Xenofos — Restless Dreams
????, Sea Season, Harmony Week
Sea Season, Harmony Week, Fireday. In the middle of the night [[[s02:session-32|Session 32]]]
Kind of spoilery for Berra, not something Xenofos shares.
Xenofos wraps himself into his cloak and huddles to shelter of a firtree.
He listens to voices of the night, wind in the trees, the sleepy beasts in distance and Varanis breathing becoming restful as she falls asleep.
Soon he sleeps too, and dreams.
There are horses on the pasture on the gently rolling hillside. Small but stubborn local ponies, his old mount, even a zebra and greying bison.
Brisk boy maybe eight years old runs past laughing. He is chased by two little girls, maybe five sacred times behind them. There is likeness to all three, they are clearly related. Girls look so like each other that they must be twins. Boy’s laughter flows like water. One the girls is commanding him imperiously to stop, while the other one just runs quietly.
Sight is familiar and Xenofos smiles.
Even without turning I can feel that behind my back a cold mist is rising.
Standing in the doorway to the cottage, watching with tolerant amusement is a short woman. Her hand rests on her belly, heavy with new life.
Familiar voices are calling. Dull, thin voices with no echoes.
Voice is in Pelorian, but I can understand it all the same. “You can not stay. You don’t belong here. You are ours.”
Another is in Esrolian “Where is she? You promised? You can’t stay here.”1 failed fertility
The woman in the doorway calls out in Heortling, voice made sharp by sudden worry. “Stay away from the water’s edge!”
No, not water again.
“There is nothing you can do, you were dead already. You belong to us, not them.”
Sun is going dimmer and everything is getting covered by cold mist.
There’s a childish shriek. A mother’s terrified yell.
Jenath Minar, the tributary of the Creek that winds past the Blue Tree Tula, has always demanded sacrifice. I know this. The mist continues to rise.
I to run towards the water.2 passed love family Voices tell me it is futile. It always is.
And it is, tula is very distant and harder he runs further it becomes.
As he stops he hears they are with him. Mocking. Calling to him. Drawing him to the mists.
He wakes to Varanis gently shaking him. “Yelm has risen, Xeno. We have to get moving soon.”
“The girls, Ranie? I had hideous nightmare, I thought…”
She looks at him quizzically. “Which girls?”
“The twins of course…” but in the waking he cannot even remember their names.
They are in Sartar, far from civilization. His back aches from sleeping on the hard earth. There is no Tula here. No cottage. But the short, dark-haired woman is visible in the distance, strapping her too-long sword into place.
Xenofos looks at Berra. Disoriented. Wondering how she can look so calm.
Noting Varanis is alive and wondering why that is surprising.