A Spearful Mood

1628, Fire Season, Movement Week?


Context

Berra intercepts Varanis who is returning to their house after visiting the Vingan Temple. Varanis is carrying a spear and looks to be in a bit of a mood.

A couple of days after returning to Boldhome, post Session 3.20: HeroQuest 5.

Events

As luck would have it, Berra and Varanis arrive at their house at around the same time in the morning. Yelm looks down on them impassively from above the eastern cliffs. The Vingan is in her armour and carrying both helmet and spear. She has an irritated scowl on her face.

Berra ambles that way, holding her hand up in greeting.  “Hail Varanis,” she says with a yawn.  “S’going on?”  Once more she is lightly dressed, with only one sword.

“I’m just frustrated. Nothing unusual.”

“Want to go get extra breakfast?”  Apparently Berra ate already.

“I ate up at the Temple,” Varanis replies. “But we can get you something if you want. I need to wash my face first though.”

“Nah, I just felt a bit like walking.”  Berra gets the door for Varanis by knocking and letting the doorman deal with opening it.  “I’ll be at the Temple for a couple of extra nights but probably free in the days.”

The door is opened by the usual fellow who gives them his usual look of resigned courtesy. Varanis thanks him and passes into the house, just barely managing not to hit him or the door frame with her spear.1Rolled 89 on DEX * 5

Berra winces slightly.  “Uh, how long since you last actually trained with one of those?” she asks, staying far enough back that if Varanis turns suddenly, she is not in danger.

Her companion growls. “Does this morning count?”2B: One or two-handed spear? V: What do you suppose is most common for Vingans? I wonder if the cults book says? I have been vague because I was too lazy to look it up. B: I think Kallyr uses a two-hander, but I’d consider your sheet as well.  Were you taught this? GM may have views.  Orlanthi style would probably be one-handed with a shield but the Vingan might be different. V:My sheet has 1H spear at 20 and 2H spear at 30. According to the Cults book, Vinga wields Orlanth’s weapons and one of Orlanth’s sacred weapons is the Lightning Spear, which is 1H. So, I’d guess that in terms of her iconography, it’s probably a 1H. Cult practices it could probably go either way. I’m leaning towards the iconographic version for reasons, not the least of which is why she’s doing this. GM: Either. V: Could go either way with my lived experience too. A bit of short spear work in kobudo and long-spear in the SCA, but not enough to be good at either. I shall decree it a short spear.

“Um.  Time to set up a dummy in the garden, then?” Berra suggests.

Varanis grunts in reply and heads for the kitchen, tossing the offending spear in a corner as she goes. When it clatters to the ground, she stops herself, takes a deep breath, and heads back to pick it up. She begins to check it over for damage.

Berra goes to the kitchen.  “Two light beers and some salty snacks,” she tells whoever is in there, without bothering to look.  Then she goes back to look at Varanis.  “You carry it like you’ve never been a peasant.”

Varanis gives her a look. “I wonder why?”

“Got showed up?” Berra suggests.

After reassuring herself that she’d not done any damage, Varanis places the spear in the corner with more respect. Then she joins Berra at the table, flopping onto a bench. “No. Yes. Gah. Even some of the youngest initiates are better with the spear than I am. I’m marginally better with the long spear. But not enough.”

Berra sighs.  “Right.  About half an hour a day to start with.  I’m no good with the long spear but I can teach the short.  We can get someone else in to do the long spear.”

“The Chief Priestess has suggested that I use the short spear for the Yelmrise rituals and while in Boldhome, that I do the rituals at the Temple. So that I improve with little risk of killing Yelm in the process. Again.”

“Uhuh.  Well, I don’t know the rituals but I can teach you how to kill things with a spear.  I’ll dust off a smaller shield.”

“Can we do something else first?” Varanis suggests. “My ego has taken enough of a beating for right now. “Did you sleep ok? Where’s your armour? Has D’Val got you meditating a lot?”

Berra nods.  “Yeah.  Sure.  He’s… mostly… helping me to meditate again.”  And then snacks and beer arrive and she takes the tray.  “We can have this out there anyhow.”  But she is herself and adds, “I haven’t been sleeping well.  Armour is back at the Temple.  It’s too much for me to put on right now.”

The last gets Varanis’ attention. “Are you injured? Or is it… deeper than that?”

“I don’t have to be wearing it, and it’s reminding me of the climb, and of fighting.”  Berra shrugs.  “It’s nice to be out of it.”

The Vingan nods. “Why don’t I strip off my armour then too? We can remind me of the basics without the armour in my way.”

There’s a nod to that, but Berra takes the tray out.  “Come take it off here.  It’s sunny and there are … you know, we should plant grapes in pots here.  Except for the snow.  I guess.”

Here, there are far too high for grapes, but the summer night-heat is with them, and the walled garden is just seeing Yelm properly for the first time that day.

“Maybe berries?” Varanis suggests. “I’m sure your sister will know or will know who to ask.” She starts to strip off the armour, pausing to take a sip of the beer and wrinkling her nose at it.

“You’ve been sweating, and you’re about to sweat again.  It’s small beer, pretty much – just to help you move later.”  Berra relaxes onto a bench by the wall, and closes her eyes for a moment.  “Need a hand with the straps?” she asks lazily.

“I’ll manage,” Varanis replies, hauling on the leather straps. “That’s why we re-strapped my armour. So I don’t need people to wait on me like a pampered …” Whatever she was saying is lost beneath the noise of her armour as she pulls it over her head.

“A backboy wouldn’t fit here too well,” Berra says.  “Unless they did other things as well.  Maybe you could find one who could cook, for when we’re on campaign?” A backboy, usually a Heleran, is a servant for armour and more.  A good one is a trusted friend and camp facilitator.  A bad one is merely a gossip and a layabout. Of course, Berra being Berra she is probably not suggesting that Orlanth needs Heler for anything more than armour, despite the mythic resonances of their occasional love.

Varanis’ eyes light up at the notion, but she shakes her head regretfully. “I’m not sure I want to make it look like I’m laying claim to more… but…” She mutters a curse or two. “It would be really useful.”3And suddenly I’m wondering if Varanis’ could afford it.

“It’s… well, you’re … you said that you would use land to give to people, and … that you have an Orlanthi responsibility to shelter people and … you’re a noble without a backboy.  You could get someone.”4B: Probably.  I suspect Kallyr is about to be generous again. V: If @Hobbitomm doesn’t object to an NPC hanger-on who can mostly be in the background when present, I actually really like the idea. B: We had Tiwr before.

“I’ll think about it,” Varanis says. “For the moment, why don’t I warm up and show you the basics I remember, so we can establish a base line for training? I’m not particularly hungry just yet. I had breakfast at the Temple.”5Based on the 82/20 that I just rolled, Varanis’ basics are basic and clumsy. But calling the scene here is good.

  • 1
    Rolled 89 on DEX * 5
  • 2
    B: One or two-handed spear? V: What do you suppose is most common for Vingans? I wonder if the cults book says? I have been vague because I was too lazy to look it up. B: I think Kallyr uses a two-hander, but I’d consider your sheet as well.  Were you taught this? GM may have views.  Orlanthi style would probably be one-handed with a shield but the Vingan might be different. V:My sheet has 1H spear at 20 and 2H spear at 30. According to the Cults book, Vinga wields Orlanth’s weapons and one of Orlanth’s sacred weapons is the Lightning Spear, which is 1H. So, I’d guess that in terms of her iconography, it’s probably a 1H. Cult practices it could probably go either way. I’m leaning towards the iconographic version for reasons, not the least of which is why she’s doing this. GM: Either. V: Could go either way with my lived experience too. A bit of short spear work in kobudo and long-spear in the SCA, but not enough to be good at either. I shall decree it a short spear.
  • 3
    And suddenly I’m wondering if Varanis’ could afford it.
  • 4
    B: Probably.  I suspect Kallyr is about to be generous again. V: If @Hobbitomm doesn’t object to an NPC hanger-on who can mostly be in the background when present, I actually really like the idea. B: We had Tiwr before.
  • 5
    Based on the 82/20 that I just rolled, Varanis’ basics are basic and clumsy. But calling the scene here is good.