Time has come for the girl to introduce herself. The next step, to state her purpose. Everyone’s been so friendly. Will they continue to be when she tells them what she’s after?
The girl flashed a one sided smile & tried to form the words. “I am Storm of Moonglow. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” It sounded more like Stawm of Moongwow than she would have liked, but they understood her.
“Moonglow, is it!” said the man Kirk Kanan. “Ah, a fine city of mages and such. Are ye a mage, lass?”
Kirk’s smile was charming and his brown eyes glittered with friendliness. Better not to tell her true profession just yet, Storm decided. She chose the answer most readily in her mind.
“Nay, sir, I am training as a warrior, fencing.” She lisped a bit on the sibilants, but again they understood her.
Sasha smiled warmly, “What brings you to our village, Storm of Moonglow?”
Storm swallowed & paused a moment. Now was the time she had been looking forward to and dreading all at once. “I.. I..” her voice trailed to a whisper. “I seek my father. I am told he lives here by and so I came hoping for one who might know him & direct me.”
Kirk smiled broadly, “I pride myself on knowing everyone here bouts, what is your father’s name, lass?”
Storm took a deep breath, speaking with more confidence than she felt, “Shadowdancer of Clan Aerie.”
There was an unexpected pause & Kirk’s brow furrowed a bit. “Shadowdancer, you say?” He looked around at the other people. Did his eyes linger somewhat on the man in the corner of the room? “I don’t recollect him mentioning he had a daughter. Do any of you?”
The room collectively shook their heads. Storm was stunned, this wasn’t going as she had hoped. They stared at her like a freak!
She rose hurriedly to go. “I’m sorry, I must have made a mistake.” Tears welled in her eyes & she brushed them angrily aside.
Gathering her things, she started toward the door when a man gripped her shoulder firmly from behind. She started toward her dagger, but thought better of it in this company. Instead she turned and looked into the dark gray eyes, eyes so very like her own. He studied her face from every angle, frowning, his eyes boring into hers. Suddenly, he grabbed her by the shoulders & wrapped his arms tightly around her, hugging her to him.
“By the gods, I’d not have believed it if I’d not seen it myself!” He held her away from him, looking at her face again. “Aye, she’s so very like her mother, but the coloring, it’s all wrong… well different.”
She looked at him as if he were a lunatic.
He smiled, “Ach, child! I am your father, I be Shadowdancer of Clan Aerie and if I am not very much mistaken, your mother is Elliandra of the White Jasmine mages, am I correct?”
Storm made a small nod of affirmation. “Aye, my mother is called Elliandra. Of White Jasmine no longer, sir. The guild folded some time ago. She is now Elliandra of The Lyceum.”
The while she looked at him thinking, “This is my father? He’s neither a sot nor a womanizer as I can see….”
Shadow held her, his arm around her shoulders. “Gentles all, may I present my daughter, Storm of Moonglow, nay Storm Dancer! Drinks for everyone Sasha, on me!” He slapped a bag of gold on the counter. “Keep them coming til that runs out!”