“I KNOW THE OUTLANDER IS AWAY! THAT’S THE PROBLEM! YOU’RE THE HIGH PRIEST OF GODDESS AND YOU’RE ! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!”
Jonas steps back from the screaming man, holding his hands up in front of him.
“Sir, please. Your daughter is Dawnwarrior Faisal’s charge and under his tutelage… I’m sure when he returns…”
The older man raises his fist and is about to scream again when a stern voice interrupts, “What is going on here?! This is a place of worship, not a fighting ring!”
Both men turn to the shrine entrance to see Deirdre silhouetted in the evening sun, still wearing her traveling cloak. The sharpness and authority in her tone gives the first man pause, and he manages to control his anger, clenching his fists at his side. Jonas takes a deep breath and nearly sags to the floor in relief.
“I was telling this fool…”, begins the man, speaking through clenched teeth.
“You WILL NOT speak about the High Priest of The Goddess of Light and Purity in that manner, or you WILL face Her holy wrath!”, roars Deirdre, her slim profile seeming to grow in stature for a moment. The older man’s eyes become wide and he takes a step back.
Deirdre allows her tone to soften again, “Now if you will calmly tell me what is going on, perhaps I can assist Dawnbrother Jonas in finding a solution.”
The man swallows and looks to Jonas, who nods encouragingly. The young priest looks back to the acolyte, grateful for her assistance.
She doesn’t seem as terrible as Dawnsister Scarlet says…
“My daughter is training with the General”, begins the townsman. “Because of some foolish notion of ‘becoming a warrior’. I don’t like it, but he bullied… I mean, he convinced me to accept her decision. Everything has been ok so far, and my wife and I expected she would just tire of this foolishness and give up.
“Yesterday, she wasn’t in her bed, and didn’t come home all day. She’s often gone for long periods with his training, but always tells us, and is always home to sleep. She wasn’t home last night either. When my wife searched for some clue, all we found was this, lying under her pillow.”
The man holds up a platinum coin, bearing the likeness of Sarenrae on one side, and crossed daggers on the other.
“She must have gone with the General on this trip to Drelev, out of some foolish notion of helping and becoming a ‘real warrior’. But she’s only a little girl…”, the man’s voice cracks with emotion and he fights back tears.
Jonas watches as Deirdre takes the coin and examines it, frowning as if trying to remember something. Her eyes open widely for a brief second, but the young woman quickly controls her reaction and it goes unnoticed by the worried father. She lays a hand on the man’s arm and speaks in a reassuring voice.
“This is a Qadiran coin, from the General’s homeland. It was surely meant as reassurance that your daughter is safe and well cared for. I am certain that feda-ghazi Faisal would never allow any harm to come to your daughter, and he will take all measures to ensure her safe return to you and your wife. Come, let me walk you home and we will allow Dawnbrother Jonas to return to his duties.”
The young priest watches the pair leave the shrine, contemplating the young woman’s strange reaction.
There’s more to that coin that you’re letting on… What are you hiding, Deirdre?