As the altar was set up, a woman of the Bittern Court finally made her way down to the sacred circle. Several Mothers from the Blades trailed protesting in her wake. The Temple Mother was having her dalmatic drawn over her by two aspirants.
When she turned to face the woman who approached in the harbor-grey silks of her court, there was exasperation plain upon her face.
"You cannot do this," the Bittern Court woman said quietly. That there was no greeting or introduction told me they must have been speaking earlier, and were taking up the conversation in this awkward moment.
"I do not stand in your Great Room and tell the Prince of the Bittern Court how he may dispose ships in the harbor," the Temple Mother said sharply. "It is not for you to come to my altar and tell me when and how to petition my goddess."
"We have an agreement." Though she stood with her back to me, and might as well have pretended me made of air and smoke, the Bittern Court woman's wag of her chin to indicate me was clear enough from behind.
"We have an agreement to pursue the deaths today," the Temple Mother said. "I am pursuing them. You will have your turn."
"My turn is first." There was venom in the other woman's voice.
"Not when the issue is at prayer before the altar of my goddess." The Temple Mother's tone matched the poison of the Bittern Court woman. "Now I suggest you go back to your seat before your daughters are made barren."
When she turned, the new woman finally looked at me. If a cast of the eyes could cut, I would have departed in a basket. I smiled broadly at her and nodded, as if we were friends meeting in the market.
[writing] Progriss riport
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