Ridahne was usually quick to react in general, so she nearly interrupted the Tree when she said, "My first--what?" What was it talking about? She thought briefly that it had to have meant her murder of the Sol and the other two people she killed, though that hadn't really felt like an assignment, not like finding Darin had. But the Tree continued. And Ridahne wasn't really sure she heard it correctly.
That? That hadn't been an assignment. It just sort of...happened. She was a girl, and her mother was in the last stages of her illness and hadn't been able to work for some time. Hadian was old enough to work the boats, so he and their father would be busy earning a living at sea. Ridahne never had the aptitude for it like Hadian did, so during the hot hours of the afternoon she would stay near shore and dive for clams, oysters, and large, colorful shellfish called abalone, which the Azurei both ate and used the shells for ornamentation. They were hard to get since they lived down on the ocean floor and it took a skilled diver to harvest them, so they sold for a good price. In that way she provided money for her family, but they also needed meat (and it was nice not to eat fish all the time) and hides for leather. Even bones could be used, so in late evenings Ridahne would come back from diving, store her catch in a water filled bucket, and take her hunting cat and her neighbor's horse (who often loaned out the animal to the community) out into the Dust Sea to hunt.
Hunting was hard out there. There wasn't much life, not like the forests of the North, but the cats always knew where to look, and a skilled handler could learn from their instinct and expertise to hunt. It had been a zero-yield day and Ridahne knew to head back well before her water supply got low, but on the way she spotted a dark figure in the red sand. A man, a human merchant by the looks of him, and he'd been out there for a long time. Days. He had foolishly removed his shirt and his goods had been abandoned long ago. He was blistered, burned from the sun, weak from insufficient food, and severely dehydrated. Ridahne knew what to do. Every Azurei child knew how to treat heat-related illnesses and injuries on a basic level at least. She made a thick mud of the fine, dusty sand and covered his skin with it, gave the delirious man some water, and (after a lot of struggle) got him on her horse and brought him back to Atakhara. When the man recovered days later, he asked if she would help guide him back home since she knew how to handle and navigate the shifting landscapes of the Dust Sea. He paid her.
"That? I...I didn't. I didn't feel anything about it. It just...I happened to be there in the right place at the right time. And I got good at it, I made some money. That's all it was, it just sort of..." she shrugged, though she kept her hand on the tree's smooth bark. "Happened? I don't know. That was...your doing?"
Hadian was easy to identify. He was tall, even taller than the people standing around him. He had the narrow, slim face that Ridahne had and the same honey eyes. Though he was slim in build, he had the body of a worker and generally gave off a strong-back vibe. His hands were calloused from rough ropes, his skin was lightly crusted with dried salt in some places, and he bore a few scars, though not like Ridahne's, which were clearly from combat. Where Ridahne exuded loud intensity, Hadian carried himself more softly, quietly, though not less intensely. He was more relaxed than his sister, but his eyes were thoughtful, keen. Unlike his sister, his tattoos were more simple. They had some similar ones near the jawline, but his patterns deviated from hers in their simplicity. Ridahne's showed she had a long, complicated story to tell. Hadian's were much more straightforward. His hair was tied in a short ponytail and he wore a slightly different cut version of the uri, the knee length, sarong-like garment Ridahne wore. His was weathered, sunbleached, and obviously worked in, and instead of a silk sash around his waist like Ridahne had, he had a strip of faded green linen. It had a regular steel pin, not a silver one with a sigil like Ridahne's.
The elf was hunched over a fire with an iron pot over it. Darin spoke, and though Hadian could not clearly perceive the words, he felt some tickle of sensation, some twitch of another sense that made him look up from his cookpot. He looked north and sighed. A woman came up behind him and gently traced her fingernails across his bare shoulders. She sat beside him. "What is it?" she asked. She spoke Azurian, but the Tree, and thus Darin, knew all languages while she was one with it.
"Did you ever meet my sister?" He asked in return.
"I did, remember? She scared me half to death with that sword of hers!" She laughed. A silence fell between them as they silently acknowledged what that sword accomplished. "Do you think she's alright out there? Wherever she is? What did you say she was doing again?"
"I didn't, love. She made me swear to secrecy. But you'll find out someday." He kissed the woman on the forehead. "She's alright. The world beyond the mountains would have to be horrifying indeed to get the best of her. I just hope I see her again. I always felt responsible for her after Da died. But that's silly, no one can really keep her in check, no one but Ajoran." He laughed. "I don't know how he does it, but I bless him for it. He is good for her." And silently, just to himself, Hadian wondered if Ridahne had found the Seed-Bearer she'd gone off to find, and how that was going. He hoped it was going well; she deserved a bit of good fortune for once.