Chapter 1: The Beginning

As far as anyone could tell, the fire started at the centre of the city and worked its way out. It destroyed half the city before it was finally put out. One of the odd things about this fire was that no one had been able to predict it happening, which is why so much of the city was burned.
The fire, though bad, would have faded into scarcely thought about memories except the fire served as a catalyst and set in motion a set of events that would entirely reshape the world. A month later it began.
Freta was hanging out at the beach, as usual. It was one of the few quiet places left in the city, as the surrounding area had been untouched by the fire and therefore didn't need repairs.
With Freta was her best friend, Antia, as per usual. The two of them were sitting watching the boats moving in and out of the nearby harbour. Both of them were letting their thoughts drift, much like the piece of wood floating on the water in front of them.
They were both skipping their lessons. Antia didn't want to be a sword smith anymore then Freta wanted to work in her family's stables.
Despite their hatred of their jobs, both showed a fair amount of promise in the work. Antia was able to make light, strong blades that kept their edge, while Freta could always spot a sick, neglected or mistreated horse. She had also managed to tame any horse she had attempted to tame, some that others had found impossible.
The reason Antia didn't want to make swords is that she felt more comfortable using them. She was one of the best with a blade especially with the ones she had made herself.
Freta didn't have a reason for not wanting to work in the stables other than the constant feeling that there was something more important for her to do.
The young stabler-to-be sat up swiftly and drew her legs up to her chest, her long brown hair screening her face.
"What's the matter?" Antia asked, raising herself up onto one elbow, so she could see her friend.
"Hmm? Nothing really. Just that, I feel as if something important is going to happen today."
Antia laughed. "So you can see the future now? You know as well as I do that nothing was predicted for today."
"Yes, but nothing was predicted on the day of the fire either."
Her friend stopped laughing. "Yeah, but you didn't feel anything on that day."
"No, I didn't. But, I still can't help but feel as if something weird is going to happen and soon."
"Oh come on now, you've never accurately predicted a thing in your life. If you had, you'd be learning to be a seer right now."
"I guess you're right."
"Of course I am. I'm always right."
Freta laughed. "Oh yeah?" she said before tackling her friend. The two of them were soon rolling around the sand, shrieking with laughter as they each tried to tickle the other one into submission.
They eventually tired out and lay with their heads together, Freta's long brown hair mixing with Antia's shorter black hair.
The two of them were both seventeen and had been friends since they were toddlers. Antia had always been the stronger one, more inclined to take the lead. Freta was quieter and often spent long periods of time just sitting and thinking.
Antia was the taller of the two, topping Freta by about three inches. She had a stouter build, owing to her warrior's training. Freta tended to be more graceful and agile in her movements than Antia. She wasn't as strong as her friend, but she wasn't a weakling. She'd spent a fair bit of her life hefting bales of hay, training untamed horses and riding over every kind of terrain.
They were still lying with their heads together when Tillan found them. The two girls knew they were in trouble when her shadow fell across them. They quickly scrambled to their feet.
"You two should be at your lessons, and don't go denying it. I've been hearing complaints about the two of you for weeks now. You rarely show up to your lessons, and if you do, you either don't pay attention or complain. As if that weren't bad enough, I've also heard that you two have been going to other classes and bothering the students who actually try to learn." Tillan said, hands on her hips. She was smaller then the girls, but they were completely dominated by her blazing green eyes.
"We can't help it. We don't like our lessons." Antia complained.
"Well that's too bad. The lessons are the only way you two are going to learn to do your jobs."
"But we don't want our jobs! I hate being a sword smith and Freta hates working in the stables."
"What!?!? You two both have such talent in those areas and you say you hate it! Well if you don't like those jobs then what do you want to do?"
"I want to be a warrior. I want to use swords not make them!"
"And you Freta? What do you want to do?"
Freta opened her mouth to reply, when she suddenly began to feel dizzy. The whole world felt as if it were spinning and the only stationary point was a growing vision. It showed the best seer in the whole city, Yelsi, surrounded by spirits. Spirits who were burning and screaming to be saved. Lightning flashed outside the nearby window, lighting up the darkened room, showing the spirits burned flesh hanging of their skeleton bodies.
Freta screamed and as if that sound had broken the vision, the world stopped spinning and Freta found herself gasping for air, clutching Antia's arm.
"What happened?" Antia and Tillan asked together.
"Yelsi." Freta gasped.
"What about Yelsi?" Tillan asked sharply, earning herself a glare from Antia.
"She knew. The spirits told her. I saw it. She knew. She knew." Freta sobbed, now having fully broken down.
"Knew what?" Tillan demanded, moving closer to Freta.
Antia hugged Freta to herself, glaring fiercely at Tillan. "Leave her alone! Can't you see she's not up to being interrogated?"
Tillan checked herself. Calm down, she thought to herself, she might be talking about something else. No need to get my hopes up.
She waited until Freta had stopped crying before she asked her anything else. Though it felt like an eternity to Tillan, it really was only about ten minutes before Freta had herself under control again.
"What did Yelsi know about?" Tillan asked, in a much kinder tone this time.
"The fire. The spirits were burning. They were screaming to her to save them, to stop the fire, but she ignored them."
"Are you certain this happened before the fire?" Tillan asked, suppressing the excitement in her voice.
Freta nodded. "It was during a thunderstorm. I saw the lightning. We haven't had a thunderstorm since a week before the fire."
A very vicious looking grin spread across Tillan's face. "Thank you girls. Now I've finally got proof of Yelsi ignoring warnings. She'll pay for it, she will!" With that, Tillan got up and ran off.
"I guess those rumours about Tillan hating Yelsi were true." Antia remarked.
"I don't care who hates who, I just want to know why I saw that. I'm not a seer. I was already tested. Four times! All because of my gods-cursed purple eyes!" Freta said, her voice still unsteady.
"Your eyes are pretty. Besides, this is the only time something like this has ever happened. Maybe it was just a one time thing?"
"I hope you're right. I never want to see something like that again. It was horrible."
"Well I know just the thing to take your mind off it. Let's go harass the warriors-in-training. There's a bunch of newbies who don't know about us yet."
"Really?" Freta asked, perking up. One of her favourite things to do was harass other students.
"Really, so let's go!" Antia said, grabbing Freta's hand and dragging her towards the training fields.

Tillan ran straight to Yelsi's tower. This time, she thought to herself, this time I have proof she's been ignoring warnings. This time she'll pay!
She entered through the main doors and was halted by one of Yelsi's numerous servants. "Where is Yelsi?" Tillan demanded.
"The Lady Yelsi is on the roof, in her garden, Lady-Mage." The dark- haired serving woman said, her voice tinged with disapproval of Tillan's lack of respect.
Tillan paid no attention to the serving woman past Yelsi's whereabouts. She dashed up the stairs taking them two and three at a time.
She arrived at the roof and burst through the door, not bothering to knock. Tillan waited a minute so she could catch her breath, before approaching Yelsi.
The seer had looked up from her plants when she heard the door slam open. She stood up slowly, brushing the dirt off her robes. Her face showed no emotion at seeing Tillan there, but then again her face so rarely showed any emotion.
Yelsi's hair and eyes were the same shade of golden brown, very near the colour of her skin, giving her the impression of being colourless.
"What is it you wish?" Yelsi asked, her voice void of emotion.
"You knew about the fire!" Tillan said, anger in both her voice and face. "You deliberately ignored the warning and as a result half the city burned and hundreds died!"
Yelsi's eyes widened in shock, revealing the truth. Yelsi had been accused of many things during her life but had always just ignored the accusations, acting as if nothing had been said.
"Why? Why did you allow the city to burn and all those people to die?"
"Because they were weak." Yelsi said, surprising Tillan by the fervour in her voice. "I do not warn the council of things when I believe they have gotten weak, complacent, confident that nothing could happen. They needed a reminder that they are only mortal and can be claimed by death at any time."
All the colour drained from Tillan's face. "You're crazy." She whispered. "You allowed all those people to die to teach the council a lesson?"
"They were also weak. If they had been strong they would have survived, but they didn't, so they are weak and deserved to die."
"People died. You allowed people to die because you thought they were weak! You really are crazy." Tillan said, horrified.
" You are blind. I am curious as to how you found out about the warnings. You are no seer, so someone must have told you. Who?"
"I will never tell you. That person will always know when you ignore warnings! That person knows the truth and when I tell the council, so will everyone else."
Yelsi smiled. "Oh you won't be doing that. You will lose your memory of all that has happened here and before. I will have you discredited, claiming you attacked me. No one will believe anything you say against me."
Tillan froze, only now realizing that, in the time they had been talking, Yelsi had moved so that she was between her and the door. Panicking the mage called upon her powers to fly into the sky and sped toward the council building. She was hit from behind by a blast from Yelsi. She lost her flight spell and began falling. Another blast came roaring towards her. Before it swallowed her, Tillan regretted being so rash to directly confront Yelsi and then foolishly forget the seer's mage training. Damn it, Tillan thought, I hope Yelsi never finds out about Freta.

The next day everyone was talking about how Tillan had attacked Yelsi. The seer had magnanimously not pressed charges, but even so Tillan had had her status as the city's prime mage revoked and now no one would hire her. That is until a certain young girl pestered her mother, saying they could really use a mage to help protect the house, her father being a councillor and all. Her mother caved and Tillan came to work for Freta's family.