Dwarf, herbalist, dress maker, first appeared in chapter 11 of Shadows in the Stone
Rhiannon Darrow untied a bundle of chamomile from the drying rack and placed it in a cloth sack. She carried it downstairs to the small room behind the counter of the Forest Herb and Bakery shop and set it on the table. From the time she was young, she had spent many hours preparing herbs for sale. She could now identify dozens of plants by smell alone.
A bell rang, and Rhiannon looked up to see a familiar young dwarf enter the shop. Through her narrow path of sight, she watched Carbrey. He was handsome and charming, and he often came when she tended the counter.
Leaving the table, she emerged from hiding. “Carbrey, can I help you?”
She returned the smile. “The pleasure is mine.” Heat rose into her neck. “Your mum is in need of supplies?”
“A few.” He handed a list to her. “If you have the time.”
“It’s what I’m here for.” She glanced at the list of herbs and gathered them swiftly but not too quickly. When everything was packaged, she placed them in the leather pouch he had brought. “Tell your mum I said hello,” she said.
Carbrey paused, his hand on the pouch. He wanted to speak but instead released a slow breath. “Thank you. I will tell her.”
Rhiannon watched him leave. As he closed the door, he stole one last look, then walked away. An odd feeling surfaced in her chest.
“He won’t wait forever.”
Rhiannon jumped and found her mum, Maisie Darrow, standing behind her. She returned to the chamomile and began chopping it on the block. “He needn’t wait for me.”
“He admires you.”
“As much as I admire him, he fails to generate the feelings I seek.”
“Sometimes they need nurturing. Learn from your brother.”
She chuckled. “Alaura has what Bronwyn seeks.” A nagging question resurfaced, and she spoke it before her courage failed. “Mum, why did you encourage their relationship when she is not dwarf?”
A soft smile creased Maisie’s lips and a twinkle lit her eye. “It was my duty to discourage it, but”—a vulnerable expression dawned—“I could not deny them their heart’s desire. To do so would have condemned them to a life of misery.”
“And if I chose a man undwarf as a mate?” She held her breath; her destiny travelled a different path than her brother’s.
Her mum studied her as if a thousand years passed through her mind. When she spoke, her words weighed heavy. “We shall cross that bridge if it is in your future.”
…I confess; this is more than 300 words. I couldn’t edit it down and keep the mini story. It is 436 words.
Castle Keepers Vignette: Almost five years has passed since Isla was kidnapped and Bronwyn left Maskil in search of her. In many ways, not much has happened; the inhabitants of the Land of Ath-o’Lea have continued their daily routine. But if you look deeper into the individual lives you’ll see much has changed in little ways.
The Castle Keeper vignettes provide a glimpse into the time betweenShadows in the Stone and Scattered Stones. You’ll have already met many of the characters, but some you will meet inScattered Stones.
These vignettes won’t be complete stories, only 300 words of a moment. I consider them exercises in writing and editing. I hope to write two a week and post them on Mondays and Thursdays as we lead up to the release of Scattered Stones, the second fantasy novel of the Castle Keepers series, on May 6, 2016.
The collection of vignettes will be organised on the Castle Keepers Vignettespage. On the first of each month, I will post the schedule of the characters I will write about that month.