VS 204 While Rajar Sleeps II

Varanis — 1626 0936 Rajarsleep2

????, Storm Season, Disorder Week


Context

Storm Season, Disorder Week, Clay Day. In the aftermath of [[[s02:session-24|Session 24]]].

Follows immediately after [http:journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/varanis:1626-0935-rajarsleep1 While Rajar Sleeps I].

Continues in [http:journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/varanis:1626-0937-guilttrip Guilt Trip].

Events

Not too long after, Varanis returns. “I’ve sent someone to find Xenofos for us,” she says as she sinks to the ground beside Berra and the sleeping Rajar again. In her hands is a small wrapped bundle. “And I’ve brought the last of my dried fruit. There’s a bit of jerky here too, if you prefer that.”

“I don’t want to eat anything that makes me thirsty. I might be here a while. But a bit of something to chew on.”

The Vingan passes over some food and her water flask.

Berra shakes her head to the water. “Really not. Bladder full later. Would be bad.”

Varanis shrugs and withdraws the water, taking a drink before stoppering it and returning it to her waist.

Elsewhere….

“X’fos?” It’s one of the larger children. “Redwind and Deathchild want you talk.”

“Thank you. Where?” Xenofos looks up from his notes.

The child waits expectantly, staring at the foreigner.

“Rajar body. Come now.” The child admonishes him, “You slow, X’fos.”

The scribe cleans the reedpen, puts his notes in satchel and stands up. “Rajar?”

The child nods at Xenofos, slips back through the door, and stands outside the yurt, holding the flap open.

Xenofos follows, just taking his rapier and belt as he goes.

In a small yurt by the edge of the camp, with a couple of brawny warriors waiting casually around, and Mabana sitting staring moodily at the plains nearby, and some splatters of blood on the snow…

Berra starts tearing up jerky into very small pieces, resting the larger chunks on her knee by Rajar’s head.

“I asked a woman I know and trust to speak to Rajar’s wife. You should probably speak to her again after. Once we know how he wakes.” Varanis selects a dried pear to nibble on.

“I will,” Berra says. “When he wakes.” The Humakti is sitting with Rajar’s head on her lap, using her calves as a cushion for him. Her iron sword is nearby on a folded fur, where she can grab it rather than drawing it.

Varanis sits next to her, still in armour, though without a helmet. Her hair has mostly escaped her attempts to plait it. She has some dried fruit and jerky in front of her.

Xenofos steps in the yurt and looks around. “You two are alright? Rajar?”

The big Bison is still pink, still warm. “Hello. Billy died,” Berra says. “I want to make sure he’s not angry when he wakes up.”

“We’re fine,” Varanis adds.1It may be futile, but care to try insight? X: 55/39 fail. B: I fumbled mine! Insight: For once, Varanis is telling the truth. She’s totally fine.

“Was he carrying the rage of the bull, since he sleeps?” the scribe asks softly.

Varanis nods. “I think he triggered it when Billy went down the second time.” She looks to Berra for confirmation.

“He was.” Berra gives Varanis a smile with a touch of pride in her eyes. “Billy fell, and he began shouting, and running,” she tells Xenofos.

“What happened?” Xenofos’ voice is quiet.

To her left, Berra has an amphora of beer, and a couple of beakers, as yet untouched. “We followed Nala, who was looking for the shaman’s clothes, and hers – they went missing together, and might have walked off. And then while she was in a trance, some Impala riders approached.”

“Rajar and Berra went to speak to them,” Varanis adds. “And then Rajar attacked. It all went sideways from there.”2Xenofos- scan? 89.. internal yurt architecture is fascinating. There are dozens of clues of social relations of occupants and their station if you know what to look for.

“That bad?”

“It could have been worse. We almost lost Suuraki…”

“Everyone lived. Suuraki was in the balance for a while.” Berra picks up a little bit of jerky but does not eat it yet. “We got unlucky with running into them – I think they wanted violence to be an option – and then lucky with how it went. I’ll take that result. We killed two of theirs.” She nods to Varanis as if the Vingan helped with that.

“And we have a prisoner,” Varanis adds.

Berra smiles at Varanis, at that.

Winding a lock of hair around a finger, Varanis begins to nibble the end of it. She notices what she’s doing and stops. “I’ll need to see if Rajar’s people can help with the ransom negotiations. And maybe… I wonder if the ransom can help cover the costs of a new mount for Rajar.”

“He’d look silly on an Impala,” Berra muses. “So best not to ask for beasts.”

“I suppose he has funds, but getting a proper mount for battle is not just matter of slapping a saddle on a beast. It takes time to form a bond between rider and his steed…” Xenofos’ voice trails off.

“He just protected his guests from attack,” Berra says loyally. “If his clan doesn’t give him something, we should, but I don’t think he’ll suffer for lack.”

Varanis is chewing her hair again. Marta would have fits, but she’s far away. Finally, she says quietly, “Berra, he attacked first.”

Berra replies, “They had arrows nocked, and spells ready. Or cast. The leader was holding his bow so Rajar couldn’t see it properly, but I could.”

“I am sorry. I should have been with you. I was negligent.” The scribe looks like he’s feeling guilty.

“That means they were ready, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they would have attacked. I wish I knew what they said to him.”

“Well, I’ll ask him. When he wakes up.” Berra finally eats her bit of jerky, apparently swallowing it without chewing.

Varanis fiddles with the studded leather strips that make up the skirt of her armour. “These aren’t exactly great against arrows,” she murmurs.

“It’s getting warmer,” Berra replies absently. “You’ll be able to wear the metal for a bit soon. Until it gets too hot.”

“I hate archery. Unless it is archers or slingers on our side.”

Varanis nods at Xenofos. “Archers on our side are good.” To Berra she says, “Not in Pavis. Are we going back to Pavis?”

“As far as I understand it we’re down by the hills they call Eiritha, and we’re going to Pavis but the Paps are on the way, although we need to travel for a while,” Berra says. So yes.

“They tend to hit horses… And while that makes sense it is not very noble.”

“I was looking to wound the dismounted beasts to deny them to the enemy, but it wasn’t an option. Couldn’t reach them.” Berra, little savage, looks glum over that.

“But you two are not hurt, is there something that needs to be done right now, Varanis?”

“I dislike impalas. I wonder what they taste like.” Varanis is chewing on her hair again and doesn’t seem to hear Xenofos’ question.

Berra looks at Varanis and back at Xenofos. “Take her for a walk?” she suggests. “I think the Vingan needs air.”

“Will you manage alone?” He nods towards Rajar.

Berra nods. “I can. And if not, there are people outside. I’ll last long enough for them to get here.”

“Varanis?” Xenofos prods.

She looks at him blankly. With a blink, Varanis comes back to herself. “I need Air. Are you alright here, Berra? You have Xenofos and there are others outside if he wakes badly.” She nods towards Rajar.

Berra just nods. “I’ll be fine,” she says, not adding the ‘or dead’ corollary.

“You were not quite listening Varanis? I am coming with you,” the scribe comments.

“Hmmm? I’m fine. But you can if you want to.” No arguments or objections appear to be forthcoming. She unfolds her limbs and scoops up her Praxian coat. With a last look at the unconscious Uroxi, she nods at Berra and steps outside.

“He will be too,” Berra says, like she really believes it.

Xenofos looks at Berra once more, with unvoiced question if she is sure.3He attempts and fails insight. Eye contact. Brown eyes full of intensity. Berra makes a little ushering gesture to Xenofos. [http://journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/varanis:1626-0937-guilttrip He nods and follows Varanis].