Tabitha could not have stood taller than three feet, but she held a formidable air. As was the case with most halflings, Tabitha came from the Krottwanner Mountain Range, a span of peaks that offered natural safety for its people to conduct their research without interruption. Many generations ago, the residents of this range were miners, carving pathways and entire cities out of sheer rock. Although they later discovered the value of information gathered through the sciences, their sense of fashion never progressed.
The woman wore a brown, leather duster atop suspenders and a white work shirt. Although her style and stature were of note, there was one element of her appearance that demanded more attention. Strapped to her forehead were a pair of oversized goggles, clearly not acquired from your ordinary optician. Their frame was made from a thick sheet of bronze woven into an intricate latticework. The lenses were thicker than wine bottles, curved to provide their user with sight over a long distance. By the way she held herself without the goggles over her eyes, the halfling didn’t seem to need any correction to her vision.
“Do you know what this is?” Tabitha asked Alfred, gesturing to her arm while massaging the area the needle had stung.
Alfred remained silent, still standing between all of the awakened parties, lost in shock or thought or both.
“It’s blood ministration,” Chela said, still in her chair but peering around Alfred to address the halfling from across the room. “It’s a sacrament of the Healing Church, though this place doesn’t look gaudy enough for them.”
Chela seemed to glide out of the chair, so present was her sense of confidence and reserve. She was tall, but showed no less grace as she strode across the room to inspect her surroundings and fellow abductees more closely. Chela’s long, dark hair was unadorned, scattering at the shoulders and dimming the brightness of her pale, exposed skin. She wore a deep purple vest that complimented her sleek figure and charcoal trousers that certainly did not. Below the baggy fabric that gathered at her knees were nothing but ordinary, grey tights and humble black shoes that betrayed nothing of their owner’s past more than that she did not come from wealth or did not want to seem to. She addressed the room in a tone that implied she didn’t care if anyone else responded. “The name is Chela.”
Tabitha marched forward to meet Chela in the center of the room and threw her hand up to offer greeting. “Tabitha von Schwessel,” she said. “Pleased to make your acquaintance.” But the human to whom she offered her hand paid no attention, so absorbed was Chela in examining the world from her own height.
Quite unexpectedly, another hand joined Tabitha’s. “You may call me Alfred,” he said, shaking off a horrified daze and furrowing his brow to properly address her. “von Schwessel, you said?”