Xenofos — In Argraths Camp 5
Next morning from previous talk [[[s02:session-47|Session 47]]]
The next morning, Varanis rises as per usual, ready to greet Yelm. She slips out of the tent quietly, so as not to wake Lenta or Mellia.
There’s a place where she and the other Vingans have taken to doing the morning rituals and as the sky lightens, Varanis is already stepping through the sacred patterns. By the time the ritual ends, there’s a light sheen of sweat on her forehead and some of the strain seems to have lifted from her.
Xenofos waits at respectful distance. Behind him are three Golds and two Greens.
Varanis heads directly to him. “You’re ready to go?”
She nods. “So be it. Take the money from Venna to compensate the man’s family. If he has no family, then wait before you give it to the king of the Tovtaros. I want you to find out if he knew his man was Chaos-tainted. When you know that answer, you can decide whether it is right to give him the weregild. I assume the answer will be yes, but we don’t know what you’re walking into. It may be that the Tovtaros are Chaos lovers. I hope that Lhankor Mhy will guide you to the truth.” She chews her lip for a moment as she thinks. “Tell him of the other prisoners. If you believe him to be an honourable man and unmarked by Chaos, then try to arrange for a meeting so that we can negotiate. If you believe that he works willingly with Chaos, then negotiation will be impossible. Simply make arrangements for him to deliver the ransoms.”
“I would suggest taking the money only if he agrees to accept it, milady?” He thinks for a while, you can see he is counting in his head. His tone is both respectful and calculating “It could be part of the the larger ransom arrangement or – if you decide in the negotiations to forego the rest of the ransoms – paid at that time.”
She nods. “That makes sense. Be safe, please.” To the guards who will travel with her cousin, she says, “Watch each other’s backs. Be smart. I expect all of you to come back to me.”
The guards nod with proud expression.
Xenofos nods too. “I would suggest either Barnropos or Kesten taking over the command of the cavalry my liege, but I have not given any orders on the matter.”
“I’ll take care of it.” Without warning, she hugs him. “I’m sorry for the worry I caused you,” she says too quietly for others to hear. “I needed to work through it. I meant what I said though. Come back.”
“I want to, Varanis.” he rests his forehead on hers “Thank you for letting me go. It.. It is important. For me.”
“I know.” She steps back. “Now go. I’m counting on all of you.”
Xenofos salutes and walks at brisk pace to where horses are held.
They ride away at pace allowed by the crowded camp.
Light dances on the black mane of the gray Esrolian horse Xenofos has chosen to ride today.1 Varanis passed ride and noticed It is not Creamy that was bought during the travels but one of his original mounts he brought when leaving Nochet. And way cheaper then Creamy.
Varanis watches until they vanish from sight and then she goes looking for Kesten.