Several days passed with no sign from the King, until a messenger arrived. The Temple was to expect a visitor the next day. Would it be some emisssary, or King Temmin himself? That morning, a nervous young Mother came to fetch Gwynna down to the emptied Worship Hall: the visitor stood just outside the doors.
A sharp pang stabbed at Gwynna; life had beaten most of whatever vanity she'd possessed out of her, but she had been beautiful eighteen years ago. Work had roughened her hands, for no one could afford to be idle in the Mother's House. She wore the simple undyed wool habit of a lay Mother, a blue linen veil over her head; it had been long since she'd dressed in fine clothes. She didn't have a mirror to see how she'd aged, and wondered how she would appear in her visitor's eyes. There was nothing to be done for it. She walked to the Worship Hall and stood as she had when Ardunn was a baby, at the feet of the Mother's great statue.