Xenofos — Confession
????, Sea Season
Late Sea Season. Probably third day after the Dragonewt city, on the road. [[[s02:session-42|Session 42]]]
Xenofos has been quiet for a day or two. Today he has been paying scant attention to his surroundings. Midmorning he steers his mount closer to Varanis.
She has been staring distractedly at Manasa’s ears, but looks up at his approach, greeting him with a smile. He nods quietly, but does not smile.
“What’s wrong?” she asks.
His eyes make a sweep of the surroundings, this time not stopping at Berra for any significant amount of time.
“It seems I cannot serve you as a scribe for time being…”1 passed Truth
She blinks, taken aback. “Have I done something wrong?”
He blinks. “No? What makes you say that?”
“Xeno, you just said you won’t serve me right now!”
“I said I cannot serve you as a scribe…” he looks ahead and away “some kind of curse I think… I do not really fathom what.”2 failed lore Lhankor Mhy
She takes a deep breath, clearly calming a sudden rush of anxiety. “Start at the beginning?”
“I tried to make some notes in my journal yesterday…” he says.
She studies his face, searchingly.3 and fails insight human
“I could not. I ended up with a sketch of someone looking like Berra, dragonewt and fire runes…” He looks into the distance. “And when I tried to read my earlier notes they made as little sense as those dragonewt petroglyphs. Or even less.”
He shrugs. “I have never heard they would have such powers. But I have never heard of such thing happening. It is like a Humakti would forget how to wield a sword. Absurd.”
“It could have been the dragonewts, I suppose,” Varanis admits, in a tone that suggests she still thinks it must have been the Lunars. “You need to get to a Library.”
He nods, rubbing the firerune over his right eye. “Probably. Lhankor Mhy knows.”4 passed devotion LM
“While I really think we should be headed to Boldhome, perhaps it’s better for you that we need to get to Nochet first.”
“I could ride to Boldhome to tell the news if you wish. I know the route from Duckpoint pretty well?” he offers. “Since I will not be jotting that down on a note. Unless this is just a temporary affliction ofcourse.”
“I think you need to get to the Library in Nochet. See your priests. Maybe they can figure out what’s going on.”
“I trust in Lhankor Mhy in this.” he shrugs again “if it his will he will lift the curtain from before my eyes. With or without Sages, when it is due time.”
“If it’s a curse, you need to get it lifted, Xenofos. The gods expect us to put some effort in, after all!”
He nods. “Sure. And I will seek for the way. It may be the Library or something else.”
“Are you truly ok?” She eyes him suspiciously.
“Really confused. I do not understand this at all.” he says with blank expression.
“I need to send word to Boldhome urgently. I’ll find someone in Duck Point who can help. You focus on your prayers for now and get to the Library as soon as we arrive in Nochet.”
He scans the horizon with narrowed eyes and nods.
“Xenofos… before you became Elmal, you were with Nolerianmar, right?” She looks thoughtful. “What happened before you entered my myth?”
“Nolerianmar? No I was with Light of Knowledge. She wanted me to wrestle her, but I pleaded her to lead me to you.”
“So, you rejected Knowledge to seek your liege? Xenofos! You acted as Elmal, the loyal thane, rather than as Lhankor Mhy. Are you being punished?”
He turns sharply to look at Varanis. “Could you say that again?”
“You just told me that you turned down a request from the Light of Knowledge so that you could find me… you didn’t act as Lhankor Mhy,” she repeats, staring at him.
He looks at her. “Yes. I guess I did. I told her I need to be a liegeman now and pleaded to help me in that.”
He gestures with his hand. “But what else could I do? You were charging a dragon…”
“You didn’t know that at the time,” she points out.
“No. I did not. I know now. I knew you charged into unknown peril.” he admits.
Suddenly she looks stricken. “I did this to you. I put you in the position of having to choose.”
“My choice, Varanis.” he twirls his moustache. “That is a relief you know. Now it makes sense.”
“If I hadn’t acted impulsively… if I’d shown more self-control… but I was so angry and…” She trails off. “I’m sorry. No excuses. But definitely go see the Sages.”
“I made the choice, Varanis.” he takes her hand “I think I would do it again. I made a promise to your father once and to you later.”
She looks at him wide-eyed, but simply says “thank you.”
It’s obvious to him that she is resolving to be worthy, but for once, she doesn’t say it aloud.
He shrugs. “It had a price. But I can’t say it is unjust. And I was tempted.”
She squeezes his hand, then is forced to let go as Manasa veers away from Xenofos’ mount suddenly. Once she assures herself and her horse that they are continuing forward along the road, she turns her troubled gaze to her cousin once again. “Very well. Keep me apprised of any changes, Xeno.”
He nods with a weak smile.