The Morning Glory was not a reputable tavern by any means. Still, the counters were wiped clean, the floors swept, and the customers appropriately tended to, all thanks to the innkeeper’s granddaughter, Myria Hawthorne. Many of the Morning Glory’s patrons frequently eyed Myria for her beauty but knew better than to venture further. If Grandmother Iris wasn’t intimidating enough with her sharp eyes and broad shoulders, Myria had definitely proven she could hold her own against any pest, admirer, or drunken rascal that dared to cross her path, so even though the Morning Glory was not the most glamorous of establishments, thieves, mercenaries, and swindlers did not trouble Myria or her grandmother.
When she wasn’t waiting on Morning Glory customers, Myria enjoyed tending to a small herb garden, exploring Talking Tree Forest, and practicing magic. She was not a sorceress by any means, but she discovered at an early age that she had an aptitude for small healing spells. Her biggest weakness was that she never had any formal training; everything she knew had been learned from drifting conversations from the pub’s customers. However, this was the price of living life as an inconsequential commoner; magic lessons remained for the nobility alone. Perhaps in another life, she would have been privileged enough to train, but Myria was satisfied with the life she lived with her grandmother.
Grandmother Iris wasn’t the only family she had. Certainly, Myria had distant cousins that were much more fortunate than the two of them, but Grandmother Iris was the single family member she had ever known. Her own parents had died when she was very young, and Grandmother Iris filled the void in Myria’s life when no one else had. She was eternally grateful, so she did everything she could to keep the tavern afloat. Even in her rebellious teenage years, Myria never forgot her duty and responsibility to Grandmother Iris. At seventeen, she might have snuck out at nights for private adventures in the Talking Tree Forest, but she always returned in time for the morning chores.
At twenty-two, some of the regulars of Morning Glory would whisper intrusive, personal questions, wondering when Myria would settle down and get married. Although she might have entertained a few of the wandering eyes, marriage was not a future she envisioned for herself. None of the suitors stayed; everyone was just passing through, leaving eventually. Grandmother Iris was the only one who stayed. In part, this fueled her eternal devotion to her grandmother.
But there was one thing Grandmother Iris would never accept help with—balancing the ledgers. No matter how many times Myria insisted she was proficient at adding and subtracting figures, Grandmother Iris refused to accept help. Instead, she preferred locking herself in her room in the late hours to calculate the rent, the tips, and the inventory. No matter how many times Grandmother Iris would hide the ledger, Myria still saw through the crack in the door-frame the deep frown creasing between her grandmother’s eyes.