Terhali woke up, the scarred and Oathsworn-tattooed arm of a sailor wrapped around her. A ship's watch bell sounded off in the distance and a cool breeze blew in through the open window across the room from the bed, curtains moving slightly in the salt-tinged air.
A woman—-her name was Kallia—-by her look and wavy dark hair, from the southlands and had a bit of fae blood herself, was asleep on the chair dragged into the room, covered by a blanket that was once a satin curtain. A Kodanian watchman lay on the floor, sleeping under a cloak.
She didn't know who the sailor was, or care. She'd had many lovers in her lifetime of unknown length. (Or was this a second lifetime?) He was neither the best nor the worst, but his rough hands had been the first to touch her after… after she was cut in half by the centuries-old blade of a creature from the time when the Gods warred with the Primordials.
She wasn't entirely sure who or what she was anymore, not since returning from the Shadowfell and she'd needed something tangible, so she'd left Raven's Hall for… somewhere.
After wandering the streets, where she'd found Kallia, she ended up in a tavern on Vergence's waterfront. The tavern was in an abandoned, war-damaged townhouse that had clearly belonged to someone wealthy in the past. Now the rich man who owned it was nowhere to be found. Maybe he was dead, or a refugee himself. Others in the refugee-filled city had put it to use. A one-armed dwarf, as wide as he was tall, massive muscles rippling, watched over the place, mace at his belt. An old woman was selling beer from large clay urns and some dubious meat was roasting on a spit over scavenged building timbers.
Terhali realized she didn't have any money, but no one seemed to care.
The sailor and his shipmates were singing drinking songs with a motley assortment of waterfront inhabitants, including a group of Kodanian guardsmen. Terhali had Kallia with her by then and the two of them had joined the sailors. They'd all sung songs together. She'd raised her clear soprano voice in an elven lament, accompanied by a sailor's concertina and an odd Kodanian lute.
Eventually they'd made their way to the upper floor, the old master bedroom.
The wind blew the clouds away from the full moon, and she stared at the rays of moonlight, entranced by the dust motes held in its light. She slipped from the soldier's embrace and walked to the open balcony and stood in the night, looking out through the darkness.
When she was dead she'd not seen the best lover. Part of her wanted to, but she'd killed him and it was hard to know what he'd think of her shade, or that she had to rebuild the Red Scales that he'd betrayed to live again.
She wondered where Keffin was. Maybe he could explain all this, or as likely he couldn't, but at least he'd say things in a way she'd believe.