Drinking Party (Part 4)

1627, Fire Season, Fertility Week, Clayday Eve


Context

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 4/11: Varanis has a melancholy moment

Events

Varanis begins to sing. It’s a melancholy piece about a distant lover. She sings well enough, but emotion makes her voice waver.1Pass Sing.

Berra listens, calm through this, and using the time to eat. Quietly, but with determination, she demolishes three slices of glazed meat, rolling them, slicing the rolls, and putting the strips on bread.

Xenofos mixes Varanis her next bowl and pats her on her elbow.2Cup #6 She accepts the watered wine silently, wrinkling her nose at him after she tastes it.

Berra mixes water with water for Xenofos.

He looks at her. Thankfully?3To Berra, he looks sad. “Thank you, little cousin.”

Varanis swears softly and colourfully, in Pure Horse Tongue. She drains her cup and reaches for the wine.4Cup #7 “If you are up for it, Davorelia, I need something more cheerful.”

Davorelia reaches over and massages the Vingan’s shoulder. Varanis leans into it. “I was thinking a song, but this is nice too. Very nice.”

“It should be Vareena…” she says, “but evening is still young.” The Vingan relaxes into the massage, rather than reaching for her cup again. Surprisingly, she seems tired, but not yet drunk, despite the amount of wine she has downed already.510 on CON*5

Berra is a little pink-cheeked, but apparently mostly sober. Mostly. Pink. Even her ears are blushing a little.

“Sometimes joy requires a moment of sadness.” The Ulerian squeezes Varanis’ shoulders. “Or sadness that is there must come to surface, for the joy to be free?”

“I don’t have time for sadness, I’m afraid. There is only duty.” Then, as if suddenly aware that she’s talking about duty after having fled from it for the night, she corrects herself, “Mostly duty. I don’t wish to spend my brief moment of freedom dwelling on things I cannot have though.”

“Dwell on the wine,” Berra says. “I’m trying to work out if I know any songs that would fit, here.”

“Vareena…” Davorelia looks at Berra, who did not tell her name, “Xenofos, tonight and here there is no duty. Our Mistress watches over you tonight. Tonight you can be who you are. Not who you think you should be.”

Berra gives Davorelia a flat look. “You probably don’t want me to be that, to be honest,” she says. “But I get what you’re trying to say.”

The Ulerian gives the Humakti a very thoughtful look. She shrugs elegantly. “You may be right, but why do you say that?”

“Because Truth is important to me, and what you said didn’t fit with how to be true.”

She nods.

“I am my duty,” Varanis says by way of agreement with the Humakti. “I can’t afford to be anything else.”

“Yeah, and we can still be us, and happy, without losing ourselves.” Berra wriggles onto her couch, more comfortably, with Xenofos forgotten again. She looks like she would nest in cushions, given half a chance. One sword hangs in easy reach, and the other is still buckled on.

“Your song betrayed you Vareena,” The courtesan says. “You are more than just your duty. And there is nothing wrong with that. And that will not mean you will necessarily forfeit your duty. As for you Humakti?” She shrugs, “if you are true to yourself, so be it. Few people can.”

Varanis wriggles out of Davorelia’s hands to refill her wine6Cup #8 and snatch up a chunk of the roasted meat.