Public — Danaril 2
Still on the road to Boldhome, after the haunted mansion, after Mellia and her entourage meet with others [[[s02 :session-39|Session 39]]]
Hark! What familiar voice is catching up at your next rest break?
“… honestly, she’s a good seamstress and you both need clothing for the Boldhome wedding. Wait, who’s that on the bison? Where’s Berra?”
The man on the bison, white-haired and old, is dismounting slowly. Berra is nearby, not helping him. To an expert who knows how to look, this man is carrying a lot of old, unhealed injuries.1 Insight: Berra is letting him do without her help rather than embarrass him by asking.
Charge! A familiar white robed figure dismounts from her horse and rushes to the pale-haired man. Venlar and Yamia are left behind by the sudden advance of their white lady.
Mellia says, “There now, just sit quietly and you will be fine in no time.”
The pale-haired man, underweight and dressed in clothes that are ill-fitting and probably lent to him, has a Moon Rune tattooed in red on his forehead. It looks like he once had a Fire Rune there, but the red colour has been applied over what might have been blue.
Mellia doesn’t care about the tattoo. He is alive and hurt.
Berra gives Mellia a look of sudden despairing hope, like this is the last thing she could think of but it happened.
Mellia smiles at Berra, then gets to work, healing all those injuries.
The most obvious ones are the scar crossing his right eye and the milky unseeing eye, and the three fingers of his right hand, crooked against the palm of that hand.
Otherwise he moves someone who either is bruised and battered or maybe very old.
And he looks like he has eaten too little for quite some time. He is huddled in a bisonskin coast and looks overwhelmed by Mellia’s assault.
“This is Mellia,” Berra says. “She will help you if she can.”
“Indeed I will,” Mellia says. “I can cure much of this, but your eye should wait until we reach Boldhome. You should also get lots of rest and food.”
Berra hovers by him, protectively.
He shakes his head. “Thank you White Lady. Wounds and bruises have healed, but their memory lingers. And who can heal a memory.” 2 He does look healed Mellia. Just healed in a twisted way. Fixing that would be very complicated.
“Nobody has been kind to Danaril for a very long time,” Berra tells her.
“That is not quite true, Berra.” he says quietly, holding a pouch of snacks in his mauled right hand.
“You must heal the memories, but it helps to talk. I am willing to listen. Your injuries healed wrong. We can’t deal with that here. I am sorry.”
“I am alive…” he replies.
Mellia replies, “Yes. I want help healing you. Never fear, we will get you healed properly.”
“Mellia is making the White Lady’s shrine bigger.” Berra squats down by Danaril to look up at him. “She’s one of the Blue Tree Clan.”
“Maybe she should save her powers to healing those of the clan. Mine have healed… with time.” Danaril replies.
“Chalana Arroy would kick me in the head if I left you in this state,” Mellia says.
“I belong to the Redeemer. And I live…” He looks at Mellia. “And I have been lucky enough to make it so far… It is not much further if I remember lay of the land and hills.” 3 need to lock him up in a temple of uleria for a few weeks/Dom – with general agreement
“Boldhome or Blue Tree? I don’t know if Tathia and Sosa can heal you. The more I look at your botched healing, the less I like it.”
“He’s my cousin,” Berra says almost coldly, and turns away to examine the ground nearby. She looks tense.
“Blue Tree. I was of that clan when I was Danaril.” he looks at Berra. “…and hope of seeing that place again has kept me going.”
Mellia smiles at Danaril. “Then you surely have the courage you will need. Tathia and Sosa will do the best they can, of course. I would go and help, but I need to arrange my weddings.”
“And I got a HeroQuest to plan. But Irillo will take you, or we can take you to Boldhome. Danaril.” Berra looks back at him, any sorrow hidden.
Mellia advises, “Don’t try traveling alone, Danaril.”
He shrugs. “I can still walk. I walked from beyond Dunstop.”
“You’re more stubborn than you were when we found you. That’s good.” Berra seems torn.
“You need rest and food. So does your luck.” Mellia says.
Berra gives Mellia a smile.
Danaril stares at the road.
“You are among friends here. Really.” Mellia smiles at everyone.
Danaril nods, with the red tattooed moon on his brow gleaming.
Mellia says, “So it won’t hurt to go with friends. I advise you to go to Boldhome and get healed, but that is up to you.”
“What for, White Lady?” he asks. “What purpose would it serve.”
“Because she cares about everyone, and you’re an everyone.” Berra says.
Mellia smiles at Berra. Mellia asks Danaril, “Be honest, are you often in pain?”
In the background Yamia and Venlar are in an animated conversation which seems to be about clothing. Despite that, Yamia pauses from time to time, to look around and listen to something others cannot hear.
“Often?” he shrugs “Constantly. But nothing I can not bear… It reminds me I am redeemed… and alive.”
“They made him take a new god, I think,” Berra says, miserable again.
“That’s disgusting,” snaps Mellia. She looks around for Xenofos.
Danaril shakes his head and says with calm conviction”Nobody can make you do anything, Berra. I was offered a choice and embraced the clemency of Danfive Xaron, pledging my heart and soul to atonement and obedience.”
“But what was the alternative?” asks the Healer.
“That’s not clemency.” Berra doesn’t say anything more for the moment.
“I had a choice. And I chose life.” he answers. “I was blind before, but made to understand the error of my ways.”
“If the other choice was death, that was no fair choice.” Mellia looks angry.
“But it was one I made, White Lady.” He nods.
Mellia angrily says, “Where’s Xenofos and his poppy stash when I need them?”
Xenofos is up ahead with Varanis. Berra cup her hands to shout, “OI! XENOFOS!” For a tiny person, she has a lot of volume.
“Thanks,” Mellia says to Berra.
Xenofos leaves his horse to care of Varanis. “Yes, Berra. Oh, hi Mellia!”
“Hello, Xenofos. I need you to help Danaril here in a painful way.”
Xenofos looks at Mellia and glances at Berra. “How?”
Berra is back to looking at Danaril, eyes narrowed.
Mellia explains, “Danaril is in constant pain. I can’t try to fix things here. Would you please help by giving him some of your poppy seeds?”
Xenofos looks at Danaril, Berra and Mellia. “I do not have poppy seeds Mellia. I forgot to stock on them while at Nochet.”
He rummages his writing kit and hands over a small vial. “But I have some essence of poppy I acquired in Boldhome. You can have that if you need it.”
“-other colours? Something festive?” Venlar is still talking about clothes.
“He was sick before, just drinking a couple of fingers of beer,” Berra pipes up. “Will poppy hurt him?”
Danaril shakes his head. “It would be wrong to dull the reminder of atonement. Redeemer will take it away if he sees that fitting.”
Berra, jaw tight, manages to not to blurt something out.
Danaril looks at Berra. “Nothing more then I can bear.”
She replies, “Yeah, but a white lady shouldn’t be turned down. That’s rude.”
“You do not understand” he says kindly.
“Yeah well. Me looking away was the bit where I wasn’t talking. Because I can’t make you do anything, but apparently, the Lunar Empire can, and I’m thinking about who I wanna punch.” She gives him a happy smile. “I find it helps.”
“If it helps you….” he shrugs.
Berra nods happily, her expression only a little distant.
He shakes his head. “Not a easy thing to understand and accept. Nor one I wish to convince people on.”
“I don’t ask you to wear Ernaldan clothing,” Yamia says into an unexpected silence. “I can take off my armour at home.”
Venlar looks like this is not an argument he meant to be in, but here he is. He looks around to Rajar as if appealing to common sense, and then looks away rather than asking.
Rajar laughs and shouts “anyone want beer or jerky? It’s a long road”
Xenofos looks at Danaril thoughtfully, still holding the small vial.
Yamia looks to Venlar. “You seem upset. Have you eaten lately?”
Mellia suggests, “Let’s all go to Boldhome and eat. Berra, if Danaril got sick on a little beer, we’d better not give him poppy essence. It could easily kill him.”
Mellia gives Xenofos a nasty look, promising shouting later.
“He needs to practice drinking beer, though,” Berra says. “If he’s offered any, he needs to be able to drink.” She unplants her feet from where she has been wearing holes in the ground with her toes.
Mellia just says, “Hmm. Thank you, Xenofos. We should speak later.”
“Do you want this? Or shall I keep it?” scribe asks.
Mellia says, “Keep it, but don’t use it.”
Scibe looks at healer questioningly, nods and puts the vial back to his pencase.
Mellia says, “Poppy essence is much stronger than poppy seeds.”
He shrugs. “Three drops for sleep said the herb seller… But the dreams are not pleasant.”
Mellia says, “I’ll bet. Don’t take more than that, no matter how much trouble you have sleeping.”
“Not much tempted Mellia. If you have use for it you can have it. I don’t need it.” he answers.
Mellia thinks for a bit. “I may have need of the nasty stuff. I have been calling on the White Lady a lot lately. Thanks, Xenofos.”
“I have no need for the dreams that summons forth.” scholar says.
Mellia sighs and tucks the vial away in her satchel.
Berra goes up to ask Rajar, “Beer?” And get her cup filled.
Rajar pulls. A new minikeg out of his baggage.
Up close, Berra looks confused and perplexed, and not by Rajar.
Mellia says, “Before I forget, Danaril, those people arguing are my betrothed, Venlar and his sister, Yamia.”
Danaril nods to that general direction.
Both, being well bred, nod their heads to him, and then get back to talking. “I entirely understand that you want to be protected,” Venlar starts, and does not have the wisdom to stop. “But we can do that, Yamia.”
“No. I want to be exactly what I am.” Yamia turns a bright but sharp smile on him. “And I am already doing that.”
“I think,” Mellia states, “we should get to Boldhome before it seriously rains. There’s no point in waiting for my relatives to be to stop arguing.”
“Oh, we’re not arguing,” Yamia says. Venlar adds, “She’s sharpening her claws,” weakly.
Mellia gives them both a dirty look.
“Arguing implies that my Lord has a line of argument,” Yamia adds.
“Aha.” Mellia responds curtly.
Danaril does not comment that discussion but looks at Mellia. “I thank you for your concern White Lady. But I have no heavier burden then I can carry.”
Mellia replies, “It will take courage to endure all the corrections to your mishealing. It will take courage to live with constant pain. You must decide which is worse.”
“It is a reminder of redemption.” He looks ahead. “And life…”
“Few see pain that way,” Mellia comments. “As you wish.”
“Learning that lesson was not easy. ” penitent admits.
“I don’t want to imagine,” Mellia says.
He nods, with dark veil descending over his seeing eye.
“Anyway, you need to rest, Danaril and we could all use some food.”
The penitent nods again, his eye lits up at mention of food but then he bows his head quickly.
Xenofos strokes his beard thoughtfully looking first at the penitent and then at Berra drinking beer.
Berra is not drinking the beer. She is holding it, looking away beyond Rajar, towards the South. Nothing in particular seems to have caught her attention. She is just looking.
Mellia shrugs and gets back on her horse.
Danaril says something quietly to Xenofos who nods in return.
Berra finally comes back to herself, punches Rajar on his armoured leg in thanks, and drifts back towards Danaril. She sips the beer, and offers the cup to Xenofos.
Xenofos nods, looks at her in the eyes and tastes a bit.
Rajar charges past having spotted a hare. Lance leveled but with little hope of connecting this is a Praxian past time.
Berra looks calm, in the way she often does. Not about to explode at anyone. She offers the beer to Danaril too. “Just a tiny bit. And some more to eat.”
“I angered you before? You have more important things to adress now.” scholar says to Berra as Danaril is looking at the cup. “But if you find suitable moment, please tell my why. I have a guess. But I would not wager gold on that being the correct one.”
Xenofos looks around. “Right, if it is mealtime as Mellia suggested it means fire, and that means firewood…” This is Sartar. There is firewood. Dry firewood is different thing.
Berra makes sure that she has seen Danaril’s hands filled with easy to digest food – her beloved fruit snacks – before she answers. “Yeah. Don’t hold my hand. Seriously. Don’t try that.”
“I don’t know whose turn it is to cook,” Mellia calls over, “but I suggest soup.”
“I guess we have time to stop for water to boil.” Berra turns away from Xenofos, answer or no, to go to her bison and get a bag off it. “Did you say you were coming to Boldhome, Mellia?”
“Yes I am,” Mellia answers. “I have business there.”
The little Humakti grins at her friend. “I should talk to you in private about a thing, then. Along the road is good. Not here.”
“Okay, whenever you want.”
“Once we’re moving again. It’s a walking day for me, so maybe we can …. you don’t really do walking through the forest much like I do, do you?”
“No, I stick to the roads.”
“Then we can walk behind a bit. It’ll do me good to remember other people are good at watching too.” Berra finds what she was after – several individual pouches – and hangs them all on her belt, hooking the drawstring over and passing the bag through the loop that makes. “A bit further up the road, I got attacked by four bandits once. Weird, looking back on it.”
Mellia says, “That is weird. I will be glad to walk with you.”
“I was in my scouting armour. It was all I had then. So I looked like a target. Danaril taught me how to use a spear. I knew by the time I left home for Esrolia.” Those are probably different subjects from Berra.
Varanis approaches on foot. “Hi Mellia! Berra, why are we still stopped? It was supposed to be a short rest break.”
“Hi, Varanis! Everyone decided to eat here instead of pressing on to Boldhome.”
Xenofos continues looking for dry firewood. He did not turn at Berra’s answer, but acknowledged it with a nod.
Varanis looks impatient. “But we’re not far now and we need to get there!”
“Mellia is trying to feed Danaril,” Berra explains.
“I am willing to go on to Boldhome, but we do have people who could use rest.” Mellia adds.
“If we go on, Irillo might split off and we should take Danaril with us if we want to feed him but he wants to go that way too.” Berra looks worried.
Varanis throws her hands into the air. “Fine! Do as you think best. It’s not like I’m on a mission for the Prince or anything.” Irritably, she strides back over to Fish and starts rummaging around in her saddle bags. Or tries to. The horse keeps side stepping away from her.
Mellia looks like she’s thought of something, but she keeps quiet. Instead she helps with the cooking.
Berra’s shoulders sag a little more, and she stands for a moment looking at her saddle bag, then closes it by habit rather than decision, and looks around for her beer. She finds it balanced on Followed’s saddle, and takes it, going to sit down by Danaril in silence.
“It is good for the clan if Chalana Arroy is venerated better, I think.” Danaril says quietly.
“Uh…” Berra thinks a bit. “By you refusing what she says?”
“You said she was establishing a temple at Blue Tree? That is good.” penitent says.
“Oh, right. Yes. There was a healer there already, but Sosa’s really young. I don’t know what happened when I was away. I know she replaced someone I hadn’t met. Now there are two, and they’re building the shrine up.” Berra offers Danaril a bit of dried apple.
“You told me to eat slow, Berra.” he says.
She has to look up at him from where she is sitting. “Yeah. It’s hard for me to keep track. And I think you’re scared I’ll take it back, which is why I keep giving you more. You got pouches now.”
“It is… hard to not stash it away.” He says. “But I try to behave…”
“Nah. I’m happy to be generous. This is Sartar. We share.” She wraps her arms around her knees and watches Mellia at work.
Xenofos is whittling at lower branches of a spruce, about the only dry wood around, producing kindling for a small fire.
Mellia is cutting up vegetables. “I think you should all go to Blue Tree as soon as you are done with Boldhome.”
“That thing I’ve got to talk about? Maybe. Remember I can’t eat vegetables, but I keep eating as we go along anyhow. And we’ve asked Irillo to take food there for us.” Berra looks to where Varanis is taking on Fish again.
“This is going to be tricky,” Mellia replies. “I can’t eat meat. What do you suggest?”
“Just cook. I’m fine, and the geas is to help me be apart from people anyhow. You’d be surprised what things turn out to be fruits. And then nut and grain bread are good, and milk stuff’s still fine. Mushrooms are fine but I don’t really like mushrooms. I eat them, though.” Berra sips from her beer cup, and hands it to Danaril again.
Danaril takes the cup, but passes it back without drinking.
Berra sighs at him. “Seriously. Just a bit. Because you need to get used to it again. Please?”
“I took a bit. That is enough for now, Berra.”
Berra grimaces, but subsides.
Mellia winds up making three pots: one with no vegetables, one with no meat and one mixed for everyone else.
Felgia, Venlar’s cook and general servant, helps after she has seen to Venlar’s comfort. Mostly, this is getting him a camp chair and being told by Yamia that a second is required for Mellia, but not a third.
Mellia thanks Felgia for the chair and the help. Felgia probably saved dinner.
When Felgia takes over Xenofos goes over to the horses to see how Varanis is doing.
While Berra is away – and thus while out of earshot of Danaril – Venlar says, “I am unsure how much help to offer a Lunar. Yet my love says he should be helped. Still… were I the one making the decision he would go on alone.” For once his good-natured expression is unhappy.
Xenofos nods “It is not far. He should do quite nicely. He has travelled further to get so far. Calling him a Lunar sounds a tad unfriendly, though.”He shrugs “Berra reckons him her cousin so it was prudent of you to say it when she was not around. Thank you.”4 Xenofos failed his customs Sartar and sees no potential trouble…
“A man with a Moon tattooed on his forehead in scarlet is going to be called a Lunar,” Venlar replies. “Tattoos do not happen by accident. Yamia says he must have been called that on the way, too. It is a good point; he did not have it appear a day ago.”
“You maybe right brother-in-law. And probably are. That does not make it friendlier.” Xenofos cracks a small twig “To me he is born Sartarite and cousin of Berra.”
“Very well then.” Venlar bows. “I withdraw any objection.”
Up ahead, Berra tries to steer Followed around a branch that has blown onto the road. The bison tramples it, the Humakti skip-jumps over the remains, and Danaril stays on, oblivious to the conversation.
Mellia is shocked on both state of Danaril and his unwillingness to accept healing. Berra is still trying to figure out his cousin. Varanis is fuming. Xenofos and Venlar offer opinions.