Xenofos — Travel Plans
????, Earth Season, Illusion Week
Earth Season, Illusion Week, Freeze Day into Waterday Eve – after Blue Tree clansmen have been released [[[s02:session-17|Session 17]]]
Berra, with an expression of less than stellar joy, and indeed mild discomfort, saw to her Clanfolk settling in, and is now just heading to the door to freedom and Nochet. That is, the way out, when Xenofos catches her.
“Berra, a word if you have time? “
Berra pauses, and then indicates the courtyard. “Can we walk and talk? I have an inn to get back to, and … well, I was planning to grab you anyhow, in case I needed to read Kesten’s testament, but I’m going to have a drink first.”
“Sure, but is there still need for you to live somewhere outside the palazzo, with matter of Kesten settled? ” scholar asks.
“That’s not the matter which is why I was moving out. I’m about to take a chunk out of his House, and I don’t want to have a host associated with that.” She gives Xenofos a tired smile. “I’ve already told him I’m sorry for what I’m going to bring down on him, but he’s straight enough not to stop me unless I’ve done something. Which yet, I haven’t.”
Xenofos nods thoughtfully. “He does indeed look like a very decent chap. But living outside our roof does not make you not kin, little cousin.”
“I’m the Blue Tree, Lord Xenofos. Your Clan won’t owe anything for what I do. That’s important to me.” Small, determined, and agitated, Berra has lost the calm that was sustaining her recently. She indicates the courtyard and the gate to Xenofos. “Let’s move. It’s easier to understand I’m going if I’m gone.”
“That is actually what I wanted to talk about.” Scholar settle to comfortable pace.
Once they are through the outer gate, which required a pause for Berra to cast magic just to be sure, she asks, “About the Blue Tree? Or about owing? Or about going?” her eyes move over the street, and to anyone else it might seem a scholar is out for a walk with his highly professional bodyguard.
“With Varanis and Mellia in the Blue Tree I reckon you kin. And you have said you don’t wish to talk of your plan. So about going. Varanis tells me you are planning to go to Prax. Is that so? ” tutored to address whole argument Xenofos finally gets to his original point.
“You are, yes. But not them.” She jerks a thumb back towards the Palazzo. “And yes, almost certainly. I’ll be leaving with Nala, if I can.” Alleyways and roof lines and windows get checked by habit as Berra walks.
“Which route are you planning on taking?” his tone is light.
Berra shrugs, her expression scrumpling up briefly into puzzlement before smoothing out. “I think she was going to go by sea. I don’t know more than that – when I went to Pavis I walked both ways. That was spring, though, not autumn.”
“I might have errands that take me to Whitewall and – perhaps, but not necessarily eventually to Pavis. Both a bit uncertain.” Xenofos says hesitantly.
“It would be good to see you. I think our plan’s to head up the Zola Fel. I have no idea which way I’ll come back, but there’s a big Humakti Temple in Pavis, so you can send me a message, and I’ll find someone to read it.” Berra gives Xenofos a quick look to show she is serious about that part, but mostly she is scanning the surroundings.
“I see, no common itinerary then. And I assume your schedule might be a bit hasty?” scholar is keeping his tone light, but there is hint of disappointment on the background.
“I don’t know. I think she’s going back to visit and try to find her dead Priest’s people, and I’m just going to be tagging along with a bison and maybe dealing with bandits and stuff. Mostly we do that by not meeting any, I hope.” There is a calm shrug. Berra is back in control of her emotions, briefly.
“The dead priest… Indeed.” Scribe sounds thoughtful.
“That’s probably the part that will take us to Pavis. The Zola Fel’s just how we get there.”
“I see… And when are you leaving? “
Berra shrugs. “When we have things done. A few days? I need to find out if I’m forgiven at the Barracks, and if not I’ll be staying there. If so, I’ll be at the inn we’re going to.”
“I would hope to see Mellias wedding before setting on my way – if I need to, and if Varanis does not need me for something more important.” Xenofos adds, a bit defensively.
“If that’s going to be this year. We’re heading into Dark and Storm. I suppose given he’s Orlanthi they might choose a storm date, but the weather will be terrible if they try to have it in Sartar unless it’s within about the next week. They’ll need magic to clear it.”
“And they will not be in Sartar next week… Maybe we hear something definite in next couple of days, but I fear house and clan reputation demands that talks are done with proper dignity. And that means slowly.”
“There’s a lot to talk about. But even … oh, you might not know this. Even in a wedding that doesn’t talk about more than about two hides and who gets the best rugs and the children, it’ll take time. A month or more, probably, because you need to do things like make the right weaving, or one father can’t make it until he’s back from whereever… you know. So I’d think after Sacred Time.”
Xenofos shakes his head. “Those are women’s affairs. So I only know they take time, not why. But – I suppose we’ll get some idea of how long it might take time once your clanspeople settle in.”
“They need to talk about what the bride and groom ransoms are, and in this case, about which Clan Venlar ends up in, too. Normally I guess it would be two groups, but this is three and Mellia’s important, and Venlar’s his big brother’s inheritor, so if he moves outside his Clan, he’s… well, it’s all very very important and careful and stuff.” Berra shrugs a shoulder, and the other stays relaxed. It’s a limber twist of muscle that looks casual and also lets her stretch out and check the next roofline as she straightens.
Xenofos just nods and walks for a while in thoughtful silence.
Berra pulls up her scarf from inside her armour, to shield her neck against the cooling air. “I need to cut my hair,” she says. “If it’s going to be hot in Prax I should probably shave most of it now, to make it easier.” Small talk.
“Even with Stormseason coming?” his tone is absentminded.
“Hot and wet? I don’t know. I’ve never been in Pavis over winter. I should get rid of most of the… don’t know the word. Most of the bits that burned came off but there are some that are wrinkled at the end. They’re annoying me. Right here, and then up the stepped alley. It’s covered up top, so it’s safe.”
Scholar nods and scans the alleyway.
They are heading towards the cheaper, tenement part of town, but this is still a respectable place. The covers are wood, and form a secondary road up top, and the steps dip down and then come up again, but not to the same level. Berra opens a door at the top, and the atmosphere of a common room spills out; light and warmth and laughter. She pauses there. “Want a drink?”
Xenofos looks at the plebeian surroundings, nods and answers “Sure, why not.”
He grins “Might be a tad overdressed.” Which with his sword and armour might be the case. But then again compared to the Humakti…
Berra gives him an answering smile. “They won’t mind. Just make sure to tip like you’ve forgotten you ever had money. They do a decent red wine here and the beer’s good, but the food is really boring.” She goes in, waving to the innkeeper on her way over to his nest of amphorae.
Once settled down with their drinks Xenofos leans back with his back to the wall and looks at Berra raising his cup “For safe travels “
Berra grins. “Safe staying,” she says. She chose beer, and a seat from which she could see the door. She toasts him too, with a casually fond look.
After studying his drink a while Xenofos notes “I will miss you when you are gone, you know.”
Berra shrugs a little. “We’ll meet again. Keep busy. Does writing keep your mind full like drilling does?”
“No writing keeps my mind full. Drilling empties it, or rather empties it of everything outside the movements.”
“Ah, right. I think that’s sort of what I meant. Fill your hours with things that make time pass. We’re young. We’ve got plenty of time to fill.” Her smile is confident, although it’s a warrior’s smile, and something in her eyes says she is issuing a challenge to the future.
“The only time we really have is now. Past is gone. Of future we do not know.” scholar smiles, but his eyes are staring somewhere beyond the common room’s walls.