Xenofos — After The Rain
1627, Earth Season, Season/Death Week
Earth Season/Death Week/Water Day/Esrolian camp after Varanis took a nap. [[[s02:session-50|Session 50]]]
Varanis wakes from her nap. It’s been close to two hours and she is groggy, but probably better off than when she fell asleep. She blinks, glances around the tent and then at herself. There are flakes of dried woad in her sleeping hides now. With a sigh, she tidies herself up somewhat, plaiting her hair and washing her face. She searches out a clean tunic to replace her climbing clothing, and in doing so, finds the food Lenta left for her. Scooping up the platter, she slips outside the tent.
Within sight but not quite at the tent Xenofos is trying to tune his kithara. Lenta is with him. When she sees Varanis she nods towards her and disappears between the tents.
Varanis heads for her cousin, dropping down to the ground near him. “Morning,” she says before dipping into the food.
“Morning, Varanis.” he lets out a melancholy tune of one of the strings. “A bit too moist I am afraid. Even if I held it wrapped during the downpour.”
“I wondered if it had rained. Everything seems a bit damper than earlier. I was tired enough that I slept right through it.” She yawns, suggesting she’s probably still more than a little worn out.
“Sudden rain. Some thunder.” Xenofos looks at his distinctively wet riding cloak. “Animals were a bit spooked but nothing major.”
“Huh. You know, I dreamt of lightning. Must have been caused by the thunderstorm.”
He shrugs. Looks at his kithara and packs it carefully. He turns to look at his cousin with a serious look.
She is methodically working her way through the remains of the food in front of her.
“There is something I need to talk about, Varanis.”
“You know I always hear you out, even if I don’t always heed your advice. Go ahead, I’m listening.”
He nods. “I did not like you entering Alda Chur with just Valseena and Berra.”
“Yes. You were clear about that at the time.” She acknowledges his statement without rancour.
“And I was wrong to try stop you from that. You are more qualified for that kind of work than I. I would have been a risk. I am sorry I let my fear over you guide my judgement.” He tugs his beard. “Well not only that. I owe Valseena a life, maybe two, so…”
“It’s ok, Xeno. You followed orders when instructed and things worked out well. I’ve heard that you put on an impressive show of riding, by the way. Well done!”
He shrugs and raises to his feet “That was easy enough. Waiting for you when you did not follow the agreed on route was more nervewracking.”
“The water was too fast for us,” she says. “You’d have been searching for bodies downstream if we’d persisted in that route.”
He tilts his head and nods.
“I’m trying to make sense of my dream. I was an alynx, but chasing through the sky. I think I was trying to get to Vinga, but…” She shakes her head. “I got distracted, I think. Suddenly I was chasing lightning.”
He smiles warmly. “Did you catch it, little alynx.”
“I think so. But then I was me again. I think. It’s a bit fuzzy in my head.” She smiles wryly. “You know what dreams are like. The more you try to catch them, the harder they are to catch.”
“But you caught the thunderbolt.” He nods. “I don’t know if it means anything, but it is an auspicious omen.”
“Is it not obvious?” He smiles “If Vinga was not pleased with you, you could not catch it. And it is symbol of Orlanths power.” A shadow flickers on his face.1a symbol of Storm’s destructive force and violence. Lethal. Bruta. “So even if it is not an omen that tells you what to do, it tells of power you can wield as you serve. Even if it is just a dream.”
She peers up at the sky, then smiles at him. “I like that. Thank you.” She rises then, a rueful look on her face. “Well, my clean tunic is now damp and I really need to clean the woad off. I should make myself presentable in case Argrath decides he’s ready to see me.”
He nods. “Upriver the water is less muddy. I think heating enough for a bath may be a bit too much hassle.”
“Cold water won’t kill me,” she says. “Though…. Maybe I should bring someone along to watch for crocodiles.”
“And sorties from the town?” he looks at the camp “Maybe the Vingans, they were not out there last night?”
Varanis shakes her head in response to the question about the sorties. A sudden thought occurs to her. “Nala is here and was apparently acting like a crocodile… I wonder if she’s been communing with Salt and Teeth. And if so, I wonder if she can deal with this crocodile thing for me…”
“That is worth a discussion, I suppose. Xenofos agrees.
“Right. I’ll go find the Vingans and get myself sorted. Maybe a bucket beside the stream, just to be safe.” She rests her hand briefly on his shoulder, then turns away.