Xenofos — After The Battle
After Alda-Chur has fallen [[[s02:session-54|Session 54]]]
The sun is shining to Alda-Chur where Praxians are at full speed looting and pillaging. Scattered among them are various groups of Esrolians who were told to look after people but seem to take their part in protecting valuables from getting stolen by the Praxians.
Xenofos is wandering the streets and returning to the gate accompanied by a single trooper of the Greens.
Varanis is headed in the same direction, trailed by some grim-faced Babeester Gor axe-maidens. Mind you, their expressions are much the same as they always are, and so give little away.
Varanis’ right side is covered in mostly dried blood.
Xenofos greets her with a wave of his hand.
She returns the greeting and strides towards him.
Xenofos dismounts slightly awkwardly, landing stiffly. “My liege.”
“I caught glimpses of you in the fighting,” she says by way of reply. “You led well. Rallied our cavalry and guided them to good use. I’m proud of you, cousin.”
The scribes face looks tired. When he answers he sounds polite but not delighted “Thank you, Varanis.”
He casts a look at her right side. “Did you get injured?”
She glances at her arm. The padding appears to be missing from her shoulder, or else it has slumped down weirdly and caught in the armour. There is a lot of blood evident on the armour and what padding is visible. “I’m fine,” she says after a short pause. “Maalira was there.” And truly, she looks completely relaxed and unconcerned.1 Someone failed their Truth roll I guess…
He nods. “I heard both you and Berra were down for a while. Good to hear and see you are both on your feet again.” His tone is flat.2 Now, now. You fumbled Insight. I know, because I rolled the dice. She truly believes she’s fine. She just maybe didn’t quite answer the question asked. And those Babeester Gors aren’t giving anything away. 3 Word about commander and the shouty one gets around
She nods. “Berra took a gut wound, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.”
Xenofos nods absentmindedly. “She looked pretty hale when that contraption was around.”
“I think her armour might need some mending.” Now Varanis grimaces. “I need new padding. I don’t think mine is salvageable.”
He nods again and pats his horse. “We got off lightly. I think we did not lose more then two men. No horses.” His expression darkens.
His cousin’s smile fades. She shakes her head. “Lightly? Perhaps. But it was closer to ten that we lost.”
“Two from us riding in. Irillo and Jarstaporos. Some wounded. So eight or so from the others?” scribe notes looking at the pit Nala summoned and grimaces.
“Sorala… Harunelda… Darniskis… Kalsar…” She recites the names of those she knows, adding the two Xenofos has told her of. The total is only nine, but the small number doesn’t seem to matter.
“Jarstaporos fell in that hole. They told me afterwards…” Xenofos looks at the chasm. “I had no idea. And If I had had it would not have made any difference at the time I guess…”
“Have they recovered him?
“Yes. And his opponent. And finished the horses. There was just no way of getting them out.” Xenofos looks at Varanis with grief. “Poor animals.”
“I need to visit with our wounded again. I was earlier, but… I needed some air. It’s past time for me to return.” The Vingan skirts around the chasm, heading for the place where the healers have gathered the wounded Esrolians. “Keep safe and I’ll see you when we pause for the evening meal?”
“I told Barnropos to get horses taken care of and keep the cavalry otherwise close by. I… I need to get outside the walls for a while, I think.” He sounds fragile.
Varanis pauses, then turns to look at him, peering into his eyes. Whatever she sees there leads to her calm facade crumbling. She pulls him into a fierce hug, bronze armour clattering against more bronze. “We are ok,” she reminds them both. “We won, and more importantly, we survived.”
Xenofos does not answer but returns the hug and cries against her shoulder shaking quietly.
And there they stay, for as long as they both need it, while their body guards keep watch and no one says anything.
Eventually, Varanis regains the courage she needs to visit with the wounded. Xenofos wipes his eyes, nods to the trooper that was escorting him and leads his horse out of the gate