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The Turquoise Tree

Bevara and the Annoying Insight

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The tale of Bevara and the Annoying Insight is an ancient story about Bevara and Vinga. This is the version that Fost Longstrider overheard Serenity Macleod (a Vingan priestess) tell to Bronwen WhiteLily (her cousin and childhood best friend, a Bevara priestess) during a fireside storytelling session. Apparently, the story itself is true; it’s just a little less reverently phrased than usual (but then it’s that kind of story). The story follows the eastern Sartarite tradition (mainly Dundealos) that Bevara is Vinga’s half-sister and became famous for her exploits in the Silver Age, not the more common belief that Bevara was a Silver Age hero.

 

 

This is a story about Bevara and Vinga that you probably haven’t heard before. It was in a book.

At this point, Bronwen punched Serenity. After a brief scuffle, the latter carried on with the story.

 

It starts when the two Goddesses were young, just after Vinga had returned from her first adventures, and Bevara got her first little nurses outfit.

Vinga was in trouble again. She had only been back from her travels to exotic lands for a few days when she had her first blazing row with Orlanth. He was lecturing her on the ‘proper’ behaviour of a young goddess when she decided to try out some new language skills she had acquired on her travels.

 Apparently however, he didn’t want to talk to the hand, and insisted that the face listened. Sigh!  At the end of the argument that followed, she was assigned to train Bevara with the javelin and sling as a punishment.

 It could have been worse, Daddy originally intended to take her sword away from her until she learnt to behave (she’d have ended up using a spear for all eternity).

Fortunately, if a touch surprisingly, Elmal the Dull spoke up on her behalf. He was so entertained when Orlanth berated her, that he felt she had been sufficiently castigated; although taking that sword off her would have been a good idea, he knew that she would simply go off and find another. Work was a far better punishment.

And so it came to be that Bevara and Vinga were sitting in a lovely meadow, drinking some of Minlister’s Finest, discussing the boys of the tribe, life in general, and enjoying a pipe or two.

 Vinga gleefully related tales of her adventures to an impressed Bevara, and even told her more about her ‘friendship’ with Heler than perhaps she should have. Bevara listened eagerly to the stories, especially the one about Heler, and told Vinga of her envy at the exciting adventures she been on (to which Vinga no doubt demurely replied “it was for the good of the clan”).

Finally Vinga realised that she had been dominating the conversation a bit much (true, four species had died-off while she was talking).

Cunningly, she asked Bevara about life on the tula while she had been gone, and the little healer was soon talking away nine to the dozen. Vinga listened for a while, but she can only face so much adversity, and soon put on what she calls her ‘Orlanth Face’ (making it appear as if she were listening, while thinking about something else).

She started to listen properly when Bevara began to talk about her secret desire for Kethed, a handsome young godling of their acquaintance, who lived in a far-off stead. That was interesting! After a little teasing, Loyal Vinga promised to help her and the two goddesses had a long girly chat about what could be done to make it possible for Bevara to get together with Kethed. Vinga found the whole thing rather sweet.

As their chat continued and the drink flowed, the conversation grew increasingly salacious. Vinga definitely told Bevara far too much about her ‘friendship’ with Heler this time. As she looked at the furiously blushing goddess, Vinga came to the conclusion that for a healer, Bevara seemed to know precious little about some parts of the body, and as the Loyal Daughter it was her responsibility to educate the young goddess. Well, that’s what she’d tell Ma if she found out. It might work.

So Vinga got specific. It was good fun. She got to watch an increasingly shocked looking Bevara squirm and go as red as a beetroot. The poor lass nearly fainted when Vinga touted her latest theory, that a certain male deity would have been more accurately named had he been called Star Pole instead of…

It was at this point that Vinga realised that they had not done any training at all. She decided that they had to do some at least, not because Daddy had told her to, but because she wanted to make sure that sweet little Bevara could defend herself. She picked up her sling and javelins, and then told Bevara that they had to get some practice in or she would be in trouble when they returned to the stead.

The two of them wandered across the meadow until they reached an outcropping of rocks. They were still discussing men, but this time it was Bevara who led the conversation, her mind filled with rude thoughts about handsome Kethed.

Vinga showed Bevara how to use the sling first. Well, the basics anyway. She was far too drunk to get it quite right. Her first shot hit Vinga, and a slightly botched attempt at healing did almost as much damage again. The second shot travelled a full ten metres and then fell to the ground. The third shot hit the rock behind them.

Vinga persevered with her lesson and gradually Bevara’s attempts to use the sling improved. She only hit Vinga twice more (at this point Vinga decided to leave the javelin lesson for another day) and fairly soon Bevara could send a stone almost to the end of the meadow. Her accuracy was not what it could have been, but she made up in enthusiasm what she lacked in skill.

By now, Bevara had managed to get Vinga blushing, asking her exactly what she should do with Kethed and even making a few suggestions herself. Vinga wasn’t accustomed to Bevara talking about this kind of thing, she’d made up most of the stuff she’d told her about Heler and the others, and was beginning to feel increasingly uncomfortable with the whole situation.

She decided to finish the lesson, it was getting late, and they had run out of beer. Bevara insisted on making one last attempt at hit her target. She concentrated hard, a model of focus, and then made her cast. The stone went miles off-target and clipped the side of the hill at the end of the valley, shooting off to one side

At precisely that moment a tall, handsome god strode emerged from the woods at the base of the hill. Almost inevitably, the stone hit him and he fell to the ground, hands between his legs, writhing in agony.

Bevara ran over to him, concerned for his welfare (Vinga followed, but slowly).

“Are you hurt?” she asked. The man was speechless, clearly feeling great pain.

“Please,” she said, “I’m a healer, let me help you.”

“I’ll be fine” said the handsome stranger, “just give me a moment or two.”

Emboldened by Minlister’s Finest, and acting largely on impulse, Bevara said “I insist” and stepped forwards, loosened his trews, and stuck her hand down them. She  gently cupped his manhood and  began to massage it while uttering soothing words of healing. Surprised at first, the stranger did not object (although a slightly envious Vinga was tempted to), and as Bevara’s tender ministrations continued, began to look less in pain and much happier.

After about five minutes of warm caressing she asked if he was feeling any better. He smiled back at her and replied “It feels fucking lovely darling, but my thumbnail is going black as fuck.”

In the moment of stunned silence that followed, he turned into the form of a short and ugly man (for it was Eurmal in disguise), grabbed a quick feel of Vinga’s arse, and then ran off towards the hills, laughing all the way.

 As soon as they recovered from their surprise, Vinga and Bevara set off in pursuit, determined to punish Eurmal for the trick he had played on them. Vinga was very, very, angry.

 For hours they chased him, through the night and for much of the next day. They came close to catching him several times, but on each occasion he used a cunning ruse to escape them. He changed forms repeatedly, hid, ran, ducked and covered, far too well for them to catch him. Even Vinga’s Pathfinder tricks were of no use.

As evening of the next day approached the pair of goddesses found themselves at the foot of Kero Fin. They could find no trace of Eurmal. Dirty, tired and slightly dispirited, they decided to head home (where they would no doubt be lectured about their absence by Orlanth).

Vinga ranted at first, and then was quiet on the return journey, still angry with the Trickster. As Bevara walked beside her, a thought entered her head that cheered her up immensely.

Well, she thought, Vinga was far too angry to have learnt anything from this experience but I have. At least now I know how to Evade Pursuit.

 

At this point, an irritated Bronwen punched Serenity and a friendly (if somewhat one-sided) brawl developed. The tale was never quite finished, although Serenity later said that it ended just as she had intended it to (if not better).

 

 

 

This story was mostly inspired by Vinga and Tarthcaer, a story by Jane Williams. Hopefully with practice I ‘ll get a little better stylistically.

 

 

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