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1627, Earth Season


Context

Morning after the prisoner was killed by Uroxi. Within Argraths camp [[[s02:session-47|Session 47]]]

Events

Berra takes time to check the bard is well settled in, showing him the deference due in Sartar, which fortunately translates to at least some degree here. Those very close will hear she offers to taste his food, although he refuses politely.

Irillo Saiciae returns from the quartermasters quarter with a thoughtful look.

That gets Berra’s attention, not by anyone in the camp, but by her own watchfulness – she is patrolling, looking for him, and now she angles in that way.

He helps himself to a cup of wine, and seats himself by the fire.

There are plenty of fires to choose from, but not many that count as ‘the’ fire. The one where Varanis and her friends eat, centre of politics. Berra looks at the wine, looks at him, and drops down beside him. “It’s still early morning,” she says. “That good?”

Hobbitomm: He sighs, “I’ve been working a lot of the night. Be forgiving, little one. The logistics train is… awful. The politics is worse. The disruption of caravans will have a huge effect on the economy for at least a year. This is a mess.”

Berra starts to say something, stops, and asks, “Have you had breakfast?”

He waves a hand, “A little. About… uh… four, five hours ago.”

“Uhuh…” Berra reaches about, gets a few things on a plate, and calls them fit to present, and then digs some sort of roasted tuber – now slightly charred – out of a bank of ashes, swearing a little as she does. “I don’t know what this was, but it smells like parsnip, and those are good cooked like this. They get really sweet.” She scoops it onto a different plate, and hands it over. “I was going to try to feed Rajar but he’s wandered off. He’s got minders.”

He nods, “I heard.” He takes a bite, “Thanks. I shall try and arrange better food for you. But it won’t be easy.”

“Any food is good. In particular if we’re going to be going up to Ironspike again. While we’re here and it’s hot, I’m going to have Varanis… ask Varanis to let people know there’s less for a bit. But when we march again I don’t want short rations. Whassup with the politics?” She sticks with Heortling, letting Irillo use whatever language he likes.

He sticks with Tradetalk, “They’ve foraged. There’s a lot of offended people. Angry. Hungry. Dangerous. It’s not a matter of whether there will be unrest, it’s about who and how many.”

“And whether we’re inside walls when it happens?” Berra winces. “Right. And before Earth Season, too. You know, I met Mellia when logistics for the army before this one went wrong? And Devolin, too. He tried to rob me. It was funny.”

There’s a forced smile. “And of course, my normal supply base is Esrolia, which is too far, and… complex.”

Berra checks her pouches are all closed – some of what Irillo got was from her pannier, but she keeps the seasoning by her, and the dried fruit and nut mix. “Got a lot of people who might ask questions about Mirava?” she guesses. “Argrath’s not going to want her influence around here. Your granny’s, I mean.”

He shrugs, “Mirava, for certain.” He sighs, “And I might die.” He munches on a bit more of the food. “Again, I mean.”

“Well, that’s annoying. For real this time?” Berra looks about as sympathetic as might be expected from a Humakti. That is, she cares, but only in the abstract.

Berra has avoided *most* of the spice in what she added to the fruit and nuts. Still, a few stray bits of pepper are not so much sweet pepper as really rather spiteful.

“Possibly. I don’t think she’ll be forgiving, even under these circumstances. Assuming I got to say.”

Berra sighs, which *is* her sympathy showing, finally. “Wanna talk about it?” She might be sighing because she is going to have to take time, but her expression says she has linened onto something being wrong, and wants to listen.

“There was a child from the Eril Heroquest.” He takes a slug of wine.

Berra takes a few moments to work that through. “Wait….” She counts on her fingers. “That was a year ago?” she checks.

He nods, “I only just found out.”

“Yeah. Only just born. Or a few weeks ago. And oh. Wait, when did he…” Her brow creases as she edges towards a conclusion. “Right. When he – you – went home? Or in Boldhome?” Not the conclusion.

He waves a hand, “Not the problem.”

“Yeah, but I wanna… well, yeah. What’s… is there anything I can do?”

“Arrange my resurrection when Serzeen kills me?”

“Against my code. Although if it’s not in Sartar, I can decide not to interfere. Would she really? If it was a Heroquest?” Berra goes through blasé, offhanded, and confused in a few moments.

“I don’t know. She might well feel herself a wronged woman.”

“In a Her…. oh, yeah, I see. She’s gotta be true to her. Do you know when you’re going back? I can try to be free.” Berra pokes the fire together, keeping it burning, but not adding more fuel.

“I don’t. It doesn’t feel… Harmonious. But the longer I leave it, the worse it will be.”

“You could ask Varanis to send a message home?” Berra suggests. “And Xenofos is writing again?” Hopeful grimace, this time.

“I’ll write. It’s the least I can do.”

Berra nods. “I should let my Lord know. He asked me not to bother him with small stuff, but this probably isn’t small.”

The Humakti looks around, likely for people related to Irillo, and then looks back to the fire.


As on cue Xenofos approaches and nods a greeting to his cousin and the little Humakti his helmet on his arm. He looks fresher than he perhaps should.

Varanis is nowhere in sight.

Berra lifts a hand to Xenofos, and points to Irillo. “Come an’ sit down?”

He nods, sets his helmet carefully on the ground and sits by the fire. He reaches for a bit of food, makes sign of Earth and takes a bite.

Berra hands over what there is; she sometimes eats very little, so her plate is available. “Sup?” She looks thoughtful, her movements graceful and slow, rather than graceful, fast, and energetic.

“I talked with Varanis… She is quite angry now.” He looks at the food with kind of disbelief “Still, that talk was needed.”

“Mhm? About?” Berra pauses to give him a look that is hard to read.1 Insight for Irillo, (Berra failed.): He sounds polite on top, a bit tired. When he throws a sideward glance at the little Humakti his face softens.

He strokes his beard. “We spoke of yesterday. I think that suffices to say for now.”

BleysRex: Berra nods. “I’ve got something about that too, but I’m going …. that’s not for now.” She glances at Irillo, and then leans over to try to snag the plate back from Xenofos.

He hands over the plate “Thank you. Food was a good idea.” His tone is carefully polite.( He did not take more than two bites.)

“I should eat as well.” She seems relaxed, like whatever other people are caring for has not hit her.

“A Sartarite messenger was looking for you when we had left Boldhome. Did he ever find you, Irillo?” Scholar asks as a change of subject.

“I think so. I answered a call, anyway. An omen.”

“Tell ‘im?” Berra suggests.

Xenofos looks at little Humakti with a question on his face.

Berra is looking at Irillo, although she gives Xenofos a glance, probably to indicate which him is to be told.

“There was a child from the Heroquest. The Eril one.”

Xenofos tilts his head and looks at Irillo “You were Eril.”

“What kinda omen?” Berra asks.

“Crows. Or Ravens maybe. Flights of them”

Xenofos glances at Berra to see if she wants to comment on the birds and returns his eyes towards Irillo.

“We saw some of those as well. Coming this way. Are you an omen?” is Berra’s contribution.

Scholar keeps on looking at the trader. Without looking his hands retrieve his writing kit.

Merchant shrugs, “I doubt it. I don’t think Raven would approve of my peaceful life.”

“Depends a bit on whether you were completely you when you set off,” Berra suggests. “And if you came alone.”

“You were Eril. Who is the…” scribes words vanish to silence. “Irillo, who was she in the quest?”

“I would rrather not say. It may have implications “

“Lhankor Mhy understands silence.” Xenofos nods “Did you see her and the child? How are they?”

“Damnit. My lord’s going to want to know.” Berra scowls.

“They are both well.”

“Just one child? No scars or anything?” Berra has more questions queued up, obviously.

Xenofos raises an eyebrow but does not say anything. Quietly he puts his writing kit away.

“Just one child”

“Were the omens for them or you? Was it from around Wilmskirk?” Maybe Berra could not read the memo about implications.

“Probably for them, I think ” The merchant is still thougtful.

“Then not for us. Although we had plenty. Maybe there aren’t enough crows to go around, and we had to share. That’s probably good. But they might not have been the same ones.” Berra keeps an open mind. “Oh. Congratulations. I guess.”

“A blessing of Imarja indeed. May the child live a happy life and bring her parents joy.” Xenofos says warmly.

Berra’s expression is a little more cautious.

There is a long silence.

Berra puts out a hand to squeeze Irillo’s shoulder.

After a long while, he lifts his own hand to pat the squeezing hand. “One way or another, it will work out.”

“We’ll help. But I gotta let my Lord know.” Berra looks glum.

He winces, but nods.

Berra says, “I got a few things I should do first, and I… I could put it off a couple of days. If that’ll help.” She looks away from him, busying herself with actually eating.


====

Irillo tells happy family news to Berra and Xenofos. He omits some details despite Berra being of opinion Eril should know.