The woman sitting on a blanket with her glimmering wares looked up as they approached, beaded jewelry and hand-worked precious metals bright as her smile. There were even ornaments of iron, Morgiana saw; some coal-dark, some polished mirror-bright as the copper woven between their frames.
She ignored those, eyeing one of the hair ornaments. A comb, finer than anything she’d ever worn; carved red wood, trailing a fall of delicate purple-stained carved flowers with blue-green shimmering leaves.
Morgiana inhaled, sure now. Wood, paint, beetle wings… and Alibaba.
“Now there’s something I’ve never seen before.” Ja’far smiled, more open and kind than Morgiana had seen yet, as he waved at the ornament. “They look a bit like the scarabs of Heliohapt, but those tend to be more black, or gold. This color is most unusual.”
“It is indeed, kind sir,” the jeweler inclined her head, smiling in return. “You have a discerning eye. The Desert Tears are a treasure newly found, and we delight in their use.”
“Alas, my eye is not so trained as it should be,” Ja’far claimed, hand over his heart. “We of Sindria pride ourselves on discovering new treasures, and I have never spied this before? The merchant who is my master would be devastated.”
“Well, he doesn’t need to hear it from me,” the jeweler winked.
Morgiana saw Aladdin about to speak, and quietly gripped his shoulder, no.
“You are entirely too kind, a goddess among women,” Ja’far bowed. “Truly, I must make amends for my flaw. I think- yes. Many of these would do well, seen in Sindria. But I would be remiss in my responsibilities not to inquire of the Tears themselves. Local artisans would be railing at my master’s feet, if I did not.” Ja’far paused. “And quite possibly throwing empty wine bottles at his head. Some of our craftsmen are a bit temperamental.”
“Ah, the sorrows of being driven by one’s craft,” the jeweler sighed. “Tell me, do you know of Jawed of Qal‘eh Ganj…?”
Morgiana drew Aladdin a little away from the blanket as Ja’far and the jeweler traded names and tales of various bits of craftsmanship. “Be patient,” she murmured to her younger friend. “She’s finding out if he’s really from Sindria, and he’s telling her he’s not with the law.”
“Oh.” Aladdin kept it to a low, relieved whisper. “That makes sense. But why these? Though they’re really pretty, and that green would look even prettier in your hair….”
“Scent,” Morgiana said quietly. “Just a little. But Alibaba had them.”