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The visitor took two hopping steps into the building. Now Daja saw her clearly, and wished she could not. One side of the newcomer’s face was the color of deep bronze, lit with a single, heavy-lidded dark eye. The other side was a ruin of shiny brown scars, the eye only a lumpy pit. Scars dragged at one side of the woman’s wide, broad-curved mouth, so that she seemed to be forever sneering. Her nose was unscarred, but something had broken it enough to make it nearly flat. Both of her eyebrows were thick, making Daja wonder if she had been any kind of beauty even before the loss of half of her face. The scarring aside, she didn’t look very old–no more than twenty-five at the most.

The newcomer wore an earth-brown tunic that reached halfway down her thighs. Like Daja, she wore leggings. They were the same dark color as her tunic, with one leg shortened to cover the joining of the wooden leg to her flesh. Daja noticed all of this in an eye-blink. The thing that brought her mind to a halt was the brass-capped staff the woman leaned on.

She was a Trader.

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