Mariatu, at this point, is High Priestess of the River Water Temple (seen in the background there). That is the first place that Morgan Tenebra sends Misu in order to reestablish "good" relations with the Elves. Mariatu considers herself born into that life, having been abandoned there by her biological parents when she was just a baby. Like Misu, her reaction to her circumstances was to excel at all costs - if she was "born" into it, she had better damn well make sure she truly makes it her home, then. To her, that meant and manifested in working her way up from a ward, to a priestess, to High Priestess (and whatever other steps in between).
So when Misu appears as an ambassador to her people, Mariatu is the one officially receiving her, and one thing leads to another.... <3
Their bond only grows stronger as Misu gives in more and more to her own desires versus her mother's plans, and shortly after the Morgan is defeated, Misu returns to the River Temple to finally choose a life for herself.
(Which leads to further adventures and choices for Mariatu, too, but more on that another time.)
This one was really lovely to do - they HAD to be the "proposal" inspiration, and I hadn't gotten to figure out how their engagement happens yet, so very much yay. Misu is holding the bracelets I always draw Mariatu wearing in more current bonus art - in Elven culture, individuals wear double-stacked bracelets on each wrist to signify marital status. Those are traditionally given to the propose-ee when the question is popped, kept in the safe care of whoever is chosen to be "best man/maid of honor" and then actually put on during the wedding ceremony.
(I also imagine that Misu made some casual friendships among the other temple priests/esses and Mariatu's own friends, so they would have told her how to propose.)
These two are so sweet and precious to me (and my own Llady Wife) so I am SO grateful to get to explore their part of Tock's world more during MerMay. We'll get to see them in canon, but it's gonna take some time. And a heap of misunderstandings ^^;