stay in Nochet right now. And I was thinking, if Kallyr doesn’t want my service, then maybe Argrath does. I can’t just sit around waiting for something to happen. I have to do something. Come with me? We’ll seek out the White Bull together.” The words come out in a rush.
“It would be fitting to rejoin the White Bull. I’ve been too long. Very well. And he’s in Prax you say?”
She shrugs. “I don’t know, but it seems the most likely place to find him, don’t you think?”
“I RIDE brothers and sisters of the Storm. TO PRAX.” Rajar swings an axe and a beer tankard around.
“How quickly can you be at the docks? There’s a ship that sails today.” Varanis is delighted, but also in a mad rush. “I’ll meet you at the docks. I have to pack!” And she’s gone, almost as fast as she arrived.
Rajar picks his saddlebags up and wanders off to find Billy. Stormbulls never unpack. They are normally asked to leave pretty quickly.