VS 188 Stealing death

Varanis — 1626 0916 Stealingdeath

????, Dark Season, Death Week


Context

Dark Season, Death Week, just before Windsday Eve, through to dawn.1GM: Please describe what you are doing, roll me Worship Orlanth, and Air. Let me know how many points of magic you are putting into your worship.
Varanis: Ahahahaha dice app hates me. 02 on worship and 98 on Air. 10 pts of magic.
GM: Is that a FUMBLE? Oh boy! joy!!!!

Continues in [http://journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/berra:snow-fight Snowfight] on Berra’s page.

The conflict over Death was ultimately resolved in [[[s02:session-21|Session 21]]].

Events

As Yelm begins to set and Windsday commences, Varanis has wandered onto the plains. Before leaving, she left word with Berra, so that no one would worry or disturb her during her worship. The Vingan is wearing blue wool garments under her armour. The armour itself has been polished such that even the final rays of Yelm’s light catch at it. She finds a place where she can feel totally alone, beyond the sounds of the lowing bison, out of sight of the bison riders’ camp. It takes a while to get far enough away for this, but she is determined to seek solitude. At last, she picks a small rise of land, the barest hint of a hill in this vast, flat landscape. She casts around for a stick and sighs when none is in evidence. Plains, not forest. She draws her dagger instead and uses it, bending low to the ground, to trace a spiral in the earth. Carefully cleaning and resheathing the blade, she traces the path of the spiral with her feet, emerging outside its bounds. She pauses and studies her work. Satisfied, she removes her helmet and sets it on the ground. She kneels and pulls her little pot of woad from her pouch. With careful movements, she dips her fingers into the pot, then paints her runes on her cheeks. First Movement, then Air. Orlanth teases at her hair as she does so, promising a cold night to come. She dips her fingers into the pot of woad again and hesitates, staring at the blue paste on her fingers. She looks indecisive. Finally, she paints the same runes on the backs of her hands. For just a moment, she considered painting something different, but it seems she could not take that step. At last, she replaces the lid of the woad and puts it away. She takes a small sip of water from her flask, then rising to her feet she rolls her shoulders in a visible effort to relax.

She circles the little rise of land, spiralling inwards towards the centre. When she reaches it, she stops, draws her blade, and sinks gracefully to her knees. Holding the blade across the palms of her hands, she offers it skyward and begins to pray.2GM: And do me a Scan as well, please. ((94. Nope.))
Time passes. The cold wind blows without freezing her. The hot wind blows without burning her. The rain blows down and she knows no difference, for she brings all of the storms, and is all of the storms. They blow through her, taking her personality away, until what is there is half obliterated. Then she walks in her hall, and the cold wind blows bitterly. The hot wind blows mockingly. The rain falls but without Ernalda nothing is good, and raining is useless. The cold wind. He denies her. He has a gift, and he will not share.

She glares at him, or tries to.

The wind is hardly there at all. He never visits in person. Just sends eddies. But there are others there – spirits of air and storm and beer and mead and food and all the spirits she could want. And no brother. The hot wind, heated by Yelm, is mocking.3GM: Can you please make a POW vs 13? ((Rolled 46. Pow is 14.)) So that’s a pass. You’re in control of… a thing.

“Stop!” she orders in a voice that demands obedience. The others in the great long hall obey.429/31 on Vingan Lore – is there a myth I should be aware of IC? GM: If you had passed Air, you would be much more in control here. OOC: Eurmal steals Death from Humakt for Orlanth, so he can go ‘compete’ with Yelm and kill him. But I think you would not know that – you got carried away.

Eurmal steps into view, emerging from a little eddy of dust.

“Yelm mocks me,” she grumbles. “I feel it in the wind.” She glares at Eurmal. “What do you want?”

“I was passing by and you called out ‘STOP'” He grins a sharp toothed grin. There is a roar of laughter in the background. There are good-natured warriors singing the praises of fine wine and fat women. “Why are you thus out of measure sad? Everyone else here is so… jolly. Listen to them praising the bounty of the Great and Mighty Emperor Yelm.” There is much singing about bounty. It seems to be a euphemism. “Not me, you understand. I find him so… static and pompous and boring.”

“Yelm mocks me. They mock me, singing the praises of the emperor.” She spits the title out angrily. “I am chieftain. I am better than he.”

Eurmal scuttles around to the other side. “Perhaps you should take him down a peg, hmm?”

“He is soft. Weak. I should show them the weakness of the one they praise.” She turns a thoughtful gaze on Eurmal.

He nods in agreement.

Small thunderstorms spring up at the edge of the hall.

“Then they would sing your praise. You should do this thing.”

The cold wind blows briefly from Humakt’s glacier.

“Of course… not that I doubt you in any way… but wouldn’t it be better to have a surprise for them all? Show them you are not just bold and glorious but a discoverer of new things.”

She looks at him speculatively. “I feel like you have something in mind.”

“Well… I mean… surely you must know. Humakt would not have hidden his new toy from his brother and his chief.”

Humakt only sends eddies.

She arches an eyebrow at him. “Of course he wouldn’t. But…. would he tell you?” She gives him a sly smile, clearly believing in her own cleverness. She will trick the trickster and get the answer she needs.

“Well… he did swear me to secrecy… but since you already know. He ventured into strange realms and claimed this strange new weapon he found there, the like of which we have not seen before. Anyone unveiling such a thing at court would surely claim the adulation and admiration of everyone present.” He scuttles around again.

She considers this. “Yes. A weapon. Of course. I could use it to humble him. To put him in his place. Now is the time for warriors, not bureaucrats. I could … challenge him.”

“Indeed… indeed. And surely Humakt would offer you this thing as your rightful tribute.”

The song about the competition where Orlanth mocked Yelm is being sung. It’s a good song.

“He would not seek to claim this glory for himself, I am sure.”

Humakt. Only. Sends. Eddies.

“After all, he has no designs on your place.” He grins a grin with entirely too many teeth in it.

“Humakt… my brother is slow to give me my due. Perhaps he needs encouragement.” She glares around the room, searching for the brother she knows is absent.

Nothing. The rain falls and a warm wind blows.

“He needs reminding.” Now she looks angry. “I should find him and remind him who is chieftain here.”

The room a thousand miles wide that holds Orlanth the storm, and the longhouse, both lack the North Wind.

“I think perhaps he was over there,” he gestures, “trying out his new toy. So he could better instruct you in its use, I have no doubt.”5GM: Can you please both roll me a POW vs 11? Eurmal 16. Vinga/Orlanth 99. So, those were for two different things. Eurmal: your ideas will win against Humakt, even if they don’t necessarily win right away. Orlanth: I’ll tell you later.

She looks in the direction he indicates, the winds of her storms picking up, buffeting the people within the room.

There he is, outside the other weather, the edges of his winds slashing hard, cutting things away instead of buffetting. And there he is, outside the storm, his white hair marking him out as he plays with his power, put into the form of a sword.

“He should give it to me. A tithe to his chieftain. I might even give it back when I’ve dealt with Yelm. I don’t need to keep it, but it should be offered to me as my right.” She radiates arrogance.

“Of course. He should offer it to you, and when you in your wisdom have held it, and beheld it, and understood it, if you so choose, you will generously bestow it upon him. To wield in your name.”

“Yes. Exactly.” She rises. “He will give it to me.” She looks like she is ready to claim the sword now.6I should mention, I rolled on air again to test confidence/arrogance and got 10. That’s where this attitude is coming from.

Humakt sheaths his sword, stepping away from the house. To claim that thing now would be to leave his home. But surely there is no danger of raiders?

“Still, no need to rush. I’m sure he’s not planning to steal your, ahahaha, thunder by revealing the weapon at court himself.”7passed illusion, movement and disorder

She turns her stormy glare on Eurmal. “He wouldn’t dare. But… perhaps he needs encouragement to give me his due.”

“Of course, of course. I’m sure all this skulking around and concealing this marvellous new toy has a perfectly sound and reasonable explanation.”

Her gaze returns to the direction taken by Humakt. “I should give him the chance to do the right thing. You,” the glare returns to Eurmal, “go remind him what he owes his chief.”

“At once.”

Eurmal gives a little half pirouette, disappearing into a dust devil before it completes.

She calls for mead and glowers at the revelry. When the horn arrives, she drains it in a single draught, slamming her fist on the table after she finishes it. “More,” she roars. “Drink up!”

There is a lot of mead flowing. There is a raid, and he helps to see it off. He did the right thing in staying. Orlanth is MIGHTY and BRAVE and WISE!

Eurmal appears out of the corner of Orlanth’s eye. Across the hall a pottery jug breaks and a fight can be heard breaking out.

“Mighty chief.”

“Eurmal,” she greets him. She waves a cup of mead in his direction benevolently. “Drink.” She empties her horn again and grins as it is refilled.

He grins and drinks.

Mead flows. Honey and spices and hot-headedness all in one drink.

“What did my brother say?”

And inspiration and medicine, of course. Surely, that question was inspired?

“Your brother says he is not some errand boy to be sent hither and yon to carry packages, or be summoned willy-nilly, and that none but he understand what he has found, and no others are… fit… to wield it. I am sure he was distracted by his glorious new toy, and meant only to belittle me, and not your own magnificent personage.”

The grin vanishes in an instant, the storm rising around her, fury and wind entwined. “How dare he? It is mine by right. I am his chief and he is my little brother. He serves me. I will take what is mine and I will use it to humble Yelm, as is right and necessary. If my brother refuses, I will punish him.” She rises from the table, wrapping her rage around her like a cloak.

“No doubt your glorious presence would, ah, clarify his duties and loyalties.”8((Hahahaha. Tried to roll insight for Eurmal and got 95. Not a fumble, but still. Really? What did I do for my dice app to treat me like this?)) ((You were a very good person. )) (( dice are randomness and belong to Eurmal ))

A hot wind blows.

She stops and looks at him suspiciously. “Why do you help me, Trickster?”

He blinks in confusion.

The sigh of Ernalda seems to travel on the wind. Seems to. No doubt it is just the sound of the trees.

“Who would not want that pompous scribbler the Emperor humbled? And who better to do it than you?”

She grunts agreement, but looks distracted suddenly, searching the hall.

Rain. Hot wind. No visit from Humakt and his pretty little sylphs in ages.

Faintly, Humakt’s somehow mocking laughter can be heard drifting on the wind.[footnote]]Eurmal passes illusion. [[/footnote]]

“Ernalda,” she murmurs, a hot look in her eyes. She turns back to Eurmal. “Get me the sword. I will prove my rights on Yelm’s body, humbling him and Humakt at the same time. And I will reward you for your service.” She starts to search again, looking for satiny green skin and luscious curves, already turning from Eurmal, expecting his obedience.

He returns, after a short while. He was gone, wasn’t he? He must have been. Anyway, he bears a strange new thing, which he offers to the chief. “It is called 𝔇𝔢𝔞𝔱𝔥, your turbulence.”

She accepts his offering. “You have done well,” she praises. She grasps the hilt in her hand, testing how it feels against her palm.

Eurmal steps backwards, out of range.

Aaaand Varanis wakes on the hill. Eurmal is nowhere to be seen. The spiral she drew is burned and icy. Eurmal, with his sharp weasel teeth and his kind, wise words is gone. The sword Varanis had across her lap, blade held across her palms, shimmers.9Varanis: your sword will, until further notice, do double damage after armour is penetrated. There may be other side effects. Dormal: take a tick on Death if you wish, a tick on Illusion, movement and Disorder, and in your room is a lead bolg with – you will later find out – your name on it.

Dawn is just breaking. Stiffly, she rises, saluting Yelm’s rise in the Vingan way. The killing blow feels… good and right and weighty. And then it is dawn. She sheathes her sword and turns back towards the camp.