Day 024: The Greater Sin
Summary: The Grounders discuss the Skaikru and treason.
Date: 06/17/2016
Related: None
Wren Britt Veks Rinnan 

The training area near the village center.
Day 24

Wren has returned from his constant watching of the camp. Made it back once the blockade came up. Figured it would be better to come back to the village than risk trouble. The only thing he can do now, is train. It's the only thing he can really do at the moment. And maybe he just wants to hit something. While his trademark weapon is his massive double-bladed axe, a warrior must be prepared to use any weapon at their disposal, taking a sword in hand, taking swings at one of the wooden training dummbies set in the training area off the the steheda's building. And by training dummy, it's really just a number of logs arranged to a human-like form.

Britt was out walking through the village when the sound of the training dummy getting the crap beat out of it draws her attention to the training ground. Rounding the corner, she watches for a moment before observing in a dry joking fashion, "I think you killed it."

"Remind me to make the same remark when you shoot a target with a bow." Wren notes, popping bones his neck, jerking out the stiffness in it. His cuts are precisely accurate, meant to kill an opponent rather than main or injure them. He's not one to make someone suffer, even if he's at war them them, but eventually, he stops, turning around and passing the weapon off to one of the younger warriors watching. "The quiet in the village bothers me. Unsettling."

Britt smirks briefly, but then it soon fades to a more sour expression, "Well, at the rate things are going, you're likely to have your chance sooner than later," she mumbles. A nod is given to his handiwork. "Good form, though. Effective." No joking there, just a respectful observation. "Unsettling? Why's that?"

"What makes you say that?" Wren asks, coming over towards his things, grabbing his waterskin, drinking. "You think we'll be pulled into this fight one way or another?" he asks, then sitting on a nearby stump. Hand makes a vague wave at the village proper. "People are quiet. Less are outside. They're waiting for the other boot to drop. Scared what may happen. I need to stay out here, remind them that we're going to defend them if need be. But I notice it…everyone is waiting."

"You don't?" Britt asks in response to his first question, head canted slightly. "Our kruheda has called us to war. The heda has given her tacit support by not calling it off. As I see it, Oxfor is rapidly running out of time to decide whether he intends on turning traitor." She doesn't look happy at this, but it is nonetheless said as a dispassionate statement of fact. But she does nod to the latter. "Yes, I suppose it's a different kind of quiet, these days."

"I will follow Oxfor." is Wren's simple reply. "But I will not follow Indra, not in this. The heda will not get involved, it is an internal Trikru matter. and I will follow our steheda. He has earned my respect. Oxfor is honorable. By hook or by crook, it is he I will follow. This war is a mistake, but I'll waste my breath trying to say so, because my opinion is in the minority. If he is branded a traitor by Indra, he will not stand alone on that. If he is not, I will stand with him anyways. But this war is wrong. But all this?" Another look at the village. "They're afraid that the kruheda may end up branding the entire village traitors for not following her. And then we will have our own fight on our hands. /That/ is what I'm preparing for."

"So you are a warrior that only fights the battles you agree with? Interesting." The response from Britt is probably too dry and even-keeled to be considered truly snarky, but her frown is evidence enough that she's not joking. "I have tried to stop the war. I will continue to try. But if I cannot? I am Trikru. I am honor-bound to answer my kruheda's call. As is Oxfor. It's a dangerous game he's playing."

"My honor means nothing if I fight a battle my heart does not agree with." Wren replies. "And perhaps my own is different from others. There is no honor or glory in killing innocents of crime they didn't commit. I would be no better than the Azgeda. However, their leaders? In the Sky? I would gladly take my fight to them. They are guilty, let them answer for their crimes appropriately. Not the ones who had neither the means or the ability to carry out Thripoda's ruin." Then a shrug. "It is, and I'm sure he realizes that. But he would have lost his own honor in breaking word given in truth to the skaikru."

Veks arrives from the Steheda's Hall.

"We don't have the luxury of following our hearts," Britt counters, but then she shrugs. "But really that is between you and the kruheda. I just think that the others in the village are right to be concerned. Oxfor may well bring them all down with him." Britt and Wren are chatting on the outside edge of the training grounds, where Wren has just finished whacking a log-built training dummy with his sword. "But why do you say the Skaikru leaders are guilty? Everything I've heard from the Skaikru is that they lost contact and think that Thripoda was an accident. How are the people in the Sky Ark any more or less guilty than the ones here?"

"Which is the greater sin? Following orders when you believe them wrong, or blind loyalty without consideration to what you might be doing is wrong?" Wren ponders. "When you compromise yourself, how far are you willing to break yourself? If you cannot stand by your beliefs, if they are so easily gone against, what does that say about one's word? Perhaps I will die for my choice, but I will keep my honor. I can live with that. I ask no one else to die for me. And I will not blindly murder." That's his explanation and it makes sense to him. But that's also what happens when you think too much. "Perhaps it was an accident. I'm willing to believe that, but perhaps the skaikru's leader's death would prevent the death of many more. It is the only compromise that I can personally think of."

Them fancy warriors, doing their fancy warrior things at their fancy warrior places. One errand or another has Veks jogging through the village, Smoke on his heels, with a lumpen leather bag bouncing from one hand. As he passes, his attention scans over the training grounds in idle curiousity that abruptly sharpens upon him spotting Britt. Diverting from his original plans, he steps over near the edge of the training area and waves a hand to her. "Yer back!" he helpfully points out, teeth flashing in a grin. Wren's given a silent up-jerk of his chin in greeting.

Britt folds her arms, frown deepening. "You are quick to assume that I am blindly or easily doing anything." Britt might have said more on that particular count, but it's probably for the best that Vek's familiar voice distracts her. Though she can't manage a grin, his appearance does cause the corner of her mouth to quirk up briefly, and softens the irritation brewing beneath her furrowed brows. "At last, yes. Hopefully more than a few hours this time."

"I do not speak of you personally, Britt." Wren sighs, running a hand through his hair. "I merely speak of generalities, not anyone in specific. And more to the point, it is the questions I ask myself. How far I'm willing to go, and where does that point end before I find myself disgusted with my actions. However it means to anyone else? It is on them to figure out what's right and what isn't." When Veks saunters up, the big guy quiets down, simply giving a nod in return.

Veks doesn't approach any closer to the two warriors than the spot he initially paused at, hooking the thumb of his free hand into his belt and letting his shoulders slouch down comfortably. Mindful of their training space, perhaps. His eyes flick back and forth between them as he worries a patch of dry skin on his bottom lip, then finally says, "They killed any Skaikru yet?" He sounds less excited for juicy gossip and more like he's hoping for a 'no'.

Britt seems appeased by Wren's response, giving a brisk nod. "Well, I don't believe these Skaikru here are guilty for Thripoda. But they have drawn Trikru blood. And they continue to invite the wrath of the Mountain down on us with their guns. I am not saying that means we should go and wipe them out, but it is not for me to make that choice." That's why Indra gets paid the big bucks, yo. Or has the big headdress. Or… something. She shakes her head to Veks. “I don't know. But Sonia will have resumed her attacks by now, so I would guess so." A grim frown accompanies the remark.

"I've fought the ones on the Mountain enough to know that they are cunning and smart. If they wish to destroy the skaikru village for having guns, then there will be nothing you, I, or Indra can do about it. And the Mountain has eyes. I would not be surprised if they already knew about this fact. They seem very much aware of when we approach them." Wren replies, shrugging. He looks a little displeased at the mention of Sonia. "She is blind to rage and vengeance. It will be her undoing. But as far as I know from my days watching? There has not been an attack yet."

Veks looks… conflicted. "Hnh," he grunts — about as helpful as telling Britt that she was, indeed, back in Coesbur — and lifts his hand to scrub through his hair, downgrading it from 'slightly unkempt' to 'disheveled'. He plucks the end of one skinny braid and twirls it between his fingers, watching the steel washer knotted at the end as it glints in the light. "Them Skaikru what convinced the steheda of a truce in the first place," he says, looking back to Britt and Wren. "What about sneaking them out so they can go and talk to the heda themselves?" This is what happens when you're a Houndsman, apparently. You get lots of time to think. Too much time, maybe.

"It is not bringing the Mountain down on their village that I worry about," Britt counters, frowning unhappily. The latter comment gets a curious look. "There was the attack two days ago." Which she doesn't know if Veks was aware of. When the houndsman speaks, that corner of her mouth quirks up again. "I have offered. We'll see if they choose to take it. They are disorganized and reckless. I have doubts whether they could even decide on an ambassador."

"Okay well, yes, beyond the initial attack, no, there haven't been anything since." Wren notes. There's an impassive look at Britt. "Talking about them enough it pique their interest. We haven't done anything to make them look at Coesbur. If they do act, and they may be content to simply watch these new skaikru, it'll be against them." But even seems dubious about his own words, which causes a grunt in dismay. "I believe they have decided on an ambassador. I spoke with a few of them yesterday. They mentioned having decide on one. Though I cannot say who, but Tuan is involved somehow. Which makes me suspect I know who it is."

"Oh," says Veks, looking a touch crestfallen that his idea's old news. Broad shoulders squirm in a sour grapes sort of shrug before he drops his hand to scratch around the roots of Smoke's ears. Man and dog stare at eachother for a few seconds before he looks back to the warriors, straightens out of his slouch a touch, and says, "If they need noise or distraction, it's good weather for a deer hunt." A sliver of his grin returns, then. A half-dozen dogs barking and howling their way through the forest with hunters giving chase? Positively /tranquil/.

Rinnan arrives from the Steheda's Hall.

Veks' offer gets a tiny smile out of Britt. "Well, if nothing else we could always use more deer." She nods to Wren then, the smile sobering. "It depends whether the Mountain is aware that they are not Trikru. Who knows what they pay attention to. And yes, if Tuan is involved then it is probably his skaigirl Feyona. But we shall see what comes of it."

The rattlethud of the door that leads to the addition of Que's house is closed, it bumping slightly against the latch for the effort. Rinnan emerges, carrying a sacked bundle that by the shirt peeking out of the top of it is probably her laundry. So many moments of glamour being a Polis warrior such as this: laundry day. The carry of the voices in the conversation has her catching enough of the general subject matter even as she ambles closer, arms around the laundry sack. "Tuan has also taken one of them to his bed?," Rinnan asks with a quirk of the eyebrows that seems not wholly unsurprised. "I imagine Thesda approves?," she asks after a moment, her mouth puckering pensively.

"Probably not. That's not even something I’ve done." Wren remarks to Rinnan when she appears. No, no point in trying what's between him and Silver when everyone seems to already know about it. "I told Tuan to be careful. I don't know what he's doing with Fiona, but if I know Tuan, I have a good idea what that is. Which is likely why he's at their village now. Either way, I wish him luck, he'll certainly need it." He stands up from his stump. "I think I may retreat to the baths. Feel the need to clean off. Any wish to come along?"

Britt's head turns when she hears Rinnan's voice, a faint smile offered towards her fellow Polis warrior. Her mood is too serious right now for any more cheery of a greeting. "Perhaps his First might have some luck talking sense into him." She slants a look back to Wren then, eyebrow arching. She didn't know about it, at least. "Ah, so you fancy the Skaikru as well. That explains a lot. I'll pass," she demurs when he speaks of the baths.

Rinnan at least avoids making an outright face at the notion of bedding down a Sky clan member. Instead, her expression is a little more thoughtful as she shifts the bundle in her arms slightly to one hip. "Having children with one might become quickly messy," she observes, her tone a sort of free range wary about that eventuality. She looks at Wren and Britt in turn when it comes to the extent of Thesda's knowledge about Tuan's extracurricular activities and then pushes out a slow breath that doubles as a sigh. "I'm not sure I'd want to be there for that conversation," she observes, before her head shakes in a quiet pass on Wren's invitation.

"She wants to join us, truth be told." Wren shrugs. "Things wouldn't of happened had we not simply started to talk. But I was curious and she was healing people. Not like it was planned. And I wasn't looking." Is what it is to the larger warrior, before shaking his head at Rinnan. "They can't. Silver explained it to me. Someabout how their…hrm..the words she used I hadn't heard, but she said their 'bodies prevent children until a certain age'. Apparently none of them can have children until they are twenty years of age. And most of them are two years from that." But the matter of Thesda causes him to whistles. "Yes, she will not take it very lightly. Not if I know Thesda. But Tuan is a grown man, he believes in what he's doing. In the end, we don't have to understand. And for all we know, we may be helping stop this from happening in the long run."

Veks half-turns at the sound of Rinnan's voice, pale eyes lighting up. Just because he's pleased to see her doesn't mean she's off-limits for teasing, though, as his greeting to her is a smirking, "You got Arlin's in there too? Wanna apron?" Wren's words pull his attention back — great idea, Veks, tease a warrior and then turn your back to them — and he says, bewildered, "Twenty?" It sounds a bit like a teenager contemplating the concept of 'thirty years old', or a kid being told about 'next week'.

"Messy would be an understatement," Britt agrees readily with Rinnan, though she looks perplexed at Wren's explanation of the Skaikru. Then when it comes to Thesa. "He is still her responsibility. He means well, but he risks everything for a girl he barely knows." The disapproval is strong with this one.

Rinnan looks momentarily adrift in confusion at Wren for the physiology of sky people where reproduction is concerned. In the end, she just shrugs in acceptance since living in space seems to sort of the ultimate trump card. "For her safety, I'm not sure many would want her with us," Rinnan states carefully owing to the delicacy of the matter. "Maybe not forever if things are less… hostile in time. But. With what happened at Thripoda…," she hedges, letting the thought trail off there.

Instead, she turns her attention to Veks and smirks at him slightly. "You can put your apron in there but I can't promise you'll get your hand back," she teases him with a grin, that has similar lightning bug wattage before she stows it away, attendant again to the Thesda Tuan dance of impending disapproval once more. "That is the problem," Rinnan nods in agreement with Britt. "If he fails in some considerable way, it will be Thesda who will take the blame."

"She's well aware. I've told her the same thing, but she prefers our way of life over the skaikru's. I told her she needs to give those things time, but I can't deny that she's very skilled in healing. In her own words that she told me she 'felt a connection to this place'. As for the child matter, on her Ark, there was so much space. Families were only allowed child. To prevent…wild oats being sown, all were…changed to prevent unneeded children, only allowing such a thing at a certain age. Don't ask me how it works, I only know it exists. I don't know if affects both men and women. Suppose I should've asked." Again, as with the matter of Tuan, he just kind of gives a helpless shrug. "It is perhaps foolhardy, yes. That Tuan's mistakes will cause Thesda to suffer. I'm sure she will tan his hide regardless of the outcome. And he'll have that coming. He likely knows that too. We can do nothing about it. Only wait to see what happens."

"Skaikru I’ve seen all look plenty ready to throw foals," mutters Veks dubiously, the corners of his mouth twitching with a half-restrained smirk. The moment after the statement's out there, his expression twinges slightly, as if just now realizing he was using his Out Loud voice. He coughs once, casually looking everywhere but at any of the gathered warriors.

"What a strange people," is Britt's frowning commentary to Wren's description of Skaikru culture. She just gives another disapproving headshake to the ongoing talk about Tuan, lips pursing in a thoughtful look. Veks' remark gets a bemused glance. "Do they now?" she teases wryly.

Rinnan squints actively at Wren's explanation, looking no more aided by the particulars of population control. "They could just not fuck," she concludes in a way that seems more like an incredulous question for the complicated proceedures and uttered by one to whom this is sound and well followed life advice. Her eyes drift to Veks for support in her position, in time for him to blurt out his observation. "Sky people do it for you too, huh?," she leers at him after a beat in which she seems to collect herself, her gaze drifting over to Wren. "Have any wooing advice, Wren?"

"Everything was a crime among them in their Ark place." Wren tells Britt. "A second child? The mother was killed. Any crime after the age of eighteen resulted in death, it did not matter the severity of the crime. Theft, assault, other things. Death was the punishment. There was no brokering this. If you were below that age, you kept in a prison until your crime was reviewed and then determined if you were still be killed." The matter of advice, he blinks. "The same kind of advice when looking at any? Talk to them? Don't be an idiot? I don't know."

Britt gives Veks a knowing look, still smirking faintly, and then glances to Rinnan. "Anything exotic has some appeal. Until the novelty wears off. Good luck with that," she tells the boys. Wren's description once again gets a boggled headshake. "And they call us barbaric." She sighs, then says, "If you'll excuse me, I have some things to take care of. I may see you at supper," she tells Veks. If Ibem doesn't mind a long-overdue party crasher. And if nothing implodes between now and then.

For several seconds, Veks's expression is equal parts stony and distracted, as if willing himself not to flush like an idiot who just put his foot in his mouth. The knowing look Britt throws his way doesn't help matters. "Gotta get back," he announces, rehefting the leather sack he'd been carrying. "Three harnesses I gotta finish before supper." There's a nod thrown to the group without any accompanying eye contact before he leaves — which is to say, RETREATS — in the direction of the kennels.

Rinnan's expression quirks sharply at Wren's continued telling of their laws. "And /we're/ the savages?," she asks, echoing Britt's exasperated reply. Her head shakes slightly, shifting the laundry bag on her hip just in time to see Veks quickly make a hasty remembered retreat to the kennels. She watches him go with a considered squint before turns her attention back to Wren and Britt. "I'm going to go wash the very fine and very rich clothing that only Warrior service can by," she states with a sage nod before she also moves on in the direction of the river.

"How is it exotic? They're human. They have the same parts we do. Now if their women had three breasts, that might be considered exotic and I'd have more of a reason to pay attention." Wren remarks wryly. "Or maybe we just know we'd have better luck with them than the women here. They don't know us nearly as well. Reputation doesn't preceed us." But everyone is leaving and Wren is starting think he might smell or something, so he guesses he'll get that bath in.

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