A noise, harsh, like the roar of some terrible beast pulled Beauty from a deep sleep. She sat straight up in bed, glassy-eyed and tired, unsure of the time or even where she was. Then the noise came again, loud and dissonant, she realized that there were many similar calls coming from the same direction, the sea.
Beauty jumped from her bed, pulling her robe around her shoulders as she made her way to the balcony. There! On the horizon she could see the lights from at least a dozen ships moving with the wind towards her. The call came again, ringing in her ears and she thought it impossible that anyone within a league might still be asleep.
She stepped back into her chamber and was startled to find Nan still in her chair, snoring away, oblivious to the terrible racket that had torn Beauty from sleep.
"Nan! Nan! Get up and help me dress." she said, shaking the old woman awake.
Nan stood up, nearly as disconcerted as Beauty had been. Once apprised of the approaching ships, Nan frantically searched through Beauty's wardrobe for something befitting a Lord's daughter and the betrothed of one of the most powerful men in the kingdom.
"This was my mother's wedding gown!" Beauty quarreled as Nan tried to wrestle her into the fine, if antiquated dress.
"Yes, my lady, but if that out there is who I think it is, its best you wear the finest gown you have." Nan said. Beauty stood still, out of more shock than agreement as Nan tied up her laces.
"Its him." She said
"Oh yes, my dear one, I've heard talk for days that Lord Brendan of Highhammer was on his way, though I never imagined he'd make such good time." Nan explained.