Lady Halea holds the headdress up to the light filtering into the chamber. Spanish moss clings to the arches behind her. The skull grins, looking just a touch deranged and very out of place with its red and purple in the temple of blues and greens. Vanna stands just beside the head priestess, worrying at her unimpressed expression.
Vanna: Oh! I… Hope it doesn’t offend, my lady. I know it may be a bit inappropriate, given the--
Lady Halea: No, no. Not at all. It only saddens me to know that my beloved Phaedra has now seen those eyes… Those wretched Red-Tide eyes… And being who she was, I’m sure they looked upon her with unparalleled glee…
Pavel, standing to her other side, takes a hesitant step forward.
Pavel: I… I’m sorry about the princess. It sounds like you two were close…
Lady Halea pauses, and then brings the headdress down to hold it closer to her chest. She looks at the seabitten boy, not unkindly, and gives something that passes as a close approximation of a smile.
Lady Halea: Phaedra was like the daughter I never had. My life is already less bright without her. But your mother’s craftsmanship has brought me some unexpected joy on this dark and difficult day. Thank you, child.
Pavel perks up at that last, catching right away onto something important. He looks to Vanna, who seems a little lost with the entire exchange.
Pavel: Mom, can we let her keep the headdress?
Vanna: Hm?! You mean… PERMANENTLY?
Pavel swings his arms out excitedly. Finding a way to help this strange woman has brightened his spirits considerably.
Pavel: She’s had a really bad day, but it made her smile. I might be too big for it next year anyway…
Vanna: That’s… very sweet of you, honey… Her grace may keep it if she wishes.
Lady Halea’s stone smooth face shifts, just slightly, into a smile that does not reach her eyes.
Lady Halea: I will accept this gracious gift. Thank you.