Public — In The Dragonewt City 4
????, Fire Season, Season/Disorder Week
Fire Season/Disorder Week/Mud day/This place really is getting on my nerves [[[s02:session-41|Session 41]]]
“Why was dragonewt surprised when threatened with Death” little Humakti asks their guides.
“Death a beginning”
“Ah, right. Wow.” More staring into the air as Berra comes to terms with this, and smiles, delighted.
“Why is your Rune shaped like it is?”
Slow blinks. “Because it is Dragonnewt.”
“Why are dragonewts you, then?”
This is enough to get a nod. Berra says, “Fully.” Something might have made sense inside her head. “What does it mean if a dragonewt gives some of its skin to someone?”
“What does a shrug mean?”
“How did they make all the mirrors in that hall where the mirrors showed us ourselves but taller or shorter?”
Berra Jarang’s Daughter23.12.2020
For maybe the first time, Berra looks a bit disappointed, and then she perks up again. “Wow. I like this place. Show me another… I mean, please show us more?”
Berra and others are led on.
Berra approaches the entire tour with the enthusiasm of someone discovering a new hobby, or listening to a favoured lover. She particularly likes the ball games, although she seems as interested in the observers as in the game itself.
One Ziggurat looks down onto a cubic structure, under a faintly visible dome of light.
Berra squints at the light, looks at the structure. “Is that an Earth Temple? What is it?”
“Not temple.” Looking closer, you can see water flowing down the sides of the cube, and little etched mountains on the upper surface.
“Ohhhhhh….” Berra stares, leaning as close as she can. “I suppose the model must have this in as well. We’re all the model.”
With a dissatisfied grumble, Varanis resheathes her sword and swings herself over the wall. She climbs as far as necessary before simply letting go and dropping to the ground beside Xenofos.1 fail meditate, pass climb & jump
“Not sure, Varanis, I think they were going that way.” Scribe nods. As on cue three small beaked dragonewts appear and nod to same direction.
“Can you guide us?” Varanis asks the dragonewts. When they make gestures that seem to be agreement and encouragement, she looks at Xenofos and shrugs. “Let’s see where they take us, shall we?”
Scribe nods, eyeing the lizardy creatures with stern suspicion.
Either Berra’s guide has been going in circles (polygons?) or their guides knew good shortcuts. It doesn’t take long for them to spot the little Humakti.
The little Humakti is standing on a platform on a ziggurat, talking with two dragonewts of different sizes. She does not appear to be poking anything.
Varanis hails her, then heads that direction, clearly assuming that the others will follow.
Xenofos follows in her wake.
Berra breaks out of her staring trance to give Varanis a wave.
“No strange visions,” the Vingan says by way of greeting. She still smells of the strange oil and musty padding. Her runes are freshly painted, including the mastery rune, which she hasn’t worn in weeks. “What have you learned?” she asks Berra.
“I think the model isn’t a model. It’s a viewpoint. A way of looking. We’re our own viewpoint, too. We’re a model of ourselves.” Berra answers carefully, like she is just coming to that conclusion, or at least weighing it as she speaks.
“Any sign of Fazzur and his people?”
“No. Nothing stirring.” She turns back to the larger dragonewt to ask, “What’s a suitable gift for the Inhuman King?”
Xenofos was looking at the architecture but his senses assault him with feeling of otherness and he fails to make sense of things. His eyes pass Berra and remain fixated on the strange cube.
In an aside to Varanis while she waits for an answer, Berra notes, “I have a gift fit for a King, but I’m not giving it to Fazzur and I don’t know a Dragonewt would want it.” Then she turns her attention back to the Dragonewt to find out if she is getting an answer.(muokattu)
Quietly Varanis murmurs, “I hope I have something appropriate. But these delays worry me. Are they distracting us so Fazzur can take Mirava away from here?”
“No. They wouldn’t understand how. Or time,” Berra mutters.
“They don’t have to. They’d just need to be willing to follow his instructions,” the Vingan points out.
“He greeted us. He wants something. He knew we were coming – he was there to meet us. He’s after a thing. Whatever he can get. But they came out to meet us – and he knew we were coming.” Berra shrugs.
The larger dragonewt must have said something, because its smaller translator replies to Berra finally. “Enlightenment.”
Berra sighs, on hearing that. “Oh. Well… um, Xenofos? What does Enlightment mean?”
The scholar stays still for a while and turns slowly away from the weird cube. “Oh… Did you say Enlightenment?” he asks, a bit startled.2 GM: Muahahahahaaa
“I think so?” Berra glances at the dragonewt for confirmation. “What does it mean?”
He looks at the dragonewt and then at the short warrior. “I am not sure if I should – or indeed can – answer that. It is not exactly a Lhankor Mhy secret. But it is a mystery.”
“Er…” Berra looks confused. “Um, right. I don’t know. Did you hear why I was asking?”
“Not quite?” scribe looks at the smaller dragonnewt.
“I asked what was a suitable gift to … sorry, FOR the Inhuman King. Took a few moments, but apparently the answer is Enlightenment.” The warrior stands up on tiptoe, probably to stretch her toes, rather than for a new point of view.
Xenofos thinks for a while and nods. “They may mean something else. Or the same thing. Have you heard that Lhankor Mhy had a spouse?”
“Yeah. He left her to seek the … light of knowledge?” Berra looks like she is at the end of what she knows. “I can’t remember the word you used. Light of something. But I remember your voice when you said it.”
“No, he did not leave her. She was his spouse and he left to seek for her. The Light of Knowledge.” scribe corrects.
Berra consults some internal memory. “Uh, yeah. I’m better at killing things than stories.” A blush makes pink patterns on her cheeks.
“Their offspring, fruit of their love, is Enlightenment.” he continues. “but as mother was lost to Darkness so was she, too. And even though Lhankor Mhy found the mother we do not know what happened to Enlightenment. But we keep on seeking.”
Berra, eyes narrowed, thinks another moment. “So now we’re in the realm of gifts that are less suitable.” She looks thoughtfully at the dragonewts, the remains of embarrassment still shading her. “Well…. bother. But I guess he’s not bringing any either.”
Berra might be about to say something more, but then she stops, and her lips move, and she considers things, and she looks a little pale. “Um. Is he? There’s… something. He’s not bringing that but…” Her eyes close. “Inhuman. King. Something.” She looks like she is trying very hard to remember something on the tip of her tongue.
“Oh yeah.” Berra opens her eyes, memory caught. “The Inhuman King married Sartar to the Feathered Horse Queen, and named him King of Dragon Pass.” A blink as she stares into the distance, taking that in.
Xenofos rattles his fingers on the pommel of his sword.
“Could be a bit awkward if he tries that.” Berra stares at the ground, palms of her hands pressing in at the sides of her head to help her concentrate. “He hasn’t done any of the tasks. Has he?”
“No Feathered Horse Queen around…” Xenofos says “And the Lizard cannot marry Mirava if she does not want it, on Granny’s sayso.”
“Yeah, but the Inhuman King can declare people King of Dragon Pass.” Berra looks suddenly more worried. “Who says it really needs the Feathered Horse Queen anyhow? Or he can declare him King of Tarsh, probably. Or whatever. This is the High Priest that did it. Might even be the same one.”
“It is not a marriage without consent of Mirava and Granny, Berra. More like rape.” Xenofos looks at the dragonewts. “If she agrees with Granny’s consent… Well, we have to find out if that is the case before we can really make up our minds… Until that we are guests, bound by hospitality.”
“Oh, yeah. But I’m not worried about the marriage. I’m worried about the Inhuman King. Before, it was part of the ceremony. So it probably has to be again. But if – big if here – it happens, then it’s related to before. Um. Ugh. Precedent’s hard here. It’s not only the Inhuman King who did it – I don’t think Tarkalor needed that ceremony. But that doesn’t mean he can’t still do it.”
Berra, who a few minutes before could not remember how a Lightbringer got started on looking for things, closes her eyes, and says, “No, he’s never made a King of Tarsh. He’s… you …. bother. He can be King of Tarsh if he says so, and if the Inhuman King marries him as such, that’s an acceptance of it, but the Inhuman King doesn’t make Kings of Tarsh. Just Dragon Pass. He’s normally represented at the ceremony. I mean, there’s a big dance about it, but you don’t need the dance if there’s a… yeah, you don’t need the dance if you’re here. It’s a question of whether he thinks – the Inhuman King thinks – that Fazzur’s proved himself. And even if not, and he performs the marriage, that’s a BIG part of the Kingship ceremony.”
Varanis, who had been previously lost in her own thoughts, looks startled. “That’s why Fazzur is here then. May Vinga shrivel his balls,” she exclaims.
“It fits,” Berra says. “And if he’s got a wife – if Mirava’s willing, whether Grandmother Saiciae knows or not – then it’s a big part of giving him power.”
“If she marries without Grandmother’s consent, she may be disowned. Unless the crafty old bitch finds a way to make it work for her.” Varanis runs a hand through her hair angrily, undoing the careful combing of only a short time ago.
Berra replies, shortly, “Doesn’t matter,” but then, being her, adds an explanation. “She’s Sartar’s blood. That’s what he wants. I mean, I guess. So as long as SHE is here and agrees, what can Lady Aranda do?” 3 T: Are you goin to let her talk that way of the sweet old lady, X.
“Grandmother can have her killed for disobedience.”
“While she’s married to a King?” Berra looks unbelieving.4 V passes intrigue. Yeah.. Berra has a point. Executing a Queen might have repercussions. And as for assassinating…
“Don’t underestimate the power and determination of an Esrolian Grandmother, Berra. You don’t ever want to cross them.” Varanis scowls. “She’d have to be careful about it, but…”
“Yeaaah. And then Mirava gets brought back because you keep a Priestess onhand, and then you’re at war with Fazzur. She’s a long way from where she’s powerful.” Berra is not convinced. “This is a good way of someone escaping a family, AND she gets to escape to someone who makes her Queen. Potentially. I mean.” That last part might be an attempt at loyalty towards Varanis.
“She can’t. They killed our father. She just can’t…”
“We must find out if this is what Mirava wants..” Xenofos says. “And uncle was killed by the Tusk riders, not Lunars, as far as we know…”He adds very quietly.5 failed intrigue, 93.
“Queen. Buys quite a lot of forgive… oh, and he’s not one of THOSE sorts either. He’s not part of those decision-makers. I bet you that’s part of his line.” Berra is thinking fast again, blurting things out and changing tracks halfway.
“Well, if there hadn’t been a Lunar invasion, father wouldn’t have left home to join Starbrow. So, it’s their fault he died. They might as well have killed him. And they definitely sent the assassins that took my grandmother and my probably two of my brothers. The same ones that have plagued all of us. How can she look past that?” In her rising fury, Varanis doesn’t seem to have heard Berra.
The air around her crackles with her rage.
“Because she’s not made of Air,” Berra says, flatly. “But it might not be. We need to talk to her. Find out.”
Xenofos nods to that.
Summary goes here.