Introduction

In a low valley, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, lies a small walled town.  It was a ramshackle place, every bit of it recycled within an inch of its life.  To the west, a score of small figures inched slowly toward the town, along the Seylan Pass.  It soon became apparent that this was no ordinary group of travelers.  All but two were children, orphans, making their way towards a sanctuary.  As the sun set, they reached the town and knocked on its vast gates.  Eren, the gatekeeper, opened the gates, and led the small group of travelers to the most respectable building there, in the center of town.  Makart, one of the town's few adults, met them at the entrance of the oblong building. 

"Welcome," she murmured as she bowed her greetings, "This is Saon, the orphan town."

The leader of the group, a tall and careful man, returned Makart's bow.  "We have traveled far.  Raiders attacked our village.  Many of these children actually saw their parents murdered.  We were the only ones to escape, my brother and I.  The children are now orphans, and homeless.  I wish I could take care of them but…I have not the money.  I had heard of Saon from a friend.  I thought it would be best I brought the children here as soon as I could."

Makart nodded understandingly, "The children will be safe here.  They are fed and housed, and, at the age of 16, they are sent off into the world in a grand ceremony.  The villagers of Freta, the town just to the north, teach the young men and women the skills they need to survive."

The leader bowed again, "I am thankful for your generosity.  If my brother and I ever come to better days, we will be sure to find some way returning the favour.  Then I will leave the children in your capable hands.  Quie aelnu ika.  God bless you."

The two travelers left the children behind, to live through their childhood in Saon.  Little did the people of Saon know that, among this particular group of children were two young girls who would change the known world with their enmity. Only one of them would survive.