Queen of What Now?

S02 — Session 44

1627, Fire Season, Movement Week


Fire Season, Movement Week, Clayday to Fireday


Dramatis Personae

PC

Berra
Mellia
Nala
Rajar
Suuraki
Valseena
Varanis
Xenofos

NPC
High Healer Jaldis
A priest of Orlanth
A random group of people in a tavern
Some guy that Berra scared the piss out of
Ahmed the Honest Horse Trader
The Luminous Stallion King (vs Tiwr)
Two Esrolian Vingans (following the LSK)
Sword D’Val
A bunch more Vingans
Prince Kallyr (in a rage)
Storm Voice Tennebris
High Sword Eril

Events

As before, the log will be recounted with extracts from Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga, NalaTiwrSaga and The Death of Rajar. As with last time there will be extracts from the Sonnets to Varanis, Sonnets in Praise of Xenefos and The Sonnets to Mellia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia. There will be reference to the Accounts of the Travels of Irillo Goldentongue. Editorial commentary will be recorded [thus]. The {“D”} voice appears.


On the way to Whitewall, Mellia had a talk with Venlar about his future. He was amazed to find what life was like without thralls, and how when you put things down they didn’t get tidied away, but he was doing his best to be a guard and a warrior. They wanted to talk to Silor about whether Venlar was still part of the clan and the family, and about adopting Yamia’s child, when it arrived.

At Whitewall, the caravan made camp. Suuraki and Valseena stayed with the caravan to “guard” (and thankfully, there were others on duty). Irillo went trading and acquired a mule and some new horses for a steal (he thinks). Xenofos and Nala went to what passes for a Library, albeit for different reasons. Xenofos went to pray, and then left to find himself a Ulerian initiate to worship with. Nala, on the other hand, had enquiries to make. She asked for information about the Goddess of Salt and Teeth and for the measly sum of 5L learned that the Goddess of Teeth and Salt was an obsolete name for Maran Gor. Nala argued with this, saying she had been talking to both and they were not the same person, but the scribe simply assumed there had been a schism or the goddess had split, rather than considering he might be wrong. Berra went off to the Temple to Divine a question to the holy Lord Eril. She came out, did a lot of undignified giggling, and went off back to the caravan.

Rajar’s duty was to check the upper city for Vampires and things of Chaos, and having done that successfully he went to the local inn – there was, to his delight, now one at the top of the hill. Inside, people greeted him as the famous hero he was, and were delighted because they had heard he was a follower of Vareena, lover of Kallyr, and several other titles… and Queen Vareena of Heortland. He led the cheering.

Varanis visited the local Storm Temple and asked to worship at the shrines for Orlanth Rex and Vinga. She was met with disconcerting deference, but proceeded to worship anyway. She thanked the Storm Voice and left to head back to the caravan. En route, she happened to overhear someone yell something about Queen Vareena from a hut that looked vaguely tavern-like. Stepping inside to work out what was going on, she spotted Rajar with his cup raised in a toast. Much to Varanis’ shock, when she was recognised, some of the folks dropped to one knee. Rajar explained that they were confused and thought she was a queen and also mentioned that they thought she was having sex with Kallyr and/or Argrath, which led to further discussions. Discussions became animated, as happens when you mix Storm Bulls with beer, and Rajar threw a cup. Somehow, Varanis got Rajar out the door when fists started flying and then yelled at the people inside to stop fighting immediately. Terrifyingly, it worked.1Critical on Orate as augmentation, followed by a second critical on Intimidate

Mellia went to talk to Jaldis about the offer from the trolls, for teaching. Jaldis said that while a spell that harmed others would be inappropriate, it would certainly be… self-sacrificing to find a variant that would let the mother pass agony onto the healer, keeping the mother herself safe. Jaldis also offered to help with the ‘little shrine’, even offering to go there, and Mellia said she would ask for help if she needed it.

Varanis dragged the disappointed Rajar back to the caravan so that they could try to round up the others. She pointed out that he could always go back to fight later, which mollified him. As they drew near, Berra overheard Rajar mention Queen Vareena and she leapt onto a wagon to demand explanation. There was a lot of loudness, drawing attention from those nearby; much of the group.2Xenofos and Mellia, being very busy elsewhere, did not hear what was going on.

Between them, Varanis and Rajar explained what was going on and Irillo said that Ahmed had very few horses because he had sold a lot of remounts – a group of about 100-200 people had come through. Deciding that everyone would have spotted this, Berra grabbed a local to demand more information. Yes, a lot of Esrolians had come through. Then Berra mentioned Varanis and he seemed to recognise the Thane, with his eyes lighting up. Berra got carried away, threatening him with terrible consequences if he ever called Varanis the Queen. The man wet himself and promised to join Chalana Arroy to get away without getting drafted and then challenged. Varanis asked Berra to let him go because he had nothing of further use to offer. Berra grabbed the next nearest local, who turned out to be Ahmed the honest horse merchant. Ahmed confirmed what the other man had said and added a few extra details, such as the names of some of the Esrolians.3Lenta, Garin, and Vahnfar’s names did not come up. Irillo, Kesten, and Dormal did, but these are hardly uncommon names in Esrolia. The group was two days ahead, meaning that at this point, they had probably just arrived in Boldhome. Varanis did a lot of sagging, swearing, cursing, and swearing more.

The group held a quick conversation, and then left in a hurry, for Boldhome, leaving the majority of the guards with the caravan. Although Mellia wanted to be in Wilmskirk, she and Venlar decided to go to Boldhome to help Varanis, as Venlar felt he might be able to take some of the ordinary conversations away from Varanis, as she was about to have to deal with complicated ones. In two days’ time, as they drew closer to Boldhome, some of the party heard the sound of hoofbeats approaching. The Luminous Stallion King, hair streaming behind him like a shining golden banner, road up, accompanied by his retinue. Among the guards were some young Vingans Varanis recognised from the temple in Nochet. The Luminous Stallion King pranced about, made uncomfortable suggestions about marriage, and then informed Varanis that Kallyr was expecting her. He kept calling Kallyr his bride, his love, and many other things, noting that once he had wooed Kallyr, her cousin would also be overcome.

They finished their journey and were allowed through the city gates, where they were met with an honour guard, including several local Vingans and D’Val. Lord D’Val said he was sure there was a reasonable explanation for all this. Berra said there were lots of stupid Esrolians, and D’Val said that this was being sorted out, and they were up where there had been the engagement with the Lunar cavalry.

Varanis and her companions were invited to the palace right this instant. Varanis tried to ascertain whether or not they were under arrest, but short of asking it openly, couldn’t be certain. Together, they climbed and climbed4CON x 5 rolls please and climbed5OK, casting Vigour now. the stairs.

Prince Kallyr waited for them at the top. As Varanis arrived, she immediately took a knee, while Kallyr demanded to know if she’d come to try to take the throne. Suuraki wondered if that was what they were actually there for and exchanged a meaningful glance with Rajar. Rajar contrived to look relaxed, though his hand rested near to his axe. The Esrolian Vingan reminded Kallyr that Varanis was her servant. The prince asked about the Queen of Heortland thing and Varanis said she had no desire to be queen. Kallyr pressed the issue – what would Varanis do if the Clan Chiefs forced her to accept? Varanis said if she had to accept, she’d bend the knee to Kallyr, King of Dragon Pass. Tennebris stepped forward, but Kallyr did not let him speak, saying that she did not want calculations; she wanted Air and Spirit.

Kallyr asked if there was anyone in the band who would raise a hand to her, making an exception for Mellia, who pointed out that she would never raise a hand to anyone. Everyone got a hard stare and the chance to challenge her, but nobody took her up on it, although Suurraki checked whether raiding counted. Satisfied that Varanis was not making a bid for the throne, Kallyr invited them all into the palace.

As they went in, Eril detached himself from a shadow. Nala saw him and puked in a corner.6Critical on Hate (Eril) but with a reduction in the score because she did not attack.

Varanis was invited to stay in the palace, with an anteroom for a servant, but the others were not offered rooms.


“I’ll fix my pint.” – Xenofos

“Salt and Teeth, the one who bites is an obscure name for the goddess Maran Gor. That will be five Lunars please.” – Initiate of Lhankor Mhy

“Council of not very Niciea at all, given that Maran Gor is going to be there.” – Suuraki

“Venlar is planning something. He seems to be writing a lot of poetry.” – Berra
“Is Venlar going to talk to me before he gets all kidnappy?” – Varanis
“Probably not?” – Berra

“Oh, well that is very self-sacrificing.” – Jaldis
‘sucker’ – not Jaldis

“I heard she’s Kallyr’s sister in Sartar.” – Peasant
“Well, it’s a bit further than that.” – Rajar
“No, Sartar’s just up the road.” – Peasant

“See, I told you they weren’t shagging each other.” – Peasant
“What, Kallyr and Varanis, or me and Varanis?” – Rajar

“What we have is yours.” – Orlanth Temple
“Get that in writing!” – Suuraki
“Shut up, Dormal, you’re in Rhigos.” – GM

“Rajar, what’s going on?” – Varanis
“You’re famous! They think you’re sleeping with Kallyr!” – Rajar

“I am now dragging Rajar, by the beard if I have to, back to the caravan.” – Varanis

“He’d gone to all that trouble of arranging a perfectly good bar fight…” – Rajar
“You can go back to it.” – Varanis
“It’s not the same if you go back to it!” – Rajar

“Berra’s looking like she REALLY wants to be asked to kill people.” – Berra
“And this is different how?” – Nala
“Sometimes she’s asleep.” – Berra

“Sweetheart, I don’t know what’s going on, but it sounds serious. Do you think we need to speak with your parents now?” – Mellia

“The single most beautiful person you have ever seen is sitting on a horse in front of you.” – GM
“Oh, it’s him.” – Nala
“That is some nice horseflesh.” – Xenofos

“I see you’ve brought another potential wife for me.” – Luminous Stallion King
“What in fuck?” – Berra

“Nala will pre-arrange Vingans to greet them” – Nala
“The High Priest of Vinga would be Kallyr… There will definitely be Vingans around.” – GM

“Mellia feels that she’ll have to cast Harmony.” – Mellia

“Well, have you come to take it, Saiciae?” – Kallyr
Varanis immediately takes a knee.

“Grovel?” – Xenofos

“Your Highness.” – Nala
“WAS I TALKING TO YOU, PRAXIAN?” – Kallyr

“Am I to understand you have hothead idiots in your band?” – Kallyr
<<everyone looks at Rajar>>

“And this claim to Heortland? – Kallyr
“Not mine.” – Varanis
“And what if they make you? What if the tribal elders make you Queen?” – Kallyr
“Then I will bend the knee to you as King of Dragon Pass.” – Varanis

<<Tennebris steps forwards>>
“I don’t want to hear the calculation. I want the spirit and the air, and I have them here.” – Kallyr

“Will any of your band raise a hand to the Queen of Sartar? – Kallyr
“Not when you know we’re coming.” – Rajar

“Very well then. Since I am unchallenged despite appearances, enter my palace, Kinswoman. With your followers.” – Kallyr

“I’m not going to attack Eril in front of Kallyr, because unlike some people, I’m not stupid.” – Nala
“That’s good, because Rajar was considering rugby-tackling Nala off the mountain, which would be bad for both of us.” – Rajar

“Will it take more than 12 minutes to hug Eril and tell him I missed him?” – Berra

“Berra is…” – Varanis
“A deniable asset” – Suuraki

“I think the moral of this story is that Harmony is a good investment.” – Mellia

“Twerking nine to five.” – Suuraki
“That’s no way to make a living.” – Valseena

“That way lies madness.” – Valseena
“And Praxians.” – Suuraki
<<hand gestures>> – Rajar