Echoes of Invasion: Look Who’s Coming to Dinner | Scene 1

Following a busy day of competing and cheering at the Full Bloom Festival, Hepalonia and Tric Manu head back to the Parting Glass in the late afternoon. There, Tric will be meeting both with his mother Mhaev and with Terwaen of the Horse Clans for dinner. The knight seemed to know about a certain level of discontent among her fellows, information which Tric hopes she can share with his mother, the captain of the guard here in South Tower. For her part, Terwaen expressed interest in learning about how one of her Manu kin grew up in the forest, and frankly, Tric is hoping Mhaev will shed some light on that tonight as well. He is still reeling a bit from learning that his dad Nasir is not actually his father. Who is this Anador fellow anyway? Just some guy who’s got to answer some questions, Tric grumbles to himself. It occurs to him that all Heppa knows about any of this is his interest in that name. If she is going to be at dinner, he might need to explain some of this to her.

“Hey, my mom, Mhaev, she agreed to come to the Parting Glass tonight. And Terwaen—who we were cheering for—she’s going to be there too. I don’t know if you wanted to join in?” he asks his cousin. Hastily he adds, “Or if you have other plans, I totally understand.”

“I don’t have other plans,” Heppa says. “That would be wonderful!”

“Okay… cool… Uh, they might be talking some politics stuff, too. I don’t know if you’d find that interesting or boring.”

“I think everything’s interesting,” Heppa assures him. She has already learned so much in this human settlement, but of course there is a lot more still to learn. “Do you not want me there?”

Tric assures her that is not the case. “Maybe the two of them can hammer out this whole rebellion thing that may be going on,” he adds to explain his politics comment. Heppa points out that one of the curtained booths would be an appropriate place for that.

Hepalonia does not know much about this Terwaen person. Tric was cheering wildly for her at the joust, and he mentioned having used her armor to help with his archery competition. “So is Terwaen a friend of your mother?” she asks.

“I don’t think she knows her,” Tric replies. “She’s a little younger than I am. And there’s this Horse Clan versus Not Horse Clan divide…”

“And did you hit it off so well that you want her to meet your mother?” Heppa asks. That is quite exciting if he did!

“Whoa! No!”

“Well then who is this Terwaen?” Tric states again that she was in the joust, doing a really good job, and goes on to describe her blue banner that has waving lines like rolling sand or rippling grasses. “And you’re inviting her to meet your mother?” Heppa presses. She thinks a bit, trying to figure out the significance of this woman. “Oh! Is she a buffer?”

Tric looks confused by the question. Is she above her? “I don’t know… I mean, she’s Dame Terwaen, so I guess, technically, yes? I don’t know how the military hierarchy shakes out, but I think a title beats a rank.”

At first, Heppa thinks Tric Manu is just deflecting the question, but then she realizes he must have misheard her, and so she clarifies that she means someone to act as a buffer between him and his mother. “I know why I will be there; I’m your cousin. But what about her?”

“Terwaen is from the Horse Clans. You might recall that Merriver—daughter of Owaec, buying lots of weapons on the sly—is part of the Horse Clans also. Terwaen might know something about that. Now, I don’t want to get too involved… just the right amount of involved. I’m sure Mom will be…” Tric sighs. His mother certainly did not seem very easy-going. “You, know, I get the feeling that the Parting Glass is not Mom’s kind of establishment.”

“What is she like?” Hepalonia asks curiously.

“Kind of like your mom in some ways. A little strict, it seems.” Heppa’s smile fades. “A little business-oriented. I suspect you don’t get to that point in a hierarchy without going through all those rules. Look, she was in the military her whole life. That probably affects somebody.” Tric shrugs. “I don’t really know.”

“I’m sure she’s a lovely woman,” Heppa assures her cousin. “Not like Mother.”

“Yeah… maybe,” Tric reluctantly allows. Then he squares his shoulders and tries to be more positive. “You know, we’re working on the future now. The future.” And since all he knows is the past, and not very much of that, he talks a while instead about the lovely white horse his mother rides.