I managed to get a chance to speak alone with Father Thomas while Kantrilla was working as a healer. Though she didn’t live in Trona anymore and therefore wasn’t scheduled to do so, she liked healing people, or perhaps it was more that she liked people being happy. It was still hard work for her sometimes, but she was good at it. In addition, she had grown up knowing many of the people in Trona, so it was a change to see people and help her hometown some.
Father Thomas and I sat together for several minutes in silence. I was having a hard time trying to figure out what I would say to him, but he waited patiently. Finally, I just started. “You know I’m an otherworlder, right?”
“That I do.”
“Right, well… because of that, there are a lot of things I don’t know about this world, and some of the customs. I can’t just ask anyone because they would find out I’m an otherworlder.”
“That they might,” Father Thomas nodded, “And while it’s nothing to be ashamed of, it is certainly an oddity. It could change how people see you. So then, I presume you have some questions for me?”
I was sweating more than after a hundred swings of my weapon- though these days I didn’t sweat that much after that, since that was more like moderate exercise. Regardless, I was sweating a lot for just sitting down doing nothing. “I had some questions about… marriage.”
Father Thomas was an insightful man, but anyone who wasn’t as dumb as a bag of bricks could guess where I was going. He grinned, “Of course. I’ll answer any questions you have.”
Overall, marriage customs weren’t really that different. There were usually parties of varying sizes- the weddings of the rich could be extremely extravagant, while the weddings of poorer folk were usually a bit more subdued in terms of expense but still often as large as possible.
In Othya, rings were used as the symbol of marriage, but other places used necklaces or tattoos or anything else. The details of the rings could vary widely- they might be of any metal and may or may not be inset with gems of various sorts. There was also no tradition of engagement rings, though some wore their actual rings before the official marriage to show the promise that had been made. Among adventurers or the rich wedding rings were more likely than not to be enchanted with magical protections- as either a symbol of practicality or wealth.
As for when people got married, that varied significantly as well. People were people, and culture couldn’t dictate everything. Some people got married after knowing each other for a short time. Some waited a long time after starting the courtship process. Then there were cases where people who hadn’t officially been courting but knew each other for some time would become married.
“You and Kantrilla have known each other since you came here,” Father Thomas nodded to himself, “And I might say you have gotten along very well since. She has always spoken highly of you in letters or in person. More importantly, about what you were like as a person rather than what monsters you could kill. I would certainly not think she was rushing into this if she decided to marry you.”
I nodded, then nervously spoke. “Then I would like to, officially, ask for your approval of a marriage with Kantrilla.”
Father Thomas smiled, “Then I shall officially approve, assuming she agrees. Though I would be very surprised if she refused.”
Marriage proposals were quite varied in this world- sometimes they were big events, kneeling in front of a person with a ring in front of who knows how many people- and sometimes they were just people talking about whether or not they should get married. I wondered if the former was brought through otherworlders.
While a big proposal could make a great story later, sitting down and talking to someone seemed more like a good plan to me. While it might lack the big emotional high of a fancy proposal, relationships were about more than big ups and downs- and hopefully some careful thought would prevent more of the latter.
That said, even bringing up the topic with Kantrilla was quite nerve wracking. I was tempted to just put it off for later… but that could last for far too long. Besides, I didn’t want to marry Kantrilla later, I wanted to marry her now. Or soon, anyway.
Tradition on earth dictated that I wait for a particularly romantic moment to ask Kantrilla. I had some plans for later in the evening where maybe we could go eat a nice meal and then go stargazing. That would be a good time to ask.
I wanted to see her, so I went to go pick her up from work. She was providing healing services at a small clinic on the other side of the city from the adventurer’s guild. As I walked in she was treating a young girl with a cut on her hand. She wrapped up the hand after using healing magic, and both the girl and her mother thanked her profusely. They paid a single copper- about the right price for just the bandages, but probably also close to what they could afford, and walked out.
Kantrilla looked up at me and smiled, “Llyr! Glad to see you.”
Her smile made my brain shut off. “I- do you want to marry me?
She looked at me for a few moments, and I started to get worried. “I…” She took a deep breath, “Yes? Yes. Yes! I do want to!” It hadn’t occurred to me that she was probably at least as nervous about the idea as I was. She ran up to me and embraced me in a tight hug. Perhaps a kiss would have been more traditional, but spontaneous kissing between us was difficult given the height difference. That said, hugs were great too. In the end, it was more relaxing to go to a nice dinner after we had that matter settled… though we still had a lot of details to talk about.