1626, Storm Season, Harmony Week, Windsday at Yelmrise
Takes place after the Crocodile, but before arriving at the Paps, during Rune Messiah, (Session 2.26).
Varanis is on guard duty at dawn with Toras. The Rhino Rider is doing his heroic barbarian stare into middle distance pose. She joins him, murmuring a morning greeting in stilted Praxian. She switches to Tradetalk. “How long will you stay with us?”
“Edge of Prax. Probably. After? Maybe.”
“How will you inform… tell Venna what you do?” She glances at him curiously then returns to scanning the horizon.
He shrugs. “When I see her. Or find someone trustworthy to tell her. Or ask a Shaman.” A beat. “Or capture a lunar sky boat and sail it to Pavis with Tiny hung underneath.”
The Vingan snorts. “That would be a sight to see.”
There’s a little twinkle. “Light Cavalry.”
“If you weren’t with us, what would you be doing right now?” Alynx, Vingan… sometimes there isn’t a lot of difference.
He shrugs. “Fighting Chaos. Pointing tribes at it. Waiting for the call.”
“If you could fight Lunars in Sartar, would you? Kallyr strives to push them from Sartar completely.”
“Depends on my Khan.” He elaborates, “The fight has to have a….. what is word… end point. Destination?”
“Purpose?” she suggests. “Bringing an end to the Lunar threat through the region of the Dragon Pass seems like a good goal to me.”
“Is it my fight while my Khan does not sit on his own Throne?”
This earns him a curious look. “What do you mean? Argrath is your Khan, is he not?”
“Yes. King of Pavis. Of the Line of Sartar.”1GM: Waiting for the lightbul….. torch moment.
Varanis blinks. She is completely astounded. For a moment, it looks as though the air has been knocked from her lungs. “He’s of the line of Sartar?” She stares at him. “You’re saying that Argrath is my kin?”2Varanis fumbles Act and fails Illusion. Toras passes insight: He’s completely astonished her and she’s just blurted exactly what went through her head. Also, whether he believe what she’s just said or not, she believes it.
There is a nod. “There was a man we call Argrath, who came as a child from Sartar, when his people warred with the Lunars and lost. He is of the Royal Line.”3GM:Now you can roll insight. V:Nope. 73. She’s clearly too shocked.
There’s no tree, no rock, nothing to hold her up. Just unending plains. She sits on the ground, hard. “But… what does this mean? What can it mean? Which line?”
He shakes his head, “I am sorry. Warrior, not Lore speaker. Cannot say. But a truth known to all.”
“So he is kin to Kallyr and I am kin to them both.” She utters one of her favourite new Praxian swear words. “There are three of us. When we lit the Flame of Sartar, it seemed like there was a clear path. But Leika threatened the throne and my Prince sent me away for a time.” She’s rambling, not exactly talking to Toras anymore, just talking. “I came to Pavis to try to help Argrath. I saw him acclaimed the White Bull and I thought that if he was fighting Lunars I could help. And if he wasn’t, maybe he could be persuaded to help Kallyr. But instead, we were told to come back later. He was indisposed. And now Mellia says that Sartar is on the brink of civil war and you say that Argrath…” She buries her face in her hands. Her shoulders begin to shake.
After a grunt the Praxian says, “Does doing that help your view? Spot Impala folk through hands?”
She lifts her head to look at him, tears streaming down her cheeks, body wracked with silent laughter. When at last she gets enough breath back to pull herself together, she unfolds herself from the ground, graceful despite the armour. “Orlanth,” she calls to the sky between gasps of laughter, “you have a terrible sense of humour.”
The Barbarian is already doing the gazing into the distance thing. Profile displayed. Wind in hair. The whole cinematic works.4Is there a school where they’re taught?
After a stretch of silence broken by the occasional breath of a laugh, she asks, “What will he make of the news? Before we told Kallyr, some of my companions feared she or her supporters would find it convenient to simply remove me from the picture. She surprised us all by claiming me as her kin in front her of entire court.” As Yelm sweeps across the horizon, her eyes are luminous. “Does he already know, do you think? Perhaps that’s why there were men with knives waiting in the alleys of Pavis for me.”5And that’s a fail on loyalty White Bull.
There is a relatively long pause. Tiny, it may be recalled, is not white. “If you claim his Throne, he will be your foe.” There’s a shrug again. “Assassins? Not, I think, what I would expect of my Khan.”
Varanis laughs again. “I have no desire for a throne. But I will do what is right for my people and that means backing Kallyr. Argrath can have Prax. I’ve seen him. King of Pavis, by all means. But King of Sartar? No.”
There is a frown from the Praxian. “The StarBrow is cursed.”
“The White Bull may be too. Nala says something is wrong though she won’t say anything more. But Sartarite by birth or not, he is Praxian, just as I am Esrolian. Kallyr is the only one of us raised among the tribes and clans of Sartar. She lives and breathes Sartar. She is the rightful ruler.” The words are spoken with absolute certainty.
The Praxian looks unconvinced. Or has wind. Or something.
- 1GM: Waiting for the lightbul….. torch moment.
- 2Varanis fumbles Act and fails Illusion. Toras passes insight: He’s completely astonished her and she’s just blurted exactly what went through her head. Also, whether he believe what she’s just said or not, she believes it.
- 3GM:Now you can roll insight. V:Nope. 73. She’s clearly too shocked.
- 4Is there a school where they’re taught?
- 5And that’s a fail on loyalty White Bull.