You stand in the Seamstress’ Shop, where the finest clothes in Archenland are sold. Bolts of fabric lie in neat piles, some rough, and others soft or shimmering. Threads of various hues, even a few which appear to be gold or silver, sit wound on neatly-ordered spools. While the common traveler can find a serviceable tunic for a reasonable price here, there are also fine embroidered gowns and doublets for court functions. The sheer variety of merchandise in such a small space is a bit overwhelming, and gives you the impression of having fallen into the center of a rainbow.
You can go: Market Entrance <O>
Megren stands between the doorway of the shop and Tess and Lanisen, who are discussing a lovely roll of blue and darker blue patterned fabric.
Haft steps inside, pausing to let his eyes adjust.
Lanisen stands at the counter, frowning down at the fabric while Tess explains to him about skirt lengths and how she can fix it so the fabric brushes the floor but doesn’t often get stepped on.
Megren screws up her mouth and crosses her arms, eyes flicking over the stacks of color lining the room.
Haft looks surprised to find anyone there. “Oh, good day.”
Megren turns, surprised, and her face colors a little. “Oh, Haft.”
Lanisen glances over his shoulder, distracted briefly by the newcomer.
Haft tilts his head to look at the cloth. “Pretty.”
Megren says, “We’re just looking.”
Tess, no fool, casts an appraising eye at Megren and turns away from the counter, reaching down bolts of fabric in tones that will compliment her hair and coloring.
Lanisen lifts his shoulders at Haft and turns back to the counter as Tess sets the first bolts down. He pauses, catching his lower lip between his teeth, and looks back at Megren.
Haft gives her a curious look. “Me too. Thought I might find something nice for Calla.”
Megren says, “Oh, that’s nice.”
Tess lays out a good selection, ranging from rich jewel tones to paler pastels. They seem to be mostly on the cooler end of the spectrum, blues and greens with a couple of violets.
Megren hesitates, and then steps toward the cloths. She reaches out to finger an airy bolt of teal.
Lanisen steps to the side, smiling silent thanks at Tess.
Haft steps over to Tess. “Got something a little girl might fancy?”
Megren fingers the fabric for a long moment and then releases a breath, dropping her shoulders, and moves on to something a little less nice.
Tess moves down the counter, leaving Megren to consider in more privacy, and asks, “Does this little girl like climbing trees or dancing, or both?”
Lanisen watches Megren’s process keenly, but doesn’t interfere.
Haft says, “Both, to be sure.”
Megren looks up to watch Haft’s conversation, lips turning upward at his reply.
Tess grins at this reply. “I have two of those,” she answers ruefully, and turns to face the wall of cloth. She pulls out several bolts halfway, sturdy fabric in colors that won’t show stains easily: midtoned blues and greens and soft fawn-colored browns. She steps back to survey these, tapping her lower lip with her thumb, and reaches up above the fabric to the shelf of trimmings and pulls down a spool of simple lace. “A short dress over leggings?” she suggests. “Less liable to get in the way and tear; still good for twirling.”
Haft nods his approval. “Something like that. In blue I think.”
Lanisen reaches out to investigate a soft pastel green with near-invisible patterns in slightly lighter green and a liquid drape.
Megren points to linen bolt with an indigo stain among Haft’s selection. “That one’s nice.”
Haft examines the indicated bolt.
Tess lifts it down to the counter and unwinds a bit so Haft can have a closer look. She tilts her head to consider it and unspools some of the lace to lay across it, where it contrasts very prettily with the dark blue.
Lanisen touches Megren’s elbow. “What do you think of these?” he asks quietly, gesturing at the fabrics she hasn’t really looked at yet.
Megren moves to look. “I don’t know,” she says a little hopelessly.
Haft glances at Megren. “What’s the occasion?”
Megren tucks her hair behind her ear. “It’s for the ceremony.”
Lanisen considers, then begins to sort the fabric into three piles by how they feel and hang.
Megren’s eyes shift to Lanisen with impressed alarm.
Tess lifts down a bolt of the fawn to set with the indigo and lace.
Haft says, “Ah. Well, get something you can twirl in so I can tell Calla all about it.”
Megren says, “There’s the kind of concrete advice I was looking for.”
Haft grins unapologetically.
Perhaps you should wait for the question before agreeing with it.
Lanisen prods gently, gesturing to the piles, “You want to pick which kind you like best?”
One pile holds the liquid, silky sort; another is richer and warmer and almost velvety; a third holds a light, airy fabric that will certainly be good for twirling.
Megren says, “They all look like something I would ruin.”
Haft says, “Did Sir Darrin offer any guidelines?”
Megren says, “We’re supposed to look together but I didn’t want to drag him around without any ideas.”
Haft grunts. “Isn’t exactly a lot of precedent. Can’t you just wear armor?”
Megren says, “I’m supposed to have a dress for the dancing.”
She glances at Lanisen and nods hesitantly.
Lanisen asks, “Light or dark, do you think?”
Haft eyes the choices. “I prefer the heavier one, in truth, but I’m afraid I’m pressed for time.”
He turns back to Tess and makes inquiry about the price of the bolts and the lace, frowning slightly at her answer. “I’ll think on it.”
Megren asks, “Um?”
Haft says, “Be spring before the day, won’t it? I don’t imagine it need be dark.”
Megren points to the minty green Lanisen was looking at earlier, and an aubergine. “I like this one, but I like that, too.”
Lanisen says thoughtfully, “There’s already snowdrops and crocuses, I bet there’ll be somethin’ good bloomin’ for you to wear by the time they’re done makin’ arrangements.”
Megren colors and looks a little overwhelmed by this prospect.
Tess says, moving back along the counter to join the conversation again, “Apple blossoms would be lovely against that dark purply blue.”
Megren asks, “Aren’t they just going to fall out?”
Haft glances at the fabric, then Megren’s hair, doubtfully.
Tess says dismissively, “Oh, I shouldn’t think so. They’re quite clever with flowers for wearing.”
Megren squints an eye doubtfully.
Tess lifts a shoulder apologetically. “I don’t know much about it, it’s not my trade. But I do know some of the ladies-in-waiting up in the castle who do some really lovely things for the spring and summer dances.”
Megren says, “Well, you’d know better than me.”
Haft snorts. “They can braid them in. It’d be fine.”
Megren says, “Oh.”
Tess lifts a corner of the pale green and holds it up to consider again. “This would be nice in the spring as well…”
Haft says, “Anyway, I gotta get. I’ll see you later.”
Megren’s eyes stray to the teal again.
Lanisen follows her glance. He reaches out and tugs the teal out of its pile to add to the short list, to an approving murmur from Tess.
Haft heads out the door.
Megren says, “I’ll ruin any of those.”
Lanisen says, “Shhh, don’t worry about that right now.”
Megren says, “No, it’s important.”
Lanisen says, “Yeah, but it’s, later, we’ll worry about it after we find a color and Tess can help figure out ways for you to work with it, yeah?”
Megren tucks her hair behind her ear.
Lanisen asks, “What colors do you like to wear when it’s just, just for goin’ about?”
Megren looks down at herself and her squire’s clothes.
Lanisen says, “You got dresses, I seen ’em. What’s your favorite?”
Megren says, “Um, the blue one, I guess.”
Lanisen says encouragingly, “That’s a good color, do you want a color that’s like that?”
You exit the shop.