As it turned out, the fair young man in question — one Mairah by name, scion of a long line of glassweaver nobility — possessed a certain paleness of eye and angle to face that suggested ties to Cor-cael’s lord. This explained a good deal to Liamath, though he kept his observations to himself as he paced silently alongside the chattering Mairah.
Discretion, always discretion …
He was learning a good deal about the state of affairs in Ranah, to be sure, and the glances he kept receiving from pale-coated, patchwork-embroidered locals were — did the newly-gifted blade at his hip look so terribly mismatched with the rest of him, then? Did the shining thing not suit? Or was it something else ~?
“– So you see, Wolf Corvan, Lord Kaerna frankly dispatched you here ahead of expected, mm, disruptions. I’m not unskilled with a blade, but against …”
Liamath shook his head, dark mane swinging in its formal braid.
“There’s no reason for you to cross swords with dissenters and the lawless. It’s a different sort of fight, that one, all the more when it’s unavoidable.”
He cocked his head to fix Mairah with his hale eye, a thin smile creeping out for a moment. Oh, the lad looked puzzled; very well, then.
“I’m just as pleased that you recognize the difference between a duel, or a skirmish, and what we’re waiting for, young lord. But, rest assured that I have no intention to draw unnecessary blood. That’d be no better than the wretches I’m watching for.
“We protect those needing protecting, and cull when culling’s called for; nothing more, nothing less.”
Hundred-silver: A tradition still held by many older Ranai families of presenting a gift — a new knife or sword, philtre or pen-set, brooch or buckler — to one who has proven faithful, joined them in an oath, or become new kin. Whatever the object, it is at least partially surfaced in mosiac-work of tiny mirrored tesserae, as a reminder that the whole is made up of its parts.