VS 186 Letting off steam

Varanis — 1626 0912 Lettingoffsteam

????, Dark Season, Harmony Week


Context

Dark Season, Harmony week, end of Clayday. At the Bison Riders’ camp on the plains of Prax. [[[s02:session-20|Session 20]]]

Events

It is the evening of Clayday, with Yelm slipping down. Soon it will be Windsday, and a party, but right now, Berra is looking around the camp, and the area where they are all staying. Her eyes fall on Varanis, and she says, “Going out to practice. Wanna?” Heortling, thick peasant accent. She seems relaxed.

The Vingan’s eyes light up. “Yes!” She leaps to her feet, armour gleaming in the falling light. She snatches up her helmet, looks at her shield, then turns a questioning glance towards Berra. “Single sword?”

“I’ve not brought wasters. But we could ask if we could borrow. I mean, if you didn’t. Is there anything you want to do?” Berra has two swords buckled on, the iron and the bronze. “Otherwise, single sword drills and maybe some depth of attack work. The one with the bits of grass, if we can find any grass.”

“Sorry, I didn’t pack them. Drills are a good start.” Varanis rolls her shoulders, loosening her muscles in anticipation.

“Should we warn people, so we don’t make anyone uncomfortable? I don’t want anyone thinking we’re trying to be threatening in any way.”

“Nah, we can go out a bit. And if anyone has a problem they’ll tell Rajar. Probably.” Berra grins a bit. “And if anyone wants to join in, let ’em.”

Varanis nods. “Let’s go, then. I need to move anyway. I feel so… I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense. We’ve been on the road and I shouldn’t feel so pent up, but I do.”

“Mmm. We could really confuse them by doing speed dismounts?” Berra smiles. “But the ground doesn’t need reminding to stay put. Let’s find a place.” With the casual prowl of a killer she sets off for the edge of the sprawling camp. Nobody tries to stop them, and there are a thousand cattle between them and the open desert.

Varanis holds herself to the Humakti’s pace, though the tension and impatience that run through her are ill-disguised. As they walk, her eyes dart around the landscape, always searching.

Nothing threatens. It’s peaceful.

Berra finds a place a little out of the way, where she looks around and finally rolls her shoulders to loose them. “A few times around the basic forms, just to get the spirit waking, and then we’ll … hmm…. not fly-killing. That looks really stupid and we want some respect from them. We’ll think of something.”

Varanis draws her sword as she scans the ground, checking for obstacles. Satisfied, she shifts lightly into a ready stance and looks to Berra for a cue to begin.

Berra uses her right hand to hook Wind Tooth out of the scabbard, flipping the sword easily to a comfortable grip. She takes a moment to relax, and then begins stepping through a very simple set of blocks and chops. Her expression is peaceful, her gaze focussed somewhere among the thousand bison.

Where Berra looks peaceful, Varanis’ face is suffused with joy as she falls into her forms. She starts slowly, but within moments is flying through the drills, her feet dancing and her blade cutting through the air.1001 on rapier

Berra shows competence, but nothing more. There is no dance from her, although she shows few errors. That is to be expected, from such a simple take she has set herself.2Pass Broadsword, pass Meditate. Scan Roll please? V: Fail

The Vingan appears to have become lost within her own drills, her focus entirely on the movement of her body and her blade.

It is several minutes before the bronze blade slows and the dance comes to an end. Despite the evening’s chill, Varanis’ cheeks are flushed and a sheen of sweat is visible on her forehead. Her grin is broad and she draws Orlanth’s breath into her lungs.

Berra comes over from where she is talking to a group of men who have been watching, and says, “Well done. Now, how about something with another person in it?” In her hands she carries a long tuft of wool. She shows no sign of having exercised in the past few minutes, but her expression is happy, and so is her voice. She likely enjoyed watching that.

Varanis arches a brow at the wool, but nods her agreement. “Partners are useful for many things,” she teases.

Berra raises an eyebrow. “If you’re cold, you could try keeping your clothes on?” she suggests.

This gets a laugh. “What do you have in mind, Berra?”

Berra holds up the wool. “Distance fun for the sword hand,” she says. “Take hold of one end. We’ll start pretty close to the middle. Stay with me so it doesn’t get pulled apart.”

Looking slightly uncertain, but game to try, Varanis grasps the wool as indicated.

Berra smoothly steps back, tugging the tuft just a little. Her arm straightens rather as she does that, and she looks to see if Varanis has the right idea.3V: Int * 4 says V gets it, but I don’t. Which hand is this in? What are we doing? I can’t visualize so I’m kind of at a loss. Are we playing a distance game, testing footwork? B: Yeah, right-handed. If we pull too hard the wool comes apart. Footwork mostly, but with a bit of hand/arm stuff. DEX x 5. Berra has passed, but is not trying to win. She’s trying to teach. V: 49 – passed. 002 on harmony – V is feeling very cooperative.

Over the course of a few minutes, Berra uses the little tuft of wool to make Varanis move her arm and hand and body, so that the Vingan is always trying to keep a close, killing distance, without there actually being a sword involved. “Hand’s always chasing me,” she says. “Now, a bit more wool apart…” And then she turns an ankle on a rock, as her attention is on shifting her grip. She takes the fall with a small yelp, and falls into the coarse, stubbly grass with only enough grace to stop it from being really painful.4I just managed to fumble broadsword.

“Berra! Are you ok?” Varanis shifts from fighting ready to concerned in a breath. Dropping the wool, she takes a knee close enough to the Humakti that she could readily reach out to touch her if healing is needed.

“I’ve just bent my pride,” Berra says. “Are they still watching?”

Yes, yes they are still watching.

Varanis glances over at the Praxians, then back at Berra. “Their opinions don’t really matter,” she suggests.

“Yeah, I know.” Berra shrugs. “But…” Another shrug, and then she flips herself up onto her feet with a jump that definitely has a touch of annoyance in how much power she puts into it. “They’re all so tall.”

Varanis looks at the Praxians again and back to Berra. “If you say so. Can you walk? Is it injured enough to need healing?”

“Yeah, it’s fine. Just a twinge.” Berra rotates her ankle. “Thanks. You were impressive before.”

“Thank you. I needed it, I think. Are you done for now?” Varanis beams at Berra’s praise, even as she tries not to make a big deal about it.

Berra grins, her mood good again. “Yeah. Want to go check out how the food’s getting on?”

“I can smell it when the wind shifts. I admit, I’m hungry and looking forward to eating something other than trail rations. Rajar’s insistence that I stick to rations is unhealthy. I’m just not sure if it’s going to be bad for him or for me. Pavis had so many interesting foods and he kept feeding me jerky. I seriously thought about renewing his relationship with Ernalda more than once….” Varanis rambles as they walk, her mood shifting like the eddies of the evening breeze.

“Which would have gone very well for someone and been interesting to watch,” Berra says. “But we should definitely get food that we all like, and carry it with us. Things for just in case.”

A couple of the men who were watching the brief sword practice are now trailing casually along not far from Varanis.

Varanis glances back at them and then at Berra. “Anything I should be concerned about?” she asks quietly.

“Only if you want to keep your clothes on for warmth,” Berra says after a brief moment of concentration, and a glance that way. “I think they want to be seen around you.”

Varanis laughs. “Maybe I’ll let one of the keep me warm later,” she replies, casting an assessing look behind her. “Right now, I’m hungry.”513 on fertility.