VS 205 Guilt Trip

Varanis — 1626 0937 Guilttrip

????, Storm Season, Disorder Week


Context

Storm Season, Disorder Week, Clay Day [[[s02:session-23|Session 23]]]

Just after returning from the unexpected encounter with Rushes to Battle.

Events

Outside the yurt heavy raindrops are falling on yesterdays snow.

Varanis is pulling her coat on over her armour. It was obviously made for this purpose, which would explain why it’s comically large when she’s unarmoured.

Xenofos sighs at the rain and draws his cloak tighter.

Xenofos looks at the rolling clouds and blinks to adjust to the light outside.

Nodding at the warriors who loom outside the yurt, Varanis sets off. It’s a brisk pace. Determined.

Xenofos casts a last glance toward the yurt and adjusts his pace to hers.

Her path leads them to the perimeter of the camp.

Xenofos follows silently, girding his swordbelt as they go.

As they come to the outskirts of the large encampment, the Vingan’s path changes. Instead of continuing out, she follows the path around. It’s well worn. This is the path taken by those who guard close to the camp. Over the last season, she, Xenofos, and Berra have walked it many times, taking rotations with the guards. She hasn’t spoken since leaving the yurt.

Once past perimeter of the yurts Xenofos walks to side of Varanis and quietly observes her profile for a while.1Failed but not fumbled insight…Insight: why is she always so hard to read? Like a closed scroll case.

“Do you wish to talk about it? For a while in the yurt it looked as if your spirit was still somewhere else.”

“Hmmm?” She turns to look at him, pushing her increasingly wet hair out of her face. “I missed what you said.”

“I said it looked… is that your blood?”2Xenofos passes scan. There’s blood at her wrist. During the fight she took a wound on her bicep and bled down.

Varanis looks at her hands. They’ve been washed clean, but at her right wrist there is dried blood. She pushes her sleeve up as far as it will go with a vambrace on, revealing a little more of the wrist and a lot more blood. “Oh. I should probably get out of my armour and clean myself up soon. I didn’t really… there hasn’t been a lot of time.”

“You were hurt?” Xenofos asks, almost inaudibly.

“A little. I’m fine. I healed it and Berra finished what I couldn’t.” She moves the arm around experimentally and winces. “Mostly. The rest will heal quickly enough.”

He nods quietly. “Suuraki almost dead, Rajar down, Valseena and Nala apparently unhurt. Berra? She came back and did not look hurt?” There is alarm in scholars voice.

“Berra took no injury.” Varanis frowns. “I think. We were separated for a time. I might have missed something. I didn’t see Billy go down.”

He nods and walks alongside Varanis quietly for a while.

“Nala was fighting something, I think. Tiwr was howling like some kind of demon was on his back.” She shudders and falls silent again. The desperate pace of her walk has slowed a little.

“I am sorry.” His voice is still quiet. He is looking at his feet and kicking slush.

“Why? You didn’t do anything wrong.” She curses softly. “I half expected you to chastise me for leaving camp without you.”

“I should have been there. I failed my duty.”

“I didn’t tell you I was leaving,” she points out reasonably. “You couldn’t have known.” She sighs. “We were just looking for Nala’s missing clothing. How could it have all gone sideways like that?”

“I should have been alert enough to notice you leaving camp and inquire what was happening.”

“Xenofos… maybe this time, neither one of us is to blame?” She gives him a serious look. “It was a set of circumstances that simply spiralled out of control.”

“I see the logic and truth in what you say.” He shrugs, “But you were in danger and I was not there… it is hard to accept.”3Pass truth, pass loyalty.

“I understand and I sympathize.” She shrugs. “Trouble has a way of finding me, cousin. You can’t watch me all the time. We’d both lose our minds.”

“I understand. In my head…” he sighs. “You are right, my lady. Still, I apologize.”

She bumps into his shoulder with her own. “Apology accepted.” She looks over at him. “What a pair we are. I suspect I’m even more bedraggled than you. We should go back so I can clean up. And if Neela sees you looking like this, she’s going to have to resist fussing over you.”

He is starting to thank and agree, but Varanis last comment leaves him mute and he just nods.