Faisal stands quietly outside the heavy wooden door, uncertain about disturbing the pleasant conversation filtering from the room beyond. The warrior has forced himself to come this far and is wary of accepting an easy excuse to avoid the matter, doubting his willingness to attempt this again. Taking a deep breath, he raises his fist to knock firmly on the wood.
The door swings open in Scarlet’s hand, the young woman’s gaze initially over the kobold’s head before she quickly notices the small visitor. Abigail, Dorian and Sadrion look on from further inside the room, all seated around a small table with a partially consumed meal.
“Oh. Good evening, Faisal”, says the priestess, a slight edge of annoyance creeping into her voice. “I’m sorry, but I have guests. Is there something that I can do for you?”
The paladin bows deeply. “Ten thousand pardons for the interruption, Dawnsister. I did not mean to intrude, but I have a small personal matter that I wished to address with you. May I request a moment of your time?”
The red-haired woman almost succeeds in hiding her sigh of resignation. “Very well. But please make it shor…. I mean, quick.”
Faisal produces a long, slim velvet box, holding it out and opening the lid. Inside sits a small pendant on a fine gold chain. The blue-white crystal is carved in the shape of two hands, side by side, cupping a tiny icon of Sarenrae. The pendant glows softly with a warm white light.
“Scarlet, please accept this small token. I wish to offer a symbol of my respect and gratitude for your guidance and wisdom. For your support in my efforts at redemption in The Lady’s eyes, and for your forgiveness for my past… mistakes. Its gentle beauty put me in mind of you, and it bears an enchantment that may help to protect you from the dangers ahead.”
The kobold bows his head deferentially as he extends the box and the crystal toward the priestess.
Scarlet takes the velvet box and studies the pendant closely.
Hmm Gold… If I pawn it, how much would it be worth?
Upon realizing her dark thought, she blinks and shakes her head.
“No”, she says out loud baffling the warrior.
“It is quite lovely but I cannot accept your gift. You have done more than enough for me by restoring my dawn blade. For that I am grateful.”
The warrrior frowns at her rejection as she hands him the box.
“But you must leave.” She says firmly.
Before Faisal could protest, Scarlet quickly closes the door on him.
The dazed kobold stands there shortly after in the darkness with his ears slightly drooping, head hung low and his tail down wondering what he did wrong.
As Scarlet returns to her family dinner, Abigail asks, “What was that?”
“Oh nothing. Faisal wanted to know if I have an ointment for fleas. I told him he was best to speak to Tamara.”
Scarlet begins to sit beside her father but stops herself short and lays a hand on her forehead.
“I am terribly sorry but will you excuse me for I am feeling rather ill.”
Her family looks up at her with concern.
“Not to worry”, she assures them, “I will be fine but require some solitude to recover. Please resume eating without me.”
She snatches an unopened bottle of white wine labeled ‘Fairy Piss’ from the cupboards and heads to her chambers leaving Abigail, Dorian and Sadrion staring at each other in confusion.
Several moments of silence pass by before Sadrion opens his mouth to speak.“Fleas…who knew? Didn’t think those creatures could get fleas if they have scales.”
Abigail stares at the closed bedroom door for a moment before turning to Dorian. “Darling, perhaps you and father would like to go for a walk?”
Her husband nods knowingly and stands, looking expectantly at the older man. The elf frowns uncertainly. “Perhaps I should speak with Scarlet…”
Dorian chuckles jovially, putting a light tone in his voice. “Father, I suspect Abigail is better equipped to deal with this trouble than we are.” He drops his voice conspiratorially. “Women’s issues…”
Abigail rolls her eyes, but her father nods and rises. “Yes, well, uhmm, perhaps we can find a good game of travaat down in the barracks, no? Good evening my dear.” He gives Abigail a kiss on the forehead before hurrying out the door ahead of the half-elf.
The young woman quietly pushes open the bedroom door to find her sister sitting on the edge of the bed, clutching the already half-empty bottle of wine. Scarlet looks distressed and the bottle shakes even more than usual.
“Scarlet?”, she says gently, as she settles onto the bed next to the red-haired woman. “What’s going on?”
The older woman shakes her head. “Nothing. I told you. He just asked about flea powder.” She raises the bottle to take another drink.
Abigail lays a gentle hand on the decanter, pushing it back down. She fixes her sister with a serious but compassionate look. “The men might be oblivious anything that doesn’t involve blades or boobs, but I saw the box Faisal was holding. It was clearly a gift, and you went as white as a sheet when he offered it.”
“Tell me what’s wrong, Scarlet.”