Red hair sat perched on a log near the trading post. The sky was quite cloudy but the three moons were visible. Strips of cloud were covering the three white orbs, Red hair looked up and thought it looked strange like some ethereal ships floating on a sea of white foam subjected to the whims of the wind. The winding path to Whispering Moons seemed to glow this early evening as well, as if it were a ribbon of moonlight cast across the forest floor.
Were those footsteps she could hear in the distance? Red hair whistled a tune and no sooner had she finished her first couplet when a lonesome free woman was suddenly there. An exquisite picture of beauty framed by long flowing silken robes. Her skin, fair and pale, glowed in the moonlight. The complete opposite of the deep tan revealed under the brief animal skins Red hair wore. The woman’s black hair was flawlessly woven into one thick rope of a braid, accentuated by a deep purple bow.
The Red head was indeed surprised by this nocturnal visit.
Marlies wrapped her furs around her narrow shoulders, then ran her nimble fingers through her thick red hair. Hair that smelled of the mold straw she had slept on. A lewd smirk parted her lips “Tal” , she said.
Tahirah smiles warmly “greetings Huntress
Marlies: “Now then….” asked the Red head in her most pleasant tone “Are you lost my dear?”
Tahirah frowns and nods her head “Umyes I suspect so?
Marlies grinned hearing the woman’s response “Oh , we don’t see many free women here”
Tahirah she gulped slightly “Um yes.. I er would imagine not
Marlies looked the woman over and assessed her making no attempt to hide that all.
Tahirah manages a weak smile as looks around trying to not notice the Huntress appraising her “so er can you tell me where we actually are?
Marlies lifted an eyebrow , still suspicious of the woman “You travel without escort? ” she looked around to see if there were any warriors hiding “…and you venture into dangerous panther lands? for what? to do trade?” she pointed at the bright robes “NICE” she exclaimed.
Tahirah gulped again and looked terribly sheepish “well Um I do confess to being here without an escort ..I am however a trader and do have things that you might wish to trade with me…so you like my robes?
Marlies stepped a little closer now that the woman admitted she had no escort, emboldened she reached out and would attempt to feel the silken material between her grubby fingers “Ah , a trader, we welcome traders” she smiled “Yes I like the robe , it would make a fine cushion for me…so much better than straw”
Tahirah squirms slightly looking a tad flustered as you reach out and feel her robes “er well…glad you find then appealing but they are not for trade.. as i’m wearing them I do have some arrowheads and other things that er might interest you in my trade bags
Marlies shook her head as the woman shied away from her touch “Well…..I suppose arrowheads are worth trading for ” She sighed “I really do like your robe , are you sure you won’t trade? maybe just a piece of it?”
Tahirah blushed a bright crimson “well if i had ..a spare I’d be happy to trade them to you ..but I would be naked with out it..and yes I have very high quality arrowheads..and herbs, trinkets and..
Corine Fargis smiles and stays behind watching shyly, and finally… “momma?”
Marlies scoffed some “Bah…..I dont want your useless trinkets, so show me your arrowheads then” she moved slowly around the woman , hand on her dagger , then tried to reach for some material which she was tempted to just cut off.
Tahirah she looked somewhat flustered as the Huntress moved around her holding that knife, she however managed to fumble with her bags and withdrew some lovely high quality arrowheads and handed you one “see they are…very good…but are yo usure you don’t wish to look at my jewellry?
Marlies heard a familiar voice and nodded accompanied by a smile to Corinne, then focused her attention back to the woman , she looked at the arrowhead which now lay in her palm and examined it closely “The weight is good…….so how many have you got? and…….can you get more?”
Tahirah she smiled brightly sensing a possible sale “Oh I have several hundred with me and can source much more…but what have you got to trade for them? have you furs feathers or unusual stones perhaps?
Corine Fargis undestands mommy is in a trade so just waits and watches silently paying attention to momma’s talents in negociation.
Tahirah smiles at the newly arrived Huntress to acknowledge her arrival
Marlies laughed “You asked earlier where you were, well……these forests are home to two panther tribes , and to leave here safely you need to pay a price, now I give you a simple choice…..You can leave safely by handing over all those arrows…..or you can strip down and give me your robes…..I don’t care either way” she patted her dagger in a most menacing way.
Tahirah she looks dreadfully perturbed “but but if I give you all my arrowheads.. I’ll be broke adn if.. i strip I’d be as naked as a slave…tniether options sounds good to me..
Corine Fargis grins and restrains a giggle
Marlies tapped her boot impatiently on the ground “give me your arrowheads and you have my word you leave this dock unharmed ….and most importantly….without a collar around your neck”
Tahirah she swallows audibly and nervously touches her neck and softly sighs “and I assume if I don’t hand them other yo uwill simply take them and collar me?
Marlies nods solemnly “You assume right……now be sensible and hand them over”
Tahirah she stubbornly thinks of not handing them over for several moments then lets out a despondent sigh and tips all the arrowheads out of her trade bag “there you go..now I’m not sure how I will afford my passage home..
Marlies grinned as she greedily gathered the arrowheads and placed them in a leather pouch she carried around with her, then her almond shaped eyes gave the woman a piercing look “There is a man, his name is Slow, he has a boat on the dock over there , tell him Red hair sent you….he will give you safe passage ”
Tahirah she nods her head and glances over at the dock in question and bites her bottom lip “well I might as well go them..given i er wont be making any profit here
Marlies stepped over to Corinne and gave her a hug “daughter”
Corine Fargis smiles to Marlies as she comes closer “Momma you are a great trader” she hugs her
Tahirah she looked rather indignant and certainly wasn’t going to thank the Huntress for literally robbing her blind so without further word heads over to the man named slow and books his vessel
Marlies watched the woman leave from the corner of her eye.