Mother

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Enia pulled the scarf over her head to shield herself from unknowing people trying to greet the new-born. Her estate was on top of a hill located close the Silver city in the kingdom of Aepoh. Enia left through the main gate, which depicted a dragon's head turning into liquid silver – ensuring that anyone passing by could not mistake the importance of the lands, the dragon silver purifiers. The lavish decorations didn't just end with the estate. Every nook and cranny Enia passed by in the city was decorated with depictions of the king's heroic dragon killings. Based on the trip Enia had made to Vimme in her childhood, it was clear to her that the king's inspiration for using such extravagant decorations was a souvenir he had brought with him from his own trip to Vimme. The main difference was that where Vimme celebrated their emperor's wealth with gold, the Silver King of Aepoh showcased the dangerous origins of the city's precious silver every chance he got. At least in Vimme, they had the decency to limit the opulence to the royal quarters. A huge statue caught her eye on her way to the tavern; it was almost impossible not to get distracted by how lifelike it had been sculpted, even though Enia had passed it by many times. The statue depicted the king dangling a severed dragon head with his left hand and with the right hand holding up the dragon's cut horn high above his head and looking into the cross section of the horn, which shone silver in the morning sun.

"Wish the King spent the silver in feeding the poor, isn't that right Miss Lady Liath?"

Startled by the sudden disembodied voice, Enia grasped the child tightly on her chest and only loosened her grip once she realized that the lanky and thin gentleman that had greeted her was familiar silhouette.

"Ahh, it's you... I was entranced by the statue and did not hear your approach Mister Ulier. And please, Enia is proper enough to address me".

The man elaborately removed his top hat, revealing his half-bare scalp with long, wispy strands of white hair and bowed.

"I'm sorry to startle you, but I am glad to see you. It has been a few weeks, hmm? Last I heard your child had fallen ill, but it seems as everything is for the better now?" He gestured towards the child Enia was embracing.

Enia moved the cloth that was holding the child to her chest and covered the head of her daughter that had begun peeking out from the tight bundle, hiding the body from the prying eyes of Ulier.

"I, uh, well, yes. She is for the better but not quite in full health." She almost swallowed the last words.

"Well, I see! When she is in full health again, you must visit. Miss Ulier is dying to see her!" He retracted his stature from trying to get a glance of the child like a long-necked Jack getting wound back into his box.

"I will try my best to make that happen, but I must take my leave now. I am in a little hurry" she nervously curtsied as she picked up her pace to distance herself from Ulier - a strange but harmless man she had known for a long time.

The morning sunrays were starting to hit the top of the city's castle towers covered in silver embellishments, which glared into Enia's eyes. She soon found cover in the narrow streets and was walking past many of the citizens getting ready for the day – none of them taking a note of her passing by. Soon enough she noticed a street sign with a colourfully painted dog raising its opposing legs as if pretending a horse, with the text "Prancing Dog" written underneath it. The tavern was mostly empty as it was not even noon yet. She asked the tavern keep if he'd know where Sastem Marr would be. The keep pointed at the far end of the tavern where a figure with hunting equipment was sitting, looking at something that appeared to be a map.

"Are you Sastem Marr, who sent me the letter?"

"That is, I, aye". Sastem rolled up the map and hid it in his hunting bag. "Please, have a seat." Enia lowered her bags next to her and sat down, holding her child close.

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