Kallizar takes her servant Cade on a trip to Varaeti. They arrive in a small city called Montega, a place known to be welcoming to outcasts, runaways, and foreigners. Mia'a, a woman in her forties, has them stay in her tavern/inn for the night. Mia'a is excited to have a Fyanish visitor and glad at the chance to chat, even though her Fyanish is a bit broken.
The night wore on, but Kallizar had no desire to retire. Mia’a kept her engaged in conversation, talking about everything from the town to her own life to the rest of the country to the looming threat of war with Fyan – and what Kallizar and the Fyanish thought of it – and anything else she could think of. She told Kallizar that she had learned her Fyanish from nearly six years of sailing on a merchant trader ship called the Goldensail, of which she had been the first mate. She had decided to retire and move inland when she met the man who would later become her husband, much to the merchant House’s dismay. She and her husband settled in a small town not far from the coast. He worked as a blacksmith for several years, until one day the smithy caught fire and he was killed. After that, Mia’a moved south and eventually found Montega. She had never heard of the town before but she did not want to move anymore. She was tired and wanted to settle down again. She saw a great opportunity to open a tavern here, since the only other meeting place was a run-down inn that looked dirtier than the earth on which it sat. It was not until after she had become a success and had been living here for some time that she found out about Montega’s somewhat “outcast” reputation amongst most of the rest of the Vaerish. By then, however, she did not care. She was at home here, and she never had to worry about her safety. Those who came to Montega all were looking for the same thing, really: acceptance and protection.
“You are good for to stay here with me,” Mia’a offered. “I have one room after my room. Your Cade, he is good to stay, too.”
“Thank you, Mia’a. That is very kind of you,” Kallizar said. “But unless you accept Fyanish money, I cannot pay you.”
Mia’a flapped her hand dismissively. “I do not need money,” she said. “Be a help in the tavern, maybe, and say me one thing.” She leaned in very close to Kallizar’s ear and whispered, “You are a Sorcerer, yes?”
“It is good,” Mia’a assured her. “I see your fire eyes, your hands ready, and I think of Sorcerer on the Goldensail with me.”
Very slowly, Kallizar nodded. “You are right,” she said in a barely audible voice.
Mia’a nodded. “You must keep this not said,” she told her seriously. “Montega is good but Varaeti is wanting for to send all Sorcerers to Tolenti for approve by Queen Ímona. She no approve Sorcerer from Fyan, maybe kill you.” She placed a hand over one of Kallizar’s. “Say you understand me?”
Kallizar nodded. “I will not tell anyone,” she promised. “I do not want to make trouble, and I certainly do not want to be killed.”
Mia’a smiled with relief and backed up again. “Thank you, Kallizar. You are good friend, and I do not want you to disappear.” She reached for Kallizar’s glass. “Again a drink?”
“That would be wonderful,” Kallizar said, pushing the glass into the woman’s outstretched hand.