1627, Fire Season, Fertility Week, Clayday Eve
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 7/11: The sentences are getting shorter as Varanis gets drunker.
Varanis leans against Davorelia. She sips at her wine some more. “A song, Xeno?”
Davorelia brushes her fingers across Varanis’ lips. “Greedy little alynx…”
“Everyone calls me that,” Varanis says. “Except Marta. She calls me a bird. Elanka did too.” Her expression becomes clouded as she remembers that.
“I don’t.” Berra is still watching Xenofos, but apparently she is listening to Varanis.
Xenofos picks up the cithara again. He listens to the impeccable tuning.
The Vingan is too busy frowning to reply to Berra. “She called me a redcap and … “
He picks up a few chords and gives up.
Berra looks over at Varanis, and says, “If you want her to change subject I may have to throw olives at her.” Presumably she is talking to their hostess.
“Little birdie!” Varanis finishes with indignation.
“What do you want to hear Ranie?”
“Something about slaughtering my enemies?”
“You have not done that yet so much? The ballad?” He asks.
“The crospions. Scorpions. The queen. She was an enemy,” Berra points out.
He strokes his beard and looks at the Ulerian.
“Samastina recognized me for valour, cousin,” she points out irritably. “After the Ford. That’s when Grandmother commissioned my cuirass.” Then she stops herself and glances at the Ulerian. “Forget it. Something different. About Vinga maybe.”
Both Ulerians look at each other. They do not nod. But tempo is transferred.
Berra gets onto her next cup of wine. She is definitely not keeping up with Varanis, but she is not staying sober either.
Xenofos looks at the kithara. Ignores it and sings to the other Ulerian.1BTW another 01, on sing – his voice is not bad. A song of longing, a song of love and passion.
It looks like she might try to resist, but then Varanis relaxes with the music. She closes her eyes and allows Xenofos to carry her away.
Berra, sneakily, catches up on the wine. She also eats during the performance; she is quiet about it, but she does.
When did the flautist feel it necessary to enter that chamber? The hostess did know well enough how to hold Xenofos’ hands. By the time Xenofos is done, there are silent tears creeping from beneath Varanis’ tightly closed eyelids. Xenofos and the courtesan are holding hands and looking each other in the eyes. Scribe kisses her fingers and stands up, looking at the two women: “So? What now?”
Berra looks up. “Uh? You want to get away? I can keep V’ranis company. If you wan’.” That last cup has hit her hard.
He shakes his head with a quiet smile.
“More wine. I’m going to need a lot more wine.” The Vingan wipes her eyes in her sleeve. “Oh, where did you come from?” she asks looking at the new addition to the room with curiosity and some chagrin.
“Door. About the time … well, a while back.” Apparently, Berra noticed. And apparently, she was not worried, and did not get up or try to defend anyone.2Scanned even at a big -%. Damn you Berra.
Davorelia pours the Vingan a light mix of wine and hands the bowl over.3Cup #11 Her hand on the Vingan’s shoulder is comforting.