Xenofos — Ride On
????, Storm Season, Season/Disorder Week
Storm Season/Disorder Week/Fire Day/ Evening just before striking camp [[[s02:session-25|Session 25]]]
Several hours after their departure from the Straw Weaver Bisons (and well before Mellia and Venlar appear), Varanis brings Zukko alongside Stripey.
Xenofos nods to Varanis when she comes but continues scanning the western horizon.
For a time, she says nothing and they listen to the sounds of their mounts’ hooves and the usual noises of a large party of travellers. Finally, she asks, “Everything alright?”
“You were late for our departure and rather muddy, given we hadn’t hit the road yet.” The alynx’s curiosity has apparently been peaked.
“I picked a muddy little boy up and got my share. I did try to clean up.” Scribe explains.
This gets a raised eyebrow, but then she lets the subject drop. Casually, she glances around, taking note of the relative positions of the other riders. Apparently satisfied that no one is in hearing distance, she says softly, “There’s something I need to tell you.”
“Please do” Xenofos says politely, without notable curiosity.
“You know that I spent Windsday in worship. Well, most of it anyway.” If she weren’t wearing her helmet, she’d probably be chewing the ends of her hair as she searched for the words she wants. “I had… I’m not sure it was a vision, really. A dream? A call? I’m not sure. But regardless, I feel like I have answers to some of my questions. And given your oath to me, you have a right to know.”
He shrugs. “Where you go I follow. It is simple…”
“I go to Sartar next. To Kallyr, but also…. to Orlanth. I feel drawn to Grandfather Sartar and I will be asking to initiate to his worship. But, to be a true thane for Blue Tree and to serve Kallyr properly, I must also give myself to Orlanth the king.”
Xenofos listens to his cousin and turns slowly to look at her.1 Xenofos has special on insight While Varanis is usually all about Movement and Air, this decision seems to be rooted in the Earth. She feels strongly about it. It’s a decision that has been made and she is stating it, not questioning it or seeking approval.
Xenofos seems to be down. His voice lacked passion and Air.
He nods slowly. “That sounds correct. And I think your place is in Sartar.”2 Varanis passes insight. Xenofos seems to be down. His voice lacked passion and Air.
She gives him a curious look. “What is it? You are not yourself.”
Again, a shrug. “Feeling wistful and sad I guess.”3 darn special on Truth
“Can I help?” She looks at him, worried. “Oh.” Something dawns on her. “Neela?”
He looks a the road ahead and after some time nods.
“I’m sorry, Xeno. Even if you can’t be what she needs, it must be hard to part ways.” Sympathy and understanding shine in her eyes.
He nods. “I do care about her. But I am not staying. It really boils down to that in the end…”
“Xeno…. will there be a child?”
Scholar turns slowly to look at Varanis “Now something new to think about. If Ernalda blesses her? But she did not tell me that would be the case.”
“You are only wearing one of your initiation armrings. I don’t think I’ve seen you without both before.”
He looks at his left arm now only carrying Varanis’ ring. “I gave the other one away.”
“That’s why I asked about a child,” she points out.
He looks at her questioningly.
She gives him an impatient look. “You gave away a valuable symbol of your connection to Saiciae. I presume you wouldn’t do such a thing lightly. So, I wondered if you gave it to Neela in case of a child. You may not have noticed this, but the Straw Weaver Bisons aren’t exactly well off and Neela is reliant on her aging uncle to feed her and her son. I thought you might be providing for her.”
“His brother hunts for the same yurt, so there is a man for the hearth.” He says. “And no. I did not give that lightly. But neither did I think of that as sustenance.”
She gives him a thoughtful look. “As you say,” she agrees at last.
After riding in silence for a while Xenofos looks at Varanis. “You better hear this now, because roads are dangerous and tomorrow might be too late. I told her that if I am dead showing that ring to Saiciae will tell she was my friend. I can’t bind the clan. But if she needs assistance I wish she get it as she would from me… That was not the main purpose, but…”
Varanis nods. “Send word, to make sure it is known. Know that if, for some reason, she comes to me instead, I will aid her.”
He nods. “Thank you Ranie. Since we move a lot, I said the best way to pass the word would probably be through Issaries traders and cousin Irillo. Who would most likely know how to reach you.”
“Mhmm. And if he can find me, he can find you,” she points out.
“That was the general idea, yes.” He nods.
Xenofos falls back to riding in silence.
She rides next to him, respecting the silence. She watches Zukko’s ears twitch.
He shakes his head. “I am bad at separation. I see it’s logic and get it in my head. But in feelings… I fail to understand.”
This gets a look of understanding and sympathy.