Author: Lethadind PM
How does one "become" evil? Is it a snapping point in someone's life? An important moral choice? Or does it happen when we let go and choose to live it? 20 years ago, Mistress Raina was a simple country girl with a big heart and small dreams. Now she commands armies, commits atrocities, and chooses "students" of pure heart and turns them to relish in evil. This is her story.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 3 - Words: 3,800 - Reviews: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 01-26-13 - Published: 01-20-13 - id: 3093880
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Coming home had been easier for Adele than she had thought it would be. Commander Ovrander and his wife had been overjoyed at having their daughter returned to them. Everyone rejoiced; no one questioned. Why would they? After two long years, the daughter of the Great Commander Ovrander had returned, relatively unscathed. Ridding the desire to sick up every time she had to call them "Mom" and "Dad" would take some time though.
Adele silently laughed herself to sleep that night. The fools.
Raina had heard of the Spectrum, of course. Growing up in Vanguard afforded many opportunities to see the students at the School of the Gifted. Even normal schools in Vanguard studied the history of its existence though, and she had been no exception.
She had never imagined that she would have control over it, however. She didn't really know why she had kept it secret from her family. Perhaps it was the thought of leaving them, as well as the thought of them losing her. Her father was strong, but still very fragile, and the thought of him breaking again so soon after the loss of Mother was one reason. But that still didn't nail down the cause. She imagined it was a multitude of reasons, these among them, that compounded upon each other, with the end result being studying the arcane arts and developing her talents in secret. The idea of doing something a little rebellious gave her common life a little excitement, she supposed.
Last year for Father's birthday she had actually grown a fern-lily overnight and gave it him the next day. Fern-lilies had always been Mother's favorite plant, and Father's eyes had glistened when she handed it to him. It was still on the mantle, carefully pruned and watered every day. When Father wasn't cooking or doing work on the land, he was babying his fern-lily. Raina was glad her skills in the Spectrum had allowed her to bring happiness to her father, though he would likely never know the circumstances of the gift.
So after her father and brothers had left, it took her about a half-hour before she realized she had three days of uninterrupted secrecy. Out in the open. In the daylight. She couldn't believe how free she felt! Over the past few years she had been able to scrap together a few books on basic Spectral command, but she had exhausted all of them. It was time for something new. Something more advanced. Rhaven was only a four or five hour ride from Gheil on horseback. It had been ages since she had been to the city anyway.
Mind made up, she secured the horses and provided them with a full day's worth of food – just in case. She tidied up the house and after locking the door, grabbed her horse and started along the Ells'worn to Rhaven. The sun had yet to crest the plains when she reached the main road to Rhaven.
Rhaven was an interesting town. The Ells'worn wound its way through the countryside until it reached a fork in the landscape, a massive plateau suddenly rose from the ground, and split the Ells'worn in two for about half a league, before it joined itself again. Local custom had caused the residents of Rhaven – which resided atop the plateau – to call the west side of this fork the "Wells'worn." Raina had always thought it clever.
The road to Rhaven was fairly well-traveled, and today was no exception. People dragging carts were followed by multitudes trotting on horses, which in turn were followed by groups of people simply out for a stroll between farms that dotted the landscape. The Ells'worn may not have been a massive river, but its waters were deep, and allowed for plenty of irrigation all along its winding journey. She even saw a carnival making its way along the road, strange beasts and interesting performers trekking along side-by-side, presumably to Rhaven for a few nights of adventure before moving on to the next city.
Thankfully a path had been carved all the way up and essentially through the Rhavien Plateau – Raina couldn't imagine how many years of labor it had required – so reaching the top was fairly straightforward and completely safe. The path was not dug on the side of the cliff but rather inside the rock itself, and sheer walls had been carved all the way upward. Rock walls hundreds of feet high at the base were always an impressive sight, especially since the sky was visible directly overhead. It wound around the entire perimeter of the plateau and ended at the exact same point as the entry, only several hundred feet higher.
Rhaven itself had no walls to speak of for obvious reasons. If anyone felt the desire to attack the city, they had one very easily defended entry point – an entry point that extended a league or more. Whatever settlers so long ago had decided to create a city atop an almost unnatural plateau had had much foresight. Unfortunately the city extended the entire length of the plateau, minus the space necessary for the path to the top of course, so expansion was virtually impossible and Rhaven was as large as it was going to be. Still, a half-league by a half-league was large enough to house businesses and commerce of all kinds, which was exactly what Raina was looking for: a fresh perspective; a new adventure.
People seemed to throng the streets today. Local merchants were crying their wares, competing with foreign peddlers with their mobile shops and exotic products. Fruits of all kinds immediately attacked her senses with sweet aromas and vibrant colors, and many were of a variety that she had never heard of before. She had never seen a district so alive. The cloth district was no different. In fact, as she scanned the town in all directions, the entire town was in a bustle.
Walking through the paved and cobbled streets, she skipped past the familiar shops she visited when she came with Father. The Boot and Kettle had nothing of interest to her anyway, and she had picked through Trina's Specialty Goods already. She decided to stop at Geran's Horses, Reins, and Shoes, though – simply to visit with Geran for a few minutes and to buy some more horse feed.
The shop was littered with odds and ends for horses. Geran had everything from bits to actual horses themselves. Raina had a passion for horses, which, truth be told, was a fairly common trait for a girl her age. Or so she was told, the girls in the village cared little for anything other than boys, stitching, or reading. While Raina enjoyed all three as well, she still had a burning passion for horses.
"Why, girl, yer in th'complete op'sit side a' town!" Geran had exclaimed when she had asked for directions. "Y'gotta head off t'the west end t'get t'them 'Spectrum' shops." He scratched at his scruffy beard thoughtfully. "Dunno what a girl like you needs o'thur though, t'be sure." Raina loved Geran's gruff accent. Apparently he was from somewhere far to the east. Helran. Helgrin. Heilan. Something. She was pretty sure it started with an "H."
Surprisingly the shop itself did not mirror the chaos outside it. Only a few potential customers perused the merchandise, which Raina found curious. Geran's shop was famous; there should have been more people here. Geran was apparently just as clueless as she was. She shrugged and picked over a few more odds and ends, then handed Garen her coins and gathered her things.
She reached for the door and shouted her thanks as she stepped out onto the street. "Say 'hullo' t'yer paps fer meh, Rain." He was still waving goodbye when she shut the door behind her. She smiled to herself as she set off for the other end of town. There was only one Geran, though the world would be a much better place if there were more.
This part flowed a bit more, I felt, than Chapter 1. It's more information than conversation, but I don't feel like it feels like an info-dump. Perhaps it does and I'm just biased though, haha. Any thoughts, comments or opinions are, as always, very welcome.
Aaaand, upon closer inspection, the chapter isn't even close to being done. I'm going to add a lot more here. I feel like it comes to a good ending, but the middle needs a bit more excitement, overall there's a "Rush to more slow description" feeling that leaves wide-open holes in this little journey of hers, while at the same time making it incredibly boring. If you're reading this and plan on reading more, expect a lot of work on this chapter before long, haha.