VS 187 Aftermath

Varanis — 1626 0914 Aftermath

????, Dark Season, Death Week


Context

Dark Season, Death Week, Clayday Early Morning. At the Bison Riders’ camp on the plains of Prax. [[[s02:session-20|Session 20]]]

Events

This takes place the morning after the triumphant return to Rajar’s clan and the riotous party that followed. Varanis wakes up to greet Yelm, as is her wont, and finds she has yet another terrible hangover.

She looks a little rumpled, having only pulled on last night’s tunic and run her fingers through her mop of hair. Even though Yelm’s light is barely breaking over the horizon, she is squinting when she stares in his direction.

Landscape is bleak in Yelms early light, with the herd’s dark mass partly obscured by early morning mist hanging over the plain. Eyes are drawn naturally to the two zebras and the green riding cloak by them.

Varanis goes through her salutation to Yelm, each movement slow and precise. As she sheathes her sword, she turns towards the zebras. “Good morning, cousin,” she says softly once she is close enough to be heard.

“Good morning Varanis” the scribe answers continuing to brush the striped mount. “It is quiet in the camp at this hour.”

“Mhmmm,” she murmurs, watching as he works methodically. She seems content to observe, rather than chat.

“Not much worse than horses these Praxian critters.” Xenofos notes as he works neck of his zebra. “Seem quite hardy and surelegged and on their mend from that fall by the rocks.”

“Mhmmm,” she agrees absently. Finally, she asks, “Are you well?”

“Yes. Apart from faint aftertaste of fermented bison milk, that is.” He looks at her. “You?”

She nods, then winces. “A headache,” she admits. “I understand where Rajar gets his stamina from now.”

“I thought I was holding back on the quantity, but noticed at some point that the stuff had gone to my legs already.”

“It went to my everything. I’m not sure I remember much of the night.” She frowns as she considers. “I think… I might have spent the night with … Mabana. Yes. I’m fairly certain I did.”

Raised eyebrow. “Well, if that is the girl think she seemed to be on quite lively mood too, early on. Perhaps a tad sleepy by the time party was winding down…”1The sentence is grammatically correct, but did he leave something hanging in the morning Air or are you just imagining.

She arches an eyebrow at him. “What aren’t you saying?”

“She was not the only tired young lady at that time.”

She shrugs. “The party ran late.” She unhooks her flask and takes a long draught of water. She offers it to her cousin.

“Quite.” He takes the flask, takes a swig, grimaces a bit and returns it. “Vile taste in their water, no wonder they go for coumiss when they can.”

“Have you… dreamt about… them?” There’s a hint of horror in her eyes. She suppresses a shudder.

“No… You have had our adversaries haunt your dreams?”2Is he blushing?

“Those things. Crawling and biting. Hideous things.”

“They are dead, Varanis. Dead and gone. They will not crawl anywhere. Not ever.”

This time she does shudder. “I thought I might drown them out with kumiss, but they invaded my sleep anyway.”

He puts hand on her shoulder. “They are gone, Ranie.” His brown eyes look a bit damp.

She starts to shrug his hand away, then instead turns to him, pulling him into a hug. “I’m sorry,” she murmurs. “I’m just tired.”

He holds her for a moment before muttering, “I know how it feels when you are reluctant to sleep, for the dreams.”

She steps back, straightening her shoulders. “I’m fine. I will be fine.” She takes a slow breath and a mask of calm confidence slips into place. “You are right. We destroyed them.”3Used Air to inspire Act. Just made it.

He looks at her. “It may take time. And you said before you were afraid of your dreams. How have your nights been since we left Nochet? Before we met those scorpion men?”4Normal pass insight human.
Varanis – IvallaLast Thursday at 13:11
She snorts. “You mean the ones I’ve spent watching for assassins? Even in my sleep, they lurk. If I’m not dreaming of the ones in Pavis, I’m remembering the long line of others. I’m so sick of feeling hunted. It’s time to be the predator, not the prey.” She looks briefly determined, but the moment passes into frustration.

He shrugs, in very Esrolian way. “Others are ready to stand guard. But I know we can’t ward your dreams. Not here where there are no Tek’s lilies.” He rubs his beard. “Not that they would have kept my nightmares away from me…”

“What next?” she asks, changing the subject.

“Need to walk these two and see how their legs are healing.” He looks beyond the herd. “Maybe ride a bit and see if I can catch anything. The herd and tribe may have scared anything bigger than a rabbit, but you never know.”

Varanis nods. “Windsday tonight. I’ll need to worship,” she tells him. “I’ll set out before dusk and return after dawn. You are not to worry.”

“Alone to the these blasted plains? It does not sound reassuring.” scribe answers. “And since when did worship of Orlanth become a nighttime affair?”

“I don’t worship Orlanth. I worship Vinga. Besides, it’s Dark Season and we worship her at night, with Yelm out of the way.” She explains it patiently. “I’ll be fine. Vinga will watch over me. Go walk the zebras. I need to wash last night’s excess away and find clean clothes.”

“This is Prax. We don’t know what stalks out of light of campfires at night.” He looks at her. “Even the Humakti post guards while they worship.” He blinks and looks somewhere past Varanis, towards the encampment.

“Fine. I’ll talk to Berra.” She studies him, squinting in the increasing light. “Go. We’ll talk more later.” She turns away to head back towards the camp.

“Right.” He saddles and mounts his zebra and leads the other towards the outer perimeter of the herd.