A Gunderful Life

Session 3.1

1628, Sea Season

Dramatis Personae


Berra Jarang’s Daughter


King Kallyr
The Luminous Stallion (Ernaldan) King
High Sword Eril
A lack of D’Val
Chief Priest Tennebris
Baby Berra
Devolin you little bugger get back here!
Yehna Jarang’s Daughter
A lot of over-worked messengers


Varanis produced offspring, which she confusingly named Berra, after her Colymar grandmother. Together, Varanis and Berra bought and furnished a house near the West Pocket and this is where King Kallyr’s messenger found them. The herald invited Varanis to the palace to introduce her daughter to the king, with a bit of negotiation over whether Varanis would have to leave for breast-feeding. Thus it was that Varanis, Berra, Berra, and the wet nurse and bodyguard made their way up the thousand steps for a meal.

When they entered the great hall, the Luminous Stallion King rose to greet them, attempting to welcome them to “his” hall. Kallyr placed a gentle hand on his arm, only crushing the vambrace a tiny bit with her added Strength spell, and encouraged him to sit down again. She met Varanis partway, rather than waiting for the Esrolian to travel the length of the hall, and greeted her as cousin. When Varanis presented her infant, Kallyr declared to all that Varanis and baby Berra were her preferred heirs and she pressed a ring of iron, gold, and copper into the baby’s hand. Larger Berra looked on in apparent joy and happiness, staring at Kallyr and the smaller Berra a lot. For his part, the Luminous Stallion King looked disgruntled, especially when Kallyr described him as her Ernalda.

The wet nurse left, taking the loudly howling baby with her, and Varanis sat down at the head table, next to the king. Berra loomed behind her, guarding her friend until Lord Eril offered to replace her and not quite ordered her to sit and eat. While a little confused over that, Berra did so. She talked about why to Varanis, until Eril pointed out that he could still hear her.

The first course was a thinly sliced smoked fish, which made Berra look around for who would be eating that, and who they were flattering. Not far from Kallyr, on the other side, she saw Gunda, Harrek’s best friend. After a brief bit of consideration she checked exactly where and how Eril was standing – he was in a position where he could conveniently observe Gunda, and while it seemed his arms were crossed, he was keeping his right hand free. Berra told Varanis that she would explain about the fish later.

Varanis was not feeling great, possibly because of the amount of rich food she was eating, and asked Berra for a polite way out. Not being able to think of one, Berra leaned back to ask Eril for help. Eril went to tell the Luminous Stallion King that there were women’s issues, and ask if he would help, or if Kallyr would. The King flounced out, and Eril asked, thus letting those listening know, if it was now appropriate for others to leave if they wished. Kallyr agreed that it was, and attempted to chastise Eril, but her heart was not in it.

As they left, Berra told Eril she needed a word, and he told her not while she was guarding; she left Varanis with the Babeester Gor and the wet nurse for a bit, and went off to remind her Lord that she had a personal relationship with Harrek, which he might wish to bear in mind. Eril said he was keeping various possibilities on the game board, and Berra noted that all the stories about Harrek were probably true; he seemed to think that already.

As she was already in the room, and had to assume she had been noticed, Berra went to bow to Gunda, who looked at her curiously, nodded, and got back to her mead. Berra went home, sat Varanis down, and explained who ‘Gunda Queen-cracker’ was. Varanis did not like it, but came to the conclusion that Sartar had to speak to people like Harrek. Berra pointed out that anyhow, if you didn’t host Gunda, you got Harrek instead, and he really REALLY hated the Lunar Empire. He didn’t hate other things, he just destroyed them.

On another day, Varanis asked Berra to make arrangements for her to have a visit with the Iron Lord. Berra dressed in sackcloth and ashes to show willing, and went in to see him. She asked about having time to see Berra, and he said that time was unlike iron. There was always more of it. She meditated on that for about half an hour and then said it was very comforting. Berra stayed at his sacred forge for several hours, watching as he smelted and began to forge an iron rod. He said as he worked that the wolf had to be beaten out of the iron, something that no doubt Berra remembered; she did.

Berra then fetched the Vingan, who asked the Iron Lord about possibly forging something like rings from the iron she had.1OOC, Varanis’ player hadn’t thought about how iron on the hands might affect casting magic. Oops. He suggested that he store it for the time being, instead. Berra told Varanis to say who her heir was, in case of disaster – Varanis said that was little Berra. He also told Berra that he did not think she had the patience to learn iron-working, which Berra said was correct, but that she loved to look. Varanis, for her part, averted her eyes from the mysteries, although the Iron Lord said she would not have the ability to see them, as she did not have the tattoos, or the words, or know the colours. They left him to continue forging the sword.

Varanis had asked Tennebris to find out if Leika would want to meet the newest member of Blue Tree. One morning, she received a letter from a messenger. The letter had originally been sent to the Chief Priest and informed him that the Colymar would be happy to extend their cloak of protection over one of Sartar’s blood. On deciding that there were undercurrents she was missing, Varanis went to see Lord Tennebris, taking Berra with her. On arrival, they found him drunk2Berra passed First Aid. and emotional.3Varanis passed Insight (Human). He explained that Leika might be making a power play or else displaying her loyalty to the crown. Both Berra and Varanis suggested it was both and he opined that their cynicism put his to shame..

Tennebris was so clearly out of sorts that Berra advised him to lay off the wine at least until the afternoon, and he was so shaken in general that he admitted she was right. Varanis asked if he wanted to talk about it. Apparently, he did because he informed them that Kallyr had taken the Luminous Stallion King for a rather loud test ride, at which point Berra realised, finally, that he was in love with Kallyr. This was apparently enough to make her drink his wine.4Berra’s Death rune was probably shocked; certainly it removed temptation from him. Unfortunately, it was brandy. Now Berra and the Chief Priest were both smashed and Varanis called for bread and water to thin out the alcohol in their guts. Eventually, she escorted Berra home, listening to the Humakti wax on about Varanis being her best friend that she greatly loved along the way. Berra was just about sensible enough to steer them by a good route, but very talkative and huggy.

Finally, they made the journey to Blue Tree, so that they could inform Yehna about the baby’s change in status and discuss with Dogva what the village would need. On the way, a duck tried to hold them up from the bushes, proclaiming that it was a Royal Checkpoint. Varanis said that was convenient, and she was royal, and that she would pass on the money to the King. The duck threw a purse at them, and fled, with Berra in pursuit, asking loud questions about whether that was real money. Unfortunately, he was at the cliff-side, and she went over it, but managed to grab hold of his rope a little after the last moment, and slide down to try to chase him. He got away into the water, but she had petty vengeance by stealing his rope.

The young Ernaldan suggested that it might be too much of a backwater for a royal baby, but Varanis was adamant that she wanted her daughter raised by Yehna. Dogva and Yehna both suggested that more hides would be required to establish baby Berra’s household. As they were discussing security with Dogva, he said he had had a messenger warning that Kalis and another Ernaldan were arriving. Berra wondered if it would be Mehrim’s mother, then decided that would be too much of a coincidence. The High Priestess was, strangely enough, accompanied by Mehrim’s mother, an Ernaldori recently of the Clearwine Earth Temple. Conveniently for all, she was in need of a new temple. Kalis helped to extend the earthworks for the village, while Berra and Varanis discussed approaching the Dwarf to help with the building come Fire Season, after one of Berra’s blurted ideas. Kalis thought that was a splendid idea.

Berra took a day out to introduce the duck children to little Berra, and ask the older ducks about helping her to find water-breathing magic. There was a lot of pointing and quacking at her.

Session Quotes

  • 1
    OOC, Varanis’ player hadn’t thought about how iron on the hands might affect casting magic. Oops.
  • 2
    Berra passed First Aid.
  • 3
    Varanis passed Insight (Human).
  • 4
    Berra’s Death rune was probably shocked; certainly it removed temptation from him.