Drinking Party (Part 11)

1627, Fire Season, Fertility Week, wee hours of Clayday


Varanis and Berra settle down to drinking at Nochet’s primary Temple of Uleria. Xenofos is there for moral support. The binge drinking session begins in Drinking Party (Part I).

Part 11/11: Finally out of fuel.


And so it goes. Varanis mostly drinks water for the next few hours, switching to wine from time to time when she’s in danger of sobering up. She sings and asks for songs, lounges and paces, laughs and falls into melancholy. And just when people are beginning to wonder if she means to go until Yelmrise, she drifts off to sleep.

Davorelia lays a light cover over her. She also asks if Berra wants company for the night.

Berra stays mostly drunk, keeping Varanis company and not getting drunk on her own account. From time to time it is clear that she is thinking of other things, but she keeps herself to the task of being politely pleasant, and manages it by and large. It is only when Davorelia asks about the company that she snaps, “No! I… no thank you. Probably time for me to leave anyhow.”

“Are you sober enough to do that safely, Berra?” Xenofos asks quietly.

Berra gives him a look. “I’m not THE most dangerous thing on the streets, but I’m close enough that nobody has to worry about me.”

“You are not in your prime now. But you do as you want to.” He looks at her. “The worry others may feel is theirs though. I’ll stay here with her.” He nods towards Varanis. She mumbles something unintelligible in her sleep.

“If you want to get some kip… sleep. I’ll stay here. Just not with anyone else.” Davorelia gets a sidelong look. Berra is still trying to be polite.

“I was thinking of sleeping, yes.” Xenofos answers. “But she is safe in here. You don’t need to guard. But you can if you want to.”

Davorelia nods at that.

“Can I stay here without guarding?” Berra looks at Varanis, thoughtfully.

“Of course you can,” answers the courtesan.

Berra looks around for a cover. “If she wants company, chuck me out of here, if she wants peace as well.” Her couch already has a couple of pillows on it, but that does not seem to be what she is after.

Varanis has tucked a hand under her cheek. Her rings are going to leave a mark, but she doesn’t look like she cares.

“A blanket?”

“Please. I don’t need one for the heat, but I like to. I’ll probably end up on the floor, and that’s comfortable at least.” Berra shrugs a bit. With Varanis asleep her ability to be at a party is seeping away.

A blanket is brought, dishes collected and good sleep wished.

Xenofos thanks the hostess and sets himself on the couch.

Berra piles up her armour at the end of the couch, thanks Davorelia with perfect politeness, as long as Davorelia understands Heortling manners, and settles down to sleep. She starts on the couch, and stays there, not even wriggling as she rests.

Way before Yelmrise an attendant arrives and wakes up Xenofos. He drinks a bit of water, eats a bit of bread and disappears for a while.

Berra is, in an apt bit of irony, dead to the world. Varanis snores lightly.

Xenofos kneels by Berra’s couch and taps her lightly on fingers and calls out her name quietly.

There is a moment of confusion, and she murmurs, “Lord Ke…” And then she’s awake. “Oh. Hello.” Someone else on her mind, apparently. “I was dreaming, I think.”

He nods. “It is close to Yelmrise. I will need to leave for the temple. Will you see her to the palazzo when she wakes up?”

Berra looks over at Varanis. “Yes. Of course. I need to go there anyhow.” She looks around. “So he hasn’t written back? Damnit. Although I think I thought I could read. Can you dream doing that? It all made sense.” She talks quietly, keeping the noise down so that Varanis gets a few moments more.

He looks at Varanis. “There is no hurry for you two to leave. Go back to sleep you too, if you can.”

“Yelm. She’ll want to greet him. And I should be at the house for training. If she doesn’t want to do that, she can sleep again.” Berra sounds determined, dream forgotten. Onto the next thing.

“She is in no condition for that, but you can ask.” He rises. “I need to be off. Remember to drink water.”

Berra nods. “Yeah. Definitely. Have a good day.”

“Lots of meditation, litanies in Firespeech and looking at Yelm I expect,” he says when walking from the room.

Berra follows him only with her smile, lost on his back.