Xenofos — Women S Business
????, Dark Season, Season/Movement Week
Dark Season/Movement Week/Freezedayday/Late afternoon Varanis decides to ask advice on Praxian customs from wife of a storyteller she met earlier at[[[varanis:1626-0924-talltales]]]. [[[s02:session-21|Session 21]]]
Varanis makes her way to Roneer and Lalira’s yurt. Although Lalira’s Tradetalk is minimal, they’ve been able to understand each other in the past.
When Roneer hears Varanis he greets her cheerfully. “Come in Red wind.”
“Greetings Roneer, Lalira,” she replies in Praxian. “May the gods smile on you.” Having run out of words, she switches to Tradetalk. “My friends, I seek your wisdom.” It’s perhaps an unseemly jump directly into business, sp she tempers her rush with an apologetic smile.
“Welcome to our hearth. So what is the problem of Fieryheaded wanderer? Do you need Lalira to count your herd so she can tell of it to mother of some warrior?” Roneer winks his eye.
Varanis laughs. “No, Roneer. I’m not settling down here, no matter how many good stories you tell. The weather will change soon and I will have to go.” She sobers then. “It’s my cousin. He seems to have caused offence to Neela Black Lance. It is possible there is some custom neither of us understands.”
Lalira looks up and talks quickly in Praxian. She frowns. “He has been visiting …” She trails off as Lalira talks over her. Roneer answers in Praxian looking a bit perplexed but then seemingly agreeing and leaves the yurt.
She beckons Varanis to sit down by the fire. Varanis joins the Praxian woman. Quietly Lalira pours her a cup of something warm. “Neela?”
Accepting the drink, the Vingan replies, “She is mad at Xenofos. My cousin.”
She makes disapproving click with her tongue.
“Xefos? That thin rider of zebras? Did he try to be rude on purpose or did he really not know what Neela meant? You did not understand half now, did you?” The draught is fragrant, there is mint and expectation of storm season in the aroma. Lalira looks at Varanis questioningly but not unfriendly.
The Vingan shakes her head. “We don’t understand. What did he do?”
She looks at Vingan and seems to think hard. “Neela let hem drag in snow for Xefos see. Likes Xefos.” Her shrug says there is no according for peculiarities in taste in very eloquent way. “He don’t warm her or ignore but fix the skirt. He like men? Or he stupid?”
“Drag in snow?” Varanis blinks. “Oh!” Realization dawns. “Our customs… umm… our ways are different. He didn’t know what she was inviting. Also… he’s not like me. He loves…” She hesitates, then says “his books. His writing.” She mimes writing, taking on the look of Xenofos scribbling away in his journal. “He ignores his body too much.” She gives a rueful shrug.
“Neela not say it to anyone but quite unhappy.” She takes sip of the hot drink. “He just stupid? You make him see!”
Varanis laughs. “I’ll try, Lalira. But he’s a man.” She shrugs again. “Men aren’t very bright. In Esrolia, where I’m from, men don’t rule. Women do. Better for everyone.”
“Here men think they rule but women are the ones who have the herds.” She gives Varanis a smug look.
Varanis smiles in reply and sips at her tea. After a moment, she says softly, “Xenofos… might not be interested in Neela. He loves someone else. Is there a way to help Neela save face?”
Lalira looks at the fire. “She unhappy if she hears. But maybe that better… that she could understand.”
Sipping at her tea, Varanis looks thoughtful. “Probably best if I tell her that then. I don’t want to hurt her, but…” She stares into the depths of the cup. “Love is hard. And lonely.”
“Love easy. Share a yurt. Take care of herds. Share warmth. Have kids.” She smiles at Varanis with sympathy and pats her on her knee. “You see when find right warrior.”
The Vingan looks wistful and shakes her head.
“Thank you for tea and advice,” Varanis says rising. “I will go find Neela. Try to explain.”
She nods and looks at the door of the yurt. “This women’s business.”
“Agreed.” Impulsively Varanis hugs Lalira. “Thank you.” She slips through the door in search of the unhappy dark-haired woman.