Xenofos — Words In An Empty Yurt
1627, Dark Season
Couple of weeks into Dark Season [[[s02:session-55|Session 55]]]
Spoilery if you want to avoid private discussions.
Neela guides him to a yurt. It is conspicuously empty. Inside, she removes her bison-hide coat and hangs it on the wall lattice. Without that layer, she looks even more pregnant, if it is possible for such a thing. She reaches for his cloak.1 int3 ? fail
Xenofos hands the garment over. “I was happy to hear you have been blessed by Eiritha.”
She hangs his cloak next to hers. “Why?” she asks, turning. Her serenity falters. “You take my child?”
Xenofos looks at the woman in disbelief. “How could I take a child from it’s mother?”
“You come for birth. You say you stay for seasons, then will leave. Men want sons.” She says this as if it is obvious. “You say in front of kin that your words will not be easy.”
“Ernalda bears children, Ernalda names father. I hoped… But I heard said it is child of your husbands. I did not wish to say things that would bind you to something you do not want in that yurt, Neela.” He steps next to her and reaches for her hands.
She allows it. “Najeem’s child means Najeem’s family help. After Sacred Time, Garmeed will be old enough to marry. He will be my husband, children’s father.” She peers up at him, “You made that…” She searches for the word and shrugs.
Xenofos blinks and nods. “Daughter or a son of my spirit? I hoped that…”
“Hoped what, X’fos?”
“That it would be offspring of our love, Neela.”
“That too. But you don’t want to stay. Children need fathers to teach them. To feed them. Orgfal has no father. When Majaro was alive, it was good. But now, I need husband.” Xenofos catches the flash of pain, before she masks it with pragmatic acceptance again.
“Yes, I love you, but I will not stay.” He nods ” and can not marry outside the cult of Grey Sages.”
“You gave me baby, but Najeem and Garmeed will be father. You have more words?” As she asks, she frees one of her hands and shifts it to her heavy belly. Beneath the hand and the hide dress, there is a ripple of movement.
“I don’t think you do, but if you wish you could come with me.” He looks at the movement “But I can not teach Orgfal or the baby how to be bison riders.”
She looks completely taken aback. Freeing her other hand, she goes to sit, not bothering to see what he does. “What do you offer?” she asks without looking at him.
“No marriage. Shared life of uncertainty in the saddle. Sustenance. Or maybe you could live on some of land I hold if you do not wish to travel with the children.” He strokes his beard thoughtfully.
“It is not much, is it.” She sighs. “Go now. I think.”
He nods. “No it is not. You are worth much more. A good raider of the tribe, who can marry you, pay a good brideprice and teach Orgfal to be a great warrior. But I can not give you that.”
She winces. “Go now.”
He takes his cloak and leaves the yurt.
- 1int3 ? fail