Mellia — An Unexpected Gift
????, Fire Season, Season/Illusion Week
1626 Fire Season/Illusion Week/Wildsday/early evening, Boldhome. [[[s01:session-44|Session 44]]]
In the later afternoon, very early evening, Varanis is at the White Grape, trying hard not to look bored again.
Xenofos has finished quite a lot of various writings.
Mellia comes in, looking like she’s just had a long walk. “Hello, cousins! Anyone want to go shopping before the market closes?”
“Yes!” Varanis leaps to her feet. She looks imploringly at Xenofos. “Will you accompany us?”
A bit less enthusiastic reply, nod, ” Of course cousin.” Another nod to Mellia, ” Cousin.”
Mellia smiles. “Thank you both. Can we leave now, or did you two order dinner?”
“We can go when Varanis takes her shield.”
Varanis rolls her eyes, but puts on her helmet and grabs her shield.
Mellia smiles. “Great!”
Xenofos is armed, with a shield in his hand but carrying only rapier for weapons.
“This way Berra will not be quite as angry with you and me.”
The Vingan nods and strides to the door. Before opening it, she closes her eyes and concentrates. For those sensitive to it, there is magic in the air. “No one means me harm out there. Let’s go.” In spite of her obvious enthusiasm, she waits for the nod from Xenofos.
Mellia brings up the rear.
” Sure.” unlike usually Xenofos passes Varanis, and takes position on right side. He nods for Mellia to take place between him and Varanis.
Mellia shifts position to the munchy middle.
With a serious expression and suppressed humour, the Vingan points out that they still have to pass through the courtyard’s gate. Unless they unbar the large gate used for horses and carts, they won’t be able to maintain this formation.
Knowing how patient Varanis usually is Xenofos starts walking towards the market trying to stay a bit ahead of the Vingan, at same time scanning for potential threats.
“We can go single file through the gate,” Mellia points out.
“Give me horse and wide field any day.. ” humor is not quite lost on sage.
“Not practical in a market, cousin dear,” says Mellia.
The Vingan has a broad smile as they walk. “How did your healing of the poor go, Mellia?”
“Fairly well,” answers Mellia. “Everyone was very glad to see me. There was less disease than usual for a city this time of year.”
“Fewer people in the city,” Varanis notes.
Mellia says, “Indeed.”
Xenofos is not actively taking part in discussion, scanning the streets and evaluating oncomers.
He is not mimicking Humakti murder face Berra was sporting. But armed oncomers get a long look. And this being barbaric Sartar, that is most adult men.
“Are we looking for a robe for you?” Varanis asks Mellia.
“Yes, we are,” Mellia replies. “I want something tough that still looks really nice. I imagine the poor thing will get a lot of wear and tear on the quest.”
“Do you have a tailor in mind?”
“No, I don’t,” Mellia admits. “I wish I’d thought to ask Irillo who to see.”
Route is discussed in hushed tones.
It doesn’t take long for the group to make their way to the market. Many of the stalls are starting to close up for the night, but not all.
Mellia observes, “We got here just in time.” She starts looking for the tailors who are still open for business.
There are a few towards the edges of the market.
Mellia heads straight for the tailors who are still open. If the market weren’t closing, she’d probably get distracted on the way.
Xenofos will escort Mellia and Varanis to tailor.
Varanis goes straight to the fabrics on display and runs her fingers through them, checking them. A middle aged woman with dark brown hair worn around her head like a crown greets them with a smile.
Mellia smiles back. “Hello, good merchant! I need your help. I am looking to buy a healer’s robe, tough yet very nice at the same time.”
The silks are narrow strips that would serve as scarves or could be cut into narrower strips to decorate clothing.
Xenofos seems to be checking the section dyed with woad or indigo.
When not trying to scan people.
“Greetings, White Lady. I may be able to help. Let me look at you.” She walks around the healer, taking in details about her size. “Vingan, I hope your hands are clean,” she says without looking at Varanis.
Mellia happily cooperates with the merchant’s attempts to measure her. “I hope so,” she says.
Standing in front of her again, the tailor looks into Mellia’s face. The women are of similar heights. Her deep blue eyes bore into Mellia’s. “Are you the healer who has been going to the poor sectors?”
“Yes,” admits Mellia, “but I took a bath afterwards.”
There are several scarves of varying shades of blue. They range from shades of the grey-blue of a cloudy sky, to brilliant cobalt, and even the darkest blue of the night sky.
Xenofos looks at his hands. No ink stains. A bit sweaty.
The woman studies Mellia still, a number of emotions crossing her face. Finally, she seems to come to a decision. She turns back to her stall and digs amongst the things buried beneath the table. She comes back with a wrapped bundle.
Varanis is curious, but waits politely in the background.
Mellia peers curiously at the bundle.
The woman sets the bundle on the table and with steady hands, unwraps it. The white fabric that emerges from beneath the wrapping is fine. Durable, good quality wool, beautifully woven.
Mellia gasps. “That is magnificent! Dare I ask the price?”
“It was meant for my niece. But,” here the woman’s expression turns sad, “she won’t be needing it. Word came a few days ago.” She continues her study of Mellia. “Would the knowledge that it was made for a dead woman affect your willingness to wear it?”
“No,” Mellia says. “I am very sorry to hear about your niece. May Chalana Arroy greet her.”
Some of the silks Xenofos has been studying have tiny runes embroidered in repeated patterns along the length of them.
Xenofos checks if there is one with just the right colour, water runes and apparent good quality.
“She was with the Prince. She always went where she was needed most. This time she won’t come back.” The tailor shakes herself slightly. “She went doing what mattered to her. Take it. If it doesn’t fit, bring it back to me to be altered.”
“I shall,” Mellia promises. She takes a better look at the magnificent wool robe while she’s at it.
It’s carefully sewn and has white and light grey runes embroidered in detail about the sleeves and neckline. They are the runes of Chalana Arroy’s initiates.
Mellia is delighted. Mellia also looks around the stall for something she’ll be allowed to pay for. Perhaps something in linen?
There’s a deep, rich blue silk scarf. It has water runes and movement runes picked out in silver threads.
” I might also have some business, cousin. “
There is little in terms of completed garments. This trader mainly specializes in bespoke clothing. She does have some lovely white linen that would make very nice underthings.
” How much for this scarf, good lady? “
The tailor turns to Xenofos at his question. “Oh, that is a lovely piece, isn’t it?” She settles in to bargaining with him.
“I could use some new undergarments,” Mellia tells the merchant with a blush. “Might we do business for those? After my cousin pays for that lovely scarf, of course.”
Xenofos looks at Mellia, “Did you still have stuff unfinished?”
Varanis has her back to the stall and is scanning the market carefully.
She sets the price of the scarf at 5 Lunars.
And the price is paid without a blink. ” Deal.”
The woman smiles broadly at him, tucking the coins into her apron and turning back to Mellia.
Xenofos takes the scarf, turning to Varanis and the market. ” I think it will fit her colours and that new shiny armour.”
Mellia will bargain to be polite, but her heart isn’t in it. The merchant will probably get whatever she asks for a nice set of underthings in the lovely white linen.
The deals are struck and the tailor begins to pack her things for the night.
“Let us return to the inn.”
This time Xenofos is leading other, parallel street towards the inn.
Varanis happily chats with Mellia about the fabrics and the tailor. The fresh air has done her good.
Mellia happily chats back. Taking time for herself has done her good.
Xenofos looks a bit absentminded. But as long as they are advancing he is checking rooftops and alleyways, keeping himself covering other as much as possible.
The return trip is uneventful and they return to the inn safely. Mellia will find that the robe fits perfectly.
Mellia is delighted and puts the robe away for the Lightbringers’ Quest!
Xenofos will greet his cousins and tell he will be leaving for his meditation.
He gets a quick hug and a thank you from Varanis.
Mellia will hug Xenofos , thank him and wish him luck.
“Oh, I almost forgot. Your earrings Varanis.” He reaches to his coinpurse for a pair of dangling earrings.
“Thank you,” she says, accepting them.
Mellia raises her eyebrows, but says nothing.