Memories

by Cool-chan

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Cool-chan:Welcome to my story! Yay!

Kitty: Howdy! xD

Sam: Here's some definitions for you so you don't get lost in Cool-chan's mind:

Rethe- Kris' homeland

Lycan- province in Rethe

Lyca- patron goddess of Lycan; goddess of peace

Mica- town on the edge of Barat

Barat- province along the Rethe-Elimine border

Elimine- neighboring land just over the southern mountains of Rethe.

Luminia- one of the six ruling Sages in Elimine. Lady of Light.

Galen- one of the six ruling Sages in Elimine. Lord of Wind.

Elia- one of the six ruling Sages in Elimine. Mistress of Plants.

Flarus- one of the six ruling Sages. Master of Flame.

Darthus- one of the six ruling Sages. Master of Darkness.

Aquarus- one of the six ruling Sages. Mistress of Water.

Cool-chan: This title was originally Wanderer, and now it's Memories. Think of anything better? Tell me. :)This is a story that sort of came up while I was working on the background for a role play I have with several friends of mine. I hope you don't get lost, but if you do, let me know. :)

I like this story quite a lot, and I hope you do too.

Sam: Oh, I if you're wondering who Kitty and I are, see Cool-chan's profile.

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Prologue

Of Stories By the Fire

"Tell me a story, Momma," a small black-haired girl said, sitting down on a rug in front of a large, comfortable chair.

The older woman sitting on the chair laughed. She shook her head, and her reddish-blonde hair momentarily obscured her thin face. "I have already told you of my travels many times, Mayina."

"…So?" Mayina said, looking at her mother imploringly.

Her mother laughed again, sighed and settled more comfortably into her chair. "It all began when I was twelve years old…"

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Chapter 1 Of Running Away

I'm running away from home. There's nothing for me here. My father is a murderer, my mother is dead…

Such were the thoughts running amok through my young head on that horrible day.

But I knew not where to run to. I had to plan. I had to think through the rage, the helplessness and the hurt…

How could I have not seen it? Not seen my father's cruelty? I knew he was Marquee of Lycan, but I did not know that he killed every man to enter his prison, no matter how small the crime.

How could I, Kristina Violet Cornwell, not have noticed? Not once questioned what became of the prisoners?!

I used to adore my father, back when Momma was alive. He wasn't particularly kind, but his did have some compassion. But when Momma was slain by bandits, he locked himself away in his study, not emerging for a week.

I should have seen the warning signs then, but I didn't. I was ignorant of my father's madness; of his lunacy.

When he at last emerged, he'd changed. His eyes had a dead, haunted look, the light and sparkle of life extinguished. I was nine.

I knew that he'd changed, I could sense it, but becoming a heartless killer? I never knew of it, until that fateful day.

I had been visiting a friend's father in the prison. All he'd done was steal a bit of wool, a tiny fluff, from old farmer Marrow. He was going to have his wife weave it into a warm blanket for his newborn daughter, for times were hard in Rethe. Crops were failing, no rain was falling and pestilence was thick in the air.

I was shocked and dismayed to learn that my own father was having him hanged in three days time.

With tears in his old eyes, he begged me to tell Natalie (his daughter and my friend) good-bye for him.

I drew back, tears of hurt and anger filling my own eyes. I couldn't believe it. I wouldn't believe it. My father… hanging someone for trying to keep a helpless babe warm…

I went from prisoner to prisoner, asking what they'd done to deserve imprisonment. The story was the same everywhere I turned. Many had not done a great wrong. Petty theft was a common tale. And yet all were being hung in a matter of days.

The prison began to swim before my wet eyes. It couldn't be true… No… It just couldn't…My father would never do that… It was inhuman!

I ran back to the manor. I had to hear him say it wasn't true. I just had to.

I found my father sitting in his study, talking with his right-hand man, Rath.

He looked up and beckoned for me to come forward, dismissing Rath as well. "What is wrong, daughter?" he asked me, his voice flat and emotionless.

I felt a surge of anger. I had a name. Why did he call me 'daughter'? I was Kristina Cornwell! Surely I deserved to be named!

But I pushed that thought down and explained as calmly as I could the injustice of what I had just seen. I expected him to maybe say he realized his mistake and fix it. What I did not expect him to do was begin to laugh. Yes, he laughed at the fact I gave a damn about the prisoners.

"They are nothing. Their deaths are nothing," he said, his dark, lifeless eyes glinting with a sort of bloodlust. "They deserve to die. I pass judgment upon them, as Lyca passed judgment on your mother."

I felt my jaw fall slack, my eyes stretched as wide as they would go. I was shaking. No… No… NO!

I bolted from the room, the dam that had held back my tears shattering like china. I slammed the door behind me as I entered my mother's old chambers. The air was stifling. No one had entered that room for three years.

I walked over to my mother's chest and lifted the wooden lid. Laying on top of her black traveling cloak lay her twin daggers. As I lifted both daggers and cloak, I noticed something beneath them.

Her rapier.

I set the items I was holding gently on the floor next to me and picked up the blade.

It was long and thin, but very strong. I pulled the intricate hilt, sliding the weapon from its sheath. The blade was of an unnamable material that glittered like silver, but was strong as iron.

I stood and lunged with the new sword. It didn't feel like a weapon, it felt like an extension of my arm. It was light as a feather and yet I was able to cut a leg off one of the aged chairs with a single slash.

I carefully put the rapier back into its scabbard and tied it to my belt. It was a formidable weapon. The daggers I tied together and hung from the other side of my belt, listening to the soft clink of the steel as I moved.

I whirled the cloak around myself, pulling the hood low over my face. I was not to be recognized before I crossed the border of Rethe.

I quietly crept outside into the night air and sat down beneath my favorite tree to think. I had no idea of where to run, but I couldn't stay there. Where was I to go?

I leaned back and rested my back against the sturdy old oak. The branches were a faint green with the coming spring. I closed my eyes, trying to empty my mind and think clearly.

My mother's warm happy face swam into view of my mind's eye. The stories of the land of her birth, Elimine; separated from Rethe by a range of mountains.

I remembered the many stories she told me of that land. Of the Six Sages, the rulers of Elimine, of the lush valleys and ocean breezes; the deep forests and the ancient mountains…

I remembered one story in particular. The story of Lady Luminia, the Lady of Light and a woman with a heart of gold…

That was it! I opened my eyes and turned them towards the shadow of the great mountains. I'd go to her, the kindest person on the continent.

Perhaps she'll take pity on me and allow me to serve her…

It was the best plan I had, so I decided to take it. I stood and looked to the south, my eyes wandering along the perilous road I was to take. And such I began the long walk, that would change my life forever…

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"Wow… You've never told me this story before…" Mayina told her mother, her violet eyes wide.

Kris nodded. "Yes. You yourself are eleven years old now, and you deserve to know the full story of my past. But now it is time for bed, child."

"Aw…"

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Cool-chan: So.... Love it? Hate it? Confused? Leave it in a review! And snaps for my beta Empress! xD (cheers)

Kitty: Go Empress! xD

Sam: Am I the only sane one here?

Kitty: Of course you are, Sammi! (grins)

Sam: (sigh)