The Lion, the Artist, and the Mural (storyline)/Tears in the Night (vignette)

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Tears in the Night

As the door closed, Lady Ba’Thira pressed her head against the doorframe and sighed. The child in the other room was finally sleeping after an incredibly eventful night. When they had returned home, Akinir had seemed to be okay but, in retrospect, Danalla realized that maybe having her cook prepare the child’s favorite meal was a bit much. The poor thing had not ingested more than two bites when the tears came.

At first it was that the meal tasted so much like her mother’s that it made her think of her. Then it had reminded her of when her father had come home from this job or another and they’d all shared the meal. The child was a mess of emotions from top to bottom, but Danalla remembered all too well just how that felt.

Danalla resolved herself to bring Akinir to the temple of the Twins on Leyan. It would be the holiday and the temple, really more a home turned over to the Twins, was the perfect way to start the healing process. Afterall, the manor had been the home of a mourning artist and perhaps she’d find some kindred spirits there. Some sense of understanding.

She also thought of what the Talissen twins had said and thought perhaps when she enrolled her in school she’d also get her lessons at Cholen’s temple as well. She remembered that being just busy enough in the early days of mourning and grief helped. The various knights and adventures that showed their support this evening reminded her that they were, of course, right, and Solhaven, as well as Vornavis, were the perfect place for talent to grow. There was artwork all over the town and perhaps she could even get the young woman a commission at the Hall of Mages, since they were still working on outfitting their new annex here in Vornavis.

Yes, she thought, nodding to herself and allowing herself a small smile. This would do well, and perhaps they could both find a way to fill the house with laughter again. It sorely needed it.

As she moved down the hallway, she wondered who had turned the lanterns out. She felt a chill in the air and noticed that the curtain was wavering in the breeze. Had someone left it open? The heat would be escaping. She moved to close it and a shadow stirred.

Her breath caught. She was no fighter. How had he slipped past the guards that Vornavis had set about her home?

“Where is Tshomlin,” the voice from the shadows issued.

Confused, Danalla peered deeper into the shadows. She had been led to believe that the Lion was a boy.

Carefully, not wanting to disturb or alert the sleeping child, Danalla said, “I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere as I have kicked him out of my home.” She heard her voice tremble, and despite the fear that was causing her stomach to grow cold, she moved herself in front of the closed door where Akinir slept.

The dry chuckle the crawled across the floorboards had little to no mirth in it.

“Good,” the voice replied. “Tell him, should he show up, that the Maw is not the only thing waiting for him if he harms that child for Talon is now on his trail as well.”

As Danalla opened her mouth to ask who or what Talon was, the window on the far end closed, leaving the woman to tremble in relief instead of fear.