Public — In The Dragonewt City 1
????, Fire Season, Season/Disorder Week
Fire Season/Disorder Week/Water or Clay Day/In the city of Dragonewts [[[s02:session-41|Session 41]]]
Berra is bouncing around a lot and exploring everything but always trying to talk to Xenofos and stay between him and surprises.
Xenofos is pretty quiet. He takes time to sharpen the points of his javelins and blade of his rapier. None of those actually required that maintainance.
Berra does pause a lot, looking thoughtfully distant at things, even if they are close by.
While in the middle of inspecting the blank wall of granite in front of her, Berra suddenly pipes up, “Serala could see in the dark. If those people had Yelmalio’s powers…” Then she shrugs, and apparently the granite has her attention again, although her eyes are only mostly focused on it.
“Hmmm, so riding out i the dark might have ended rather awkwardly” Scribe notes, while polishing his helmet with a rag. It seems he tries to avoid looking at the corners of the room.
“Yeah. And when we go back, we need to bear that in mind, and we might not have an elf with us. He’d have been able to see in the dark. And we should ask what his spirit can do, if possible. If he finds us again.”
“That is a thing. Once we are outside this city, with Varanis and hopefully Mirava.” scholar notes looking at himself reflected from the helmet.
“They were waiting outside,” Berra says dreamily. “And they have the help or at least the not-un-help of a city like this. Of a ruler like that.” Abruptly she stops staring and bounces over to check her helmet is polished. It is, and rather better than her armour, which will need some serious attention.
“They?” Scholar looks at rest of his kit.
“Two people. Got to assume that they’re working together. And we don’t know how many other Lunars are here. Or how many other Esrolians.”
Scholar shrugs. “We did not have time to talk with Mirava yet. But it is a possibility. It is even possible Fazzur is our kin by now. Which would be quite awkward. Did you have woad?”
“Always.” Berra goes back to her kit with a pirouette and a dash. “It’s still a bit shimmery, if you want it.” She filled up her pot at the Blue Tree and never lets it get more than half empty before adding new pigment. And mentions it from time to time. Maybe now will be a good time to tell people something they know already… But apparently not.
Xenofos nods and thanks Berra before taking a small brush and carefully painting on his right cheek on his left and on his forehead, carefully following the progress from surface of his helmet.
Berra grins, watching it, and then checks her own Truth Rune on her cheek, and scowls. “Can you do my kohl? I’m really bad at putting it on, and it just always ends up smudging or running.”
Xenofos nods and returns the woad. “I can try. I usually have a servant apply it though.” Deftly he mixes the black colour. “Try to stay still. Otherwise this will not work at all.”
“Still. Right. I can do this.” Berra tucks away the woad, and settles down to look straight ahead. “Just under the eyes. A bar on each one.” She indicates where with her stubby forefinger. “Tell me about Fazzur?”
Cool bronze stylus traces a line under her eye. “Here?” Followed by an arch over the eye “But not here?” (The way he supports the steadiness of the implement with finger on Berra’s cheek betrays he is more used to painting papyrus then people.)
“Yeah. Just the bars. I’m not getting ready for a dance.” Berra speaks in a low voice, staying still. The bar will sit just at the base of her eye socket, a mark indicating she is ready for battle in the hot sun.
“We are guests. We can not honourably attack another guest or the hosts.” scholar says as he carefully applies the kohl on the short warrior. “But should it come to it, I prefer to leave a well groomed corpse.”
“I can defend someone’s city,” Berra says as Xenofos finishes one eye and goes onto the other.
“Hmmm. That looks only half done. Are you absolutely sure? If I finish the outer edge with rune?” Scholar notes, watching his handiwork. “Fazzur… There is lot to talk about that man.”
“No, just this. I can put the Rune on myself.” Berra lets her eyes drift closed, and with her forefinger draws a slow, short, line across the centre of her forehead. Her index finger goes down the middle from a little under her hairline, to her eyebrows. They leave no mark. Eyes still closed, she says, “We need to know about him. And make sure the others do too. And all we know about Mirava, and even how she might have come here. The more we know where the stones lie, the more we can use them to walk on.” She looks peaceful, like some beatific vision within sustains her. A tiny smile curves her lips, relaxes her face.
Xenofos nods and continues on the other eye. “I suppose everyone should know the reputation of Fazzur, commander of Provincial Lunar army when it conquered Sartar. It is no secret either that he was cast aside by the Lunar Imperial bureaucracy, to our good luck, and has been fighting other factions in Tarsh lately.”
Berra keeps still, although now her breathing is deeper and slower, her calm more deliberate. Her tiny smile grows.
“Mirava?” Scribe stops for a moment and checks the line below her left eye is symmetrical to the right. “Mirava is a lady of clan Saiciae. I don’t think she can be forced or persuaded to anything against her will. I pity the fool who would try. And Fazzur is not reputed to be one.”
“She has had time to talk to him.” Berra opens her eyes to look at Xenofos, not smiling too hard. “But we should talk to her alone, and we need to work out what the Truth is. I can help there…” she trails off rather than enquiring if or how he can, but the question is in the lift of her voice.
“I doubt anyone can cow Saiciae lady to stay silent if she wishes to speak.” Scholar says when carefully adjusting his work. “If we can see her or Varanis alone it would be better, but is it necessary? Truth is truth whether Fazzur is there or not.”
Berra blinks slowly. “And if you are wrong about fear? Or if she would speak differently before Fazzur, because she has her own plans?” The smile is fading away, naturally. No anger replaces it, just gentleness.
“If you see untruth when she talks in presence of Strategos that would probably tell us enough” scribe says. “Please stay still. I am almost finished.”
“I’ll have to use magic,” Berra says. “But Truth is different from not lies.” Her lips hardly move, her breath is almost stilled.
He lifts the stylus and nods. “True, but lies can tell of Truth they try to hide. Right, they are only half done, but they are your eyes.” He lifts his helmet so Berra can check the results.
Berra looks slowly, and nods. “They are done exactly enough,” she says. “But no, I think she would tell the truth, and he certainly will, but that does not mean they are not deceptive.” She checks her left cheek as she talks, and seems to think the Truth Rune on it is sufficiently blue. “I did that yesterday. It’s good. So… if she is here with Grandmother’s blessing, then we might have to end Venlar’s marriage. And if she is here without, she’s still under hospitality, but we can demand her.”
“If she herself wants it, little cousin.” Xenofos notes “Venlar’s marriage? That is ordained by Uleria, I think. Not that those talks would be for either of us. Me being a man and you a Humakti…”
“Prince Kallyr will not want the House of Saiciae linked to Fazzur and the Cinder Foxes. So we might be heading there in a hurry. We might anyhow.” Berra stays where she is, hands falling onto her knees, one holding her little engraved pot, with its inlaid tree. She looks almost, but not quite, like a statue of a young woman with fruit – a standard decoration in many Nochet temples.
” What the prince wants of Saiciae connection may not matter any more.” Scholar says. “We would need to talk with Mirava to know if we are already connected to Fazzur. Although to hold such a wedding in relative secrecy would be quite unlikely.”
“It matters to Sartar,” Berra says. “And I am …” Watching her change her mind in slow motion is an interesting thing. The usually quick change drifts over her like clouds before the sun. “Let us ask our hosts. The dragonewts might be able to tell us.”
“If you can find one that can talk…” Xenofos looks around the room uneasily.
Berra stands to go look for one.
After a while, Berra returns. “They were saying some words, but I have no idea what the words meant, and I even understood all of them on their own.”
Xenofos is sitting with his back to the door, looking at Berra through reflection on his helmet. He nods while carefully adding the last touches to the green fire runes at outer edges of his eyeliner.
Berra paces over to a window, and leans out to look at the city. “Rooooooad. I want to go on that road again. It was amazing. Did you look back?”
“I try not to, Berra.” scribe puts away the stylus and rest of the kit and looks at the small Humakti.
“It was red, not blue.” She looks at him, awed. “I… there’s so much that’s new here. I want to see it all.” The black bars make her eyes look wider than they are.
“I want to find Varanis, talk to Mirava and do what is right.” He looks serious as he unwraps the kithara “Getting out of here quickly and alive would be nice too…”
Berra comes over to sit cross-legged nearby. “I know all of that too. Although we’re under hospitality, which helps. But there are so many things here that I’ll want to know about once I’m gone.”
“You are better scholar than me, then. At this time at least.” He starts to play the March of the Greens, but stops after three of four notes, when he breaks a string. He does not curse. Aloud.
“I guess it depends what you are learning,” Berra observes. “Rajar and…. mm. The elf. We don’t know what he is trying to do, or what he WILL do.”
“You remain curious. I just want to block the wrongness away.” He explains and closes his eyes.
“We could draw a swords and boards game on the floor?” Berra suggests. “Or play knucklebones. I’ll only count four to your five, to make it fair.”
He shakes his head. His eyes remain closed, but some of his tenseness seems to soften.1 pass love Berra
Berra settles in to meditate where she is. She manages several minutes of being still before she starts to look around again.
Xenofos recites a poem quietly, almost inaudibly, his eyes still closed.
When I Die don’t cry for me
In my Mothers arms I’ll be
The wounds this world left on my soul
Will all be healed and I’ll be whole
Storm and Moon will be replaced
With the light of Uleria’s face
And I will not be ashamed
For my savior knows my name
Xenofos and Berra discuss what may await them. Xenofos is preparing for a fight. Dragonic weirdness is getting to his nerves