Drinking Party (Part 8)

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 8/11: Thinking about many things at once.


Berra refills her own cup; this time with water, mixing in with what was there. She looks to Xenofos as something catches her attention. “Geas for a week?” She is drunk enough that the change of subject drifts over her face slowly, puzzlement striking and giving way to curiosity. It is a slow-motion blurt.

He looks at Berra. “No wine or beer until next Fireday. No eating or drinking at all while Yelm is up.”

“Yehyeh. Learning?”

“Yes. Seeking light.”

Berra considers. “Magic, or just the effort and the rewar’. Redw… reward?” She flips over to be able to rest her head on her hands, fingers laced under her chin.

He shrugs. “The way Noleanmar brings light to Darkness. A spell, yes. Maybe even a bit of understanding…”

“Are you geased not to talk about it, or do you just not want to talk?” The angle makes a lot of her eyes.1Weaponised pass on Charm there.

He leans on his hand and looks at her eyes, smiling “I thought I spoke plainly, little cousin. I am learning his ways, through a spell. And hope to understand way of Light a bit better by learning this one thing.”

“Yeah, but we got quite a long way into this conver… talk already and normally someone would say what the spell is, and you haven’t.” Berra suppresses another hiccough, with a wrinkle of her nose that makes her look briefly puzzled about everything.

“They call it he guiding light of Noleanmar. Or something like that. In Firespeech.” He sips a bit of water.

“Uhhh…. alright.” Berra nods. “But you keep a lot of secrets for someone who wears Truth. You know that?”

He nods slowly. “Lhankor Mhy does teach that one should speak only Truth, but also weigh when and where one says it.”

Berra considers that, and then nods. “Yeah. I think you think slower but a lot more… ummm… not sensibly. Something. Than me. You can stick to one thing.”

He thinks about that for a while. “It can be so, little cousin.”

“Do you ever think lots of things all at once? It made me really confused when I found out some people don’t.”

Varanis opens her eyes at this. “There are people who don’t?”

“Yeah, I know!” Berra turns her attention to the new thing at speed, but only manages to wriggle to be facing Varanis a moment later. “I mean, I know sometimes I concentrate on a thing but it’s always a battle or a fight or a thing I don’t notice happening. I never just concentrate on one thing. To think. But apparently a lot of people do.”

“Sometimes I get very focused on one thing,” Varanis says thoughtfully, reaching for her wine. “But it’s usually bad for me when I do.”

“For a long time?” Berra checks. She has wine, she finds out, and drinks too. The red colour is invading her face again.

“It feels like a long time. It’s usually when I’e fucked up.” The Vingan sighs, “But even then, it’s lots of different thoughts. What I did wrong. What the cons’quences will be. Who I let down. What I should’ve done diff’rently.” She frowns into her wine. “I get stuck in a spiral sometimes.”

“Oh, yeah. I see that in you.” Berra nods. “But once I know a thing I can’t stick to it, even if I should. Meditation, f’rexample.” She cools her tongue with a drink.

“You don’t have to think about just one thing in meditation. You just have to let th’other thoughts flow through you,” Varanis replies. “That’s what my teacher said. Sometimes it even works.”At this she giggles again and then drains her cup.

Xenofos looks at Berra thoughtfully.2I can think of both her eyes and cute nose at same time? Or do I think first of nose and then the eyes?

Berra, in profile, is a study in the Naturalist-Humanist style of the late 1540s. Without armour she could be criticised as being a touch thin, for a woman, a little small for a warrior statue. “Yeah, but then you follow those for a while and then you follow yourself following those and then suddenly you’re batting at your tail.” No Naturalist-Humanist statue would say all that.3V: Did the melons arrive? T: waggles eyebrows. B: Berra only gets plums. X: why yes they did. B: You had your eyes closed a long time. It’s now 1629 and you’re King of Dragon Pass. V: Glares at all of you. B: Xenofos is perceived to be innocent.

Varanis leans over to swipe a slice of melon and nearly falls off her couch. She giggles. “I think I’m drunk now.”

“Lemmsee.” Berra tries to get up, fails, and falls forward. Under any other circumstance, she would break her fall automatically, but she manages to get tangled up, attempts to swat away the floor, and lands without grace. “Yeah-drunk.” She is not hurt.

Varanis giggles more, hiccoughs, and then says, “Tha was undignified, Berra!” She seems to be having difficulties stopping the giggling.

Xenofos looks at the duo and then the hostess.

“The thing about not wearing armour is that I can forget I’m not.” Berra sits up, looking pleased with herself.