The quote with which you opened had me bracing myself for the worst! Perhaps I should still be braced...
Again, wonderful PoV from Thyrnir.
"I have a very great curiosity about your women, you know," she murmured. "I should dearly love to meet one." Oh pleasepleaseplease??? Without pretence?!?
... yet the thought that she valued a thing he had helped create enough to hold fast in the face of such torment made him feel quite strange, proud of his work and taken aback by its power. Awesome. Great exchange between him and Saelon, and I loved his solution to the blood on the floor. Superb. Details incredible. (Like: Saelon set a hand on his shoulder, the nailbeds dark with blood.)
Excellent interactions with returning menfolk, and Saelon's reactions to both. I appreciated Halpan's more mature insight.
What would have happened if he had not— Yes, Saelon, just continue along that path towards gratitude... *is hopeful*
You grant a great deal of relief in this chapter, while leaving plenty for us to speculate about! I am eager to find out who the leader of these brigands was, if there was some history between him and the folk at Habad-e-Mindon that led him to be so callus in harming or allowing harm. Saelon did not seem to recognize the man who grabbed her.
Anticipating the next update! Your insatiable reader,