My Eyes Have Seen The Dragon

Public — My Eyes Have Seen The Dragon

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Context

When riding off the Dragonewt city [[[s02:session-42|Session 42]]]

Events

Riding away from the Dragonewt city, Varanis has been stewing in silence. Finally, she signals Berra and the two talk for a time. When they part, Varanis is smiling, though it’s a fleeting thing.

It takes her about an hour to break her silence again. This time, it’s Xenofos she signals.

Xenofos has been riding rather quietly.
He steers Creamy alongside Varanis without a comment.

“Were you Elmal?” She looks perplexed.

Xenofos blinks. “Why would you say that Varanis?”

“You were all lit up and your sword looked like a spear… I think. It was hard to tell. The dragon kept getting in the way. Xeno… you fought a dragon!”

He looks at her “So it was not just my own daze…” Then his face darkens. “I froze of terror…. I don’t know how long I just stood there and did nothing.”

“But you still fought him. You overcame that and helped me. How did you end up there? Elmal isn’t in that myth!”

“Maybe Nolerianmar guided me after Light of Wisdom. I was somewhere else first, but she helped me to get to you…”

“Maybe that was it. You served with Nochet’s cavalry… it makes sense. But, I’m still not sure how you ended up in my myth. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.” She looks thoughtful. “When we get to Nochet, maybe consult with the Library. Perhaps there are records of such things.”

He shrugs. “No preparation, no ceremony and still we were clearly on heroplane. It is not supposed to work like that at all. And I was just trying to follow you…” His voice trails off and he blushes a bit.

“You succeeded in that, dear one. I’m not sure how, but you did. Your determination and loyalty… I’m still not sure what I did to deserve you, but I am grateful every day that you’re with me.” She reaches out to squeeze his arm, then has to regain her reins quickly as Manasa tries to take advantage.

For some reason the scribe is looking at Berra, riding point on her bison.

Varanis follows his gaze curiously, then glances back at him, something akin to pity in her eyes. She decides to change the subject. “You’ve studied Fazzur. Met with him. Do you think Mirava can do what she claims?”

He shakes his head “huh… I was a bit distracted… Hard to say. He is not reputed to be a fool. But Saiciae ladies usually get their way?”

“Distance yourself from your loyalty to our house for a moment. Think about this as a scholar. Will Fazzur allow himself to be guided by his Earth Priestess now that he’s won her?”

“Has he won her or she him, Varanis?” scholar asks.

She snorts. “I’m not sure anymore.”

“I don’t think she can pull her veil over his eyes and deceive him.” He says after some consideration. “But she can very well make him see advantages in allying with Sartar and Esrolia. I mean they are pretty obvious if one just looks at this like a huge game of Swords and Shields.”

Berra, riding up ahead, is a picture of concentrated power and high-powered concentration. As is like her, she is putting everything into a what she is doing, and if that is riding and watching, she is doing both with her usual fierce intensity.

Varanis watches as Xenofos’ gaze is inevitably drawn to Berra. She sighs then tries to regain his attention. “Grandmother. Any thoughts or advice on how I should proceed with her?”

“Granny? You just tell her what you think and listen to her wishes.” He shrugs “She is quite reasonable, you know. People are just weirdly nervous around her.”

The Vingan’s snort is louder this time. “She has a soft spot for you, I think. The old woman is merciless the pursuit of her aims and terrifying when she’s angry. Have you never stepped wrong with her?”

“You don’t say?” Xenofos looks honestly confused of Vingan’s outburst.

Up ahead, Berra leans forward on her bison, hooks a foot onto the back of the saddle, and then stands by straightening her leg, like an acrobat showing off. In travelling armour. She looks around from her perch like she is prepared to take on the whole world and fight it, and also quite wants to look at more of it.

Xenofos gaze starts wandering again.
“I am pretty sure no tablet or scroll ever described her looking like Berra…”

“Last year, Serzeen sent an Earth elemental to suck me into the earth outside the palazzo and then left me there. Well… she would have, but I broke free and so she just left me and the guard… it’s complicated. But you know that she wouldn’t have done such a thing without knowing Grandmother was good with it.”

Xenofos blinks and turns to look at Varanis. “Why did she do that, Varanis?”

“I dismissed my guard while I was outside the palazzo.”1 V has a qualified succes with Truth
He looks at her with a furrowed brow, but does not ask anything further.

Berra drops back into her saddle, shoulders strong, head up, alert as ever. Tiny.

“Grandmother has had me confined to quarters more times than I care to count, for the tiniest infractions.” She considers, then adds, “To be fair, a lot of those were probably grandmother Mirava. But Grandmother has definitely done so too. And don’t forget that she sent the two of us into Sartar blind. She knew who I was and didn’t tell me.”

“It turned out quite well anyway. As it usually does with her plans.” Xenofos notes absentmindedly.

“But it could have been worse…” Varanis trails off. “My sister mentioned me becoming Prince of Sartar. Why would she suggest such a thing? Don’t any of them understand Sartarites? Or me, for that matter?” Frustration and confusion war, and the frustration wins. “They’ve never tried to understand me.”

“I know you do not want that Ranie. But blood of Sartar runs in your veins. Time may come when you have to take up that duty.” Xenofos looks ahead. “I hope you don’t have to. I really do.”

“Blood is not enough for the Sartarites. I’d need the backing of the tribes and they won’t want another prince from Esrolia. You know the history better than I do.”

He shrugs. “Lightbringer, one who brought Kallyr back twice. Quests on Orlanths ways. They may yet call on you. And if Sartar needs you I am pretty sure how you would answer my lady.”

“I’d hate every minute of it, but I would do my duty,” she admits reluctantly, then adds, “I didn’t bring her back the first time. Only stood guard for others to do their work.”

“Other Saiciae, Berra…” He looks at Varanis. “I do not wish that for you Ranie.”

She shrugs. “Let’s not trouble those waters for now. Speaking of which… I suspect this may make you uncomfortable, but I want to try something before we get too far down the road. I want to see if Salt & Teeth will bless this river with crocodiles. It flows into the Lunar heartlands if I remember my geography rightly.”

“I think it flows to Great Oslir eventually, yes. Bless with crocodiles? Don’t you mean infest? Sounds a bit like use of poison to me.”

She scowls at him. “I’m telling you I’m doing this thing, so you can decide if you’d prefer to stand guard some distance away. I am not asking for permission or advice.”

He looks like he is about to say something, but stays silent.

He gets a mulish glare that vanishes almost as swiftly as it appeared. “Hey. You did well back there. I know it wasn’t easy for you.”

He just nods.

“You understand that was courage, not cowardice? There was fear and you overcame it repeatedly.”

“I froze Varanis. I think it was only Uleria’s help that let me step forward. I know I did get forward. Still, it is not something I wish to dwell on. And I hope it meant something more then just a wet pyramid.”

“I… I think it did. I have the sense that maybe we helped Blue Tree. I’m not sure though. Maybe that’s just hope.” The grin she gives him is pure joy. “Oh, how I flew. It was amazing!”

His nod is a bit wistful.2 Anger? Resentment? Love? Joy? Embarrassment? Pity? She’s shuffling through emotions like a deck of cards.

“I should make you fly one day,” she tells him. “We can soar together.” She gives him a considering look. “I think you’re lean enough without your armour that I could manage it.”

“Only if that is needed Ranie. I like the Earth.”

“But you can see more of Ernalda from the sky!”

She waxes enthusiastically about the views over Boldhome and tells him about flying with Serala, possibly forgetting that she’s told him this story already. And so things proceed until they call a halt for a rest and Varanis lets the others know about her plan for the river.

Berra, looking pleased and amused, says she should guard the place.

Xenofos does not look pleased, but says nothing.

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Varanis questions Xenofos of his unexpected appearance at her heroquest.