Xenofos — Envoy From The Yurt Of Three Women
1627, Dark Season
Some time in Dark Season, Straw weaver camp [[[s02:session-55|Session 55]]]
SPOILERY if you want to avoid hearing stuff that happens in faraway Prax.
Later on same day Xenofos leaves a bundle outside the doorpost of Neela’s yurt and tells quietly he leaves them there.
One of the twins comes out to collect it, without looking at him.1 Length of indigo dyed wool cloth, enough for a dress, gray scarf, some foodstuffs… honeyed ginger, cinnamon apples, chilijerky… and a small wooden zebra
The gift is not returned to him.
When Xenofos goes to check on his mount, it is apparent that this is the only zebra in the camp. There is no sign of the others.2XWhere the heck is Majafal? Her brother should be teaching Orgfal even if Majaro is dead. Has he been married out to some other woman’s clan?.. GM you can ask
Xenofos asks Dakajeel if he knows the whereabouts of Majafal and if traders brought any zebras earlier.
Dakajeel grumbles. Majafel went with Argrath, but will not be coming home. News came with the traders who brought the zebras.
Xenofos nods and checks if Dakajeel means Majafal followed old Majaro to greener plains.
This gets a nod in reply. The young warrior’s face is full of envy and longing for glory.
Xenofos does not ask for further details. When he sees Saberak he tells her he heard of Majafal and asks her to tell Neela he is sorry for her loss.
Saberak glares, but agrees to take the message.
Xenofos spends some time looking at the herd, but to him all the bisons look the same. 3 44 on herd, skill is way less. Since Neela wanted to have time to think he waits.
So lost in his own thoughts is he, that Xenofos doesn’t notice the child until he is standing next to him.
Xenofos looks at the child in his fur deli . “Well met Orgfal. You have grown.”
“X’fos,” the child says. “You back. I big. I am big.” He corrects himself. Like his mother, he seems to have been practicing Tradetalk.
“Who no I don’t remember the right words, where is your calf Orgfal?”
The little boy points. He’s pointing into a herd of bison at a bison.
“Have you taught it things?”
The child nods solemnly. He whistles through his teeth and a young bison gambols over.
The bison stands still as the child attempts to climb it.
“Do you need help, little warrior?”
“No. I can.” The boy continues his determined climb and after a few more tries, makes it to the top of the animal. He wraps chubby fists in the bison’s hair and makes another sound that sets the large animal into motion.4 GM- Funnily enough, I actually just watched a documentary the other day that included a few scenes of a 4-5 year-old reindeer herder learn how to mount a reindeer. It made me think of Orgfal.
Xenofos nods and looks at the small boy.
Orgfal shows off his developing riding skill. It’s nothing fancy, but both he and the animal are very young still.5 GM- he likely rides better than Varanis
“Well done, little warrior.” the scribe praises the kid. “You bring credit to those who taught you.”
Orgfal beams. Looking over Xenofos’ head, he suddenly scrambles down, babbling rapidly in Praxian. He runs over to take the scholar by the hand and starts pulling him towards the yurts.
“I don’t understand, Orgfal. Can you say it in Tradetalk.” Xenofos is looking at the boy who is trying to pull him to motion.
“Auntie coming. I a babble of Praxian you dinner. Forgot.” It seems likely that he is trying to bring Xenofos home for dinner.
Xenofos raises an eyebrow and looks towards the yurts.
It’s not Saberak, but the other twin. She calls out to Orgfal who yells back at her. While the words are unintelligible to Xenofos, the tone is not. It is the universal sound of a young boy trying to sound like he’s completely on top of things.
“Did someone tell you to ask me for dinner, Orgfal, or did you come up with that on your own?” Xenofos asks as he looks at Saberak’s sister.
“Mama asked.” The young woman nods, confirming the child’s words. It seems he truly is invited for a meal.
“I will gladly accept her hospitality.” Xenofos answers with a nod. Perhaps he is trying to hide that blinking a bit.
Thus it is that he is dragged along by the child to what turns out to be Saberak’s yurt. This is where Neela and Orgfal have been living since her uncle died. It is explained to Xenofos that Saberak’s husband is a great warrior who is away with Argrath. Neela, Saberak and her sister live together and the clan ensures they have a portion of the hunt. This has happened in many yurts where young husbands are in Tarsh and the elders are few.
Even more warriors would have left, but Gallaf reminded them that the herds and yurts needed protecting and while the women of the Straw Weaver clan are fierce, the herds are large and they could not be expected to do everything themselves.
Xenofos thanks Saberak for accepting him by her hearth, asks a how Neela has been feeling during her pregnancy, mentions that ginger is supposed to help with nausea.
Saberak accepts his thanks with a disapproving look.
Her welcome is begrudging.
When Xenofos asks about the pregnancy, all the women exchange looks, but Neela tells him it is much like her first. She was sick for a time, but all is well now.
Scribe seems happy with those news.
The conversation is stilted given the language barriers and Saberak’s underlying hostility. But the food is good and Orgfal fills the gaps with happy chatter. When the meal is done, Saberitha offers Xenofos his cloak. It is an unambiguous statement that the visit is over.
Xenofos accepts the cloak, thanks for the hospitality and tells Neela he wishes to see her again.
She joins him by the door of the yurt, before he can duck through it. “Tomorrow,” she says. Then she considers him a moment longer before taking his hand and placing it on her belly. At first, there’s stillness, and then he can feel it. The movement of a child who is already testing the boundaries.
Xenofos looks lets his hand be led by hers. He looks her in the eyes, shedding an errant tear. When she takes his hand away he very quietly says “Thank you.”
She nods and turns away leaving him to depart.
Silently Xenofos leaves the yurt.