As promised, a new character's appearance :) she's one of my favourites, and this passage is when she's a very young child, discovering what will be a life long passion. please enjoy!
The streets erupted in joy as the bards' music rose in a crescendo of spilling ale and clumsy dancing. Gheythas found himself dreading inevitably being dragged out to join them, despite his love for such beautiful music and the community that was joining together, but the small girl next to him was his complete opposite. Her pale eyes were alight, her little feet already tapping along to the distant ballad; as she laughed, he felt his heart suddenly melt inside his chest. Xirmia was still so small, hardly at his waist, but the amount of happiness and love inside her was more than he could even feel himself.
“Look out there! Look!” She grinned ear to ear, stepping on a rickety chair to reach the height of the window. A small finger pressed to the window, smudging all over the steamy glass. “Can we go?”
“Of course, honey. Let’s go.” Her hand slipped easily into his steady grip, and they slipped past the half open door with ease; he almost left until he heard the thudding footsteps coming swiftly down the stairs. “You coming, Tyr?”
“If you give me the time, slow down!”
Smiling, he locked eyes with the paladin for a moment, noticing that time had started to present itself on the light creases of his face. They were still young enough, but something about him had changed, and he held an air of wiseness about him; he was no longer the reckless boy he had met. This was the man he loved. The ring on his finger twinkled with the evening light, reminding him of promises made, ones they would never break.
Happy faces surrounded them in a crowd more akin to a sea, and the occasional hand reached out in a drunken attempt to greet the three. He spotted a few familiar faces as they passed nearer to the loud ballad, mingling within the mass of dancing bodies. His mother was among them, and blew him a small kiss when their gazes met; Xirmia pulled him along, suddenly bolting towards the group of bards, who strummed at their lutes and plucked at the violins with glee written all over their torchlit faces.
Her mouth dropped in awe at the woman before her, who sang with a voice like silk, and her slender form was dressed in lush fabrics not too dissimilar. A quick wink came from her striking eyes, and as the song came to a close, she knelt down to the small girl. Her fingers brushed on Xirmia's palm, passing her a pendant centred with an amethyst, and her face lit up. She embraced the elven woman from where she crouched, wrapping her arms tight around her as the girl's black curly hair danced about like wildfire.
"Never lose hope." She didn't understand the words, but she nodded kindly anyway, and ran back over to her parents with a smile brighter than the sun and an accompanying chuckle, waving the gem to Tyr and him. The paladin brought his daughter close, tracing his fingers gently across her rosy cheeks; his eyes lingered on the woman with the piercing eyes until she took a deep bow, and when she noticed his attention calmly boring into him, she nodded back, understanding in her face.
"She's so beautiful, daddy. I want to be like her when I'm older. I want to sing like her, dance like a nymph of the forest." She chimed, looking up at them both.
"You, my dear, can do anything you set your mind to. And I know that for a fact." Xirmia returned the embrace, shrouding herself in his safe arms while giggling softly to herself.
The paladin and the warlock's eyes met, irises rimmed by the dim light of torches and lanterns around them. Gheythas' eyes creased in a deep smile, and he took Tyr's free hand in his own.