The church in Trien was a handsome stone edifice, built sturdily in decades past and carefully maintained since; the tall arches lifted Orthael's spirits by their apparent timelessness. There was a flicker of candlelight visible through the windows, and the iron-bound doors opened to his questing push.
Inside, a woman started and dropped a lit taper. She wore the plain black verger's cassock, adorned only with the arms of the diocese and the parish. Blushing, she tried to curtsy, realised the cassock did not have skirts, and turned the motion into a half-bow.
"Vicar Reliath! I'm so sorry, I heard from Fresnel the baker's daughter that you had arrived last night and so I thought you might want to do the prayers this morn - Vicar Thirfalle took me on last year part-time and he says I'm ever so much help, and it always takes such a long time to set up the candles just right, and... oh no, that was the last taper!"
She was terribly young, thought Orthael. As young as the swordmaiden, he thought with a start.
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The air was crisp and the dew barely settled on the grass when Orthael left the house. He closed the…Under a Swift Sunrise
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