Xenofos — Words In Late Afternoon
????, Fire Season, Season/Fertility Week
Fire Season/Fertility Week/Clay Day/Afternoon in the palazzo Saiciae. [[[s02:session-42|Session 42]]]
In the afternoon Xenofos returns to the palazzo. Armored, without his helmet.
The sleepy city swelters in the heat. Of course it does.
Yelm be praised for his gifts. He swallows.
Dry. Dry as Nochet in the heat of Fire Season, when no rain has been gifted for weeks.
He rolls his shoulders and gets to his room to shed the triple discs. It is a cool armour when riding across the fields. Less so when meditating in the gleaming courtyard of the temple.
His room is a little cooler than the sun outside. Someone has put water in his room, helpfully.
He looks at it longingly, but just uses it to wash his hands and wrists.
Cleaner now. And of course, even though the water was as warm as the room, it cools his hands as it dries. Some sort of mystery of Water itself.
After getting rid of his kit and fighting tunic he dresses in just a linen kilt. His eyes spy his scholars robe that servants have folded neatly on top of his clothes chest.
They washed it carefully, maybe using magic, and the golden light still plays upon it.
He tucks the garment over his arm and goes to see if uncle Des is in the palazzo.
Uncle Desdel is indeed in the palazzo, although it takes a little time to elicit this information; as far as Xenofos can tell, the servant is trying to avoid saying that Desdel was asleep and needs a few more minutes.
Afternoon on Fire Season – the most natural thing to do.
The invitation to drop in comes a few minutes later, via a different servant. Desdel has apparently found wakefulness.
Xenofos enters the study of the older man.
“Good afternoon, uncle Des.”
“Hail, nephew.” He looks up from his work. “I was thinking to settle to this, but I find that it is a particularly detailed description of a pink granite, and not the book I had ordered at all, which was an account of the making of turtle shell ornaments, and has a particularly good passage about Triolini rites. Your face is a welcome site, therefore.”
He nods. “That sounds awkward. I heard Irillo got final details – or almost – negotiated and caravan can leave in couple of days and I am leaving with it.”
“I am glad to hear it. Are you still off water in the daytime?” Desdel considers the calendar on his desk, but waits for Xenofos to answer rather than doing the adding up.
“Off water and food.” he nods. “So, I am leaving in a few days, and there is a thing I thought you might find interesting to look. And if your intended study is not occupying you today?”
“Not at all, no. My intended study is still at the library, although I can see from the registration numbering how they got this one wrong. I shall write a note to them. What can your uncle do for you?”
“Varanis noticed this detail on my robes.” he lays out the cloth. “In the afternoon, after the vision.”
Desdel swallows. “When did that arrive?”
“I saw it when Varanis pointed it out to me.” he looks at the Truth rune. “I know it was not there before I went to the temple.”
Desdel says, “I did not see it either, when you rose from prayer and song.” But he shrugs. “Still, it seems magical, to tell from the glow. Perhaps you needed to return home for it to be seen?”
“I am not sure I would have seen anything that day, uncle. After that, after her.” he looks absentminded for a minute.
“Even so. I did not, so…” He pours himself a drink of water, and has half of it, putting the rest down where Xenofos will not see it, at least. “So you have come to me to ask for advice? For an identification?”
He shrugs. “I thought it might interest you. I do not mind hearing what it is, if you know that?”
“A little magic should let us know, and it certainly is magic, but I do have a few things I should do at the Temple. Still, for a nominal fee, perhaps a clack and a story?” Desdel comes over to take the robe.
“Am I still seeking knowledge, if I let someone else do that for me uncle?” He closes his eyes ” I think I am. Asking for advice or reading a source are seeking knowledge.”
“Most certainly,” he replies, and his expression flickers. For a moment his stature is great and his beard is knotted into Runes that divide and divide forever, and then he nods. “Mm, yes. Simple enough, and limited. A matrix for magic, and highly apposite.”
He looks at him questioningly.
“It will give aid in translation, although not yet, I suspect. Perhaps – just perhaps – it would allow you to know what a written word means, but I could not sense that within the weave. Possibly worth the experiment, but that is up to you, and I would be wary of disappointment, rather than of losing my head in elation.” He hands it back, still carefully folded.
He nods. “I don’t think I will try to have anything but mystery of light and it’s litanies in my head for next few days.”
“Then all you need do is pass the power of the Lord of Knowledge through this. It will provide the knowledge, although you will need to wear it to Temple on a holy day to regain the gift, I suspect. That was not made clear to me, which generally means there is no other method required instead.” Desdel nods – to the robe.
“Here is your clack, good sage.” He looks at corner of wall and ceiling. “In plains of Prax, a Stormkhan of Urox wandered around with his band. He said he was slaying Chaos, but those who knew said he was as interested in gathering tribute from others…”1 Xenofos first thought of a story of Lady with a Spotted Bull and a wandering Lhankor Mhy scholar but decided that something else might have wider interest
“We can save the story until later, if you wish to wet your tongue before singing it,” Desdel murmurs, as he goes to put the clack in a collection box.
“It is allright uncle. Yelm will set in few hours. “he closes his eyes. “He had done that for years… “
Desdel settles to write the tale, on the end of the Pink Granite scroll.2 Desdel failed his Insight Human so he thought that point where Xenofos’ voice cracked a little as the little Humakti nearly got eaten was bad form brought on by a lack of water. The part where Varanis was in danger was, naturally, clearly spoken but a little fast, and we can forgive that.
“… and the storm of eternal Battle reclaimed the drum and the remains of the Dead Who Know No Rest.”
- 1Xenofos first thought of a story of Lady with a Spotted Bull and a wandering Lhankor Mhy scholar but decided that something else might have wider interest
- 2Desdel failed his Insight Human so he thought that point where Xenofos’ voice cracked a little as the little Humakti nearly got eaten was bad form brought on by a lack of water. The part where Varanis was in danger was, naturally, clearly spoken but a little fast, and we can forgive that.