Hide Bound

S01 — Session 27

1626, Sea Season

Season, Week, Day

1626, Sea Season, Stasis Week, Freezeday to Windsday

Dramatis Personae


And introducing Finarvi


Kallyr Starbrow
Precisely no Koraki
Various other toadies
NPCs of Berra’s clan
A river

As before, the log will be recounted with extracts from Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga, from The Lay of Serala, Lance of the Cold Sun , The Death of Rajar, and NalaTiwrSaga. As with last time there will be extracts from the Sonnets to Varanis, and also The Sonnets to Mellia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia, additionally, we will be seeing the Sonnets in Praise of Xenofos. We begin to see entries here from The Lays of Finarvi. There will be brief reference to the Accounts of the Travels of Irillo Goldentongue. Editorial commentary will be recorded [thus]. Both the {“D”} and “T” voice appear in this selection of extracts.

[“Greetings, students, and esteemed visitor. As I have fought myself free from Malia’s grasp…. look it up if you’re unsure…. I am now in a position to continue the lecture series. I am touched and enlightened by the number of ‘Get Well Soon’ cards I have received from the class. In no way will it influence my marking scheme for the exam in the summer.

I am particularly grateful to Professor Garin for stepping in, in her own particular idiom. As the Bard of Avon’s sister observed, ‘Just when you learn how to use it, it’s gone.’. Now, let us move on to a rather interesting set of extracts from the Sagas. This is one of those areas which most commentators skip over- and indeed I’m glad for your sake I have returned before Garin reached this point- but in my mind it tells us a lot about two of the three contrasting elements of Sartarite culture in this period- the Noble, gift giving culture, and the peasant Clan based culture, which some commentators have suggested is a form of proto-communism. Let us begin with no further ado with the Sonnets to Varanis“]

Taking counsel from her kin belovéd
Varanis to the hall of Kallyr sped
Her rights to Sartar’s crown she straightright names 1 No such claim is recorded in the reign of Kallyr.
And threw her sword behind the Princeps claims

Right mighty Starbrow in her palace stood
With gold arm rings and plent’ious lands she would
Reward the Hero and her retinue
And raise them to the Thaneship all anew

[“Now, who are these ‘kin belovéd’? It seems probable we already have an answer in our heads, and those who have actually read ahead will already know the truth. Let us see what the kinship documents show. Starting with Sonnets in Praise of Xenofos.”]

The Sage Lord to his noble kinfolk spake
“If we from Kallyr this grave secret take
We must as guardians to our gravepyres bear
And ‘gainst her finding out shoulds’t ever care

But if we throw the truth unto her feet
She may to us present gifts most meet
And we will then both honour and our life
Preserve, and save this land from sibling strife!”

The Vingan hero to her kin did bow
Saying, “I shall your counsel heed enow
And tell the Prince the truth of who I am
And who in truth that was my mothers dam!”

{“Look! She already knows! If we don’t tell her it will look like we’re trying to hide it! Especially because we WOULD BE! And Worried Princes tend to make people fall over onto their own daggers. Fifteen times!”}

[“So, clear enough, no? It was Xenofos… or possibly the ‘D voice’ who advised Varanis to take this step. Well, yes, and no. Because naturally, there are more ways than one of seeing thing. For an example, let us see The Sonnets to Melia“]

Sweet Mellia to her cousins there did speak
“To lie shows us no Lightbringers, and weak
Upon a Truthful loyal bulwark we
Will trust, and therefore splendid rewards see.”

[“And thus we have lots of different answers as to who is giving the fateful advice to Varanis. Does it matter? Well, I think there are lots of possible interpretations as to who said what, and why. Even ‘The Accounts’ puts his two clacks in.”]

On Secrecy
Learning the truth may anger Kallyr

Learning we have kept the truth will anger Kallyr
Entering Sartar becomes risky each time, and may impact profits. 2 Garin uses this entry in the Accounts to draw a line between before and after - Irillo's increasing number of personal notes from this time on greatly reduce the value of the Accounts to ethno-archaology, while simultaneously providing a window into that most precious of things we have; what they were really thinking. 3 (Or wanted spies to think they were thinking.)

[“In truth, I think this is one of those decisions for which everyone tried to take credit, possibly with some truth in the matter. But it is a useful reminder of the mutability of these sources. Now, on a different note, let us consider the two Grazelander Epic Lays.”

In camps before the sleeping Boldhome Serala stood
Her followers reclining by the fires of scented wood
But golden eyed, Serala watched the road
The fire light warming at her blue-etched woad

And through the far flung distance, then she saw
A kinsman waiting near the fortress of great Sartar’s door
To him she flew, as if it were on beams of light
To ask him what task brought him to her sight!

[“And naturally, we have his reply in his own Lay.”]

Finarvi, World-smith to his errant kinfolk uttered then
The message that the ancient Sage Lord gave him when
He summoned him unto the secret Oaken grove
And bade him tell his cousin to her valour prove

[“A repeat of the hero’s call, then, in Campbellian terms? This doesn’t seem to fit the classic structure, and indeed, the normal thing for Serala at this point would be the rejection of the call, which this, as given, doesn’t fit. In any case, let us proceed to the palace, and to Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga.”]

Palace proud processing
Pale Prince lady proved
Generous gift giver
Good Goddess guided

Varanis, Vingan Virgin 4 Female viewpoints may differ. 5 Some feminist scholars (Garin et al) have suggested that this erasure of the obvious liaison between Varanis and the Priestess Kalis (about whom some vivid love poetry has been found) indicates a male author for the Sonnets to Varanis, who does not count lesbian intercourse as indicative of ‘real’ sex. Others, notably Finn et al, have reflected that from a tripartate Earth Goddess point of view (appropriate for Esrolia), as Varanis had not had a child at this time, she was still a Maiden. Personally, I lean to the linguistic theory put forward by von Sturm that the word in the original Esrolian merely at this time meant ‘Young Woman’, with no connotations in regard to sexual status or activity. 6Garin is puzzled to find out she is a feminist scholar.
Vaulted to view
Begged boldly before
Bestowal of booty7Quiet in the cheap seats., Berra-speaking8 There is ambiguity here about which Berra is being spoken of, or whether it is Berra Jarangsdottir speaking. This may be deliberate

Laid out lay of Berra lost
Lady of Lost Sartar’s leaders
Child concealed and cherished
In comfort kissed City

Sweet Serzeen Saiciae
Scimitar’s success stealing!
Their trailing child then
Told their tale

Puissiant Prince proved
Proof against Pride’s pull
Gifted gracious grants
Giving good groves!

“But not to me. Because RACIST!”

[“Now we reach an interesting point, because whilst the Esrolians had worries about whether holding this land was appropriate, the Praxians wondered whether holding any landwas right. We see this in both The Death of Rajar, and NalaTiwrSaga.”]

If I say the land
Is Ernalda, who am I
To own her body? 9 Often, for its thoughtfulness, left out of study of the great Rajar, this is seen by Alleyn as being key to his personality. Rajar was generous of thought and mind when others were concerned, and yet could also live the full life of a Storm Bull.

Ernalda’s body
Serves all who live and breathe, not
A single person

[“These theological points put aside for a while, it appears our heroes travelled to the Blue Tree Clan, where today’s lecture ends with this extract from Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga.”]

Woad Wooded village 10 Another interesting footnote here on alliteration and pronunciation. It would appear that V is W. 11 Or this is a blank alliteration – two only within a line of three. Aught else is mere speculation. 12 Except that as anyone with any knowledge of this form of alliterative poetry knows, on occasions where there are 3 and 2, rather than 3 and 3 alliterative words, the 2 is always in the 2nd line. See Wiermonken et al. 13Told Tennebris truly
To take heart
She could take Quest <– THIS VERY LINE DAMNIT
Coughing up Kallyr14 That’s a corrupted version.
Told Tennebris truly
To take heart
She could Command Quest
Coughing up Kallyr15 I see. It’s corrupted as soon as an editor decides that this is how the poem goes, and therefore any exceptions are corruptions. This is a falacious house of argument built on unsafe, unsound logical ground. Would you deny the Razig Passage?

Bright blade borne before
Berra Brave and Mellia fair
Led great loot from Prax
Laid before their Liege.
Welcomes wanderer woman
Humakti’s home hearth
Hearkens to her heart

16 Naturally, some versions say ‘Led great loot from lethal Prax’ cf MSS I.33
New neighbours now
Know the heroes anew.
White ladies warm wishes
Wend their way towards17 This probably references the decision to build a temple to Chalana Arroy in the Blue Tree Clanlands, which is now well known.


Mellia got the gang together at Nala’s camp outside Boldhome, and announced Varanis had something to share (being kind that way). Varanis revealed that the evidence was that she was a lost part of the Sartarite Royal Family and therefore they might be in a certain amount of trouble. The net decision was that Varanis would share the information with Kallyr, not least because Kallyr probably already knew.

So, the next day, the group headed, with varying amounts of sobriety, to the palace, where Varanis dropped her bombshell and announced she had no interest on Kallyr’s throne. Kallyr noted that she couldn’t take it, even if she wanted it, displaying the tact she is known for. Kallyr greeted Varanis as a kinswoman, gave her a gold arm ring, and announced lands for all of the heroes, in the Blue Tree Clan of the Collymar Tribe.

The Heroes went there, letting Berra return to her ancestral lands, where she was greeted after initial uncertainty, as a lost member of the clan. Alcohol flowed like alcohol, and we left our heroes judging their new situation.

“So, why were we starting early?” – Berra
“So I can stall longer due to not having a plot.” – GM

“Only lunatics get attacked. Hey, don’t you guys always get attacked on the road?” – GM
“No, not any more. Everything that couldn’t learn, died. I’m very disappointed.” – Berra

“Amphora of decent wine.” – Xenofos

“So the next one goes ‘beeeer’ and that’s about it. Then you drink.” – Berra

“Look Fried meat ona stick” – Rajar
“I thought you might bring that.” – Berra

“Dangmar – Loyal Thane” – Berra

“I think someone’s been following me.” – Varanis
“So, GM. Out of character question. Has anyone ELSE been successfully following Varanis?” – Dormal

“When am I getting fat grandchildren? It’s time Serala was reminded of her duties.” Shaman/grandfather” – Varanis
“She should be told.” – Finarvi
“Well volunteered!” responds grandfather/shaman

“It’s a chance to get out of his ear hair.” – Finarvis

“He’s come all the way up from the Grazelands with welcome news from grandfather. So I don’t see why he shouldn’t suffer the same shit I do.” – Serala

“A figure leaning on the barricade. With a crossbow. And a Thwagger.” – GM
“A Duck.” – Berra
“With arms.” – Berra
“And a crossbow.” – Berra

“You wanna buy grandkids?” – Dormal
“I can get you grandkids.” – Dormal

“Irillo: I dissed your beard, according to the prophecy.” – Berra
“She totally dissed it. It was dismissively impressive.” – Varanis
“Mrmph. It is a SPLENDID beard” – GM

“Kalis says that SIZ isn’t important.” – GM

“Salid. Trollkin.” – Berra
“Sid’s great. I cut his leg off once.” – Rajar

“But late at night with a drunken Storm Bull is perfect time to meet the Royalty.” – Rajar

“I’m glad I didn’t hear that, because there would be an incident.” – Berra Humakti

“Insight, own species (Weasel.)” – GM

“I heard duck fun” – Varanis
*perks up* – Berra

*titters* – Varanis
“Is that Varanis tittering?” – Nala
“No, not at all.” – Varanis

“Berra’s frowning, probably in thought but possibly because there is no fight going on.” – Berra

“It’s probably for the best. I smell like a horse.” – Finarvi
“It’s always best to smell like a horse in front of royalty. Keeps it real.” – Serala

“Berra is very honest! And also, ‘no reward please’ went down badly before.” – Berra

“I know you don’t want my throne. Nor could you take it.” – Kallyr, quietly
*blort* – Berra makes a listen check

“Their Lord was killed in the taking of this city. He only had five hides of land. Take two for yourself and distribute the others among your followers for yourself. I shall make sure the rest of them have at least two hides of land.” – Kallyr

“Berra looks slighltly gobsmacked.” – Berra

“30 roll 78…. I am too polite to listen.” – Xenofos

“I wrote you random number generator, and now you betray me.” – Dormal

“I haven’t seen anything with three horns, or five legs.” – Rajar
“Or leaves.” – Varanis
“We don’t talk about the leaves.” – Rajar

“Billy can go up the steps quite well. down on other hand…” – Xenofos
“Isn’t he a native of the steps?” – Dormal

“Well, keep up the meditation.” – D’Val
*wince* “Yes, Sword Lord.” – Berra

“Most Sartarites will kill a Troll on sight.” – Kalis
“But he’s a troll-kin.” – Nala
“You mean, a Troll that’s significantly easier to kill?” – Kalis

“Nobody owns the land. It’s free!” – Nala
“I own the land.” – Varanis

“The Blue Tree Clan, which I think is on the way to Clearwine…” – GM
“The Blue Tree Clan is North, and Clearwine is South.” – Berra
“But good try.” – Berra

“Varanis is trying to look serious and important while also trying not to laugh.” – Varanis

“How big is the village altogether?” – Xenofos
“Xenofos, somebody sneezed some rocks here.” – Nala

“Hmmm… We’ve come into the village, and say we’re taking over some of the land, and they don’t know what to do about it?” – Xenofos

“Anything’s better than fermented bison milk.” – Rajar
“Have you tried NOT fermenting the bison milk?” – Dormal
“Sorry, I don’t follow you.” – Rajar

“Smiling politely and not understanding a word of what is being said. Is Rajar drinking something? That seems like a good idea.” – Finarvi
“Dormal hands you a perry.” – Dormal

“I shall have to think about this.” – Ernaldan with a note from Kalis
“Oh, you can’t read either?” – Nala

“Grey sage, would it be imposing…” – Ernaldan
“Yes?” – Xenofos
“Oh, it would? Oh…” – Ernaldan Priestess, crestfallen

“To whom it may concern – and I am paraphrasing here.” – GM
“Hi, I’m High Priestess of Ernalda in Boldhome, we’re not going to get too tied up in the formalities are we? This lady wishes to imbue two hides of land to the glory of the goddess. You are going to make that easy for her, aren’t you? She may want to stay in the temple. That’s not going to be a problem is it? The follower of one of her husbands, follower of Argan Argor, a trollkin, may wish to stay as one of her husbands. This won’t be a problem, will it?
Yours powerfully, Kalis.”

“It is obvious that Ernalda has had many husbands. Orlanth, Lodril, Argan Argar. Even Yelmalio at some point.” – Xenofos
“Let me just tell you about the buns on that troll.” – Ernalda according to Nala

“O! M!! C!!!!” – CA Initiate

“Then there is a sudden patter of feet making straight for Berra.” – GM
“Do we need to protect Berra from an attack?” – Varanis
“Consider charging.” – Rajar
“A five fourths scale version of Berra impacts her.” – GM

“This is Rajar. All of him is Rajar!” – Berra

“Go back to my drinking contest with Dormal. Dormal may not know he’s in a drinking contest with me, but HE IS.” – Rajar

“After a while, the chief comes back in.” – GM
“That’s neat. How does he go around the room in both directions at once?” – Dormal

“It’s quite amazing that when the fight goes out of Berra, there’s anything left of her at all, but she looks a little smaller and a little sadder.” – Berra

“My plans for next time are: deal with the haunted house, deal with clearwine, and fast-forward to the end of season.” – GM
“How often do your plans actually come to fruition?” – Berra

“You thought you were in the sticks before.” – GM
“We were in the sticks before.” – Dormal