The Name of the Father

S02 — Session 45

1627, Fire Season, Illusion Week

Fire Season, Illusion Week, Freezeday to Truth Week, Clayday.

Dramatis Personae




Prince Kallyr, King of Sartar
Lord Tennebris
Lady Kalis
Lady Kalis’ bodyguard
Lord Eril
The Luminous Stallion King
Many servants, flunkies, and guards
A lot of war band


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.

At the camp of the Esrolian Free Army, Varanis spent a night in ritual and meditation, in order to ask Orlanth/Vinga Rex whether or not she was fit to lead this army. Much to her disappointment, the answer was difficult to interpret, despite all her prayers. “Ride! Ride to glory!” She returned to camp and slept for what felt like days.

Berra, now only lightly feverish at the hospital, was summoned by a messenger to go and speak the Truth. She went up to the palace, with the aid of her own spirit magic, and rested there until it began.

Sometime after Varanis awoke and after Varaneva and her escort had departed, a messenger arrived in the camp from Boldhome. They were informed that there was to be a series of cases presented at the court: Finarvisson vs Varenava, and Rex Sartaraie vs Varaneva, and Varaneva vs Finarvisson. The message made it clear that it would be wise to be in the city, so Varanis, Xenofos, and the Praxians left the camp to make do, while they visited Boldhome.

On arrival, they went directly to the Palace, where they found Chief Priest Tennebris, sitting below Kallyr’s empty throne, waiting to begin the proceedings. High Sword Eril was there, and Berra was sitting politely some distance away, in what would be the audience. However, Eril called on Berra and told her to be the one who spoke as the Sword of Truth there. High Priestess Kalis and what appeared to be a senior Babeester Gor were also in attendance. Both Varaneva and Finarvisson were escorted in under guard (Varaneva with noticeably more guards in attendance). Tennebris laid out the claims: Wounding and banditry brought by Finvar Finarvisson against Varaneva of Nochet. Kallyr brought a case for banditry against Vareneva of Nochet. Varaneva of Nochet brought a counter-suit for attempted murder against Finvar Finarvisson.

Varanis had pleaded the youth and foolishness of Varaneva as mitigation. Varaneva looked like she might take umbrage, but almost by coincidence, Kalis had signalled to her guard, whose presence or mien was enough to make Varaneva stop what she meant to do. Tennebris found against Varaneva in the matter of banditry, but not of wounding, as Finvar had raised a blade first. He mandated replacement of the cattle, and a payment for the regrowth of the limb. Then he asked what the Sages of Truth and the Swordsman of Truth had to say. The Lhankor Mhy sage looked at Berra to answer.

Berra knew the customs in the matter; Varaneva was exiled for banditry, but not attacked or killed by Umath, which was the ultimate precedent. The Lhankor Mhy Sage added that a hue and cry would be raised until she was out of the Kingdom. Berra was preparing to speak up, when fortunately Tennebris said that he felt the opportunity to offer redress was more important, and gave Varaneva the opportunity to serve in Kallyr’s armies for the forthcoming war, with a maximum sentence of two summers. Varaneva considered that, and asked, “With keep?”

Unfortunately Berra both knew the answer to that, and blurted it out; a foreigner being asked such things under such circumstances would be offered minimal keep. Tennebris dumped that expense on the Blue Tree Clan, and moved right on. Xenofos asked if the price of silver would be counted in the replacement. Tennebris ruled it should, and when Berra asked who would price them, given he had refused to accept the price offered, said that it would be the High Priest of Issaries.

As soon as the trial closed, Prince Kallyr, King of Sartar, stepped into her throne room, welcoming her kinswoman and calling for a feast for those who were present. Food was, unsurprisingly, served very soon.

At the feast, the food was all based on cows – beef, broths, and cheese. Valseena was pretty sure that it was cow rennet and cow milk making the cheese, too. There was obviously no reason why it should only be beef, as far as the herds went. Xenofos, however, had it in his head that it was herdman, and decided not to eat, and this made Valseena guess he was pining for – of all people – Kallyr. He kept staring at her, after all. She had a private word with Rajar about how Xenofos needed manly advice. Rajar decided that such conversations should not ruin dinner.

Partway through the feast, Kallyr gave an arm ring to her bard for singing the story of how the sweet and innocent Voria had brought food from the South, and gave a gold one to Varanis as well, in thanks. At that point, the Luminous Stallion King made an entrance to ask who the beautiful young thane was, and make suggestive comments. Varanis out-suggested him while impugning his manhood, and he went and sat down at Kallyr’s suggestion, attempting to charm her. This went particularly badly, as he managed to draw Eril’s attention too, and he closed down the worst of the behaviour. Venlar slipped out as soon as was polite, to go back to Mellia.

Kalis extended her usual invitation to Varanis who accepted, and the Praxians dutifully left, finding a carter and several wagons at the bottom of the 1000 steps.1Time was a bit elastic so possibly they left in the morning. They escorted the food, along with Varaneva, back towards the Esrolian camp. Meanwhile, Varanis had a good lie-in, while Berra and Xenofos attempted to sleep in the antechamber of her room. This was not made easier by Kalis’ bodyguard, who had a marred face, snoring a lot. Food was provided for the couple in the palace – five dishes, all the same. Berra recognised it as being a demonstration that no one dish could be poisoned, and elected not to tell Xenofos that.

In the morning, outside her room, Varanis encountered Kallyr. The two talked briefly, during which time Kallyr suggested that the Esrolians would be most useful up near Alda-Chur, where Argrath was said to be. She also mentioned something about the King of Pavis courting the Feathered Horse Queen; Varanis had suggested that Argrath marrying the Feathered Horse Queen could be taken as a proxy for Kallyr, while Kallyr married the Luminous Stallion King. Kallyr told Varanis to go suggest that to him.2“I think that with the recent upset with the peasantry it would be useful to move your people. Somewhere towards Alda Chur perhaps. I understand Argrath is in that neighbourhood, and seeing as you did such a good job at bringing me a suitor – and have made an alternate suggestion – perhaps you should bear that suggestion to Prince Argrath.
“And my thanks. For the food. And with reservations, for the war-band of hot-heads.” – Kallyr
“Yeaaah. They kind of brought themselves, but I’ll work on making them something useful.” – Varanis
“As I heard, you kindled the flame in Esrolia.” – Kallyr

Varanis went down the steps to the Temple of Orlanth, to ask Tennebris for his advice. She sent Berra and Xenofos to find out where the Praxians were.3On the way down, Xenofos noticed that Berra was struggling, and after careful consideration, did not offer her an arm. The Chief Priest warned Varanis that Argrath might not acknowledge the sovereignty of Kallyr.4“I think Argrath is trying to finish reducing Alda-Chur, and pushing on into Tarsh. There is some co-operation with the feathered Horse Queen, which is a useful aspect to your quest. Argrath seems to have shaken off the lethargy which plagued him last year. He is…” (Tennebris finishes his wine) “…I don’t know if he will acknowledge the Queen’s right. We do not need a Sartarite Civil War to match the Tarshite one.
“I know that you are an honourable warrior and so will not strike him down for insulting your liege….. but do your best to convince him that we all fail if Jar-eel rolls through Dragon Pass. I hear the Bat is almost finished in the Heartlands.”

Varanis, Berra, and Xenofos set off to follow the Praxians, but with Berra riding slowly and Varanis managing to put her horse’s foot down a rabbit hole, they did not catch up that evening. Everyone camped on the road, and in the morning they caught up most of the way, and then Varanis’ horse bolted. Rajar heard her coming and attempted to grab Manasa’s reins, but missed. The horse (and Vingan) jumped over a food wagon and kept running. Suuraki made an attempt to catch the reins and things went even more sideways, with the Praxian ending up mounted behind Varanis, abandoning his high llama, which looked very put out. Valseena caught the high llama, as Varanis and Suuraki made a dramatic entrance into the Esrolian camp. Both of them managed a decent dismount.

None of the Praxians were particularly impressed by the camp, although they resisted the temptation to try to over-run it. Varanis asked Berra to move out the camp. After a meal, and a lot of shouting in Esrolian, it was done. They headed back to Boldhome.

Return to Boldhome & parade through street. D’Val seems to approve of Berra? Free apple!

When they reached the North Gate of Boldhome, one of the guards had a message for Thane Vareena. ((I have messaged Tom)) When Varanis couldn’t read it, she asked Lenta to do so.5Somewhere nearby, Xenofos winced and probably began composing another sad song.

From Dormal. ‘Pavis fine. Your presence not required.’6Varanis looked worried.

As they made their way down the stairs, Berra yelled instructions about not embarrassing her.7D’Val was watching from what might be one of his favourite vantage points. He tossed Berra an apple, which she snatched out of the air easily. Passing through the city to head for the main gate, the Esrolians found the streets lined with guards and townsfolk. Varanis managed to pretend confidence as she led the small army off. The army managed to pretend competence. The mood did not seem terrible. As they left the city, a voice from the gate yelled out: “Berra, bring us more ransoms!”

They marched a couple of days, down to Wilmskirk, where they encountered a messenger from the Cinder Fox tula looking for Irillo. After some thought, they parked the army outside, letting it do its own thing so they could mark it later, and went in to look for Irillo themselves. The Praxians soon found out that he had been in the Praxian inn, and managed to track down the messenger, who was checking the more upmarket inns, to tell him that Irillo had gone to the Cinder Fox lands. The man slumped a bit, and thanked them.
Rajar bought a round, as he usually does. This is part of why many innkeepers like him, despite his being a Stormbull.

When they returned to camp, Berra took an indirect route in, appearing in the middle much to the surprise of the guards. She firmly informed them that they had to move it because they’d set it up in the wrong spot. Rajar, in the meantime, sat himself down in the right spot, with his keg of beer and waited. While there was muttering, the camp was moved rapidly and the new set-up was a distinct improvement.

Irillo arrived at the Cinderfox clan, having seen omens. Silor guessed, correctly, that these were crows, and invited him to go sit outside where he could get the news alone; after wine was delivered, a young man came out with a box with a bronze cup in it – the cup was full of wax, which surprised the young messenger, who did not know what that meant.8The custom is that a father who wants to acknowledge a child should put in tokens of the gifts he will bring, but there was no room. Irillo asked to be taken to the hearth, so he could melt the wax, but inside he sees that Yamia is there, with a very young baby. She offered to let him hold the boy – he went to melt the wax to put his signet into it, although she told him she needed nothing from him, and his House had elected to have nothing to do with the child, and would not let him draw a Harmony Rune on his forehead with wine, saying that his Runes were not Harmonious. She drew a Truth Rune on the boy instead.

Irillo held the tiny boy and was told his name, Tamakt, and then went to start trying to get drunk. However, he noticed when Thenaya was looking after his people that she was not going near Yamia, and Yamia was ignoring her. Irillo tried to find out why, but despite apparently cheering her up a bit, he could get no information out of Thenaya. However, Yamia was perfectly willing to answer; her mother had thought she was going to sacrifice the baby. In lighter news, she had a contract prepared for Irillo, giving him favoured trading status as long as caravans came to the Cinder Fox clan regularly. This would allow him to continue to see and maybe even get news about his child. Irillo noted that he would not be able to bring the caravan if Serzeen had killed him, but other than that, he agreed to sign the contract once he had looked it over in the morning, when sober.

Silor got him more drunk. In the morning, crows flew away from the Tula, heading in many directions, including towards Alda-Chur. Irillo was invited to set up for a market, and re-read the contract, which he sealed.

That morning, crows flew over the army, heading towards Alda Chur. Berra and Varanis both took it as omens. Meanwhile, Xenofos, fuzzy eyed in the morning, identified someone in red as a Lunar, going so far as to be sure it was Jar-eel for a moment. The war band, called to order in emergency, acquitted themselves well.

They set off to march to Alda Chur.

“Sorry, what was that?” – Rajar
“Make a listen roll.” – everyone else

“I imagine I’m swearing.” – Varanis

“waiting for that flaming wheel tumbling to a halt” – Xenofos

“Fumble!” – Suuraki, happily

“She went thattaway.” – Rajar to Xenofos

“Someone needs to give this poor woman riding lessons.” – Valseena
“Or she could ride an animal that isn’t cursed.” – Suuraki

“@Valseena/@Suuraki can you do me a First Aid roll?” – Berra
“Woo, Fumble!” – Suuraki

“I made an impression. Yay!” – Varanis
“Very soft target.” – Berra

“Berra, we need to move out.” – Varanis

“Pay this finee, your presence not required. D.” – Saiciae
“What is Dormal up to?” – Varanis
“Pavis. Fine.” – Xenofos

“Berra is obviously very stressed already. But seems to be sort of enjoying it.” – Berra

“I don’t have any money to bargain with anyway.” – Varanis
“Yes you do.” – Berra

<<muttering from the ranks>>

“Berra’s then going to walk around, explaining more quietly, and without shouting, how things should be done.” – Berra
“Preferably pointing out problems to the leaders, and letting them deal with it.” – Berra
“They’ve got authority, they should get to use it.” – Berra

“They have to be able to handle Berra…” – Varanis
expression – GM

“Irillo!!!! You knocked up Yamia?!?!” – Varanis
“I am aghast… I am aghast! What did Serzeen say?” – Varanis

“Harmony is for all.” – Irillo
“So is Death.” – Yamia

“No luck with Thenaya, so I’ll have to do the hard one…” – Irillo
“You did the hard one already, didn’t you?!” – Varanis

“Xenofos, we have an ickle cousin!” – Varanis
“Tiny little Murderbaby” – Xenofos
“Murderbaby!” – Berra

“The hard part about this, of course, is that we don’t know anything about it.” – Varanis

“Letter home is a cowardly way out. Gotta go face the axe.” – Varanis

“… How many people have fled in the night, I wonder…” – Berra
<<counts>> “Not enough yet.” – Berra

“Berra salutes the crows, and thus has a sword in her hand when people are calling out about Lunars.” – Berra

“Pondering now if Yamia would take a newborn to battle. Maybe, but would she give it a sword?” – Berra

“Good question, whose wagons were they.” – Xenofos
“Under Praxian law, ours now.” – Suuraki