Horsecare

Xenofos — Horsecare

????, Sea Season, Disorder Week


Context

Sea Season, Disorder Week, Probably Fireday eve [[[s02:session-32|Session 32]]]

On the evening after Berra asked help in her quest[[[berra:quest-of-eril-01]]]

Spoilery for Berra?
Events

Xenofos has ridden most of the day in point, a bit ahead of main group.

In the evening he seems rather occupied in taking care of his horse. Maybe he is remembering his fathers opinion of poor horsemen who use spurs without due care.

Varanis quietly brushes Fish, her newly renamed mount.1 Xenofos passes insight, fails scan She is unusually quiet. She would normally have greeted you and checked in. Perhaps she is respecting your need for privacy just now.

Xenofos talks quietly and soothingly to his mount. He is apologizing. He should not have used spurs before giving horse time to speed up even if he was upset.2 Varanis passes listen


“Is he allright after his bath, Varanis?.” Xenofos asks over his mount.

Varanis starts, then soothes the horse in front of her.

“Yes, he’s fine,” she replies. “He doesn’t seem to have taken any injuries.”

That gets a nod in reply. “No problems with his legs or gait?”

She shakes her head. “Not that I’ve noticed. Not even a cut or scratch. Maybe I should have called him Lucky instead.”

Finally, she twists enough to look at her cousin. “Are you alright?”

He shrugs. “I have been worse. But perplexed and unhappy, yes.”
He swallows as he says that and stares into empty air.

“Berra’s quest.” It is both a statement and a question.

“Quite.” Scholar looks to Varanis and his soul seems to return from somewhere.”What did she tell you?”

“She wants me to be Silor. And that there is a risk that we will be cut off from each other when it is done.”

“I see. Well I guess that part of her plan holds some kind of logic. As ill-adviced as I do consider following that infamy.”

“She needs a Wyter for the sword. Didn’t you help her research how to do that?”

His cousin seems worn, likely from the day’s riding and the interrupted sleep of the previous night.

“I helped her find a good Heortling speaker who knows his way around that jumble.” He looks over to where Berra is ” He gave me the references to read up on that and I read some of the materials. But Erils deeds are not written down in those.”

“We learned of those deeds when we chased down the missing relics. Truth be told, we probably know the story better than anyone who didn’t live it.” The Vingan points out reasonably. Watching Xenofos carefully, she adds, “She said she thinks you should be Thenaya.”

“Yes. She did. If I thought that had any chance of working I would have to consider it. Carefully. It is a big request. But it should be someone she loves for analogy to work at all. I can’t understand how she can’t see that logic. She is not stupid….” Voice of the scholar vanishes towards the end.

“She cares for you as much as she cares for anyone,” Varanis says with a shrug. “She doesn’t have a lover to cut herself away from.”

“Quite so… ” He sounds hesitant. ” So point is moot …. I think. Unless? But there is no reason to think so.”

“Unless?”

His face is flickering with conflicting emotions.3 Varanis:LoL. Did I just fail an insight roll?

The Vingan waits.

Xenofos sits down, buries his face in his hands for a while and tries to gather himself.

His cousin takes a seat on the earth next him, close enough that their shoulders touch. “I’m sorry, Xeno.”

“She is not stupid. Eril had to give up someone he loved, so that is what she would have to do. So if she… cared more about me than she has ever admitted, than that request would make logical sense.”

He looks at the horses. “And she has shown care.”
He looks at Varanis.”She has. Care. Compassion.”

“Oh, Xeno. She cannot love you as you love her. If she were not Humakti, she’d be Vingan. And not like me, I think. She is drawn to love women. But yes, she cares about you. Your friendship and well-being matter to her. She was wroth with me when she thought I’d harmed you back in Boldhome.”

“I know she prefers women. And she has told me I should not love her lest I be hurt.” He shrugs. “She also told me I should not take that part if it hurts…”

He turns to lean on her shoulder, crying.

She wraps her arms around him, letting him weep for several minutes. “Oh Xeno. I wish Aranda were here. What wisdom would she have to offer?”

She takes one of his hands in hers and traces out Uleria’s rune on his palm. The gentle pressure of her thumb following the shape is an attempt to remind him.

“If I follow Berra’s request I will not do it. That is simple…”

He continues “It is something she wants to do, so I feel I should help her, I should want to to help and support her.”

“You could watch and make a record of it,” Varanis suggests. “An accurate record will be important, I suspect.”

He shakes his head “If she fails because I don’t help? It is possible even if I don’t think my pain would make the faintest difference… But I don’t know.”

“I wish I had answers, Xeno. I will play the role of Silor for her, even if it means losing her. But, my heart… it’s not the same.” She gives him an apologetic look. “I can’t decide for you. But either way, I can promise that you will still have my respect and love.”

“Love does not seek its own. Love is even ready to let go for the benefit of beloved… I think Aranda would say that… but it takes better man then me to be so selfless… I don’t think this is for her benefit. But I have been wrestling with doubt that it is only my wish to posses her that speaks there.”

He shrugs.

“I must know more before I decide.” He laughs in hollow voice. “And we are riding towards war. It is quite possible I or Berra do not see the next week so I should just enjoy the present. It is quite possible I am honorably relieved of need to decide.”

The Vingan freezes at his last words. He can feel the effort she invests into relaxing her muscles beside him. “It is as you say,” she admits. “We live from Yelmrise to Yelmrise right now.”

He raises up, red-eyed and offers a hand for his cousin.

She accepts and together they return to the camp.