As he looked up at her the sun was directly behind her hair, giving her a halo of bright yellow, which only accentuated the golden auburn of her hair, which was mostly tied back, but was also hanging down in wisps from the places where it had come away from the plain metal band that held it back. The overall effect was only slightly spoiled by what Tradden could only describe as ‘black bits’ in her hair, that seemed almost burned on here and there. Her skin seemed dark for an elf — it had a smudgy, slightly grease-like complexion to it. One eyebrow was raised as she looked the young human up and down.

The young fighter was entranced by the elven craftswoman. Yes, she may be slightly more muscular than a typical elven maid, and yes her sooty, sweaty, greasy appearance was suggestive that she was untypical in her views on aesthetics — most elves would not be seen dead looking so — but he saw through all that. There was true beauty underneath.

Out of the gloom approached a figure. To Tradden it was enchanting — the glint of moonlight reflecting from polished steel, the catlike grace of the movement, and the flash of swaying hair as Caldring approached and looked up to one of the wooden lookout towers to nod at a guard. Khalin saw merely a tall elf, somewhat overweight for a female, desperately trying to get her unkempt hair under control and tie it back.

Caldring wrapped a cloak around her shoulders, preventing the sheen from the moonlight sparkling off her scale mail, but not before Khalin noticed the workmanship and decoration of the armour. ‘Excellent armour, smith,’ he nodded. ‘Your own design? I notice the rune marks.’ Caldring studied Khalin for an instant before she replied. ‘Yes, I forged the armour myself. A test piece, yet to see the force of battle. Let us hope that we do not have to use it tonight. Let us move on.’

back to top