He jogged down the trail to the temple, ignoring the windows of the apothecary shop. The grove was shaken clean to its bones from winter. When Lonan knocked on the door, all the birds inside—crows, seagulls, martins, finches, and swallows—exploded into a ruckus. Wind-catchers clacked wooden music on either side of his head.
Acolyte Gilliana Carnelian shuffled aside the drape on the window to stab an eye at him, which made the birds shriek louder. Lonan wrested one hand free to wave. Gilliana disappeared behind the drape again, rattled a chain loose, and squeezed him inside.
“Pipe down,” she begged the stacks of flapping cages, steering Lonan by the shoulders. “It’s just Lonan. You all know Lonan!”
Lonan sneezed on a downy feather, startling a pair of pigeons from their rotund huddle. “Maidens. Are you alone today?”
Gilliana shook out the layers of red-pigmented dye in her hair, freeing a fine cloud of mineral powder. A dead insect fell by her feet.
“Vern’s got the ague, and we don’t have the stock for Acolytes like we used to. He was going to come in anyway, but Mistress Modestine put him on the resting herbs—you know the ones.”
–“Lost and Found,” Elyan White
More of Gilliana, because she basically carries this chapter.