Varanis — 1626 0948 Impasse
????, Storm Season, Disorder Week
Storm Season, Disorder Week, Clay Day. After [[[s02:session-24|Session 24]]].
Straw Weaver Bison Camp, somewhere in Prax.
Varanis tries to get more information from the prisoner while Berra guards the shaman’s remains.
Takes place several hours after the [http://journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/varanis:1626-0940-interrogation interrogation].
In the depths of the night, Varanis enters the yurt where the prisoner is being kept. The guard who was in the yurt steps out. He shrugs at his companion and takes up position outside. After several minutes, there is an indistinct cry. The guards glance at each other, but do not move to intervene. Silence falls again.
Berra calls out, “Varanis, alright in there?” She is no longer shivering, and has sent Farqaa to send someone else, and sent the someone else for a new relief warrior – time has passed but the little Humakti has stayed at her post.
There’s no reply, except from the guards, who look Berra’s direction and shrug. A short time after that, the guards respond to a command from within the yurt and step inside.
Berra growls slightly, and gets back to doing her own work. Staring into the darkness, over the body.
Show In the yurt… (Berra, mild spoilers for Varanis’ behaviour)
Varanis makes her way to the yurt where her prisoner is being kept. She waves away the guard and takes a seat across from Harjoon.
Harjoon looks back at Varanis, but says nothing.
“You’ve had food and water?”
“Yes, thank you, Lady.”
Varanis nods. “And you’re warm enough?” Harjoon has been given just enough clothing to keep him decent. Not enough to make him comfortable if he decides to try escaping.
“I am well enough.”
She studies him in silence for a time.
Harjoon asks, “Did you send a message to the Coiled Tail clan? They will pay my ransom, I swear.”
“It will be done. But, I may have to trade you to the bison clan and let them collect your ransom.” The answer is softly spoken.
Harjoon nods and bites his lips.
“Speak,” she tells him.
“Just keep that madman from me. My clan would pay, Lady.”
“I understand that your clan will pay. That is the idea.” She looks at him thoughtfully. “He is grieving, not mad. You killed his bison. Billy has served him well through some truly difficult times. And now he’s gone. Do you understand?” She speaks the words in Tradetalk, carefully and clearly.
“I may have to trade you to his Khan, so that he can get a new mount. I will only do so if his Khan promises to ransom you back to your people.”
Harjoon looks relieved. “Thank you, Lady.”
“If I give you to the Khan, you will be a good prisoner, yes? Give no one a reason to hurt you? You will obey until you are returned to your people?” She looks at him seriously.
“I swear, Lady! Just don’t kill me.”
“Do I seem that cruel? You are under my protection right now, Harjoon. I will do right by you if I can.” Something in his expression catches her attention.1Passed Insight: If Harjoon gets near a mount, then the gods want him to escape. The Vingan’s eyes narrow. “Harjoon,” she says firmly, “I’m going to need your word that you won’t try to escape.”
Harjoon looks miserable.
“If you can’t give me your word, you’ll have to be bound.”
He looks like he is trying to decide which he would hate more.
“If that’s easier for you, then we can do that.” She watches him for a moment. “I’ll let you think about it. But, we have something else to discuss.”
“Your people. Your clan. Do they have anything to do with Khan Rushes to Battle?”
“No. I ran away to join him.”
“I see.” Blue-grey eyes watch him closely now. “I assume you would wish to protect your clan, yes?”
“Of course, but I speak truth.”
“I believe you. But now you have a more difficult choice ahead of you.” Her gaze is unwavering as she drive the nail in. “If you do not tell us how to find your Khan, your clan may be the ones to suffer. I don’t like it, but I am an outsider here. Vengeance is sought and I can only hope to guide the path. I cannot stop it.” Quietly she adds, “You have to choose, Harjoon. Your people or your Khan.”
“I don’t know where he went! I don’t know!”
“Shhhh,” she tells him. “I believe you. But tell me where he usually goes? What do his days look like? What do his weeks look like? I want to help you, Harjoon.”
“He travels far and wide, fighting Chaos.”
“Please, Harjoon. You must know something of use.”
“He goes seeking to slay Chaos.”
“And where would he seek Chaos on these vast plains?”
Harjoon says, “He always knows where to find it.” He adds, “For all I know Storm Bull guides him.”
“Hmmm. That might be useful. I will think on it. Have you decided yet? Will you be bound by ropes or by your word? Consider carefully,” she advises him.
Harjoon says, “Ropes.”
The Vingan nods. “I understand. I would likely choose the same.” She rises gracefully and summons the guards from outside. “I want him bound securely,” she tells them. “No harm, but no escape. Understand?” She keeps the words simple and clear. Efficient. She watches as one of them sets to the task. The little Impala rider is bound with his wrists behind his back. His feet are tied securely and a rope runs from the feet to the hands. It’s not a full on hog tie, but it would make escape very difficult. Satisfied, Varanis leaves, followed by one of the guards. The other stays in the yurt.
After several minutes pass, Varanis emerges into the rain, followed by one of the guards. She speaks to him quietly. They exchange nods and part. He stays by the yurt, while she heads in Berra’s direction.
Berra notices, raising a hand in greeting. “Mm.”
Varanis yawns. “We can’t let Rajar set a trap for Harjoon’s clan,” she murmurs when she’s close enough that only Berra will hear. “They have nothing to do with Rushes to Battle.”
“Tha-hell?” Berra says, no louder but with a lot of drawn-out emphasis.
“Rajar was talking like he wanted to capture Harjoon’s people after they paid the ransom and took him away. I can’t let that happen. Harjoon ran away from home to join Rushes to Battle. Assuming he’s correct and they will pay the ransom, they still have nothing to do with what happened to Billy.”
“Ah, yes. I think he won’t try, then. Especially not if we tell him right. But yeah, they don’t. Make sure the Khan knows, because that could help stop a lot of trouble.” Berra pauses. “Which you knew. Sorry.”
Varanis shakes her head. “It’s fine. I’m tired. Safer to say it aloud than risk me missing the obvious. For now, I need some sleep. Windsday. I need to worship beginning at Yelm’s rise and that’s not far off. You ok?” The words run together a little as the energy drains from the Vingan. Whatever has been fuelling her has run out.
“Then send someone to let the Khan know, or one of the people around him? Although I think it’s probably going to get light soon.” Berra does not look tired, but given she just pretty much repeated it was about to be dawn, she might be. “Send someone. Um. Maybe even Rajar. Give him a reason to give the Khan good news.”
Varanis nods. “Good advice as always.” She turns in the direction of Mabana’s yurt. “Mabana must hate us sometimes,” she murmurs. Within a few steps, she’s straightened her spine and is walking resolutely.
“Uh…” Berra shrugs, and goes back to watching.
Varanis stops, turns on her heel and comes back. “Wait. Why are you still here? I sent someone to relieve you when I couldn’t come myself. Tell me you’ve taken a break, at least? You didn’t just send him away?”
“I took the time to get changed,” Berra replies. “That was what I needed.” She taps her helmet. “Warm and dry now. And I brought food out. Go get your sleep. And talk to Rajar.”
There’s a brief flash of frustration, but she replies with a nod and heads towards Mabana’s yurt.
- 1Passed Insight: If Harjoon gets near a mount, then the gods want him to escape.